Today we are featuring Kim Mapel and since today is Valentine’s Day we asked Kim to share some Wife Wins in her life!
So Kim, tell us about yourself and your beautiful family in the photo.
I am an Organizational Psychologist by training, a homeschool mom, a small business owner, and a Bible LOVER. This is a picture of my family.
I am a youngest child by every stretch of the imagination–I love impulsivity, action, and all things FUN! My sweet husband doesn’t. Sometimes he thinks he married a circus clown. Ha! At least my kids think that I’m fun. ?
Bahahaha. How long has your husband been married to a circus clown?
Brett and I have been married for ten years, we are blessed with three children on earth.
Halle Lu (named after Hallelujah) is seven and is a miracle child for us. She is IN LOVE with her brothers.
Clay is thankfully not three any longer. (Why don’t other moms prepare us for this!?) He is becoming quick to obey and can often be heard saying “Mom, I’ll do whatever you ask me to do,” or “Mom, I just heard the voice of God.”
Graham is one and off-the-hook happy as long as he has had his naps and his snacks. He is also our first child who only has eyes for his Daddy.
We have five beautiful heavenly babies we long to meet one day.
Oh Kim, that is a beautiful description of your family. It truly will be so sweet to all be united in Jesus’ presence one day.
Do you wear any other hats in addition to your [big, gigantic, hugely significant] Mom Hat?
Besides being a mom, I CANNOT even wait to become a Grandma someday! I serve my husband, as a wife who is learning to submit. I humbly serve many trusted family and friends in my wellness business. I also serve in Women’s Ministry at my local church where I have led Bible studies for seven years. I am a passionate home educator because I think learning is SO stinking fun. I will be a life-long learner and I pray my kids are, also. You can often find me reading 3-5 books at a time.
Wow, you sound energetic! Tell me about your wellness business.
I have learned so much about healthy eating and nutrition through the years, particularly during our long season of infertility. I love helping friends work toward their best health. I share a bit of my story here.
But the business and busyness of raising children takes so much out of us as moms, how do you prioritize your husband?
I think the short answer is: I am a woman who takes God at His word. God commands me to LOVE. My job is to obey.
Right. And love is a choice more than it is an emotion.
Throughout our marriage I have heard God speak to my heart: “Kim, the world will know you by YOUR love.” My love for God and my love for people. If I cannot love my own husband, who can I love? Gulp. So because God’s voice gently reminds me of my role, I seek His strength to fully love my man.
Even during sleepless nights when nursing a baby?
Yes. God has answered my prayers to increase my desire, to increase my energy, to help me find greater enjoyment, to help me see my husband as the blessing he is, and to keep short accounts. Keeping short accounts of differences has led to greater enjoyment in the bedroom because my heart can be clean before him.
Wait, exactly how has keeping short accounts with your husband led to intimacy in the bedroom?
God has helped me speak gently and honestly about concerns I have had. Addressing these things helps me avoid roots of bitterness. For example, I have seen my husband behave in such a way that led me to conclude he is quick to judge. Suddenly I find myself being resistant to loving him as he deserves, physically speaking.
That’s so wise to be aware of how various factors can affect how you feel toward your husband. I once heard it said, “If you deal with conflicts one at a time, you will never build a wall.”
So then what do you usually do next?
The Bible tells me I am supposed to go to him, explain my concerns with gentleness and win my brother back. So I went to him. I spoke objectively and calmly. I said: “Babe, sometimes when I see or hear these statements it makes me think you are quick to judge others, myself included. Then I begin to build these walls toward you because I have determined in my heart that you are hard-hearted or distant from God. I don’t want to believe you are hard-hearted. I want to understand where you are coming from. I want to be for you, not against you. Can you help me understand?”
Wow, you are really giving us a glimpse into everyday life. Thanks for sharing. Give us another example of how you live this out…
For instance, one day he came in from the office and said something regarding the dinner I had chosen to prepare. It was not loving or kind.
I started speaking out loud: “Kim, it’s okay, he’s not trying to offend you. He’s entitled to his own opinions. He loves you. He’s your spouse; he chose you; he’s your husband for LIFE! The two of you were called by God to be together on earth, to usher each other into Jesus’ arms. You are called to serve him, to bless him, to delight in him. He is not your enemy. He is your beloved. The two of you are stronger together than apart. Our battles are not of flesh and blood….”
If I can soak myself in those truths, I can keep perspective.
“Called to be together, to usher each other into Jesus’ arms…stronger together.” That does bring things into perspective.
Yes, and when I have the right perspective, I can love him out loud. To do that I ask God to give me a greater desire to serve him, to bless him, to communicate with him, and to satisfy all of his needs.
To satisfy all of his needs I have to know his needs. I ask him about his needs, sometimes via text messages which usually gets both of us very giggly and filled with anticipation.
Oh my goodness. Blushing. ☺
The “morning after” I send him funny “reviews” of the previous night in many code words because our oldest can read my text messages. Aside from knowing his needs, I try to manage my day with him in mind. I try to honor him by keeping my kids on a healthy sleep schedule. This allows for limited drama at bedtime, it keeps them very healthy and it means more downtime for us at night. (When they become teenagers who stay up late we may have to add a bolt to our bedroom door. ?)
More blushing. But good stuff to think about!
I made a commitment to honor him and I believe saying YES to his advances are one way I can keep my commitment. I want to be a place of victory for him. It is a vulnerable thing for a man to seek sexual satisfaction from his wife, especially if she has rejected him in the past. I want to acknowledge that vulnerability and let it flatter my heart. Let’s be honest here, my physical body has carried three babies and my husband has a front row seat to all my sin, so it’s a miracle that my husband still desires to be close to me. My mentor once told me, “Corporate America can be a cruel, selfish, competitive world, where your man is fighting for a win. Let him find his win with you.”
Wow, Kim, what good reminders this Valentine’s Day. Thank you for being so honest, vulnerable and thoughtful to share what has helped you love your man out loud!
Do you have any words of encouragement if this is a tough subject for some moms?
If there are moms out there looking for soul healing encouragements in this area, I strongly recommend the following books: Boundaries by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend and Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Lehman.
These books were pivotal in my journey in this area of my life. Boundaries taught me to communicate openly about my needs. After getting married and having normal fears and hesitations, I can tell you this book really helped me verbalize things that I like or do not like. It gave me peace and freedom to share openly. Brett and I have had many vulnerable and honest conversations that have improved our bedroom time.
The investment into these books and awkward conversations has allowed our time to be mutually beneficial. I speak to many wives who have not had the courage to have these same conversations. This has been the key to making my time very open to his needs because I know he desires to SHARE in the experience. I know he cares about my needs, my joys, and my delight in the process as well.
Above all else, prayer. God wants us to keep our marriages alive in this manner. This was His design, it is not dirty or wrong. It is an act of worship and a way for husband and wife to delight in each other. It’s vulnerable, yes! Within the safe confines of a trusted companion, it is beautiful.
Thank you for sharing such wise words with us today! May this wisdom positively influence our marriages. ?