Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

Taking a Another Look

Hubby and Grandson ~

Yesterday on the way to church, I turned and looked at my hubby. I was once again, struck with how blessed I am. He’s as handsome as he ever was, if not more so. He is committed to me and loves me deeply.

Sitting there in the car, looking at him, brought tears to my eyes.

I took a moment to tell him what I was thinking, squeezed his hand, and wiped the tears from my eyes. I don’t know, maybe I’m hormonal. :D But I think it is a good thing to do.

I encourage you today, to take a moment, and really look at the man you married. See him for who he really is, not for the things that drive you bonkers. ;) Think on his good points and let him know at least one. It feels good.

It is easy to get caught up in all the things you have to do on a daily and weekly basis and even all the frustrations of life. But it is good to pull yourself from the midst of all that and appreciate what you have.

(I will admit that there are some relationships that are toxic and those are ones that need professional help. But for the majority of us, we just need to stop and find something in our spouse to appreciate and give some slack for those areas that are frustrating. Odds are that we do things that frustrate them as well. ;) )

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Give and Take

Marriage give and take ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s important in a marriage to know when to give in. It really is. Sometimes there is just something that is not worth making your spouse unhappy about doing. But then other times the thing is important enough to stick it out to get what you need, in which case it is your spouse’s turn to relent. ;)

My father had open heart surgery last week fixing an aneurysm, valve, and blockage. It was a lengthy, specialized surgery and we are very thankful for the talented surgeon that performed it. Many people have prayed for him which we are sure has aided in his speedy recovery and shorter surgery than anticipated. :)

During this week, Mom has not left his side, except when required to by the hospital. ;) She has been his helpmeet for 56 years! They’ve learned a thing or two about the give and take.

Mom has been his helpmeet for so long that it is only natural to help push him to do the things he needs to do to recover well from his surgery. There were some difficult things he needed to do and she was there to support him and encourage him to do them, even when he didn’t want to. :)

Michael and I have been married 31 years. We too have learned this art of give and take. Michael loves to protect me and keep me safe. It was a stretch for him to be okay with me getting outside his comfort zone, but with my dad being in such a serious situation, he gave in where I was needing to take.

Love isn’t about getting your own way. It is about sharing and working out a balance of giving and taking.

I hope you will be a good giver during this holiday season and also take with humbleness.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

One Moment a Day

Moments ~ Lifeofjoy.meI encourage you to take a moment each day to give your hubby your undivided attention. I know with young children about and the holidays upon us that it can be difficult to even get a moment to breathe but taking a moment each day to connect with your love will help keep your marriage strong.

It doesn’t have to be much, a smile and a wink, as you pass him the salt at the dinner table. A longer than usual kiss at some point in the day be it before he leaves for work, when he returns, or before going to sleep. Maybe even just a quick text letting him know that even in the hustle and bustle of the season, he warms your heart.

Just a moment ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve been the recipient of Michael hovering an extra moment when he brings me a cup of tea and a longer glance and a smile when I catch his eye across the room and these warm my heart and bring a smile to my face. So I am taking a cue from him and intentionally taking a moment to let him know, I love him, I choose him, and I’m glad we are doing this life together. :)

I hope you will slow down and take just a moment each day to make that connection with your love this season, and hopefully it will become a habit that we carry throughout the new year. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Marriage Roles and Seasons

Hubby Approved Bread ~ Lifeofjoy.meMarriage goes through seasons. When you first get married, of course, there is the honeymoon season but it is also filled with two individuals coming together in one home and creating a life together.

There are many things that are ironed out during that time. For Michael and I, coming home from work together, when we were both tired and neither one wanted to cook, needed a solution. Michael’s answer was, “we can have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” Yes, that was his answer for every night. I did not even like pb & j sandwiches, so that did not work at all for me. But I like food too much and dinner is my favorite meal, so again, that was not going to work for me.

My immediate answer was to have easy things like boxed macaroni and cheese or ramen, both of which I loved and were inexpensive but that too got old rather quickly. I remember making the decision clearly . . . “I’ll make dinner when we get home BUT I’m not cleaning up alone.” Paper plates saved our marriage. :(

We came to terms with how we would handle the cleaning and laundry and lawn care and such. But it takes time and sometimes it takes compromise but it definitely takes learning when to give and when to take.

Then comes children and that is a completely different season of life and requires a renegotiation of tasks and responsibilities. Expecting that each person is going to be able to continue everything they did before is unrealistic on all parties involved.

The season with children is a lovely season of life but it also has seasons. :) When there is a newborn in the house, sleep is generally interrupted and things get a little off kilter. By the time you get back into a good rhythm, odds are that, you will have another child and mess it all up again. :D

As they grow, there are several more seasons to grow and change through . . . the season of early bed times, extra curricular activities, entertainment, sports, and such . . . all bring a readjustment to how things are done and who does them. Children begin to take on chores and help around the house, relieving some responsibilities from the parents, especially as they grow (the early stages of teaching children to do chores well, is not usually time saving but pays off in the end).

Then you go into the season of adult children, empty nest, and “retirement” and once again roles and responsibilities may change. Health is another factor that can contribute to the roles each spouse plays in the marriage.

We had the honor of being in the home of a lovely retired couple for dinner yesterday. The man enjoys cooking and thus, at this season of their lives, does most of the cooking. (He’s a good cook, I might add! :) ) But she did not abandon him in the deed. She helped get the food on the table and get it set, as well as cleared it away before dessert.

It was lovely to see a couple move so well together. They communicated with one another and served a wonderful meal with a friendly and hospitable atmosphere. They worked well together and it was nice to see. We had a very enjoyable afternoon visiting with them and ate some really yummy THM food. :)

In the past year, Michael has begun to help me in the kitchen, lending a hand. Many a Saturday morning you can find him in the kitchen assisting me, as I make pancakes of some sort. In the past couple of weeks I think he has put together more of the ingredients than I have. :D I enjoy working side by side with him in the kitchen.

I hope this inspires you to communicate with your dear one about your season of life and if there are any changes that would be helpful. Communication is key. Don’t get frustrated and angry. Pray and communicate. :)

Until next time, God bless. And Happy Thanksgiving,

Michele ºÜº

Holiday Planning

Nativity Blow Up ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week here in the states. It is the earliest that it can possibly be because the first was on a Thursday and it is on the fourth Thursday. Consequently the 22nd is the earliest the 4th Thursday can fall.

With that in mind, I made my list of my “clean-up” Christmas gifts. That is the list where I write down each person and what I still need to purchase for them for Christmas. Normally I don’t get this list done until mid-December, so I’m doing good.

I’ve started planning what I want to do for my hubby. And now it is time to start talking to the family about what activities we want to make happen this year.

Last year we went to the Garden of Lights. Brian, Lauren, and Liam came and went with us. We gals have voted to go back to Rhema Lights this  year. We like that we can get out and walk around and enjoy the sights. And in the past we would get hot chocolate and funnel cakes. Of course now that we are sugar free, we won’t be doing that but we will probably take our own hot chocolate to enjoy.

The point of the post today is to remind you to start planning your holiday activities. We have enjoyed painting Christmas cookies, going and seeing light displays somewhere, going to a special movie together, going to the Christmas train, Zoolightful, homeschool Christmas parties, and church Christmas parties.

Now is the time to begin talking about what you’d like to do as a family. Maybe you want to make ornaments for the tree or go ice skating. Brainstorm with your hubby (and maybe include the family) about what you want to do and put it on the calendar. If we don’t write it down for a specific date, we don’t end up doing it.

Remember to keep some free time scheduled too, so you can just relax and enjoy being together. It is a wonderful time of year that does not have to be hectic. It is okay to NOT go to every party or activity that you are invited to attend. Make a plan to make the holidays what you want it to be.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Countdown to Christmas Preparation

Countdown to Christmas ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo, now is the time to begin thinking about what I want to do for Michael this year for the holidays. You see, I’ve done the Twelve Days of Christmas for him before starting on Christmas and ending on Epiphany which is January 6th. I’ve also given him a Twelve Days of Him around his birthday in October, since the reason that the first lady I saw do a twelve days for her hubby in December did it because his birthday was in December.

So now every year I think about what I want to do for my love to make him feel special. I saw that Aldi is having an advent calendar this year that has cheeses in it. :) Mmm mmm! I think I’m getting that for me.

Hmmm, I have some ideas but I better not share them here today because he does check my blog from time to time and it’d be just my luck that he’d check it and then there would be no surprise! :D I wrote about my ideas last year but am sad to say that I did not follow through. This year will be different. I’m going to write it down in my bullet journal and make a plan to get it done. :) If I do what I’m thinking of at the moment, then I can share it with you all in early December.

Oh this should be fun! :) I love making my hubby happy. What will you do to bring a smile to your dear one’s face this holiday season?

Here are some ideas I found for some advent kind of things, but be sure to check my post from last year because it’s got some GOOD links. :) Not all of the ideas listed in the links below are something I’d condone but you only need a dozen or two, so you just skip the ones that are not your thing.

Well, I hope that is enough to get you thinking about what you can do. I’m off to write down my plans. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Christmas is Coming

Our Christmas Tree ~ LifeOfJoy.meWell, it’s nearly the end of November and I have only begun my Christmas shopping. By now, I am usually at least half way finished, but not so this year. I really don’t have any one else to blame but myself. ;) But I’m ready to get it into gear. Of course, I was last week as well, and then Tiffany got ill. When she is not feeling well, I am affected (not sure I used the correct word here even after I looked it up on two different sites, which I think confused me even more =)) ) and don’t get as much accomplished as usual. Also, my ankle was acting up and I didn’t think it was a good idea to go on a long shopping day in its condition.

At any rate, I love to make good memories and give gifts to loved ones at Christmas. Do you remember me talking about this back in April? No, well, it may be too late for you to do this for the current year but consider saving back some money each pay period for Christmas next year. Check out the post from April to see how I do it. Because that is the reason I can easily and joyfully buy Christmas gifts without any financial arguments. :)

I start my Christmas savings the week after Thanksgiving this year for next Christmas. Now you may be wondering why. You see, I like to have all of my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving, so I need to have all the money available by then. It works for me. I also built in enough savings to cover my expanding family for the next several years, budgeting for my children’s spouses (they are all in their 20’s) and for several grandchildren, of which I currently only have one. :) This means that if things are tight at any point throughout the year, at this time, I have a bit of breathing room or I can use the extra money for a family outing or special things we want as a family. Or I can simply put it away to go towards vacation next year. ;)

So, if you haven’t already done a “Christmas Club” or savings, put pen to paper and figure out how and when to start it for next year. :) It really is a game changer! Michael and I used to have so many frustrations over our Christmas budget and I felt bad that I couldn’t give as I would love to. Now, I can because we talked about our budget and came to an agreement long ago. :) (I tell the story in that post back in April.)

I hope this encourages you to have a Christmas budget conversation with your hubby and establish some habits that will make the holiday season flow more smoothly. Now, I have to get busy and get some more of my shopping done. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Coming to Agreement through Prayer

Resolving Differences ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen you and your hubby have a different view of a situation, don’t think that you have to continue talking it out to come to a resolution at that moment. When I was younger that’s what I did, which does not work out so well.

It works out so much better to agree to table it and pray about it. And I have found that it is good to pray for God to lead you to the correct answer. What I usually pray is, “God change him where he is wrong and change me where I am wrong.” Honestly, I usually start strong on the changing him part ;) and add the change me part as more of an afterthought, especially in the beginning. But this does help.

It doesn’t do to be hardheaded and stubborn and resistant to change either. It is so much better to acknowledge the other’s perspective and calmly share yours.

As the holidays approach, it is good to talk about them early to make them go as smoothly as possible. You want it to be an enjoyable time for all involved. And pray about it. It’s odd how something so simple is so easily overlooked.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Forgiveness is Important

Forgive ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen your spouse does something that aggravates or frustrates you, be sure to be quick to get over it. This is not easy, especially if you are dealing with your own emotions.

Okay, so here’s what happened to me recently. I asked Michael to consider something and he immediately said no. This frustrated me and I tried to pray and get my attitude right. Then something else, I don’t even remember what, aggravated me and then even another something. I took some L-Theanine and finally decided I just needed to pull away from everyone and get alone with God for a few minutes. Because I’m the only person I can change. ;)

It would have been very easy, later on, when Michael was being nice to me, paying attention to me, to snub him or shrug away from him but that would not have helped anything. Instead, I leaned into it and embraced him, forgiving the earlier infractions.

Love doesn’t keep account of wrongs done. Love is quick to forgive (even when it is not requested). Love is kind. These are not easy things but they are good things.

Sometimes it seems as if there are waves of frustration going through our house. We have four adults living here and last weekend it seemed that we were all hit emotionally. It took a while for it to break. Mine may also have been chemical because it broke after I ate a bunch of sugar-free Lily’s chocolate chips. :D

It is good to operate out of love and forgiveness, not holding a grudge. Grudges are not profitable for anyone. Well, I won’t belabor the point any more. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Love is a Garden

Husband working my garden ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt may start with the excitement of what you will end up with and planting that seed with all the feels. Then there is the hard work of weeding and caring for the plants, keeping them from being overrun or plucked up by predators.

Our love gardens take care too. We need to do things for the other without expecting things in return but a well cared for garden is going to give a good return, as will a man who is loved on and showered with love and attention.

Short and sweet today friends but I didn’t want to belabor the point. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº