Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yet Another Break

As you all may have noticed, I did not post on Monday. We had a very busy weekend at our church with our annual Christmas presentation and the time simply got away from me. With that said I think I am going to take a bit of a break from blogging. Christmas is in just a few short days and with that comes Christmas break for my kids and they will be out of school for two weeks. So i've decided to have my break right along with them! I'll have to keep up with things around the house while they're home of course but i'd like to take as many responsibilities off of my list as possible in order to spend as much time playing with them as I can. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I look forward to seeing you all again in 2012! :o)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Marriage Is Like A Road Trip

My husband loves cars, always has and probably always will. One of the best parts of a vacation to him is the road trip and I think if we just flew somewhere he'd be utterly disappointed! So when I came across this paper today talking about this topic I knew I just had to share it. We were a part of our church's couples group for about four years and learned SO much during that time, things we've put into practice in our marriage and this particular topic is no different.

How to keep from going in the ditch.

1. Stay in your own lane... Give each other space.
Now, I am all about sharing every part of your life with your spouse and am in no way advocating living separate lives! But you know what? Sometimes you just need a little time to yourself. If your spouse has had a difficult day, give them some time alone. Let them have a little quite time in the room before bombarding them with all the things going on around the house.

2. Yield signs are there for your protection... Validate each others opinions, thoughts and quirks.
You know that sign on the road as you're going around a curve that says "SLOW"? I wish in marriage we all had one of those to hold up at times! There are just some times in conversations that we can get ourselves in trouble by simply putting our foot in our mouth and saying the wrong thing. Having our spouse hold up that "SLOW" sign as we're starting to say something stupid sure would be helpful! As it is, we simply have to watch for those signs ourselves. Pay attention to what your spouse is saying and learn to not only read them and how they're feeling about something, but also take that reading to heart.

3. When you find yourself at an empass...slow down...get there alive...take another route.
There is absolutely nothing in marriage that has only one way of handling it. It doesn't matter if you're dealing with a big issue like in-laws and finances or something simple like what you're going to eat for dinner, there is always more than one option and more than one way to get to peaceful ground. If the way you're doing something or a decision you've made is bringing nothing but conflict, find another way to do it. It really is ok! Solving the conflict is the important part, not how you solved it.

4. Don't play chicken!
I think that is one of the dumbest games ever! It's explained as "a game in which two drivers drive towards each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash, but if one driver swerves and the other does not, the one who swerved will be called a "chicken," meaning a coward". Can you honestly see anything good ever coming out of something like that? In marriage that "game" and type of thinking has absolutely no place whatsoever!

5. Road rage is misspent anger.
This one probably hit me the hardest. I am so bad at taking my anger out on my husband. I can be angry at something one of the kids did or something that happened during the day, and as soon as my husband gets home I finally let it all out on him. Let me tell you...nothing good ever comes from that! It doesn't in my marriage and it won't in your marriage. I promise! learn to get control of your anger and not spew it all over your spouse.

6. Exit ramps should be approached with caution.
This is a big one in todays society. It seems like everyone is looking for a way out of their marriage and anything their spouse does can be a cause for divorce. Getting out of your marriage, or even thinking about getting out, should be something that is approached with great caution and care. It should never be a rushed decision made in the heat of a moment. It should never be something biased on your feelings. And it should never be done without the guidance and counsel of someone in spiritual authority such as a pastor. When you get alone and make decisions like this by yourself, you open yourself up to all kinds of bad choices!

So there you go, 6 steps to help your marriage avoid going in the ditch! What are some things you've used to help keep your marriage on track?

Monday, December 12, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I posted something (and did just a little venting) about Santa on my facebook and I think I left some people a little confused about what I think. So since I have a place where I can talk about these things, I just decided to go into a little explanation!

In our house we don't do Santa with our kids and never have. We've told them from the beginning that he isn't real and the men they see dressed up as Santa are men in costumes very much like the men in Mickey Mouse costumes at Disney World. We have also explained to them very seriously that many other kids do believe in Santa and they are NOT to tell them that he isn't real. Since the older kids are in school we've had a little harder time keeping them from telling other kids but we still give it our best shot.

However, not everyone else is as courteous about this issue when it comes to my children. On several different occasions I have had people tell my kids that he is real and I was wrong, and one went so far as to tell them flat out that I was lying to them. This is where my frustration came from when I posted on facebook. When you ask a child what Santa is bringing them for Christmas and they respond with "He's not real. Mommy and daddy buy our presents." no one should ever tell that child that their parents are lying to them and Santa is real!

Now I completely understand that many other people do the whole Santa thing at Christmas and it's a really big deal in their house. And you know what? I don't care! It does not bother me or matter to me at all. One of my closest friends does Santa with her children and it honestly doesn't bother me even a tiny little bit. It is a choice she makes for her family just like it was a choice we made for ours.

There are so many things in this world to spend your time focusing on and I just don't think that Santa Clause should be one of them. Each family should be able to decide for themselves what they want to do with their children without feeling judged by others. Come on, life is too hard without adding extra stress about Santa! Let's leave that decision to each individual family without making them feel ridiculous one way or the other. And I will add, if you come across a child who doesn't believe in Santa, please don't tell them their mommy is lying to them!

I believe that as Christians we celebrate Christmas as Jesus' birthday (I know there's a lot of history there but this is why we celebrate it today). That's the basic bottom line for believers. If some of you want to throw Santa in there and have a "Santa gift" under your tree as well, it should matter to no one but you and your family. This is a time of year to celebrate the gift of Jesus and yet so many people get so busy judging each other for either doing or not doing Santa and I think it's just ridiculous!

Let's just put all of that aside this year and focus on the reason that we as Christians celebrate this season, and let's leave all the rest of it to each individual family to decide what else they want to bring into the holiday.

When the angels came to the shepherds to tell them about the birth of Jesus, one thing they said was "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men". That should be our focus this season, not whether or not other families do things the same way you do. Let's turn our eyes to Jesus and focus on the gift He gave, and do everything you can to keep peace with those around you this season.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fun Friday: Date Night On A Dime

It's been awhile since i've done my Fun Friday posts but i'm finally bringing them back! For those of you who are new around here, what I like to do on Fridays is post about things you want to hear about. You can leave comments here on my blog, or on my Facebook page or you can email me with any thoughts or questions at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com. So moving right along...

This week let's talk about date night on a dime! I love date nights with my hubby, they're just some of my favorite nights of the week. We are very blessed to have our Friday nights to ourselves almost every week while my kids enjoy some time with their Nana, and it really gives Colby and I a chance to relax, unwind and reconnect. But date nights can get pretty pricey if you're not careful and sometimes it seems like unless you spend a ton of money there isn't much to do. Well we have never had a bunch of money to spend on a date and we live in a town where the only thing to do really is eat so we probably couldn't spend much on a date even if we wanted to! So when a friend on facebook suggested this idea for a Fun Friday topic I thought it sounded like a great idea!

Now, my husband and I are fairly plain Jane when it comes to dates. For the most part we're happy to sit on the couch in our jammies and watch a movie without being interrupted 20 times by our children! So I will say that some of these ideas are things that we ourselves have not done, but I do think i'll be adding them to the list of things to do in the future.

The basic: dinner and a movie.
This can actually be a really cheap date night! If you get a frozen pizza, box of popcorn and a movie from Redbox you're looking at a date night for about $10. Need it to be even cheaper? Cut out the pizza and make something you already have on hand. If you do that and find some popcorn for around $2, you're looking your date night only costing you about $4. That's pretty cheap!

Star gazing.
Not only can this be really fun, but staring up at the stars can also be pretty romantic. Lay out a blanket and count the stars or see if you can find any constellations. Spend some of your time just talking. It's so hard sometimes to sit aside specific time to just talk so this would be a prefect opportunity.

Have a marshmallow fight.
Each of you get a bag of marshmallows and have an all out marshmallow fight! Then after you finish you can light a fire (or do like us and sit at the stove) and roast some marshmallows or make smores!

Take a walk or go jogging.
Again, this is just spending some one on one time together without any other distractions. Set aside that time to just talk, it's so important!

Have "his" and "her" nights.
Each of you take turns planning a date night and cooking the meal, get creative and try something new. But make sure only one of you oversees everything that evening.

Go for a picnic in the park.
Go all out! Take a blanket, picnic basket (if you have one) as much food as you can and sit on the ground for an all out picnic! When you're done, spend some time playing on the play ground, swing on the swings and slid down the slides. Remember what it was like to be a kid on those swings and enjoy it now with your spouse.

These are just a few simple ideaa to kinda get you jump started. Do any of you have any cheap date night ideas? I'd love to hear them so please, leave them in the comments!

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below, leave a comment on my Facebook Page or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I know I just did this last week but I wanted to share another old post. I wrote this almost two years ago and it's always been one of my favorites, I only had about 10 followers when I wrote this so I just decided to dig it out again!

Just one mom's perspective

I recently took some time-while folding laundry-to rewatch the "Anne Of Green Gables" movies and fell in love with Anne all over again! I haven't watched those movies in such a long time and it brought back so many memories, I think I laughed harder, and cried harder for that matter, this time than I ever have before. Now that I’m older and get so much more of it the whole thing just came so much more alive for me. I remembered being a little girl and having the imagination of Anne and even wishing I could be her, she had a much more interesting life than I did and she had red hair! I would've loved to have red hair, it would've been much better than plain old dirty blonde!

One of my favorite scenes in the whole movie is where a mouse drowns in the sauce for the plum pudding that they were making for dinner that evening. She tries so hard to tell Marillla that she was imagining she was a nun....and forgot to put the cover on the sauce and a mouse drowned in it. That was me as a kid! I had a poster hanging over my bed that said "I mean to work hard Lord, but I keep running across things that are much more fun to do!" That was my life! I lived in my books and in my imagination. I thought there was nothing greater in the world than putting on my dress up clothes and walking into my world of make-believe.

However I lived in my world of make-believe for far to long, I took it with me into my teen years and even the early years of my marriage. I grew up planning what my life would be like and what kind of husband I would have, all the romantic things he would say and the 1000's of times he would bring home roses. I was going to keep a perfect house and raise the perfect children who of course would always look liked they just stepped out of a children's clothing add and would never dream of disobeying me! I of course would be the perfect american housewife, I would always be dressed in the latest fashions and keep a spotless house, and of course there would be a beautifully cooked meal on the table for breakfast lunch and dinner every single day! My christian walk would be picture perfect, I’d never miss a day in my bible reading and would be known among my friends as the "perfect Christian"! I would also be the perfect mother; I’d never ever lose my temper with my children who were just as perfect as I was. After all, they would have me as a role model, why wouldn't they be perfect?!

To that description all I have to say is....HA! I would love to say that I just described our home to you but I didn't even come close! While yes my husband is amazing, he sadly doesn't sit around all day dreaming up romantic things to say to me, nor does he come home with a huge bouquet of flowers each and every week! He loves to sit and watch tv or work on the computer instead of listing all my charming attributes, imagine that! My home is far from perfect! The outside needs painted and patched in several places, it is far from the dream house I’d always planned on; and the inside? Lets just say you can tell 3 kids live here! As for those 3 kids, they are amazing and absolutely the cutest kids in the world-in my humble opinion!-but they are hardly ever fixed up and perfect looking. On the rare occasion that they are fixed up just right with every hair in place, it usually only lasts until I place the finishing touches on them if that long. They don't mind me all the time and have been known to throw some royal fits! Which is of course shocking, after all, they do have me for a role model. Why aren't they perfect children?! Oh yeah, they have me for a role model...

I, sadly, am not the perfect american housewife that I planned to be. I am not always dressed perfectly; in fact right now I am still in my pj's drinking my coffee! I don't think my house has ever been spotless and I have NEVER served a beautiful breakfast, lunch and dinner all in one day! I am not a perfect mom, and sadly, I often lose my temper with at least one of the kids and even my husband! I am far from perfect and have made some pretty huge mistakes in my life. But you know what? I'm ok with all this. I will never be mistaken for Martha Stewart for my elegant home or Julia Child for my gourmet cooking; you will also never see me on the cover of a fashion magazine and I’m ok with that. I'll probably never be up for Mother of the Year, and I sure won't be known as the best and most perfect wife, and I’m ok with that. And would you believe it? I'm not a perfect Christian! I actually go days without reading my bible and even sometimes would just rather stay home and sleep than get up at 6:30 in the morning to go to church!

See my goals for my life have changed, I no longer try to be all those things and I no longer expect all those things from my husband or kids. I have accepted the fact that I am not a gourmet chef or a wonderful house keeper-I actually rather hate cleaning! I'm also not the world’s greatest mom and I’ve even stopped trying to be. I no longer expect perfection from my children or endless romance from my husband. I'm learning to accept each of them for who they are with all their strengths as well as all their weakness. After all, that's what I want from them!

You know, I’m not the perfect mom and yes I do lose my temper way to often with my kids but you know what? There is no one in the world who loves my kids more than I do and no one who will try harder to make their dreams come true for them-excluding my husband of course! My new goal is to always hold them when they cry, to laugh at their silly jokes, to do everything I can to encourage their dreams and to teach them everything I can about having a personal relationship with Christ! As for that "perfect Christian" stuff?! Once again...HA! I could sit here all day long and name every sin I’ve ever committed and never even finish. I don't know how many times I’ve asked for forgiveness because I’ve committed the same stupid sin once again! But thankfully my Heavenly Father is incredibly forgiving, He allows me to come to Him each and every time and willingly offers forgiveness, love and grace each time I mess up.

I don't know if anyone else has ever dealt with these things or if anyone will even be able to relate to what I’m talking about but if you can I want to say something specifically to you....Relax! Take some time right now and breath. Stop trying to be everything for everyone and just be who you really are! No one will ever be Jamie like I can be Jamie! No one will ever be you like you can be you! I've taken some time lately and still am in fact trying to figure out what I want from my life-Martha Stewart and Julia Child aside-and while I may never have it all figured out I am getting some of it figured out. I challenge you to do the same.

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's About The Same Person

Some time ago I was perusing books at the christian book store and I saw THIS book titled "The Coffee Mom's Devotional". Being the coffee lover that I am I picked it up and started skimming through it. I didn't end up getting it but I did find a quote that has stayed with me. "A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." by Mignon McLaughlin

I absolutely loved that! How often have you heard about someone getting divorced because "They fell out of love" or they're just " incompatible"? It seems to be one of the most common reasons for divorce these days, marriage is all fine and dandy as long as the gooshy in love feelings are there. But once real life kicks in and things get really hard, that's when you find out what your marriage is really made of! So often people choose to simply walk away and find a new spouse to be "in love" with.

I love my husband. I often get those gooshy feelings about him and he can still make my toes curl with a kiss. But i'll be very honest here, it hasn't always been that way between us. We have had times where we weren't "in love" with each other and during those times it was easy to think our marriage wasn't going to make it. Walking away would have been the easy choice. Sure, it would have hurt at the time and our kids of course would have been affected by it but we still could have done it. But instead of choosing to walk away we chose to dig in and fight harder. We chose to remember why we had gotten married in the first place, dig deep down where it had been buried and uncover the love we had for each other. And through those times, we fell in love with each other all over again.

If you're in a situation that is anything like this (because I know we were not the only ones to ever face this) I so strongly encourage you to not give up! It may seem like you've been fighting for your marriage for long enough and it's just time to give up but I beg of you, fight longer. Take some time and remember what it was about your spouse that you fell in love with to begin with. What did they do or say that made you go weak at the knees? What was it about them that drew you to them? Is there even a tiny glimmer of that still in them? If not, take the time to look for a positive characteristic that they have and put all of your focus on that. Encourage that in them and build that up. As I posted HERE you have the choice of who you talk to in your spouse, either the king/queen in them or the fool in them. I believe that every time you talk to the king/queen in them and see that rise up all over again it also causes that love to rise up as well.

Now think about your situation...where are you at in love with your spouse? Is this something you are struggling with? Do you need to fall in love with them all over again? I encourage you to give this situation, and your entire marriage, over to God. Ask Him to stir that love for your spouse up in you. You don't have to walk away and find a new spouse to be in love! Learn to once again love the spouse God gave you. It's often been said that love is a choice and I believe that with everything in me. You have to wake up everyday and choose to love your spouse. Regardless of what they do, I really do believe that the choice is up to you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I have discovered something about myself...I am a control freak! It's not an issue in every area of my life but I have to admit that I do like a lot of things done a certain way in a specific time frame (just ask my husband!). But sometimes that can really cause problems!

As I was thinking about this I remembered an older post i'd written on this subject. It's from March of this year and i've gotten many new followers since then so I decided to share it again with all of you. If you struggle with control, I hope you enjoy this post and know that you're not alone!


I have been going through a very hard time lately. It feels like my mind and emotions have just been under a huge attack. It seems like no matter what I do or how much I pray, I can’t get past it. My husband even talked to me about it and said he’s been feeling the same way and seeing the same thing. In fact, it was him talking to me about it that showed me what’s really been going on. See at first it just felt like a pity party. How many of you girls have ever felt the need to just sit down and have a good old fashioned pity party? You know the one, it makes you want to sit in the corner and sing “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms!”.

But after feeling this way for very long, I started to feel like it was getting out of my control and my emotions were beginning to get control of me. Ever felt that way?

But control just began to add to the problem. See I felt that if I could just get control of it, instead of allowing my emotions to have control, I could get rid if the attack. If I could just understand what was happening I could control it. Have you ever felt that way? Like you could do it yourself, control it yourself? I’ve found out that as soon as I start feeling that way, the problem only gets worse. And it did.

Thankfully I serve a mighty God who sees me exactly where I am and meets me right there and knows exactly what I need to get through.

Yesterday morning I read 4 little verses that changed things for me. For some reason I decided to read Jeremiah 29:11, it’s a very familiar verse and one I’ve prayed over my children on several occasions. But this time I read it with myself in mind and I also read the verses after it which are not often quoted with it but are very powerful.

11. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12. Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13. And you shall seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all you heart.
14. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord…

I love how this is said in the King James version. The thoughts God thinks towards me are of peace. Peace was exactly what I needed. Peace over my mind. Peace to my need to control. Peace over my pity party. Peace. Perfect peace.

I love how the Amplified version says verses 12 and 13.

12. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to me, and I will hear and heed to you.
13. Then you will seek Me, inquire for and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

How comforting is that? Here I am, feeling like I’m doing all this by myself , like I have to figure this all out by myself, and God used these familiar verses to show me that I’m not. All I have to do is simply call on Him. All I have to do is pray with all my heart, with everything I have. He’s right here, just waiting for me to call out to Him.

See, by me trying to take control of the situation I was effectively making the problem worse. I wasn’t only fighting myself in this situation, I was fighting the One who needed to be in control and just making a mess of the whole thing.

Once I was able to turn the problem over to Him, and once I began to “seek Him, inquire for and require Him [as a vital necessity] “ the peace that He wanted for me the whole time began to take over.

Now that’s not saying that the desire for control will never creep up on me again, but I do know what to do with it when it does. I can’t face attacks on my own. I can’t solve the problems I face on my own. I can’t survive my day to day struggles on my own. So each time I face a problem, attack or struggle, I’m going to seek, inquire for and require Christ as a vital necessity. And I know that as soon as I do that I’ll be ok.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tiny Prints Christmas Cards

I'm not a big fan of blogs promoting things but sometimes a girls just gotta do what a girls gotta do! I won 50 cards from Tiny Prints if I blog about it, and to me that's a really good deal. So here goes.

I love Christmas cards! With my husband being a photographer it kinda seems like sending them out is a must. But i'm not great at the whole "Year in a letter" thing that goes in a lot of cards. With that being case, I like cards that you can put several pictures on (of my kids of course!). Now here's where you guys, my awesome readers, come in. Tiny Prints has a TON of different cards to choose from and i've spent the last 2 days narrowing it down. I've finally gotten it down to my 5 favorites but I just can't decide past that! So you guys get to help me decide which card our family will be sending out for Christmas. Leave a comment below telling me which one your favorite is and the one with the most votes will win. Here you go...

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

Option 5

Now that you've all helped me decide what card our family will be getting, take a few minuets and look at all the cards Tiny Prints has to offer. They even have matching address labels you can get!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thank You!

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God ~ Philippians 1:3

Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I have so much to be thankful for in my life and will be spending the rest of this week enjoying time with my family and friends. But I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of my readers. Thank you for joining me on this blogging journey. Thank you for following along and for all the wonderful comments. Thank you for your input and your interest in my posts over the last several months. You all are the reason I write! That verse really does say it all...Every time I think of one of you, I thank God. I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful and blessed holiday! Love you all. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

To Good Not To Share

"Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side." — Zig Ziglar

I saw this quote and just had to share it. It's just too good!! How often does that seem to be the biggest problem in marriage? You and your spouse get into a situation and react as if you were on different sides and are now fighting each other.

Today i'm keeping it short and simple because I really think that quote says it all. So just keep this quote in mind the next time you get into a conflict of any kind with your spouse and work on working together instead of fighting against each other!

Friday, November 18, 2011

How Are You Treating Him?

Today my husband posted this status on his facebook page.

"You get treated like a dumb animal long enough, that's what you become." -Trumpkin, The Chronicles of Narnia. Ladies, how are you treating the man in your life? Like a dumb animal or a capable leader?

I don't know about you but that made me stop and think! I've said before that inside every man is a king and a fool. Whichever one you talk to is the one you'll see. But I loved how my husband put this today. So often when we get frustrated with our husbands we can end up talking to them like a dumb animal that must be corrected and trained. How foolish that is!

Our husbands have been charged with the daunting task of leading our families. They are the ones that will stand before God and be accountable for what is done in our home and how we're led. And yet so often we treat them like they're too stupid to do anything.

Men today are portrayed in almost every area of the media and the world as big ignorant children who don't know which way is up. They're wives are viewed as the only smart ones in the relationship and she most often treats the men like stupid children. Then we wonder why so many men are not acting like the responsible head of their household!

In Ephesians 5:33 it says that women are to respect their husband and let me tell you, you can not respect your husband and treat him like a "dumb animal" at the same time. It is simply not possible. One of those will take over and form your view of him.

Let's face it ladies, for men to be seen and talked to different, it's gonna have to come from us and it's going to start in our homes. And something to remember is, the way you speak to your husband is how your son will expect to be talked to and how your daughter will talk to her husband. It all starts with us.

Girls, we have to understand that we have so much power in the words we speak to our husbands! I know i've quoted this verse before and i'm sure i'll quote it again but Proverbs 18:21 says "Death and life are in the power of the tongue". That is a verse that should constantly be on our minds when speaking in and about our marriages and husbands.

It's time we stop speaking to the dumb animal and start speaking to the capable leader in our husbands!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Do You Dream Together?

Have you ever had a dream? Something inside of you that you wished or hoped for? I know I have many things that I wish for and dream about having. I dream of having a Victorian style house with a wrap around porch. I dream of taking a vacation to Maine and spending time sitting on the beach with my husband, with my toes buried in the sand and just drinking in the sunset. I dream of the day that all of my children will finally be potty trained! I dream of being used by God and making a difference in this world. See, I have many dreams! But you know who else has dreams? My husband, Colby....

Join me over at Time-Warp Wife for the rest of this post. It's part of her 31 days of love marriage challenge and you don't want to miss it. While you're there, take a look back at some of the previous entries!

Featured at Time-Warp Wife

Monday, November 14, 2011


Hey everyone, my post for today has been postponed until tomorrow. I'm guest posting on another blog tomorrow so be sure to check back in for the link. You won't want to miss it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

To Busy To Get Busy

I talked on Wednesday about being too busy during the holidays and gave a few ideas on how to make this time of the year a little less stressful. Now let's talk about how busyness can affect our marriage.

Girls let's face it, we work from the time our feet hit the floor in the morning until we collapse into bed at night. I doesn't matter if we are stay-at-home-moms or we also work outside of the home, we are constantly going and the holidays are no different! With that being the case, I think that sometimes we can get so busy we begin to neglect not only are interaction with our husbands but we can also begin to neglect them sexually. Now it's been awhile since i've talked about sex on here so bare with me as I blush my way through this subject once again. :o)

We all know how important it is to set aside time just for you and your husband. But how often is that the first thing to go when we get busy? It's so easy to push it aside and fill our time with everything else going on around us, but it can do such harm to your marriage.

My husband and I have 3 children all 6 and under so we stay very busy in our house. It seems like one of them needs something from us every few minuets, so that along with all the housework that comes from a family of 5 can run me ragged. By the time the kids get in bed and we finally have "us" time i'm often to exhausted to do anything other than sit in a coma-like state!

But sometimes my husband needs me to wake up and show him a little attention! I have to be very careful to not use every bit of my energy on the housework and kids, but to purposely reserve some of that energy for him. My husband is like any other man around in the fact that he has needs, sometimes he simply needs to sit with me and watch our favorite tv show after the kids are in bed. And of course sometimes he needs intimacy, which requires me to have enough energy to be an active participant!

So i'm adding one more challenge to the list from Wednesday...

Get Busy! ;o)
Take some time over the next day or two and look over your schedule, find a couple of things you can give up or push back to another day in order to leave yourself more refreshed at the end of the day. Put the kids to bed a little earlier and take a bath to relax yourself if you need to but then poor yourself into your husband! Don't make him beg for your attention or intimacy with you, you be the one to make time for it and initiate it. Save some of your energy and attention for your husband and I promise you it will pay off!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Are You Too Busy?

The holidays are finally approaching! This is absolutely my favorite time of the year, I look forward to Christmas from about the middle of July so i'm thrilled that it's almost here. But this is without a doubt the busiest time of the year for our family because along with Christmas and Thanksgiving, all 5 of our birthdays are crammed in from November to March. Needless to say, I am often running frantic during these months!

I'm sure there are many woman that are equally as busy during this time of the year so I wanted to talk to you girls for a bit about a few ways to make things a little less stressful during the holidays. So i've come up with a couple of challenges for us girls (and i'm even going to sneak one in for you guys too!).

#1. Remember that you can not do it all!
It is absolutely impossible to try to do everything for each member of your family during this time of the year, or any time of the year for that matter. You are one woman and simply can not to the job of 2, 3 or 5 different people! Which leads to number 2...

#2. Delegate!
I am the worst about doing this! I have such a specific way of doing things and the perfect idea of how something should be done or cleaned and I know that my 2, 4 and 6 year old children simply can not do it that way so I don't even have them try. This is where I need to relinquish control and teach them how to do things. And most importantly, I need to give up my idea of perfection. It really doesn't matter if the wash rags are folded exactly the same, as long as they are in the closet when we need them.

#3. Spread things out!
This time of year there are always 100 things that need doing or functions that we feel we have to go to. In our family we have 5 different family gatherings at Christmas, all of which we could try to cram into 2 days if we wanted to make ourselves go crazy. Instead we spread some of them out a little and you know what? It's still just as much of a family Christmas get-together even if it happens the first part of January! It really is ok. Christmas is about celebrating Christ, not about pleasing every member of your family by seeing them at a specific time on a specific day.

#4. Just say "NO"!
It really is ok to say no to things. It's extremely hard for me to do that so i'm talking to myself just as much on this one. But if you try to stretch yourself too thin and be everything for everyone then no matter what you do it will be difficult to be anything for anyone.

#5. Ask for help!
If you're like me and your to-do list is a mile long, figure out what on there can be done by others and get your whole family to pitch in. If my house is a mess and it needs to be cleaned in a certain amount of time, I could run around like a crazy person and try to do it all myself. I'd probably only get about half of it done and just end up frustrated. Or, I could get my husband and kids involved in the project, get it done in half the time and avoid getting frustrated in the first place.

#6. Bonus for you guys...HELP!
Ok guys, here is the biggest secret to making things run smoother in your home during the holidays. Help your wife! I know it can be so easy to let her do everything because chances are, she's very much like me and has a certain way of doing things. But even if that is the case, get in there, figure out how to do it and do it. (Girls refer back to #2 on this one!) I promise guys, you will help her out so much, fill up her love bank and help her finish early which will leave more time for the two of you to spend together all in one easy step. You really can elevate a huge amount of stress for your wife which will in turn elevate a huge amount of stress from your home.

So there you go, there are my 6 easy steps to a stress free holiday season! Just kidding, they're really not easy to put into practice nor will they make your holidays completely stress free. But they sure can help to elevate a lot of the stress you may face over the next 2 months...or just from life in general!

Monday, November 7, 2011

5 Years Ago...

Yesterday we celebrated my daughter's 5th birthday so please excuse me while I get sentimental, just for today. :o)

5 years ago I was the mother of a son. I had a rough and tumble little boy who was into everything and felt it was his mission in life to destroy everything in his path. I was still learning how to do this whole "motherhood" thing and had finally gotten somewhat of an idea of what I was doing. Then came Alexis. She was pink all over and had complete control of her daddy from the moment she was born. She was full of drama and had the strongest will that I had ever dealt with, and in five years very little has changed. And yet, much has changed. Somehow in the blink of an eye, my little Lexi went from this...

To this...

She has transformed from a chubby little toddler into such a beautiful little lady and yet I know that at only 5 years old, the transformation is only beginning. I know that one day not too far away i'll look back at the pictures from this weekend and say "where did my baby go?". But for now, i'm going to hang on to this moment, hug her a little longer and enjoy these mere moments that she is a child.

Happy birthday my sweet Alexis! There is no one else in this like you, you are truly a one in a million girl and I thank God daily for allowing me to be your mother. I love you my sweet girl, never ever forget that!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Small Break

Hey friends, I just wanted to let everyone know that my week is looking huge right now and will be finished with my daughters 5th birthday. So i've decided to take the week off from writing. I will be back next Monday though for sure! Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Let's Fight!

I have discovered something about myself over the course of my marriage...I am a fighter! There are some days that I seem to wake up in the mood to fight and anyone who walks by could be under attack at any moment. Anyone else ever have days like this? Please tell me i'm not alone!

As awful as this personality trait may be there is actually a wonderful side to it and i've discovered that it's very important to wake up everyday ready to fight in your marriage. We just have to understand that we're not fighting our spouse! See, everyday Satan is ready to attack your marriage and family but I don't think that we're always ready for it. The bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour."

Satan would love nothing more than to destroy each and every marriage and he's actually gotten to be really good at it! In today's society it's very difficult to stay married, much less have a strong and healthy marriage and I think so many couples don't even know they're under attack. Many times people get married with the idea that it's going to all be love and roses and they're not prepared at all for the fight that they're in for.

You have to understand, when you get married, you become one. You are no longer two people living two lives. But so often I see couples walking, living and making choices as if they were still two separate people and therefore they fight like two separate people. In order for your marriage to be effective, you have to walk together and even learn how to fight together.

Let's face it, married life can be hard! You have come from completely different backgrounds and you both have different ways of doing pretty much everything. At first it may not seem like a big deal but after awhile you can begin to see your spouse as the enemy. They become the person you must conquer. If things have gotten to that point, stop right where you are! It doesn't matter if you feel like you're in the right and they're completely wrong. Just stop fighting against them!

See, when you spend all your time fighting each other, you are actually fighting against your marriage not just against your spouse. However when you turn things around and start fighting FOR your marriage you build up and strengthen it.

It's so important to understand that no matter what the situation, you and your spouse are to be on the same side. There should never be a situation where you are fighting against each other. You make yourselves and your marriage completely useless when you fight against each other. But once you start fighting with each other you begin to get some power to behind your marriage!

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says "A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." No matter what the situation you may be facing, take the stand together. Fight together. Include God in the situation and wrap yourselves so tight in Him that the strand of the three of you cannot be broken. It's way past time for couples to stop fighting against their marriages and start fighting for them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Please Pray With Me

Instead of my usual post today, I have a huge favor to ask of all my readers. A friend of ours has a four month old little girl and they have just discovered over the last few weeks that she has a heart condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy. They were told yesterday that she will need a heart transplant or she won't live through her toddler years.

I don't know about you guys but I believe 100% that sweet Audree is in the care of our Great Physician and can be completely healed in the blink of an eye! So I am asking each of you to pray for her complete healing, and i'd also like to ask each of you to ask your friends and family to be in prayer with us.

I've seen instant healing in my own kids lives and the bible is very clear that Jesus is no respecter of persons. What He's done for my kids He can do for Audree. Healing is part of God's heart, He loves taking old broken things and making them new. Audree's heart is certainly not old, but right now it is broken and i'm believing for her healing.

These are some of the verses I am praying over Audree if any of you would like to pray them over her with me. After all, in Matthew 18:19 it says "I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you."

I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours.- Mark 11:24

Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.- Matthew 17:20

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we ARE healed.- Isaiah 53:4-5

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.- Psalm 103:2-4

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.- Romans 8:11

Here is a LINK to a facebook page they created for updates on her and her condition. And here is a picture of her and another one of her sweet family. Thank you all so much for praying with us and asking others to pray as well.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What Kind Are You?

I've been seeing verses lately on different personality characteristics so I just decided to share them with you. Take a minute and read over these verses and see if any of them describe you or those around you...

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.~ Proverbs 27:9

Don't befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people...~ Proverbs 22:24

Stay away from fools, for you won't find knowledge on their lips.~ Proverbs 14:7

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.~ Proverbs 13:20

Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.~ Ephesians 4:29

The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.~ Proverbs 12:22

Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.~ Proverbs 12:18

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.~ James 1:19

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.~ Ephesians 5:1

Just some food for thought for today.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stubbornness...The Bond Of Marriages

Have you ever wanted to give up on your marriage? I absolutely have before, and i've almost walked away from it as well. I said in a post some time ago that when Colby and I made it to our first anniversary, i'm pretty sure everyone around us was shocked. Then we made it to our second and third anniversary and they continued to be surprised! You see, my husband and I have been through a LOT in our marriage. You can pretty much name it and we've dealt with it in some shape or form. And through all of those things we had one very important thing that I believe helped to pull us through...stubbornness.

I wish I could sit here and tell you that we had too great a love for each other or some other sweet comment like that, and while we really did love each other, I believe what kept us together was our stubborn nature. Neither of us would give up and walk away. We hurt each other but we never would give up. And looking back now, having come through all the pain, I am so thankful that we were so stubborn!

See I believe that a stubborn nature, the refusal to quit, is a key factor missing in most marriages. The world has the idea that if your marriage doesn't seem to be working you can just walk away and start over. People do make mistakes so maybe you just made a mistake in who you married right? Wrong! Marriage is marriage. Period.

Genesis 2:24 and Mark 10:8 talk about the fact that when two people get married they are no longer two, they become one. You have to get to the point in your marriage where you no longer see yourself as two. If you see yourself as one and then something begins to threaten your relationship, that stubborn refusal to quit becomes a life saver!

I saw this quote from Jon BonJovi that says "As for his secret to staying married: 'My wife tells me that if I ever decide to leave, she is coming with me." That is the attitude we have to have in our marriage. No matter what, don't give up. Hang on to that stubbornness and refuse to give up on your marriage!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Last Friday I talked about some of the struggles i've been facing and how i've just been feeling overwhelmed with life. I then went on to have a very busy weekend and didn't get a chance to write a post for today, so instead of staying up late last night I just decided to go without today. But this morning I was going over some verses and I found one that just struck me.

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15

For the last several weeks I have been struggling with having peace, things have been going on in my family that have deeply upset my thought life and my peace. What I noticed about this verse is the fact that the peace of Christ starts in our hearts. It can't just be there a little bit, it has to completely rule over our hearts. Now I know the word "rule" is very common and everyone knows what it means but I decided to look it up anyways. Here's what I found...

"To exercise control, dominion, or direction over; govern.
To dominate by powerful influence.
To decide or declare authoritatively or judicially; decree
To be in total control or command; exercise supreme authority.
To formulate and issue a decree or decision."

So by that definition, the peace of Christ is to have complete control and dominion over our hearts and have a powerful influence over our decisions. That's huge! As I was thinking over this verse today I started wondering; how do you know if the peace of Christ is ruling over your heart? Turns out, it's pretty easy to tell! If it's ruling in your heart, you'll be living out the rest of that verse and it'll be coming out in your actions. You see, Luke 6:45 says "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." So if His peace is in you then His peace will come out of you.

Honestly, His peace has not been coming out of me lately. I've been frustrated and angry about the situation i'm in and i've wanted to act out in that frustration and anger. After reading these verses i'm reminded that whatever is in my heart is what will come out in my actions. By acting out in frustration and anger it's clear that right now, those are the things ruling in my heart.

So today, i'm going after peace. I know I need the peace of Christ to fill my heart and come out in my actions so my prayer for today is the same one King David prayed in Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." If anyone else is struggling with this in any area of your life, join me in the desire for peace in both our hearts and our actions.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Can I Be Real?

When I first started talking about marriage and other issues on this blog and not just the every day happenings of my house, the one thing I said I wanted to do most of all on here was to be real. So with that being said, can I just be real for a minute?

I'm tired.

I'm completely overwhelmed with life right now.

I wake up most days feeling like i'm at least a week behind in everything, and that's on a good day.

There are a lot of days that my kids drive me completely insane.

I have a list of chores that need to be done at least a mile long.

As much as love writing on this blog, there are some days that I just don't want to do it anymore.

My husband and I got in a huge fight last night and even though we worked it out, i've spent a lot of today wishing I could go back and have kept my mouth shut.

I currently have dishes from two days ago that still need to be washed.

As much work as I have to do, i'd much rather turn on Pandora and play around on Pinterest.

I'm dealing with family drama and really want to get angry, stay angry and lash out in anger.

I could keep going on with this list but i'm sure you all get the general idea. These last couple of months it has seemed that life is just getting the best of me. It's times like this that I have to constantly remind myself of two verses. The first one is Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." and the second one is 1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

See, I don't have to do it all, be it all or carry it all. I simply have to wake up each morning and do the very best that I can for that day. If the day ends and there are still dirty dishes in the sink but i've spent time with Jesus letting go of anger, hurts or sadness then I will still count it as a good day.

I've wanted to so much to be real in everything I say on this blog and right now the realness of my life is that i'm burdened. But it's so amazing to know that I can take each one of my burdens and throw them on Jesus!

If you're struggling with any of this and feeling weighed down with your own burdens, take some time today to just throw your burdens on Him as well. His shoulders are much better at carrying the weight than you and I.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Love Seeks To Understand

For today's post I decided to do something a little different. I was recently thinking about the movie "Fireproof" and remembered one of the challenges from the "Love Dare" book, it was my favorite one in the movie and I considered giving my own spin on it but they did such a great job so I just decided to share the whole entry here. If you aren't familiar with this movie you can find the trailer for it as well as learn more about the movie HERE. Really read over this entry and put it into practice with your spouse starting today. You won't regret it!

Love Seeks to Understand

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. – Proverbs 3:13

We enjoy discovering as much as we can about the things we truly care about. If it’s our favorite football team, we’ll read any article that helps us keep up with how they’re doing. If it’s cooking, we’ll tune to those channels that share the best grilling techniques or dessert recipes. If there’s a subject that appeals to us, we’ll take notice any time it comes up. In fact, it’s often like an area of personal study.

It’s fine, of course, to have outside interests and to be knowledgeable about certain things. But this is where love would ask the question, “How much do you know about our mate?

Think back to the days when you were courting. Didn’t you study the one your heart was yearning for?

When a man is trying to win the heart of a woman, he studies her. He learns her likes, dislikes, habits, and hobbies. But after he wins her heart and marries her, he often stops learning about her. The mystery and challenge of knowing her seems less intriguing, and he finds his interests drifting to other areas.

This is also true in many cases for women, who start off admiring and building respect for the man they desire to be with. But after marriage, those feelings begin to fade as reality reveals that her “prince” is a flawed and imperfect man.

Yet there are still hidden things to discover about your spouse. And this understanding will help draw you closer together. It can even give you favor in the eyes of your mate. “Good understanding produces favor” (Proverbs 13:15).

Consider the following perspective: if the amount you studied your spouse before marriage were equal to a high school diploma, then you should continue to learn about your mate until you gain a “college degree,” a “master’s degree,” and ultimately a “doctorate degree.” Think of it as a lifelong journey that draws your heart ever closer to your mate.

· Do you know his or her greatest hopes and dreams?
· Do you fully understand how they prefer to give and receive love?
· Do you know what your spouse’s greatest fears are and why they struggle with them?

Some of the problems you have in relating to your spouse are simply because you don’t understand them. They probably react very differently to certain situations than you do, and you can’t figure out why?

These differences – even the ones that are relatively insignificant – can be the cause of many fights and conflicts in your marriage. That’s because, as the Bible says, we tend to “revile” those things we don’t understand (Jude 10).

There are reasons for his or her tastes and preferences. Each nuance in your spouse’s character has a back story. Each element of who he is, how he thinks, and what he’s like is couched in a set of guiding principles, which often makes sense only to the person who holds them. But it’s worth the time it will take to study why they are the way they are.

If you missed the level of intimacy you once shared with your spouse, one of the best ways to unlock their heart again is by making a commitment to know them. Study them. Read them like a book you’re trying to understand.

Ask questions. The Bible says, “The ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15). Love takes the initiative to begin conversations. In order to get your mate to open up, they need to know that your desire for understanding them is real and genuine.

Listen. “Wise men store up knowledge, but with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand” (Proverbs 10:14). The goal of understanding your mate is to hear them, not to tell them what you think. Even if your spouse is not very talkative, love calls you to draw out the “deep water” that dwells within them (Proverbs 20:5).

Ask God for discernment. “The Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6). Things like gender differences, family backgrounds, and varied life experiences can cloud your ability to know your mate’s heart and motivations. But God is a giver of wisdom. The Lord will show you what you need in order to know how to love your spouse better.

“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (Proverbs 24:3-4). There is a depth of beauty and meaning inside your wife or husband that will amaze you as you discover more of it. Enter the mystery with expectation and enthusiasm. Desire to know this person even better than you do now. Make him or her your chosen field of study, and you will fill your home with the kind of riches only love can provide.

Today’s Dare

Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you. The dinner can be as nice as you prefer. Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas you’ve rarely talked about. Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.

Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Are They Before You?

We live in a very selfish world. Everyone is concerned about what they want, what they need, and whether or not their needs are being met. It's very un-natural to put another persons wants and needs before yours. But in marriage that's exactly what we have to do!

A little girl once described love this way "When my grandma got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandpa does it for her now all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love..."

Have you ever shown that kind of sacrificial love towards your spouse? I believe those kinds of sacrifices are very easy to show at the beginnings of your relationship but get much harder as time goes by. And yet, in the later years it's so much more important.

I've thought and thought about this post all day and just can't seem to come up with much to add to this and my husband pointed out why. You see, sacrificial love is something that doesn't need a lot of explanation. I'm sure I could sit down with each of my readers and they could make a list of several things they could do to put their spouse first and show them that sacrificial love. But the question is, are they doing them? Simply knowing what to do isn't enough, you have to actually put it into practice.

So today, I just want to give you a little food for thought. Think about something you could do for your spouse, something that maybe they enjoy that you don't specifically, and go out of your way to do it. Over the next few days, go out of your way to put your spouse before yourself and give sacrificially to them in any way you can.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Quote For Your Weekend

Since I didn't have anything to post about for Fun Friday this week I just decided to keep things short and simple and share two quotes as my post.

"A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' come together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences." — Dave Meure

"The great secret of successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters." — Sir Harold George Nicolson

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There's Power In Your Words

I've talked about the power in your words before but i've mostly addressed the words spoken in your marriage and haven't really dealt with the words spoken to your children. But a couple of days ago, I was putting my kids to bed for probably the 20th time that night. Most nights they go to bed just fine but for some reason they just kept getting out of bed that night. My son was the main one getting up and he had already been spanked a couple of times for getting up and my exhaustion level had finally been reached. But he got up again and I ended up completely blowing it with him. I yelled at him, sent him back to bed and told him he better not get up again for any reason. Then I came back into the living room and decided to get on pinterest to try and unwind. This was the first thing I saw...

Then I scrolled down a little further and saw this...

Needless to say I was completely ashamed and convicted over how i'd talked to him. I made things right with him the next day but it didn't change what had already been done. In my exhaustion and frustration I ended up cutting my child with my words. I'm sure every parent has said things to their child that they desperately wish they could take back but it always hurts when you realize that you've hurt your child.

Since that night i've been reminded several times of Proverbs 18:12 which says "Death and life are in the power of the tongue". Also Psalm 19:14 has been on my mind. It says "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

At that moment, my words and my heart were not at all pleasing to God! I was angry with my son and being selfish with my time. Instead of disciplining my child for his disobedience, I punished out of anger.

I don't have any great words of wisdom for this post, and have actually had an incredibly hard time writing it. But I know that there are other mothers out there who have messed up this week and just need a little encouragement that they're not alone. So to all my mom friends who have completely blown it any time in the last week, month or year, here is a great big {{{HUG}}}!

This mothering job can be so difficult and even overwhelming sometimes but never ever give up. As much as i'd love to be perfect and never mess up, I know that's not going to happen for any of us. But our goal can still be to be the best mothers we can! Every time we mess up, we just have to get back up and keep going because as hard as it is "We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us". Even be patient mothers.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Are You Fun?

When my husband and I were dating, we laughed all the time! He was always cracking jokes and I was always trying to even though I was never really good at it. But we loved having fun together. I even remember times of going to the park and swinging together. I love those memories. Those were some of the funnest times of my life.

As we've gotten older and busier with life those fun things have kinda tapered off. We don't go to the park anymore unless we're taking the kids, we don't play as many goofy games like we did before, and we've pretty much gotten caught up with the responsibilities of life. However one thing we try to do often is laugh. Our house is often filled with laughter, even if it's just at a silly story from the kids day at school.

But I have to admit that there are times where it doesn't seem like there is much fun going on in our house. When things are particularly stressful or i've had an extremely hard day I notice that I sometimes put a halt to the fun going on around me. I can get in a grouchy funk and i'm no fun to be around at all!

Now there are times when things really are wrong and i'm not trying to make light of those times at all! But how often do small things seem big in our mind and cause us to lose our joy? Sometimes my kids can argue for a few minuets and I react as if the world is ending and make everyone miserable in the process. But you know what? I'm the only one who can change that. I'm the only one that can chose to be fun.

As my kids grow up, I want them to remember the sound of my laughter. When they picture me, I want them to see a smile on my face, not a scowl. When my husband pictures coming home at the end of the day I want him to picture me with a smile, not be prepared for me to vomit all my frustrations on him. And again, i'm the only one who can determine that outcome.

If you struggle with being fun here are a few ideas to get you started...

1. Build a tent/fort with your kids and spend the afternoon in it watching movies. Pop some popcorn and stay in your jammies while you do it.

2. Take a trip to the park with your spouse and actually swing! Don't just let your kids slide and swing, get in there with them and do it. Or better yet, go on a park date with just your spouse!

3. Give the kids a glass of chocolate milk and blow bubbles in it with them.

4. Lay on the floor and color with them. Don't even color things the right color. Make someone green on the page and see how hard your kids laugh.

5. Get out the play dough and see who in your family can sculpt the best figure. I bet your kids will actually be better than you and your spouse.

6. Play in the water with your spouse. Sprinklers are not just for kids!

7. Turn on some music and have a dance party with the whole family. I can't dance at all but even I like to dance to some "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"!

8. Get out a board game and change the rules up. Make it the object of the game to lose instead of win and see how confused everyone gets through out the game.

9. Go on a picnic. Pull out the blanket and eat on the ground!

10. Have a candy day. Every hour, on the hour, every person in the house gets a piece of candy. You can even make it more fun and have the rule that every person has to do something silly before they get their piece.

It doesn't matter what it is you chose to do as long as you do something! Make a point to do something fun and out of the ordinary as often as possible. But please remember, having fun and being silly is not just something to do with your children. Remember the fun you had when you and your spouse were dating. Pull out and re-create some of those memories to surprise them with. There's enough stress in this life without taking all fun out of your life! There's an old saying that goes "The most wasted day is that in which we have not laughed." and I have to say, I couldn't agree more!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Won't You Let Me Change?!

"A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and in the way they express their love." ~ Pearl S. Buck

As I was looking through marriage quotes this morning I came across this one and it really made me think. I've talked before about the fact that so often when we get married we think we can change our spouse and the dangers of that kind of thinking. But what happens when they start to change on their own?

My husband and I got married when we were 18 and neither of us had any idea of what we were supposed to be doing. We didn't know how to be married and naively thought there wouldn't be much to it (don't laugh too hard!). What we very quickly ended up with was a huge mess! During this time we both began to expect certain behaviors from each other, these were the behaviors we had been showing so it was completely natural to expect them from one another. However, after some major events in our marriage we both began to change and work really hard to fix the mess of a marriage that we had. At that point I discovered just how hard it can be to allow a person to change!

I would make a mistake and expect my husband to react in an irrational angry way, but he wouldn't. I would get angry at him and pick a fight expecting him to fight back, but he wouldn't. I almost started looking for ways to test him to see if he was really different and for a while I was shocked every time he proved that he was. Then I went through a phase of punishing him for how he used to be. Even though he hadn't responded negativity like he would have in the past, I expected him to so i'd punish him, just in case!

Over time I realized that him changing was just as much my responsibility as it was his. You see, he had to make the choice to actually change but I also had to allow him to change and learn how to react to the differences in him instead of what I expected from him. I had to stop treating him like the person he used to be and get to know this new wonderful man that had taken over. Once I did that I saw our marriage begin to transform!

So here's a few suggestions I have for someone dealing with a situation like this.

1. Appreciate the effort.
In order for someone to change something about their nature or habits, it takes a conscious effort on their part. When you are used to reacting in anger and you try to to change that about yourself it is HARD! Most likely they will not change instantly so there will be mess-ups along the way. Be sure they know you're aware of their effort and that you appreciate the work they're putting into it.

2. Be patient with them.
As I said, these are not changes that will happen instantly. The bigger and more difficult the change, the longer it will take and the more patient you will have to be with them.

3. Leave the past in the past!
If you know that your spouse is working to improve in a certain area, do not use that particular area as a weapon against them. Forgive them if you need to and! Neither of you will ever get anywhere if you are constantly bringing up past failures and throwing them in their face. I can tell you from experience that if you don't allow your spouse to grow and change they will stop wanting to grow and change and that's not a good place for either of you to be.

4. Encourage them.
Look for every opportunity you can find to lift them up and encourage them. It can be exhausting to work on changing things about yourself and it's very easy to feel like you're not doing any good at all. So find times to encourage them and tell them that they're doing a great job.

5. Pray for them.
Any change that a person makes in their personality or nature is done through the strength of Christ. It is not easy and it does take each person making a conscious choice and effort to do so, but the ability to change comes only from Him. With that being the case, take every opportunity to can to pray for your spouse in whatever area they are working on.

Change is often very difficult but it is a part of life. If you are married for more than a month you are going to see your spouse change, sometimes for the better and even sometimes for the worse. It is our job to support each other and lift each other up when those changes occur. It's so important that we remember to allow our spouses to make those changes!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Let's Talk About Talking

Over the past weekend I have dealt with a difficult situation with a family member and some very hurtful words have been said. Because of this I have decided to talk about the power of words again. I talked about the importance of your words in your marriage HERE so today I want to talk about the importance of your words in your other relationships.

One study I found stated that on average, women speak 20,000 words in a day and men speak on average about 6-7,000 words in a day. It's no surprise that us girls love to talk! We can talk about anything and everything with ten different people each day. We can hash over the same subject for three hours straight giving every single little detail and never get tired of talking. But how many of those words are negative? What do you speak over yourself? over your children and those around you?

As a parent it can be so easy to focus on the areas that you have failed and never see what you've done right. I could spend hours talking about all the areas I have failed my children over the last 6 years on being a mom but there is absolutely nothing positive about that! It does no good to my children or to myself. I could also list all the problems there are with my children and how some of the negative features of their personalities could ruin them as adults. But again, what good would it do?

Instead of speaking these negative words over them and over myself, I chose to speak positive life into these situations. Instead of saying "I'm a failure as a mom" I say "Through Christ, I am and will continue to be a successful mother". Instead of saying "My kids threw a fit so they must be horrible children" I say "They may have messed up but because Christ is in them they will grow to be over comers".

Proverbs 18:21 says "Death and life are in the power of the tongue". And Deuteronomy 30:19 says "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!"

Every day you have the choice to make, life or death, blessing or curses. Not only do you make this choice in your actions but remember that you make this choice in your words as well. The words you speak over yourself and those around you is just as important as the actions to walk out around them. Will you chose life or death? Will you chose blessing or cursing? Both options have been put before you and the choice is entirely up to you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

C.S. Lewis on Marriage PT 2

Here is the continuation of C.S. Lewis' chapter on marriage from "Mere Christianity" titled " Christian Marriage".

People get from books the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on ‘being in love’ for ever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to a change — not realising that, when they have changed, the glamour will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one. In this department of life, as in every other, thrills come at the beginning and do not last. The sort of thrill a boy has at the first idea of flying will not go on when he has joined the R.A.F. and is really learning to fly. The thrill you feel on first seeing some delightful place dies away when you really go to live there. Does this mean it would be better not to learn to fly and not to live in the beautiful place? By no means. In both cases, if you go through with it, the dying away of the first thrill will be compensated for by a quieter and more lasting kind of interest. What is more (and I can hardly find words to tell you how important I think this), it is just the people who are ready to submit to the loss of the thrill and settle down to the sober interest, who are then most likely to meet new thrills in some quite different direction. The man who has learned to fly and become a good pilot will suddenly discover music; the man who has settled down to live in the beauty spot will discover gardening.

This is, I think, one little part of what Christ meant by saying that a thing will not really live unless it first dies. It is simply no good trying to keep any thrill: that is the very worst thing you can do. Let the thrill go — let it die away — go on through that period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow — and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time. But if you decide to make thrills your regular diet and try to prolong them artificially, they will all get weaker and weaker, and fewer and fewer, and you will be a bored, disillusioned old man for the rest of your life. it is because so few people understand this that you find many middle-aged men and women maundering about their lost youth, at the very age when new horizons ought to be appearing and new doors opening all round them. It is much better fun to learn to swim than to go on endlessly (and hopelessly) trying to get back the feeling you had when you first went paddling as a small boy.

Another notion we get from novels and plays is that ‘falling in love’ is something quite irresistible; something that just happens to one, like measles. And because they believe this, some married people throw up the sponge and give in when they find themselves attracted by a new acquaintance. But I am inclined to think that these irresistible passions are much rarer in real life than in books, at any rate when one is grown up. When we meet someone beautiful and clever and sympathetic, of course we ought, in one sense, to admire and love these good qualities. But is it not very largely in our own choice whether this love shall, or shall not, turn into what we call ‘being in love’? No doubt, if our minds are full of novels and plays and sentimental songs, and our bodies full of alcohol, we shall turn any love we feel into that kind of love: just as if you have a rut in your path all the rainwater will run into that rut, and if you wear blue spectacles everything you see will turn blue. But that will be our own I fault.

Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is the quite different question — how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for every one. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mahommedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognise that the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.
So much for the Christian doctrine about the permanence of marriage. Something else, even more unpopular, remains to be dealt with. Christian wives promise to obey their husbands. In Christian marriage the man is said to be the ‘head’. Two questions obviously arise here. (1) Why should there be a head at all — why not equality? (2) Why should it be the man?

(1) The need for some head follows from the idea that marriage is permanent. Of course, as long as the husband and wife are agreed, no question of a head need arise; and we may hope that this will be the normal state of affairs in a Christian marriage. But when there is a real disagreement, what is to happen? Talk it over, of course; but I am assuming they have done that and still failed to reach agreement. What do they do next? They cannot decide by a majority vote, for in a council of two there can be no majority. Surely, only one or other of two things can happen: either they must separate and go their own ways or else one or other of them must have a casting vote. If marriage is permanent, one or other party must, in the last resort, have the power of deciding the family policy. You cannot have a permanent association without a constitution.

(2) If there must be a head, why the man? Well, firstly, is there any very serious wish that it should be the woman? As I have said, I am not married myself, but as far as I can see, even a woman who wants to be the head of her own house does not usually admire the same state of things when she finds it going on next door. She is much more likely to say ‘Poor Mr X! Why he allows that appalling woman to boss him about the way she does is more than I can imagine.’ I do not think she is even very flattered if anyone mentions the fact of her own ‘headship’. There must be something unnatural about the rule of wives over husbands, because the wives themselves are half ashamed of it and despise the husbands whom they rule. But there is also another reason; and here I speak quite frankly as a bachelor, because it is a reason you can see from outside even better than from inside. The relations of the family to the outer world — what might be called its foreign policy — must depend, in the last resort, upon the man, because he always ought to be, and usually is, much more just to the outsiders. A woman is primarily fighting for her own children and husband against the rest of the world. Naturally, almost, in a sense, rightly, their claims override, for her, all other claims. She is the special trustee of their interests. The function of the husband is to see that this natural preference of hers is not given its head. He has the last word in order to protect other people from the intense family patriotism of the wife. If anyone doubts this, let me ask a simple question. If your dog has bitten the child next door, or if your child has hurt the dog next door, which would you sooner have to deal with, the master of that house or the mistress? Or, if you are a married woman, let me ask you this question. Much as you admire your husband, would you not say that his chief failing is his tendency not to stick up for his rights and yours against the neighbours as vigorously as you would like? A bit of an Appeaser?