Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

Advice for New Parents

Advice ~ Lifeofjoy.meI had the blessed opportunity to attend the baby shower for a first time mommy that I have known since she was just a teen. She is dear to my heart. Her sister hostessed it and did a great job. One of the things she did was provide note cards for everyone to write advice or whatever to her. This was such a good idea because it is written in a good format that is easily passed on to the mommy without any extra work or fear of loosing a slip of paper.

I thought I’d share my advice here with you today. Yes, I do know this is Marriage Monday and I’m talking about a baby shower which would seem to fall into Thoughtful Thursday’s topic of raising children and educating them. But there is some overlap and I think you’ll see that this post fits here nicely. :)


I know this one is obvious but so many times it is the one thing I overlook when dealing with a new situation. When I’m reminded to pray about it I ‘smack my head’ because it is just so simple and fundamental. But seriously prayer, even about the little things like how should I feed him, where should he sleep, how much should he sleep, when should I feed him, when do you start giving him water, when should you discipline him, when should you teach him to put away toys . . . these are all little things that if you ask God how to deal with them and ask God to help you, your spouse, and your little one with the situation, you will get guidance from Him. That guidance may be in the form of a blog post that comes just at the right moment, a comment from a friend, advice from a mentor, a book, video, or some other unique way, after all, He is God. :)


Yep, that is a nasty word. I was talking to a gal at church yesterday and realized that I think God puts the desire to have children within us when we are younger to help work out our own character, as we train these new beings in our care. Children have a way of trying you over and over again and when you weaken once, that encourages them to keep trying in the future because hey, they let me get away with it before.

It doesn’t matter how tired you are, you need to be consistent. Even when you are a stay-at-home mommy and feel like you are always the bad guy, you still have to stay consistent. It is for your child’s benefit that you are disciplined to discipline him.


It is imperative to have your priorities straight! Remember God should be first and foremost in your life. I know it is tempting to cut back on your time with God when your sleep is disrupted but I admonish you not to do that. You can use time that you are nursing or feeding your little one to worship God or you can listen to an audio of the Bible, if you can concentrate on it. Your little one will benefit from being washed with the Word of God or being in His presence as you worship Him. Remember to spend time in prayer and if you are able, speak in tongues as this is praying the perfect will of God in your life.

Second is your marriage! Yep, even though that little being is reliant upon you, he would not even be there if it weren’t for the love you share with your hubby. I know you are tired but take time each day to really connect with your man. Make sure he knows that he has not been replaced. ;) Still give him attention and make your time together a priority. Don’t just give him the dregs of your day. Know that if he is asking if you want to be intimate, he is probably really asking if you will take time to be intimate with him. SAY YES!

Don’t forget to do something for yourself. Maybe it is a bath or taking 15-30 minutes to have a cup of tea and read a book or do some art, color, or even put on some music and dance. But remember to continue developing your hobbies or even start a new one, little bit by little bit.

Seek Godly Counsel

Finally, don’t be too prideful to ask a grandparent (or great grand parent or someone else) for advice when you are in a new situation. It is okay to seek advice from other mommies you know but how about asking an older person that has already been through the child-rearing years and produced some good kids. It will bless them that you thought enough of them to ask their advice. Of course, you don’t have to follow the advice, pray about what they said and follow God’s leading. If He led you to them in the first place, then odds are it is what you need but . . . ultimately it’s your decision to make.

These are my best pieces of advice. I hope they are an encouragement to you. If you have a question for me, I’d be happy to answer via blog post or private email; just leave a comment.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Talking with Your Spouse

Talk ~ Lifeofjoy.meSome time ago, I read this post on the XYCode about why men won’t talk to their wives. I found the article interesting. He points out that one of the main reasons men don’t want to talk is because their wives won’t talk about the subject they want to talk about. That is telling enough but reading the comments was even more enlightening.

So firstly women don’t want to talk about sex and then secondly, when they do talk whatever subject the wife wants to she generally makes him feel that he is wrong and or shreds him for his opinion.

I am sad to admit that I have fallen into both of these situations. I was so convinced that my way was right that I said and did whatever was necessary to convince him. Unfortunately this did not go well for me or my marriage. I wish I would have known to do things differently. It would have been much better on my marriage had I learned to talk respectfully with Michael. There is a respectful way to for each partner to talk about what is on their mind.

I think that women should always be available to discuss sex with her husband. Furthermore, I have learned that I should always be available to him, intimately. It is okay for me to have an occasional request to abstain but it should be way less frequent than otherwise.

I recommend jumping over and reading the short post and the few comments there as well, as the men’s comments were enlightening even though troubling.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Honoring God with Our Finances

Budget ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was talking to a single millennial last week. I and another married young lady were talking about budgets and such. I mentioned that finances are one of the biggest topics of frustration in a marriage. The single gal said she wasn’t sure she was ready to get married after all. We all chuckled.

But then I had a God moment and realized that it isn’t only married couples that should live on a budget but that everyone’s finances are a topic to be prayed over. I suggested to this gal that she begin talking to God about a budget, create it, and stick with it. Just like in marriage, if something comes up, she should pray about the new expense and only then decide which budget category to spend it from. If the item is just a want, He may tell you no, not now.

As I see it, everyone’s money should belong to God and we should all be praying about how to spend it. Even with the allowance I receive, I am always asking God how to spend it. That is being a faithful steward of the things God has given you. He is the one that enables us to get money; we need to honor him with our finances.

I have talked to other single millennials and have found that they just spend their money however they desire. They, many times, are frivolous with their money and just spend it however the wind blows, as they have nobody to answer to. But in reality, they too have to answer to God in their spending or at least they should.

But like I already said, I ask God how to spend my discretionary funds. Sometimes He will have me give some in the offering, sometimes he’ll have me give some to a new mommy, sometimes he will have me purchase new art supplies or even a book to loan to people. I don’t ever assume that just because I have enough funds to purchase something I want that it is okay for me to do so. I must pray over the purchase to see if it is something that is okay for me to purchase. This doesn’t usually take long to know the answer. If you have a relationship with God, you are already in communication with Him and probably already know the answer when you are confronted with the situation.

I hope this will encourage you to prayerfully consider how you spend your discretionary funds and be an encouragement to you.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

The Vital Marriage Prayer

Different ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was recently reminded of something that I do that may not be commonplace, even among Christians and thought I’d share it with you today.

Michael and I are pretty much opposites! Not all that surprising, I know, as many people marry their opposite. Although, to this day, I wonder why but that is not the topic for today. Being opposites though means that we frequently have different opinions or viewpoints on any given subject. This has been problematic in our marriage as he can feel that I don’t ever agree with him. I am not a “yes man” and never will be; if I have an opinion about something and it differs with the one stated, I will NOT agree with someone just to be nice or for peace because I feel that would be a lie. I don’t always voice my opinion though because I don’t always feel that it is beneficial to share it.

For quite a few years now, if Michael does something that I don’t agree with, sometimes I will mention it to him but if it causes frustration I will agree to disagree for the moment. Then what I do is I go and pray. Praying isn’t that big of a deal but it is what I pray that seems to be a bit uncommon.

I cry out to God, quietly, as I don’t want Michael to overhear me. In that prayer I tell God how frustrated I am with the situation and ask God to deal with him. But then the very important part is that I pray, “God if he is wrong (and I think he is, I’m just sayin’ ) then change him and if I’m wrong, then change me.”

You see, it is vital to pray that last part because if you want your hubby to be open to God changing him then you also need to be open to God changing you. I have found that I have to remain teachable, never thinking I know it all or that I’m always right. God is the only one that is always right. So I want to be able to be corrected and changed by God, because I certainly do not want to be wrong thinking I’m right.

By always praying that God change him, if he’s wrong and me, if I am wrong, it gives God something to work with. Recently Michael and I had one of these situations arise. We were both emotional with how we felt and both felt very strongly about our opinion. I prayed that prayer and within a couple of hours, I could feel myself changing. I was no longer frustrated by his opinion and could actually see where he was coming from.

This prayer has worked on many occasions. Many times, I can see where God has worked on his attitude/opinion. It is a prayer that works. Now I will admit that it works easiest when both parties have submitted their wills to God and seek Him with their whole heart but it can still work in other circumstances.

I hope you will give this prayer a try. I know it has been very helpful in my marriage.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Two Series (Links)

Links ~ Lifeofjoy.meI just want to share a couple of links, real quickly, with you today. The first is 93 suggestions of things to do with your spouse to encourage togetherness and joy. Now I have not been through this completely yet, but it has some good ideas and focuses on just one little thing to do to promote closeness.

They realize that every idea is not going to be to every person’s liking and have provided several pdfs upfront so you can have an alternative if you prefer. But check out 93 to Joy.

This second one is the Respect Dare. This one is at a slower pace than the first but goes a bit more in depth. The posts are only up once a week. I subscribed so that I get them all in my email and when I get a chance, can read them. It takes you on a journey really thinking about your attitudes and motivations, as you develop character in yourself.

She has seven posts so far in this series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. I have not read through them all but I will say they are challenging and should not be taken swiftly. ;)

I believe that we should always be growing, bettering ourselves. It is difficult it grow if we don’t challenge ourselves or take a step back and assess where we are, taking responsibility for our own part and not shifting blame to anyone else.

It is okay to have reasons why things are the way they are and what caused them but the goal should be to grow and make things better. :)

I hope these two resources bless you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Stay Calm

Maturing ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis past week I had two situations with which I could judge myself and my current character development. You do know that you don’t stop growing and changing just because you are no longer a child, right? Any way, Michael had some situation happen and he was agitated. In the past, I have quickly become agitated in response. This day, however, I managed to not let his state affect me. I remained calm and helped ease the situation without judging him or adding to his frustration.

I was all proud of myself and really thinking I’d done some good maturing of late. Then yesterday happened. Yep. I am sorry to admit that I did not remain calm when he was agitated; I spit back. :( Then, as if that wasn’t telling enough, not more than an hour later, I blew up again. It doesn’t matter what the reason was, it was not a mature thing to do. I yelled. :( I acted very poorly. And then I repented and asked forgiveness.

Now comparing these two situations that happened just a few days apart, the first was handled so well and the second I was out of control. I felt so good in the first situation, but in the latter I just was mad and offended and out of control. It doesn’t matter who did what in any of these situations, what matters is what I did and I have discovered that I still have some growing to do.

It takes a lot to respond in calm kindness in a hard situations but so worth the effort. I’m going to continue grow and be all I can be.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Don’t Be Easily Offended

Don't Be Offended ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think one of my love languages must be food. I like to cook for those I love. And I love to eat with them too. ;)

There have been a couple occasions of late where Michael has asked me to make him one of the healing shakes for dinner instead of whatever it was that I had made or intended to make. I have to admit that at first I had to fight off being offended. It’s actually quite ridiculous that I could even get offended at the simple request but I’m just being real here.

He had been out in the heat and needed the cool refreshment from a shake but also knew the ingredients would help sooth his stomach issues.  Of course, I made him the shake but in times past, I can see that I might have made some unkind remark about having worked hard on dinner and why he couldn’t just eat that. That would have been sooo childish and immature.

Love is about doing for others and helping them in whatever ways you can. When a reasonable request is made, I’ve learned that it is best to do what I can with a cheerful attitude.

Now I will point out that he is not one to do this kind of thing frequently. If your spouse is one prone to separate himself and want special things all the time, then you need to pray about how to handle your individual situation.

Then I had another situation where I had worked hard on something for him. He is usually a very observant person. He did not notice the thing I’d done. I simply joked with him about his lack of observation, rather than get upset that he didn’t notice.

In the past, I would have been a bit upset that after spending several hours working on the surprise, he didn’t even notice. But instead of getting offended, I just kidded him and his superb observation skills. We all had a good laugh, which is much better than getting emotional about it.

In the end, getting offended does nothing for anyone and only makes you upset. The best thing is to choose to find a way to deal with the situation and broach the subject with your honey when you are not emotional and upset. Getting offended is not helpful to anyone.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Father’s Day

I am blessed with two wonderful men in my life. First my dad, who worked hard and followed hard after God. He moved halfway across the country following God’s leading in his life and doing all he knew to do to become and do all God has for him to accomplish in this life.

Mother's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe taught me the importance of a relationship with God, putting Him first in my life. He also taught me the value of hard work, that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right, and to do all you need to do to provide for your family.

Love Dad's Day ~

I’m so blessed to have him as my daddy! Thank you for believing in me and do all that was in your power to help me succeed. I love you bunches!

The other man is the love of my life! He picked up the baton from my father and has continually shown me, by his example, to follow him as he follows Christ.

Dad's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love this picture of him with Liam because it is just who he is. He gets down on the floor and plays with him, without any nudging or suggestions from me. We made a decision, early in our marriage, that he would be very present in our children’s lives and would deal with any financial limitations that incurred.

Michael helping with my flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love that he knows how to be silly but isn’t afraid of hard work. This one was taken just before Mother’s Day and he was helping me with the smaller flower garden by removing all the weeds I’d tossed. (I love that smile . . . oh and gotta love the hat that allows his head to still breathe. :D )Miahael and Tiffany ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd I really love that I can count on him to do something totally ridiculous to get me to laugh when I might be feeling a bit down (which thankfully, is not very often).My love ~

You might wonder what all of this has to do with marriage. A man is the head of the wife and should be a good spiritual leader in that he has his own personal relationship with God and encourages her to do the same. He is the father of their children and should be present in their lives, and by extension, the lives of his grandchildren.

But more than all of that, he and his wife go through life together and are there for one another through good times and bad. It is very helpful if they can learn how to encourage one another.

My Wonderful Husband and I

I Love You ~ Lifeofjoy.meFinally, I just want to take a moment today and  let him know how much I love and respect him for all he does for our family!

I hope that you told your sweetie how much he means to you yesterday. If not, it’s never too late.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



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Build on Your Foundation

Be Better ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is good when you and your spouse can share hobbies, activities, or experiences together. Too many times, as the years go by, marriage partners can drift apart. It takes effort to continue to age together.

Last year when I did the ninety day Bible reading challenge, I was the only one in the house doing it. Don’t get me wrong, Michael and the kids were all reading their Bibles too but had just not joined in on that challenge. I could really see that I grew from having done the challenge. However, this year, Michael is reading along too. He has not committed to doing it but he has been reading along (or some days, a little ahead) with the schedule I am following. It has been fun because we can groan together as we struggle reading through Job or share tidbits of information that stuck out to us as we read. Not that we couldn’t do it normally, but it is a shared experience. So we are not only growing spiritually but our marriage is being strengthened as well. :)

Michael and I generally like very different kinds of video games. When we got Zelda, he told the kids he was glad that I found a game I like. It had been a while since I found a video game that I enjoy. Well, he enjoyed watching the kids and I play it. Finally one day, he decided to give it a try. Now we have another shared experience/activity and I can tell our relationship is being strengthened by it.

For years, Tiffany and I would quip movie quotes. Since Michael had not paid attention to the chick-flicks we had watched, he did not get them. Of late, he has paid a bit more attention when we watch one, and now gets the references we make. He’s even joined in on the fun and makes references now and then as well. It has added a new dimension to our relationship and once again, we are strengthened because of it.

Just so you don’t think Michael’s been making all the effort, of late, I have been being more mindful when he tells me about his jobs, in an effort to relate better.  A good marriage takes effort on both parties, both serving and delighting in the other. You married this person for a reason; you must’ve enjoyed their company at some point. It is important to continue to find common ground and build on the foundation you have, creating a great life together.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Get Closer to God

I’ve started a challenge to read the entire Bible chronologically in 90 days today. If you want to join, post a comment here and I can get you the information.

Bible ~ Lifeofjoy.meOne of the best things you can do for your marriage is get closer to God!

God is love. Thus, if you develop your relationship with Him, you will be more loving. When I am more loving, I am more forgiving too.

People tend to become like the ones they hang around. When we visit with my friends from the mountains of Virginia, it only takes about a day and Michael starts talking with the same accent. :) We also pick up phrases or gestures from the ones we are around a lot.

This can be a good and a bad thing. It is unlikely that we only pick up the good qualities of those we are around, so we have to work at recognizing negative qualities and work to not adopt those. ;) However, if we spent time with our heavenly Father, we should pick up some of His characteristics.

When I first read the Bible through Chronologically in a short time span, it brought the stories together like a jigsaw puzzle. It was so interesting to read the Psalm after the event that instigated its creation.

So many times when we read the Bible, we only read a small portion of it, understandably so, but reading it chronologically helps you see the whole picture so much better. I’m excited to do it again. I hope some of you will join me. :)

At any rate, nurturing your relationship with God is a big way to nurture your relationship with your spouse, or at least it should be. As we draw closer to God, we should be acting more like him and thus treating those around us even better than we did before.

Even if you cannot embark on a challenge of this size at this time, I encourage you to determine to deepen/strengthen your relationship with God and let it show in all your other relationships.

Until next time. God bless,

Michele ºÜº