can i give my dog valium can i give my dog valium

20Apr

A Peaceful Home Part 2: Value Your Marriage

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

This is part 2 in my series, A Peaceful Home. See the rest of the series here.

A Peaceful Home Marriage

The first thing we need to focus on after our own faith and attitude is our marriage relationship.

Why is this so important? A marriage is the foundation of the home. If there is strife in your marriage, it will be very difficult to cultivate a peaceful home.

A Wife of Contention or a Wife of Peace?

Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman. -Proverbs 21:9

Yikes! Solomon says it is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman! In other proverbs, Solomon drives home his point with other analogies–a contentious wife is like a constant dripping (Proverbs 19:13), and it would be better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry woman (Proverbs 21:19).

If I am nagging and quarrelsome toward my husband, there will be no peace in my home. 

Furthermore, in addition to creating an atmosphere of discord between husband and wife, that spirit of bitterness will eat away at the wife’s inner peace as well, just as we saw yesterday in discussing Ma Ingalls and Mrs. Oleson. Outward bitterness and contention only reflects what is inside.

The great thing about it is that we don’t have to remain contentious wives.

One of the most prevalent myths of marriage and romance is that it’s all about “feelings.” We get so caught up in our feelings, but we should never be driven by them. Our feelings are fickle! Instead, we should strive to act in a way that lines up with scripture, and the feelings (the ones that matter) will follow suit.

We can change our attitudes by changing our actions.

My Marriage Secret

Admittedly, my husband and I have only been married for going-on-10 years. I’m not an expert on marriage. However, I don’t think it needs to be as complicated as we try to make it sometimes. You could spend days and weeks reading all the literature and info on marriage, but it all comes down to action, and that is my secret: Do something intentionally kind for your husband every day. 

It sounds so simple, but the truth is that sometimes in the busyness of laundry, jobs, dirty diapers, and the general chaos of life, those intentional acts of kindness for our spouses get lost in the shuffle. I don’t just mean being kind in your usual interactions with your husband (though that’s a no-brainer–do that too!), I mean be intentional.

Do something every day that is just for your husband, to show him your love. It can be something big or something small. Go out of your way to tell him how much you appreciate him for being a good provider. Cook his favorite meal. Surprise him by doing a chore that would usually fall to him.

I first started this back during my Intentional Marriage challenge, and it was a game changer for me and our marriage.

Kindness Matters

A Peaceful Home Marriage Quote

Small acts of kindness can have a huge impact!

  • You are following God’s word. There are countless verses, especially in the new testament that command us to love one another with our actions.
  • You are blessing your husband. If a contentious woman is difficult to live with and should be avoided, a kind woman is a draw for her husband. I love the quote from Martin Luther, “Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” Kindness helps make your home a place of refuge for your husband, a haven.
  • You are changing yourself. You might be surprised at how much your attitude can change when you practice this, even if you have to force it at first. Push through. Practice discipline. Bless your husband and see how it blesses your entire household at the same time. If you press on, it will come more naturally to you to serve your husband through acts of love and kindness.

Basically, I believe that being intentionally kind to your husband opens the door for many of the other things that are so important in a marriage. 

The Intentional Marriage printable pack (free) has some cards with simple ideas for random acts of kindness for your husband. You can also find a larger list of suggestions in the index of the Intentional Marriage book.

Note: Please know that I am speaking of “normal” marriages and not abusive ones. I am also not in any way blaming a wife for a husband’s indiscretions here. I am speaking of day-to-day strife and discord–the kind that comes from complacency and selfishness in an otherwise healthy relationship.

Related Articles & Resources

  1. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle–This is an amazing resource for your homemaking! It includes many different books, courses, printable packs and more…covering any and all topics related to homemaking. There are several resources in this bundle that are geared specifically toward strengthening your marriage.
  2. Intentional Marriage Book–my book, which is a 31 day devotional for wives.
  3. 5 Ways to Ruin a Good Marriage–a tongue-in-cheek look at what NOT to do.
  4. Marriage isn’t about Romance–remember the little things and what matters.
  5. What if my husband doesn’t deserve a “Proverbs 31 wife”?
  6. 52 Uncommon Dates–a great little book of date ideas, questions for reflection, scripture, and mini-devotional thoughts to go with each one.
  7. The Best Marriage is Grounded in Christ
  8. Reset a Bad Day in Your Marriage

Free Gift

Today’s giveaway is a bit different in that there is no one winner. I am giving every single one of you a free copy of my book, Intentional Marriage.

Intentional marriage promo 9

The book has 31 days worth of suggestions for these intentional acts of kindness. There is also a short devotional, related verse, and some questions for reflection. The regular price is $4.99, but for today, for this post, I want to give it to you completely free. My gift to you, because I am passionate about marriage and Christian homes.

Click Here to Download Intentional Marriage: The Art of Loving Your Husband (A 31 Day Devotional), or click the image below.

Intentional Marriage 3d Cover

Do me a favor?

The book is yours, no strings attached, but I would love it if you would pin, tweet, and/or share on facebook. I would love for many wives to get this book for free today :)

This post is a part of my “Peaceful Home” series! Be sure to visit the landing page to see the other posts in the series.

A Peaceful Home

 There are so many “secrets” to a happy marriage that I couldn’t list them all in one post…what is yours?

20Apr

A Peaceful Home Part 1: Are you Ma Ingalls or Mrs. Oleson?

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

This is a part of the “Peaceful Home” series. Visit the landing page to follow along with all the related posts. 

Little House Ma Ingalls or Mrs. Oleson

As I mentioned in the series intro, so often we moms set the tone of our homes. Today, I want to look at a couple of moms that most of you are  familiar with, and the tones they set in their respective homes.

Are you Ma Ingalls or Mrs. Oleson?

I know you technically aren’t Caroline Ingalls or Harriett Oleson, but which character do your actions more closely resemble?

Most of us would automatically say Ma Ingalls. Mrs. Oleson was the character we loved to hate, and none of us would want to be associated with her in our actions. But, I want you to think about it, because I believe this is a great illustration of how much a mother’s attitudes can affect her home and family.

Are you fostering a feeling of peace or discord in your home? 

Ma Ingalls draws on her faith in her daily life. She looks to God in all situations, from the heartbreaking loss of her baby son to the everyday discipling of her children. Mrs. Oleson goes to church, but as my 5 year old says, “she must not listen.” She calls on her religion only in a self-righteous way.

Ma Ingalls builds up and supports her husband, even when he’s made a mistake. Mrs. Oleson nags at her husband and never misses a chance to tear him down.

Ma Ingalls has an inner security derived from her faith in the Lord. It allows her to trust and be content even when her life is hard or unsure. Mrs. Oleson relies on a false sense of security derived from worldly goods. Her peace is fleeting, and when life is difficult, she falters.

Ma Ingalls has a kind and gentle spirit toward others, while Mrs. Oleson is haughty and bitter.

Ma is humble, content, hardworking, and a blessing to her family, much like the Proverbs 31 woman. She has an inner peace that overflows into her household and all those she meets.

Mrs. Oleson is unsettled and discontent in her spirit and that strife pollutes her household and everyone she comes into contact with.

Can I make a little confession? Sometimes my own actions more closely resemble those of Mrs. Oleson. 

Inner Peace

A Wise Woman

In the lives of these two women played out on screen, we see clearly how the inner state affects the family and household. That is why the very first thing we need to address when looking for a more peaceful home is the state of our own hearts and attitudes. 

Yes, we will also look at practical, tangible strategies for managing our homes in this series, but the very first thing we must do is to focus on our hearts and spiritual states. If those aren’t dealt with, we could have perfect husbands, perfect children, a perfect home, and no worries and we still wouldn’t have peace in our lives.

The biggest thing we can do in this area is pray, the Holy Spirit can change our hearts! However, there are some additional steps we can take as well.

Action Steps

1. Commit to a daily quiet time. Spend time with the Lord in His word and in prayer, every single day. 

2. Pray! Ask the Lord to show you the things in your heart that you need to work on (Psalm 139:23)

3. Practice Grattitude. I have always valued gratitude in my life, but recently made the commitment to keep a gratitude journal. Being intentional in naming 3 things each day that I am thankful for has made such a difference in my overall outlook and attitude! (Make it easy with a journal like this one from Money Saving Mom’s Crystal Paine or this one)

Additional Articles & Resources

  1. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle–100 great resources in every area of homemaking! And, you save 97% when you get the whole bundle! (Includes: The Homemaker’s Quiet Time Journal, 25 Days to a Happier Home, Strengthening the Heart of the Homemaker, Live for Him: A Grace-filled Look at Planning, and 96 more faith, marriage, parenting, and homemaking resources!)
  2. The Homemaker’s Quiet Time Journal–my book for homemaker’s with quiet time tips, journaling sheets, my own quiet time routine, and lots of great verses that are specifically applicable to our lives as homemakers. You can also visit Why You Need a Daily Quiet Time, and 10 Tips to Get the Most out of Your Daily Quiet Time.
  3. Crystal Paine’s Gratitude Journal–with or without a special journal, I recommend giving it a shot! Just keep a list in a notebook, but do it every day.
  4. My Time is Not My Own–lessons for mothering, from looking at the way Jesus responded to interruptions.
  5. Are We Chasing Dreams or Chasing God–The importance of seeking God’s ways in our lives.
  6. Serving Where God Calls You–thriving as a SAHM.
  7. 5 Days of Glorifying God in your Homemaking

 Giveaway!!!

little house

I promised you a giveaway with each article in this series, and what else could it be this time around, except a copy of the new deluxe remastered Little House on the Prairie, Season 1!

I love this series, and this season in particular is my favorite. The “Country Girls” episode is one that I like to watch when I need some encouragement (and conviction) as a homemaker. The speech Laura gives about her ma brings me to tears every time and reminds me of the verse in Proverbs 31, “Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her.” It inspires me to be that kind of mother to my children and wife to my husband. 

Enter the giveaway via the rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a part of the “Peaceful Home” series. Visit the landing page to follow along with all the related posts. 

A Peaceful Home

16Apr

Stress-Free Homemaking Course (FREE!!!)

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

Are you a stressed-out homemaker? Don’t stay overwhelmed! Check out this free eCourse: 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking! It’s a great way to get a head start for next week’s Peaceful Home series!

4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking

Are you tired of getting behind on laundry?

Do you struggle to keep your kitchen clean?

Does the dinner hour have you harried?

ThinkstockPhotos-105864534

If so, you cannot miss a FREE 4-part mini eCourse that is available for a limited time: 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking!

In this eCourse, you will learn:

  • how to never get behind on laundry again,
  • how to wake up each day to a sparkling clean kitchen,
  • how to avoid the 5 ‘o’clock scramble with a super simple meal planning method, and
  • how to set yourself up for success with a quick nighttime routine.

Control My Spin’s Holly Dvorak, a popular speaker and home management coach, and her long-time homemaking mentee, Erin Odom, of The Humbled Homemaker, have put together this eCourse to help curb homemaking overwhelm and give you the tools you need to run your home like a well-oiled machine.

4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking will not take you long to complete, but what you learn through it can totally revolutionize your home.

ThinkstockPhotos-504402113

What comes with this eCourse?

  • 4 videos: These videos are all less than 10 minutes long, so it won’t take up a lot of time to watch them. But they each pack a punch!
  • 4 printable worksheets: We don’t want to just leave you with the teaching; we want you to brainstorm ways to implement it in your life!
  • FREE REWARDS by sharing this FREE eCourse with your friends as well!

What rewards can you earn?

4 steps overlay image 650 x 351

We let a sampling of bloggers get a sneak peek at this course, and this is what they had to say about it:

Kayse Pratt

“I absolutely loved the course! It was so encouraging for me to hear someone else’s homemaking struggles, and the tips I learned are so practical, I can implement them immediately! Each video is less than 10 minutes, and well worth your time. I’m recommending it to all of my friends!” ~Kayse Pratt, blogger at Kaysepratt and author of Worth the Fight

Angi Schneider

“I was really encouraged by the videos to really think about the little things that make my day go smoother when I do them. Thank you!” ~Angi Schneider, blogger at Schneiderpeeps and author of Hope: Thriving While Unemployed

Jill York

“I cannot tell you how much this simple free course has helped me already! I’ve watched them with my oldest daughter, and we are putting them to action! The motivation it provides can be life-changing! It made me really look forward to digging into the rest of what’s in the bundle.” ~Jill York, blogger at Jill’s Home Remedies and co-author of Homeschooling Day-by-Day

Kristen Smith

“The four mini lessons taught in this eCourse aren’t overwhelming, won’t load you with guilt, and are really doable. There’s also room to tweak the lessons for your family’s unique needs, which I appreciate as a homeschooling mom of give younger children. Instead of feeling like a failure by watching it, you feel motivated to make the small changes that Holly explains.” ~Kristen Smith, blogger at Smithspirations and author of Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker

Don’t miss out on this FREE eCourse that can help take the stress out of homemaking! Get immediate access by signing up here, now, or click on the button below! 

Click here for immediate access!

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Thank you for supporting my site!

05Apr

Some thoughts on Easter and UK Basketball

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

2014_2015_kentucky_basketball_poster

I wrote a post a couple of years ago, Worth Dying For, about how awesome it is as an insecure person to rest in His love for me. At that time, someone read the title and told me, “that’s wrong. None of us are worth dying for. We are sinners deserving of judgment.” And that is so true.  We are sinners. None of us are worthy, but because He loves us, He deemed us worth dying for.  God, in His love, chose us even though we don’t deserve it.

And to me, that’s even better. His love is unconditional. It doesn’t rest on me or my performance in anyway. I could never earn it, and I don’t have to.

I live in KY where most of the state “bleeds blue.” You may not be a UK fan, but if you watch college basketball (and maybe even if you don’t), you’ve probably heard about this year’s team. They garnered national attention as they won game after game, reaching a 38-0 season.

They were undefeated. Perfect.

Until last night.

And now, just like that, it’s over. They are 38-1. As I scrolled through my Facebook feed this morning, I saw people jumping off the UK bandwagon left and right. Because they aren’t perfect anymore.

And since today is Easter Sunday, I got to pondering about the reason Jesus came to this earth. The reason he suffered a brutal death on the cross. And it’s kind of like that UK game last night. The loss will always come.

No matter how good we may try to be, there is enough sin in us to negate it all.  We could never be good enough. Because we can never be completely perfect.

I’ve had people in my life who “loved” me for me…but only when I’m lovable. They loved what I could give them, what I could do for them. They loved a talent I might have, my outward appearance, or a fun-loving attitude. They loved me on good days.

But, you see, I’m not perfect. And those things never last. I will let people down every time. And then, when I’m not so lovable anymore, they are gone.

But God’s love has absolutely nothing to do with me. It is unconditional.

He loves me. Not when I’m having a good day, or because I do x, y, and z, or because I look a certain way. But just because of who He is. And there is such comfort in that. Because He is unchanging. I’m so glad that his love and grace doesn’t rest on me or my performance!

I don’t have to try and earn His love, or be “good enough” because I know I know I never could. You never could.

But He loves us anyway.

18Feb

It’s been quiet around here… {and why}

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

I just wanted to pop in and let you know that I’m still here, and share some of the reasons things have been quiet around here.

We Moved!

I shared a bit about that a few weeks ago, but we our family moved. We are still renting, but we’ve gone from a house in town to one that is out in the country and we are so excited about it. We still have a small yard (since our house is surrounded very close by the landlord’s cropland), and the house is even smaller than before and the rent is higher…but it’s out of town, and our whole family loves that fact. Still praying for the day when we can get in our own place, but for now it’s nice to have a new place to wait. We miss our neighbors, but love the quiet offered out here.

We’ve mostly settled in now, but still a few extra things here and there that take time.

10922157_10101209868276553_1542355134_n

Site Issues :(

I know some of you have noticed this because you’ve contacted me about it, but my site has been having some pretty serious issues, and I’ve been unable to fix it so far. Basically, I am having a LOT of downtime and there is no simple fix. The latest explanation I have received is that it could be malware, and this girl recommended that I would need to get a new host, do a manual transfer of everything on the site and *hope* that fixes it. I don’t have the skills required to do all this, nor the money involved with paying someone to do it. Every possible explanation is the same way–expensive and time-consuming to fix, at a time when I have neither extra funds for this or time.

So, the blog has been quiet. And, some of you may remember last year when I had intended to be a bit quieter around here anyway. I have felt the Lord leading me to focus more directly on serving Him and my family and less on this blog, and now seems to be the perfect time. I do wish that I could still have the blog fully functioning in the meantime, but there is little to be done about it right now. It’s a silly thing, but I would appreciate your prayers for direction and wisdom concerning this little blip of technology regarding this blog.

I pray this finds you all well, and that you’re keeping warm! We are having a lot of snow and cold temps here in KY.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
%d bloggers like this: