Monday, October 20, 2014

How to Secure the Borders of My Marriage

 

God's Word does not disappoint.

Each day that I sit down to study a new chapter in Proverbs and ask God to speak to me about my marriage, He draws my attention to just the right verses. The growth I have seen in my life and in the relationship I have with my husband has been such a blessing. I pray that He is using these verses to strengthen your marriage as well.

There are no perfect days around here, but there are days where progress is made.

Don't buy into the lie that you will never be able to change. If we belong to Christ, the power of Christ is in us and because He is able, we are able.

"So, dear...sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do....But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live. For all who are led by the spirit of God are children of God." Romans 8:12-14
 
 
Proverbs 20 has truths that will equip me to fulfill my God-given role as helper to my husband.

The first is, "Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling."

This verse is not a free pass to not deal with problems. It's not a cloak of excuse to drape over myself so I don't have to come out and face my problems.

What it is, is a push to make me deal with my problems with effective communication.

Fools are known for insisting on quarreling and arguing. If we can biblically navigate the communication waters with someone and avoid fighting, Proverbs says it's a mark of honor.

I like to picture a Navy Seal (from what my husband tells me, they're some of the most remarkable men on earth) who strategically defeats his enemy without blowing up his own ship in the process.

In a marriage relationship, that kind of effective communication takes discipline and a well-thought out plan of action. I know I've already mentioned the book Unglued, but Lysa does a great job teaching us how to fine tune our communication skills so we don't stuff or explode when a relationship gets messy. I highly recommend her book!


The second verse I want to take a look at says, "Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king; his throne is made secure through love."

In my devotional journal I wrote, "My unfailing love and faithfulness protect my husband; his home is made secure through my love."

I often underestimate how my unfailing love and faithfulness can protect my husband.

It could protect his heart from temptations he faces at work and out in the world. My husband should know that he has a wife at home that thinks the world of him.

It could protect him from despair and depression. My husband should know that I support him.

It could protect him from not living up to his potential. My husband should know that I believe in him.

In reading about marriages where affairs took place, it seems that oftentimes one of the spouses did not feel valued or respected in their marriage. Perhaps a husband was drawn away by a flattering co-worker who thought he could do no wrong. Of course, she'll realize eventually, that's not the case. As wives, we're all too familiar with our husband's faults, but what an even greater way for us to proclaim our unfailing love and faithfulness to our husband by choosing to overlook his faults and protect him instead. (Again, I am not referring to abusive relationships, but rather, those irritating things that our husbands do and choosing to overlook them.)


Today's Challenge Is: Am I securing the borders of my marriage by showing unfailing love and faithfulness to my husband? If not, what one change can I make today to improve the foundation of my marriage?



Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!


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I am blessed to have the following sponsors on Purposeful Homemaking. Interested in adding your name to the list? Check out my advertising policies.


This post contains affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

An Understanding Wife is a Gift from the Lord



Proverbs 19 addresses that word that has, sadly, been associated with wives since the Fall of Adam I'm guessing.  Ready for it? Nagging. "A nagging wife annoys like a constant dripping."

So what exactly is a nagging wife?

A nagging wife is one who is "continually faultfinding, complaining, or petulant ("showing sudden, impatient irritation, especially over some trifling annoyance"); unrelenting" source

Oi.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we've all been guilty of finding fault in our husbands at one time or another. We've probably all complained and well, I'd hate to count the number of times I've shown impatient irritation towards my husband and no doubt, it was over some trifling annoyance.

So what's a girl to do?

I don't want to come away from this series overwhelmed by the incredible amount of areas I need to work on and I certainly don't want you to, either.

What we need to keep focused on is that, while we'll never have it all together this side of heaven, we can slowly become more and more Christ-like in our speech and actions when we apply the truths of God's Word.

We're still going to be impatient, unloving, selfish and in need of daily love and forgiveness.

But each selfless action, each word spoken lovingly, each time we bite our tongue and choose love instead will be one more step towards building our homes instead of tearing them down.

They become glimpses of the healing change of Christ in our broken lives.

One reader put it so well when she said, "Just knowing and understanding God's plan is healing."

God's plan is healing because it shows us what to do.

We know what to do and sometimes that's the hardest part to figure out.

It's so encouraging to know that chapter 19 also tells us that "only the LORD can give an understanding wife."

Becoming a wife that shows loyalty and kindness to her husband, speaks life-giving words, plans for peace and joy in her home, chooses gentle words and so much more is only a result of the work of God in her heart and is a gift from Him to our husbands.  

Thank you for pressing on through this series of 31 days to a Stronger Marriage. I know it has been a lot to take in and (hopefully) apply to our lives, but I know the study of God's Word will always produce a great harvest in our soul.

It is that truth that pushes me to keep going, to keep studying these chapters and to keep working the posts over to make sure I'm communicating effectively.

My family has faithfully prayed for me throughout this series that God would help me write the posts and that these devotions would encourage other women in their marriages. I hope you feel blessed to know that little children are praying on behalf of your marriage. I know it blesses me.
 
Join me tomorrow as we study Proverbs chapter 20. Just getting started on the series? Catch up with all the posts on my landing page between now and October 31.





Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!



Current Sponsors


I am blessed to have the following sponsors on Purposeful Homemaking. Interested in adding your name to the list? Check out my advertising policies.

This post contains affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Be A Source of Life to My Husband Rather Than Draining Him Dry



I hope you are enjoying our study on marriage through the book of Proverbs. Today we're looking at chapter 18.

Verse 4 says "A person's words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook."

I just love word pictures. They're my favorite way to share truth so this verse resonates deep within my soul.

It's a fresh reminder how much power is in the tongue.

Within a split second, I can either build my husband up or tear him down.

It takes grace, love and self-discipline to choose the first rather than the latter. Much grace.

However, when my words are life-giving towards my husband, I will be as refreshing as a bubbling brook on a hot summer day. Can you imagine being married to someone like that? Sign me up! What a treasure I can be to my husband if I choose to give that kind of gift to him on a daily basis.

However, if I am not careful with my words, I need to remember there's another word picture waiting for me and it speaks just as deeply to my soul as the first.

Verse 19 warns me that "it's harder to make amends with an offended friend than to capture a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with iron bars."

It's hard enough some days trying to get our husband's to open up to us and really share what's on their heart. Let's not make it a full lock down by arguing with them.

If you're like me and need help in the area of learning to correctly handle your emotions, you should read Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst. Lysa shares her raw examples of how God has worked in her life in this area and her transparency allows you to humbly nod your head in agreement as you read through her book.

In fact, this book was on my mental "must read" list and apparently it was on God's list for me to read, too.

Because, one hot Saturday morning this past summer, I was out at garage sales with my mom and she wanted to stop at a sale that I didn't think was worth my time.

However, I agreed and decided to run up there "real quick" to see what they had.

It was like this book jumped off the table at me. I couldn't believe it was at this garage sale and for only $1! (Good call, Mom!) I quickly snatched it and was thankful God provided it at such a great price. This book is honest, practical and life changing. Go get your copy today. Unless, of course, you don't struggle with emotions. :) But, who doesn't?

Today's Challenge is This: Be a source of life to my husband rather than draining him dry.

Join me tomorrow as we study Proverbs chapter 19. Just getting started on the series? Catch up with all the posts on my landing page between now and October 31.





Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!



Current Sponsors


I am blessed to have the following sponsors on Purposeful Homemaking. Interested in adding your name to the list? Check out my advertising policies.


This post contains affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.

Friday, October 17, 2014

2014 Christmas Gift Guide




Some people love to flock to the malls to get their Christmas shopping done and some thrive under the stress of last minute shopping. Me? Not so much.
 
Thankfully, we live in the day and age of the internet. That means I can do my Christmas shopping from the comfort of my home and at my convenience. There won't be any lines holding me up, impatient people grumbling around me, or the stress of trying to find a parking space in the Back 40. Just me, my cup of hot tea and Pinterest. Oh, wait, I mean my Christmas List. :) 
 
Thankfully I have just the thing to make your Christmas shopping less stressful and will give you the nudge you may need to get started now so you're not trying to finish everything at the last minute. 
 
It's my 2014 Christmas Gift Guide and it's just has helpful as Pinterest. Because, like Pinterest, I've scoured the best of the best gifties and put them all into one handy guide.
 
Sound good? I thought so. Let me give you a tour of the guide and let you take it from there.
 
The shops are listed in alphabetical order. To help you know where to start, I have a brief description of what each business sells, some of my favorite items (with links to those items), coupon codes (if applicable), price range of their products and shipping information.  This guide will be available for you from now until January 16 and will be posted at the top and side of my blog for easy access. 

 




You'll Want To Stay Connected with Facebook For Updates and Coupon Codes 

 

 
Over the next couple of months, I will periodically share Facebook updates about each sponsor with a link to their site. Some of these will include flash discount codes from sponsors. You won't want to miss these, so go to my Purposeful Homemaking Facebook Page and make sure you have not only "Liked" my page, but also that you've selected "Get Notifications". (If you don't select "Get Notifications" you may not see these updates in your feed.)

I'm thankful for the opportunity to present these companies to you and I hope that my selections will help you choose gifts for those in your life.  This is my favorite gift guide yet!

  
http://www.bendsoap.com/products/
 
 
Bend Soap Company is a precious, family-run business based out of Bend, Oregon. The Bend Soap Company began as a result of husband and wife team, Dwight and Marilee coming up with a solution to help one of their sons who was struggling with severe eczema.
 
After doing some research, they started making natural goat milk soaps and lotions with pure, wholesome ingredients. They saw a dramatic difference in their son's skin and before they knew it, others were asking to buy their soap too! Their products are made with fresh goat milk from their farm and wholesome, nourishing oils and essential oils. Their products are fabulous for sensitive skin and eczema.
 
In browsing the website, I couldn't help but notice the care put into the Essential Gift Basket. It comes completely ready to present as a gift since it includes one of two beautiful tins (your choice in style). Each gift basket holds 3 goat milk soaps and a Milk Bath in a Bag (this looks SO relaxing!). Also included is an 8 oz. bottle of their velvety, moisturizing goat milk lotion in the scent of your choice (I'd pick either coconut or orange!) the wooden soap dish, lotion pump, and super lathering loofah. This is a gift anyone would love to receive!
 
Price Range: $1.00-$40.00
 
Shipping: US and Canada
 
Promotions: 5% discount on order of $25+ Use Code soap25, 10% discount on order of $50+ Use Code soap50, 15% discount on order of $100+ Use Code soap100. Plus, $5 Flat rate shipping in US and FREE shipping for orders over $50
 
 
 

 
dōTERRA is your resource for Certified Therapeutic Grade essential oils. dōTERRA offers a large variety of essential oils, but also diffusers for the home, as well as facial care (one of my personal favorites), supplements and Spa and Salon products.

dōTERRA recently came out with a new skin care line called Verage that is amazing. (Here is a video so you can learn more about it) Currently, I've been using products from their other skin care line and have been so thankful for the results, but am stepping it up a notch and giving this set a try.

Great stocking stuffers are the dōTERRA® Lip Balm with Peppermint and the Citrus Bliss Hand Lotion. And if you're looking to pamper a mom in your life, then you'll love the quality and results of the Salon Essentials Shampoo and Conditioner. It smells great, works fabulously and is a personal favorite of mine.

Price Range: $6.50-$173.27

Shipping: US and select International countries

Promotions: Each month dōTERRA has 10% off a pre-selected oil. Contact me for more information.
 
 
 
http://www.homemakersfriend.com/
 

The Homemaker's Daily Planner is a wonderful gift for any homemaker whether single or married. It is a daily planner that not only helps you get your life organized, it inspires you along the way with great quotes or passages of Scripture.
 
I have been using one of these planners for a couple of months now and wonder why I didn't get one of these years ago! It has been so wonderful having all of my to-do lists in one spot instead of on random scraps of paper. I am not a techy person so I do not have calendars or to-do lists on my phone. I prefer something I can write in and love the satisfaction of seeing projects crossed off.
 
The Homemaker's Planner has mini calendars for at a glance dates, monthly calendars and my personal favorite, weekly calendars. There is also a designated section for task lists, projects and events, information and even perforated grocery lists.
 
I used a planner daily all throughout college and in my career as a teacher. I don't know why I never thought to get a planner for homemaking, but I'm sure glad I have one now! Having something as simple as a beautiful planner designed just for a homemaker can be truly satisfying and helpful.
 
Price: $13.99
 
Shipping: US, Canada and International
 
Promotions: Save $1 Here plus free shipping on 3 or more Planners (USA orders only)
 
 

http://www.masterpiecereclaimed.com/
 
 
It Works! offers natural tightening, toning and firming options as an alternative to cosmetic surgeries or constricting shapewear.  It works! products include body wraps, stretch mark cream, greens, vitamins, stress relievers and more.
 
One of the more popular items from It Works! that are quite the buzz these days are the body wraps which target different trouble spots on the body. The results look amazing and I'm looking forward to trying these in the future.
 
The other popular item that my neighbor first introduced me to were the Greens on the Go™.  These convenient little packs can be added to a 16.9 fl oz water bottle and help alkalize, energize and detoxify the body. Greens on the Go™ offer probiotics, plus 8+ servings of fruits and vegetables and a blend of 38 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods.  
 
I'm also intrigued by Confianza, a special blend of herbs, because it is a natural way to increase energy levels while also reducing stress and fatigue. I'm someone that can't handle the affects of caffeine from coffee and do not drink caffeinated pop on a regular basis so I would be interested in seeing how this works. This would be a great gift for anyone you know that could use an energy boost!  
 
Whether you're looking to lose weight, assist your nutritional intake, aid your digestive system, or reduce stress, It Works! has something for you or anyone else on your gift list. Contact Staci for more information.

 
Price Range: $25-$125

Shipping: US and International

 


http://ListPlanIt.com

 
ListPlanIt has hundreds of lists to help you get and stay organized. Members can create and manage these lists from any device, at home or on the go.
 
ListPlanIt has twelve categories and within each category are a number of lists that members can choose from. Categories cover topics such as meal planning, moving, home management, student planning, holidays and more. Plus, they all come with automatic backup so your lists are never lost.

Members also have access to over 700 printable lists. Want to give it a try? ListPlanIt will let you join for free for 30 days. Be sure to check out Jennifer's blog for organizing inspiration, tips and more. Plus, she has several ebooks to you give you the confidence you need to stay organized during the holidays and over the summer.
 
Price Range: $5 to $79 (depending on which type of membership you choose)
 
Ships: digitally anywhere
 
Promotions: 25% off annual memberships at ListPlanIt. Use code: ANNUAL25OFF



https://www.facebook.com/pages/Natural-Red/582549458521705


Natural Red is a new to the market business started by a Mommy who loves to create natural products in the kitchen not only for her kids, but yours, too! (Don't worry, she has stuff for the grown ups in your life, too like her Beard Oil, Shaving Oil, Men's Soap/Shampoo duo, Body Butter and more.)

Natural Red offers a variety of natural products with the added benefit of essential oils. You can find products including Lice Prevention Spray, Hair Detangler, Chapped Skin Balm, Hand Sanitizer, Stretch Mark Prevention Cream, Nursing Mama's Balm, Lotion Bars, Body Butter, Chapstick and more. And as an added bonus, each product is cleverly labeled with a product description that's sure to give you a chuckle.

My favorite picks would be, hands down, the Knots So Bad hair detangler for my daughter. She has such beautiful red hair, but neither of us enjoy combing it because she is sensitive about tangles. I'd love to have a natural detangler for her that would work well without the added chemicals.

I'd also love to try the Raw-k and Roll On Chapped Skin Relief for our son who perpetually has dry, cracked hands from the fall until spring. I have yet to find something that really addresses it for him since he struggles with it more than the rest of us. I'm sure he'd love something like this in his stocking for Christmas!

Price Range:  $3.00-$12.00

Shipping: US and Canada; contact for International Rates



 
100% Grass-fed Beef and Free Range Turkey Sticks. Order Now.


Nick's Sticks is a grass roots business that makes the best beef sticks ever. Seriously, we love these. We have gotten them for our family's stockings the last couple of years and I would hate to see the sad faces if we don't have them in the stockings again this year.

I'm a big fan of "Breakfast in a Stocking" because it's practical and it allows us to splurge on fun, healthy eats that we don't normally get. Besides, everyone's always hungry on Christmas morning but Momma doesn't always want to take the time to make breakfast right off the bat.

Not to mention, how can we not give our kids grass fed beef sticks when that's what they want instead of plastic stuff that will break in a week?? We steer clear of conventional beef sticks, but these ones I'm happy to let our kids chow down on. These sticks are made from 100% grass-fed beef (or you can get free-range turkey) and are seasoned with Redmon organic salt.

Price Range: $1.99-$3

Shipping: US
 


http://www.norwex.biz/PublicStore/stores/AnneFrench/AM/product/Marine-Organics-Day-Cream,785,204.aspx


Norwex provides you the opportunity to equip yourself with cleaning products that are chemical free.
 
When reading about Norwex, I was pleasantly surprised to find that using the Norwex Cleaning System could decrease my cleaning time in my home by 75% or more. For a girl that doesn't enjoy cleaning, that sounds pretty intriguing.

But what really resonated with me even more was learning that the average household spends about $600-$800 a year on chemical cleaning products and supplies. By switching to Norwex, you can save up to 90% on this aspect of your budget. That's a great option that's helpful not only to your pocketbook, but also your health.

As I browsed the online catalog, I looked for things that I would personally enjoy using in my own home. Of course, I was instantly drawn to the kids' section and spied this Hooded Towel for Babies. I love that it would quickly absorb water from my baby's skin and that it has the benefit of the hood to help hold the towel in place. As a busy Momma, the Makeup Removal Package would allow me to quickly and easily remove my makeup from my face  and delicate eye area with just water! And who wouldn't want a little Marine Organics Day Cream for more youthful looking skin?

There are so many products available from Norwex that I have just scratched the surface. If you're looking for natural cleaning options for your home or personal care, be sure to check out Norwex.

Price Range: $6-$60

Shipping: US and Canada

 

http://www.thenovogratz.com/

 
9 by Novogratz is a family run business started by a husband and wife design team. Their  eclectic family-styled bedding, furniture and bath products are available exclusively at Walmart.

Parents of seven children, Cortney and Robert use their family's travels and tastes for their product inspiration. Their Kaleidoscope Bed in a Bag Bedding Set, for example, is a reflection of their family vacations to Brazil.

My personal favorite is the Mainstays Bed in a Bag Bedding Set. It is bright and cheery and is an easy decorating winner, especially for someone like me who struggles to pull patterns together. If you're looking for a more bold and graphic print, the Sweet Dreams Bed in a Bag Bedding Set is a versatile set for toddlers to teens.

Standing behind their motto that "great design does not have to cost a fortune," all of 9 by Novogratz bedding products are reversible to help you create a functional, yet sassy décor without financial regret.

Price Range: $20-$400

Shipping: US

 
http://www.redeemingbeautyminerals.com/



Redeeming Beauty offers natural, hand-crafted mineral makeup, sugar scrubs, perfume oils, dry shampoo and nail lacquer. For a list of what is NOT in Redeeming Beauty's skin care line click here.

I have been using Redeeming Beauty's mineral powder eye shadow for several months. I really like the Marshmallow as it gives a quick "pick me up" to my eyes. I am also very interested in trying the Vanilla Rose Mineral Powder Foundation. I have been on the hunt for a toxin-free mineral powder foundation to use and think I have finally found one!

I'm also very intrigued by Redeeming Beauty's perfume line. Having given up perfume several years ago due to allergies of one of our children, I've never gone back to wearing it. It is something that I miss though and having a perfume that is not going to harm my health or irritate those around me would be a welcomed addition to my daily routine.

Husbands, do you know that your wife would love makeup free of toxins, but aren't sure what colors she would like? Then you'll be happy to know that Redeeming Beauty offers gift certificates. Your wife will be thrilled with a shopping spree that allows her to pick out makeup that won't be harmful to her health. And bonus: All orders come gift wrapped!

Price Range: $5-$75

Shipping: US and Canada

Promotions: 15% off your total order (beauty tools not included). Expires December 31, 2014.  Use Code: PURPOSE15



http://www.redmondtrading.com/


Redmond Trading Company is a favorite in our home and is a company we support on a regular basis. We love their seasoned and non-seasoned Real Salt which is truly an all-natural sea salt (Did you know many other sea salts contain sugar?). In fact, Real Salt is a fantastic gift option for someone who has high blood pressure because they can have the salt without the harm that regular table salt causes. 

I also love having the Bentonite Clay on hand to occasionally add in smoothies, for upset tummies, and most recently, for a severe burn one of our children received. Their Redmond Clay facial mud is honestly, amazing. I noticed my skin was smoother after using it and it always helps clear up trouble spots. And after dealing with numerous cavities in one of our children, we switched to Earthpaste about 6 months ago and have not had any new cavities since.

Redmond Trading Company is definitely a company our family has benefited from and we will continue to buy their products. I whole-heartedly recommend them.

Price Range: $1.99-$19.99

Shipping: US. Canada and International Shipping Rates Apply

Promotions: PurposefulHome  This is case sensitive and the code will give you 15% off your entire order.


http://www.sweetbottomsbaby.com/


Sweetbottoms Baby is your one stop shop for natural parenting products like eco-friendly toys, cloth diapersbaby carriers and more. This boutique has been a personal favorite of mine over the years when it comes to cloth diapers and I especially love my Gypsy Mama's Water Wrap

I have used several baby carriers over the years but my favorite is the Ergo Baby carrier. Sweetbottoms Baby has a wonderful selection of not only these carriers, but several other styles as well.

If you're looking for some stocking stuffers for your older kids, I like to give mine their own alcohol-free hand sanitizer to toss in their bags or purse. But if you're looking for something a little more on the cute side for younger children's stockings, there are several rattles, teethers or educational toys that are just the thing!

Price Range: $1-$1700

Shipping: Free shipping to US; email for international shipping quote




Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!

Current Sponsors


I am blessed to have the following sponsors on Purposeful Homemaking. Interested in adding your name to the list? Check out my advertising policies.

This post contains affiliate links for my ebooks for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. These are paid sponsor posts but all opinions are my own. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.
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