I cannot remember how old the girls were when we started with official Date Nights, but we always tried to make sure we had one-on-one time with each child even when they were little. That could mean taking one child to the grocery store while Daddy reads to the one at home. Now that the girls are older we give them several Date Night options that appeal to them.
We do a mix of “Home Date Nights” and “Out on the Town Date Nights” to help make it more cost effective for the family. Most months we swap, usually one of us goes out with one child and the other stays home (great chance to watch a movie or do puzzles, play a game or build a castle out of legos). The date nights with the kids give us time to have fun, make memories, and opens up a multitude of opportunities to have some heart to heart conversations with our kids.
Also, it is very important that your children see you and your spouse go on Date Nights and have fun together too. Usually when Jake and I go out the girls want to make sure that their “turn” is coming up soon! Thankful for time to spend with my family!
Do we know what “silence” sounds like anymore? Having complete silence may drive some people crazy while others are begging for just few minutes every once in awhile. Life gets busy as a Mom, Wife, Business Owner, or whatever title you carry. Your husband needs you, the kids have homework, deadlines are approaching, papers are piling, the house needs clean, laundry done, and a stack of emails are waiting for your reply.
Occasionally we need to take a Moment of Silence to get away from the demands of life. We all need down time to re-group and refresh. I am thankful for a husband that recognizes that and encourages me to take time to myself or out with a group of girlfriends. He encourages me have some time to re-group, rest, focus, pray, and relax. I love my family much, but it is nice to have some time alone and with others.
Sometimes it is during those quiet times that I can focus on what God is trying to teach me. Usually there are items weighing on my heart and mind that I need to work through. There are many times when I am driving I will turn off the radio and focus on some time of quiet. Do you allow yourself some times of quiet? Do you need it? Go ahead turn off the radio, put down your phone, put away your computer, get alone for a few minutes, spend time focusing on the quiet, pray, and allow God to speak to you. Hope you get a “moment of silence” soon!
I recently spent some time with my family out in Kansas. The weather out there is much different from what we see here in South Carolina. In the Midwest the past couple of years our family in Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado area have seen some pretty dry months and a variety of severe thunderstorms (including some hail). Not only does this affect the crops, the pastures get dry, and the ponds dry up.
Every time I spend time with our farming and ranching family members I am reminded about how much they have to trust God to provide for them. No matter what they do they cannot control or manipulate the weather. They have to trust that God will provide the moisture they need for the crops, pastures, and cattle. God can protect the crops, however, if a field gets hit with hail he is in control of that too.
While God does provide the much needed rain for the crops there are times when they experience droughts, tornadoes, hail, strong winds, and a variety of other things that can happen on any given day. Many times the hail can come and go in a matter of minutes, but the damage it does can be quite big for many farming families.
Thinking about all this reminds of how good God is all the time. It also reminds me of how little control I have over certain areas of my life. Even though we cannot control everything that happens in our lives like sickness, weather, and more. He can and he is ultimately in control. And that is good!
Our family has gone through a lot of hills and valleys over the past few years together. Jake and I started out our marriage in debt from school bills. It took the first few years of both of us working to pay off our school debts. After paying off our school loans we began saving to start our own business.
We started our own business and ran it for several years. As life would have it we started dipping into that savings we had set aside and before long we realized that we had to make a decision whether or not to stay in business for ourselves or not. We along with several friends and family fervently prayed for wisdom to make the right decision.
Would the business turn around in a year or should we seek employment elsewhere? After several months of praying and giving it over to God Jake was approached by a contact who wanted him to apply to a couple positions available in the area. We prayed about it and decided to see what would happen since obviously we hadn’t spoken to this person in years and this may be God saying “trust me”. Jake went in for 3 interviews that week by Monday the following week he had offers for all three positions. One of the offers was in Greenville and the other 2 were in nearby cities.
Before even accepting the position my husband came to me. We had been praying for wisdom for so long and when God handpicked a position for him when we were not expecting it he felt like we should give the “first fruits” of this job to God. He gave us this position and we want to honor Him for all he has done for us. God had answered our prayers and we wanted to give back to him.
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. – Proverbs 3:9-10
Even when the budget was really tight especially during this time we always had enough to cover expenses. After praying about it we decided that the first month’s pay check would be given to God. From that time on any increases or bonuses Jake received from his work we have donated the first portion to God. After receiving a bonus or increase we would set aside the money and pray about where God would want us to give the money. After about a month we would talk again discuss what and who God laid on our hearts. It is amazing to see how much clear God makes that decision. Once the decision is made we give the money to the organization or people God had laid on our hearts as a check, cash, or if it is an organization where we can give it online we do it that way.
I am thankful for my husband who seeks God’s wisdom, is thoughtful, and giving to others. There are times when we could really use that extra money from a bonus or increase to pay for items our family needs (pay a medical bill, debt, or for something we need, etc…), however, we always make it a point to give the first fruits to others first. Ultimately, it is God who gives us the money it is an honor to share what we have with others.
I am blessed with an amazing husband! When he has to travel I miss him greatly! I am very grateful for the him and everything he does for our family. When he travels I try to get him something special for when he comes home. The surprise could be a treat something sweet or salty or practical or fun gift. I usually add some cheesy note or saying, but that’s not what it’s really about, it is about making my man feel important when he comes home.
Most of the time I leave his welcome home surprise in a place where I know he will find not long after being home (his desk, near the shelf where he puts his wallet, in the front of the fridge, etc…). He’s seems to really appreciate the surprise gifts and gestures. I am always thrilled have him back home and to do something special for him. Lately, he has been traveling more for work so I have had to get creative and keep an eye out for new and different items to make or get for him.There are so many reasons why I love him….let me share a few:
While neither of us happen to be perfect (far from it actually), however, we are perfect for each other. Unfortunately, we don’t always agree, but we work together through those tough moments. We’ve had our ups and we’ve had our downs. Thankfully, we have grown closer together and learned to love each other even more through the years.