Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

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,

 

Small Moments of Refreshing

Refreshing ~ Lifeofjoy.meSome days you just need a break. When that happens you need to calmly ask for what you need. Maybe you need some time away from the kids; find someone to keep your kids for a few hours and put dinner in the crock pot so that when you return you do not have that pressing on you.

If that is not possible, then I encourage you to ensure that your children have a nap time or quiet time each day. This should last for one to two hours. During this time, take the first thirty minutes to an hour and do something that relaxes you. If a bath does it, then take the time to do that. If reading a book is your thing, then spend some time doing that. Maybe listening to some instrumental music and handwork: crafting or art of some kind, maybe even coloring.

I know it is tempting to get some housework or something done that is more difficult to do when your children are up but if you are in need of a break then this is the time to try and refresh yourself a bit. If you are intentional, you should be refreshed a bit when it is time to get the children up. Be sure to greet them with hugs, kisses, and lots of joy. :)

I’m in a wonderful position at this season of my life where I have two grown children still living with us in our home. Thankfully all are able to fend for themselves. Saturday I decided I needed a break from the ordinary, even the ordinary of a weekend. It was a very rainy day and I announced that I was taking the morning off. Thankfully Tiffany stepped up and made breakfast and lunch. :) It was a nice break. I had promised to help make pizza for dinner and that I did. :)

It was nice to be served a couple of meals instead of making them myself. It wasn’t like being on vacation or anything but it was a refreshing morning.

I encourage you to talk with your husband, calmly, and share your feelings, if you need help figuring out how you can get a little relief. And of course, ask God to help you and ask Him to give you some strategies so that you don’t get burnt out. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Improving Your Marriage

Improvement ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve found that one of the best things I can do to improve my marriage is the little things that I think of to do. For example, when I think that I should clean off a counter, I probably should clean off that counter. ;) Of course, I’m in a different stage of life now and have less pull on my time than I once did but then again, I have less helping hands too. :D

If I think that I should paint my fingernails, then I probably should do so. Michael likes my nails painted and I really like them painted too. I feel more attractive when they are painted.

Improving your marriage can also mean improving yourself. When I do things to improve myself, I feel better about myself. When I feel better about myself I tend to be happier or less offendable which means I don’t get as frustrated by things.

The only person you can change is you, so to improve your marriage, work on improving yourself, your actions, and reactions. It is not easy to keep calm and even tempered when around someone that is frustrated or angry.

Some times taking up a hobby can be the improvement you need, especially artistic ones. Some hobbies, like music or art, can help alleviate frustrations and such. Even if you have small children, it is still good to take a little time to read or draw, color, craft, or do music or some other hobby.

I hope this encourages you to take one small step each day towards improving yourself which in turn should improve your relationship with those around you, especially your spouse.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

This is THE Week: Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, this is the week. Valentine’s Day is THIS Wednesday. Are you ready? Do you have a plan?

Do you have children to make the day special for too? I still try to make the day special for my children that live at home still. They are good kids and are keeping themselves pure for their spouses, which we are all praying happens soon. ;) But while I still get to enjoy them at home, I try to make Valentine’s Day special for them too. So, I got lots of plans to make!

I failed to do my research for Michael’s gift to get it when I went shopping last week but YAY! I’ve got my art group today and will leave a bit early to stop and get some stuff. :)

I’ve thought about the food, which is a huge part of my gift to my family. Usually I serve spaghetti or lasagna but this year I’m opting for Tomato Chicken Bisque which we have had before and all like. I’ll make sure we have some bread to eat with it because that just makes it all better.

I have some special treats planned for each person, a sweet treat each one likes, but am also planning to make some cream filled chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate ganache for our dessert. Since we are on Trim Healthy Mama, many of the desserts taste best after they’ve sat overnight. So I’ll have a very big prep day on Tuesday. ;) But I don’t mind, it is a labor of love.

I had forgotten one year, but then my daughter reminded me that I had given her (and her brothers) a Valentine note for several years prior and it was something she looked forward to each year. I think you can imagine, I have tried really hard not to forget that again. :D

So I do treats, a special homemade red colored dinner, and dessert. Then I usually try to give my honey a little special “dessert” all his own that night, if you know what I mean.

Well, I’ve got my plan. I’m going to make my lists and definitely check them twice because I want to be oh so nice. :)

I hope you have your plan and are able to pull it off as you envision it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Thoughtful Gift Giving

Shared Experiences ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo, Valentine’s Day is approaching. I’ve been thinking about what to give Michael for Valentine’s Day. I don’t want to just give him another gift.

Both Valentine’s Day and anniversary gifts would be good events to give a gift of a shared experience or some kind of supplies for a shared hobby or activity.

Maybe you could take a day trip, a hike, go scuba diving, go bicycling, or other such shared activity or experience. Maybe you could do some kind of hobby together. Does your hubby like to cook? Maybe you could come up with a special treat to cook together. Or maybe you’re both into art, buy some art supplies and spend some time using them together.

Maybe your hubby is into gaming. You could learn a little about his favorite game and watch him play or play with him. You can check the Dating Divas website and see what printables they might have for his preferred game.

Finally, you could plan a sweet evening of romancing your man, putting the kids to bed early. If they are older, you can always give them a special evening of special movie, snacks (popcorn), in pajamas, in their room, giving you and your hubby the dining room, kitchen, living room, and bedroom to yourselves. ;) Check The Dating Divas for these kinds of ideas too. ;)

I hope you have come up with a good plan for celebrating with your hubby and if not, that this will help you.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Planning for Valentine’s Day

Plans for Valentine's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhat are you doing to make your marriage richer? Or put another way, what are you doing to help your marriage grow?

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I encourage you not to see what your love is going to do for you but rather what you are going to do for him. A nice dinner and his favorite dessert maybe? Followed by his even more favorite “dessert”? ;)

I was reminded of a poem I had read (and thought I included in our wedding ceremony but have no proof at the moment) entitled, Creating an Us. The point of it was that from the time we got married, we needed to be more concerned about the marriage we were creating and less involved in separate or individual endeavors. It was a reminder that “the two” had  “become one flesh” and as such, we needed to nurture that new thing, intentionally.

I think it is a good idea to recommit to this from time to time, and there’s no time like the present. :) Michael recently asked me about a particular art form that he had seen and wondered if I’d like to pursue it with him. At first, my old stick in the mud mind thought no, but then this thought came to me, it’s something we can do together. There are so few of those kinds of things, so I was quick to respond in the affirmative. :) Maybe I’ll buy us some supplies for this new pursuit for Valentine’s Day. Hmmm . . . not a bad idea. :)

How are your Valentine’s Day plans going?

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Making a Plan for Valentine’s Day

Plan Valentine's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo, Lori of The Generous Wife has had a countdown to Valentine’s Day on her site since about the fourteenth. As of today, there are twenty-three days until Valentine’s Day. Yep, just twenty-three.

Lori recently shared a post from Hot, Holy, and Humorous about what to get your love for Valentine’s Day. She asked her facebook group about what to cover for the holiday and basically the winning answer was a meaningful gift. So she shared how to give a meaningful gift.

I really loved one readers’ idea of wanting to recapture the “honeymoon days”. I think that is something that I’ve been wanting to try to do. Of course after being together for over thirty years, it is a bit long ago now. But I think that would be a great Valentine’s Day gift to your marriage, to spend one day (not necessarily February fourteenth) acting like honeymooners or at least recapturing the feeling you had then. I think a lot of it is just in the mind, being mindful of how you felt then and acted then. Familiarity tends to make one forget the butterfly, in-love feelings. Tending to household chores and work seems to squash the romance and fluffy feelings. Oh, I’m not explaining this very well but hopefully you get what I’m trying to explain.

I guess the most important thing is to begin planning now for Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t have to be something big and elaborate, if that isn’t what you and your love generally do or want to do. I don’t need to make a HUGE deal about it but as with other holidays, do something and preferably, do something with some thought, not just popping into Walmart and picking up whatever card and flowers they have left.

Maybe you liked the idea of doing something for your love for the Twelve Days of Christmas but it was just too busy and hectic to pull it off. You could do it for Valentine’s Day. You could start it on the third and end on the fourteenth or start on the fourteenth and go through the twenty-fifth or whatever YOU choose to do. Now would be a good time to give him coupons too.

These are some things I’m thinking about. I have made a mental note to talk to Michael about some of this on our next date night. :) Yep, it looks like it may just happen this year. :D Well, at least this month.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

What if . . .

What if ~ Lifeofjoy.meI know that when things are rough and you cannot seem to get on the same page as your spouse, you sometimes think you’d be better off without him. The devil even brings that nasty d-word to your mind, as if that would really make things better.

Years ago, when things had gotten difficult, I was looking for some encouragement. I prayed about it and saw a lady at the church that I respected and she clearly could hear from God. So I asked this lady over for lunch and told her why.

The piece of advice she had for me was something like this, live each day as if you won’t have him tomorrow. Well, I got to tell you, I felt cheated by that advice. =)) That is, most definitely, NOT what I wanted nor expected to hear. But I tucked it away, and as you can see, I have not forgotten it.

Last year, an uncle of mine passed away. I can only imagine how my aunt is handling it. I know things were tough for a while with his physical decline and I am pretty sure she got tired of it all but not having him is hard too.  Then there is the memories from so many years together. I can only imagine how she is feeling.

Last week I went to an art (Zentangle) gathering and one of the ladies mentioned another lady that they knew and that her husband had passed away the week before.

Then this weekend, in the middle of the night, Michael passed out! I have to tell you, all of a sudden the communication snafus we’ve had lately paled in importance. He came back to after just a minute or two, but it scared the bajeebers out of me. It took me about an hour to get back to sleep.

So, I will just ask you to stop and consider what if . . . No really! What if you could not have him around anymore? I know, in the middle of a bad moment, you think you’d finally have peace but really stop and think about it for a moment . . . what if.

Well, I know for me, it helped gain a little perspective and I know, beyond all doubt, I wouldn’t want to be without him, no matter how big our miscommunication is right now.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Be On Guard

Love On Guard ~ Lifeofjoy.meMarriages are on attack right now. Well they may have always been but I’ve heard of some big Christian bloggers that have had their marriages ripped apart. Although they fought for their marriages, they ended in divorce.

I myself have had a HUGE battle recently in my own attitudes and situations in regards to my sweetie. I’m reminded to pray for my marriage, by Lori Byerly, The Generous Wife, with her cyber prayer meeting each month.

Nina Roesner of the Respect Dare asked that people pray for her marriage and the marriages of other marriage and family bloggers. I think this is a good idea and will try to remember to do this when Lori sends her monthly prayer reminder, as well as when I pray daily. I hope you’ll join me.

Prayer is a small but powerful thing we can do that can take just a little time but for which we can reap big rewards. By praying to support and undergird your marriage, you are being proactive. Be on guard, watching for where the devil may be trying to slip in and cause a rift in your marriage.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº