1 Incredibly Simple Thing I Have Done That Has Vastly Improved My Marriage

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I was never a big fan of the show King of the Hill.  The comedy was pretty dry for me and not that appealing.  However, one of the few episodes that I remember had one of my favorite quotes in it that I have ever seen on a TV show.  The episode is called Bobby Goes Nuts and I will spare you the details.  However, after Bobby refuses to obey his injured father, Hank, Peggy steps in, hands her glasses off to Hank and says,

“That is it.  I would not let a stranger, let alone my own son,
think for one second that they could get away with showing any disrespect
toward the man that I love.
You do that, and you have to deal with Peggy Hill.”

It has always made me smile.  Peggy was never the perfect wife, but she was entirely and unconditionally devoted to that uptight redneck husband of hers, just as much as Hank was devoted to her.  And when she saw that Hank couldn’t defend himself from Bobby’s disobedience, she felt no shame in stepping in to defend her husband.  It was one of the few moments in the entire series that I felt was redeeming.

I am like Peggy — Michael is the most kindhearted, gentle and honorable man I know.  I couldn’t imagine sitting idly by and listen to anyone disrespect him.  Heck, I get angry when I hear some of the stories he tells me about things that happened to him in his past with other people!  And I would and do stand up for him when I hear someone say anything less than flattering about my husband.

But I realized one day that there was one person whom I would tolerate badmouthing my husband, and sometimes relentlessly.  During one difficult period I actually allowed this person to badmouth my husband quite fervently and without a hint of retaliation, showing him great disrespect and dishonor.

And that person was me.

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Any time I felt upset with Michael, or felt unappreciated or disrespected myself, I would silently seethe and run through all his bad qualities in my head, going over his failures and mistakes for extended periods of time, sometimes even days on end if I was really upset.  I don’t think there is a single person in the world who doesn’t do this when they get upset at their spouses.  It’s a natural response, to begin building a wall when we have been hurt.  And it is one of the worst things you can do when you are hurt, is block the other person from finding a way into your heart again.  We can cause ourselves and our relationships so much pain and anguish when we dwell on the negative qualities of our partners.

So I promised myself that I wouldn’t allow myself to think any negative thoughts about my husband anymore.  Nothing.  Not one single negative thing.  I stopped dwelling on his negative qualities (a list that is truly quite short and unimportant) and focused solely on his positive (and there are a LOT of those!).  I gave myself permission to release any anger I felt towards him, to give it up and leave it with Jesus, and to focus solely on his strengths, rather than his weaknesses.

Now, when I am upset over something and feel anger, I don’t dwell on it for very long.  I release it, give it away and start thinking about the good things.  He might be tired and laze around on the couch all weekend, but he worked so hard all week beforehand!  And he made sure that I got a chance to have my bath last night and watched the kids.  And he stopped watching that television show that I didn’t like when I’m around.  And he made sure there was enough money in the grocery budget to buy me more cocoa.  And he really appreciated my frugal meal creation that I made last night.  And he sat through a TV show he wasn’t crazy about because he knew I enjoyed it.  The list just goes on and on…  How can you stay angry at a man as wonderful as that?  The truth is, you can’t.

Once I started focusing and appreciating all his good qualities, the few bad ones melted away, to the point where I hardly even notice or focus on them.  I am so proud of the man that he is, and trust him implicitly to be the leader and protector of our household.  I am forever grateful to him for the sacrifices he has made for our family and the role he fulfills everyday.  I refuse to let anyone do or say anything negative about him, myself included.

Us sharing a chuckle outside the restaurant on our 5th wedding anniversary.

Do you struggle with negative thoughts about your spouse?  How have you combated them?  Share in the comments!

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The last year has been so many things.  Overwhelmed, frustrated and scared, I took an extended break from miniMOMist for the last several months.  And it was with good reason.

Our family went through a dramatic transition last March.  Michael lost his job due to an unfair layoff and we were thrown into a financial and emotional turmoil.  Michael’s health was not good at that time either — we discovered that there were dark spots on his brain that we were warned could be a brain tumor or cancer, or multiple sclerosis.  As a young mother, facing the possibility of a future without the loving and compassionate support of the man you love and the father of your child, was devastating.

Before that, I had returned to the workforce full time.  Our objective was that we could try to conceive another child and by the time I was finished my maternity leave, Michael would’ve cemented himself well enough in his company as to allow us to live on his income alone.  Our reasons were good and valid, but I have lived with crippling, overwhelming guilt for over a year now, because in my heart of hearts, in my mind and in my soul, I know my place is at home.  I know I am a mother and wife, a home-keeper and Proverbs wife.  And as much as I enjoy my job and my coworkers, and am unabashedly grateful for the kindness my workplace has shown me over the last year, I know my place is at home.

Between the legal meetings, the doctors visits, the struggles with our bills and the continuous guilt of being the working parent and not being able to be at home to take care of my family, I was overwhelmed.  I made some irrational decisions and took this blog down a path I shouldn’t have.  For that, I am sorry.  Instead of making things better for myself and my readers, I piled more on my plate and could not keep it up.

Several months have passed and we’ve learned that (Praise Jesus!) Michael does not have a brain tumor, cancer or multiple sclerosis.  He has changed his medication, improved his health by leaps and bounds, but still suffers from chronic fibromyalgia, panic disorder, migraines, allergies and fatigue.  The myriad of maladies he does suffer from make things difficult for him.  However, the courage and determination he has shown over this last year to learn new skills, to improve his health, and the repeated proof of what a wonderful father and husband he is has shown me far more than I ever realized he possessed.  I have never been prouder or more honored to be his wife and the mother of his children.

We finally see some light and peace on the horizon.  We finally feel we have encountered a corner and  are ready for the next stage of our lives.  God has granted us so much amazing grace and patience that we are amazed and humbled by His love.

We have so far yet to go, but we still have come so far from where we were.

I have decided to resurect miniMOMist and continue on from the path we initially took.  I have removed all the mistakes of my past because frankly, they are my past.  I will not dwell or wonder over them.  I was in a place of deep fear and panic and I am now standing in the light of God.  I am grateful but I have left it behind me.

I hope my readers will forgive me for my failure and will kindly give me leave to continue sharing what I learn on my path.  I am ready to return to what I lost and hopefully I will not be alone.

To those who were subscribers but unsubscribed when things changed, I do wholeheartedly understand.  And I don’t blame you.  I hope I can earn your trust again and we can share new experiences and stories.

For those who were and remain subscribers even after, I cannot thank you enough.  I do hope you will continue to have faith in me and my stories, and will continue to follow me as we grow into something bigger, better and more fulfilling.

“Sometimes you have to kind of die inside
in order to rise from your own ashes
and believe in yourself and love yourself
to become a new person.”

― Gerard Way

That Works For Me!

How exciting is this?!  A couple months ago, I was asked if one of my posts could be included in a new eBook put together by Kristen and Jen called That Works For Me!  I was so excited and felt so privilaged to be included amongst so many amazing, respectable bloggers.

That Works For Me! is a compilation of posts that have been featured over the past five (!) years on the long-running blog carnival, Works for Me Wednesdays.  Kristen and Jen have gone through them all, and picked over 800 recipes, useful tips, ideas and suggestions, and compiled them all together into one handy volume.

You know what’s also really cool about this book?  A portion of the proceeds of each sale go to Mercy House, an organization set up by Kristen and her friend Maureen to help pregnant prostitute girls in Kenya.  Often these girls are forced into prostitution as a means to help their destitute families.  The resulting pregnancies are usually terminated via backstreet abortions so the girls can continue “working”.  It’s a tragic, devestating circumstance that Kristen and Maureen are determined to help these girls avoid.

So if you’re interested, please go check out That Works For Me!  Not only will you be discovering some great tips and ideas from some great bloggers, you’ll also be helping Maureen and the girls in their struggles in Kenya.  Or better yet, look into their power of three program!  I bet you didn’t know it was so simple to help!


This post is a part of…

Titus Tuesday at Time Warp Wives

Homemaking Link Up Wednesdays at Raising Homemakers

Finer Things Friday at Amy’s Finer Things



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Celebrate with Great Joy — Keeping Easter Religious and Fun

Easter Eggs

Photo Credit: Grant Hutchinson

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.  If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Matthew 18:1-6

A friend of mine recently posted this on Facebook (names edited for privacy).  This lady is a real inspiration to me in my walk with Jesus.  She is the devoted and faithful wife of a pastor, and the mother of seven beautiful and delightful children (the youngest of whom is not quite a month old!).

“‎96 plastic eggs in 6 different colors all stuffed with the children’s favorite things. Baskets lovingly filled with a few special things. We’re ready to hide eggs (by color…[Oldest Child]’s orange eggs are super hard to find and [Youngest Child]’s blue eggs are pretty much in plain sight) for our annual hunt. The REASON we celebrate Easter is Jesus. The WAY we celebrate is with great joy! Gifts in honor of The GIFT.”

It”s was a wonderful reminder.  So many of us get so stuck on the religious dogma and the “reason for the season” that we lose the joy and the fun in the celebration, and we take away a lot of the fun from the celebration.  We try to discourage the commercialization of Easter (or other religious holidays) and instead try to stick to the faith-based celebrations.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the fun in the day either!  Chocolates, egg hunts and family meals can all have a special place in the celebration of Easter, as much as solemn church services, prayers of thanks and singing hyms.  There’s lots of ways to celebrate the joy of the holiday without focusing on the candy and the bunnies.

Here are some ways we have discussed and discovered to teach Naomi about Easter, and the Resurrection of Christ, while still keeping the fun and joy in the holiday.

 All photos are the credit of the links in the descriptions beside them.
The few that are not were found via Google Search. 

Empty Tomb Snacks made from chocolate cookies and donuts (not recommended just before bedtime!). These are a clever — and delicious! — way to discuss the story of the three women coming to find the empty tomb, and how the rock might have been rolled away.
  Lots of beautiful printable coloring pages, including Jesus, Mary, crosses, hot crossed buns, and several other lovely pictures.
  A great alternative to traditional chocolate and candy eggs is Resurrection eggs, in which you tell the Easter story using pictures and plastic eggs with small treats.  This is a very festive take on the Advent calendars.
  An Easter garden would be a lovely centerpiece to your table.  It would keep your little ones’ attention as they watch the grass grow from the day that the stone is rolled over the tomb to the day it is rolled away.  It would be an excellent way to let the imaginations of older children get a better understanding of the story.
   I bet you never thought of M&Ms at Easter (except maybe as filling for chocolate eggs).  But here’s an adorable poem about how to use them to explain the Easter story.
   A great idea for your artsy toddler would be to make a paint stamped cross on canvas.  A little tape and a cheap paint canvas make for gorgeous art.  I think this would be especially cute to do with hand prints.
  A delicious and well thought out dessert is Resurrection cookies.  As you include each ingredient, you get to read a passage from the Bible.  Each ingredient has a special significance to the story.  What a passionate way to discuss Jesus while connecting with your children!
  The Jelly Bean Poem leads to lots of crafty inspiration.  Making a stained glass cross, a bracelet or necklace, a jar of layered colorful jelly beans… pretty much anything involving multiple colors!

Do you have some other fun ways of teaching your children about Easter?  Feel free to share them!

This post is a part of Sunday Snippets Catholic Carnival
at This, That and The Other Thing.


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