Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

Improving Your Marriage

Improvement ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve found that one of the best things I can do to improve my marriage is the little things that I think of to do. For example, when I think that I should clean off a counter, I probably should clean off that counter. ;) Of course, I’m in a different stage of life now and have less pull on my time than I once did but then again, I have less helping hands too. :D

If I think that I should paint my fingernails, then I probably should do so. Michael likes my nails painted and I really like them painted too. I feel more attractive when they are painted.

Improving your marriage can also mean improving yourself. When I do things to improve myself, I feel better about myself. When I feel better about myself I tend to be happier or less offendable which means I don’t get as frustrated by things.

The only person you can change is you, so to improve your marriage, work on improving yourself, your actions, and reactions. It is not easy to keep calm and even tempered when around someone that is frustrated or angry.

Some times taking up a hobby can be the improvement you need, especially artistic ones. Some hobbies, like music or art, can help alleviate frustrations and such. Even if you have small children, it is still good to take a little time to read or draw, color, craft, or do music or some other hobby.

I hope this encourages you to take one small step each day towards improving yourself which in turn should improve your relationship with those around you, especially your spouse.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

This is THE Week: Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, this is the week. Valentine’s Day is THIS Wednesday. Are you ready? Do you have a plan?

Do you have children to make the day special for too? I still try to make the day special for my children that live at home still. They are good kids and are keeping themselves pure for their spouses, which we are all praying happens soon. ;) But while I still get to enjoy them at home, I try to make Valentine’s Day special for them too. So, I got lots of plans to make!

I failed to do my research for Michael’s gift to get it when I went shopping last week but YAY! I’ve got my art group today and will leave a bit early to stop and get some stuff. :)

I’ve thought about the food, which is a huge part of my gift to my family. Usually I serve spaghetti or lasagna but this year I’m opting for Tomato Chicken Bisque which we have had before and all like. I’ll make sure we have some bread to eat with it because that just makes it all better.

I have some special treats planned for each person, a sweet treat each one likes, but am also planning to make some cream filled chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate ganache for our dessert. Since we are on Trim Healthy Mama, many of the desserts taste best after they’ve sat overnight. So I’ll have a very big prep day on Tuesday. ;) But I don’t mind, it is a labor of love.

I had forgotten one year, but then my daughter reminded me that I had given her (and her brothers) a Valentine note for several years prior and it was something she looked forward to each year. I think you can imagine, I have tried really hard not to forget that again. :D

So I do treats, a special homemade red colored dinner, and dessert. Then I usually try to give my honey a little special “dessert” all his own that night, if you know what I mean.

Well, I’ve got my plan. I’m going to make my lists and definitely check them twice because I want to be oh so nice. :)

I hope you have your plan and are able to pull it off as you envision it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Thoughtful Gift Giving

Shared Experiences ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo, Valentine’s Day is approaching. I’ve been thinking about what to give Michael for Valentine’s Day. I don’t want to just give him another gift.

Both Valentine’s Day and anniversary gifts would be good events to give a gift of a shared experience or some kind of supplies for a shared hobby or activity.

Maybe you could take a day trip, a hike, go scuba diving, go bicycling, or other such shared activity or experience. Maybe you could do some kind of hobby together. Does your hubby like to cook? Maybe you could come up with a special treat to cook together. Or maybe you’re both into art, buy some art supplies and spend some time using them together.

Maybe your hubby is into gaming. You could learn a little about his favorite game and watch him play or play with him. You can check the Dating Divas website and see what printables they might have for his preferred game.

Finally, you could plan a sweet evening of romancing your man, putting the kids to bed early. If they are older, you can always give them a special evening of special movie, snacks (popcorn), in pajamas, in their room, giving you and your hubby the dining room, kitchen, living room, and bedroom to yourselves. ;) Check The Dating Divas for these kinds of ideas too. ;)

I hope you have come up with a good plan for celebrating with your hubby and if not, that this will help you.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Planning for Valentine’s Day

Plans for Valentine's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhat are you doing to make your marriage richer? Or put another way, what are you doing to help your marriage grow?

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I encourage you not to see what your love is going to do for you but rather what you are going to do for him. A nice dinner and his favorite dessert maybe? Followed by his even more favorite “dessert”? ;)

I was reminded of a poem I had read (and thought I included in our wedding ceremony but have no proof at the moment) entitled, Creating an Us. The point of it was that from the time we got married, we needed to be more concerned about the marriage we were creating and less involved in separate or individual endeavors. It was a reminder that “the two” had  “become one flesh” and as such, we needed to nurture that new thing, intentionally.

I think it is a good idea to recommit to this from time to time, and there’s no time like the present. :) Michael recently asked me about a particular art form that he had seen and wondered if I’d like to pursue it with him. At first, my old stick in the mud mind thought no, but then this thought came to me, it’s something we can do together. There are so few of those kinds of things, so I was quick to respond in the affirmative. :) Maybe I’ll buy us some supplies for this new pursuit for Valentine’s Day. Hmmm . . . not a bad idea. :)

How are your Valentine’s Day plans going?

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Making a Plan for Valentine’s Day

Plan Valentine's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo, Lori of The Generous Wife has had a countdown to Valentine’s Day on her site since about the fourteenth. As of today, there are twenty-three days until Valentine’s Day. Yep, just twenty-three.

Lori recently shared a post from Hot, Holy, and Humorous about what to get your love for Valentine’s Day. She asked her facebook group about what to cover for the holiday and basically the winning answer was a meaningful gift. So she shared how to give a meaningful gift.

I really loved one readers’ idea of wanting to recapture the “honeymoon days”. I think that is something that I’ve been wanting to try to do. Of course after being together for over thirty years, it is a bit long ago now. But I think that would be a great Valentine’s Day gift to your marriage, to spend one day (not necessarily February fourteenth) acting like honeymooners or at least recapturing the feeling you had then. I think a lot of it is just in the mind, being mindful of how you felt then and acted then. Familiarity tends to make one forget the butterfly, in-love feelings. Tending to household chores and work seems to squash the romance and fluffy feelings. Oh, I’m not explaining this very well but hopefully you get what I’m trying to explain.

I guess the most important thing is to begin planning now for Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t have to be something big and elaborate, if that isn’t what you and your love generally do or want to do. I don’t need to make a HUGE deal about it but as with other holidays, do something and preferably, do something with some thought, not just popping into Walmart and picking up whatever card and flowers they have left.

Maybe you liked the idea of doing something for your love for the Twelve Days of Christmas but it was just too busy and hectic to pull it off. You could do it for Valentine’s Day. You could start it on the third and end on the fourteenth or start on the fourteenth and go through the twenty-fifth or whatever YOU choose to do. Now would be a good time to give him coupons too.

These are some things I’m thinking about. I have made a mental note to talk to Michael about some of this on our next date night. :) Yep, it looks like it may just happen this year. :D Well, at least this month.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

What if . . .

What if ~ Lifeofjoy.meI know that when things are rough and you cannot seem to get on the same page as your spouse, you sometimes think you’d be better off without him. The devil even brings that nasty d-word to your mind, as if that would really make things better.

Years ago, when things had gotten difficult, I was looking for some encouragement. I prayed about it and saw a lady at the church that I respected and she clearly could hear from God. So I asked this lady over for lunch and told her why.

The piece of advice she had for me was something like this, live each day as if you won’t have him tomorrow. Well, I got to tell you, I felt cheated by that advice. =)) That is, most definitely, NOT what I wanted nor expected to hear. But I tucked it away, and as you can see, I have not forgotten it.

Last year, an uncle of mine passed away. I can only imagine how my aunt is handling it. I know things were tough for a while with his physical decline and I am pretty sure she got tired of it all but not having him is hard too.  Then there is the memories from so many years together. I can only imagine how she is feeling.

Last week I went to an art (Zentangle) gathering and one of the ladies mentioned another lady that they knew and that her husband had passed away the week before.

Then this weekend, in the middle of the night, Michael passed out! I have to tell you, all of a sudden the communication snafus we’ve had lately paled in importance. He came back to after just a minute or two, but it scared the bajeebers out of me. It took me about an hour to get back to sleep.

So, I will just ask you to stop and consider what if . . . No really! What if you could not have him around anymore? I know, in the middle of a bad moment, you think you’d finally have peace but really stop and think about it for a moment . . . what if.

Well, I know for me, it helped gain a little perspective and I know, beyond all doubt, I wouldn’t want to be without him, no matter how big our miscommunication is right now.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Be On Guard

Love On Guard ~ Lifeofjoy.meMarriages are on attack right now. Well they may have always been but I’ve heard of some big Christian bloggers that have had their marriages ripped apart. Although they fought for their marriages, they ended in divorce.

I myself have had a HUGE battle recently in my own attitudes and situations in regards to my sweetie. I’m reminded to pray for my marriage, by Lori Byerly, The Generous Wife, with her cyber prayer meeting each month.

Nina Roesner of the Respect Dare asked that people pray for her marriage and the marriages of other marriage and family bloggers. I think this is a good idea and will try to remember to do this when Lori sends her monthly prayer reminder, as well as when I pray daily. I hope you’ll join me.

Prayer is a small but powerful thing we can do that can take just a little time but for which we can reap big rewards. By praying to support and undergird your marriage, you are being proactive. Be on guard, watching for where the devil may be trying to slip in and cause a rift in your marriage.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Marriage Thoughtfulness

New Year ~ Lifeofjoy.meI wish you all a happy new year! I’m looking forward to this new year. I know that I have to be intentional where my marriage is concerned. If I am not trying to improve myself and my marriage then I am probably stagnating or worse, declining in my own life and my relationship with my hubby.

Marriage is hard work; at least it is for me. It is easy to be a bit selfish and want things done for me but I have to be intentional about doing things for my love–not just the every day things but step it up and do more.

I hope to really foster more respect for my beloved. After all, that is what the Bible requires of me. It doesn’t tell me to respect him if he earns it. It says that wives are to respect their own husbands, not love them. Men are to love their wives.

If you’ve been around my Marriage Monday blog posts for any length of time, you probably already know that I struggle with what respect looks like. This is not an easy task but I intend to be intentional about showing my man respect (whatever that is ;) ) one little thing at a time. I intend to focus on this one little kindness at a time.

Lori Byerly mentioned something similar about it being the little things that build up your husband and marriage in this short read. Hop on over and give it a read.

I hope you will consider how you can bless your marriage this year, one little action or word at a time.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

A Different Kind of Christmas Letter

Love Letter ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think I read somewhere that a couple gave each other a love letter each Christmas. Of course it was so long ago that I don’t remember any of the particulars.

The last several weeks, on the way to church, I have nearly been brought to tears with gratitude for how blessed I am with my dear hubby. He’s so handsome and loves God with all his heart. We were best friends when we got married. Then life happened and here we are thirty years down the road working to overlook the little things that we do to aggravate each other.

So I’m considering giving him a love letter this year telling him how much I love him, appreciate him, and some things I’d like to do with him in the new year. It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant, just a simple letter sharing my thoughts of how much I love and respect him and feel so blessed to have him in my life.

So maybe this might be something you want to give a try, even if it is just a small little note tucked under his pillow either on Christmas eve or at the end of the hustle and bustle of Christmas day or maybe save it for next week on New Year’s Eve.

Until next time, have a very Merry Christmas,

Michele ºÜº

Is it Apparent that You are Happily Married?

What do you value ~ Lifeofjoy.meOne of the ministers at church yesterday reminded us that when you are in love, every thought and conversation always goes back to the one you love. For some time I’ve had a bit of a confusion with some of my online facebook friends. I hadn’t seen them or heard from them in over a dozen years, so it was nice to reconnect with them on facebook. But I had a bit of a difficulty, some of my friends who had been married when I went to church with them, never post about their husbands.

It usually takes a while before I realize that I hadn’t heard them mention their husbands. By . that time it seems more like prying, so I don’t mention it. But to ask someone else, seems like gossip, so I’m left with a quandry. In light of this situation, I make sure to mention Michael on occasion.

I wonder how I compare to younger me. Did I talk about and think about Michael much more when we first fell in love than I do today? I really hope the answer is no. I tend to be careful not to be boastful, so it can be hard to decide. I wonder if, when I do talk about him, I talk about him in a positive, negative, or neutral manner. I try to be respectful and honest in what I say, especially about our relationship.

I know you wouldn’t know it from my blog, but I’m kind of a private person, so I don’t post much on facebook. Here on my blog, I have daily topics that focus my conversation, so not even my blog is a good judge of this.

I guess I don’t really have much of a point today but to bring up the subject for thought. Would someone you haven’t been in contact with for a very long time, know that you are still in love with your hubby (without being gagged by syrupy posts to and about each other–because you can definitely take this to the opposite extreme) and happily married by what you talk about? Or do they know more about your children, work, or hobby than your spouse? Again, not that any of that is wrong to talk about, but if you share much more frequently and with more enthusiasm about other things than your spouse, maybe you are in need of giving your marriage some special loving care and attention. What better time of year than this wonderful season, to make your beloved know that they are very dear to you.

I hope  my rambling today gives you food for thought.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº