What Every Husband Needs to Hear

 

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I wrote this to honor my husband on Father’s Day, but didn’t have a chance to post it last week. Thanks for all the emails and love.

 

When he walked thru the door, I let out the breath I’d been holding for days. The pinch in-between my shoulders eased and the throbbing in my head paused.

My husband was home.

He is my other half, the calm to my temper, the quiet to my chatter, the hard shoulder for my weary head.

Grief has changed us this year. The easy ebb and flow of our union has been harder, but our love has gone deeper. I can feel it in my bones and when we are away from each other, it’s like I’m split in two.

I let the day spill out. Just mom stuff mixed with work and weariness. I hadn’t started dinner, I had one kid pouting, the laundry in various stages, there was even a twin mattress on my front porch from sickness and a dog in need of another bath because she insists on rolling in dead things. He put his hands on my shoulders and he listened. Then he sent me to Target.

He’d gotten up hours before the sun that day, spent the remainder in a pressure pot at work, rushed in to lend a hand and the first thing he does is touch my soul.

What Every Husband Needs to Hear:

(I filled in the blanks for my husband, you fill them in for yours)

  • I Appreciate You: In the nearly 19 years we’ve been married, you have been a bank teller, a pastor, a church custodian (while being a pastor), mowed lawns, worked for my dad, been a salesman and a part time, volunteer bookkeeper. In all our seasons, the good, the bad and the ugly (I’ll let you guess), I have never once doubted your ability or desire to provide for our family. Husband-you have helped me pursue my dream of being a writer, while sidelining your own. You said yes to a crazy dream that changed our lives. You are the rock of our family because you put your faith in The Rock of Jesus.
  • I Love You for Being the Fun Parent: You’ve rolled down grassy hills, dressed up for Halloween, played Princess Makeover (you look great in pink) and rough-housed with kids at bedtime for over a decade. Being fun comes easy for you. You don’t worry about messes or your agenda, you simply enjoy your children. And all your fun with all my rules, make us a pretty good parenting pair.
  • Thank You for Doing all the Stuff I Don’t (or Can’t) (or Won’t):You’ve carried my too-heavy floral purse without batting an eye, you are the Master Ninja of cleaning up vomit and hairballs and poop (and you name it) and you unload the dishwasher because you know it’s my least favorite job. I love that you do it because you love me and us and I love that about you.
  • I Still Want You: We’ve endured years of painful infertility, a failed adoption, a miscarriage, two strong-willed girls, a child who is afraid of the dark and years of children in and out of our bed. You give me B-12 shots every Monday and don’t mind my mommy middle. You’ve wanted me through various sizes and moods and years and it thrills me. I may not say it often or show it enough, but never doubt I still long for you. Marriage is like fine wine, it’s getting better with age.
  • Thanks for Being Here: I know that you’re not perfect. You might read this and think of all the things you’re not, but in a fatherless culture,  and a society of broken marriages, you have stayed. When our marriage nearly ended, you fought to stay. When we got on the roller coaster ride of parenting, you dug in your heels. You are here and most days, even when we have no idea what we’re doing, you never leave. And that’s enough every day.
  • Trials Will Make Us Stronger: The past six months have been difficult in so many ways. I know you are tired. Challenges leave us on edge and sometimes broken. But the adversity and trials we face strengthen us and I know we will make it.

Pick one or two and tell your husband. He needs to hear encouraging words from you.

WFMW: Memory Keeping with Project Life

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My friend Jessica from The Mom Creative is filling in for me today while I take a few days to tend to my daughter. You might remember her from her WFMW receipt organization post.

When Kristen asked me to write today, I was a little nervous. What could I share that both works for me and that would be helpful to many of you? As I considered a variety of ideas, the one that kept coming up in my mind was my system for memory keeping, Project Life.

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Have you heard of it?

Y’all, if you haven’t, you are in for a treat today.

This memory keeping system has taken the crazy out of my scrapbooking and left me with thousands of photos in albums (and not sitting collecting dust on my hard drive). I love it so much and I am so excited to share it with you today.

Check out this super cute, super short video that does a perfect job of explaining Project Life.

What is Project Life? from Becky Higgins LLC on Vimeo.

As a mom who works full-time outside the home, I love that Project Life makes it easy for me to record my family’s memories. All you need to start are an album is a core kit (I’m using Jade this year), a 12×12 album and some page protectors (I recommend starting with the Big Variety Pack 2 ). I love using a bunch of different sized and style page protectors in my album. I typically buy my products on Amazon, but a bunch of retailers are now selling Project Life products too.

This is my fifth year doing a Project Life album to document my family’s story. In my album are photos, birthday invitations, Instagrams, school artwork, cards and so much more. All the memorabilia and different page protectors make it so much fun to look at.

Project Life page protector

Plus, like I said before, it’s easy. And that’s SO important.

To learn more about Project Life or to get some inspiration, check out these posts:

  • Project Life Tuesday series: A weekly link-up where I share my layout from the previous week, plus Project Lifers from around the world share their pages
  • Project Life: 20 Questions Answered
  • The Mom Creative’s Project Life YouTube Playlist: Occasionally I do a video sharing new Project Life products or recent layouts. For those that like visual inspiration, this is for you!
  • Project Life on Pinterest: Lots of inspiration for those of you who love to pin.
  • Project Life founder Becky Higgins’ blog: Becky’s blog is chock full of useful information, inspiration and tips for using Project Life. Plus she’s a busy working wife and mom. You’ll love her.

Project Life works for me.

How to Find God On a Monday

“Mama?”

“Hmmm?”

“Are you gonna cry again today?” she asked.

My hand stopped writing mid-sentence and just hearing her words, I could feel the tears threaten.

“Probably.”

She smiled and patted my hand. “Okay, just checking.”

My father had a heart attack on Saturday and spent Father’s Day having a nearly 3 hour procedure to save his life. My oldest has a difficult oral surgery  tomorrow and will be in bed most of the week.  In between, I am grieving someone I loved in Kenya and praying for Maureen and our Mercy House girls in the depths of sorrow mingled with the joy of two more babies born on Friday and through most of it, my husband was out of town. And I was out of my mind.

I haven’t slept well in a week and it’s Monday again. The week ahead is daunting, but instead of chasing after it, I’m looking for the new mercies in it.

Terrell, my husband, overheard me say to my 6 year old, “It’s been a hard week, honey.” He said, thinking of his sister who died  in January, “It’s been a hard year.”

He’s right. I am just a fragile clay jar, pressed on every side, but not crushed, sustained inwardly by a living God. He keeps me going:

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you…..

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” -From 2 Corinthians Chapter 4

Maybe your in a season of trials and you need this promise, too.

How to find God on this Monday:

  • Choose gratitude no matter what. Keeping a list of things we are thankful for doesn’t change the situation, it changes us.
  • Choose to let go of what doesn’t matter-dirty room, piles of laundry, it’s okay.
  • Choose to let Him carry the burden. I’m reminding myself that difficult days don’t take God by surprise, He’s right in the middle of it.
  • Choose to trust His heart for you when you can’t understand where His hand is leading.

I can’t thank y’all enough for your love and prayers the past week. I can feel them.

On Giving Up

I don’t ever want to relive yesterday.

I woke very early in the morning to learn that Maureen’s dear mother, Jennifer, passed away.  I stumbled around my dark house numb for an hour. Lost. I have so many questions and emotions and my heart is broken for Maureen and her young brothers, for this devastating loss of a beautiful mother.

A few minutes later, I learned the new Mercy House home we purchased in Kenya (but haven’t moved our residents into yet) was broken into by thieves who stole from us and beat our caretaker.

And we have two c-sections scheduled for two of our pregnant girls tomorrow.

My house was quiet, kids sleeping, husband away on a business trip and I lay prostrate on my closet floor and I sobbed. I simply couldn’t stand under the burden a second longer.

I gave up.

All week I’ve been told that we are in a spiritual battle as Jennifer fought for her life and there’s been an onslaught of trials here and there. People have reminded me how much the enemy hates the work of rescuing girls and saving babies. I believe it, but I have to say, some news makes you feel like you’re losing the battle.

I know God is in control, but things feel out of control. And I have no control. And I want to close my eyes to the sorrow in this world. Some days I long to go back to when I was an oblivious mom who’s biggest worry was home decor.

A dear friend sent this email:

“You are not going to lose the battle because it was already WON on the cross. I don’t believe in losing or getting the victories because Jesus already did.

It is never going to be easy. It is only the beginning of the hardship. But if you choose to endure with Him, you choose to reign with Him. If you choose to suffer, you will be glorified.
If you think there is no more energy in you, it is excellent because now you will experience a supernatural power of Christ working in you and through you.  Before you could do on your own and sometimes switching to His power, but now only by Him, through Him, and with Him can you accomplish things for Him.”
I want to give up– and so I am. I’m choosing to lay my burden at the feet of Jesus. He’s all we really have in this world. Would you please pray for Maureen, her young brothers, our home in Kenya, the new babies due tomorrow, for me?

WFMW: Act of Parental Brilliance

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Sometimes I see simple parental acts of brilliance and I think, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

You know, life-changing things like this:

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Image Source: Juggling with Kids

Or

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Image Source: Juggling with Kids

Because seriously, some life hacks make your life a lot easier.

Click here for 19 more ideas to simplify your life.

They work for me!