Marriage: 5 Frugal and Simple Ways to Date Your Spouse--Wellofaith.com

Marriage: 5 Frugal and Simple Ways to Date Your Spouse

Marriage: 5 Frugal and Simple Ways to Date Your Spouse

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Why It’s Important to Date Your Spouse

According to Christine Hammond, a counselor who has personally worked with over a thousand couples, it’s important to date your spouse because:

In the beginning, the reason for dating is to get to know someone better to see if this is a good fit. After marriage, the reason for dating to know your spouse better to ensure a good fit. The best explanation I’ve heard is that dating prior to marriage is the equivalent of an elementary education of a person. The education should not stop there. Rather, it should be just beginning with a desire to have a Ph.D. level of understanding of your spouse.

With this in mind, it is important to make time to be a couple again; to take off the “mom” hat and take time to embrace the role of woman and wife.

Finding Time to Date Your Spouse

Between over-time hours and commuting (my husband), and children’s activities, keeping up with the house, and homeschooling (me), dating my spouse rarely happens in our family.

Marriage: 5 Frugal and Simple Ways to Date Your Spouse--wellofaith.com

I’m aware of the damage this can cause, and I’m working to remedy my tendency to focus on tasks instead of on building a lasting relationship with my husband.

Knowing I need to make time for this important aspect of married life, I’ve been considering how to “find” the time.

What it comes down to isn’t that I need to “find” the time.

I need to use the time I already have. I must decide that stoking the fire in our relationship is more important than folding another load of laundry, or even taking a shower.

Although, I think being clean might be a bit more of an aphrodisiac than limp hair and baggy shirts covered in baby snot and dog fur.

I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Step Away From Social Media

If you’re like me, I can lose track of time scrolling through social media.

I’ve cut my social media consumption way back, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not using up perfectly good “date” time by wiling away uncounted minutes looking at Instagram posts.

Skip Your Workout

I’m not saying fitness is a waste of time (it’s not), but if you’re having a hard time “finding time” to connect with your other half, skipping it one day a week won’t destroy your hard work or set you back.

After all, being healthy is more than just having muscles and visible abs.

Put a Movie on For the Kids

I’ll preface this with saying: I’m not a proponent of children watching television.

Do mine watch TV?

Yes.

Does it make me want to toss the giant box with moving pictures out a window?

Always.

However, there are times when treating the children to a new movie rental, or an old favorite can give you just enough time to have a quick date with your spouse.

You won’t even have to find a sitter.

Put It On The Calendar

If something is on the calendar it is harder to push to the side or ignore. This also has the added benefit of creating anticipation. It allows you to think about the upcoming date with the enthusiasm a date deserves.

5 Frugal and Simple Ideas for Dating Your Spouse

Marriage: 5 Frugal and Simple Ways to Date Your Spouse--Wellofaith.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With that newly allotted time you have, here are a few possibilities with what you can do.

Floor Picnic

Spread a blanket on your floor, grab some crackers, cheese, and your favorite beverage; splurge on dark chocolate and seasonal fruit.

With the kids in front of a movie or sleeping, this is a simple and romantic way to reconnect with your spouse.

Lock your screens away and get to know each other again.

This is not the time to discuss “important” things. Those can wait.

Cocoa Under the Stars

One of my favorite things to do is to sit out on our porch and drink cocoa.

Now that the temperature has dropped below sauna and is feeling more like Autumn, I’m looking forward to some quality dates with my spouse and my favorite warm beverage.

Consequently, I have a nice supply of different cocoa varieties I’ve received with my subscription to Coffee and a Classic.

Luckily for me, they were willing to change it from coffee to cocoa, so I’ve been enjoying their products for the last year.

Watch a Favorite Show

Put those little loves to bed or down for a nap (since my husband works nights we have to be a lot more flexible with date times), pop some popcorn or go all out and make finger foods; then sit back and relaxed together–snuggled up of course–to catch up on all those episodes that have been waiting for you.

This of course should go without saying, but those handheld screens we’re always connected to–they need to be far, far away.

Play a Game

We have a closet full of board games and card games. I have high hopes to one day do weekly family game nights.

Right now with two kids under 6, they’re a bit hit or miss. I have goals though. We’ll get there.

Until then, these games can be utilized for date night.

It’s simple to set up and put away, and if you have a closet filled with them already–entirely free.

You can make this as simple or fancy as you’d like.

Add dinner or dessert, to add an extra dose of special to your evening playing “Clue”.

Complete a Bible Study

Since marriage is a covenant we make to each other and to God, it is important for us to stay connect to Christ as well.

There are several really great Bible studies we’ve done together in years past.

They’ve done more for us than any dinner and a movie in town could.

This doesn’t have to be one done with a group.

In fact, it would be perfect to do together in the comfort of your home, and can fit into short periods of time.

The important thing when it comes to dating your spouse, is that you’re connecting with them. You’re getting to know who they are today, because let’s face it, we’ve all changed since we said “I do.”

Selection of Bible Studies:

I’m not an expert on marriage or even on keeping up a great relationship with my husband. I am however, determined to rectify that. I hope these ideas help you find frugal and simple ways to date your spouse too.

Until next time,

wellofaith

If you enjoyed this post, please check out my article on how the military life strengthened my faith in God.

Follow me on Instagram for sneak peeks of upcoming blogs, and behind the scenes of my real life.

Marriage: 5 Frugal and Simple Ways to Date Your Spouse--wellofaith.com
book recommendations, When "Everything" Goes Wrong, I Choose Joy in the One True God

When “Everything” is Going Wrong I Choose Joy in the One True God

When “Everything” is Going Wrong I Choose Joy in the One True God

Then you will find your joy in the LORD…

Isaiah 58:14a

Just a side note, this post became a bit longer than intended, and may end up becoming a series of posts in the future.

When Joy Is Hard to Find

2019 has been an intense year. There has been joy, but there has been a lot of “hard” too.

Though, if I’m honest my family has been in a rough season since 2017 when my husband left Active Duty. It appears we’re not quite ready to reap the harvest yet.

If this past weekend is any indicator, we’ve got quite a bit more sowing left in this season.

To those who know us personally, it isn’t a surprise to know we’ve been struggling. The move from Active Duty to civilian life has not been an easy experience. There have been more bumps in the road than either my husband or I ever expected.

Life without the security of the Marine Corps is a constant act of faith.

Never have we been what you would call financially “well-off”, but we’ve always been able to provide for ourselves and our children without too much struggle.

Until we no longer could.

Becoming Humble

When we moved from Washington State to Virginia, we left nearly everyone we knew.

My children left their friends and Sunday school teachers they loved. I left my sister, my cousin, and my childhood best friend.

We also drove away broke, because of a paperwork error that took months to straighten out before the Marine Corps would release my husband’s final paycheck.

Driving across the country nearly penniless, heading to a state where we still hadn’t found a place to live, could have been terrifying.

Instead, there was joy.

Okay, there was some fear too, but whenever the fear would claw at me I’d remember that everything comes from God. That He would provide in His way and His time.

So, I gladly accepted the joy He provided.

I shared adventures with my favorite people as we explored amazing sites, both created by God and made by man; the joy of giggles and drinking too much caffeine; staying in questionable hotels that would be safer if they were condemned; and cramming three kids, a cat, a dog, and two adults as well as everything we thought we might need, into a minivan.

With excitement like that, who had time for fear?

Joy in God is Accepting Help

After arriving in Virginia things became more complicated.

We needed to find a place to call home.

What should have taken only a couple of days turned into a two-month ordeal.

During this time, God once again provided for us, by opening the hearts and home of our dear friends.

Looking back, I believe God led us to explore Classical Conversations in Washington simply so we could connect with Rachal and her family, because once she moved to Virginia He led us away from CC and in another direction with our homeschool.

When Rachal and her husband offered us a place to stay while we looked for a house, neither our family or theirs expected it would be more than a weekend affair. So when place after place fell through and we were led to purchase a home instead of renting, my heart was filled with such gratitude and love when they welcomed us with open arms.

Let’s just say, there are times I think they deserved a medal (and possibly a parade) for that alone.

Having never needed to rely on others, accepting that my husband and I couldn’t do this on our own was difficult.

Especially since he was in a completely different state going through federal training.

Joy in God Comes When He Provides Family

When "Everything" is Going Wrong I Choose Joy in the One True God--wellofaith.com

Rachal and I weren’t close when we lived in Washington. We were friendly, and she was always willing to swing by and get my kids when I was dealing with rough moments during the pregnancy with my youngest daughter; we just didn’t spend time together outside of CC or our small-group Bible study.

God Knew What We Needed

Suddenly my kids and I were part of her family. We did pretty much everything together for those two months. My eldest daughter celebrated her 10th birthday sitting at their dining room table. She finally had older brothers, and she was thrilled to be there with them.

When I discovered I was pregnant with my youngest, Rachal and her husband were the first to know. In fact, they knew before I did, since they were convinced I was pregnant before I ever considered it. Later she was there holding my hand during the early morning hours as I gave birth to my youngest son.

Through every hoop we had to jump through while purchasing our house, to being hit with a stomach bug while pregnant, God filled me with joy.

There was joy in little things: having a second set of hands to snuggle my youngest daughter; someone to love on my “spirited” and struggling son, a church that had everything we were looking for. Things that would often be taken for granted just kept leading me right back to God, and the joy that comes from knowing He is taking care of each and every one of us.

God always provides, and my joy is always because of Him.

I Chose Joy in God Anew This Week

On Sunday as I prepared the kids and myself for church, I received a phone call from my husband. He’d been in an accident on I-95 and his car was totaled.

As the kids and I drove to pick him up, I sang praises to God. My husband’s car was totaled, and I thought I knew the hardship that would cause, but he had walked away from it without physical injury.

My children didn’t have to visit their father in the hospital, and I didn’t have to explain to them why their daddy wasn’t coming home.

Worries, Stress, and Choosing to Be Positive

When "Everything" Is Going Wrong I Choose Joy in the One True God--wellofaith.com

Each day since the accident more and more obstacles have been placed before us. Some of them God immediately removed.

When He answers a prayer, the only thing I can do is praise Him and focus on the joy flooding through me.

Monday was especially rough, because my husband was trying to process what had happened, and I was as well.

The first wave of adrenaline and relief had past.

I woke up to a panic attack that only God could calm as I prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more, until finally the panic subsided and I was able to sleep again.

My husband was frustrated and bitter, and all I felt was an overwhelming sadness and heaviness of heart.

It didn’t take long before I was irritated with myself and decided to give it all to God.

I wrote out my prayers, my concerns, my frustrations, and my overwhelming belief in God. I wrote out my praises to Him.

Then I spent time in the study of Isaiah.

Isaiah 41 reminds us to stop lamenting and to return to rejoicing. That God provides for all our needs even during our struggles.

His testimony is that He will never forsake us.

We are to trust God as our shepherd and allow him to do it in the His way.

God Trumps Fear and Worry. Every Time.

While I immersed myself in God’s word, the fear and worry began to fade. Nothing had changed about our situation, but I gave that stress to God and accepted the peace and joy that replaced it.

Today things are still “bad” and there are no answers in sight. We don’t know where the next days and weeks will take us.

What I do know, is that I have joy.

Not because of any physical or material thing, but because I know joy in God.

The joy only experienced when you know God is in control, and that this isn’t our forever home.

Joy isn’t just a feeling.

It’s a knowledge that you’re never alone, and Our God is bigger than any problem we will ever face on Earth.

Until next time,

wellofaith

For more on the topic of joy check out this post.

When "Everything" is Going Wrong I Choose Joy in the One True God--wellofaith.com
God +Love > Sweatpants--wellofaith.com

Fallen World “Beauty”: God + Love is Greater Than Sweatpants

God+Love > Sweatpants

This article was originally posted in 2015.

This is Why the World Can’t Have Beauty

Recently I stumbled across and interview Eva Mendes gave where she stated that the end of a marriage can be directly related to the wife wearing sweatpants.

If you want to read the original article that led to this posting click here.

Say what?

Normally, I don’t pay a lot of attention to what celebrities talk about.

I especially don’t tend pay attention to celebrities who feel qualified to give marital advice when they’re not married.

However, reading many of the comments linked with these articles on social media made me reconsider.

In Society Today, Beauty is Only Skin Deep

There are a lot of women–too many women–who feel Eva Mendes is correct.

They believe in this day of Photoshop and plastic surgery what a wife wears is the true key to the longevity of their marriage.

I need to clear this up.

For everyone.

Or, at the very least, for the people who read my weekly ramblings.

What We Wear At Home Should Not Be a Deciding Factor in the Strength of Our Relationship With Our Spouse.

God+Love>Sweatpants--wellofaith.com
No, this isn’t my husband or me. It is a great photo, and captures exactly what should connect a husband and wife.

Marriages are a contract, yes, but they’re a contract that should be tied to a deep and abiding love and faithfulness– to not only our spouse, but to God.

When I got married, I distinctly remember the minister mispronouncing my short name, but getting my husband’s long, long, long name correct. the words, “for better or for worse” among the words my husband and I repeated.

I’m sure there are people who will smirk and say, “For better or for worse doesn’t have anything to do with bad style choices.” I disagree. Completely.

If my husband’s love for me were directly tied to the way I looked, our marriage would have ended years ago.

I may not wear sweatpants, but I also don’t wake up each morning before my husband so he doesn’t see me without my ‘face’ on.

For that matter, I rarely wear make-up, so there’s that.

He’s seen me with bedhead, fighting the stomach flu.

I’ve had chronic migraines, that have done nothing for the way I look; and long ago, he saw me when I drank too much.

None of these sights were pretty, and they’re all a heck of a lot worse than him seeing me in a pair of sweatpants.

Love Isn’t About the Way You Look, It’s About the Connection You Have With Someone’s Heart.

Love is the butterflies you get in your stomach when you know you’re going to see them; it’s the comfort their presence brings you, without them saying anything.

It’s knowing that you don’t have to doll yourself up all the time to impress them, because they’re impressed with the way God created you.

God+Love>Sweatpants--wellofaith.com
I can guarantee I’m wearing work out leggings in the picture. Possibly baby spit too. Also, pretty sure my three year old is wrapped around my leg.

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

1 Peter 3:3-4

They don’t love you because of the adornments you use to be fashionable or beautiful for a materialistic world.

I understand what she ‘might’ have been trying to say.

Women Should Take Pride in Themselves.

The biggest problem with associating this with a type of pants, is that people miss the bigger picture.

Pride in yourself is fine–as long as you remember everything you have is God’s.

Be careful about having too much pride in your good looks, your perfect body, or the clothes you wear.

All of those things are fleeting.

The beauty God created inside you–your heart and soul–those are where the true strength of your marriage will come from.

So, ladies if you feel like your husband (or boyfriend) will leave you if you don’t look your best, walk away.

He’s not the one for you.

Don’t sell yourself short for someone only interested in the outer trappings.

Find that person who will love you even when you’re looking your worst, because he’ll see the beauty God created.

Besides, no one wants to be worried about their hair or make-up at two in the morning–when they’re in labor.

No one.

Trust me.

God + Love > sweatpants. Always.

Until next time,

wellofaith
God+Love>Sweatpants--wellofaith.com
How the Military Strengthened My Faith--wellofaith.com

How the Military Life Strengthened My Faith in God

How the Military Strengthened My Faith in God

The Military Life

My entire life has been connected in one way or another to the military.

I grew up the daughter of a Master Chief in the United States Navy. I joined (albeit shortly) the Army National Guard, and in 2005 I married a Marine.

All these years later, I realize just how much that military life strengthened my faith in Our Heavenly Father.

Each situation, transition, and experience added another brick to the foundation of my belief in God’s almighty power, His endless love, and boundless wisdom.

God is Always There

When my husband and I first married, we were immediately stationed on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

This sounds like a dream destination, but for us it wasn’t.

We struggled, and there were times it didn’t seem possible for us to make it through together.

Looking back it’s easy to see, God had a plan for us; we just weren’t listening to Him or leaning on Him.

We experienced many different things during our eighteen months there.

Most of it separately.

My husband spent a good portion of the time we were stationed there deployed to Afghanistan–or preparing to deploy.

Because of this, we relied heavily on ourselves, and then expected each other to fill the empty spaces in our lives.

It was rough.

I’d never been away from my family or my friends, and living on an island–basically alone–showed me a weakness in myself I’d never known.

Even though I wasn’t intimate with God during this season of my life, He was there.

Taking the hard moments and using them to help build a strong foundation for my future faith.

The LORD Does it Again

When we left Hawaii we were stationed in Virginia.

We struggled to build our relationship, because neither of us understood the other. We didn’t communicate, and we hurt each other deeply time and time again.

Military Life Isn’t Easy.

How the Military Strengthened My Faith in God-- wellofaith.com

Not even for people with strong marriages.

Being young made it harder.

The Marine Corps was a tough employer, and my husband worked long hours and was rarely home.

When he was home he would unwind by playing computer games.

A solitary activity that didn’t include me.

Between the stresses of his job, and our lack of connection I was emotionally exhausted.

After two years, I was ready to call it quits.

Then a Miracle Happened.

I’d been told after the loss of my son I’d likely never carry a child again.

God, however, works miracles all the time; in His time it happened.

With our marriage on rocky ground, we made it through the pregnancy and birth of our eldest.

It wasn’t easy, and we still didn’t turn to God or acknowledge Him in our lives.

We continued to go it on our own, and made each day harder than it needed to be.

Again, the LORD wasn’t deterred.

He used our experiences in this new place to add more bricks to the foundation of my faith.

Deployments, PTSD, and Selfishness

My Husband Deployed to Afghanistan Twice.

The second time he deployed, our eldest was a toddler, and that changed everything. His absence was no longer only affecting me, but was affecting a little girl who didn’t understand why her daddy wasn’t home to tuck her in.

This wasn’t the first time he’d been gone from our lives since her birth, but it was the first time the military had taken him to a war zone.

Those seven months were both a struggle and a blessing.

I just didn’t realize the ‘blessing’ part until years later.

While he was gone I experienced a number of things that would have been so much easier with God actively in my life.

Learning Experience: God is Faithful

My daughter ended up rushed to a children’s hospital when her temperature elevated and the local hospital didn’t feel capable of caring for her. We rode in the ambulance for over an hour, to a hospital in the middle of the desert.

I’d left my car at the local hospital with no idea of how she and I would get home.

Without knowing it at the time, God was there.

Her fever broke and we made it back home.

A problem that seemed insurmountable was solved.

Back to Back Deployments Are Traumatic

When a service member returns from a deployment it takes time for reintegration.

Not only for the member, but for the family he left as well.

We’d spent seven months apart, and during that time both our daughter and I had grown and changed.

He’d changed too.

You can’t deploy somewhere, see death, destruction, and misery, and not be irrevocably changed.

It was really hard to connect.

He and I had never really been great at communicating in the first place, add in the stresses of his returning to a safe place, and the communication was practically non-existent.

God used these struggles too.

I couldn’t see it at the time, and if you’d asked me during those days I would have scoffed at the idea of any god, let alone the God.

Then He Deployed to Okinawa

How the Military Strengthened My Faith in God--Wellofaith.com

Within weeks of his return, my husband was back scheduled to deploy again.

Granted, this time it wasn’t to a war-torn country where anyone could be planning to kill you; it still meant he would leave his family for another seven months.

Prior to any deployment, service men train for what might happen while they’re on mission.

This training takes months, and at times feels like a deployment itself.

We never saw him, and when we did he was angry.

I was angry.

Something was going on with him, I knew it and so did our daughter. He didn’t agree.

The week before he deployed to Okinawa, the dam broke. I was tired of seeing my baby girl hurt by her father’s indifference.

It was the first (and only time) my husband has ever sworn at me.

He was in pain, I could see it, but I couldn’t fix it.

I couldn’t help him, and he wasn’t willing to help himself.

My Decision: To Love

The night before he left, I made a choice.

It was time to stop being selfish. To stop placing blame, and just do what I should have done all along.

The same thing Jesus would have done.

I wrapped my arms around him, and loved him.

Regardless of my anger, my confusion, and my own hurt, I felt peace wash over me.

This was the right thing to do.

He wouldn’t leave our home with an angry, bitter wife. He would leave with a wife full of love for her husband.

It’s obvious now what that peace was.

That change wasn’t because I’m a naturally forgiving person.

God had wrapped His arms around me, and said, “trust me”.

Another Miracle

Seven months later when my husband returned, he was a different person, and so was I.

This time however, I saw something better in him.

There was a light in him again. The pain wasn’t gone, but it was receding.

God had worked on him too, it seemed.

In the solitude of long runs around Okinawa, God had started to heal my husband.

Military Life: Relocating Time and Again

From the East to the West and Back Again

Our active duty military career continued until 2017.

During those years we moved from Washington State to Hawaii.

From Hawaii to Virginia

Then onto California.

Back to Washington State, just to do it once more– across the Continental United States to Virginia.

We grew our family from that first miracle to four miracles.

How This Helped My Faith

Soon after we had our second child, our eldest son, we were given orders to return to Washington State (where our relationship originally began).

Just like that, a light came on.

Like a program working in the background of your mobile device, God had been working on me.

I’d discovered what had been missing from my life.

For so long I’d been trying to fill the empty space, and nothing had worked.

With the knowledge I was heading back to the home I’d run away from, I surrendered.

God broke through my stubborn pride, and with open arms accepted me: scars, bad choices, confusion, and all.

Through it All, He Remains

Since that summer day in 2013, many things have changed in my life.

I’d be lying if I said my marriage suddenly became perfect, and all our problems magically disappeared once I accepted God back into my life.

That we never struggled.

I’d be lying if I said our lives have been perfect and there hasn’t been a day of worry.

It doesn’t work that way.

There has been pain and loss (My father passed away in January 2015), and there were times of deep fear within this Momma( when the doctor discovered on Mother’s Day 2018 that my youngest daughter has multiple VSDs in her heart)

Being a Christian is hard. Really hard for so many reasons.

Jesus never said it would be easy.

But, I can tell you without a shred of doubt it’s worth it.

He’s worth it.

We’re worth it.

Through all the ups and downs, God continues to strengthen my faith. Not in myself, but in Him.

My family grows, matures, and loves each day, because of His love and righteousness.

And through everything–including the change from active duty military life to reserves–God continues to love me.

When the Marine Corps payment doesn’t come in when its supposed to, and the bank account is too low to cover everything, I trust God.

I know, without fail, God will provide.

Keep praying, I know I will.

Until next time,

wellofaith

P.S. For a book to help you reconnect I suggest: The Five Love Languages Military Edition: The Secret to Love That Lasts

How the Military Life Strengthened My Faith in God
Summer

Summer Storms (and a FREE Summer Printable) Just For You!

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”

Charles Bowden

Summer is Over-rated, Right?

Growing up in the PNW I learned early in my childhood to not expect warm weather until the last week of August.

Summer storms were a normal part of the season–the same season that lasted from October until August.

When Man-of-the-House accepted a position in the Nation’s Capitol, and we moved once again to Northern Virginia, I looked forward to actual seasonal changes.

You know, beautiful colors in the fall; snow in the winter; flowers and rain in the spring, and sunshine in the summer.

While the temperatures are definitely summer-like, the weather itself hasn’t exactly been a balm to my SAD battling soul.

( You can read more about SAD in this post.)

The weather since we moved here nearly two years ago, has been as fickle as my cat.

This past week has been no different, providing us with thunderstorms each night.

Which is actually okay, because I love thunder and lightning, as long as I don’t have anywhere to travel to, and we don’t lose electricity.

A downside to having a well pump, without a generator to power it, means when we lose power, we lose water and the ability to flush the toilet.

Never a fun time when you have five people in the house who like the convienence of indoor plumbing.

An Old House in Need of Personal Touches

Summer, homeowner,little cottage in the burg
A moment stolen the day we moved in.

When we were looking for our forever home, I specifically wanted one that had plenty of personality, and enough glitches to allow my own personal touches.

There are definitely plenty of ‘glitches’ in our quaint little cottage in the ‘burg.

One of the things I plan to tweak (if structurally feasible) is the position of the porch swing.

Currently it hangs at the end of our covered front porch, where it gets pelted with rain each time it storms.

This makes it difficult for me to enjoy a nice cup of hot tea in the fall; a tall glass of sweat tea in the summer, while the rain falls and freshens the earth.

Since I’m not a fan of getting rained on, my hope is to move it to the interior of the covered porch, facing the yard, so I can make use of it during those moments when my momma heart is as stormy as the weather.

Putting the Focus on “Summer” Not “Storms”

The season of summer has always been my favorite.

Growing up, even if it didn’t mean a change in the weather, it at least meant I was able to stay up late into the night reading whatever books had caught my fancy.

Things haven’t changed much as I’ve gotten older–well, except I no longer choose to stay up late into the night. I’m a momma of early-risers, after all, and sleep is super important.

To help bring in the season at our house, I made a cute, minimalistic, printable to remind me that the thunder and lightning is happening in summer, and not some other season.

Summer

Get your own digital download of it here. Or if you’d like more than one option for your home, a summer bundle is available here.

Subscribe to receive my newsletter, and get a free summer subway art print as well. Just fill in the pop-up here on the blog.

If you’re looking to frame your printable art, might I suggest this.

I pray these little pieces of art will bless your home this season.

Until next time,

The Power of a Praying Spouse--WellOFaith

The Power of a Praying Spouse

The Power of a Praying Spouse-- Well O'Faith

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Being the spouse of a hardworking Marine, doesn’t leave a lot of time for date nights or quality time with each other.

In the ten years we’d been married, we’d been together for two anniversaries. The other eight years he was either deployed to Afghanistan, Japan, or away on training exercises that kept us from being together to celebrate.

In February 2016 it was our tenth anniversary, and the first one–in a long time–my husband was home for.

It was also less than a week after the death of my father.

Much to my husband’s disappointment our anniversary slipped past without much more than a sigh.

In the last decade (and a little more) my husband and I have been through a lot.

When we said “I Do”, neither of us really knew what to expect.

He was barely 21-years-old and had never been married before.

I was carrying so much baggage TSA would have been concerned–not to mention the fees I had to pay on all that luggage weight!

Our marriage hasn’t been easy, and there were plenty of times early on when we could have turned our backs and moved on without each other, but we didn’t.

The Power of a Praying Spouse--WellOFaith

We also knew that in order to keep moving forward we needed to start actively being part of each other’s lives. We needed to commit to doing something together that would bring us closer.

Not just to each other, but to the LORD as well.

In January we had joined our small-group (mentioned here). When we were invited to join, we both jumped at the chance. It felt right, and we knew it was just what we needed to help strengthen our marriage.

The first study of the year for our group was an answer to our prayers.As a group we prayerfully decided to use the books The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Husband by Stormie Omartian.

These books aren’t normally used as Bible studies, but in our case it worked out well.

The Power of a Praying Spouse--Well O Faith

My husband and I discussed the readings each week and the prayers provided within the chapters guided us to new depths of prayer for each other. Within the first week I’d already noticed a difference in the way we interacted.

Not only did the readings bring new insight into how and why to pray for him, they opened up a new understanding of myself.

I highly recommend grabbing a book for you and your spouse. They’re a quick read and well worth it.

If you’ve already read one of these books, what did you think? How did it help you?

Blessings,

Sare Signature

God’s Work in My Family

Since the day I got down on my knees and asked Jesus to guide me through this life, to save me from the person I’d become, and to fill me with his Holy and loving Spirit, I’ve seen my life change before my eyes. Some days are easier than others, but each day brings me closer to His presence.

It doesn’t end there, though. I’ve seen His work in others in my family as well. I’ve seen it in the way my daughter is growing; always thinking of others who might not have the things she does. She always searches for ways to be of help, either to me, her brother, or a little kid at the park who seems lonely.

God isn’t just working in her life. He’s working in the heart of my husband as well. In the beginning he went to church, because it was what I wanted to do, and he wanted to be there for me. He didn’t care which church we went to, and would have preferred if I’d chosen a Catholic church. I didn’t, and I don’t ever regret that decision.

He has become a different person. He no longer attends church just because I want to. In fact on those days when I’ve become too overwhelmed by people and desperately want to stay home and spend solitary time with the LORD, he’ll motivate me to get dressed and go (sometimes even he can’t get me to go for fellowship, because sometimes I just need the silence and the personal time with my Bible and the LORD).

Recently, I feel God placed in his heart something I never could have on my own. My husband felt called to volunteer, and he looked into opportunities and found the one that he felt in his heart the LORD was leading him to. On Monday night he spent time at a men’s home helping with dinner, and spending time getting to know the men living there. He came home tired but filled with a new light. I look forward to the changes the LORD brings to my family and myself.

Praise the LORD!