Saturday, August 31, 2013

Money and marriage

The Bible says "the love of money is the root of all evil" and I think we would all agree that this is true.  In marriage "the lack of money can be a root of evil"! Not long ago statistics showed that more couples divorce over money than any other issue, including infidelity.

When I raised a question about the challenges facing marriage today, it was no surprise to see money on the list. Today more than ever couples are facing financial challenges. So what are some ways to overcome them? While this may seem complicated there are a few places to start.

Track your money. As a couple it's a good idea to sit down and find out exactly where you stand in your finances. You won't be able to conquer what you don't confront. Get your pencil, paper and bills out in the open and a calculator would be good also. Figure out your incoming (income) and your outgoing bills. Now you have a place to start from. This should be done regularly to keep things in check as well as to track progress.

Take advantage of your strengths. Suppose one of you has been handling the bills but you decide the other might do better with the money. Make the switch that's best for the family and future of your finances. Sometimes change is good.

Trim the budget. Find out where to begin to cut back. Cable tv, extra cell phones, eating out on a regular? Maybe there is something that can be sold, extra appliances, a tv, furniture etc. Sometimes you may have to downsize your stuff in order to upgrade your life. This may mean getting a smaller more economical car or moving to a smaller home or apartment. Do you have a basement or garage to rent out?  

Target debt. Wage an all out assault against consumer debt. Systematically pay off one debt at a time. As you pay off a debt invest the money into paying off another until all debt is paid off.  Start with the debt you can pay off quickly in order to see results soon.

Again, these are just a few ways to meet the challenges of money in marriage, clearly there are many more but you have to start somewhere. Why not start now? Why not start today? More to come in the next post. Stay tuned! 

Next post. Should we lend money to friends and relatives?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The purpose of marriage is?

I recently did a survey on what people thought the purpose of marriage was. I dedicate this post to those who have aspirations of marriage and to those already married asking yourself "what in the world".  I'm thankful for great and thought out responses to this question and I will share them below.

The purpose of marriage:

To build strength and weakness.

Sharing life with another person.

Personal development.

Make you closer to God.

To bring completion. Did you here the phrase "you complete me"?

To teach compromise.

To have someone to love and be loved.

I suppose there is no one purpose of marriage but rather there are several. My thoughts are right along with the ones above. Of course all of these are opinions which mean they are subjective.

In my opinion the purpose of marriage is also service. In essence, looking to serve and not looking to be served but if that happens it's icing on the cake. Most of the time it's reciprocal, if both are serving the same purpose.  Marriage teaches you humility and forgiveness.

Another purpose of marriage is to meet a need. Meeting a need sometimes requires sacrifice, self has to take a step back and you must be willing to bleed to meet the need, figuratively speaking of course.

Most of us go into a marriage looking for what we can get and forget about what we will have to give or even give up. Marriage is a great thing when you understand it's purpose. Like anything else there must be clarity or purpose may get lost. 

For everything there is a purpose and there's a purpose for everything including marriage! What's your purpose for marriage?

Next more challenges in today's marriages and how to overcome them.

everyday talk for everyday women...  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Connecting for the kids

In this day and age of being so busy, connecting for couples is not always easy but it's necessary, especially if you have children. Not only is it a must for you the couple but it's also needed for the children. Who knows, maybe they need a break from parents too!

The truth is, they watch everything parents do. When they see you connect they gain the understanding that the marriage relationship is valued. When they see parents connecting it ultimately gives them a sense of safety and security and every child needs security which is essential to their growth and development.

Connecting sends a message that the parents are happy and when they see happy parents they feel happy and content. While we connect they connect and feel a sense of closeness and awareness that mom and dad love each other so they must love me too.

Seeing parents connecting will hopefully encourage them to practice this same discipline in their own marriages one day. It seems that even what we do for ourselves will have lasting ramifications for our children. Let's make the best of it!

everyday talk for everyday women...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Exciting milestones!

For most children the little things are very special.  Enjoy a couple of milestone's.

Waiting to get ears pierced. It's her birthday!

My first earrings.

Two missing teeth!

One missing tooth.

Missing teeth together!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Connecting Pt 2

This is a follow up to my previous post on finding ways to connect with your spouse. Connecting is always a challenge when raising children so planning is key. The suggestions for connecting were pretty simple, a few minutes here, a dessert there or a movie night. Perhaps these don't sound much like connecting but we have to start somewhere.

Connecting can take on different forms. Maybe you won't be able to sit for hours and pour out your heart yet. But the few minutes spent together alone just having a conversation can make a difference. Watching a movie together won't exactly allow you to talk, especially if your spouse is like mine, but just being able to sit beside each other without a little person crawling between you can be refreshing. You can enjoy a good laugh while you cuddle, share a bowl of munchies and just relax together.  

Having dessert together without the kids can be oh so sweet. Small conversation between bites and being able to listen intently can bring a closeness at the end of a hectic long day. Why not feed each other a little dessert to add to the closeness?

Again these may sound like small things to incorporate but just remember small changes can lead to BIG results! What are the results? A happier marriage and a happier you.

everyday talk for everyday women...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Finding ways to connect

I'm so glad to be posting again. It has been quite a weekend celebrating my daughter's birthday and then I spent Monday making up and catching up! Now I'm back on top of my game, blogging. I recently asked around about the current challenges of being married these days. I heard a few things and decided to start with this challenge as well as it resonates so well in my house.

Kids. Yes those beautiful little bundles of joy we bring home with a great big smile. Finding time to carve out between raising them can be challenging to say the least. However, in order to maintain a solid marriage we have to find ways to connect. So what's a couple to do?

Here are a few tips to get you started.

Have a movie night after putting the kids to bed.

Once a month, have date night. If funds are a challenge, try bartering with another couple.

Decide on a time period to sit down uninterrupted for 15-20 minutes by sending the kids to quiet time or putting on a short movie for them. This is important because they will understand that you are using this time to connect, eventually they will learn to appreciate and respect this practice.

If you have an older responsible child, allow that child to watch the other children while you take a few minutes to connect. Sweeten the deal by allowing a special privilege or perk of some sort.

I'm big on eating together as a family, however, a couple can eat dinner with the family and have dessert together alone.

Set aside money in the budget just like any other financial commitment and start a dating fund. This can cover the outing as well as money for a potential babysitter.

Sometimes you just have to put the kids in bed early and connect before going to bed.

Always find time to pray together before going to bed for the night.

Again these are tips to get you going in the connecting direction. While we love our children they can drain us of our time and energy. If you're homeschooling as in my case there is hardly any time to do anything in terms of connecting with your spouse.

Older children have so many activities which requires a parent to run all over the place, there's no energy left. This requires another post. Sometimes we as parents have to limit the number of activities our kids are involved in. Remember, we have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others.

My thoughts are once the children are gone to start families of their own it will be the parents left with each other. Will you find yourself with a stranger because nothing was invested into the relationship?

If we don't set boundaries on the time spent running around and caring for the children only, we will find ourselves living in one house but in two different worlds living two separate lives. We must meet the challenge of balancing parenthood and our marriage by praying for wisdom and direction. This mixed with the practical application of connecting on a regular basis will help to strengthen our homes and our marriages.

To be continued...

Do you have any comments or suggestions? We are always glad to hear from you. Remember if you find this blog helpful or insightful, please share it with others. Thank you.

Here's an additional resource, click on the link below.

everyday talk for everyday women...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Opposites attract (our differences)

This post is a follow up to my prior post called, opposites attract. For the record, I'm referring to opposite personalities only and not character traits, core values, philosophical beliefs or spiritual convictions.

In our quest for oneness, we won't think just alike nor will we agree on everything. Oneness means our souls and hearts are knitted together through love and forgiveness. Being one means no person or circumstance will be able to penetrate. Being one might mean sharing thoughts sometimes but we will never share a brain, they are all wired differently. This is a good thing!

There will always be two people becoming one who think and act differently and here is where balance comes in. Balance is an essential key to making differences work in a marriage. In all actuality our differences can complement each other. Just maybe it was designed to be that way, hence the term "opposites attract and like cells repel" a perfect science.

Suppose both people were free spirit spenders, would there be enough money to pay bills and stay within a budget? What if both were too tight with a buck ( a spend thrift) would life be enjoyed? The free spirit spender and the spend thrift balance each other out but only if they respect each others differences and allows the other to complement the marriage. You see the spend thrift brings balance to the free spirit spender so there is money left to pay bills as well as save while the free spirit spender brings balance so the spend thrift is able to enjoy some things in life that might other wise be missed.

Another good example is a passive person and an aggressive person in a marriage. You might think that one would run over the other but in actuality they can complement each other and bring harmony to the marriage. Two aggressive people might not be able to get past arguing and two passive people might hold it all in and this could eventually eat away at a marriage as well as personal health and well being. However, if the aggressive person will learn to calm down from the passive person while the passive person learns to speak up, some issues can be ironed out and the marriage can thrive.

Consequently, this balance not only works within the marriage, it's a life lesson because everywhere we go there are folks that are opposite that we must contend with. Whether at work, community, social networks and the like we will have to work together with people unlike ourselves, we might as well practice at home. The way I see it opposites attract because we really need each other.

Finally what makes it all work in a marriage is prayer. When I was younger I heard that a family that prays together stays together. Through the power of prayer we find the strength to love, accept and forgive each other, we understand our need for each other. Prayer helps us remember that none of us will ever be perfect but we can be perfect for each other.

everyday talk for everyday women...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The challenges of marriage

With so many things going on in our world today, in my opinion, couples are faced with challenges now more than ever. So I did a poll and asked about what challenges couples are facing. This is what I heard: money, being unequally yoked (will explain this one later), raising children and getting married too young. This is just for starters.

So for the next few posts I will focus on some of these topics. Consider this post an introduction. Looking forward to your feedback as we walk this out together one day at a time.

everyday talk for everyday women...

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Do you recall your childhood? As children most of us were told to be good, be nice, be obedient and be polite. How many times were we told to be quiet? It was a lot to remember. When you're a teenager you are encouraged to be compliant, be courteous, be careful, be considerate and on rare occasion be yourself.

It gets a little more complicated as adults. We strive to be right, we want to be successful, we should be better. We want to be great, be thoughtful, be humble and if possible be perfect. Now folks say we should be politically correct.

While most of these are noble characteristics sometimes we forget that after all is said and done, God wants us to be loved. It's simple yet profound. Have you ever noticed how many times the Bible refers to us beloved? Maybe God is telling us to do just that "be loved".

What does it mean to be loved? Perhaps it means accepting that we are cared about and thought about. We are taken care of and the God of the universe has affection towards us and no matter what we belong to Him. This love is unconditional even in our imperfect state. In this love God forgives us but He never forgets about us.

So as we endeavor to be so many things let's remember the simplicity of the Gospel. For God so loved us (John 3:16) and he still loves us. "Beloved if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11).  It is only when we accept being loved that we can love as we are loved.

Be blessed be loved.

everyday talk for everyday women...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ten of my favorite books!

I decided to do something different with this post. Anyone who knows me knows I love reading, it's my favorite thing to do. I love reading life changing print. So here I will list ten of my favorite books, both adult and children's books. This was very hard to do considering I have hundreds on top of hundreds of books on my shelves, in baskets, piled on the floor and some still in boxes. Here a book , there a book, everywhere a book book, Verlyn Tarlton had some books e, i, e, i, o... Sorry, I couldn't resist, sometimes you just have to go with it.

For each book I will give the authors name in case you want to purchase or borrow the book from the library. Enjoy!

 Dr. Ben Carson

Cheri J. Meiners

Ann Voskamp

Francis P. Martin

Lisa Bullard

Randy Shankle

Genny Morchamp

T. Harv Eker

Willie Jolley

Verlyn Tarlton

I tried to provide a eclectic list because I enjoy different types of books. If you have read any of these please provide some feedback or if you plan to read any of these leave your comments as well. As always, thanks for your time, you are very much appreciated. Peace and blessings to you all!

everyday talk for everyday women...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Follow up to Opposites attract

I thought it would be good to bring clarity to my opposites attract post. I gave examples of personality differences because that's workable. However, couples should have the same core values and philosophical beliefs.

Core values of how to raise children or if you even want children are important if a marriage is to work. Do you have the same spiritual belief? These types of things are major considerations and can be deal breakers.

So for the sake of clarity, differences in personality can be a good thing but core values and philosophical beliefs should be shared.

Perhaps sitting down and taking inventory of what your core values and beliefs are would be a good idea. Hope this helps!

everyday talk for everyday women...

Seven of me?

There are days I wish there were seven of me. Not sure my husband would say the same. As a matter of fact he says one of me is more than enough! I wonder does he mean that? Back to my point, if there were seven of me I could get lots more done.

One of me would read all day from sun up to sun down.

The second me would peruse  all of my favorite websites, social media's, and blogs.

The third me would write and blog all day.

The forth me would complete the novel I've been working on for the past seven years.

The fifth me would do all the mommy/wife stuff.

The sixth me would pray a lot and visit those who are confined at home or at nursing facilities.

The seventh me would spend the day connecting with people via email, phone calls and letter writing.

At the end of the day the seven of me would converge to rest. So there you have it, this is how all seven of me would spend my day.

What would you do if there were more of you?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Opposites attract?

Is it really true that opposites attract and like cells repel?  Perhaps. My husband and I are classic examples. In so many ways we are different and sometimes it drives me nuts while at other times it makes me better.

Here are some examples of our differences:

He's an extrovert and I'm an introvert.

He's an early riser and I'm nocturnal.

He's fun loving and I'm serious.

He's fast paced and I'm steady.

He's dramatic excitable and I'm mellow.

You get the picture don't you? I find this, opposites attract theory, to be pretty common among couples these days. So how do we make it work? I can sum it up in one word. Balance. You see, too much of anything is not always good.

My husband and I balance each other out. He has helped me to reach out more because he's an extrovert. By doing this I have made great new friends and I have seen my own personality blossom. I help him to slow down because I am steady. This has helped him make well thought out decisions and really examine a matter before rendering a quick yes or no. 

I normally prefer to stay up and work late since I'm nocturnal by nature which also means I like to sleep a little late. My husband loves to get up at the crack of dawn before the roosters crow. At first this was too much because I pack his lunch and see him off to work in the mornings. Now I have learned to make this work for me by reading, praying and writing as soon as he leaves. This allows me to plan my day and have some peace before the riot I mean children awaken.

I could go on and on about the great things that can happen when opposites balance each other out. Most importantly time, practice and respect allows this to occur. Trying to change anyone to make them more like another is hopeless but respecting the differences can be promising.

I recently read a book to the children called "Beautiful Blackbird" by Ashley Bryan. My favorite phrase was "just remember, whatever I do, I'll be me and you'll be you" how fitting. 

everyday talk for everyday women...  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Delaware state # 2 complete

So here I am still trying to catch up on life. The only draw back to going out of town is you have to return and make up for all the days you were gone. This means washing, folding and putting away clothes while still unpacking...sheesh. As well as getting ready for the new school year, returning calls and let's not forget paying bills. I forgot about this part! I suppose I need a vacation from my vacation! Our trip was well worth it and with time I'll catch back up to being behind.  No worries...

These are miscellaneous pictures to wrap up our Delaware tour. Each trip is getting better and the best is yet to come. Thank you for joining us as we begin The 50/12 Project. Two states down and forty eight left to go.


In Dover at the Archive building and State House

Maybe they'll see this on a history exam later on?

This was a very beautiful place

I prefer not to be in pictures but my friend (FL) says I should for the children's sake

We had to come all the way to Delaware to watch cable tv!

Breakfast at the hotel is the best because I don't have to do a thing. YES!

Peek-A-Boo I see you

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Killens Pond State Park in Delaware

Our trip to Delaware was not complete until we took the children to the state park which included the water park. Killens Pond State Park is in Felton, Delaware and as you will see in the pictures below it was a great place to visit.

It ended up being a beautiful day after lots of heavy rain and thunder storms. We thought we had to cancel our park trip and then all of a sudden the rain stopped, we found our turn and then the sun came out.