Marriage

5 Wives Share the Secret to Love that Lasts (Part 1)

I celebrate eighteen years as a bride next week. Eighteen years of being Mrs. Smith. Walking down the aisle while completely in love was easy. Staying completely in love while walking in the middle of the muck—now that’s a different story. I asked the wise women in my life their secret to staying in love. Over 130 years of marriage are represented in this advice. Let’s grab a [Read more...]

5 Things I Wish I Had Known

You don’t know what you don’t know. It is one of those statements that is so basic, yet so deep. When we enter into a new phase of life, we have expectations and are sometimes knocked down by our reality. How many times have you said to yourself, “If only I’d known…”? Wisdom is underrated in the young. When I consider my not-so-great decisions, they are most [Read more...]

Eliminating the Dead Zone in Your Home with a Little Salt

I have a dual personality. Just call me “Two Face.” I am one person to my children and someone different with my spouse. When my sweet children wake, I meet them with hugs and back rubs. I ask them how they slept and if they had good dreams. I sometimes offer to fix them breakfast. I pour sugar all over our interactions. It doesn’t matter how many times I told them to get in the [Read more...]

5 Encouraging Prayers for the Struggling Father

In both my real life and online interactions with other women, a consistent concern continues to surface. Women want to know how to get their uninvolved spouse to engage in parenting. As soon as the lines show up on the pregnancy test, parenting is front and center in the minds of mothers. We are spurred on by Pinterest pins and Instagram images of parenting perfection. Men are not so [Read more...]

Finding the Man of My Dreams

I played house a lot when I was a child. We had a square back porch just big enough to serve as the kitchen. Two patches of earth on either side served as the living quarters. The grass was worn away from the pounding of our feet making it easier for me to “sweep.” I gathered dark, black berries and leaves from the edge of the yard—most likely full of poison—that made the [Read more...]

Returning to the Adventure of Doing Life Together

After eighteen years of marriage, my husband and I have this thing figured out. We know who takes out the garbage, who pays the bills, and who gives the little one a bath on which night. He is a night owl and I am an early bird. He likes to brew coffee and I like to drink it. I know he hates to fold clothes and he knows I hate to scrub the shower. We make great roommates. Married people should be [Read more...]

When You Want to Quit

Discouragement gathers like storm clouds on the horizon. When the early morning sun breaks through the slits in the blinds, I fight the desire to bury myself deeper under the covers. I am exhausted and spent. I have little to show for my pursuit of God’s call on my life except dark circles under my eyes and a pile of neglected laundry in the corner of my room. I am on the lookout for big [Read more...]

Five Reasons to Date Your Mate When It’s Cold at Home

Marriage has its seasons. In the spring, love is new and exciting. Summer brings fun and familiarity. Couples frequently bustle about in the busyness of autumn. Winter is the hardest season to endure. In the winter months of marriage, ice forms around one heart—or both. Conversation is stilted and business-like. Pointed questions receive harsh answers. Cuddles and kisses are replaced with [Read more...]

What You Don’t Expect When You’re Expecting

Five Things New Moms Never Saw Coming Our response to new experiences can break us or make us. As a new mom, you expect great things. You envision sweet cuddles, lullabies in the quiet of the night, and bliss around every corner. While all of these things are a part of it, the hard reality of motherhood is often far from the expectations. I did this new mom thing twelve years ago and then again [Read more...]

Family Conflict at Christmas

Christmas commercials are the best. During the month of December, there are endless replays of families gathered around trees and tables, laughing and passing the mashed potatoes. Everyone is in love and high on Christmas cheer. And then there’s reality. Husband and wife bicker about the budget. Wife sulks on the way to the in-laws. Husband hides at his mother’s to avoid the drama. The [Read more...]