One of my favorite things in life is traveling, especially when we are able to take our travel trailer! This week, my husband has a case in a town about 3 hours away and I get to go with him, and we are going in my beloved “home away from home”! Yes, there is a little bit of hillbilly in me!
I love having these trips with hubby! When he is finished with work, we go find great restaurants, flea markets, and antique shops. We then come back to an excited Gracie and just have down time together…just the two of us! I think that is what I love most is having hubby all to myself!
It is so important, whether before or after you have empty nested, to have times away. Even if it is just a day trip, make time to go and do something fun and different. It may be just the two of you going to a zoo, on a scenic drive, or a full-fledged weekend get-away, but whatever it is get away from phones, computers, and the daily routine and find new things to explore together! It is like a booster shot for marriages!
If we aren’t careful, we will get so concentrated on the kids and the activities we have them in our spouse can rarely be seen, much less have quality time with them! Soon life becomes a rat race even at home and our mates suffer. Once the kids are grown and gone you can easily look at each other and almost ask, “Who are you?”. A good way to know if you are making the time necessary to keep your marriage healthy and strong is to ask yourself, “When was the last time I gave my undivided attention to my spouse without thinking about what I needed to hurry and do next?” You will know from your answer if it is time to break away, even if it just means a walk together!
Sometimes, we can get so busy, even with noble things, our spouses suffer! God‘s first institution was not the church, but marriage. Don’t get me wrong, church is of utmost importance and hubby and I are there every time the doors open, BUT we don’t put serving others over serving one another! The authority and order of your home is meant to be God, then your spouse, then children. This order was set in place by God, Himself. When we get those priorities out-of-order or balance, then there is an open door for trouble!
Your marriage is your first ministry and what you put the most time into is what will flourish! Time away is a good way to make sure bonding is still taking place, even when you have been married many years.
Just a tidbit, precious reader! Have a blessed day in the Lord! I will see you soon!
The saying we are our own worst enemy is so true, and so very sad. When there is an “enemy” to us, we are not the only ones to suffer. The ones who love us suffer, also. When we make impossible demands on our spouses or we are a walking contradiction in what we SAY makes us happy as opposed to what actually does, we have become enemies to our own marriages.
I want to give you some “happiness” tips. Simple tweaks can make huge differences!
1. Don’t say one thing, but mean another. If you want flowers from your husband on Valentine’s Day, don’t tell him you don’t! It is amazing to me how much this sort of thing happens in marriages and then the wife is angry and bitter because of it. I was talking to a lady recently that told me her husband always forgets her birthday. She then told me she stopped celebrating it over 20 years ago because something tragic happened to her family just a day or two before her birthday. She was upset with her husband for not celebrating her birthday, yet she herself tells others she doesn’t celebrate due to bad memories. When her WORDS are respected (because this isn’t how she really feels or what she even wants) and the birthday comes and goes without fanfare, she is upset! You cannot win in this contradiction she has created! I actually felt sorry for her husband. If you want something, don’t tell others you don’t and then resent them when they respect your wishes! You have put your mate in a place they cannot win and you have lied and been deceptive in your relationship. You said one thing when you actually meant another…that is not truth! You have also opened the door for the devil to bring bitterness into your heart. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
2. Don’t expect your spouse to be a mind reader! If something is bothering me that my husband is doing or not doing, when he asks me what is wrong I don’t tell him nothing is and then give the silent treatment until the poor thing figures it out! Some people love to pout! They love for people to feel sorry for them, and frankly, they love the attention this unhealthy and neurotic behavior gets! If you are doing this, you are being very unfair to your spouse and you are NOT walking in the love of God! Even the Bible tells us to ask God so that we may receive and God can read your mind! If God expects you to ask Him, He expects you to afford your mate the same respect! If your spouse is not meeting a need you have, tell them in love! At the same time, turn it around and ask them if there is something they need you to do or change. After all, you are no mind reader either!
3. Return the favor! There are things my husband does for me all the time without me having to ask. One of those things is washing my car, keeping the oil changed, and keeping all the “stickers” up to date! He isn’t required to do this. He does it out of his love for me. One day my husband called me from work. This particular day was a hectic one for me. It seemed everyone that day needed a piece of me. I had things I had to get done for a project, my children had things that needed my attention, I had a million errands to run, and I didn’t feel well that day. When he called he asked me very sweetly if I could pick up his suit from the dry cleaners. It was as if it was the last straw. I curtly told him I would, all the while thinking how he could so easily pull into the cleaners on his way home. I even voiced this to him! What had I done? I had overscheduled myself through poor planning and I let my husband suffer the effects of it. There he had been lovingly serving me and I was resentful when he asked for one simple thing! I knew that suit was in the cleaners and I knew before this particular day it needed to be picked up. I should have gone and gotten it for him without having to be asked. I would have been furious if my husband had made me last on his list of priorities, yet that is what I had done to him. Be appreciative of the little things instead of concentrating on all that you could gripe about! Think about them and mull them over in your mind until you truly are grateful! Then think about how you can bless your spouse the way they have blessed you. You will be amazed the change in the atmosphere of your home and in your relationship by doing something so simple!
I hope you have gleaned from this, precious reader! None of these things require major effort, but they make a huge difference in whether our relationships fail or succeed! They are well worth doing and you will find your love deepening through the years because of them instead of slipping slowly away from one another!
Blessings to you. I will see you soon! Juliana
It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. Proverbs 25:24
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down (with her actions and words). Proverbs 14:1
As women, we play a vital role in the atmosphere of our home. There is a saying, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” What this means is the mother or the wife sets the attitude of the home and those in it. Even though we are told and know it to be true, that our husbands are head of the home, we as women are the heart of it!
Think about the physical heart. If the heart doesn’t beat correctly the whole body suffers. The kidneys, lungs, liver, brain, and all the other major organs don’t get the correct amount of oxygen and blood flow they need and they slowly begin to suffer major damage and eventually they die. It is the same in a family. When the mother stops being the spiritual pillar God meant her to be, when she lets life determine her mood, her thoughts, her faithfulness to God or lack thereof; it affects the husband, children and grandchildren. I have seen mothers leave church (this is a major sign of where a Christian stands in faithfulness to God) and take their husbands and children right out with them. They then wonder what happened when catastrophe hits, and know it will hit if you fall away from God! The wife and mother herself may have just as well gone to her front door and opened it and said, “Come right in, satan! I am now welcoming you to make yourself right at home!” There are only two choices in who you will follow. If you aren’t following God wholeheartedly you are following satan, whether you did it consciously or not, and you will have the effects of it!
If you aren’t walking closely with God, you are not going to be full of joy. A woman who isn’t full of the joy of the Lord begins to look for that joy other places. It may be in hobbies, vacations, get-aways, or jobs. The problem is true joy is only found in one place and that is in the presence of God! No other place or person on the face of the earth satisfies like Jesus does!
When joy begins to fade contention sets in. The Bible says it is better for a man to dwell in a desert than in a home with a contentious wife! What is contention? The Free Online Dictionary defines it as “the act or an instance of striving in controversy or debate.” The synonym for it is “discord”. Discord is defined as…
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33 ESV
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22 ESV
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
Our marriage has always been a work in progress! From day one until 29 years later, it has been talking, compromising, planning, staying on the same page.
My husband and I are total opposites! I mean you cannot get more opposite than what we are! We have two things in common. We love each other and we believe the same way spiritually speaking. My husband loves me deeply. I am not sure why. I am not pulling for sympathy, this is a statement of fact nothing more. I can see it in his eyes when he looks at me, I can see it in little things he does. For example, tonight I had not felt well because I had been hurting from falling in the hole on our anniversary when we went camping and I got little to no sleep the night before. He was heading to the evening service at church later and I asked him before he left would he fix a fire in the fireplace for me. “I might if I have time.” I didn’t think any more about it, but when I got up from resting my back and went to the living room there in the fireplace was a beautiful blazing fire!
He has always done things like this. He would fix my coffee for every morning even though in all of our married life he has only drunk half a cup. He would lie on my side of the bed in the winter time until I got there to warm it up for me. He scratches my back to relax me every single night of my life! My husband works at home and when he hears me get up and start to stir, he walks in and gives me a big hug and kisses me and asks me how I slept. I can see in his eyes, with all of my bed head, no make-up, a few pounds heavier, and my face not quite as smooth as it was 30 years ago the love he has for me runs even deeper than it did in the beginning!
The other morning I was in a huge hurry. I had to have some photographs taken for an event. I was grabbing things throwing them in sacks and suddenly I heard something crash and break. I looked and it was my favorite bracelet. It went with everything!! I am a huge bling girl, so this was very annoying. My husband had the next day off. He told me he was going to play golf and he did. What he didn’t tell me was he had fished the broken bracelet out of the trash and spent the other half of his day shopping at the mall (something he hates voraciously) looking for another bracelet identical to the one I broke to replace it. Girls, don’t give me cruises, expensive chocolates, huge houses and fancy cars once a year! Give me a man who treats me like a queen every single day of my life just like my husband does! I feel sorry for women who are married to men who only give them things and never their hearts! And I feel sorry for husbands whose wives only want and take and never give gratitude and respect for someone who is probably the best thing that ever happened to them!
I had been thinking about all of this and then I began to shamefully think about some other things. For all that my husband so thoughtfully does for me, there are certain things he does that can really grate on my nerves. I was thinking about all the “negatives” or what I perceived as negative. On this particular day I found my tone gruff and my manner as well. Nothing puts me in a worse mood than to be running late and having to hurry and this was one of those days!! It seems everything goes wrong at those times. As I rushed around I was barking orders to my husband and he was doing them at HIS pace instead of MINE! The more he did this, the angrier I became. I could feel my frustration level rising. Finally, I snappishly said to him, “Oh, just leave it! I will do it myself!!” As I drove off in the car I began to rehearse his less than perfect traits. Oddly, I never once thought of mine!! Suddenly, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and reminded me of all the things he did do that was beyond what I ever thought to expect.
“A love so deep and so true deserves respect”, the Holy Spirit said. Oh, I could feel it. I no longer was feeling sorry for myself, I was feeling sorry for my husband! In all that he did and does for me, I failed to appreciate him and even worse I failed to do what the Bible says and RESPECT him!
What we rehearse the most in our minds is what our very lives will become! If we rehearse all the bad, the worse our world becomes and those in it that we hold responsible, often times unfairly, we begin to loathe instead of love. How very sad we destroy the love and its depths along with the relationship God so generously blessed us with! I find when I rehearse the positive, it acts as a magnet to bring more positive things to my life! A grateful heart always gets blessed!
Having some challenges in your marriage today? Write down five things your spouse does for you that is done just because they love you. Keep that list in front of your eyes all week, especially when things begin to get on your nerves, yet again! Rehearse it over and over!! Remind yourself of that love! Then write down at the end of the week how it was different from the other weeks. How it turned out to be surprisingly better than you expected. Your spouse will see the change in you, which will prompt some changes in them. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain or preserve, whichever the case may be!
Blessings to you, precious reader! See you soon!
I am happy to announce haven’t stepped in the hole again! Every single time I step out the door I remind my husband about it and for him not to step in it either; it is a doozy!
Today, when we woke up, it was storming and the trailer was rocking with the wind. I could see my husband’s head going back and forth with the sway of the wind. I looked out at the lake. It had waves that looked more like the beach! White caps were everywhere! They sky behind the lake was a strange gray, a color I have seen just before a tornado. Somehow, I knew a tornado was not going to be part of my day. The wind was lulling me back to sleep, but church was quickly approaching and I had to rush to get ready.
Hubby made me pancakes and bacon while I got ready to leave. We went to church and drove back talking about where we would eat tonight. All of a sudden I thought just being in my jammies and writing a blog while hubby napped just sounded great! We decided, he would go into town for burgers.
Gracie is beside me with her new Christmas blanket and her toy rope. Gracie is my chihuahua. Suddenly, I just got a hankering to watch “Hondo“, my favorite John Wayne movie. Last night hubby surprised me with my favorite Christmas movie “Silent Night” with Linda Hamilton.
You know what would make this day complete for me, Baby?
To watch “Hondo”!
Yep, it sure would!
Suddenly, my husband reaches down and pulls out the movie “Hondo” from the movies we have in the trailer! He thought of everything!! I feel like a queen, but better than that I feel loved and cherished! He thought of me and all I enjoyed and just to wish for it, he gave it.
I thank God for my husband! After 29 years of marriage, neither of us are the same physically or mentally, but thank God, we have grown in our love for each other and grown together and not apart. We have loved the changes! We have embraced them and in so doing embraced each other even tighter!
If you were looking for a “Lucy” incident, I hope you aren’t disappointed! The day is not over…you just never know when one is going to pop up! Blessings, dear reader!! See you soon!