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Women Living Well Blog: February 2009

Women Living Well Blog

Friday, February 27, 2009

Saying "I Love You" to Your Children


I love you, Johnny, said mother one day,
I love you more than I can say,
Then she answered his questions with,
Don't bother me now!"
And just didn't have time to show him how
To tie his truck to his tractor and plough,
But she washed her windows and scrubbed the floor
And baked and cooked and cleaned some more.

"Bring the boy next door in?" "Well, I should say not,
You'll mess up the floors and I don't want a spot."
"No, we don't have time for a story today,
Mother's too busy cooking, so run out and play,
Maybe tomorrow," she said with a sigh,
And Johnny went out almost ready to cry.

"I love you, Johnny," again she said,
As she washed his face and sent him to bed.
Now how do you think that Johnny guessed
Whether 'twas he or the house that
she really loved best?

Walk With the King!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Good Cleaning System

I wish I could claim the below article here - BUT I can't. A mother of five over at Clover Lane shared how she keeps her home clean everyday and I thought I'd post it to show one example of a mother's system. Here's what she said:

"Cleaning is really about how you set up your house:
1. In every bathroom have windex, paper towels* and a toliet brush. That's all you really need. Maybe some powder cleanser for the bathtub once in a while with a green scrubbie thing. I keep all that in each bathroom in a little basket under the sink. That way the kids can get to it easy and so can I. Keep it really simple. You can use the windex for the toliet and for the floor too! All those fancy cleaners are a waste of time and money.

2. Whenever I get a chance, and I see it needs it, I can just whip out that stuff and it takes maybe 5 minutes.

3. Do you have a Dyson? They are the best vacuums in the world. I love it. I tell people it's the best thing I ever bought in my life. Which is pretty sad, but it's the truth. That thing saves me so much time. First, it sucks up everything. Vacuuming makes everything look and feel cleaner, if that's all you get a chance to do. It's really easy to use the attachments too, so I put on the brush attachement and use that for the molding and corners, and even furniture! when I notice they need it. I use it in the bathrooms and kitchen too...easier than a broom and dustpan.

4. I make my kids to Saturday jobs. I had to "teach" them how to do a lot of stuff and yes, usually the boys do it less-than-best, but at least it's help. When I don't make them do their Sat. job, I find I'm a lot more crabby during the week because I feel like I'm just a servant in my own house, and I am resentful of everyone. So EVEN if I think the house is pretty clean and the jobs aren't really necessary I still hang that list on the fridge. For goodness sake, it takes them maybe 20 minutes AT THE MOST, where it would take me hours! They can work for 20 minutes! Every little bit helps.

5. Every night, before I go to bed, I usually straighten up the downstairs real quick."

What a great system she has going! Next month I will focus some on spring cleaning! I hope some of you will share your secrets with me! And I'll share some of mine with you!

Proverbs 14:1 says "A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Be wise today and build your house by being diligent in caring for it. Your loved ones will be blessed by your diligence.

Walk With the King!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Talk To Me Tuesday - What Books Are You Currently Reading?

So I'm looking for feedback here! Let's share - what book(s) are you currently reading or have laying around on your nightstand or coffee table?

Here's what I'm reading:

1.) Taking Care of the Me in Mommy - Realistic tips for becoming a better mom - spirit, body and soul by Lisa Whelchel

2.) On Becoming Child Wise - Parenting Your Child From three to seven years by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam

3.) Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes... in you and your kids! by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller

I can honestly recommend them all as helpful books. Disclaimer: I have not finished them all so there could be something in one of these books that I do not agree with - but thus far they have all been extremely applicable in my daily life - and may just pop up in one of the next blogs!!!

So Talk to Me! What are you reading these days?

Walk With the King!


Monday, February 23, 2009

You Will Not Be Married In Heaven

Yesterday my pastor preached on Mark chapter 12. In this passage is the story of the Sadducee's questioning Jesus facetiously. They gave him the scenario of a woman whose husband dies and then she remarries and that husband dies and she remarries and then that husband dies and she remarries 7 times. Then they asked Jesus "At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?" Jesus replied,..."When the dead rise they will neither marry or be given in marriage."

I immediately whispered in my husband's ear "I will be hitting on you in heaven!" But honestly - I can't imagine not being married to him in heaven. Some of you may be unhappily married and doing the dance of joy when you read this passage - while others may be baffled.

As I pondered this passage, the reality that I will be "alone" in heaven sunk in. I don't mean alone and lonely but alone when I stand before the judgment seat of God. I can't hide behind my husband like Adam and Eve did. 2 Corinthians 5:10 says "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."

Have you made mistakes in marriage? Maybe you think it's your husband's fault that you bicker so much or are having parenting troubles - maybe you fight over financial problems. On judgment day you won't be able to point your finger at him and blame him - because you two will not be married. "Each one" will stand alone before God and "receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."

Remember Ephesians 5:33 "The wife must respect her husband." How do you treat your husband in the midst of your daily living? Have you had a short temper, been impatient, or used harsh words. Are you striving to be more respectful? You will be rewarded for your kind, gentle, loving and respectful ways.

So I encourage you today - no matter what mistakes your husband makes - with one eye on heaven and judgment day - strive in your marriage to do what is right. I know you may grow weary but remember Galatians 6:9 "Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season you will reap a harvest IF you do not give up."

Walk With the King!


Friday, February 20, 2009

What Single Women Want You To Know

I have some single friends who took the time to write up a list of things they'd like married women to know about them. I am posting these anonymously - because this is more about listening and learning - (maybe even chuckling because you know you have said some of these things) - than it is about the writers (yes, there was a group of writers - this is coming from multiple real life sources at my church).

Top Myths About Being Single...

We’re missing out on an intimate relationship.
We don’t feel contentment, joy or fulfillment in life.
We don’t have anything in common with married people.
We should be more flexible because we have more time.
Being single means we are lonely.
All we ever think about is being married.
We’re always looking for a mate.

Top Words of Encouragement or Top Things Singles Love to Hear
(This list is just for a laugh. We really don’t mind these words of encouragement because we know you love us and want the best for us!! After all, we have found ourselves saying them to each other!!)

Okay, so I know this guy and I think he could be the one for you.
• Sometimes stated as: Okay, so I know a friend of a friend of a friend and I think he could be the one for you.
At least you get to decide how to spend your money (or time). You don’t have to answer to anyone.
• Sometimes stated as: Make sure you buy whatever you want before you get married, because once you are married, you won’t be allowed to.
It could be worse. You could be unhappily married.
Have you ever thought you might be too picky?
So, do you think you have the gift of being single?
Have you considered
As soon as you learn to be content where you are, God will bring the person into your life.

The Breakdown...
Our true identity is not found in whether we’re single or married. Although others might define it this way, God has a definition according to His Word. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

We can find true contentment when God is the center of our lives. Phil 4:11 states, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

Whether single or married, we might feel lonely but our emotions can change when we focus on and believe the truth: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5b. God desires us to seek Him first so we can develop a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him. The meaning of life is in knowing God and being satisfied as a result of this awesome relationship. It can happen: satisfied singles say so!

And I add a hearty Amen to my single sisters in Christ. Walk with the King!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Feedback Friday

Yesterday I mentioned that we had lost our electricity and at 6pm we still did not have any, so we went to my sister's house for the night - hence the reason for a late blog!!! My kids had a fabulous time playing with their cousins and I was so glad to have a warm bed to sleep in - my house was getting very cold when we left it. (Kristen and Rob if you are reading- THANK YOU!!! You are lifesavers!) Now we are back home and the electric has been restored. Hooray!

I had previously planned for today to be a "Feedback Friday". I have no idea if it will work - but I want to give it a try...

So on Feedback Fridays I will give you all a question and you have the entire weekend to give feedback and share your thoughts. There is so much we can learn off of each other - so please share or read the comments to hear from someone other than me!!!

So here's the question:

Ephesians 5:33 says "the wife must respect her husband." What are some practical ways that you show respect to your husband?

Walk With the King!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Top 5 Favorite Books on Marriage

I woke up to no electricity today so I'm at Panera Bread using their wireless internet access! Sorry I'm late for my early morning readers!!!
These are my top 5 favorite books on marriage:

1. Love and Resect: The Love She Most Desperately Desires / The Respect He Desperately Needs - By Dr. Emerson Eggerich

2. Creative Counterpart: Becoming the Woman, Wife and Mother You Long to Be - By Linda Dillow

3. Intimate Issues: 21 Questions Christian Women ask About Sex - By Linda Dillow and Lorain Pintus (Your husband will appreciate you reading this one!!!!)

4. Femine Appeal 7 Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother - By Carolyn Mahaney

5. The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands - By Dr. Laura Schlessinger (secular but a good read)

Do you have a favorite book on marriage? There are a lot out there! Feel free to share in the comments section what books and authors have helped your marriage. I always like to read recommended books. I recently ordered "Love Dare". I'll let you know what I think after my husband and I take the Dare!

Walk With the King!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Respect Your Husband

3 days till Valentine's Day and then I will give the marriage discussions a rest. Dr. Emerson Eggerich's book Love and Respect is one of my favorites. The theme of the book is "without love women respond disrespectfully to their husbands and without respect men respond unlovingly to their wives." The deepest need for women is to feel loved. And the deepest need for men is to feel respected.

Ephesians 5:33 says "the wife must respect her husband."

Have you had those moments when your husband says or does something unloving and you criticize him for it and rather than him saying he is sorry - it's the beginning of a big fight? You may wonder what made him fight back so hard rather than just say he was sorry. You see - when a husband suspects that you have no respect for him he gets angry. He seeks to get respect by being unloving or stonewalling you - while you seek to get love by criticizing him. And over and over you get the same outcome - a fight.

God created men to fight battles and protect the princess for honor. It is for honor that a man will run up the stairs of a burning building while everyone else is running down the stairs. When you were dating you honored him and his ideas and that is probably what made him get on one knee and propose to you. He loved how he felt when he was with you. But now - 10 years later - does he still sense that same honor or does he sense that you have no respect for him and the way he does things.

Ephesians 5:33 says "the wife must respect her husband". It does not say you must feel respect - but that you simply must respect him. When you do - you will find your husband drawing nearer to you in love. You may express your love to your husband through cooking him meals, washing his clothes and keeping the house tidy - but what truly will make him feel loved in his deepest soul is your respect. Today make this your motto "If I can't say anything respectful, I won't say anything at all."

Walk with the King,


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

God Uses Marriage to Shape Us

Have you ever felt your marriage was like two pieces of sandpaper coming together? Both spouses have rough edges and as we grow older together, slowly we smooth out all the rough edges. I have learned over the years what my husband's hot buttons are and how to avoid them. I have learned to criticize less and smile more. I have learned to choose my battles and I have learned to love and forgive more deeply than I ever thought I could.

Proverbs 27:17 says "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

My husband is the iron that God is using to shape me. God desires to shape me into a Godly woman - so if I fight against my husband - rather than being sharpened I will become bitter, angry, have slanderous thoughts and discontentment.

Is your marriage growing in oneness or slowly unraveling? My friend Kelly (pictured above) wrote a beautiful article about a time in her marriage when she longed to do something different than her husband and rather than whining and complaining to her husband, she went to God in serious prayer - and God rewarded her respectful behavior and answered her prayers in the midst of financial and parenting struggles. If your marriage is struggling and you wonder if God hears your prayers read Kelly's story of God's faithfulness in her marriage.

Walk with the King!


Monday, February 9, 2009

Unity in Marriage

I had a wonderful weekend on my scrapbooking retreat in Amish Country - it was as much about retreating for me as it was about scrapbooking. I did not check email, facebook, the website or my blog for 48 hours! That was actually hard for me!!! But I had lots of laughs, food and meaningful conversations - and discussions about marriage.

As the night went on and we talked about marriage - the ladies began to open up about their men - their struggles - their feelings and philosophies on marriage and I listened and took it ALL in. So now I am pondering all that I took in. One conclusion I came to is that bonding in marriage is so needed today in our fast paced culture. We all agreed that we wish we had more alone time with our men. It's easy to be so busy on our laptops, treadmills, with our kids, chores, and work that we can miss out on the blessings that God wants for us in our marriage.

In Matthew 19: 5 and 6 Jesus says "A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what god has joined together, let man not separate." We are literally joined together into one flesh with our husbands - yet do we feel like one? Do we act in unity on our decisions, parenting, selfless acts, love and respect?

God created marriage to be a blessing but sometimes we don't reap those blessings because we are not acting in unison with our husband. So how do we grow towards oneness with our husband and experience this intimacy? Here's some practical steps:

1. Tell your husband you like him and show it.
2. Praise his good decisions.
3. Be gracious with his bad decisions.
4. If you disagree with him discuss it in private - not in front of his kids or friends. This respect that you give him will draw him nearer to you.
5. Have a date night at least once a month where you take time for face to face talking and listening.
6. Do not criticize your husband - compliment him. Your husband may love that you keep a clean house and are a great mom - but what he really hungers for is to be told he is wonderful - just as you do!

This list may seem like a lot of work and you may feel like your husband will never reciprocate -but a good marriage with deep intimacy doesn't happen overnight. It takes practice and developing healthy habits that enrich both of your lives so you can reap the blessings that God desires for you and your marriage.

Valentines Day is just 5 days away - it's the perfect opportunity for an intimate date. If you can't get a sitter be creative and plan something special for the two of you after the kids are in bed at home. Invest in the unity of your marriage and you will reap the blessings!

Walk with the King!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Smile at Your Husband - it's Simple!

I am on my way to a scrapbooking retreat this weekend and my wonderful husband will have the children for the entire weekend (Thanks hubby - you are the best!!)!!! I always go with the same girlfriends to a hotel out in Amish Country - where the hills are rolling and life runs at a slower pace. It's so relaxing. But my favorite part of scrapbooking is strolling down memory lane and reliving special moments as I turn my pictures into a work of art.

If a photographer was secretly capturing all the moments of your week in your house - would the pictures have you smiling or scowling? Do you smile at your husband or are you too depressed and exhausted to smile? How can we expect our husbands to be drawn to us when we are scowling at them?

A big smile will make a husband look over a lot of flaws. He won't care if you have on sweats from yesterday, messy hair, no makeup and some extra baby weight if he finds you smiling at him - and looking at him with that special twinkle in your eye - like when you were first dating. But if he comes home to find you scowling and grumpy - well - even if you were all dressed up with your hair fixed and makeup perfect - you just won't be that attractive to him.

Proverbs 15:15 says "A cheerful heart has a continual feast."
Proverbs 15:30 says "A cheerful look brings joy to the heart."
And Proverbs 17:22 says "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."

If money is tight and this financial recession has hit your home - you can make your house feel like there is a feast when you create a cheerful atmosphere. "A cheerful look brings joy!" If your husband is struggling and downcast your cheerfulness will be like good medicine to him.

Today start a new habit - of intentionally smiling at your husband - beam at him - regain that twinkle in your eye that you once had for him. Notice that he will be naturally drawn to you! If you were scrapbooking your dating years - there would be pictures of you smiling ear to ear all over the pages. Now if you scrapbooked pictures from this week - are you still smiling ear to ear? If not, sister - it's time - peace in your marriage begins with a smile.

Walk with the King!

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pleasing God In Your Marriage

Tuesday we were at church for a ladies luncheon. I warned both of my children that I expected them to be on their best behavior and went over the list of no no's - no running, no yelling, no wrestling etc. So my daughter had done quite well and had finished her lunch and it was time for a potty break. On our way back from the potty, we were holding hands and she was closing her eyes and letting me lead her. I told her to open her eyes. In that moment, she let go of my hand and began to run straight at a wall. I did not realize her eyes were still shut - and BAM she ran straight into a cement wall head first!

Then she did the scary cry. The one where they hardly breathe and you just want them to actually cry so you know they are breathing! Then she howled and the site of the goose egg growing on her head scared me! I had mixed emotions - I was sick in my stomach wondering if she was okay. I was sad to see her in such pain. AndI felt frustration that she had disobeyed me and ran when I had told her "no running." This would not had happened if only she had listened to her mother's instructions! I was not pleased!

Do we listen to God's instructions fully? Do we seek to please God by the way we act in our marriage? So many times in marriage we know we should not make that critical remark to our husband. Maybe there's an area that we continually hound them on over and over and over until all of a sudden it's like we hit a cement wall. Our husband becomes angry and lashes out and we are wounded by our husband's response. We may spend an evening crying or praying to God asking him why our husband is so "awful". But do we realize that we were running with our eyes closed! We were disobeying God and should have never been critical of our husband in the first place.

No, it is not right for a husband to lash in anger at his wife - but remember that your contentious words brought out the worst in him. Proverbs says "A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.(19:13)" and "Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.(21:9)"

Have you been quarreling with your husband a lot lately? Does your husband act like he'd rather live on the corner of the roof than share a house with you at times. You may blame all your troubles on him - but we wives carry a responsibility to not be quarrelsome. So today, trade your quarrelsome thoughts and words for respectful thoughts and deeds. Stop the constant drip. Create a home with warmth and harmony - Even if your husband does not respond kindly- God will be pleased!

Walk with the King!

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You Are Your Husband's Helper

Wow - that's a hard statement to swallow for a women's lib lady of today! Genesis 2:18 says that when God created Eve that she was created to be a "helper suitable for him (Adam)." That is the wife's purpose. It is quite plain and simple in black and white. When you act as a "helper suitable for ... (insert your husband's name here)", you are glorifying God. You were created to be your husband's helper. And yet this is a tough thing to blog about because I know that it will offend someone out there!

It is hard for women to sit back and simply help their husbands - we are tempted to lead them, boss them, criticize them, expect them to take care of themselves and us, be tidy, and a helper to us. But in actuality - they are not our helpers - we are their helpers! Yes, God desires that they be servant leaders but whether they are actually doing that should make no difference as to our attitude of being their helper.

You were not created to be a helper to all men - you were created specifically to be the helper of your man. So what your husband needs will differ from what my husband needs. My husband needs me to iron his shirts. Your husband may enjoy ironing. Your husband may like your children to have a late bedtime so he can spend time with them - while my husband may want an early bedtime for the children so we can spend time alone together. Neither is right or wrong - but it does look different in application.

So we have three things to consider:

1: Know your husband. Know his likes and dislikes and help him in the areas that he has asked for help. Do not wait for him to make a list or verbally ask you to do something - but always have an attitude of helpfulness with eyes wide open looking for ways to meet their needs.

2: Do not compare your marriage to your friends, sisters or even your pastors! Your husband is unique and you are unique; therefore, you have a unique marriage. You must seek to please your husband and no one else.

3: Do not wait for your husband to "deserve" to be helped. We should do what is right no matter what others are doing around us (isn't that what we teach our children?).

When you don't fight your nature and what God has created you for - you will find peace and blessing even in the midst of a difficult marriage - and you may find a difficult marriage blossom into a warm and loving marriage when you first focus on being who God has created you to be - rather than focusing on changing your husband.

I Corinthians 11:8,9 "For man did not come from woman, but woman from man, neither was man created for woman, but woman for man."

Walk with the King!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ways to Show Love to Your Husband

So Valentine's Day is in 11 days - and some of you have been married for many many moons and frankly - the romance is gone in your marriage. As I stroll through the stores, I see loads of cute little Valentine's Day decorations, foods and gifts. I find myself picking up little things for the children - some heart socks here, a few heart candies there, and some little gifts for a Valentine scavenger hunt I have planned for the children.

But what in the world will I get my husband? Does he care? Will I get something for him and he won't reciprocate - and then in my selfishness will I be miffed because he didn't get something for me? I think I found the answer!

I want to share with you a gift you can give your husband and it is found on This website has different 30 day challenges and the "30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives" would definitely be one of the best Valentine's Day gifts you could give your man!!!!

The challenge starts out by instructing you to not say anything negative about your husband, to your husband or anyone else for the next 30 days. Then she instructs you to tell your husband one thing each day that you appreciate about him - and she gives you ideas of what to say. For example: tell your husband "thank you" for choosing you above all other women! I told Keith this and then planted a big kiss on him and he beamed! He was pleasantly surprised by my appreciation!

Another resource is the Women Living Well homepage. I am posting different practical ideas of things you can do each day for your man to show your love and appreciation to him. For example - sneak out in the morning and write a chalk message on the driveway to your husband declaring your love! Leave a note tied to his rear view mirror or taped to his steering wheel. Mail him a letter to receive at his workplace. When he travels fill his bags with love letters hidden through out - this is one of our favorites - the kids love to help make love notes and stuff them in his socks and shoes!

There's so much you can do! Be creative and use this cold month of February to heat things up in your marriage! And remember - do not be selfish - expect nothing in return. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." (Philippians 2:3,4)

Walk with the King!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Defiant Joy

My daughter went to a princess birthday party where all the little girls arrived in their royal attire. The girls were absolutely adorable! Many of them wore crowns and glitter in their hair. They all had on long fluffy dresses and smiles.

What is it that makes a little girl want so badly to be a princess? Children want to be a part of a royal kingdom (my son also enjoys being a knight!). If you are a child of God - you are a daughter of the one true King – you are a princess - and you do belong to a royal kingdom. We know that this world cannot be all that there is. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says “God has set eternity in the hearts of men.” And Mark 10 tells us there is a kingdom – and we all long for that place deep in our hearts.

This world is like Cinderella’s ball – the greatest day or joy eventually comes to an end. The clock strikes midnight and we fall on hard times. All joys we have here are just a taste of what is coming in heaven. And one day when we enter the kingdom of heaven we will never have to step foot back on planet earth where the clock can strike midnight. Forever we will be with the King of Kings and there we will live in joy for eternity! What a great hope we have!

Some days we live in “endure mode” but our King wants his princesses to live in this world with defiant joy! We must strive to live with a continuous joy that defies our pain, our disappointments, and our struggles. Galatians 5 says the fruit of the Spirit is joy.

Revelation 19 tells us that one day our Prince will come riding on a white horse to take us with him. “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True…His eyes are like blazing fire and on his head are many crowns…He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God…On his robe and on his thigh he has the name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

Princesses – Your prince will come for you! If this world has dealt you a royally bad hand – hang on – it won’t be long now till you stand face to face with the King of Kings! Take hope and courage from that – and have courage today to live life with defiant joy! He is worthy!

Walk with the King!