WFMW: DIY Prayer Board

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I love love love inspiring, intentional home decor.

And so when I saw this project my sweet friend Justina posted on Facebook, I knew I had to make it.

But I also know that I have to do laundry first and I didn’t want y’all to have to wait for me to get to it. So, I asked Justina to share this beautiful idea with you.

1. I just took an old unattractive picture out of the frame, painted it with one coat of paint I had on hand.

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2. I used thumb tacks & twine to finish it.

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3. After it dried, I hung it in a central place in our home:

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4. And added the faces we have been praying for by name during our little Devo time every night, and I can’t even explain how awesome it’s been for our family. I want to add mini flags to represent where everyone is in the world.
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P.S. While praying for our missionary & ministry friends, we now pray with our eyes open!

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Thanks so much for sharing, Justina! Isn’t this the best idea, y’all? I love the visual reminder and I can’t wait to make one! I think it’s the perfect place to add our Compassion kid’s pictures and those we pray for regularly.

And seeing my family on that board, definitely works for me.

 


WFMW: thredUP

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Welcome to the weekly WFMW post where we help each other out by sharing useful life tips!

Last weekend I bought my son a new pair of tennis shoes. Again. He’s gone from a size 8 this year to a men’s size 11.

Hello, growth spurt.

I don’t know about you, but I find it’s expensive to clothe children. But I think I might have found an easy solution. I just ordered my youngest two gently used Spring dresses from thredUP because she keeps growing too.

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Have you heard of thredUP? Not only can you buy discounted gently used and new clothes, you can also sell your families clothes for cash.

Here’s how it works:

1. Order a thredUP Clean Out Bag, and fill it with like-new quality women’s, juniors, and/or kids clothing. The Clean Out Calculator can help you estimate your payout amount in advance.
2. Give the Clean Out Bag to your USPS carrier or drop it off at your local FedEx Kinkos. Your bag comes with a pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping label to ship back to us for FREE.
3. Our fashion resale professionals review your clothing and we pay up to 40% of the resale value. You can earn thredUP shopping credit, or simply cash out with PayPal.
4. Items that we don’t accept go to charitable partners or textile recycling companies. They can be mailed back to you as part of our Return Assurance program for a $12.99 shipping fee.

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I just asked for my first Clean Out Bag too. So, closets, you’ve been warned. And/Or you can shop for gently used and new clothes at discounted prices for your entire family.

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It’s a win-win-win.

And if you sign up today using my affiliate link here, you can get 20% off your total for your first order with code WURPOTJ.

It works for me!


WFMW: 3 Things You Can Do Today to Make Your Marriage Better

I know what strain on a marriage feels like.

And it’s easy to see how the big stuff can damage a union.

But the true danger for many of us lies in the small things.

The day-to-day strain that comes with busy schedules, sick kids, work stress, unexpected bills, broken appliances and parenting growing children in new phases (hormones in the house, yo).

So, you know normal stuff.

In these seasons (and we all have them), there’s a tendency to let life lead you instead of the other way around. There’s the temptation to get everything else done and forget about each other. And when you do that, you feel the pulling in your marriage.

This year, I will celebrate being married for two decades. Crazy, since I’m still obviously so young.

There’s a lot of water under the old bridge. I have shared the best days of my life with this guy and also the very worst. And I’ve learned this one thing is true: every day is a new chance to make my marriage better.

Here are 3 things you can do today:

1. Connect :: It might sound basic, but with busy lives, parenting, jobs and life filling every hour of the day, it’s too easy to go an entire day or even week without connecting with your spouse.

  • Talk.
  • Don’t go to bed without asking your husband or wife about their day.
  • Wait for them to answer. Last week I heard on the radio that you should wait 30 seconds after you ask your husband a question without saying a word. It’s harder than I thought it would be.
  • Turn off the late night TV shows and communicate. You might be surprised what your spouse will say if you ask them.

2. Compromise :: Oh, yes. This. Even after so many years together, this is still what keeps peace. We are two totally different people and we don’t see eye-to-eye on everything (or anything some days).

  • You don’t have to agree on everything. We don’t. Just last week we were on opposite sides and we agreed to disagree.
  • Love despite your differences.
  • Don’t pick or nag or insist on your way.
  • Compromising on the small stuff has a huge impact on your marriage. You don’t have to win every argument or be right about everything. Getting along for the long haul is about meeting in the middle.

3. Care :: If a friend needs a favor, I try to be there. It’s often easier to care for a sick neighbor or show love to a girlfriend than it is to show kindness to our spouse. Being kind, going the extra mile for our partners speaks volumes of love.

  • Be nice.
  • Be quiet. I’m bossy and sometimes it’s better to just hush.
  • Do the little things. I noticed recently my husband filled up my car with gasoline and plugged in my phone to charge when I forgot. These little things show just how much he loves me and it makes me want to care for him in the same way. If we make it our goal to show kindness to our husbands as we do others, they will notice.

The relationships in my life are good. But I long to make them better. Sometimes the most profound way to do this isn’t as complicated as we might think. Sure, sometimes we just need a good old fashioned counseling session. I’m certainly not against getting help when we need it, but often we can turn the tide in our marriage by simply treating our spouse like we want to be treated.

It turns strain into something stronger.

It works for me!


WFMW: What I Learned About Marriage from a Fitness Guru {Giveaway}

I’d like to introduce you to my friend Arlene Pellicane. She is a speaker, author, wife and mom of three. She writes about creating a happy home in 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife and 31 Days to a Happy Husband. Find free resources to encourage you at www.ArlenePellicane.com and Take the Quiz to find out of you are a happy wife.

Congrats to random book winners: Krista and Heidi.

Guest Post:  by Arlene Pellicane 

Whether you’ve had a baby three months ago or 13 years ago, it seems like that baby weight is awfully hard to shake. I get this. I had 3 babies and 3 miscarriages in my thirties.

My go-to exercise solution with young kids in the house? Buying a fitness DVD that promised to change my life and waistline.

Like a motivated mama, I faithfully clicked play. I stretched. I jumped. I lifted. Then something the instructor said really caught my attention.

You have to force your body to adapt!

She persuaded, “Don’t give up. Tell your body you will keep going. You have to force your body to adapt!”

Huffing, puffing and desperately wanting to stop, I kept forcing my body to adapt.

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I realized this saying wasn’t only applicable to my workout. It was perfect for my marriage.

Marriage is about being adaptable, isn’t it? Sometimes you have to force yourself to adapt. To flex with changing circumstances. To adjust to the quirkiness you used to love about your husband.

When James and I were married 15 years ago, there were many adaptations for both of us. Even vacations required adjusting to each other. You see, James loved to camp under a different spot under the stars each night in the tent he had lugged around all day in his backpack.

I liked to stay in a lodge with a soft pillow and running water nearby at all times.

Our first camping trip as newlyweds was a clash of expectations and emotions. Usually I am a bright and cheery wife, but on the two-hour trip to the campsite to meet couples from a new church, I was quiet. Sullen. Irritable.

Right before we entered the campsite, James pulled the car over.

“Are you going to be like this all weekend? Because if you are, we can just head back home. This is supposed to be fun.”

Do you know what I said?

“You mean, I didn’t have to come?”

Through tears, I realized that I needed to change my attitude about camping so the weekend wouldn’t be ruined. I had to force myself to adapt.

I can’t say I had the time of my life sleeping in that tent, but I survived. I learned a valuable lesson early in our marriage. Happiness isn’t about where I sleep or how out-of-my-comfort zone I am. It’s a choice I make and it not only affects my life, it affects my husband’s well being too.

Just like forcing myself to work out for the sake of my health, I have to force myself sometimes to stretch and adapt to the needs of my husband. When I’m more bendable and flexible (picture a flexible straw here moms), I’m happier and more easy going.

And easier to be with.

Make a commitment to force yourself to adapt, to push yourself further than you think you can go. Be a constant learner about marriage and an enthusiastic student of your spouse. This doesn’t happen by accident. It happens intentionally, by an act of your will.

So press play. It’s grow time.

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Today, Arlene is giving away 2 copies of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. 

Leave a comment if you’d like to enter.

Being a happy wife works for me!


WFMW: Free Printables

I bought a color printer on clearance for $26 bucks that included ink cartridges the other day.

Score.

In the past, if I’ve needed color copies, I would run down to Office Max. Which means, I don’t have color copies very often. Because nobody has time for that.

You might say that my color printing  has recently peaked. But seriously, you can do cute things with paper and color ink.

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The “burlap” alphabet letters I added to my mantle.

Here are some of my favorites for free printables-

It works for me!