Wednesday, February 29, 2012

5 Tips for Mommy To Make Room for God

There is something so amazing when we women become "Mommy."  It is as Heaven touches Earth, and we fall in love again, with a perfect little creature who needs us, steals our heart, and brings us such like we never imagined!

Motherhood is a blessing.  In spite of the extra laundry, dirty diapers, car pools, boo-boos, sibling rivalry, and exhaustion of every day in the mothering trenches, most of us are likely to feel that there are extremely few things more rewarding than being "Mom." Daughter of God and Wife are the only two roles that I can personally think of that out-rank Mommy in my list of titles.

It's no wonder, though, that at the end of each day, the time young moms have available for God and husband is scrunched.  After all, an infant has to be fed, a toddler has to be potty-trained, a school-age child has to get homework done and have clean clothes and food in the house for a lunch to be ready for the next day.  When is a mom able to re-group and just "be?"  Usually about the time that hubby is feeling amorous, and "mommy" is feeling anything but.

If your relationship with God and your Husband has fallen to the wayside due to mommy-hood, don't get down on yourself; there are seasons to everything, and you are in a season of young motherhood.

However, God is the one who gave you your blessing of a husband and children, and He is the one who can give you strength for the daily grind.  He has a great plan for each of you, and through spending time with Him each day, you are building your family on a solid foundation.  Tomorrow, I will share Five Tips for Connecting with Your Husband during Young Mommy-hood, so check back then!

Today, though, are Five Tips to Make God Time Easier to Fit Into Your Busy Day:

1) Place a Bible in several rooms of your home.  A Bible on the Kitchen counter top, in each Bathroom, on the Entryway table, coffee table, and dining room table, on your nightstand, and on the passenger seat of your car can make His Word more accessible, and thus, more likely to be quickly grabbed and read for a few moments.

2) Program your IPOD or Radio to Christian Music, and let it play while you do household chores, tuck the kiddos in for a nap, or get ready for the day.

3) Take a few moments, and write out a new Scripture or a favorite Bible promise or two on index cards or stickies.  Place one above the kitchen sink, one on each bathroom mirror, one on your mini-van's dashboard, and one on the kitchen table.

4) Commit to two minutes of prayer each morning with your spouse.  Before you part ways for the day, pray for him, and ask him to pray for you and the kids.  Say prayers of thankfulness to God for your family and blessings, and ask for wisdom and strength.  Start the day with the main thing the main thing "GOD," and you are already off to a great start!

5) Recognize that you can communicate with and learn from God in the everyday moments.  Changing the diaper of the beautiful miracle He placed in your care is an act of service, and therefore, an act of worship.  Caring for the least of really one of the greatest things you will ever do.  Whisper a quick prayer over your sleeping baby.  Tell your toddler a Bible story during nap or bedtime tuck in.  Hug your husband tight, and tell him how glad you are that God gave him to you!  Through thankfulness in the everyday moments, service, love, and intentional seeking of the Lord, your passion for Him and relationship with Him will reignite.

All the Best,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Take Out the Trash Talk

Friendships between women can be powerful and positive influences, and I certainly can relate to times when we wives and moms need such relationships...they can help us grow, provide support, and offer encouragement. However, I often notice that there are women who seek out other women in what appears to be a gab fest, where husbands and kids are free to be dragged through the mud verbally.

I can hear it now, "Why can't he just get off of the couch and do something useful for once?" "All they do is cause me heart-ache, messes, and trouble." "Never send a man to do what only a woman can."

Okay, I can't really hear those comments, but you get the point. Any words that come out of your mouth that complain, tear-down, and hinder direct and positive solutions in a marriage or parenting relationship are not helpful.

A quick read through of Phillipians Chapter 4 can be very helpful!

Instead of complaining "about," why not take the initiative and calmly address the issues that are causing you such stress and the need to "trash talk?" It is much more beneficial to say, "Honey, I am really feeling like you would rather sit in front of that video game than pay attention to me," than to grab the controller, smash it on the floor, and call your gal friend to malign the dude. It is more beneficial to think on what is good, pure, lovely, and true, and recognize that your husband worked hard all day and can use some "down-time" to de-stress.

It is more beneficial to teach your children how to study and clean-up well, find them a tutor, or set-up a positive-reinforcement system than to complain about their grades, bad behavior, or sloppiness. Your attitude about your family is either a witness that builds up or tears down, a witness to the world of how you feel about those closest to you.

If you treat your friends and strangers at the grocery store better than you are speaking of and treating your mate or children, maybe it is time for a re-boot, and take out the trash.

Blessings to you and yours,

Marriage Gal Michelle

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hold Your Husband's Heart Well

Over the years, I have become very attuned to my husband's heart. When we first got married, I had the mindset that women were the emotional ones and that men simply "sucked it up." While men and women do process thoughts and feelings differently from each other, I slowly found that men are also emotionally affected by the ebbs and flows of life situations, but they may process it more internally than women who tend to "talk things out." As I grew in my understanding of my man (and I will likely never be perfect as a wife but will give it my best shot to get as close to what God wants me to be for him), I began to recognize that I could choose to bless him, strive to encourage him, and work to ensure that his heart can trust in me.

If you have the same heart, one that longs to be a good wife to your beloved man, maybe the following will help you on your journey, as it has helped me in mine.

Warning: This may go against what you have learned or been told ;-).

"Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life" (Proverbs 31:11, New Living Translation, 2007)

We were told a long time ago, in the land B.C (Before Children :), some awesome advice. As a wife, I have often recalled this insight from our pre-marriage class....

When your husband makes a choice or takes a course of action out of a good heart and the results turn out poorly, remember that he didn't mean to do you harm.

As wives, it can be easy to fall into words like, "You should have ... ," or "Why didn't you ... ," and "How could you ... ?" Some wives might even resort to name calling or throwing in the proverbial kitchen sink from a slight recalled from a mess up many days or years prior.

These types of reactions are not the type of ministry that our husband needs at such times, lol! While it is certainly understandable that we all would have liked things to work out better or differently in such occasions, we wives can intentionally choose to squelch the voice of criticism, shame, and anger by recognizing that our husband did his best out of a pure heart and with good intent. This thought shift can stop those negative naggings in a heartbeat, and your husband's heart will beat lighter.

Most certainly, he is already beating himself up for a decision gone bad...he doesn't need to hear it from you.

When you can recognize that he meant you no more harm than you did when you both backed the car into a pole in a parking lot and then crashed into another vehicle on the same day (oh, wait, that was me...sheepishly continuing the post ;-), you can see that we all need a safe place to fall down and be held.

Your husband's heart trusts in you. My husbands' heart trusts in me. Let us do our best to bring blessings and honor, forgiveness and encouragement, love and respect to our men, even when our human nature wouldn't necessarily feel like it. Feelings follow actions, and our actions are our choice. Choose to embrace your man with your words and actions, and if you goof, at least You will likely have a safe place to fall down and be held, too.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day, Friend or Foe?

I can only say that the view one takes of Valentine's Day depends on personal perspective. Having just read that a radio station in New Zealand promoted a contest for someone to "Win" a Divorce from an unsuspecting spouse and that the spouse would be informed of her husband's desire to divorce via the radio show on Valentine's Day no less, I can imagine that for this woman, her Valentine's Day will be forever memorable, and in a devastating way. However, this is due to my point-of-view; the point-of-view that sees marriage as a sacred commitment of love and honor, an intimate covenant of oneness and unity, parallel only in aspiring likeness to one's relationship with God Himself. However, with the radio station footing the bill for the "winner," and the "surprise" being revealed on-air, I see no reason for celebration.

You never know what is going on in the life or marriage of someone else, at least not most people's. That couple that you long to be like just may have a devastating secret reality hidden behind closed doors. One thing that I have learned through working with others in counseling and coaching is that no matter how "put together" someone or some couple looks on the "outside," there may very well be a reality in that person or couple that is quite different from what you might suspect.

So, what to learn from this? If you have your special someone to spend this Valentine's Day with, rejoice and thank the Lord! Enjoy the day, and enjoy the company of the one who makes your heart rejoice. However, if you are feeling sad, and you long for a love connection that makes romance novels jealous, don't add to your misery by comparing your lot to that cuddling couple on TV, your college roommate's relationship, or any other "happy" couple. Happy Couples do exist, but your happiness or sadness should never be based on the happiness or sadness that you perceive in just never know their take on the situation.

... and you never know, next Valentine's Day may be your best yet! (even if this one is classified as Fabulous!)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Two Questions that I'd Love to Hear Your Ideas Regarding!

1) What misperceptions do you think young brides/grooms have about marriage?

2) What do you think is the MOST IMPORTANT thing young brides/grooms should know about marriage?

Please post your thoughts to these two items in comments below! Then, "Follow" our Blog for insights on love, marriage, parenting, and intimacy!


--Marriage Gal Michelle