Hi Community at Christmas tribe!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series as much as we have. We’ve gotten some conversation cards from Chrystan, some decorating tips from Laurie, a few recipes from Mendy, family tips from Etch and helpful pointers for loving those that are grieving around us from Lauren. Goodness! It’s been fun!
Last up is Whitney (and Michael)! They will be sharing about community as marriage. By no means do they claim to have it all figured out, but they certainly have learned some tools they’d love to pass along. After this week you will have some resources to use in order to intentionally focus on your marriage – quite possibly your most important earthly relationship. We hope you enjoy! But first…get to know Whitney!
Say hi to us! Who are you?
Hi! I’m Whitney Putnam! I am the founder of Imperfectly Brave, but I certainly wouldn’t be serving in this role had it not been for the powerful community around me. I’m a mama of three little girls, Collins, Carter and Connolly (girl power!) and the wife to my incredible husband, Michael. I don’t use the word incredible lightly either. Michael is one stand-out guy. Just the other day, our special “stand-in” grandma, who sees Michael a lot at home, made sure to text me and tell me how great he is. I concur.
I say all of that not to give a good humble brag, but because I am relearning to turn my heart and mind to what is lovely in my life. True confession: for the past two years, I have been training my mind (unintentionally) to focus on what God is not doing, when all the while he has given me so much to be grateful for.
In addition to being a mom, wife and non-profit owner, I also work at a pregnancy center. Liberty Women’s Clinic is holy ground – a place that brings much hope to our community. Again, I am surrounded by some of the most incredible women and that alone lifts my spirits.
I’m also obsessed with Christmas wrapping paper. I consider wallpapering my home often. I love a good, sweaty workout. I would prefer to come home from work, turn on loud music and dance in my kitchen with my three chicks and Baptist pastor husband. To say the Baptists don’t dance is to say you don’t know Baptists.
I could go on, but I wouldn’t want to bore you. Why don’t you just come and dance in my kitchen, too?
What are you sharing with us this week? How does it connect community with the gospel?
We often forget that one of our closest “communities” is marriage (if we are married). Maybe because it becomes so normal that we forget we are to love our husbands as we love ourselves. Well this can be amazing….it can also be hard. Let me rephrase: really hard. Well, it doesn’t have to be hard, in theory, if you don’t want it to be thriving and full of passion. But Michael and I do want this kind of love; therefore, it is hard and worth fighting for.
Over the past several months, MIchael and I have turned our eyes back onto our marriage. We have become really intentional again about focusing on us and the love we have for one another. But this doesn’t come with a switch that makes the romance flood into our bones. Rather, it takes tools and work. This week, we will be sharing some of those tools through some purposeful questions and a Facebook Live chat.
One of our purposes with Community at Christmas is to give women real ideas to open their lives to others without losing their minds in details and endless scrolling. How can this help?
The tools Michael and I plan on sharing are real questions that you can fixate your mind on throughout the day with the intention of honoring your spouse. Paul talks a lot about our mindsets (Colossians 3:2, Philippians 2:5-8) and what we should think about throughout the day. Of course, we should focus on sharing the gospel, our citizenship in heaven and humbling ourselves; we also are told to focus on what is lovely (Philippians 4:8).
These easy questions will help you refocus your mind on what you and your spouse have together. It may not be easy, but it will be incredibly life-giving!
Finish this thought: We need community because…
My past year has been the most difficult of my entire life. I won’t go into the details, but God was preparing a sweet community around me because he knew I would need these women and men to walk with me through such a deep valley. Certainly, only God can put my feet back on solid ground, but my community has kept me from running for my covers on most days. Their love and relentless grace has kept my chin up. Has it meant extreme vulnerability? Yes. Has it meant messy friendships at times? Of course. But community is worth it. It’s how we were created.
Best Christmas memory ever. Ready, go!
There are so many! But the one that is coming to mind happened just last year. My parents live out on a beautiful farm and the view is a stunning picture of the Rocky Mountains. Because my husband is a pastor, we don’t actually get to extended family until the 26th, so our celebrations are a tad off. But the minute we arrived, my kids began asking Big Poppi when they could start making reindeer food. That evening, we mixed oatmeal, chocolate chips, carrots and of course glitter, for the reindeer. My dad took the conglomeration and set it over by the barn because Santa was bringing his reindeer by for a snack before returning to the North Pole.
Lo and behold, after the sun set behind the mountains, there was a Santa sighting! He came by with his reindeer and wouldn’t you guess…the reindeer food was gone by morning!