tear drop

Why I Cried on My Anniversary…

Let me walk you through it… It’s January 12th, 2016 at 8 am. When I wake my husband is not by my side as usual. Normally, I am the first to wake up. After that, I try to give him a few extra minutes of sleep before I wake him up with a “gentle push” and a quiet “good morning”. Well, it was not so today. When I woke up, I knew it was our anniversary and part of me was excited and the other part was ____________. I couldn’t exactly figure out the ____________ part, so I decided to go somewhere to find answers.  I went down the hallway to our prayer room, got on my knees and began to talk to God. The topic of our conversation today was “My Anniversary”.  After a few minutes, the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart. An this is the part that I wanted to share with all of the married folks, soon to be married folks and “I wanna be married folks”.

We have been taught over the years what a wedding anniversary is “supposed to look like”. In fact, we often see it portrayed in commercials, tv shows, and movies in two different lights. One way is “the husband forgets the wedding anniversary, the wife becomes upset, followed by the husband trying to make it up.” The second way is “the husband doesn’t forget the wedding anniversary and the couple celebrate in an elaborate fashion that is virtually unrealistic for most married couples.” ie. Roses everywhere, breakfast in bed, trip to the spa, dinner on the beach..need I say more (smile). These two pictures have been so impressed in our minds that it can often turn wedding anniversaries into something God did not intend. I don’t know for sure, but I believe that spouses *especially wives* can place unnecessary and unfruitful pressure on their spouse to live up to their “standards” of what an anniversary is supposed to be. If I could be a fly on the wall, I am sure many fights and broken hearts have happened on wedding anniversaries due to this. It should NOT BE SO!

As I continued to pray, God spoke into my heart that wedding anniversaries are to be a day of “Thankfulness and Remembrance”. As I received this revelation, I began to pray for my husband and thank God for Him. I just kept thanking Him for everything I could think of concerning my husband because I knew that everything good in him came from God.  As I started to thank God, tears of JOY and GRATITUDE flooded my face. And the __________ that I was experiencing went away instantly and was replaced with JOY. All of my “anniversary expectations” had been washed away by this simple revelation. In that moment, I could care less about receiving a gift, or a card from my husband. I knew that Bruce in fact was my “GOOD GIFT”. The scripture comes to mind, “Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of Lights! (James 1:17)”

Well, a few seconds after I wiped my eyes. In comes Bruce…with a dozen roses, a card, and some breakfast. Even though he had all that in his hand and I knew it was for me, all I could see was him, my GOOD GIFT coming through that door! I couldn’t wait to share my heart. Then the tears began again..as I expressed my heart…We closed this moment with a special time of prayer and thankfulness to the Lord. For it was the Lord that loved us enough to bring us together.

So…Yep I cried on my anniversary!!  But these were good tears! These were my offering to God for giving me the gift of my husband.

I want to encourage everyone reading this blog, to change your perception on wedding anniversaries. Next time, it’s time to celebrate, lay aside all of those “expectations and pressures” and replace it with “Thankfulness and remembrance”. It will make your day even more special! Make your day more about God and His faithfulness in your marriage than your own needs and desires. I am sure that God would be so pleased if all the #kingdommarried couples included Him in on their special day:)

In closing, Marriage is a Beautiful thing! And of course it is fine to celebrate. Just celebrate in your own way, without the unneeded “wedding anniversary pressure” and you will be sure to have a BEAUTIFUL WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!! Remember to enjoy your “GOOD GIFT”!  I hope this helps someone..I know it helped me. I will live with this revelation for the remainder of my years:)

Love Ya’ll! ~Feel free to share and comment~


Three years down, FOREVER TO GO!


New Life In Christ

Starting My New Life In Christ (Audio Message)

A short message to encourage and empower you to start your “New Life In Christ!” Listen to this message to learn more about the best decision you have ever made in your life! Share this message with others who have questions about salvation, or desire to get off to a great start in their walk with Christ!


Be Free: Breaking Ungodly Soul Ties (Audio Message)

Are you wondering: How do I get over a bad break up? Why do I keep thinking about my past relationships? What are these thoughts of fear and shame all about? Why do I keep going back into the same relationships and patterns? Shouldn’t I be over this guy by now? But find it hard to stop thinking about him? This teaching session will help to answer all of these questions! God desires for us to be free and whole. Be sure to listen to this message and actively apply all of the principles. Once your done, share with your friends, family members and on your social media page. Let’s help others to get free! If you have any questions, feel free to text me directly at 240-339-5107. I am here to pray with you as you walk into this new season! 

Be Free,


Silence is not golden

Silence is not Golden..In Marriage: Communicate Often

Almost a year ago, Bruce and I came together and wrote 12 things we learned our 1st year of marriage. We are coming up on 2 years and I wanted to take the time to elaborate on another topic on the list!!


We have a picture in our home that depicts vital things that married couples should do in order to ensure a successful marriage. One task listed, is to COMMUNICATE OFTEN! If asked, I am sure that many of us would say that communication is one of the most important keys to a successful marriage.

Communicating often, sounds like a given! In fact, it sounds very simple but sometimes it is not always that simple. Each person in the marriage has to make a quality decision to not only communicate with their spouse when everything is going well, but also in times of conflict. Communicating in conflict is the challenge! Many people including myself are guilty of kicking into “silent mode” at the point of frustration, disappointment or disagreement. I have learned that these moments are where you have to “Do the Work of Communicating.” During conflicts, we must press through our “negative emotions”, and communicate with our spouse. Bruce and I have noticed that once we press through that initial “silent mode”, and share our hearts we can solve the conflict quickly and effectively. So the next time you find your self slipping into “silent mode”, make a decision to communicate despite your “feelings.” Your marriage will be better because of your decision!

Okay, now this is the fun part, well for me at least lol! I love to talk. I can talk, talk, and then talk some more! Bruce is opposite of me, he doesn’t talk as much, but boy is he a great listener (smile). Like many couples, we communicate very differently, and it is quite okay. You and your spouse may have different ways of communicating, but the point is for you to communicate. Since I talk more than my spouse, I challenge myself to listen more and Bruce challenges himself to talk more. It’s not always comfortable, but it is good! Throughout your day think of creative ways to talk to your spouse. Maybe through random phone calls or text messages. Or try turning the music down while riding in the car or conversing while eating dinner. We have found that communicating often has strengthened our friendship, which has served a strong foundation for our marriage.

I want to inject a statement to always remember, “Your Spouse Can Not Read Your Mind”. I have experienced moments in our marriage where I thought that Bruce could read my mind! The funny thing is, every time I thought he should know what I was thinking he had no clue! I believe that many couples find themselves in unnecessary conflicts because they assume and demand that there spouse “reads their mind.” I want to announce that it is a complete waste of time, energy and frustration to put this type of responsibility on your spouse. Some (often women) put the pressure on their spouses to read their mind because they feel like their spouse should instinctively “know” what they desire.  Also they feel like if their spouse can read their mind it is proof of their love and attentiveness to them. (I have been guilty of this)  This is a dangerous myth.  I completely agree that husbands and wives should be sensitive and responsive to each others needs and desires. But, I do not believe that it is fair or realistic to expect them to “read your mind.” As married couples, each person has a the separate responsibility of communicating their feelings, needs, and desires to their spouse. Once the before mentioned are communicated then the spouse can do their best with God’s help to meet the needs of their husband/wife. It is important to remember that this principle should also be applied to our times of intimacy with one another (big smile). I encourage all of us to throw the “read my mind” idea out the window. Your marriage will be more blessed because of it!

In closing, make a covenant with your spouse and with God to work on the communication in your marriage. Remember that “Silence is not golden” and communicating often with strengthen your marriage. We believe God that our marriage and your marriage will increase in peace and joy as we grow stronger in our ability to communicate with our spouse.

Let me know what you think about this blog? Have you experienced this in your marriage or in other relationships?

With Love and Blessings,

Rotoya G.

what i love about you by me

What I Love About You…

First, Bruce and I would like to congratulate all of the recently married, soon-to-be married, and recently engaged folks!! Marriage is AWESOME!!! Of course this is not to say that there will not be challenging moments, and life trials, but with God there is no challenge that the two of you can not face and be victorious over!

Being married is a journey! Day by day you walk this journey with your spouse. We believe it’s important to pause on this journey to reflect on your love for your spouse. In relationships, at one point or another we have all been guilty of “simply going through the motions.” Over time, it is very easy to get comfortable and familiar with one another. We believe that is important to stop and reflect on your love for each other….

During our pre-marital counseling, Bruce and I learned many things that we still utilize up to this day!! (Side Note: To Engaged Couples..Be determined to take in as much wisdom and directives during your pre-marital counseling.  Even though planning a wedding is one of the busiest times of your life, cherish those moments of counsel).  Well in this blog, we wanted to take time to share a simple exercise that we learned in our counseling session. We encourage engaged couples and married couples to do this exercise. We believe that it will be as beneficial to you as it was for us!!

In regards to your fiance’ or spouse, takea day, to write a list answering the question “What I Love About You?  After you both write your lists, plan a special moment where you can sit and share your list. When writing your list try not to limit your thoughts to just the “Big Things”, but think of even the “Little Things” that make your fiance’ or spouse who they are.

I remember when Bruce and I shared our list to each other..I sat there blushing…cracking a smile every other second lol! I was amazed when I heard some of the things on his list.  We were both encouraged, and our hearts enlarged for one another!!

The Pastors that counseled us recommend that we put our list in a special place, and pull the list out in difficult times in our marriage. After you share the list, we suggest that you do the same. You can take your list and frame them or put them in a special place where you can get to them easily.  Your list can also be re-read when you just want to reflect on your love for your spouse.  These lists will be very beneficial for your future!!

Well that’s it!!

We pray that you will take the time do this simple exercise. Have fun, reflecting and sharing!!!

Feel free to comment, we would love to hear from you!!

With Love,



Wedding planning tips

Initial Wedding Planning Tips- Just Getting Started

Congratulations to you if you are newly engaged!!! I am sure you are excited and possibly a little apprehensive about the wedding planning process. From personal experience, I really did not know what to expect when it came to planning my wedding. If you are like me, you have already begun buying wedding magazines, and searching online for tips on how to get started planning your wedding. Before we get started,”TAKE A DEEP BREATH” and don’t forget to “LET IT OUT” (SMILE).

While planning your wedding day, you will have moments where you will need to PAUSE and do that simple exercise. I wish I could tell you that there will be no stressful moments, no confusion, no bumps in the road, but that would not be truthful. The truth is that you will have all of the above, but in the end it will all be worth it!! I encourage you to stand on the scripture “All things will work together for your good, because you love God and are the called according to his purposes.” Romans 8:28

In this blog, I wanted to share three initial wedding planning tips!

1. Write a VISION: Sit down with your fiance’ and write down a vision for your wedding. “Write the vision, and make it plain….” Habakkuk 2:2 I highly suggest that the couple does this exercise together, maybe over nice dinner. Having a vision for your wedding day, will help you in more ways than one. It will give you a sense of direction. Now, it is normal for the Bride-to-Be to already have a few ideas about what she desires for her BIG DAY, but we must remember that a marriage consist of “two” people. It is also important to get your fiance’s ideas and desires for the wedding. Ladies, even if your fiance’ gives you the flexibility and the ability to take control, be sure to include him in every chance you get. The wedding planning process can also serve as a great time of bonding for you both.  Here are some questions to get you started.
1. What do we desire the theme for our wedding to be?
2. What are our top 5 desires for the wedding?
3. Where would we like for the wedding to be? (indoor/outdoor, combination of both,church)
4. What do we want to remember most about our wedding?
5. What would we like our guest to remember most about our wedding?

2. Set a BUDGET for your wedding before you start intensively planning. Finances can be one the main stressors of planning a wedding, but setting a REALISTIC wedding budget can help to decrease that stress. You and your fiance’ should discuss and decide the absolute maximum amount that you would like to spend for your wedding. I have learned that you can have a beautiful wedding and not go bankrupt in the process. My husband and I decided that we did not want to exert all our finances because after the “Wedding” comes the “Marriage”. It is important to understand that you will need to be wise with your money output so that you can “live after the wedding”. (Smile). After you set your budget, shake your fiance’s hand and covenant to Stick With It! If you have no idea how to set a budget contact me, and I can help you out:)

3. DIY or Wedding Planner: Decide whether you are going to plan your entire wedding on your own or contract a wedding planner/bridal coordinator. In our generation, there are many brides like myself that take on the animal of “planning their own wedding”. I did it, so I know it is possible. Was it easy? No. Would I do it again? Yes. But I love planning and organizing events. I also had a lot of help along the way. In addition, the day of the wedding I had a Bridal Coordinator that ensured that all of “my plans” were carried out.

I believe many people shy away from the idea of hiring a wedding planner because of three reasons: 1.) They assume it will be too expensive 2.) They do not want someone to plan their entire wedding and it turn out to be something they did not desire. 3.) They underestimate the amount of work it takes to plan a wedding

A wedding planner will help you with most (if not all) of the tasks involved in planning your wedding. In all actuality a good wedding planner should carry out your “VISION” for your big day. Hiring a wedding planner could help you to enjoy the planning process more by taking stress out of the equation!

I am not strictly for or against either option. But I do believe that each couple should take the time to decide. When making the decision I suggest, looking at the framework of your lives, your skill sets, your ability to handle stress, and your current schedules.

If you decide on a wedding planner, I would love to help to bring your VISION to life!! Check out Simply Beautiful by RG. http://bruceandrotoya.com/simply-beautiful-by-rg/

If you are considering a wedding planner or a bridal coordinator and have questions about it please feel free to ask.

I hope these three initial wedding planning tips offer some help as you prepare for your Wedding!!! Please feel free to share this post with others and post your comments!!

God Bless You!!

Happy Planning!!

Rotoya G~
~Lifetime memories are born in simple moments~

Check out the following videos for a glimpse of Bruce and I’s wedding day!


For Ladies Only Session: Questions Answered

Listen in on a Ladies Only Session held at ODU University! You can listen to the entire session or skip to the part that interest you. (Time Break-Down is Below) Get some questions answered!!

2:54 How did you and your husband meet? Did God reveal it to you in a special way?
7:34 They say that when you have sex with multiple partners you are connected with them. How do you break that bondage?
10:29 Does Greek life interfere with us being virtuous woman of God?
16:21 How do you embrace who God has called you to be?
19:21 Just Do It/Being Led by The Holy Spirit
25:28 You know how God puts certain people in your life to minister to, other people the enemy puts in your life to destroy you. How do you know if a person is there for you to minister to or if they are there to mess you up?
28:44 How to evaluate relationships?
31:00 Sometimes God feels so far, and I think because I don’t experience gifts, He’s not there. As you grew closer to God did He add gifts to your worship?
Power of God vs. Presence of God
37:00 Ideas on how to not live a boring life? Things I did as a single? How enjoy Christian life as a single woman?
42:49 How not be a needy wife? Establishing a prayer time a single woman
45:34 Baptism: Should I get baptized? Walking in the Newness of Life
49:12 What can I start studying in the Word (Bible)? Tips on Studying the Word?
52:10 Enduring Temptation
54:52 “I don’t want to marry you because I want to have sex with you” Truth about Perversion
57:19 A tip on dealing with Perversion


I’ll Fly Away.. Song (Loss of a Loved One)

This song was written by Bruce and I with in loving memory of my mother Regina C. Williams, who was tragically killed in a car accident on February 15th, 2007. This song reminds me of how beautiful she was, and that I have hope to see her again in heaven.
I pray that this song blessed you..

To hear my husband Bruce playing the bass “plug in earphones” (smile).


Don’t Believe the Lie…

us pic

This blog is dedicated to all the soon to be married and newlyweds!!

From Bruce’s Perspective:

When we were preparing to get married we heard a lot of horror stories about how the first year ofis difficult. These people who meant well (I think lol) were basing their forecast for us on their own experiences. I think because everyone has different strength’s, weaknesses and circumstances, its impossible to pinpoint what the first year of marriage will be like. I will say ours was awesome!! It wasn’t full of the disagreements and all the other negative stuff we heard about. While I can’t say what another couple’s will be, I do know it doesn’t HAVE to be terrible because ours wasn’t.

From Rotoya’s Perspective:

I have learned over the years that there is Power in what you say. Honestly, at first hearing from some, that the “First year of marriage would be rough, and that everything would be soooo different” actually put a little fear in my heart. I began to wonder and create different scenarios that could make our first year of marriage rough. But then we came together and decided, that would not be our story!!! Each time those words were spoken to us we would quietly say “that will not be our story.” And guess what?!? It wasn’t our story. We had a wonderful first year and we are believing God for many more. I will encourage all soon-to-be married, newlyweds, and marriage vets to begin to speak what you desire over your marriage. The bible says that “Life and death is in the power of the tongue!” (Proverbs 18:21) You can decide how you would like your marriage to be!! Believe me it works!!

So Don’t Believe or Receive the Lie….

We love you and are praying for you!
Bruce and Rotoya~




I Don’t Feel Like Forgiving….

Be Quick to Forgive and Even Quicker to Forget

A few quick tips on handling conflict in marriage:


While we were writing our initial list of the “12 Things We Learned our First Year of Marriage” (check out that blog), Bruce interjected a key principle, “Be Quick to Forgive and Even Quicker to Forget.” With wide eyes, I yelled out “YES, That’s a GOOOOOD One!” Over the last year, Bruce and I rarely had any serious arguments. We actually on had about 3-4 that I can remember. In fact, I can’t really call them arguments, because they were more like “disagreements.” Some may say, well that’s because of this or that, but I know a reason why we had very limited disagreements. Before we married during our pre-marital counseling we decide how we would deal with conflict in our marriage.

Being the woman that I am, I decided to write this blog, because I found that I was often the one who would have to do the forgiving. Bruce laughs about this:) This was because my emotions would take over and I would get upset and sometimes wrongly misinterpret things communicated to me by my husband.  We often found after we slowed down and talked about the subject at hand we could come to a better understanding of each other’s point of view.

But what do you do if you get hurt in a disagreement? How do you handle all of those feelings? Should you walk away?

I will share what we agreed to in pre-marital counseling and have been practicing ever since:

1. We have a “Bench” in our home. We were instructed by our counseling Pastors to buy a bench and place it in our first home. The bench is a “place of reconciliation”. Now this bench is to only be sat on when there is a conflict in our marriage. When Bruce or I get upset about something, we are to stop what we are doing and go to the bench. Once the other spouse sees their husband/or wife on the bench, they are to join them immediately. The spouse that went to the bench first  then proceeds to explain to their spouse how they feel and then vice versa. The married couple is not to leave the bench until the issue is resolved. This may sound crazy, but it actually works!! What we found is that we both did not want to hurt each other. We also found that we were able to calmly express how we felt, and keep our ears open to hear our spouses feelings also. Finally, we found that our hearts were open to each other while on the bench because we both ultimately wanted  to “reconcile.” Keep in mind, that the bench is to be small so that while you are sitting, you are close to one another:)

Okay so I hear you now, “What happens if you have a disagreement and your not home.” If we were not at home, and we had a disagreement. I would say “Bruce I am on the bench.” Immediately, he knew what that meant and we would take time to handle the issue at hand.

“Our Reconciliation Bench”

Our Bench

2. Once you discuss the issue, be sure to ask each other for forgiveness. For example, “If I hurt you the way I said that, please forgive me.” or “If I hurt you in anyway, please forgive me.” This will go along way in your marriage. I often say, forgive before you feel it. Even if you are still feeling upset, take the time to verbally forgive your spouse, the emotions will soon subside.

3. After you forgive, be quick to forget! Once you have forgiven your spouse commit in your heart that you will be like God and “Blot out the transgressions” of your spouse. Decide that you will not bring up past conflicts or hurts again. This will only bring forth negative results.

Few Quick Tips on Handling Conflict:

1. Never go to sleep angry (Ephesians 4:26)

2. Never walk out of the house on your spouse in the middle of a conflict, deal with it then get some fresh air, if needed:)

3. Be Slow to anger, quick to listen, slow to speak…(James 1:19)

 Here a few scriptures on forgiveness:

Ephesian 4:32

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

I pray this blog will help you as continue on your journey in marriage.

Be sure to share your thoughts on the blog. Also please share blog with others:)

What do you think about the “bench?”

With Love and Blessings,

Rotoya Goodwin~