Now You’re Speaking My Language

At the beginning of the year, we set out to accomplished lots of goals, but as excitement of the “new” is starting to wear out, we are getting burned out during this season of spring cleaning and end-of-school-year events, or you’re just ready for a break, it is hard to be intentional about living out Mark 12:30-31. In these verses, Jesus says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

During our church’s Parents’ Night Out, our children’s director led a devotion (before we left our kiddos for a date night) which included these verses. She shared that we need to love our closest neighbor, which is our spouse! To fully love our spouse, we need to know how they best receive love. At a book study, I got a great reminder of showing love using the five love languages.

The-Five-Love-Languages-Logo

I’m a blog contributor at Next Level Mama. To read the remainder of THIS POST and find out what action steps you need to take, head over to this awesome site!

What is your love language? How can your husband show you love? What is your husband’s love language? How can you show him love?

 

Spring Cleaning Your Sanctuary

bedroomAround this time of year, many people get the itch to do some spring cleaning. It is a whirlwind from the holidays on, and it is March before we realize the Christmas ornaments are still taking up residence in the garage, right in the middle of the path from the house to the car. True story. No matter how disorganized the rest of my house is, I usually try my hardest to make sure our bedroom is tidy. However, it has been a bit crazy the past few weeks, and I let a few things pile up.

Here is the state of our bedroom this past week:

I’m a blog contributor at Next Level Mama. To read the remainder of THIS POST, head over to this awesome site!

Also, here’s an Update: In my last post about Marriage Goals in Action, I gave you 3 action steps to take. One of them was to schedule some Date Nights. I scheduled a date night for every 3rd Monday of the month on our Google calendar, and so far we have been able to go out sans kiddos in January and in February. This month, the mom’s group I am in, MOPS, is organizing a night out, and in April, our church is also organizing a night out for the couples with young kids. Hooray for a communities that encourage parents to grow in their marriage!

Are you a spring cleaner? Is your bedroom your sanctuary? If not, what is one thing you can do this week to make it a sanctuary

Marriage Goals in Action

There is something about a new year that makes all the possibilities seem endless! It is a blank slate to be filled with resolutions or goals. You might have chosen one word to focus on for the year, like I did! There is a  fresh calendar to be filled with activities with friends, family, church, and whatever else is out there.

And then, life happens. We are chaperoning kids’ field trips, chauffeuring kids from one activity to another. Kids get sick. You get sick. The car breaks down…again.

You’ve got a vision for your marriage with your Marriage Mission Statement. In Marriage 101, I have you all set with instructors and resources. You’ve got your community after Meeting Other Couples With Kids. And of course, I know you are thankful for that hubby of yours. So let’s get going.

Instead of giving you some fluff about making goals for your marriage this year, I’m going to challenge you to take action by the end of today, right at this moment if you can!

marriagegoalsI’m a blog contributor at Next Level Mama. To read the remainder of THIS POST, head over to this awesome site!

How will you be more intentional about keeping marriage and your husband a priority this year?

10 Reasons Why I Am Thankful for My Husband

Each night, our girls write in their journals something they were thankful for that day, something that was a favorite part of their day. (I think I can learn a thing or two about gratitude from them.)

Recently, I listened to a powerful podcast with Kat Lee (author of the Inspired to Action website) and Amanda Carroll (who is a DJ at KLOVE radio). As a single mama, Amanda gives encouragement to us married mamas, to remember to be thankful for our husbands, even in those moments when we might be annoyed or irritated with their behavior. Even when they are working late…again, we can still be thankful that they have a job to provide for the family…and that they are coming home…eventually. What a great reminder for me to show appreciation for the things my husband does and for who he is.
thankfulSo during this season of Thanksgiving (which I have been inspired by my girls to live out throughout the whole year), I want to share why I’m thankful for my husband.

I’m a blog contributor at Next Level Mama. To read the remainder of THIS POST, head over to this awesome site!

Why are you thankful for your husband? Have you told him lately? Are there others in your life that you are thankful for? Share with us who you are thankful for, and why.

*Image Source: iwannatalkaboutbrooke.blogspot.com

Meeting Other Couples With Kids

In my previous posts, we talked about having a mission statement for our marriage, and finding marriage resources (mentor, books, websites) to guide your marriage. Today, we are talking about being in community with other couples. It is great to have a marriage mentor, a couple who has years of experience and can share wisdom with you, but it is also great to be in community with peers who are going through the same marriage celebrations and struggles as you.

Being in a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group has helped me grow as a mom. We share the joys and the challenges that comes with motherhood. We learn from one another what has worked for potty training, or tricks to get crayon stains out of the couch. It’s always nice to know that we are not alone in this mothering journey.

In the same way, we should be connecting with other like-minded couples in our community to help us grow as a couple. We can share the joys and the challenges that comes with marriage. We can learn from one another what has work for conflict management, or tips for communicating about finances. A Christian couples community can help us keep accountable to a Christ-centered relationship, and grow us in our faith.

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This is 3 of the 4 couples in our couples group that we were in when we were all dating. Now we are all married and have kids.

I’m a blog contributor at Next Level Mama. To read the remainder of THIS POST, head over to this awesome site!

Do you have ‘couple friends’ who you can discuss marriage matters with? If not, come up with a list of 2-3 couples you’d like to get to know better. Invite them over for dinner or dessert party and get the conversation rolling.

– Joyce

Marriage 101

The back-to-school ads are out, and despite the fact that summer actually ends in mid-September, summer break ends soon for most of the kids in our lives. Whether your kids are in public or private school, or you homeschool or unschool, we all have to agree that this whole ‘learning’ thing never really ends. From elementary school to college, and from job training to workshops, if you really want to ‘master’ anything, you need to study and continue learning.

It is the same way in our marriages. We can’t expect that once we say, “I do” we automatically know how to be a great husband or a great wife. So, let’s go back to school and take a look at a “beginner’s” course on marriage.

Welcome to Marriage 101! While I will be your facilitator for this course, the syllabus is flexible. Choose your own instructors and textbooks, but make sure you complete the assignments for a good grade.

Course Description: Take the Marriage Mission Statement that you have created to find resources that will guide you in building a healthy marriage.

marriagebooks

I’m a blog contributor at Next Level Mama. To read the remainder of THIS POST, head over to this awesome new site!

Do you have a mentor couple in your life? What books have you read that have been helpful to growing your marriage? Complete the assignments, and come back here to let us know how it went.

– Joyce

First Comes Love, Then Comes a Marriage Mission Statement

The Beginning
The other day my six-year-old asked me, “How did you and Daddy meet again?” So I told her about the first time we met. We were in high school at the time. My husband had come to see the youth group musical that I was performing in. “Did you look into each other’s eyes and fall in love?” (I have “Nancy Clancy, Secret Admirer” to thank for this question.) No, not exactly. We were actually friends for two years before we started dating. Her questions brought back a lot of memories of how we have grown in our relationships with each other to where we are now.

Image Source: Arguelles Design

Image Source: Arguelles Design

Us as a Couple
I am not a marriage expert by any means, but what I do know in our five years of dating, one year engagement, and almost eight years of marriage, is that marriage takes a lot of work. Once children come into the picture, we have to be even more intentional about setting aside time to be just us as ‘a couple’, instead of us as ‘mom and dad’.

I’m a blog contributor at Next Level Mama. To read the remainder of THIS POST, head over to this awesome new site!

Do you have a marriage mission statement? If not, would you join me in taking action this week to write up a marriage mission statement?

– Joyce