Marriage Vitamins

I think I may have mentioned this book before, but I absolutely love Devotions for a Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. That book is like vitamins for your marriage. I read the following portion earlier this week and have been wanting to share it with everyone.

From “A Soul Filled with God” on p. 9:

Personal worship is an absolute necessity for a strong marriage. It comes down to this: If I stop receiving from God, I start demanding from others. Instead of appreciating and loving and serving others, I become disappointed in them. Instead of cherishing my wife, I become aware of her shortcomings. I take out my frustrations with a less-than-perfect life and somehow blame her for my lack of fulfillment.

But when my heart gets filled by God’s love and acceptance, I’m set free to love instead of worrying about being loved. I’m motivated to serve instead of becoming obsessed about whether I’m being served. I’m moved to cherish instead of feeling unappreciated.

If you looked in my book you’d see furious underlining and a big OUCH! scribbled at the top of the page. Isn’t that good though? I would definitely recommend this book to any married couple. It gives you one reading a week for a year.

Another book I’m excited about is my mom’s devotional on John that I didn’t know about until I saw it in the LifeWay catalog! (It’s called John: 90 Days With the Beloved Disciple.) I was a happy girl when I saw it. I don’t have my copy yet, but I’m anxiously awaiting its arrival. I really enjoyed the ones on David and Jesus. (FYI, these devotionals have been adapted from the Bible studies.) Mom gets really uncomfortable when I talk about her books on the blog, but I’m a grown woman and I can talk about it if I want to! Plus, she’s in Las Vegas for the Deeper Still event and by the time she sees it, it will be too late! Muah ha ha ha ha!

Sorry, I got a little carried away there.

Changing topics to another kind of book – if you’re wishing you had one of the Siesta Fiesta cookbooks that Holly/Crownlaiddown put together from recipes that have been shared on this blog in posts and comments, there are still some available. If you’re interested, please send an email to Holly at Chrishollysmith at msn dot com. They are very well done and part of the cost is going toward drilling a water well through Life Outreach International (an organization my parents have partnered with on two mission trips to Africa).

That’s just about it for today! I enjoyed getting to hear what y’all are up to this fall. You girls are awesome! The Lord adores you!


95 Responses to “Marriage Vitamins”

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  1. 1
    gg2002 says:

    Amanda — Thanks so much for sharing about those books — I ride the train everyday and I need “good” reading material.

    God bless you and your family

    Have a great weekend.


  2. 2
    Rose says:

    Amanda, I’m officially obsessed with JOHN, it’s currently seating on my desk (here at work) because I thought I could do it during lunch, I couldn’t wait til my quiet time tonight. I just told my dear friend about it on WED, how cool that you agree, btw, what an awesome Dedication to her new son aaahhhhhh!!!

  3. 3
    tiggerdaisy says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t know about the devo on John!!! When I saw it in the Lifeway catalog, my mind started tracing all the steps it must have taken to reach the stores. And one of the steps just so happened to be “Amanda slaved over the editing of the book!” ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think I might just have to get that marriage devotional…that sounds like a winner to me!

    Prayers and blessings,

  4. 4
    HisGeorgiaPeach says:

    That sounds like an awesome devotional, especially for marriage. I will definitely write it down and use it whenever I find my future husband. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Speaking of “good” reading material, we need a post of material that the siestas find helpful in their walk with the Lord or just some fun, clean reads. I read like it’s going out of style, and am in desperate need of some good books, especially good study books!


  5. 5
    Lisa Vinyard says:

    Thank you for sharing about the marriage devotion book. I needed to hear it. It was a great lesson for me. OUCH!! Praying that you have a wonderful weekend. Lisa Vinyard

  6. 6
    Jenny Helm says:

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the book recommendations!

    I have a random question.. I was at the Live Event in San Antonio, but didn’t get one of the brown shirts (thinking I could get it on the LifeWay website..) Does anyone know how I can get ahold of one or two??

    Jenny In Austin TX ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. 7
    Patty says:

    I loved that!!! I think it applies to everyone. Married or not!!

    I have the 90 Days with John, the beloved disciple and I am enjoying it so much. I was excited to see it in the Lifeway catalog.

    I am praying for the conference this weekend!!

    Have a fun weekend!!

  8. 8
    Tricia says:

    Sounds like a great devo. for couples. Thanks!

  9. 9
    Cheri-Beri says:

    I did th 90 day Jesus last winter, I have four days of David left and I just got John two days ago. I bawled my ever-livin’ head off when I got done with the Jesus devotional. I had such a sweet time with Him during those 90+ (lol) days. As I was literally bawling, He so sweetly whispered in my ear , “Uh, hellooooooooo, still in the room!” Bless His heart – He knows how to get me to laugh!

  10. 10
    Deidre says:

    Well, I appreciate you sharing both books with us. I LOVED doing 90 Days with Jesus and David. It’s the perfect format for morning devotions before the kids are up, so I am SUPER excited about 90 Days with John! Thanks!

  11. 11
    lori says:

    Thanks for sharing!! And girl you are too funny

  12. 12
    Cheryl Barker says:

    Amanda, you just gave me an idea for a Christmas gift! Thanks so much for the recommendation for the couples devotional book. There’s a couple I know who would love that!

  13. 13
    The Small Scribbler says:

    That quote deserves a frame or maybe I should tatoo it on the back of my hand.

    Good stuff.

    Thanks Amanda.


  14. 14
    Edwards Family says:

    Ouch…but a good ouch! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    I cannot wait to go buy the John devotional!

    Have a great weekend!!


  15. 15
    Michelle says:

    Thanks for the book recommendations!

  16. 16
    kctibs says:

    Thanks for the heads up on some future reading materials. I am always looking for my next devotional and the Gary Thomas book sounds perfect. Also, just saw the John book by Mrs. Beth Moore at Sam’s club and it looks very good. I am planning on getting a copy for each of the four gals who come and eat lunch with me and study the bible with me every other week.

    Thanks again!
    Kelli in Colorado

  17. 17
    Siesta OC says:

    Thanks Amanda,

    The first couple lines of the devotional were helpful to me, and I am single. It just spoke to me about letting go of demanding the world meet my needs.

    GOD Bless,

    PS: Hows the Avocado? I just got word today that a friend that had a procedure to hopefully have two embryos(sp?) attach has indeed become pregnant. YAHOO-JAH. This is after years of trying to. Pray for a healthy baby for this siesta.

  18. 18
    blssd2x2 says:

    HI – let me introduce myself – my name is Amy and I am a mom of 4 – son, daughter and twin sons. I was blessed beyond messure at the SA – Siesta Fiesta, i live in Elmendorf (just 20 minutes from downtown SA). I have really enjoyed Beth’s studies! I didn’t even know about the blog until at the Alamo Dome and BOY! I’m glad I checked it out. Neat-o!
    Thanks for the info on the book and devotionals,Amanda, I will need to check those out. I just started Pricilla Shirer’s un-bible study, Can We Talk? (she said un-bible, not me). Wow! I am only on day two – and WOW! I can tell this is going to be great!

    Hope everyone has a safe and blessed weekend –

  19. 19
    Ashton says:

    Hi Amanda,
    Not married but I have a dear friend of 27 years from Dallas a Godly woman and married (but now a widow just lost her husband a month 1/2 ago).

    She told me years ago that she did not depend on her husband for happiness nor her children, only God. And it was evident in her life. Wow. She told me when she was in her 20’s she use to play tennis with girlfriends on Saturday. But, one day she decided to give that up and spend that time she would have played tennis with God. She said 20 years later those same women whom she played tennis with were coming to her with their problems. That was very encouraging to me. Allison

  20. 20
    Kristib says:

    Hey Amanda

    Waiting for tropical storm Hannah to arrive, so it looks like it is going to be a good week-end to stay in and blog.

    I have a friend who says we should always be reading some type of book that will improve our marriage. Sunday I am beginning a short class taught by this friend based on a Kaye Arthur marriage study. Can’t wait!

    Patty mentioned your mom’s devotional on the siesta blog. I am excited about it as well!

    Gotta go for now! Hope we don’t lose power because the battery life of my laptop is short and I am lost without my computer!

    Pray for us here in the Carolina area.

    Much love!
    Kristi B.

  21. 21
    Dee says:

    Thank you for sharing! I am definitely placing those books on my wish list! I enjoyed your getting carried away ‘muah ha ha ha”! I love how real your family is. The blog feels like were having a cup of coffee with your girl friends. God is amazing and blesses abundantly!

  22. 22
    heartheldhigh says:

    Amanda, you are so encouraging. I praise God for you! I loved the excerpt from the book and I’m not even married!!! It still totally applies. Thanks for sharing. God loves you to pieces, and so do we ๐Ÿ™‚ Jillian

  23. 23
    Mandi says:

    Thanks, Amanda!!! I’m actually looking for something new to use during my quiet time and these all sound great!

  24. 24
    Mama Bev says:

    we went to a marriage retreat where Gary Thomas was the speaker — wow! I led some 20-something young married women through “Sacred Influence” as well. I must find my satisfaction in God, not in ___ (husband, job, children, etc.) That was a quote that we camped on for a while.
    Thanks for your honesty, Amanda, and you are free to talk about your mom’s books if you want to!
    mamabev in OR (and I’m almost 51)

  25. 25
    Alicia says:

    My husband just bought me the Devotional on John…and I AM LOVING IT! I however, didn’t know that ANY of these existed…(duh)…I can’t wait to dive into the rest! John is amazing!

  26. 26
    ocean mommy says:

    I’m heading to LifeWay Saturday to look for a new Bible, so the John devotion will just have to come home with me too!!

    And mercy, does that passage preach or what! I need to go back and read that one again….


  27. 27
    pam b from sc says:

    Sounds like a great wedding gift. If we couples don’t stay focused on God, we can get so self-absorbed it’s pathetic.

    That was good, Amanda. I esp. liked the onomatopoetic laugh (I surely had to look that word up in Webster’s. After 9 yrs of homeschooling, I can’t stop. Lord, save me from myself!)

    May God bless our marriages as we bless His holy name!

  28. 28
    pam b from sc says:

    BTW- Just finished the book “Same Kind of Different as Me” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. I love real life stories. And, books with pics in the middle. It’s an amazing, eye-opening, heart-changing book!

  29. 29
    Melana says:

    Oh man, that is soooo true. I haven’t read this book, but I can testify that the closer I walk with Jesus, the better I like my husband. May have to get that book for my newly married daughter.

    Umm, I so loved your evil, cynical laugh. We’re you wringing your hands too? You’re too funny! What happens in Houston stays in Houston. Well, sort of. Your mom can read this post later. Oh well, she’s a nice lady, and she’s not going to do anything to the woman carrying her little (is it an avocado now)?

    Do you have words with your mom the next time you talk? Like, “MOM, I can’t believe you didn’t tell me about the new book!!!” I think it just shows what we have always known, she’s the last person on earth to toot her own horn. We know Who she serves. And we are sooooo glad she does.

    Love y’all!

    Melana and Miesta Moose

  30. 30
    Cindie says:

    I loved the 90 Days with John, the beloved disciple… I could never lend it out as it has so many highlighted areas in it.
    Cant believe that you didn’t know about it…
    Thanks for sharing the quote!

  31. 31
    Cathy Davis says:

    Mom gets really uncomfortable when I talk about her books on the blog, but I’m a grown woman and I can talk about it if I want to! Plus, she’s in Las Vegas for the Deeper Still event and by the time she sees it, it will be too late! Muah ha ha ha ha!

    HA HA HA HA HA – Awesome!

    I think what cracks me up the most is that you didn’t know about the devotional until you saw it in the Lifeway catalog! ha ha ha ha

  32. 32
    Jerrianne says:

    The Fiesta Siesta Cookbook is so wonderful. Holly did a great job. I can’t wait to try all the recipes

  33. 33
    Toknowhim says:

    Ok, I had to laugh out loud with you when you talked about your mom not being able to say anything because she was in Las Vegas ๐Ÿ™‚ I just love how families can have fun with each other.

  34. 34
    Gabby says:

    I gotta say, I like the rebellious side of you Amanda.. especially the evil laugh. Just watch it, it could backfire now that you are a Mom! Ha!
    I needed to read what you wrote today. I am sick today, and it is really easy as a Mom to get carried away with what has NOT been done to help me, instead of focusing on everyone else in the family’s needs. Ouch is right!

  35. 35
    AnooCre8ion says:

    That comment is so true.

    I didn’t really think of it, but in going through some dry spells I now look back and realise that when I am having my special times with God on a regular basis, I feel sooooooooo close to my husband. When I am having those dry spells, I find fault with everything he says and everything he does…..well almost.

    I will try to look for this book, it sounds like it would be a good read.


  36. 36
    Emmab says:

    I received my Lifeway box today with “John” in it.
    Also a new (?) or new to me gift book, “Looking Up when Life is Looking Down.” Trying to figure out if this was taken from “Get out of That Pit”.
    It doesn’t say, anywhere that I can see? ? ?

  37. 37
    Ashley Griffin says:

    another great book to read is Love & Respect. totally changed my perspective on my marriage. Also, great movie coming out in a few weeks called Fireproof. just happen to attend the church that made the movie. check out the trailer
    we also did Facing the Giants & a movie called Flywheel. Anyone ever see or hear of them?

  38. 38
    Shellie Paparazzo says:

    Yeah, ouch! By the way, no matter how your mom feels about you talking about her books on the blog, I appreciate it. I like to hear what other people are using in their walk and get recommendations. I can’t get all of them, but I love having the ideas.

  39. 39
    Anonymous says:

    you are so much fun!!!
    (still hoping you guys can schedule an event close to NW AR!)

  40. 40
    A 5 time mom says:

    Thank you for sharing you input to the devotion you read. It is good when we get those “ouch” reminders from the Lord. I think it is wonderful that you endorse your mom’s books. I recently borrowed the “Jesus” devotion from a friend and loved it. While at the San Antonio conference, I got the “David” one. I look forward to digging into that one and then doing the “John” one as well. These devotions are great food for our souls, indeed.


  41. 41
    Hiker Mama says:

    That marriage devotion book sounds great. The once a week format would make it easier to plan w/hubby….every day is difficult. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great weekend, it soiunds like you will be in trouble come monday! Hiker-Mama

  42. 42
    chsingHim says:

    Amanda – I wanted to thank you for sharing the devotion books with us – I think I will get 2 copies of the 'Devotions for a Sacred Marriage', one for me and one for my son & fiance. The segment you shared with us is so true….when my focus is on the Lord it makes me thankful for my sweet husband, When I get busy with the trappings of life, and my time with my Father is not what it should be, all I can see in my husband are the things 'I' don't think he is doing right.
    Thank you too for sharing about your mom's devotion on John – your little evil laugh just cracked me up!! You adult children can be more of a handful than a toddler sometimes!! (i know you don't see that now….you're probably thinking i'm crazy since you are in the middle of toddler-hood….enjoy EVERY moment!!!)
    God Bless you!

  43. 43
    jenmom says:

    I loved the quote: “When I stop recieving from God I start demanding from others.” That can apply to so many things even outside of marriage.
    Thanks for sharing that challenge!!!

  44. 44
    Nesha says:

    Thanks for the devotion for marriage. I try to alternate between personal ones (the ‘John’ one now), more info for the kids, and my marriage. I am reading the ‘Preparing your son for every mans battle’ to go over with my oldest son.

    I called the Lifeway store to hold me a copy of the ‘John’ devo since I knew it would be a couple of days before I could get there. The man said that they had 10 on the shelf that I could just come in and get it. No. I wanted a hold on one. I finally did get a hold from a dear lady that he transfered me to. Yes, I did get my devo and loving it!

  45. 45
    Southern Alabama Mommy says:

    I love that book too! My husband and I did a small group with his devotion and book about a year after we were married. All of us in that group are now friends for life. Also, my ladies bible study is doing your mom’s series stepping up starting tuesday and i am so excited!

  46. 46
    Julie says:

    Amanda- I love JOHN, it has become one of my new favorites. Thanks for sharing about the devotional book, we have several newly married couples in our church and I think this is just what I have been looking for for them. Enjoy your weekend.

  47. 47
    Cheryl says:

    Amanda, Thank you SO MUCH for recommending the devotional. I just ordered it and am so EXCITED to get it. I have been wanting a book just like this FOREVER.I am so grateful! Have a GREAT weekend, enjoying life in God’s family!

  48. 48
    lavonda says:

    If I could underline furiously and scribble OUCH on my computer screen, I’d be doing it.

    Thanks for the nugget of gold today. It’s the perfect week to have read that.

    You’re beyond your years, Amanda.
    I appreciate you ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. 49
    HIS Daughter says:


    Thank you for reminding the young women as well as the older women on having a GOD honoring marriage and the steps to get there.

    As a 49 year old woman who went through a horrific season of sin and eventual divorce, you do not want to learn the hard way!

    Of course, my husband and I would not have the testimony of how GOD pulled both of us out of the deepest pits of sin and brought us and our family back together.

    But, and this is a big “but” – GOD had to break both of our hearts of stone and turn us every which way but loose before HE restored our marriage. No more needing the other to satisfy our every longing.
    It’s GOD alone and first…but we learned the ugly hard way.

    John Piper has an interview that he just did with Mark Driscoll about his own marriage. He is like your Mom in his transparency and that is why I love him as well.

    The interview is on ITunes free. It’s The Resurgence 2008 Convention. He speaks openly about the struggles that he and his wife have been through and still go through. It just makes other people know they are not alone.

    Have a joyful and blessed Saturday,

  50. 50
    Jen says:

    I had no idea sacred marriage had a devotional to go along with it. my husband and i were challenged by his book…this seems like a great next step! thanks for the encouragement ๐Ÿ™‚

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