Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

Your Power in Marriage

Power in Marriage ~

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 ~

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 ~

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 ~

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 ~

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

Taking a Another Look

Hubby and Grandson ~

Yesterday on the way to church, I turned and looked at my hubby. I was once again, struck with how blessed I am. He’s as handsome as he ever was, if not more so. He is committed to me and loves me deeply.

Sitting there in the car, looking at him, brought tears to my eyes.

I took a moment to tell him what I was thinking, squeezed his hand, and wiped the tears from my eyes. I don’t know, maybe I’m hormonal. :D But I think it is a good thing to do.

I encourage you today, to take a moment, and really look at the man you married. See him for who he really is, not for the things that drive you bonkers. ;) Think on his good points and let him know at least one. It feels good.

It is easy to get caught up in all the things you have to do on a daily and weekly basis and even all the frustrations of life. But it is good to pull yourself from the midst of all that and appreciate what you have.

(I will admit that there are some relationships that are toxic and those are ones that need professional help. But for the majority of us, we just need to stop and find something in our spouse to appreciate and give some slack for those areas that are frustrating. Odds are that we do things that frustrate them as well. ;) )

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Give and Take

Marriage give and take ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s important in a marriage to know when to give in. It really is. Sometimes there is just something that is not worth making your spouse unhappy about doing. But then other times the thing is important enough to stick it out to get what you need, in which case it is your spouse’s turn to relent. ;)

My father had open heart surgery last week fixing an aneurysm, valve, and blockage. It was a lengthy, specialized surgery and we are very thankful for the talented surgeon that performed it. Many people have prayed for him which we are sure has aided in his speedy recovery and shorter surgery than anticipated. :)

During this week, Mom has not left his side, except when required to by the hospital. ;) She has been his helpmeet for 56 years! They’ve learned a thing or two about the give and take.

Mom has been his helpmeet for so long that it is only natural to help push him to do the things he needs to do to recover well from his surgery. There were some difficult things he needed to do and she was there to support him and encourage him to do them, even when he didn’t want to. :)

Michael and I have been married 31 years. We too have learned this art of give and take. Michael loves to protect me and keep me safe. It was a stretch for him to be okay with me getting outside his comfort zone, but with my dad being in such a serious situation, he gave in where I was needing to take.

Love isn’t about getting your own way. It is about sharing and working out a balance of giving and taking.

I hope you will be a good giver during this holiday season and also take with humbleness.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

One Moment a Day

Moments ~ Lifeofjoy.meI encourage you to take a moment each day to give your hubby your undivided attention. I know with young children about and the holidays upon us that it can be difficult to even get a moment to breathe but taking a moment each day to connect with your love will help keep your marriage strong.

It doesn’t have to be much, a smile and a wink, as you pass him the salt at the dinner table. A longer than usual kiss at some point in the day be it before he leaves for work, when he returns, or before going to sleep. Maybe even just a quick text letting him know that even in the hustle and bustle of the season, he warms your heart.

Just a moment ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve been the recipient of Michael hovering an extra moment when he brings me a cup of tea and a longer glance and a smile when I catch his eye across the room and these warm my heart and bring a smile to my face. So I am taking a cue from him and intentionally taking a moment to let him know, I love him, I choose him, and I’m glad we are doing this life together. :)

I hope you will slow down and take just a moment each day to make that connection with your love this season, and hopefully it will become a habit that we carry throughout the new year. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Marriage Roles and Seasons

Hubby Approved Bread ~ Lifeofjoy.meMarriage goes through seasons. When you first get married, of course, there is the honeymoon season but it is also filled with two individuals coming together in one home and creating a life together.

There are many things that are ironed out during that time. For Michael and I, coming home from work together, when we were both tired and neither one wanted to cook, needed a solution. Michael’s answer was, “we can have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” Yes, that was his answer for every night. I did not even like pb & j sandwiches, so that did not work at all for me. But I like food too much and dinner is my favorite meal, so again, that was not going to work for me.

My immediate answer was to have easy things like boxed macaroni and cheese or ramen, both of which I loved and were inexpensive but that too got old rather quickly. I remember making the decision clearly . . . “I’ll make dinner when we get home BUT I’m not cleaning up alone.” Paper plates saved our marriage. :(

We came to terms with how we would handle the cleaning and laundry and lawn care and such. But it takes time and sometimes it takes compromise but it definitely takes learning when to give and when to take.

Then comes children and that is a completely different season of life and requires a renegotiation of tasks and responsibilities. Expecting that each person is going to be able to continue everything they did before is unrealistic on all parties involved.

The season with children is a lovely season of life but it also has seasons. :) When there is a newborn in the house, sleep is generally interrupted and things get a little off kilter. By the time you get back into a good rhythm, odds are that, you will have another child and mess it all up again. :D

As they grow, there are several more seasons to grow and change through . . . the season of early bed times, extra curricular activities, entertainment, sports, and such . . . all bring a readjustment to how things are done and who does them. Children begin to take on chores and help around the house, relieving some responsibilities from the parents, especially as they grow (the early stages of teaching children to do chores well, is not usually time saving but pays off in the end).

Then you go into the season of adult children, empty nest, and “retirement” and once again roles and responsibilities may change. Health is another factor that can contribute to the roles each spouse plays in the marriage.

We had the honor of being in the home of a lovely retired couple for dinner yesterday. The man enjoys cooking and thus, at this season of their lives, does most of the cooking. (He’s a good cook, I might add! :) ) But she did not abandon him in the deed. She helped get the food on the table and get it set, as well as cleared it away before dessert.

It was lovely to see a couple move so well together. They communicated with one another and served a wonderful meal with a friendly and hospitable atmosphere. They worked well together and it was nice to see. We had a very enjoyable afternoon visiting with them and ate some really yummy THM food. :)

In the past year, Michael has begun to help me in the kitchen, lending a hand. Many a Saturday morning you can find him in the kitchen assisting me, as I make pancakes of some sort. In the past couple of weeks I think he has put together more of the ingredients than I have. :D I enjoy working side by side with him in the kitchen.

I hope this inspires you to communicate with your dear one about your season of life and if there are any changes that would be helpful. Communication is key. Don’t get frustrated and angry. Pray and communicate. :)

Until next time, God bless. And Happy Thanksgiving,

Michele ºÜº

Holiday Planning

Nativity Blow Up ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week here in the states. It is the earliest that it can possibly be because the first was on a Thursday and it is on the fourth Thursday. Consequently the 22nd is the earliest the 4th Thursday can fall.

With that in mind, I made my list of my “clean-up” Christmas gifts. That is the list where I write down each person and what I still need to purchase for them for Christmas. Normally I don’t get this list done until mid-December, so I’m doing good.

I’ve started planning what I want to do for my hubby. And now it is time to start talking to the family about what activities we want to make happen this year.

Last year we went to the Garden of Lights. Brian, Lauren, and Liam came and went with us. We gals have voted to go back to Rhema Lights this  year. We like that we can get out and walk around and enjoy the sights. And in the past we would get hot chocolate and funnel cakes. Of course now that we are sugar free, we won’t be doing that but we will probably take our own hot chocolate to enjoy.

The point of the post today is to remind you to start planning your holiday activities. We have enjoyed painting Christmas cookies, going and seeing light displays somewhere, going to a special movie together, going to the Christmas train, Zoolightful, homeschool Christmas parties, and church Christmas parties.

Now is the time to begin talking about what you’d like to do as a family. Maybe you want to make ornaments for the tree or go ice skating. Brainstorm with your hubby (and maybe include the family) about what you want to do and put it on the calendar. If we don’t write it down for a specific date, we don’t end up doing it.

Remember to keep some free time scheduled too, so you can just relax and enjoy being together. It is a wonderful time of year that does not have to be hectic. It is okay to NOT go to every party or activity that you are invited to attend. Make a plan to make the holidays what you want it to be.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Countdown to Christmas Preparation

Countdown to Christmas ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo, now is the time to begin thinking about what I want to do for Michael this year for the holidays. You see, I’ve done the Twelve Days of Christmas for him before starting on Christmas and ending on Epiphany which is January 6th. I’ve also given him a Twelve Days of Him around his birthday in October, since the reason that the first lady I saw do a twelve days for her hubby in December did it because his birthday was in December.

So now every year I think about what I want to do for my love to make him feel special. I saw that Aldi is having an advent calendar this year that has cheeses in it. :) Mmm mmm! I think I’m getting that for me.

Hmmm, I have some ideas but I better not share them here today because he does check my blog from time to time and it’d be just my luck that he’d check it and then there would be no surprise! :D I wrote about my ideas last year but am sad to say that I did not follow through. This year will be different. I’m going to write it down in my bullet journal and make a plan to get it done. :) If I do what I’m thinking of at the moment, then I can share it with you all in early December.

Oh this should be fun! :) I love making my hubby happy. What will you do to bring a smile to your dear one’s face this holiday season?

Here are some ideas I found for some advent kind of things, but be sure to check my post from last year because it’s got some GOOD links. :) Not all of the ideas listed in the links below are something I’d condone but you only need a dozen or two, so you just skip the ones that are not your thing.

Well, I hope that is enough to get you thinking about what you can do. I’m off to write down my plans. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº