Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

Little Things Given and Received

morning tea ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have committed to the Trim Healthy Mama eating lifestyle. It is how I intend to eat for the rest of my life. Now that does not mean that I’ll never have certain foods, it just means that as a general rule I won’t, especially while I’m trying to lose weight.

Recently Michael and I dined at Red Lobster to celebrate our 31st anniversary. It’s amazing that I have been with him longer than I was without him. :) Don’t misunderstand me, there were some tough times, and still are frustrating times, but I love him incredibly and would marry him all over again.

Any way, ;) at Red Lobster he wanted to get the Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms for an appetizer. We hardly ever get an appetizer . . . like I can count on my hands, or maybe even one hand, the number of times we have gotten an appetizer since I’ve known him. ;) I asked the waitress and she did find that they did have some wheat in them but knowing it was mostly seafood and it was our 31st anniversary dinner, I decided I could splurge on it. This added another memory and made it a bit more special. The mushrooms were delicious, by the way. ;) I proceeded to stay on plan with the remainder of my meal, with the exception of tasting one of Michael’s breaded shrimp.

The last time I ate something off-plan was in October of last year and it was for a similar reason. I was eating lunch with some friends and new acquaintances at a Mexican restaurant. At the end of the meal tres leche was ordered for us to all share together, in part because I and another person had never tried it before. That day I took two bites and then that was all–it was delicious and I need to find a low carb way recipe for it. :)

I could have been a party pooper and stayed strictly to my “diet” but I determined that these two situations were important enough and memorable enough that I should make the exception.

My hubby is wonderful to me most of the time. He makes me tea every morning, ensuring that it is the proper level of sweet for my liking. He even increased the amount he makes for me when I told him I wished I had more and found a creative solution to keeping it hot for me. He prepares a bottle of water for me on Sunday mornings and even fills my bottle with cold water rather than room temperature water, because he know it is my preference. He drops me off at the door on a rainy Sunday morning, even though I did make us late and he dislikes walking in after service has started.

There are many more ways that he spoils me but that is enough for today. Love is shown in so many ways and can be easily overlooked. I hope this will remind you to take time to do the little things for your spouse and to acknowledge the ways he shows his love to you. Love isn’t all flowers and chocolate, jewelry and public displays of affection–it can also be in the little things.

I encourage you today to look for the little ways you can show your love and acknowledge some of the little ways he shows his love to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Feeding My Man

Grandson and Papa ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen our children were young Michael and I arranged a way for me to know when he was headed home since it varied daily being self-employed. When he texted that he was on his way, we stopped what we were doing and the kids tidied up while I began making dinner. He is always ready to eat when he arrives.

Years later when Brian went to Central Tech, he got home after Michael; it continued when Sean went there and then on into them getting jobs other than working with Michael. This threw a wrinkle in our eating schedule but because we have always eaten together as a family, at the dinner table, we changed our dinner time and I generally try to have it ready to put on the table when the last one arrives.

Recently when Michael arrives home a couple hours before Sean does, he is still ready to eat something and I’ve tried to have some kind of snack or snack suggestion ready for him. Some days Tiffany and I have just had our afternoon snack and will make him a portion as well. Some days I make him a shake, cut some fruit, or suggest something else.

In the early years, Michael didn’t really have breakfast except for coffee and maybe cereal or some kind of bread, toasted. Lunches he’d just grab quickly at some convenience store or fast food place. When we decided we needed to tighten up on our spending, I began making him breakfast at home and lunches to go. This saved on our budget and was way more nutritious for him. Today I make him breakfast, generally eggs of some kind, and pack him a lunch. I also try to include at least one snack for him to eat between lunch and heading home.

These things don’t take much time, saves us money, and let’s me love on him a bit.

If your hubby comes home hungry, I encourage you to plan ahead and have dinner ready when he gets home. On the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle of eating, that means that sometimes I have to have a fuel pull snack in the afternoon so that it won’t hinder my weight loss efforts if dinner is closer to snack time than 3 hours needed between meals.

I hope this post has given you some food for thought on considering your husband’s eating schedule.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Listening . . . Really Listening

Listen-Pay Attention ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is important to engage with your spouse. Acknowledging what he’s going through and empathizing is important, being sure not to belittle him at all. It is important to encourage him to continue to share what he’s going through and not just dump your frustrations onto him.

Listen to what he says, even if you think it is not interesting at all. It is interesting to him, so it is important to make it interesting to you. Don’t look down on and talk negatively about the things he is interested in and talks about, even if it isn’t interesting to you. This is something I’m learning. There are just some things that are not interesting to me at all, but are things that Michael enjoys keeping up on.

Since he’s a paint contractor, he keeps informed of the weather. He doesn’t care for the local evening news weather forecasts because, as he puts it, “They are fear mongers.” :D He searches out reliable people on youtube and weather apps for his weather information. Since I’m inside the house most of the time, I’m not concerned about the weather generally. ;) But I make myself interested in it because he’s interested in it. Much like, he likes to see the Zentangles I create, even though he doesn’t like to draw them himself.

Michael and I didn’t do much when we were dating. We hung out together, watch television together, and did church activities together. That’s pretty much what our marriage has looked like. :) We enjoy hanging out together. But we share bits of things we find interesting with each other.

There was a point that Michael was very interested in his ancestry and finding out information about where they were from. I, on the other hand, have know my ancestry and took the scripture to heart that said not to spend time on endless genealogies. I am ashamed to admit that I looked down on his interest, since I didn’t completely understand it. In hindsight, I should have engaged with him over his interest. Lesson learned.

I hope you learn from my mistakes and make yourself interested in the things that interest him. :) Of course that doesn’t mean you have to become a fanatic over his interests and make them your own, just pay attention when he talks about it, ask questions about it, and by no means allow yourself to think about other things while he’s talking to you about it. Stay engaged. At least, that’s what I’m learning to do. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Showing Compassion in the Little Things

Caring ~ Lifeofjoy.meFrom time to time, Michael has had soreness or pain. Thankfully I have been relatively free of pain (with the exception of my menses in years past).

Recently I have had some pains surface in my body. One is a pain in my wrist that travels up my arm. Michael had a similar pain within the last year. I think I rubbed it some and prayed for him, and tried to offer what supplements we had on hand that might help. But with my recent pain, I realized that I may not have been as sympathetic and considerate as I might should have been.

I have found that it is always a good idea to ask yourself what you would appreciate if you were in a similar situation. I really like the practice of asking people to rate their pain level from 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst. It helps give perspective into how the person is coping with the pain. I have a tendency to rate my pain lower because I compare it to something horrific rather than just how bearable the pain is for me at the moment.

I guess what I’m learning is to try to be more mindful when he says he has some pain and show more compassion or concern. We tend to minimize things like that around here. This was not always the case. ;) For those who might be concerned for us, we do have a doctor we go to when pains persist or we are unable to get things controlled.

My point is that I’m finding out that I probably could be a bit more compassionate and sympathetic to the one I love most on this earth. Sometimes we get caught up in all we have to do and don’t put forth the extra effort to do nice things for each other. I’m hoping I’ll remember this and be more considerate in the future. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Fathers

Michael and I ~ Lifeofjoy.meI know I’m a day late but I didn’t want to let it pass without me saying anything. Since it is “Marriage Monday,” I just wanted to encourage you not to make your appreciation of your hubby be a once in a while thing. Men enjoy hearing that you appreciate them. Pump him up, if not on a daily basis, on a weekly one.

I’m sooo blessed to have a man who loves God with all his heart!!! I think it is probably the reason we have made it nearly 31 years together. When a person is seeking after God with his whole heart, he will naturally better himself and his marriage as he grows in God.

Michael and I may not have what the world would consider prosperity but our hope, faith, and trust is in God and we know that we have what we need for today. We are content with the things we have and trust God to take care of us as we follow and obey Him. We are just stewards over what He gives us.

Michael & Grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meMichael and I made a choice when we started our life together that we wanted to do life together. We wanted him to be here for the kids and involved in their daily lives. We wanted me to be home with them and to educate them ourselves. We made these choices and are happy we did. Michael is just as good with our grandson as he was with our kids. When he is here, Michael gets down on the floor and plays with him and shows interest in him. It warms my heart.

I guess “loving the Lord with all his heart” was a trait I looked for in a man because that is the kind of man my daddy was. When I was young, we moved a lot but it was usually because we wanted to live closer to the church we were attending. :) We even moved nearly five hundred miles once when I was young, one of the main reasons was to go to a different church.

God and church has always been a big part of my life because of the importance my parents put on it. I remember even when my dad worked long hours and I didn’t get to see him much, he would ask me on the weekends or late in the evening when he finally got home, if I had read my Bible.

My Daddy ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy daddy always worked hard to provide for us, making our lives comfortable and enjoyable. Even after retiring he still worked hard. I think it is hard for him to realize he is now in his seventies and cannot do all the hard work he is used to doing. ;)

Daddy always believed in me! He even spent his hard-earned money to allow me to do something that I felt God wanted me to do. Not only did he have faith in me hearing God but he also helped me believe in myself, that I could do anything I put my mind to, a trait I still have today.

Thanks Daddy!!! Thank you for following God even when it was hard and for teaching me to do the same (especially by your example). I am forever grateful! Love you bunches!!!

So, I encourage you today to make a point to tell your man how much you appreciate him. Respect is not something that is earned with a husband and wife, it is something that is required of the wife. Voicing your appreciation is a good way to show respect.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk Things Out (Fight?)

Discussion ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe first year Michael and I were married was not the easiest. ;) We had MANY “discussions” but I would not trade them because they helped us figure things out.

Now I am not a proponent of arguing and not resolving anything.  The only good argument is one that resolves the issues that caused it. You don’t have to argue but Michael and I are both very strong, independent individuals that were determined to spend our lives together. This required some communication about expectations and most of the time these were not planned discussions; they happened on the fly.

Now in our younger years, we were a bit more hot-headed than we are now. At least I like to think we’ve mellowed with age. Some of our arguments have resulted in some of the things we continue to carryout to this day. For example, he texts me when he is headed home and how long it will be until he gets here. This is because we homeschooled and the kids and I were here, in our home, being active, which generally includes making messes. Michael would come in and it was very lived in which did not make for a good feeling for him when he came in the door. So his text (call in the early days) gave me the warning we needed to clean things up and for me to get dinner started. Since he is self-employed his hours and commute times change a lot.

You see, we’d had a discussion (which was probably more like an argument) many times when he’d come home to a cluttered living space and dinner not being thought about. He wanted peace and quiet, food, and a clean floor to walk on. :D If he had worked a 9-5 or such job and he always got home at the same time, it would have been an easier fix but it could fluctuate by one to three hours on any given day. Thus we instigated the “headed home” notification.

So although arguments are never necessary, since there is always a calm and collected way to have a discussion, they are not necessarily all bad either. Just ensure that you are working to a resolution and not just yelling or flinging insults. I’m a very passionate person and I have a loud mouth which means that inevitably I will raise my voice in a conversation, especially if I am frustrated. Of course, that doesn’t mean it is right, but not the end of the world. Just be sure to fight fair (no name calling and such) and work to solving the the situation that caused the argument to begin with.

I hope you find this helpful. It’s just me being open and honest.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Are You Bitter?

Bitter Fruit ~ Lifeofjoy.meDid you know that bitterness can be as simple as thinking about an offense often? I never realized that before. It is a subtle sign of bitterness, but bitterness all the same.

Do you think negatively about your spouse? That could be a sign of bitterness against him. For more subtle signs of bitterness, read this short post I found recently.

Bitterness sours a relationship and you do not want your marriage soured. :) Next time a negative thought comes to mind, combat it with good thoughts instead. Pray for your marriage, you, and your spouse. Speak positive things about him. Dwell on good and not bad.

Basically, root out bitterness with love. Change your thoughts. Focus on the good.

I hope you’ll take a minute and read “You May Not Realize You’re Bitter,” as it was enlightening to me AND it offers some constructive steps of action to move beyond it.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

I Choose to See Love

I Choose Love ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe other day when Michael was home, I decided to go outside and prune my rosebushes and remove some spent blossoms. I have never pruned my rosebushes and they are not robust in any imagination. ;) (The big green stalks on the left are self-seeded sunflowers.)

Michael and Sean had just brought home a new pair of pruners/trimmers and I wanted to go out and use them. I specifically asked for ones that were spring loaded because my last pair was not and you not only had to push the handles together to cut but you had to pull them apart again, which is quite difficult for a one-handed tool. It was cumbersome; thus I requested a new pair.

Well, I was outside for about 5 minutes or so trying to get the darn things to work, to no avail, when I came back inside to get the directions on the package that I had left inside on the coffee table. As I headed back outside Michael encouraged me not to stay out too long since it was so hot out. I assured him that I would not.

I finally figured out how to work the crazy things and successfully removed some dead stems. Then the crazy weeds grabbed my attentions and I began pulling them out. They are a particularly aggressive type that grows not only grasses sticking up but also runs roots horizontally and just takes over the place. It has overrun my garden on more than one occasion and I’m really trying not to let it happen again this year. Hence I pulled them out before moving on to the new rosebush that they had just planted for Mother’s Day.

While I was pulling weeds, Michael came out and admonished me to come in. You see, in years past I may have pushed myself a tad too much and got a bit overheated and it took me a bit of resting, once inside, to recuperate but this time I’d only been out about an additional 5-10 minutes. I again assured him that I would not be much longer and proceeded on to the rosebush. Since it is a new bush, it didn’t need much pruning. I pulled a few more weeds and headed out to my last rosebush, more like rose stems :D, out in the yard.

Michael came out again, but this time with a glass of water. I was nearly finished so I did not stop what I was doing. We joked around about me being stubborn and I should come get the glass of water. I wanted the water but needed to grab the package directions for the pruners that I’d tossed on the ground since I was finished and ready to go inside.

Now I tell that whole story to show how important perspective is. You see, my first instinct was to be upset at Michael’s insistence that I not stay out too long and that I would overdo it. It felt like him being overprotective or him thinking that I didn’t know not to overdo it. ;) And that feels belittling. BUT I decided to see it for what it really was: Michael loves me and he doesn’t like to see me hurt in any way, so he looks out for me!

He loves me! That perspective is so much better and more realistic actually. He does all that because he cares, not because he doesn’t think that I cannot think for myself. He’s looking out for me, as a good husband does. :)

I am loved! And I choose to think the best. You know what? Thankfully it happens to be the truth. I hope you will choose to think the best of your spouse too. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Could’ve been annoyed and actually fought that feeling the other afternoon when I went outside to prune my poor rosebushes and remove some spent blossoms. I hadn’t been out there but maybe ten minutes when he came out and encouraged me not to overdo it. ;)

Supplements to the Rescue

St. John's Wort ~ Lifeofjoy.meRecently I was enlightened to the fact that when the kids were younger I was a bit uptight and frequently spoke harshly. :( So I’m writing this today to save others from going down the same path that I did.

I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me. I thought other people were just touchy. But Tiffany lovingly let me know the truth as she remembered it. It hurt but was needful so that I can help others.

I started taking St. John’s Wort for some bumps on my hands. After a while, I stopped taking it because it didn’t seem to be making a difference for my intended purpose but I noticed that I started getting frustrated more. Then I was smart and read the bottle which stated that it was a for mood health and realized that it was helping me in other ways.

I have been taking it every night for quite a while now, years now. A few months ago I decided that I was going to cut way back on the supplements I was taking and out went the St. John’s Wort; I didn’t think I needed it anymore. HA!

After a few weeks, I think that it takes about that long for it to get completely out of your system, I began having those old feelings of frustration again. I decided to start taking the St. John’s Wort again and don’t plan on removing it again. It helps me be more chill. ;) My family agrees. :D

So, I’m just sharing my experience and recommend that you do some research, talk to someone you trust about herbal supplements be it a natural doctor, chiropractor, or other knowledgeable person.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Couple’s Journal

Couple's Journal ~ Lifeofjoy.meI saw this link to a couple’s journal one day; it has six questions that you answer each week and a devotional “to foster good communication.” I got to thinking about this and I’m considering starting a journal where Michael and I can share thoughts and feelings. It’s also something we can look back over. I remember something like this years ago, like back in 2012 or 2013, and thinking it wasn’t something Michael and I would never do. ;)

I have written Michael letters from time to time to share my feelings about stuff and those were well received. So, what I’m considering is to go buy a nice journal that we can both appreciate, in other words, not too girly, then we will just both write in it as we desire, leaving it on the other’s dresser or bedside table when we’ve added to it. We can use it to say something good, to ask a question, to state my feelings about a subject, or even reminisce.

I got to searching the internet to see if I could find what I had seen years ago, but of course, I have no idea what it was. What I did find was

  • this page that shared ten ideas of what to write in a couples journal. There are some really good ones.
  • The Dating Divas also have some ideas and of course, a free printable too! :) Gotta love their creativity.
  • This page also has some good suggestions for how to use a couple’s journal
  • Although this one is not what I had in mind, it is still a good one. I haven’t read through much of it but if you and your hubby need some help, I think this would be one to look at. It looks like it could be very helpful if you and your hubby needed some counseling but cannot or just prefer not to do go see someone.
  • If you are looking for something a bit more structured you could check out this. It has writing prompts in it. I really like the look of it.

Some of these ideas are really good and The Dating Divas also have a gratitude journal printable linked on their page that looks like it could flow well with this idea.

I hope you will pray about whether this is something that could benefit your marriage. (I don’t get anything for sharing any of this.)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº