The Downside of a Routine

Hi everyone! So…you know how you have one of those days? Well, mine was yesterday! I am sorry I missed you. Please forgive me. 😊

How are you? I hope you enjoyed your weekend. It’s countdown to Christmas and I am happy about it. My children will be ecstatic to see what they have been blessed with this year and my husband and I are grateful that we can bless them. We are also grateful to be upon our thirteenth wedding anniversary. Let me know if you’re tired of hearing this…LOL

I love having a routine. It helps to keep me focused and on task. If I don’t have a daily routine, it is easy for me to slip into procrastination and many things would fall to the wayside. I have been in a routine since I was very young. I can remember being ten years old and getting up early and beginning my day. I still get up early each day, but what’s changed is having a husband, children, job, blog, and everything else.

Having a routine in marriage is helpful too. Planning routine getaways and date nights will help to keep your marriage on the right track. However, if a negative routine develops, it can drain the life and fun out of your marriage.

Almost two years ago, my husband and I moved from Philadelphia to Georgia. It was a big move for us. The routine in my household completely changed because of the move. I went from working full-time as a manager to working from home part-time and caring for my children full-time (PRAY FOR ME). There have been so many changes, that my marriage kind of fell into a rut.

Things were splendid the first few months after our move. We were walking on cloud-nine; happy about our move, our home, neighborhood and our new beginning God promised. However, a few months later, I noticed my patience was much shorter. My husband was working longer hours, but I thought no big deal he has to work. Then I noticed I was more annoyed and began complaining. Next, my husband who is very patient, came home irritable. I thought “No problem, he’s probably tired, from working more than usual.” Finally, after three weeks of this behavior, we had a disagreement. At the end of it, we kind of sat there in a daze like, “What just happened?” And, what was this really about? Instantly, we realized by way of the Holy Spirit, that we were not spending enough time together. Both of us got so focused on our move, and our new routine, we forgot about keeping each other first.

After fifteen years of being together, we enjoy spending time together often, yet the one thing we enjoy doing most was the one thing we neglected to do. I was praying, but I  was not paying attention because I allowed the outside to affect the inside.

Song of Solomon 2:15 – “Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!”

I am grateful we were able to recognize it before it caused real damage to our marriage.

As married people, we must know the cycle of our relationship. We must be careful not to develop an unhealthy routine. For some couples, a weekly date night is imperative to keep the fires flowing. For other couples, physical touch is a way to keep intimacy. For many, sexual intimacy must be kept at the top of the list, to avoid issues. Every marriage is different, and you must know what works for you.

My husband and I love to get away. One of my marital goals for the New Year is to make sure we take time to getaway consistently. This is the positive routine I plan on implementing, and January 14, 2019 will be the beginning. My other goal is to make sure I do not allow outside influences to dictate the routine of my marriage.

Do you have any marital goals for the New Year?

Blessings.

 

 

Photo by Scott Walsh on Unsplash

Let’s be Balanced!

Hello there. How are you? I pray all is well and you are excited about your week!

Who isn’t busy these days? I am, and I’m sure you are too. Lately, I have been pondering on the word balance. What is balance? Is it something we can actually attain?

According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, the word balance is defined as a physical equilibrium or the ability to retain one’s balance.

I believe most of us want balance. We already know the effects of being unbalanced. But knowing this doesn’t prevent us from falling into the abyss of it. Therefore, how do we achieve balance? How do we juggle our relationship with God, husbands, children, businesses, ministry, blogs, friendships, and our own personal lives?

To achieve balance, we must take the necessary steps. That means including God in all our plans. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” I believe many of us live unbalanced lives because we have taken on certain roles God never intended for us to take on. Ask yourself, “What can I remove from my life?” “What is taking up unnecessary space?” Once you take stock of what is it, remove it. If you cannot remove it immediately, do it over time.

Next, prioritize. Understand what is most important and stick to it. It doesn’t mean certain things won’t pop up, because that’s life, but learning to prioritize keeps balance and organization. For example, keeping balance in your family life is paramount especially if you have younger children. Those toddler and teenage years go by fast and you should enjoy every moment of it. You want to be there as much as you can because there will be a time your children don’t want you to be around. You don’t want to look back and realize you were more engaged with work, and other activities then the relationship with your children.

Turn it off! Social media, in many regards, is wonderful but if we are not careful, we can allow it to infiltrate our entire lives. We live in a world when everyone and everything is pulling at us in one way or another. One simple thing to do is cut it off completely, but if you cannot rip off the band-aid, work at having a time limit.

Balancing our lives MUST start and end with God. Luke 12:34, says “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” This simply means where you place your thoughts, time, and energy is where your focus will be. If your treasure is wrapped in work, that is where your focus will be. If it’s achieving financial success, your heart will be there too. And the wrong focus leads to an unbalance life.

I encourage you to take a hard look at your life. Be honest and acknowledge if there is unbalance in your life. Pray, repent and ask God to help you put him in the center of all you do as God is the architect of balance.

Blessings.

Marriage Lessons-(12 week series)-Week 9

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great weekend!! Today is week nine of the Marriage Lessons. Last weeks lesson focused on “A nagging wife.” I hope you will read it.

Lesson 9. Communication is a skill and you must learn to master it daily

Communication definition: the imparting or exchanging of information or news

Fifteen years ago, when my husband and I were in marriage counseling, our counselors asked me a question. They asked, “How will I work things out when there is a conflict?” I remember saying “By communicating.” Their response was “Communication works both ways.” “And what will you do if you communicate differently?” I recall thinking, “That won’t be a problem for us, we always talk to each other.” After year one of marriage, I realized talking and communicating was two different things. Talking to each other was very easy, however, communicating our emotions meant going beyond the surface; something which was difficult for us.

Effective communication avoids confusion, misunderstandings, and conflict. In school, we learn subjects such as reading, writing, and arithmetic; however, we are not taught how to effectively communicate. In most cases communication is a skill that enhances over time with practice and patience.

My husband and I communicated poorly. In some ways, communicating was more of a challenge for me as I was still overcoming the effects of abuse from my childhood.

One of the first times we experienced a miscommunication was within the first few weeks of our marriage.  Usually, when I came home from work, I changed out of my work clothes and sat down for a few minutes to gather myself before cooking. One day, I was sitting on the couch when my husband walked in. He came in, gave me a kiss and went into the kitchen. I did not think much of it until I heard pots and pans. I walked into the kitchen and asked, “Are you making dinner?” He said “Yes.” I immediately got upset and walked out of the kitchen. Later that night, he noticed I was quiet and asked if I was okay. I did not want to talk about it, but I did anyway (internalizing). I said, “You made me feel like a bad wife when you went into the kitchen to cook.”  “You made it seem as if I was taking too long.” He looked at me and said, “That is not what I was thinking.” He said, “My process when I come home is to go directly into the kitchen to begin cooking.” He told me he had been doing things this way since becoming a single father.

It was at that moment I realized I needed to deal with my emotions as well as communicate what I felt instead of shutting down. I am grateful we were able to resolve the issue quickly. We learned we needed to discuss our expectations of each other to avoid other issues.

On a daily basis, we continuously work on communicating our emotions. I learned it is important to say what you mean and mean what you say. Sometimes as wives, we expect our husband to read our minds, which is a mistake because they can’t. As I learned, communication goes two ways. I encourage you to communicate with your spouse. Express your emotions, be clear, be direct. Matthew 5:37 says, Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”

My Marriage Lesson & Your Marriage Lesson

  1. Discuss your expectations to each other at the beginning
  2. Be clear and direct in your communication
  3. If you or your spouse has trouble communicating, ask God to help you (He will)

Scriptures
Matthew 5:37
Proverbs 25:11

Marriage Lessons (12-week series)-Week 8

Hello friends! Welcome to week eight of the Marriage Lessons! I am so grateful for what the Lord has allowed me to share with you. I pray you are being encouraged and uplifted. In your spare time, I encourage you to read last weeks lesson titled “do not compare.” God bless you!

Lesson 8. Do not be a nagging wife…men HATE it.

Was I a nag? Oh no, not me. I am a Godly wife and I would never nag my husband. Those were all the things I thought of myself until God showed me myself.

I NEVER thought of myself as a nag. I just wanted him to see things my way. I began to make the same statements repeatedly, but it seemed he still was not getting it. I thought, “what else do I have to do?” Well, I decided I would continue to repeat myself and eventually he will get it…wrong.

I knew a lot of what I was saying was right. In fact, many of the things I tried to share with my husband came straight from the throne of heaven, but for some reason, my husband could not see or hear it. Perhaps it is was because of my tone.

After realizing my way was not working, I decided to wise up. I desired to be a Godly wife, a Proverbs 31 wife. So, I learned how to pray. The Lord showed me timing was key to approaching my husband. I learned that setting the tone, creating the atmosphere and having the right heart when approaching your husband is key to achieving the response you desire. Later, I understood God observes our heart and the motives behind it.

Being a nag will cause your husband to do the opposite of what you want him to do. In fact, nagging will cause your husband not to want to be around. Proverbs 25:24 says, “it is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife” YIKES! Believe me, it is true. At the beginning of my marriage, I nagged a lot and it proved to cause problems and not solve them. As my husband and I grew in our marriage (and I did not nag anymore) I asked him how it made him feel and he told me, it made him not want to come home (OUCH)!

There will be times God will give you (the wife) insight and wisdom into a situation. There may be times our husbands are unable to receive from us; therefore, the key to getting our husbands to listen is to pray, ask for the right timing, and watch your tone. I promise you, doing it God’s way produces ripe fruit that both you and your husband will benefit from.

My Marriage Lesson & Your Marriage Lesson
1. Seek God about becoming a Godly wife
2. Do not nag
3. Prayer, timing, and tone is everything

Scriptures
Proverbs 25:24
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Marriage Lessons (12-week series)-Week 2

“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.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12

 Hello everyone!  Hope you enjoyed last week’s marriage lesson. If you did not have an opportunity to read it, don’t miss these valuable nuggets! Today begins week two of the marriage lesson. Enjoy!

 2. God must be at the center of your marriage (no exceptions).

Before embarking on a new endeavor such as starting a business, having a child, or investing it is important to do your research.

Some believe marrying the person God has ordained for them guarantees a smooth marriage, but I can tell you from personal experience, that is incorrect. You can read books, talk to married couples, and attend marriage seminars, all of which are helpful, but you will still encounter issues on your journey.

In our marriage, my husband and I participated in counseling, we read books, and I read plenty of books on my own, but it did not compare to being in the actual marriage. We quickly learned we had to think differently. But knowing it in your head and acting it out are two different things.

For the first five years of our marriage…yes five, my husband and I had many bumps in the road. I did not realize it would be difficult making the adjustment. There were aspects of marriage I looked forward to such as intimacy, cooking, and taking care of my family. But there were aspects that were harder to figure out like how to blend our families, how to make time for each other, how to deal with our exes, and how to balance church activities.

In the beginning, we did everything on our own not realizing we were leaving God out of the triple-braided cord. Sometimes my husband made major decisions without talking to me and the results were disastrous. It also allowed the enemy to get in and attack us as a couple and individually. How in the world could we conquer anything if we were not standing together?

We knew we could not have a successful marriage continuing the way we were. At that point, we put God in the center of our marriage. This meant when decisions needed to be made, we had to pray first, wait for an answer, and move forward together. There were times I did not agree with decisions my husband made, but I learned the agreement was more important than the decision. As a wife, I learned if I didn’t agree, my job was to pray. God ALWAYS came through for me when I relied on him. And this was better than complaining and nagging. When the decision turned out to be right I praised God and my husband, but when it was wrong, I still loved on my husband and God in his grace and mercy, fixed it (in His time). As Christians, we must remember that in our bad decisions, God works everything out for our good.

It is very easy to lose focus and do everything except what you should be doing, therefore, keeping God at the center must be intentional. After twelve years, we are still learning to keep God at the center. One thing about God, he will allow you to go around the same mountain until you pass the test. So it is best to get it right on the first try, but I thank God for his grace on the second…and third try.

My Lesson Learned
1. Seek God together – It doesn’t mean everyday single day, (if you can, great), but make praying together a priority. It will keep your marriage on track
2. Be intentional about your marriage. Sit down and make decisions together, when it doesn’t work out, keeping seeking God, because it will eventually.
3. Do your best to learn the lesson the first time, but God’s grace is sufficient on the second and third tries

Your Lesson
1. Take time this week to seek God together
2. Although making the decision is important, agreement is the goal
3. If you or your spouse do not agree, pray (individually and together if you can)
4. Do your best to learn the lesson the first time 😊

Prayer
Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank you for my spouse. When we must make difficult decisions, help us to rely on you for the answer. More importantly God, help us to walk in agreement, because when we do, you will bless us. I thank you God for the grace and mercy you have bestowed on us. Help us to always keep you in the center of our marriage because doing so will cause us to flourish. And father forgive us when the decisions are not right. I thank you in advance for your grace and mercy that will help us stand together and get through it. In Jesus Name.


Scripture References
Ecclesiastes 4:12
Romans 8:28
Matthew 18:19

Love you all
Darlene
Healed To Speak