Best Friends in Marriage

The posts have been about friendship this week, we can’t forget our BEST earthly friend and the importance of maintaining  our relationship with him!

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Yesterday found my husband and me in the basement going through some boxes of “stuff.” Stuffed animals, old toys, pictures, school annuals, dolls, dishes, and books were sorted through. I was down there for several hours – not because I got so much accomplished, necessarily, but because when I go through old things it brings back memories and I have to stop and reflect! My husband and I passed many pictures back and forth to one another. “Oh, remember this?” “Look at us! How hilarious!” (You will not be seeing any of those pictures posted here!) Not only did we recall many special times from our past, but it was a sweet time together recounting good memories and numerous blessings.

I also leafed through a couple of the books that I hadn’t read in a while. One book was on marriage and there was a chapter on being best friends with your mate. The highlights were how important it is to spend time together having fun, talking, sharing your heart, and being open with one another. I smiled – we had done that even in a cool basement on Memorial Day when most of our neighbors were probably out at the lake or at the park having a picnic with their extended family. We had shared secret memories of times and places when notes were found written in our handwriting. We’d laughed. We’d talked about times when our girls were growing up. This is what friends do.

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After we’d had our grilled hamburgers later in the evening, we headed out for a drive through the countryside. Opening the sun roof on the car, the warm air blew through as we pointed at beautiful homes, the clouds over the mountain or a row of flags in a front yard. We even stopped for an ice cream at Dari ace – so cute! It was a great end to a fun day spent with my best friend.

Are you still best friends with your husband? Are you spending time together? I don’t mean time living – I mean time just being together. What tone of voice do you use when you speak to him or repeat an answer to his question? Is it the tone that one would use with their best friend? God gave Adam a wife so he would have a companion. Are you and I being the best kind of completer that we could possibly be? Best friends give each other the benefit of the doubt, love when no one else loves, and enjoy just doing little things together. Is your husband the one you spend that kind of time with? Don’t replace his companionship with that of your girlfriend, sister or parents. That is not God’s plan for a married woman.

I am planning on re-reading that book I found. It was a good reminder for me. We all need to be encouraged in what a godly marriage looks like. I’m thankful for a day in the basement that helped me to be refreshed in the friendship part of our marriage!

With love,

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P.S. I believe the book I was referring to is, The Ministry of Marriage, by Jim Binney.

Help Your Husband Live Joyfully With You!

I’m posting later in the day, but we just returned from an evening away. Read on and you’ll see what we did and what a special time it was!

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It was early evening and we had just finished a simple supper of BLT’s, a summer favorite. My husband pulled his Bible out of his book bag and told me he had something he wanted to read to me that he had read earlier that morning. We were spending an afternoon and night away at a lake cottage, just to have some quiet time to study, pray and be together on his day off. A boat or two rumbled past on the not-so-far-away lake as he opened to Ecclesiastes 9 and read about 6 verses, concluding with this verse:

Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity, but that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

When he finished reading, he closed his Bible, nodded and smiled at me. As I looked at him I thought about how well he does that. He lives joyfully with me every day!

  • I saw it earlier when we were preparing to travel to the lake. He was coming to pick me up from my dentist appointment and sent a text to tell me he would be late.
  • When we stopped to pick up a salad for lunch, he brought the beverages to the car – a water for himself and diet Lemonade for me (my favorite).
  • As we made our way to the lake, he chatted, telling me the reason he was late – the opportunity to share Christ with a man. I love it when he shares his day, his burdens and his life.
  • He reached over and took my hand and said, “I sure love you!”
  • Later in the afternoon as we sat overlooking the lake, he said how thankful he was we could spend an afternoon together. Tears welled up in his eyes as he said, “Sometimes I just miss you so much.”
  • Even after our simple BLT supper, no fuss, no special recipe, he said, “That was so good; thank you, Sweetheart.”

Live joyfully with your wife – that’s what he does every single day. I am so blessed.

Why am I sharing this with you today? To boast? No. Even as I write out this list of only some of what he did in just ONE day, it is a stern reminder that I could make it so much easier for him to obey that Scripture if I was also living joyfully every day. There are days I just feel cantankerous! I’m often Fussy, griping, and complaining instead of joy-filled.

If I would laugh at his spontaneity, smile at disruptions, appreciate kindnesses, and live as though there was no tomorrow, I’ll bet it would help him to live even more joyfully with his wife. And maybe I couldn’t even believe there could be so much joy, and wouldn’t that be awesome?!

  • What do you need to change to help your husband live joyfully with you?
    MAYBE:
    Take the drive he suggests, even though you know you’ll be motion-sick on those curves.
    If he initiates a kiss in public don’t push him away.
    Leave the children with a sitter for an hour or two so you can sneak away for a date.
    Hold hands, rub his back, smile at him, send him a loving text message, ask him questions about his day, and really listen when he talks to you,
    Be understanding of his need for physical love.
    Tell him thank you for the ways he provides for your family.
    Pray with him before he leaves home.
    Be waiting at the door for him when he returns home in the evening.
    Get up and spend time with him before he leaves for work, if possible.
    Surprise him with a night away for just the two of you.
    Decide with God’s help not to fall apart when the next disaster strikes.

Let’s help our husbands obey the admonition to live joyfully with his wife by being joyful, too! Now, put a smile on your face and in your heart, and go share that joy with HIM!

Refresh your husband,

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Organization and Embellishing Stack-able Drawers

I hate clutter in my house. I like everything to be put away, however, I have a hard time keeping the hidden places in my house straightened up.  Places like drawers and closets are just hard for me!  I stepped into my pantry and my bedroom closet this week and decided I didn’t like the way they looked.  I’ve never had a walk-in pantry or walk-in closet before, and I am determined to make these spaces not only function well, but also be pretty!

I have a set of stack-able drawers in my closet for belts, socks, etc.  Because the drawers are clear, it looked messy.  So, I took scrapbook paper and lined the front of each drawer with coordinating patterns and colors to give it a neater look.

I have a small table in my closet to hold my jewelry organizers.  I have two necklace trees to keep chains from getting tangled.  I love my earring picture holder my dad made me.  It keeps the fish hook earrings in perfect view!

 I also have a tackle box for earrings and bracelets.  This box is great for travel!

Now on to the pantry ~  I had one little area that needed attention.  I have quite a collection of aprons and just had them hooked through one of my pantry shelves.  They hung on the floor and looked messy.  Soooo, I found a cute little hook at TJ Maxx for $8.  It is perfect to keep the aprons within reach and looking lovely!

Do you have some hidden spaces that need some organization?  Attack one or two spaces this week. If you’re like me, you’ll be happy about walking into or opening that space after you’ve done some straightening!

Refresh by organizing,

Breaking the Habit

“Negative Habits Every Family Should Break”  is the title of the series my husband is preaching on Sunday nights. This past Sunday night he encouraged families to get rid of disorganization. The very evening he was preaching his message, I was reminded of why it’s so important for my home to be organized.

As the service was being started, one of our very own missionaries who was passing through the area, felt led of the Lord to come to Boones Creek Bible Church’s evening service. He was by himself, due to his family being away for a few days, and so he was on no time schedule. After spotting him in the congregation, my husband had him come up and pray during the service. When our missionary guest announced how the Lord directed him to our church, and that he was on no schedule, the Lord prompted my heart that he needed to come and stay with us for the night. It was no surprise that when I talked to my husband after the service, he felt the same way. And so, our missionary friend returned to our home after the service.

As my husband was preaching, and I had been given the prompt to invite this dear man to stay with us, I thought, “I’m thankful that everything is in order at the house. I’m not going to have to go home and apologize for the messy kitchen, dirty dishes or laundry piled up on the couch. Whew!” Oh, not that my house couldn’t have used a dust rag or mop in places, but overall, it was ready for a guest to drop in.

Being organized and tidy isn’t only about teaching your children good habits and responsibility, it’s also about being prepared to be used of the Lord when He prompts your heart. There have been times that I would have resisted having a guest enter my home, trust me! But on this night I was thankful that I was prepared – not so I wouldn’t be embarrassed, but because my lack of organization would have caused my husband and me to miss the blessing of serving this servant of the Lord! It was a delight to have him in our home, and to be able to quickly obey the Lord’s leading.

So, if you look at your lack of organization and say, “It’s just my family, and they don’t care!” You’re missing the whole point. First, we’re stewards of what the Lord has entrusted to us (that includes our belongings, as well as the training of our children), and secondly it will free us up to serve others.
Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. I realize that he’s referring to legalism, but disorganization can also be a type of bondage that keeps us from being free.

Look around your home right now and ask yourself if you’d be good with guests stopping in. If the answer is “No way!” why not start on a path to orderliness? Perhaps you could free yourself from the bondage of disorganization by:
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  • Check out Fly Lady’s “Getting Started” Tips
  • Determine to get rid of 7 things every single day. Put the unused items in a black bag and when it gets full discard it – Goodwill, Salvation Army, Consignment – something!
  • Read Emilie Barnes Books on organization, such as “Organizing Magic: 40 Days to a Well-ordered Home and Life

If this negative habit has been a part of your life, it’s not impossible to get rid of it! Start today and make a little progress at a time. It will be so freeing, and you’ll be ready to serve at a moment’s notice!

Would you be ready and willing to serve others today? What would it take to get you there?

 

The Power of a Woman’s Words

The theme for this week’s posts is a subject I’m studying every day this month – WORDS.  They can be wise or foolish, helpful or destructive.  Let’s start with speech towards our mate ~

 

For many years now, it has been my habit to read the chapter in Proverbs that corresponds to the date of the month. The Lord teaches me something every day from that practical book. Recently the Holy Spirit has shown me the power of a woman’s words.

In chapter seven, the Holy Spirit showed me that the Strange woman (the adulterous woman) uses her words to seduce a man. Listen to what this passage says about her speech:

  • She is loud – Verse 11
  • With an impudent face (she) said unto him,
    I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
    Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. Vs 13-15
  • With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lipsshe forced him. Verse 21

In chapter nine, we see again, the power of her words:

  • A foolish woman is clamorous: (vigorous in demand) she is simple, and knoweth nothing.
    For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, To call passengers who go right on their ways: Vs 13-15
  • Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
    But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell. Verses 16-18

We see the negative affect a woman’s words can have on a man. Men desire to be admired, sought after, and respected. The woman that uses these kinds of phrases and words to a man that isn’t her husband is treading in dangerous waters. She’s capturing his heart, and she knows what she is doing.

However, a wise woman should read those verses and be reminded that each of us needs to be using our words to build up and admire the man that God gave to us as our husband. He needs to hear fair speech at home!

Honey, I’ve looked for you to return home all day today. I missed you while you were at work! You look tired, and I’ve prepared a favorite meal and have made sure this will be a restful evening for you.

Let’s take our cue from this woman and use right speech at home so our husband will be anxious to return each day.

What kind of speech did you use this morning? Do you need to make things right? Do so, then love him the rest of the day with your wise words!

Use your words to refresh your mate!

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Painting an Open Floor Plan

When we moved into our house four years ago, I was so thankful the walls weren’t painted white.  They’re a warm ecru.  It stands out nicely and every room looks great against the backdrop of that color.  I knew I’d want to wait a while before adding color, but this summer the day had arrived!  Yesterday I showed you the first room I painted – the dining room.  I painted all four walls, and really love it!

Yesterday I asked what room/wall you thought I painted next well…
In order to connect the dining room space to the living room, which is all open, I wanted to use color.  After the dining room paint was on the wall, I got to thinking about a gallon of paint I’d seen at Lowe’s on their mis-tinted rack.  It was marked to $9 and I was pretty sure it was a just a shade darker than what I’d put on these freshly painted walls and I felt sure it would look great on the fireplace wall of the living room.

I jumped in the car early the next morning and sure enough, that paint was the perfect shade to complement the color in the adjoining room.  And $9?!  What a great deal!  I always, always check the sale rack of mis-tinted paint before I pay full price for a gallon!  What someone else hated might be exactly what I need!

So, here’s what it looked like before it got painted:

Not bad, but…

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I like this even better!! I decided to only paint the fireplace wall.  I didn’t want to overpower the room with blue.  It was the perfect amount of color.

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Then aside from the paint, I also rearranged the room to open it up for summer.  In the winter months I enjoy having the couch facing the fireplace, but as I mentioned in a post here, I like to face the windows in the warmer months.  It also made the room look bigger.  Here’s the before and after:

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I angled my desk in the corner, again, so I can look outside while I’m working there.

I’m trying to add more whites and weed out the red in these rooms.  I’ve had red as an accent for many years, but it’s time for a change, which I’ll do gradually.

 

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The blue really freshened up the living room and made it feel calm and welcoming.  I’m so happy with this color choice and the room arrangement.

And what did it cost?  NINE DOLLARS!  Woo Hoo!

Do you have a room you’re wanting to paint?  Check out the discounted paints first and see if they have something that will work!  Does anyone else love to rearrange the furniture?

Refresh your living space!

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If you want to give your home or room an update, but don’t want to spend thousands or even hundreds of dollars to do it, I would strongly encourage you to consider PAINT!  For around $30 (or less!) you can change the way a room feels just by changing its color!

I love going to a paint store or the paint department at Lowe’s and choosing colors that jump out to me.  I usually have a general idea what shade I’d like to use, so I head for that color and then I bring home several strips of color to hold up to the wall, against the curtains or even accessories to see if I think it will work.

Lowe’s will match any color you need.  I took a paint strip from another store, and it was paint they don’t sell.  I showed them the shade I liked, and they matched it perfectly!

Another great tool is the Sherwin Williams virtual painting app.  You can “paint the room,” via your computer mouse and your uploaded picture of the room to get a really good idea of what the finished room will look like!  I enjoyed using that when I was ready to buy paint colors!  It takes the terror out of adding color to your walls!  But I always remind myself – It’s just paint!  If I don’t like it, I can always paint over it!!

The first room I decided to paint was my dining area.  I wanted it to feel like a room to itself, though it’s an open floor plan.  So, I painted all four walls a “Heavenly blue.”  I love the result.  It’s just enough color to make a difference, but it’s soft enough that it keeps the space calm, inviting, and kind of special looking.  Let me show you the before and after shots:

Dining Room collage

I was really pleased with the way it dressed the room up and unified all the blue accents I already had in there.

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The color of the room changes throughout the day, depending on the light.  Here’s another picture, taken in the evening.

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This wasn’t the only space I painted!  I was on a roll! Tomorrow I’ll show you the other room that got some color. Any ideas as to where the other paint got applied?  I’ll give you this hint – It helps to unite the whole space, though I didn’t use the same shade.

If you’re thinking of updating your house,  get a bucket of paint and do it!  It can make a huge difference for a little bit of money!

Refresh with paint,

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