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This post is a continuation of a series:
[Part 1] [Part 2]
julie portrait3BW
[From Julie] Well, I’m just a little excited right now.  I get the opportunity to introduce you to someone very special to me.  I want you all to meet my wonderful, smart, beautiful, and much older sister Tracey.  🙂  Just kidding, it’s really only 16 months, but still.  When she and her husband Robert married they were between their junior and senior years in college in Oklahoma.  So after the wedding they headed down there to complete their degrees.  Unfortunately for us they never made it back to the north but I know they are a blessing to their church community and their friends right where they are.  Both Robert and Tracey have written something for us.  Tracey is up first and you all still have Robert to look forward too so keep your eyes out for that.

I love Tracey’s post (and it’s not just because she’s my sista).  It’s amazing what a positive attitude and a spouse who helps you achieve that can do for you.    Awesome job guys.  Tracey and Robert have been through many trying times and much stress during their marriage.  If you know them you know that they laugh easily and try hard to be positive people despite what life hands them.  As Tracey says this positive attitude takes effort for her and she is doing a good job with it.  She is pretty darn stubborn too which can come in handy sometimes.  I know this because I also share this particular trait.  Stubborn people unite!  🙂 I hope you all enjoy Tracey’s post and find it helpful.  Send her lots of encouraging words.  Love ya sis.

traceyI am a pessimistic person by nature. My father says it’s being “realistic.” But my husband, Robert, showed me early in our marriage how my attitude was dragging down our dreams of our life together. We married with a veil of guilt over our heads and my pessimistic nature was keeping me from experiencing the immeasurable joy that God promises us in a shared life together in Him.

About a year into our marriage, I read The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. The words in this book resonated with many of the teachings of Jesus. We can have joy no matter the circumstances; peace that passes understanding in trials, hope everlasting in Christ and be loved unconditionally because we are forgiven. In other words, the abundant life and marriage!

My negative attitude and continued feelings of guilt blinded me from seeing the gifts God freely offers to me personally and to us as a couple. When I read that book, all the things I had been taught and all the wisdom Robert was trying to help me see finally made sense. I was my own worst enemy. A change in attitude was what I needed.

Changing my nature overnight was not going to happen, but little by little I emerged from that dark place. I realized being forgiven means it’s forgotten by God. Having the guilt removed from our marriage improved our relationship with each other. I fell in love with Robert all over again. The dreams we had for our life were renewed and I knew we could accomplish them. We were not doomed to failure. What a freeing experience!

Robert’s patience with me in working through those feelings only brought us closer together. Since it was so early in our married life, it proved to both of us that we could come out standing on the other side of future struggles. Looking at our relationship with a positive slant changed how I tackled the daily obstacles…no more defeatist attitude. We can resolve/compromise/forgive anything with God’s help. Little things or big things, God provides the tools we need: having the right attitude allows you to see and use those tools.