Friday, February 26, 2010

Why I Love Being Married

For those of you who don't know, Ben and I started The Marriage Coaches in November of 2008 as an answer to God's call for us. We have been married for almost 11 years (March 27). We have had many trials and tribulations and issues in our marriage to varying degrees. I always say we have dealt with everything except abuse and infidelity, almost everything else, you name and we have dealt with it.

Even early on in our marriage, we dealt with issues of one of us wanting to end the relationship or being impacted by the divorce of a close family friend. Even then, God was preparing us for this day. We decided to do a monthly tribute to marriage. Our pastor at the time gave us permission to have seasoned couples get up during service and share with the rest of us what it took to be happily married. We even planned a cruise for married couples. During that time, we got to hear from several couples, but two couples stood out to me the most because the husband of one couple (Jones) and the wife of the other (Brewtons) have since passed, but the memory of their words and inspiration still lives on as an inspiration of what a lifetime of love and commitment looks like even in death.

Fast forward several years and here we are after logging many hours as a therapist and providing pre-marital sessions for the church and various groups, the message of I Love Being Married was delivered. My husband was talking to one of his good single male friends who told him, I can see that you have a great relationship with your wife. You are the same person even whe she is not around. You act the same way around her and she lets you be yourself and she can be herself. Side Note: Ben is very active and busy and energetic, I on the other hand am very laid back, but we compliment each other very well. Anyway, he told Ben you make me want to get married because you look like you love being married. Wow, what a statement! He could see the love my husband had for me even when I was not around by his actions and his words. This is how I Love Being Married was born. God used him to show us how He wants to use us! I thank God for using him and for our ability to move in faith to follow.

I Love Being Married is a movement that we want to take over the world! This is something bigger than us. I think we had taken for granted the power of these words recently. But, these words carry a lot of power. The words I love being married carries a lot of emotions for people good and bad based on their experience with marriage. We've had many reactions from, I love that where can I be a part of it, to his wife made him wear that shirt or even you're such a liar. Unfortunately, the bad comments have resounded louder than the good. We want to change that. We're not asking people to join a movement to support us as individuals, but in support of The I Love Being Married Movement. You may not be able to say this today but on days when I don't even feel like saying it, seeing those words plastered everywhere makes me stand up and take notice. I have to check myself. Who gon' check me boo, if I don't check myself. Please share this note and your commitment to this movement by asking others to become fans of The Marriage Coaches on Facebook and by using our symbol of the I Love Being Married rings on your wall or even as your profile pic. We love each other and our extended family on all of our communities and want to spread some of this love and inspiration to others to show that you can go from thoughts of divorce to being able to say, I Love Being Married.

Thanks for your support,

Benjamin and Alisha Walker
The Marriage Coaches

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tame Your Snake

My daughter and I were having a discussion about making choices and how you can make the best decision for your life. It is so divine that we were having this discussion now because Ben and I are in the midst of making some pretty life changing choices as well. I have wanted to write something about this video for the longest because it epitomizes what I tell my daughter and MYSELF all the time, face your fears and do it anyway.

My daughter is extremely shy, just as I was at her age and on into adulthood. She is coming out of her shell a lot earlier than I did.  I didn't really release some of my shyness until I was an adult and only after much prayer, faith and waterwalking. All of us will have choices in life that we have to make that could change the course of our lives forever. I call this the sliding door moment. You can choose to go left and your life will open up to new adventure, change, excitement, some pain and heartache because all of this is a part of life, but you are living fully present everyday, because you have chosen to be there. The other choice is to go right, the way that you already know because it is familiar, it is comfortable, it is easy and there is no fear or faith invovled. Well, after I saw my daughter holding this snake and allowing it to move around her even though she was afraid, I learned in an even greater and tangible way how adventure and the unknown are only conquered when you face your fears and do it anyway. Tomorrow is unknown. You must have faith to move forward. At times when God is growing your faith, He only gives you just enough light for the step you're on and you have to face your fears, have faith and do it anyway. Many of us have fears of the unknown and want to shrink back into the familiar. But, I want to challenge you to face your fears and do it anyway. TAME YOUR SNAKE.

Mattew 6: 25-34
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you,O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

2Timothy 1:7
7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Today is February 18th, the day my daughter was born. She was born one year ago in 2009. She is definitely a miracle and definitely a blessing. She came at a time shortly after my husband and I had a miscarriage. On February 8, 2008, we lost a child to miscarriage. This child came to us just as easily as the two prior. We had no problems conceiving, we were happy about the pregnancy, and were going through the motions of pregnancy. Because we were old pros at this, we waited on going for our first appointment. We were taking for granted that everything was okay. We were moving with business as usual and not putting a real emphasis on this pregnancy… this blessing we were given. Then on February 8, 2008, everything changed….

I went in to see my doctor and she was pleasantly surprised to see me because we had just had a child in 2006. We went through the routine of the visit. They took my vital signs, they took my weight, they did the monitor for the baby’s heart beat…. The nurse did the monitor for the heartbeat, but she couldn’t find it, so she called in the more senior nurse to try it and she couldn’t find it. They then called in the doctor to find the heart beat and she couldn’t find it. I still wasn’t that worried because maybe I wasn’t as far along as I thought. Maybe, something else was going on because I had been feeling strange this whole pregnancy, something just didn’t seem right. After all of this, including drawing some blood, they sent me home with an appointment for an ultrasound in a couple of days. That evening I came home and I felt this gush of fluid. I went to the bathroom and it was blood! I was frantic because I was at home alone with my two daughters and something is going wrong. I called my doctor right away and told her what was going on, and as I sit here and I write this I can remember her words like they were yesterday, she said in a motherly kind of hush tone, “sweetie, you’re having a miscarriage”. After she said that it was as if the world went silent. The silence was so loud. After I registered what she was saying I began to bawl uncontrollably, you know that gut wrenching cry. She said, “ honey, it’s not your fault, I knew when you came in that something was wrong. It will be okay.” In that moment, it didn’t feel okay. It felt like I was being punished for something wrong. All kinds of things were running through my mind. She told me to allow it to happen naturally and then go to the ultrasound appointment in a couple of days that was already scheduled to make sure that there were no remains. I asked some more questions and she said, “if it will make you feel better, you can go to the emergency room, but there is nothing they can do at this point to stop it”. Whoa! Everything was spinning and I wasn’t really sure what happened after that. I just remember calling my husband, my sister and my parents. My husband must have been doing 100 miles an hour because he got home so quickly. I don’t even remember what he said. I just know he was in shock and was there to take care of me. Later on that evening, my sister came over to console me and just held me while I cried, all the while I was continuing to have cramps like I was in labor. Even while she was rocking me and I was crying… I was losing the baby. Needless to say this was one of the most painful experiences I have ever had in my life, the kind of pain that reaches down into your soul. I spoke to my parents and they asked, “do you need us to come?” I was trying to be brave and said, “no we will be okay”. My dad heard my voice as only a father can and said to my mother, “we need to go”. That night they packed up and arrived the next morning. Even now that feeling of unconditional love takes over me and makes me get emotional.

During this whole time, I was kind of like in a trance because I couldn’t believe this was happening. I didn’t know why after two perfectly healthy children, we had a miscarriage. One of the consoling things that people told me during this time was, it’s okay, I had one too, it’s very common, and this is just a natural thing that happens. After the initial pain and tears, I really was okay. I realized that I was taking the fact that I could get pregnancy easily as well as the actual life for granted. I was grateful for many things. I was grateful for my husband and my family. I was grateful for my two daughters who were healthy and had no medical issues. I was grateful for the discerning spirit that God had given me throughout this time to recognize that something was wrong and I just praised God for taking the baby so early on. He knew how much I could bear. Even since that time, I have been able to use my pain and struggle to bless others in their pain. I have been able to give God the glory and for that, we have been blessed again with our daughter Aaliyah. As I said, she was born almost a year to the day that I miscarried the previous child. GOD RESTORED WHAT WE HAD LOST! Not because we had been so good, but because He is so good. He gave us back what was taken away. I am so thankful for her and her birth. God is a healer, He is a comforter, and He is a provider. He showed up in so many ways for me in that situation, from my doctor, to my husband and family, and the unconditional love they displayed for me just like The Father displays for us every day. He even showed up in the friends who shared their stories and support for me. God is able to restore what has been taken away. He is able to repair what is broken. I call this restoration day because my daughter’s birth is a reminder of the grace God has shown us. God is waiting to show that same grace to you in your personal life and in your relationships. He is waiting to repair what is broken and to restore what has been taken. We need only ask. Ask Him today to repair your broken places, your broken relationships, and restore what once was. Ask Him to reveal to you His grace and praise Him in advance for what He has already done. Hebrews 13:15-16, 18-21 15Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. 18Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon. 20May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Decide that today is YOUR Happy Restoration Day!
This is a picture of our blessing helping mommy with the dishes.  :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Let's Change Our History Challenge!

As we all know February marks Black History month, but February is also a time when people remember the ones they love because of Valentine’s Day and National Marriage Week, which is February 7 – 14 this year. As we were thinking about what we could do for this awesome month, we came up with a few ideas that we wanted to share:

Let’s Change Our History Challenge!
Because the statistics on marriages ending in divorce are devastating and even more so in the African American community, we have decided to challenge you to declare that you will do whatever it takes to improve your marriage. We are asking that you submit stories to us via The Marriage Coaches on Facebook , Twitter, or email that tell us what you will be doing thing month to make sure that you change the course of our history through the improvement of your marriage. We will accept written stories of your plans, video submissions as well as audio submissions until Sunday, February 28, 2010 . Each week we will post the most creative and heartfelt submissions on our blog and our facebook page. We want this to be the year that the negative statistics in the Black community are reversed, but we need your help! Below are some of the statistics that we are talking about are:

• The decline in 1st marriages from 70.3% in 1970 to 39.6% in 2008 (this statistic is of African Americans aged 20-54).

• The increase in divorces where in 1970, 69.7% of first marriages were still together but by 2008 only 50.1% were still together. Which means half of all 1st marriages for African Americans will end in divorce.

• The increase of children born without married parents. In 1970, 62.4% were born to married parents but by 2008 the number had dropped drastically to 28.4%. Which is showing our children that marriage is not important to us in the African American Community.

Believe it or not these statistics paint a grim picture of what relationships and marriages look like in the Black community and this is why we are challenging you to Change Our History from one of baby daddys and baby mommas, from dead beat dads, from a negative image of marriage as a ball and chain, being put on lockdown, infidelity or any others that you can think of to one of love, communication, legacy and commitment. If you want to take part in changing our history for our children and our children's children, then join us in the Change Our History Challenge and send us your stories of how you plan to make a change!

(Statistics shown are from the Marriage Index, which was developed by the National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting)