We haven’t done one of these for a while, but we’re looking forward to catching up with some of your questions today! These are frequently asked questions by our followers on Instagram wanting to know more about our views on family, parenting and Christian marriage. Watch the Instagram highlight here.
How do you pray when you feel irritable towards your kids or spouse?
I pray honestly and ask the Holy Spirit for help. Another way is to change the prayer to focus on the issue at hand. It’s helpful to jot specific issues down on a post-it note to clear some brain space.
Remember that God doesn’t respond to us with irritation! Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His fruits (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) towards your kids and spouse.
Book recommendations for someone living out their last days of terminal cancer:
Tim Keller’s book on suffering: Walking with God through Pain and Suffering. I’d also recommend to immerse yourself in the Scripture; the Psalms especially.
What are your Enneagram Numbers?
I am a 9WI and Robert is a 6W7. We’ve found the enneagram to be a very helpful tool in our marriage and lives.
What is the best thing you did to prepare for marriage?
We didn’t prepare a lot! We were 21 and 22, right out of college. It’s proof of the Holy Spirit’s guidance that we made it. We did minimal premarital counselling; my mom died right after we married and we had that sudden trauma to deal with too. I don’t have a ton of answers, but I have hope! God doesn't leave you alone.
“...He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” - Phil 1:6
Together we’re growing in Him. We believe that people don’t fall out of love, they fall out of repentance. I was really bad at apologizing in our first years of marriage, something I’m working on!
Books and counselling are great, but seeking first the Kingdom of God is most important. Walking faithfully with the Lord is the best way to prepare for marriage. Also, find someone who is passionate about knowing the Lord and serving Him. The rest will come.
How do you deal with a dry or hard season in marriage?
I’d say to remember that hard seasons are part of a long term marriage. Dry and hard seasons come especially if you’re basing them on your feelings; you might have newborns and you’re exhausted or you’re just working through a really tough time. Just hang on!
Unmet expectations can cause a hard season. Take the opportunity to press into that hard season and ask if you’re being selfish or if there’s an unmet need you haven’t communicated to your spouse without inviting them in and asking for help.
Remember that it’s the kindness of the Lord that leads to repentance and the kindness of a spouse that leads there too. Don't shame your spouse into it!
Our favorite verse or passage of Scripture:
The beauty of Scripture is that it’s one whole story that is interconnected. I love passages of Scripture that deal with placing your hope in God alone. I tend to go awry in that area - I put my hope in our marriage, how my home looks, how my children behave. I always need the reminder that peace and joy and hope will always come from God alone.
Robert is drawn to the prophets and Leviticus at the moment, to see God’s heart for justice and peace. Life ought not be the way it is now! We look toward the time when these things won’t exist, butGod does not like them now.
What denomination of church do we belong to?
I grew up in the Church of Christ, Robert grew up Southern Baptist. Our current church is non-denomination. We love churches that love Jesus and one another and preach the Bible.
How do you connect as a couple when the only time you have is after kid’s bedtime?
We’re home together most of the time so we connect all day long, but we are intentional about it after bedtime. We frequently just sit and talk together. If we watch a show, we watch ones that allow us to dialogue during it.
Choose not to zone out in front of the TV together. Put your phones away. Ask each other questions.
Book recommendations for people new to the Bible:
The Gospel of John
Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin - it’s an excellent read for men and women both.
New believers who didn’t grow up in the church - grab a children’s Bible!
What’s one ‘shoot for the stars’ goal for Dear Mushka?
I love to shoot for the stars, but I’m so content in Dear Mushka where it is. It doesn’t feel overwhelming and that’s a great goal for right now. We could always do more, but right now we’re serving the Lord faithfully and not destroying our family or other things in life.
We want to continue serving you and pointing you to the Lord in different ways. There are so many options to deepen and broaden this community. The next thing I want to work on is more video content to share gospel encouragement and truth through each jewelry piece. Wearing jewelry is nice but talking about Jesus and sharing our stories that combine with His goodness is where it’s at! I want us to practice sharing the hope we have.
Do you think God punishes sin or just allows the natural consequences of it?
We’re keeping the answer focused on believers!
Our debts were paid on the cross, but He does discipline us which is meant to lead us towards repentance and sanctification. He disciplines with love, not wrath. There are also natural consequences of sin, but God uses those to bring us closer to Him.
How do you mindfully combat hurry in lives and marriage?
Robert and I have different levels of desired productivity and uncomfortable “hurry”. It’s good to acknowledge this in your marriage! Being hurried out the door is hard for me. We say no to a lot and prioritize time for what matters most.
Find a few passages of Scripture to help battle this if needed. Keep a Sabbath day in your home! Remember that God gives rest to His beloved. Our hustle is never going to accomplish it all.
How did you come to know the Lord and how did that lead you to marry each other?
We both grew up in Christian homes and met in a college ministry. Robert was actually saved in college after realizing that he knew all the right answers, but didn’t have a changed and repentant heart.
Tips on how to fight well:
Touching each other while fighting makes me uncomfortable, but some people love it! Remember the goal isn’t to win, it’s to reconcile. Robert can win any debate. He knows this and has to stay aware of our common goal. Be calm, patient, give one another time to process.
I take a while to process and speak with clarity and kindness.
Fighting well is fighting on each other’s terms. Your call is to serve the Lord and love your spouse. We’re on each other’s team! The goal is to love one another as we love ourselves and glorify the Lord. I pray for this weekly and for a tongue that only speaks uplifting, encouraging words.
We’re both passionate, but God has grown us so much.