Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

It’s Really About Choice

It's Really About Choice ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have a tendency to get defensive when Michael makes certain comments or does certain things. The problem is that I don’t always see it coming or even know why it comes but it comes. He doesn’t mean to offend me and yet I fight getting offended.

Oh, I hope I’m making sense to you. I’ll try to give you an example. I’ve started a new habit last month because I am notorious for leaving a dishcloth out too long. The new habit is that every night when I run the dishwasher before going to bed, I put out a clean cloth and put the used one into the laundry.  I’ve done very well with this new habit and am pleased with myself for accomplishing this new habit. So, a week or so ago, Michael picked up a barely used dishcloth and put it in the laundry made a comment about wondering how long we’d been using that same dishcloth.

I reacted poorly. I hadn’t told him of my new habit but had expected that he would notice by the end of the month. So for some reason, I got upset. I guess I felt attacked even though I was not attacked.

So the question is why do I react that way? Why do I get defensive?

Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to that question. But I recognize the problem and can now do something about it. I guess the first step is to pray and ask God to help me. Then ask for His help again when a situation arises and I’m wanting to ‘defend myself’. Of course this is easier said than done.

It boils down to choice. It is a choice to react badly or without frustration. It’s like I told my children when they were growing up, happiness is a choice; and unfortunately for you, you only have one choice: choose to be happy. So now I just have to tell myself to grow up and make the right choice, which is to believe that my love is not intending to hurt my feelings in any way.

Now I just have to do the hard and mature thing and make the right choice. Choose not to take offense and remain happy.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Doing It For Yourself?

Motivation ~ Lifeofjoy.meIn case you don’t know me in real life, I am overweight and have fought to lose weight nearly all my life. Continuing the fight after getting married, I heard many people say that you have to lose weight for yourself. I decided that they must know what they are talking about.

But all these years later, I have noticed one thing that is quite disturbing to me. I hear of people who lose weight after being married for a number of years. They feel good about themselves and then start having selfish actions where they start wanting to go out and socialize and “party” (whatever that means to the individual), whether or not their spouse wants to go and do likewise.

The very sad thing is that the spouse who was with them through the years of struggle, is now looked over, with the feeling of “I can do better.” Really?!? That person that has been with you through your struggle, and now, since you’ve won the battle, you are too good for him/her?

So this makes me look at this all over again. I’ll use my situation as an example. If I am getting into shape for Michael and my family (so that I am healthier, among other things), how would it affect my attitude once I lose the weight? Then it is a gift given to my husband and family, not something I did just for me. I think this motivation would help to keep someone from thinking they deserve someone better than the person who has put up with them during their struggle.

So I think that it comes down to having a combination of motivators. You cannot do it for yourself alone, you also have to do it for your spouse (and family), as a kind of gift to them. Then don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought. And just in case you weren’t sure, thinking you deserve better, is thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to think.

Bottom line for me: I have to want to change but I have to want to change as a gift to my family, as well as something I get to enjoy.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Intimacy, Especially When You Don’t Feel Like It

Intimacy ~ Lifeofjoy.meToday’s post is written with mothers of young children in mind. I remember how tough it was to have children pulling on you all day. The cooking and the cleaning doesn’t get done by themselves either. When it comes time for bed, all you want to do is crash and get some rest before it starts all over again (or before the little one wakes you for an early morning feeding).

And then it happens . . . that wonderful man you married asks if you’d like to tango. ;) Don’t make the mistake I did and assume that he is just asking to be kind and that it doesn’t matter to him. If your man is anything like mine, he knows that you do a lot all day and does not want to just be another thing on your to-do list. To be quite frank, he wouldn’t ask if you wanted to, if he didn’t want (or maybe even need) to.

Of course it isn’t exclusive of mothers of young ones. Mature ladies can be hit with a very similar situation. You stay up later than he does, because you can’t sleep yet or just aren’t finished with a project or a book or . . . whatever it is you do . . . you finally go in and slip into bed, trying not to awaken him, as he needs his sleep and your eyes are burning tired. Then it happens, he reaches for you. You have a choice to make, brush him off and pretend you’ve already fallen asleep or give your sweetie a little love and attention.

In either case, the best thing to do is to let yourself relish in the love of your spouse. Seriously! Don’t fight it. Show him you love him. It doesn’t have to take an incredible amount of time; a quick dance isn’t a bad thing and then you can get to sleep in short order. But I’m here to tell you, the best thing you can do for your marriage is to show him some lovin’! And let’s face it, it isn’t like you won’t get some enjoyment out of it. ;)

Now, I know there are exceptions but for the most part, you will be doing yourself, your husband, and your marriage a great favor by doing so. You honey will feel important, loved, and respected and you will get some good rest.

It’s something to think about.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


St. Valentine’s Day Planning

Being Wife and Mom ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s hard to start thinking about what I will do for Michael for Valentine’s Day already. I mean, really . . . I just finished the twelve days of Christmas a little over two weeks ago. But plan I must! Because if I don’t begin giving it some thought now, it will be here before I know it and I’ll be caught off-guard, with no plans . . . and that just won’t do.

Of course, if it hadn’t be been for the Christian marriage blogs that I follow, I wouldn’t have even given it a second thought yet. The Generous Wife has a countdown going on her site and on her facebook page, which is very helpful. She had some good ideas and tips the last week. It’s a really good encouragement to me.

At any rate, it’s time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day and what I’m going to do for Michael and the kids. I’ve always liked to do something for the kids that day, so that they feel special and aren’t in a hurry to find a boyfriend/girlfriend. At this point I’ve done it so long, I don’t want to stop it . . . it just wouldn’t be right.

I like to make something red for dinner that day. Of course, I love spaghetti, lasagna, and pizza, so it works for me. Of course being on the keto diet, I will have to change things up a bit. I guess any soup that has tomatoes, tomato paste, or tomato sauce would do as well.

I have written letters to the kids in the past. On year I forgot that I did that and Tiffany was very saddened by the omission. I’ve tried to remember ever since. ;)

I think I’ve mentioned before that Michael prefers homemade cards rather than purchased ones, so I generally make him one. Usually I tangle it.

When I can, I like to buy something little for everyone. Usually it’s just something inexpensive from Dollar Tree or such. I found some unique little things for Sean and Tiffany this year. Now I just have to find something for Michael. At least I’m thinking about it now and it won’t sneak up on me. :)

Well, I’m going to run for now. I hope I’ve encouraged you to think about what you plan to do for your loved ones for the ‘Love’ holiday. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Blessing Through Frustration

Blessing Him ~ Lifeofjoy.meThere are times that you see things you’d like to change in your spouse. Rest assured, you cannot change him! The absolute best thing you can do is to pray. I know! That seems like it is just not enough. It seems like that won’t make any difference but trust me, it will!

Did you know that when you do something nice, out of the ordinary, for someone that it does something to you? Well, it does to me at least. I have this friend that when he is upset with someone, I mean really upset or doesn’t like them at the time, God will have him bless that person by paying for something for them. :D It is similar to praying blessings on the person only taken a step further by you being a blessing to the person.

So, the next time your beloved frustrates you, find something nice to do for him. It could be offer to get him a drink, rub or scratch his back, make his favorite food, or even flirt with him. Then take a moment and pray about that situation. Ask God to change you if you are wrong and change him if he is. Seriously! It could very well be that you are the one that needs more change than he does. I hate to admit that but unfortunately it is true. That is really how I pray it too. “God, he is really frustrating me right now. Change me if I am wrong and change him if he is wrong.”

It is hard to show him respect when you think he is wrong but we don’t really have a choice. The Bible tells us women to reverence/respect our husbands. It tells them to love us. We need love so that is what we try to give them, all to often. But what they need is respect. I’m still learning all this, even after nearly thirty years. Of course, I didn’t know in the beginning what I’ve learned in the last five years or so, which is why I share it here, to help others get it earlier in their marriage. (For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn is a good book to learn about how to respect your hubby.)

I’ll leave you with the reminder to look for ways to bless your man each day. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Be the Best You, You Can Be

You can only change you ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo many times in marriage, we are focused on our spouse and what he or she could or should do differently. But there is nothing you can do about that. You can only change you.

Stop and think about your attitudes and actions of late. Is there room for improvement? Or can you praise God for helping you make some positive changes?

I want to be the best me that I can be. That means that I need some refining. ;) It also means that I need to ask help when I get overwrought.

Long Errand Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meLast Saturday was pizza day. I try to make pizza, in some form, once a week. Since we’re doing keto again, after a break for the holidays, Sean had been looking forward to it and had mentioned that he would like the kind that the crust is made out of tapioca starch. Well, that pizza, when purchased from the store, runs about $12! Yes, you read that right. $12 for a frozen pizza. You might recall that we tasted this back when it was on sale for half price. He was fine with us saving money and attempting to make it from scratch, at home.

When Saturday evening dinner time rolled around, something happened to me. Even now, I am unsure what happened but it appears that I became overwhelmed and emotionally compromised. You see, that pizza when made from scratch, still has more carbs than I should eat in one item, so I needed to make a different crust for myself. The trouble is that meant TWO new recipes at a time when I was already beginning to feel hungry.

I finally realized what was happening to me and told my family how I was feeling and my children offered to help. They made the one crust and I made the other. Neither was too difficult but doing both alone would have been more than I could handle that day.

Theanine ~ Lifeofjoy.meSOOOOOO . . . all that to say, it is important to make your needs made known . . . ask for what you need. And sometimes that means taking a moment to assess what it is that you are feeling, why you are feeling it, and what you need to fix the situation. I also took some sepia and l-theanine to help stabilize my mood. Before dinner was ready, I was okay again.

Sometimes there are thoughts that are causing us trouble. In church yesterday, our preacher said that it is our job to take every thought captive, based on 2 Cor. 10:5. So, if there is a thought that is causing you to be out of sorts, take it captive-don’t let it keep running around freely in your brain, causing you trouble-and think about something else. Yes, on purpose, find something else to think about. If you are having a hard time, sing some song. Any song, a silly song will do. Just put your mind on something else. That is taking the thought captive.

I hope you are encouraged to fine tune your attitude and be the best you, you can be.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Marriage Challenge

New Year 2017 ~ Lifeofjoy.meTo You All!!!

You are the reason I write here! I hope the site blesses you.

Love them ~ I was talking to Lauren (my daughter-in-love) Saturday night, which was New Year’s Eve. She has started a blog where she does book reviews and we were talking about how we both needed to get our posts done. I, of course, mentioned that I didn’t know what to write about and she said she had to finish the book she was reading, in order to write her review.

She came up with a few ideas for me to consider for Monday posts. Thanks Sweetie! Later that evening in between games, Lauren told me she’d just been told about a 30-Day Marriage Challenge. Of course, she sent me the information to look into it later.

Well, here’s the scoop, has a simple idea for strengthening marriage. Do one simple little thing every day for your spouse. The suggestions range from asking him what you can do to help him to hug him three times today to remember  being a wife is a blessing to praying for wisdom. The suggestions really do vary and they are available in a cute printable.

Marriage Challenge ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe idea is to do whatever is suggested on the number square that corresponds with the date. It is only thirty days long, so I guess on any month that has a 31st day, you can be creative or pray and ask God to help you bless your love in a special way that day. ;)

If there happen to be any guys reading today, has a similar printable with suggestions for you too. :) Women like words, so some days it gives you some simple ideas of things you can say to your wife that will bless or encourage her.

Ladies, don’t forget that TheGenerousWife gives a marriage centered daily prayer prompt, as well as marriage encouragement and  links to encouraging articles around the web. For the gents, there is TheGenerousHusband too. ;)

I hope you’ll accept the challenge to enhance your marriage, one day at a time with me.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Unintentional New Year’s Resolutions/Goals

A little while ago, a friend on facebook posted this picture.

Marriage Tips ~ Lifeofjoy.meI don’t know if it really was taken from a Home Economics book from 1950 but it has some good points.

  • Planning ahead for meals is a good idea that I practice myself. When the kids were young, I tried to have dinner ready shortly after Michael arrived home. We changed things up a bit when the boys went to the tech school and got home after Michael did. We currently wait to eat dinner until Sean gets home from work, as he still gets home after Michael does.

I have recently realized though, that I need to have some kind of snack ready for Michael when he gets home, as he is hungry then. I’ve suggested different snacks but will probably begin to prepare him a little snack plate or appetizer of some sort this year-at least that’s my goal. ;)

  • I know I should freshen up a bit before he comes home each day. It really is a goal of mine and something I advise new wives to do. Unfortunately I find it much easier to suggest than I do to follow through with myself. Thus, another goal for myself. :)
  • Tidy up. This one I do most days. I try to run the Shark (small, easy-to-use vacuum cleaner) in the living room and on the kitchen mats each day. It is amazing how much doing this one little task makes the place look so much tidier. Tidying up the coffee table also helps a great deal.

When the kids were young, I had the children tidy up their schoolwork and toys when I knew he was on his way home. It made for a happier husband.

  • Minimizing the noise has also been an important key in our home. Michael have sensitive ears and having loud music, television, or games frustrates him a lot. I on the other hand do not have as acute hearing and tend to like my music and such loud. I try to remember to turn it down a bit but if I am not in the room when he arrives, I can tell he is here because the first thing he does is turn the volume down. :D

I don’t typically run the dishwasher during the daytime, as I do it before bed, so that isn’t a normal daytime noise for our house. I try to get my load of laundry done earlier in the day, so that is also not a noise we have in the evenings, thankfully.

I think the “article” has some merit and is not out-dated, at least for me. If the wife works outside of the home, it would not have nearly as much usefulness but since I believe the woman’s place is at home with the children, I think there is much to be gleaned from the tips shared.

I hope this is food for thought for you. I had no idea that I’d be sharing some “New Year’s Resolutions” per se, with you today, as I had no intention of really making any but I guess God had other plans. I hope you will prayerfully consider what God would have you focus on this year, in regards to thoughtfulness towards your spouse.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Special Things for your Beloved this Season

Special Things for your Beloved this Season ~Lifeofjoy.meSo, what did you choose to do special for your beloved? I chose to do a countdown to Christmas this year. I kind of stumbled into it. I was kind of meaning to do something intimate for a twelve days of Christmas but when I was out running errands last week, I picked up three things as extras for him. It wasn’t until I got home and looked at what I’d gotten that I realized I had changed my mind. :D

I found an awesome deal on a king size set of flannel sheets at Aldi. It was UNDER $12. For King Size! Now I never considered flannel sheets before because I’m so warm-natured and  thought they’d just make me sweat but Michael usually gets into the bed before me and he is not warm-natured. So I thought that since it was such a good deal, I’d get them for him, especially since it is so cold right now. Besides, they are a very pretty snowflake pattern. :) I put them on the bed Saturday when he was out of the house. I was so surprised that I really liked them; I think I liked them better than he did. They weren’t nearly as warm as I thought they would be. :D

Special Things for your Beloved this Season ~ Lifeofjoy.meI made him some potato salad the other day. Tiffany and I went to a party and so I left him some to eat with his dinner. I don’t make it often and especially not of late with me eating keto. I plan to make another goodie he likes but doesn’t get very often, for another day’s treat. I’ll round it out with some intimate gifts and treats as well, taking time to make sure he feels special during this special season.

Special Things for your Beloved this Season ~ Lifeofjoy.meRemember, if you are too busy in preparation for Christmas, you can pamper your love by celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas, starting on Christmas day and going to Epiphany, January 6th.

One thing I have to remember is to be sure I respect him throughout the holidays. It is so easy to get busy and end up saying disrespectful things to him in my haste. When something doesn’t go exactly right, I have a tendency to be a bit snippy at him which is not respectful either. I had to apologize for that just yesterday. But at least I caught it quickly and got it right.

I encourage you to plan something special for your man, keep a check on your attitude, and be quick to make your wrongs right. ;)

Until next time, God bless and have a Merry Christmas,

Michele ºÜº



It’s hard to keep your priorities straight during the holidays. There are so many things to pull you in different directions. It is important to keep the lines of communication open, not only with your spouse but also in prayer with God.

By keeping your time with God a priority, it helps you keep the rest of your priorities and commitments in line. After all, He is the reason for the season. For me it starts with being thankful to Him for all His blessings on Thanksgiving and just continues on through to the New Year. We don’t stop there though; we spend the next several weeks seeking His direction for how we should proceed through the year.

In all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, don’t forget that Jesus is the cornerstone of our lives. Don’t squeeze all those extra things in by squeezing out of your time with Him.

Commitment ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou may be wondering what all this has to do with marriage, after all, this is the day that I talk about things concerning marriage here on the blog. Well, it is simple; keeping God at the focal point of your life, keeps your attitude and priorities right, which will aid in keeping your attitudes and priorities concerning marriage and family right. As you spend time with God, lift up your spouse and family to Him and ask Him how you can show His love to them each day. (This is something new I am incorporating into my devotional time in the mornings but just makes so much sense that I wonder why I haven’t done it before.) Consider asking Him to help you be even more loving, that is showing/expressing your love to your dear ones. By keeping our commitment with our Father in heaven strong, our commitment to those around us is strengthened and we walk in more peace.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº