Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

Attitude Check

Unmet Expectations ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, Valentine’s Day has come and gone. How were your expectations? Was the reality different? Did it leave you happy, sad, or somewhere in between?

If your hubby did not meet up to your expectations, did you communicate those expectations to him?

On Monday when I was in the bathroom at the sink and hubby came in for something, I ever so subtly said, “I cannot believe Valentine’s Day is this Thursday.” =)) Yeah, real subtle. But Michael has asked me before to remind him about things like this. He said, “Oh yeah!” and we both had a giggle. (Even writing this I’m smiling once again over it.)

Then on Wednesday, as I was again at the sink in the bathroom and he came in, I said something like, Wow, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. To which he replied something like, Oh Yeah! and then muttered something about needing to go by the store. :D

Smiles ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen later that evening as Tiffany and I were in the kitchen working on some Vday sweets, he was like, ummm, your gift is in two parts. I could tell he was feeling a bit bad about it but at this point in our marriage, I have learned that my hubby loves me and as long as he makes some kind of effort, I’m good (low expectations). So I laughed and said, So, you got me a card but nothing else yet huh? He laughed (as did I) and he said yeah. And honestly, I’m okay with it.

It did make me think though about how much I’ve grown over the years. In years past, I would have probably gotten bent out of shape because even after reminding him twice the week of the special day, he still forgot to have it ready. I probably would have cried or pouted or thought bad/sad thoughts but today, I’m secure knowing he loves me – no, he really really loves me and he does not take me for granted. Valentine’s Day is just one day a year and even when you add in the other special days of the year, it still pales in number to the other days . . . you can make any day be a special day.

So, I admonish you today, if your expectations of Valentine’s Day left you feeling sad or worse, reflect on why and then talk to your love about your feelings. Don’t attack him by saying something like, You hurt me . . . better to say something like, I really feel loved and cherished when . . . or, I know you love me but on special days like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, our anniversary . . . I really feel loved when . . .

And then ask him what he likes. Michael and I did this years ago concerning cards. He used to make me cards and I’d spend a very long time selecting the right card for him from a store. As it turns out, he prefers the homemade cards and I prefer the store bought ones. So he now buys mine and I now make his, all because we had a nice calm conversation about it.

Oh and one really important thing . . . remember to pray about it too. It is important to ask God to help you with your expectations and to help you express your desires without frustration.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

That “Lovin’ Feelin'”

That Lovin' Feelin' ~ Lifeofjoy.meI listened to a webinar, at least that is what the author called it. I call it a pre-recorded presentation. But I’m always looking for ways to better myself and our marriage; I can be such a mess at times. A link came up for a marriage webinar on facebook the other day and since it was to begin in a few minutes, I decided to click over to it and see what it was about.

First off, her voice was a bit breathless and annoying to me. I don’t know exactly what it was that made me annoyed by her being so chill and breathlessly quite, but I was. There was a chatroom but nobody chatting, even when I asked, after about 30 minutes, how long the presentation was going to be.

Having said that though, she did say a few things that struck me and I will definitely continue to ponder and pray about. One was to stop “dropping” your love. Hmmmm, this thought intrigued me a bit. I’ve pondered a bit about how one “drops” your love. I’m reminded of something that has happened several times in the last several months (about four months or so) and I have mentioned here before . . . a Christian song came on the stereo and all of a sudden I was overcome with deep feelings of love for my hubby. If that feeling can be aroused merely by a song being played, then it seems that I should be able to protect that feeling and hold on to it. Don’t get me wrong, I did manage to hold on to it for a while, as is evident by writing the blog post, but it eventually gets covered by other stuff/feelings.

At any rate, it is something to consider. If you have an idea of how to protect that “lovin’ feelin’,” I’d love to hear it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Connect Daily

Dinner Together ~ Lifeofjoy.meThere was a good post with ten budget-friendly date night ideas over on To Love, Honor, and Vacuum recently, suggesting things like go out for dessert or coffee and other such things that I won’t spoil here (go over there and read it and I get nothing for suggesting it).

Those ideas seem good if you are either an extrovert or live in town. I, on the other hand, live way out in the country and am in introvert and although Michael is an extrovert, after driving into town for work, he does not want to go back out once he gets home. We are both content to just be at home. :) It truly is how we spent the majority of our dating life as well: just hanging out together at someone’s house be it his sister’s, my parents’, the place he lived with others, or even others’ homes. So it is no wonder that our married life has looked so similar.

However, it is important to connect each day! Talk to each other. Eat together. Take a walk together. Share experiences together. Marriage is about living life together not living your separate lives but in the same house with benefits. ;)

I have come to realize that we are not normal in our home. We eat the vast majority of our dinners together, at the kitchen table (we do not have a dining room). We don’t usually have anything on the television either, unless it is just music or for noise. (Michael hates to hear people chewing their food. :D ) We talk at dinner. We fellowship together. Then the rest of the evening, on many occasions, we will put on some videos (tv show–Stargate is a frequent one) we own. We are each doing our own thing but all still kind of paying attention to the show; we interact with each other but are all still doing our own thing but we are doing it together in one room. Yeah, it’s been challenging at times, as they people that the guys play with online can hear it too, but enjoyable all the same.

I guess what I’m saying is that date night is a great idea but I think the point of date night is to interact with each other. So, although Michael and I don’t really have many date nights, we interact with each other on a daily basis, outside of the to-do lists and frustrations of the day. One thing I’m hoping to do when it warms up a bit, next month probably, is get him to go on a short walk with me in the afternoon/evenings. I need the exercise, so he’ll probably agree to it, to encourage that. :)

Well, I hope you will consider how you are living life with your spouse. Don’t just put it off for one night a week. Engage with each other, each day. And as special days approach, add an extra little touch to make it a bit more special. Marriage takes work to have what you thought it was going to be.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Time to Start Planning for Valentine’s Day

Time to plan for Valentine's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is hard to believe that January is nearly over. As January departs and February arrives, it’s time to start thinking about how to celebrate with my love for Valentine’s Day.

This year I’m thinking about giving Michael (hope he doesn’t read this ;)) a card and letting him know that he will be receiving some different things from me for the duration of one week. I plan to include homemade sweets he likes, a favorite dinner, massage, and some intimate things too. :)

Did you do a special countdown for your sweetie for Christmas? I did but it was very laid back and it took him a few days before he even realized I’d done it. ;) Maybe Christmas is way to busy for you to do something like that for him then. Well, Valentine’s Day is a great time to give it a go. You don’t have to be limited to the Valentine ideas online, look for some of those from Christmas too. ;) Here’s a post I did that has some links to look into for some ideas.

Whatever you do, let him know you’d choose him all over again, in a way that is meaningful to him.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Use Your Discretion and PRAY

Love and Respect ~ Lifeofjoy.me

So many times we take what others say or recommend without praying about it. It is so easy to forget to pray about everything in our lives. God desires an active relationship with us on a daily basis but I have a tendency to forget to seek Him in all things.

Many times I take advice and forget that although it is convincing and my sound good, it may not be right for me and my family. I’ve learned to deal with this when we home educated our children but what I didn’t realize is that not all Christian marriage books or advice is sound, no matter who recommends it.

You are probably wondering what has brought this post about. Well, this week Sheila Gregoire of To Love, Honor, and Vacuum shared a series of posts about the book, Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, which has long been used for marriage seminars and such in churches. I have seen the book and may even have a copy of it around here somewhere, but do not recall having ever read the book. However I have read a book of Sheila’s and followed an entire month series of posts several years ago, and recommend them to others.

One thing I have learned by reading her posts this week is that it is important to pray over everything, every decision, every situation, and even every action. There were many woman who read this week’s posts and shared how the same book had harmed them and their marriages, which I take as a warning to pray over everything.

Very succinctly, here is my take away from the book review:

Eggerichs wrote the book to and for women to tell them how to get the love they want by giving their man the respect and sex he needs. Yeah, that’s it. It appears that he doesn’t believe that women want or even need sex! Ugh!

Seriously, if you’ve read this book or have someone suggesting it or worse, your church is using it for a marriage seminar, do yourself a favor and go read the posts from last week. And since they are not short, I’ll close and give you time to go check them out.

Until next time, blessings,

Michele ºÜº

We Each Need Different Things

We have different needs ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I received this email from Marriage Today that I thought was very good. I felt it really communicated what women need in marriage. The Bible tells men to love their wives because that is what we need. It tells us wives to respect/honor our husbands because that is what they need.

I recently read this post on Shaunti Feldhahn’s site about telling your husband thank you. Of course it isn’t just a flippant thank you but a specific one like, thank you for taking the trash out. Of course, her examples were much better than mine, so go read her article.

I’ll leave this post with that since there are two articles to read. If the first one rings true for you, maybe share it with your hubby. And then take the second one to heart and look for ways to tell your hubby you appreciate what he does for you and the family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Your Power in Marriage

Power in Marriage ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I just love The Generous Wife website! Lori encourages me so much and shares some really great articles. Her daily post is succinct so it is not a huge time commitment and thus is one little thing you can do to better yourself in your marriage.

Well, not only does she have her website, her husband has a site (The Generous Husband), and they have a marriage site as well; such a blessing to Christian marriages!

Last week I read an article they had on another of their sites, The XY Code. This one was written by Paul, Lori’s husband, and really made me think.

Your choices and actions affect your husband even if you don’t see it at first. As much as is possible, be the wife you would be if your marriage were as you want it. And as much as possible, treat him as if he were the husband you wish he were.

Even now, days later, I’m still thinking about this. How would I act differently (better), if my marriage were different (better)? So much of the time it is easy to just focus on the things that frustrate me and I wish he wouldn’t do them (few as they are), but how would that change me? I know I wouldn’t be as frustrated at times but the real question is, do I treat him differently than I should? Would I treat him differently or act differently myself if he were to never act in certain ways?

I’ve learned over the last decade or so that I cannot change him . . . I can only change myself. So when he gets frustrated or shall I say, frustrates me, I have learned to take some L-Theanine (an amino acid that helps regulate mood among other things) or some St. John’s Wort, which I actually take on a daily basis.

At any rate, I’m pondering this thought of how I treat Michael and how it can affect him. I hope these thoughts are helpful to you and that they will be food for thought.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Every Little Thing

Little Things ~ Lifeofjoy.me

It is New Year’s Eve. I don’t know what your plans are but I plan to be at my parents’ home playing games and ringing in the new year together and then home and in bed before one in the morning.

I’ve spent some time this month thinking about how I want to change in the new year and what steps I will take to accomplish these changes.

As I’ve written before, it’s important for me to be intentional in my marriage, otherwise I just float along and before long things aren’t running as smoothly as they once were. So I have to make a point to do things for Michael, even if it is just to make him a special snack he likes or leave him a note. Every little thing builds our relationship, just as every negative words tears it down.

So on this, the last day of 2018, I hope you will give some thought to how you will build your marriage in 2019. I’ll share some websites I like that are a marriage encouragement to me in the month ahead. :) (No promises that it will be next week. ;) )

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Christmas Eve Thoughtfulness

Yukon wreath and Us ~ Lifeofjoy.me

It is so easy to get caught up in all the things that need to be done yet and hubby can feel he is an after thought.

Take a moment to look into your hubby’s eyes and tell him you love, appreciate, and respect him for all he does for you.

In our house, we wake up on Christmas Eve morning and pretend it is Christmas day. We’ve done this for about 24 years now. :) Brian, Lauren, and Liam even spend the night so they are here first thing in the morning. We started doing this because we’d gotten the boys some gifts that were just too large to take to my parents’ home for them to open and we’ve continued because I liked letting them have the whole day to play with their new toys rather than having to wait some more. And now, it is just what we do.

So as so many are getting ready for Christmas tomorrow, wrapping those last gifts, we are spending a joyous Christmas part one and looking forward to Christmas part two tomorrow at my sister and her family’s place with them and my parents. We’re so thankful Daddy has recovered so well from his open heart surgery.

Merry Christmas Eve ~ Lifeofjoy.me

But I too, am making sure my hubby knows, he’s the most important person in my life. It’s been fun to surprise him with different things throughout the month be it some of his favorite homemade candy, a new ice scraper/snow brush, floss, or something intimate. :) It’s been a great holiday season so far. (And yes, I said holiday because it is the holidays starting the week before Thanksgiving and goes through Epiphany on January 6th.) I intend to continue onward and keep enjoying this beautiful season with my family. I hope you are making wonderful memories with your hubby and the rest of your family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Making it Special

Input ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Christmas is next week! I’m so excited! I love the holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve and Day. These are fun family times for me. We play games at this time of year that we forget to play the entire rest of the year. We don’t eat any other meals, with the exception of pizza on Super Bowl Sunday sometimes, with my family (parents and any other family members that can be here, kids, siblings, and such) any other time either.

I’ve learned that I want to bless my hubby and attempt to make the holidays as fun for him as it is for me. So, I like to ask him about what kinds of things he’d like to have to eat, both to nibble on and to have for meals.

We eat lunch with my youngest sister and her family on Christmas Eve. In years past, we would get pizza or chicken or fish from a local restaurant to make our lives easy. But since they moved to the country too last year, we aren’t exactly close to very many eating establishments. (And with our family on the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle of eating, there are fewer options, although we can find something to eat at most places.)

Last year we just did burgers and “fries“. This is a favorite meal of my hubby so I think that this year I will go all out and make him the buns and sides he likes to go with it as well. If we decide to have something different at my sister’s place then we will have this meal for dinner later that evening.

I asked hubby and kids what they’d like for the special meals coming up and will try to accommodate them, doing as much ahead of time as possible to make the days still enjoyable and not just a workfest for me as well. ;)

I’m also blessing my hubby with some treats that I know he likes but doesn’t get very often.

I encourage you to get your family’s input (especially your hubby’s) on what meals they’d like this holiday season. You may be surprised and get off with a lot less work than you would have put on yourself. ;) Be open to new traditions and even just try something just this once.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº