<![CDATA[Kelli H. Smith, LLC - ADJ Blog]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:10:37 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[The Battle of the Phones]]>Wed, 07 Oct 2015 02:05:30 GMThttp://kellihsmith.net/adj-blog/the-battle-of-the-phonesPicture
So how many have wanted to throw your partner's phone through the window?  It seems like every time you try to have a romantic moment or serious conversation, that phone starts blowing up.  Or have you been at dinner and you can't seem to unplug?  Did somebody die?  What could be so important that you cannot put your phone down to pay attention to the people around you?

My guess, nothing.

We miss so much when we focus our attention on recording life, rather than living it.  What if the disciples had tried to write down every miracle Jesus performed, instead of listening to Him and following Jesus' instructions?  What if your mother couldn't focus on pushing you out because she had to catch up on the latest gossip around town?  That may have been a little extreme, but you get the point.

Life is full of surprises and mysteries and thrills and excitement and wonder.  You are bound to miss something when you are glued to your phone all the time.  Many will say that communication, finances, and intimacy are the top 3 killers of a marriage.  I am still a believer that those are a death sentence when one or more are lacking or severely damaged.  I am also starting to believe that the abundance of electronics can also affect a person's relationship (professionally and personally).  I will spare you my rants, for now.

But I will leave you with this bit of advice.  At some point in your relationship, you will begin to question the state that it is in and the direction it is heading.  Instead of turning to outside sources for joy and comfort (i.e. Facebook), turn to the person who has been by your side for so many years.  Check-in with them instead of with social media.  Like something that your wife or husband said by actually telling them, to their face.  Whatever score you are trying to get or funny post you are trying to see will be there tomorrow.  Your spouse may not be there when you finish updating your status for the 10th time in 8 minutes.

Lesson: choose your phone time wisely.  There was once a time when we did not have instant access to the world, and we did just fine.  It's okay to unplug.  Otherwise the battle of the phones, won't be the only battle of the night.

<![CDATA[I Married a Child]]>Mon, 28 Sep 2015 17:49:19 GMThttp://kellihsmith.net/adj-blog/i-married-a-childPicture
How many of you have said this at any point in your relationship?
How many judgmental thoughts are going through your mind right now?  I don't blame you.  The truth is I married a grown man.  Child does not refer to a person's chronological age.  Rather it refers to their spiritual age.

Many people go through life as spiritual child.  They may not be spoon fed, but they still require constant supervision and redirection. Spiritual children are easily manipulated or easily offended.  They don't know what is the truth because they are still in the beginning stages of their relationship with God.  These children require guidance and redirection.  So how you know if you married a child or if you are child?

It is not a bad thing, but it is important to learn to meet people where they are and work with them on their level.  It can be frustrating talking to a spiritual child.  It can also be very rewarding.  If you are stronger in prayer than your spouse, learn to work together and pray together to build each other up.  If your spouse is stronger in devotion and meditation, take notes and ask for help in building up your relationship with God.

Let's turn to Hebrews 5:11-14 (NIV)

"11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."

This passage basically backs up what I was saying earlier.  We often think our spouses, friends, church members, or colleagues are further along in their relationship with God.  Truth is, it is not up to us to determine the depth of a person's relationship with God.  It is however, our responsibility to encourage others to grow in knowledge and understanding.  As in verse 14, we must train ourselves to distinguish good from evil.  We must train ourselves to make deepening our relationship with God a priority.  The spiritual child is one that needs training. Just like a baby grows from milk to solids, so shall a spiritual child.  Training is part action and part motivation.  Without the motivation or thirst for knowledge of God, a person will be lost.

When you encounter a spiritual child, do not condemn them.  Instead, encourage them to advance and to continue thirsting after a deeper relationship with God and better understanding of God's righteousness.  So what do I do with a spiritual child?  Give them to God.  I've always believed that prayer can open the door to miracles.  But prayer is only words, if it does not have faith to back it up and action to fuel it.  The spiritual child learns through example and consistency.  Over time they will come around.  My daughter learned to pray by watching me and listening to me prayer every night by her bed.  She also learned to praise God by watching me.  In the car, at church, in the kitchen, in the store, or wherever we were.  Be the example for the spiritual children in your life.  Be the flame to their moth and then give them encouragement for each step of growth that they show.

You didn't become spiritually mature in one night.  It takes time.  Keep talking, keep praying, keep praising, and keep the faith.

#spiritualchild #letyourlightshine

<![CDATA[Love Limbo]]>Mon, 07 Sep 2015 21:30:29 GMThttp://kellihsmith.net/adj-blog/love-limboPicture

Sometimes I just want to scream, and jump, and shout, and run around.  Life can become so overwhelming that it just becomes to much.  Balancing work, kids, school, church, home, sports, games, or whatever responsibilities you have is a lot for one person to handle.  Especially if you are not taking care of your self.  but what about your marriage?  What happens when the stress of live weighs heavy on your marriage?  How do you balance all of your roles and still make time for your marriage?

If the answer was that easy, you really wouldn't need me or any expert for that matter.  I've always been involved in multiple projects at a time.  I rarely have true down time.  So while I use my breaks to work on my own self-care, I have to remember that if I want my marriage to grow, I have to learn to work with my husband and be comfortable with saying "no".  Ouch!  How many of us are people pleasers?  We give and give and give and when it is time to give to our spouse...we are too tired.  We want them to understand, yet we get mad when they do the same to us.  How is this fair?

So the love limbo begins.  Love Limbo is the dance we play when our marital rhythm becomes out of sync.  At one point, it felt like my husband and I were roommates.  When one came, the other went.  I hated it, but couldn't figure out how to get back in sync.  Many relationships reach this point.  The truest of love can survive the Love Limbo.  The relationships based on lust and lies, don't stand a chance.  

One way to get out of the Love Limbo is to start talking.  I'm not talking about having light conversation over coffee.  I'm talking about raw, naked, meaningful conversations with no distractions.  Turn the TV off, put the kids to bed, grab the tissues, strip down and stop pretending.  This is the conversation that many couples do not have because it opens up doors that people don't know how to close.  It is okay to be scared.  If you feel like the rawness is just too real, then seek professional help to mediate the conversation.    I suggest stripping down out of your clothes, because it is very easy to hide behind the masks we create for everyone else.  Stripping reminds us to stop hiding from each other. Being uncomfortable with your spouse means you are really uncomfortable with yourself.  If that is the case, tell your spouse that.  They are the one person that we can be our true selves with no matter what.  Love Limbo starts when we start hiding from each other and making the masks our true selves.

So take time this week to begin finding your true self.  Talk about everything that is bothering you with your spouse.  This isn't the time to point fingers.  Not sure where to start?  You and your spouse can put topics in the a jar and pull one at a time.  Everything will not get discussed in one night and it won't be fixed overnight.  It took a while to get into the limbo and it will take a while to get out.  Spend a few moments each night discussing an issue and a few more moments discussing possible solutions.  Then put your words into actions.  Most importantly start and end each conversation with a prayer.

Love Limbo doesn't have to be the end of your relationship.  Use this as a stepping stone towards fulfilling you and your spouse's marital vision.  

For more help on getting out of Love Limbo, sign up for my Relationship Coaching course on the Contact Me page.

<![CDATA[Love and Justice]]>Mon, 24 Aug 2015 04:17:11 GMThttp://kellihsmith.net/adj-blog/love-and-justicePicture
I was thinking back on my day and what I could share with you that would be inspirational and uplifting.  The one thing that stuck out the most was the Sunday School lesson.  I taught the adult class this morning and the children's church class.  The topic dealt with 'God Demands Justice'.  It focused on the prophet Zechariah and the children of Israel not heeding to God's instructions.  You can go back and read Zechariah chapter 7 to fully understand the story.  Basically, the children of Israel were not listening to God and had created 2 periods of fasting that were not ordained by God.  They wanted to live it up and expected God to keep providing for them.

Life does not work this way.  We cannot "do us" and expect God to just go along with our plan.  But it wasn't this part that really hit me.  It was verse 13, which stated: "‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’says the Lord Almighty."  Could you imagine God not listening to us?  Perish the thought of going through this life alone and not having the Holy Spirit to guide us or God turning His shoulder and stopping His ear to hear us crying out to Him.  There are a few directions I could take this blog, but I want to focus on the relationship side.

Marriage is supposed to be partnership, right?  I was raised to believe, and still do, that the man was the head and the wife is submissive unto him.  The pair work together to raise the children and tend to whatever household responsibilities that may come.  One may bear a heavier load that the other in certain areas (child rearing, financial provider, discipline, etc.), but they still work together to make decisions.  This would also require them actively listening to one another and communicating their relationship needs/wants on a regular basis.  Sounds easy, right?  What usually happens is that the bulk of the relationship responsibilities and family duties fall on one person, while the other just "does them".  Let's just say the husband is the one who lives independently and the wife is the one desiring a closer and more affectionate relationship.  The wife continues to talk with the husband and ask for more time, but he just wants to go hang out with his friends, go to work, or sleep.  Meanwhile the wife is left alone with the children and her thoughts.

She continues to seek a close relationship with he husband and express her desires, yet he continues to go about his business and find things to distract him from his wife's request.  But what if one day, the wife was not there.  She was busy shuffling the kids back and forth and tending to her responsibilities.  The husband begins searching the house, calling friends, calling relatives, but no one has heard from her.  The wife's phone line is tied up as she is a working mom and is running a business.  She doesn't have time to answer calls or text messages.  She can't seem to find a break in the day to return a message.  What do you think will happen to the husband?  He may get angry, he may weep, or he may ignore it.  Or maybe, just maybe, a day without his wife will become a wake up call that if he had only paid attention to her, he might have known what her plans were for the day.  He might have known that she was stressed and overwhelmed and just needed someone to be there for her.  He might have been able to save his marriage.

God is merciful and compassionate.  God is love and forgiving.  This does not mean we ought to take advantage of His good and grace by doing whatever we want and refusing to listen to God or follow His commandments.  How we treat people today, is how we will be treated tomorrow.  If we continue to take for granted the blessings of life and love that God has given us and not heed to His commands, we will be punished.  Justice is always served.  

<![CDATA[Snakes in your Life]]>Mon, 27 Jul 2015 16:21:00 GMThttp://kellihsmith.net/adj-blog/snakes-in-your-lifePicture
Yesterday my mom told me about a rattle snake that was by her car.  At first it got away, but with some clever thinking by my uncle they were able to lure the snake out and kill it.

She could laugh about it after the snake was dead, but while it was alive there was no laughter to be found.  This got me to thinking.  How many snakes do we encounter everyday and not even realize it?  

My guess is that it is more than 1.  The thing about a snake is that you don't always see or hear it coming.  It may be in your midst for days, weeks, months, years and you don't even know it.  They come in so many forms that it can be hard to keep track.  They can blend in to the background and only pop out when necessary, but not long enough for you to catch on to them.  

Rattle snakes tend to give themselves away. (Hints the rattle).  Sometimes you can prepare for their strike and sometimes you can beat them over the head with a 2x4 (like my uncle) and prevent their strikes.  Disclaimer...that last statement was not in the literal sense, please don't go around hitting people with 2x4s.  We know snakes are bound to show up in our lives at some point.  So how do you go about spotting them and protecting yourself?

First is to equip yourself with a weapon that cannot be destroyed and has a proven track record of defeating snakes.  I'm talking about the Bible.  This tool gives us all the information we need to keep ourselves guarded.  Col. 4 teaches us to be watchful, vigilant, and prayed up at all times.  

Next is to figure out who is the snake in your life.  They may not always try to strike you down, but they can be poisonous to your life.  A "friend" who never has anything nice to say can spit venom into your spirit and will cause you to only focus on the negative instead of the positive.  A boss that you cannot seem to please and who makes you doubt your own abilities and gifts.  A spouse that loves you one minute and then abuses you the next.  These and more can be snakes.  The best way to find out who the snake is, is to ask God for the spirit of discernment.   Ask God to help you see what others cannot and understand what others do not.  Ask God to fix your heart so that love flows through and to forgive you and purge you of any venom inside of you.

Finally, trust God and obey Him.  As a Christian, there are certain limitations to our living.  Certain places we cannot go and things we cannot do.  Remember Eve in the garden of Eden?  There are certain places that snakes frequent and if we remain sober minded and watchful, we will be able to discern those places, people, and times when the Spirit is telling us "no".  I cannot promise that we won't encounter snakes in the church, at work, or in our homes.  I can promise that if you hold fast to God and allow your mind to stay focused on Jesus, you will decrease the likelihood of a snake spitting it's venom into your life.


<![CDATA[Love on the Rocks]]>Thu, 18 Jun 2015 02:15:46 GMThttp://kellihsmith.net/adj-blog/love-on-the-rocksPicture
Love on the rocks is not a drink...lol.

Love on the rocks is a time in a relationship when you begin to question your relationship and it's longevity.  Many couples deal with it, but don't talk about it.  I believe that wisdom comes from learning from our our mistakes and the mistakes of others.

Love on the rocks happens at any stage in a relationship.  No matter how solid your relationship, there will be at least one time when you pose the "what if" question and being to allow your mind to wonder about the unknown.  It is that unknown that will lead us to cave into temptation instead of resisting it.

Sometimes the rocks are smooth and cause us little discomfort.  Other times the rocks are jagged and feel like a sword is piercing our hearts.  That is a pain that I have felt and made me question the status of my own relationship.  Were we really strong enough to withstand the storms that came up against us.  Needless to say, I am still married and we still live in the same house.  We withstood those rocks, but what about future rocks.  What do you do, when storms keep coming in your relationship and you or your partner begin to doubt the love that brought you all together.

If you haven't done this before now, I suggest you pray.  Here's the key, you must pray together and often.  There is nothing like a couple uniting to fight for the love that they once knew and praying together, trusting God together, and praising harder for God to deliver their relationship from the storm that it is in.  You will find that when this happens, that after the storm the wisdom that came from it is so valuable and precious that it made the storm with it to go through.  

So when your love is on the rocks, do not fret. This may just be the storm to shake up a new, mature love and passion between you all and a help you to develop a stronger relationship with God.  

<![CDATA[What is Praise]]>Thu, 11 Jun 2015 01:58:42 GMThttp://kellihsmith.net/adj-blog/what-is-praisePicture
Praise is the expression of admiration or approval of something.  When we offer praise to God we are showing Him how much we love and thank Him for being our God.  Yet, sometimes we neglect the fact that it is by God's grace that we are able to praise Him.

We expect God to give, give, give, but we give conditional praise in return.  He gave us Jesus, yet we cannot give him a full 30-second praise break.  My words are not meant to be harsh, but if the tambourine fits, then shake it.  Our praise is a continuous movement of gratitude that is not predicated on anything except the love of God.  Praise is not specific to a place or time.  It occurs in different levels and is contagious.  Praise cannot be forced.  

One of my biggest pet peeves is someone getting on the mic at a church and forcing people to stand up, clap, sing, or dance.  Praise is personal and style is specific to the person giving it.  I've seen some people only clap their hands in praise.  That is what they do.  Praise is not a competition.  If you haven't seen people trying to out praise each other, just keep living.  It doesn't just happen in the movies. 

So what is praise?  Praise is an action and a feeling.  It is the outward movements of the inner heart and the manifestation of a love that is never ending.  We all have many reasons to praise God.  Often times, the songs we sing at church focus on reasons why God has brought us out of our past sins and into a new life.  We sing about God changing our name, changing our talk, walk, mind, friends, family, and delivering us from addictions.  But what happens when life clouds our praise?  We go from rejoicing to worrying in 30 seconds.  Our praise then becomes a repetitious cycle of rhyming phrases.  Remember, God looks at our heart.  I'm pretty sure He is not pleased when we sing from our heads and not our hearts.

So what do we do about it?

Essentially we practice the opposite of mindfulness.  Mindfulness involves you blocking out everything and focusing on the present moment,  Praise involves us focusing on the past and present blessings of God.  We block out all of our troubles, responsibilities, and concerns and focus only on what God has done and is doing for us.   I find that when I keep my eyes closed, I am able to physically block out all distractions and just focus on what I am saying and picturing Jesus Himself.  It takes time and is not without it's slip ups.  A better way is to study the word of God and develop a genuine love and relationship with Him.  It makes praising Him a lot easier and will take your praise to a whole new level.

<![CDATA[The Journey Back to Me]]>Wed, 03 Jun 2015 19:55:08 GMThttp://kellihsmith.net/adj-blog/the-journey-back-to-mePicture
My first book “Surviving the First Five: Insightful Encouragement for the Newly Married” was written to help couples dealing with the most prevalent issues during the newlywed phase of their marriage.  I wanted to help others learn from my mistakes, soak up the wisdom and have a stronger foundation for a healthier marriage.  As I grew in my marriage and grew in knowledge, I learned that once you hit that 7 year mark, life happens.  I’m not sure where the shift actually happens, but the struggles I thought I left behind in years 1-5 kept creeping up in years 7 and 8.  Did I miss something? 

I started to doubt my own self and question my abilities.  Then I heard a still, small voice telling me that I had more to write.  It wasn’t that I missed something.  It was that I had more mountains to climb and more wisdom to share.  I am human and I still have insecurities that I fight through like everyone else.  I had to get back to practicing what I “preached”.  I make it a point to never tell anyone that marriage is perfect.  No matter the religion or ethnicity, marriage takes work.  You really cannot take a break because that is when the enemy tries to come in and he goes for the weakest vessel first.

Sadly, I got weak.  He came for my mind and tried to turn my heart against my husband.  Regardless of the situation, I had to make the decision to still be won over by the love of my husband. So I had to change up my prayers, change my thoughts, and change my actions.  It is so easy to allow worldly desires to overtake your marriage and disrupt your “norm”.  Soon enough those disruptions become your new “norm”.  Before you know it there is chaos and you can’t figure out why.  It is because you are no longer amazed by the love of your spouse.  There is no second place in marriage.  Remember the race is not given to the swift, nor to the strong, but to the one that endures until the end. (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

I wanted to fall back in love with my husband.  I wanted to fall deeper in love with God.  I wanted to be amazed by God.  I wanted to be won over by my husband’s love.  I wanted to win my husband over.  I wanted to feel again.  I lost my happiness because I allowed it to be controlled by someone else, other than God.  I put everything I had into a person who was incapable of creating the Earth in 6 days.  I put my hope in my own abilities to get my family out of a rut.  I am not ashamed to say that I am not perfect.  My God is perfect and that is all that matters to me.  I believe I derailed from my journey and God took me down a road that would lead me to victory in Jesus name.  He took me somewhere I was scared to go to allow me to choose Him over life.

I chose Him.  I chose to love with my whole heart and stop listening to others.  I chose to run to God with every fiber of my being.  I chose to be amazed and in awe of his magnificent glory and receive His mercy each day.  His perfection surpasses all and His love triumphs over everyone’s.  I am thankful for God’s consistent, relentless pursuit of my soul.  His will has proven to be far greater than mine.  I could see my footprints, my husband’s foot prints and God’s.  I am on a mission to only see one pair of footprints again.  God’s carrying us throughout life.  

<![CDATA[God before my Husband #LoveAlways]]>Sun, 24 May 2015 22:46:10 GMThttp://kellihsmith.net/adj-blog/god-before-my-husband-lovealwaysPicture
Usually I post pictures of other couples, but today I decided to post a silly photo of my husband and me.  

I've been wrestling with my thoughts and the Holy Spirit for a while now.  My self has a strong need for control and wants to do what it wants to do.  Whereas the Holy Spirit is even stronger and is trying to break my need for control.  The more I wrestle, the more turbulence.  So much so that it caused me to doubt my love for my husband and his for me.  We've had arguments along the way, but the more I wrestled the worse they got.  

How could I help anyone else, when my marriage is on shaky ground?  That was the thought in my mind.  Finally, a breakthrough came.  I stopped wrestling.  I lifted my hands and I surrendered it all to God.  The Holy Spirit won and that was fine by me.  Now do I occasionally try to pick up the control and do things my way?  Yes, I'm human.  But I know that God's will is so much stronger than mine.  So I surrender and have to keep reminding myself to sit down and let God work.

Through my journey, I've learned that no matter how bad today is, tomorrow is a new day.  No matter how mad and frustrated I get, I can always make it right with one name.  Jesus.  I can call on Jesus to fight my battles and to guide me through the storm.  The turbulence subsided because I stopped rocking the boat.  I stopped looking for the next storm and started to enjoy the sunshine again.  I made the conscious decision to stop dwelling on the uncontrollable and the past and focus on the present moment.  I cherish the moments I have with my husband and rejoice in the fact that I have him.

It's not to say that every day is easy and that we will always get along.  We had a tat a few hours ago, but before we left each other's presence, we talked it out and worked through the problem.  The fact of the matter is that my love for him spans deeper than the Mississippi and wider than Mount Rushmore.  But, mylove for God is greater than that.  I have found that balancing my time and priorities helps to decrease tension and turbulence, but keeping God first keeps my household at peace.  That is far more important than anything.  I will always love my husband, but no one comes before God.  I recognize that I would not be able to say #LoveAlways if I did not know how to love and who loves me.  That lesson came from knowing God.  #truth


<![CDATA[Husbands before Children]]>Mon, 18 May 2015 00:11:39 GMThttp://kellihsmith.net/adj-blog/husbands-before-childrenPicture
I'm pretty sure I caught some of you off guard with this topic.  I actually surprised myself too.  Everyone says "when you have kids, things change".  What some fail to mention is that your priorities will shift from taking care of your spouse's needs to taking care of your children's needs 24/7.  While we want to give our children the love and nurturing that they need to thrive, we cannot neglect the ones who helped give us these children.  

Our husbands.  I tell you, I've learned this lesson the hard way.  My focus is to save you a few arguments and nights on the couch, by giving you sound advice on how to put your husband before your children without neglecting your children (and loosing your mind).

Include your husband in child-rearing and decisions.  This could simply mean keeping your husband abreast of the daily schedule and activities of your child.  The key here is to not make the conversation solely about the children, but just enough that dad feels a part of the team and not apart from the team.  If it's time to shop for the next season's clothes, ask your hubby to tag along or send him pictures while you are out.  Get his input on which outfit to dress the twins in for picture day or ask him to do a 2:00 a.m. feeding and help you sing your daughter to sleep.  The key here is to work together.  Besides the more you communicate and dad participates, the more time you have to prepare for the next part...

Make the effort for Couples Time.  How many times have you heard "Not tonight, I was up all day with the kids.  I just want to sleep."  Maybe you've been the one who said it.  Truth be told, you have to work a little harder at romance when you've been covered in snotty noses, poop, and listening to crying babies all day.  The last thing you want to do is get freaky with your husband and miss out on some well needed rest.  It may be that you and your husband don't spend 2 hours on 4-play and spend more time having sex with each other.  It could be that you steal a few moments to gaze into each other's eyes while the dishes are washing and the kids are napping.  Romance doesn't always mean sex.  It means that you and your spouse are equally putting in the effort to stay connected with each other on a consistent basis.  

Schedules were made for a reason.  I'm not one for always scheduling alone time.  However, I do understand that each house is different and sometimes, you have to plan it out.  The anticipation in knowing that something is about to go down can be quite exhilarating and motivation to get the kids in bed on time.  The truth is, we as parents need a break every now and again.  The village is not just for the child, but for the parent to be able to get a grip on the demands of marriage and parenthood.  Everyone now and again, you just have to call grandma or auntie to request a baby-free night.  Schedules can also help you to get a grip on your child's daily life as well as help your husband see how busy your day actually is.  

I actually have 2 calendars hanging up in my kitchen.  One for the weekly so my husband knows my work and church schedule, and one for the month so we both know what's happening.  It helps to cut down confusion too.  I wouldn't attempt intimacy if I know my husband is playing multiple games at the gym, just like he's not going to attempt anything if he knows I'm not getting home until 9 or 10:00 pm.  Schedules do not replace spontaneity.  There could be a time when you've had a long day, but instead of sleeping your want be romanced or do the romancing. 

In the end it all boils down to how much you are willing to do to keep your marriage a priority.  A husband ignored is a wife scorned.  We never want to neglect our children, but we have to make sure that we are balancing married life with motherhood.  It will be difficult sometimes, especially if you have a sick child.  I have found that the key is to have a common vision with your husband about what you want in your marriage and work towards fulfilling that vision.  Husbands came before children.  One cannot substitute the other.