Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

Food and Marriage

Food and Marriage ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo many things work together to make a marriage good. Even the food you serve plays a part in it.

Yes, food. If you don’t give food much thought, you may end up eating junk food or eating out more than is healthy for you and your family. But with the proper planning, you can nourish your family at home.

A key to being able to fix good meals at home is planning. Yep, that means to make a meal plan. There are many services available these days that you can subscribe to and will give you a menu plan with a corresponding shopping list but you don’t have to do that. Menu plans can really be as simple as a list of recipes you currently make and just go through them one by one or maybe it is easier for you to think of it by having a type of meal per night: breakfast for dinner, Italian, Mexican, Hamburgers (fixed many different ways), Pizza Night, Chicken Night, or even Hors d’oeuvres Night.

In preparation to begin to menu plan, you can simply write down what you eat every day for a couple of weeks, then you can use that list for ideas to create your menu plan for a week. If you ate out, what did you eat out? Chicken? But one in the crockpot instead. Tacos? Make them at home. Steak? Grill it.

When you menu plan you tend to save money because you don’t just impulse buy throughout the store when you shop. You also have less stress because you already know what you will have for dinner throughout the week.

A menu plan is a tool for you to use, not something to which you are a slave. If the menu says that you are having Lasagna on Tuesday night but you have a busier day than usual and won’t be up to making Lasagna but can throw together Thursday’s planned hamburgers and bag salad much more easily, then switch it up.

Once you make a menu plan, write out your grocery list based on those recipes. I like to keep a marker board on my refrigerator to note things we run out of or will need to purchase on the next grocery run. Then when I make my grocery list, I add those items from the marker board to the grocery list.

You can even do this if you work outside of the home; I imagine it is even more needful because of your busy lifestyle.

Planning your food benefits your health and helps to eliminate some of the stressors that can easily be in a marriage. Oh, and be sure to add in some of your hubby’s favorites, that’s good for your marriage too. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Engage in the Blessed Marital Activity Often

Engage Marital Bed ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs we age, sometimes things don’t work like they used to in our bodies, that’s when we do our research, pray, and do whatever we can to make things better. But we do not give up. If your back is stiff, you do stretches and research to see what might be causing it. Could it be time for a new bed? Are you sitting too much? Did you work too much in the yard yesterday? Any of these things can cause some undesirable feelings.

Sometimes when we don’t engage in intimacy, the body does not desire intimacy (this is generally more true of women and definitely in the child-bearing years). God made our bodies to benefit from intimacy–even hugs have been proven to benefit our health.  I think it is important not to quit, even if your body is not responding the way it should; don’t stress over it but do relax with your hubby and love on each other. It’s okay to take some time, play, have fun with each other, laugh, and try something new.

Don’t let the time between being intimate with your hubby get longer and longer either. It seems to me that when the body gets aroused, it tends to be aroused more easily the next time and more often. It reminds me of inertia . . . a body at rest stays at rest until acted upon by an outside force and the opposite is also true . . . thinking about intimacy gets the body moving in that direction. Now don’t go reading erotica or looking at porn but do think about what you can wear to make you feel more “in the mood” or light a candle in the bedroom or maybe even put on some soft music. I guess what I’m saying is, put a little effort into being intimate with your spouse.

God made sex and made our bodies to benefit from it, so be sure to engage in this blessed activity with your hubby on a regular basis or as some Christian marriage bloggers say, more days than not. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Advice to Stop Criticizing and Be Nice

Stop Criticizing ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was looking for this story I had read somewhere before and wanted to mention it today. So as I was searching, I came across this interesting article about one lady’s realization that she criticized her husband a lot and for the betterment of their relationship she needed to discontinue this practice.

One other thing she mentions in the article is that she made an effort to ask her husband questions and not roll her eyes when he talked. Unfortunately I must admit that I have caught myself doing that very same thing before and thankfully, I was disgusted with myself over it, which means I see the need to change. ;) Change can be very good.

As I read through the article, it slowly dawned on me that I recognized part of the story. Turned out the author was Nina Roesner. I have shared some of her articles here before. She is the author of The Respect Dare. :)

Even if you have read or heard her story before, I encourage you to read the article anyway. I was glad I did. It put me in remembrance of some things I’d let slip.

I hope it will be an encouragement to you as well today. Click here to read the article.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

 

A Little Nudge

A Little Nudge ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was cold yesterday. Very cold. I wore my warm winter clothes but I was still a bit chilly. Of course that is probably because I’m eating lots of veggies and cutting back on fat a bit (I have a tendency to overdo that luscious stuff) in order to jump start some weight loss again. For those following the Trim Healthy Mama plan, Tiffany and I are doing the Stubborn Losers’ Menu available on the membership website. It helped me kick start weight loss last time.

At any rate, sitting in church I was a bit chilly, so I nudged Michael and basically asked him to put his arm around me. :) I’m usually so warm-natured that sitting that close is not usually desirable for either of us. I was surprised how good it felt to have his arm around me. :) I made sure I told him so.

Later we were at my sister’s house spending some time with her dogs while they were gone. We were sitting down watching a movie and he surprised me once again by putting his arm around me. I was cold and covered up with a blanket sitting beside him. I can only imagine it was because I let him now that I liked it in church. :)

So, the point of this story is two-fold. One: ask for what you want and Two: Let him know when he does something you like. I guess it really boils down to something I have said before: communication is important. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Sometimes It’s About My Tone

Tone Sound ~ Lifeofjoy.meCommunication is a pet peeve of mine. I really dislike it when things are not communicated well. And I definitely do not like it when things are not communicated at all. ;)

One thing I am guilty of is letting my annoyance be known in my tone when I am relating something. I also have to keep reminding myself that there are ways that I can say things that will not bother my husband at all but the very same words spoken differently frustrate him. This is not his fault although I must admit, it is hard to deal with at times.

I’ve realized anew that I need to watch my tone when I speak, especially when I speak to my hubby. Years of miscommunication and frustration from using a wrong tone have caused there to be a short fuse sometimes. Once again, “the fault is mine.” (Yes, I did throw a little You’ve Got Mail quote in there. ;) ) It’s true. I cannot help how my tone has affected others but I can change my tone. I do not need to be overly cautious about it, just remember to have a good tone to my voice, not an irritated one.

This is just me thinking out loud and hoping my thoughts will give you something to consider as well.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Little Financial Help

Financial Help ~ Lifeofjoy.meFinances are one of the subjects that can cause friction in marriages. So working toward saving money when you can is a good idea.

I signed up for ibotta last month. I figured even if I didn’t save very much, it was worth checking out. Well, I was very surprised that I managed to submit $10 worth of offers in the month and thus make the welcome bonus. So, I earned a little over $20 in the month, which isn’t bad.

It’s like couponing without cutting coupons. Although, I think if you coupon that you can use both a paper coupon and submit it for an offer in ibotta too. I should also let you know that I don’t generally buy name brand items, unless I get a better deal than the generic version offered or I have tried the generic and don’t like it as well.

This past month there were offers for 15ȼ for purchasing any eggs, any bread, bananas, any cereal, flavored milk, juice, and even ham. Some might have been 25ȼ though. There were offers for other specific cereals that were higher. There were large offers for shampoos and such. There are even offers for Groupon and other stores too. So it is a really good idea to check it out. It is easy to use and worth the little bit of effort, in my opinion.

If you decide to check it out, please use my referral code via this link, then I can get a bonus for you doing so. ;)

There are other features that I don’t completely understand. One is the team bonus. If you link your facebook account to it, some how you and your friends benefit from each other’s savings.

So if finances are an area that causes you and your hubby some friction, check out ibotta to relieve a bit of that stress. Depending on the kinds of things you purchase, it may really be worth it for you and your family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Lighten Up, Have Fun, Be Silly Daily

Silly fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meNot long ago our middle child, Sean, read something about “active sitting.” When you sit for long periods of time, you should make effort to spend some of that time “active sitting,” which is moving around in your seat.

Our evenings can be quite sedentary. ;) Frequently we replay of one of the television series we like and purchased (because we had horrible internet and struggled to stream anything on the internet). When the opening to the show is playing, we all throw our arms in the air and dance in our seats. It’s silly and we nag the others to join in too.

Silly Walk ~ lifeofjoy.meYou might be wondering what in the world this has to do with marriage, as my posts on Mondays are marriage encouragement. Well, it’s because in marriage you need to have fun and just plain be silly sometimes, daily is better, and several times a day is best. Why? Because it helps lift frustration and gives you some enjoyment. I’ve written about the importance of having fun in marriage; you can read it here.

One important thing to remember though, if it is not fun to the other person, maybe it shouldn’t be said or done. Like snapping someone with a damp dish towel. Now it may be fine for some people to do that and have fun with it, but others may be more sensitive and not like getting snapped with the towel, thereby making that not a fun activity. In which case, it would be best not to do that. You see? When only one person is “having fun” doing something, it is more like bullying.

Now, if you can’t ever seem to have fun doing anything, then maybe you just need to lighten up a bit. ;) Don’t take everything so seriously. Offer alternative suggestions if you don’t enjoy something in particular.

I cut out the title to an article I found in a magazine years and years ago. It said, Find the Fun in What Needs to be Done. This has been before my eyes for a long time and has helped me get through some tough days. Make it a race against someone else or even against your own previous time. Or maybe just the promise of a fifteen minute break after finishing a certain task.

I hope these thoughts help you in some way today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Sustaining Love and Laughter

Encouraging Marriage ~ Lifeofjoy.meI got an email from Marriage Today by Jimmy Evans that had some interesting statistics and thoughts. (I hope the link works but fear it will not. Sign up at marriagetoday.com for the Marriage Builder Weekly.

How did you and your hubby fall in love? Then that is probably some of what will keep you in love. Now, the author’s view was that you had fun together and I would say that is probably true in most instances. Michael and I are a bit different thought. :D We just enjoyed being together; we didn’t really do much other than hang with the other. But we’re introverted like that.

He also mentioned having fun and laughing together helps keep a marriage healthy. I have to agree with this. If you don’t have laughter and fun together and only have frustrations and arguments, your marriage is in trouble. Laughing together is bonding and healing, in my opinion.

The other thing he mentioned that struck a cord with me was that being in the same room together, even if you are sitting together on the couch, and not giving any attention to your spouse, is detrimental to your relationship. It says that the people or things you are interacting with are more important to you than the one right beside you. Now, I do NOT believe that you have to spend every moment engaged together but you DO need to give each other your attention and quality time as well as some quantity time too. Five minutes will not cut it here. ;)

So I challenge you to consider how you fell in love with your sweetie and be sure that you are incorporating some of that in your weekly lives.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Why Do You Love Him?

Do you ever get lost in the day to day frustrations of life and say things that although you really felt it and meant it at the time, you regret having said anything at all. Yeah, I’ve been there . . . just this past weekend actually.

Saying negative things to or about your husband undermines him. I wish I hadn’t done it but I did. I have apologized but it doesn’t take away the less than wonderful things I said.

I recently saw this article which seems like a really good idea to do, no matter the status of your marriage. In it the author wrote about how she and her husband were having difficulty and went to a marriage counselor. The first assignment they were given was to make a list of things they loved about each other. She said it changed their marriage.

I think we tend to forget the little things but when we force ourselves to stop and think of good things, it seems to make the things that are bugging you at the moment more bearable.

So I encourage you today, take some time and write down some things you love about your hubby. If times are good with you and your beloved, it should be an easy task. If it is a tough time, dig deep; go down memory lane, remember how you felt and why. Then write it down. Maybe even take a moment and connect with your hubby over it. From what I’ve heard, men thrive on admiration and compliments. :)

I hope you’ll take a few minutes and write a few reasons you love him. It can only help. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Are Romance Novels Hurting Your Marriage

Romance Novels ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was thinking about romance novels the other day. I used to read them years ago. There are many levels of them and some are actually okay to read BUT they can interfere in your marriage.

If you are struggling in your marriage, wishing your husband were more like characters in a book, you are not doing your marriage any favors! Those characters are fictitious which means they are not real. They are going to do things that the author wanted. They are not necessarily based on anyone in real life. If you are wishing your husband would do some of these things, your expectations are unrealistic.

Now if he did some things before you were married and stopped afterwards, you might casually mention that you miss it. You might be pleasantly surprised with his reaction. Of course, I did say casually. Don’t argue with him about it. It could be mentioned as a “remember when . . . I sure do miss that.”

But if your hubby has never been much of a romantic, I recommend you pray and ask God to help you. Stop reading those things because they are fueling your dissatisfaction. Then you might talk to your husband. Share with him things you like and wish he would do and then ask if there are things he likes and wishes you would do; it’s only fair. ;)

There is nothing wrong with reading clean romance novels (not erotica) if it doesn’t make you dissatisfied with your marriage or think poorly of your hubby. But if it does, consider how you would like to compete with some unknown person, real or imaginary? Because that is just what you are doing to your hubby, making him compete with a fictitious character and that is not right. So if this is happening I admonish you to stop reading now. Pray and ask God to help you become satisfied with your relationship. Pray for your husband, yourself, and your marriage.

Until next time, God bless,