Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life


10 Ways to Focus on Honoring Your Husband

As we take our focus off of ourselves in order to do a better job of honoring our husbands, we reap the rewards of a better relationship.

I now realize what a brave man my husband was to take on a control queen like me when we married. Our power struggle started on the honey moon, when the poor guy tried to suggest a restaurant where we could eat dinner.

Seriously, one of my spiritual gifts happens to be leadership, very awkward for a woman in the context of marriage. If I’m not careful, my control queen tendencies crop up and cause problems. Only by God’s grace, my husband and I have enjoyed a 20 year marriage. We’re learning to work through our differences and make love our top priority.

While I hope I’ve come a long way since the “Let’s-fight-about-where-to-eat” days, my family still gets a good laugh out of the classic line from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Toula’s mother says, “The man is the head of the household, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.”

Apparently Toula’s mom had control queen tendencies too. Is it just me, or do you also spend lots of energy trying to turn that head the way you want? Sometimes we map out our own plans or programs and then hope to get our husbands on board. We ask ourselves, “Why can’t he just see things my way?”

For the sake of my marriage, I’m learning to ask a better question:

Do I want my own way or a better relationship?

Maybe it’s helpful to look again at God’s design for marriage:

As we take our focus off of ourselves love and respect scripture

The Amplified version of this verse offers valuable insight. The wife who respects her husband treasures him, honors him, treats him with loving concern, and holds him dear. Isn’t that a beautiful picture of the kind of wives we want to be?

How about making an effort to change the landscape of our marriages this week? You may not need this, but I do. I want to step beyond the “Me and My Way First” mindset to focus on honoring my husband instead.

10 Ways to Honor your Husband

1. Listen when he talks. Remember that just yesterday you were complaining about his cave man tendencies? So if he talks today, look into his eyes and listen.

2. Show him that you value his counsel by asking his opinion about your decisions, especially concerning your kids. You’ll benefit from his good ideas.

3. Honor him before your children. Tell them often how grateful you are for such a wonderful husband. Defend his decisions when they complain about how Dad won’t let them go to the concert or just doesn’t get it.

4. Express appreciation for his work and abilities.

5. Speak highly of him to your friends and family.

6. Encourage and support his projects and dreams.

7. Don’t question every decision he makes. Use discernment regarding how and when to express your opinions.

8. Never say “I told you so” when things turn out wrong.

9. Respect and respond to his need for physical intimacy.

10. Be willing to help when he needs something.

As we take our focus off ourselves in order to do a better job of honoring our husbands, we reap the rewards of a better relationship.

As we take our focus off of ourselves in order to do a better job of honoring our husbands, we reap the rewards of a better relationship. Friends, I get it wrong some days, but I’m learning that respect is the most valuable gift I can give to my husband.

Now it’s your turn. Which of these areas could you focus on improving this week?

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I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s Testimony TuesdayKelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup, Tuesday Talk with Ruthie Gray,  Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStoryHolley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart, Lyli Dunbar’s Thought-Provoking Thursday, and Arabah Joy’s Grace and Truth. Check out these communities for more encouragement.


The Most Important Thing Your Kids Need to Know

I want my kids to know God loves them, and I hope they'll follow Christ, but there's one more thing I want them to know no matter what.

“If we decided not to be Christians anymore, would we still be part of this family?” my son asked.

His question shocked me.

“Of course,” I said. “Dad and I would be sad, but we would always love you no matter what.”

The question opened the door to a great conversation about faith and family, but it shocked me for two reasons. I wondered if my son was actually contemplating a decision to reject Christianity. I also wondered if we had somehow conveyed that our love for him was conditional to his following Christ. Continue reading


Best Ever Family Tradition That Rescues Christmas

Advent Christmas Rescue

When I was growing up, Christmas was all about Santa Claus. I still remember the year I discovered Santa wasn’t real. I was in 3rd grade, and I’d heard unbelievable rumors from bigger kids at school. Before the crack of dawn on Christmas morning, I raced with my brothers to the tree and saw the doll I’d found hidden in Mom’s closet the week before. The gift tag on the doll said: “From Santa.” I was horrified. The big kids at school were right.

When I had children of my own, I chose not to go the Santa route, but gifts remain a central focus of the Christmas season. Many of us expend more energy buying, wrapping, and giving gifts than we do on any other activity in December. Continue reading


The Most Important Thing to Do with Your Kids

The Most Important Thing to Do with Your Kids

My Guitar Man made his way into the delivery room kicking and screaming, a real extrovert in every sense of the word. At 20 months, he charmed us by strumming a cheap toy guitar and lisping his favorite praise song. Except for his guitar, that boy never went in for toys. He preferred to follow me around and talk. Chef Girl made a gentler entrance into the world. Introverted and quiet, she played with the toys while Guitar Man talked. And talked.

“The days are long, but the years are short.”

Gretchen Rubin said it, but I didn’t believe it. While those two kids stayed busy filling our house with chaos, I followed behind mopping up the messes. My days never ended. But now, before I could catch my breath, Guitar Man is gone. Off to college. Continue reading


One Surprisingly Simple Tip for a Better Marriage

One surprisingly simple tip that you can try for one week for a better marriage.A friend says that more couples divorce over the cap left off the toothpaste than for any other reason.  Her statement is personal opinion, but it makes an important point. We tend to blow little things out of proportion.

We’ve all read in the book of Proverbs about the Quarrelsome, Nagging Wife who’s like a drippy faucet. The poor Proverbs man would rather live in a desert than with her (21:19). Most women, including me, easily turn into a drippy faucet. Our husband brought home the wrong brand of detergent from the grocery store, and we let him know. Drip. We see the toilet seat left up, and we remind him one more time. Drip, drip, drip. Continue reading


How To Be a More Joyful Wife

How to Be More Joyful Wife

I try to put my best foot forward in other relationships, but my husband sees my worst side. I may have a cheery smile for everyone else, but all too often, Jose gets my tired leftovers: the stressed, whiny me or the preoccupied, distracted me.

I must need to have my head examined because I’m married to the most amazing man on the face of the earth. But when I’m not intentional about slowing down to appreciate him, our relationship turns ho-hum.

My marriage gets lost in the busy.

Continue reading


How I Almost Lost My Kids in a Circumcision Parade

How I almost Lost my kidsWhen neighbors invited us to their son’s circumcision celebration, we had no idea what to expect. We’d only lived in Turkey 4 months. When we arrived, cars were lining up at the curb with doors open. Kids were piling in, thrilled to participate in a parade to celebrate Necat’s big day. A drum boomed and a clarinet screeched. My 5 year old boy, Andres, immediately jumped into the big red convertible where Necat sat, accompanied by the drummer and horn player.

A neighbor coaxed 3 year old Camille out of my arms and into the convertible.

“Can’t I go with my kids?” I asked.

“There’s not enough room,” she explained. “Don’t worry. They’ll be fine. It’s always the kids’ favorite part of the celebration.”

Horns honking, drum and clarinet playing, the procession took off, and my kids disappeared while I stood at the curb watching…

I’m honored to be guest posting for my friend Katie Reid today. Follow this link to read the rest of the story and find out what a Circumcision Parade has to do with trusting God. While you’re there, have a look at Katie’s beautiful site. She’s a kindred spirit who uses her photography, singing, and writing to point others to Jesus.

I love linking with these communities: Arabah Joy’s #GraceandTruth and Susan B. Mead’s #DancewithJesus.

Join me Tuesday, August 4th for a new blog series:

publicity finding god


What Does My Teen Girl Need From Me?

what does my teen girl need

When my kids were little, older parents scared me to death by saying, “You think it’s hard now? Wait ‘til they’re teens!” I wondered how I’d survive the teenage years, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. So far I’ve enjoyed this stage of parenting more than any other. Teenagers are fun. I can do yoga and cook with Camille. When I call home, Andres answers with his best Indian accent. “Taj Mahal Grill. How may I help you?”

Nevertheless, I see occasional fireworks, especially since I live under the same roof with a teen girl while going through pre-menopause myself. My girl and I both deal with hormones that spike and plummet. I’ve gotten better at crisis management, but some days I wonder what on earth I’m supposed to be doing.

Do you ever ask yourself, “What does my daughter need from me?”

Follow me over to my friend Kristine Brown’s blog to read about 3 ways to be a better mom to teens. I’m honored to be guest posting for Kristine today. If you asked my teenagers, they’d tell  you I’m no Supermom, but these are three things I’m trying to learn. I’d love to hear your ideas too.


I love linking with these communities: Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesday, Kelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup,  Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory, and Grace and Truth.  Check them out for more encouragement.

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The Teen Years: Holding onto the Wonder

Holding on to the WonderAs a teenager, I’d secretly lift clothes from my mom’s closet and wear them. When Mom left for work in the morning, I’d wait for her car to pull out of the driveway. Then I’d go into her closet and slip on her expensive designer jeans before I left for school. In the afternoon, I’d get home before she did and hang her jeans back in their place…

Did you ever do things like that when you were a teenager?

Remembering my own experiences as a teen helps me to keep perspective when my kids do things that make my blood boil.  Even though parenting teens is like riding a roller coaster, it’s the phase I’ve enjoyed most as a mom.

Today I’m guest posting for Kaylene Yoder’s series, “30 Days of Love from a Mother’s Heart.” Follow this link over to Kaylene’s to read about what happened when my mom found out about the jeans. You’ll also  find some encouragement to enjoy your teens more through “4 Keys to Keeping the Wonder of the Teen Years.”


Today I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesdayKelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup, and Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory. Check out their communities for more encouragement.



What Was God Thinking When He Made Me a Mom?

God used motherhood to mold me

When my son was born, I didn’t know that a baby can be a mom’s greatest joy and her worst nightmare. The fact that he came out screaming should have been a clue. When the nurse put that squirming, squalling bundle in my arms on the delivery table, I started singing “Jesus Loves Me.” Andres quieted down instantly, and my heart nearly burst. I’d sung that song every day during my pregnancy. As soon as I finished my song, he went right back to crying.

The next day I walked out of the hospital holding my brand new baby, with no clue about what awaited me. I didn’t know about pacing the halls with a baby at 2:00 a.m. I survived the first months of mothering, and by the time my baby was 4 months old, I felt almost human.

Most days the joy swallowed up the nightmare part. I was over the moon with delight the first day Andres said, “Mama.” I fell in love all over again when we bought him his first guitar, a painted wooden toy. He plunked himself down on the cement at the market. He strummed and crooned, “Guitar, guitar, guitar.” My heart swooned.

And when my Camilla was born, her dad and I were goners. She stole our hearts.

Although I loved being a mom, some days went south…

Follow me to Kristi Wood’s place to read the rest of my story. Kristi is a sweet friend and a talented writer. I’m honored to write for her blog today.


Linking up with Holly BarretKelly Balarie, Jennifer Dukes Lee, and Holley Gerth. Check our their sites for more encouragement!

photo credit: creative commons