Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow for Christmas

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 7:31 PM 0 comments



Actually got a white Christmas this year (very rare in eastern Virginia.) My cousin shared this great picture, and it made me smile. So, I'm sharing with you. Hope you have a blessed day, snowy or not.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to All Moms

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 1:33 PM 0 comments
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Luke 2:1-21

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Organization

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:33 AM 0 comments
After



Before





I'm one of those people who is organized in spurts. I hyper-focus on one thing and make sure that's organized, letting any number of other things slip. I don't like things chaotic and in disarray, I just haven't figured out how to keep up with everything.








My most recent neglected item was the closet off of my office nook. My office is a converted closet and had a cubby hole to the side that my hubby opened up and made a new closet. It's great, but didn't have many tools for organizing. And stuff keeps coming in I don't know what to do with. It's really easy stuff things away in a closet. But, recently it had gotten out of control. School stuff, art supplies, Christmas and pre-purchased Birthday presents, videos, books, paperwork, etc., etc., etc.








So, when my mom came up with my nephews (good entertainment for my kids) I asked if she'd be willing to help. It only took a few hours and an extra pair of hands to make the amazing transformation. I feel immeasurably better about the space and that I can actually use it now. I have other things to be tackles and organized, but I've learned, to maintain balance and create a peaceful environment, I don't have to do it all at once. I only have to tackle one project at a time and not give up.








Monday, December 20, 2010

Joy in Christmas

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 8:41 AM 0 comments
Life is busy. And then the holidays start. And life gets busier. Christmas is supposed to be a time of celebration and enjoyment, remembering the birth of Jesus and spending time with family. But often times, the extra stuff - shopping, cards, wrapping, parties, etc. - adds more stress than enjoyment to life.

If this is the case for you, I recommend stopping to catch your breath. These moments are few and far between and won't happen on their own. They have to be sought after and grabbed hold of. These are the moments you do nothing but squeeze, tickle, and play with your child. These are the moments you set aside to take your older child out shopping or for a "date." These are the moments you make cookies simply to spend time in the kitchen together. These are the moments you sit and watch a classic Christmas movie from beginning to end. These are the moments you chase the millions of things you have left to do from your mind and actually enjoy the Christmas musical at church.

We often let the extra expectations of us ruin our holiday season. Are we going to buy something that everyone likes? Did I wrap it just right? Did I forget to send a card to someone? Am I going to offend someone if I don't make it to their party? But, these are not the things Christmas is about. They are fun, or at least they are meant to be, but when they become the pull of Christmas, things have gotten out of order.

In order to find joy in Christmas, Christ has to be put first and mas has to be secondary. Otherwise, you have the proverbial cart before the horse, which will steal your joy. According to one source, mas means festival. We have lots of festivities during the Christmas season, but they tend to take over and take our focus off celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Christ child. Whenever you're not experiencing joy (during the holidays or any time of year), intentionally put your focus back on Jesus and He will give you joy.

Take time to play Christmas music, read different versions of the Christmas story, share what you're thankful for about this time of year, etc. Grab hold of the joy freely given us and go along for the ride of a lifetime!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas gift ideas for People hard to buy for

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 2:38 PM 0 comments
Sorry for the long title, but I had a hard time trimming it down. Like I sometimes have a hard time finding presents for certain people. These people shall remain nameless because it doesn't matter who they are, and I believe we all have those people in our lives. The ones who buy whatever they want, or don't want much, or plain don't give you a clue what they might want or need.

Over the years I've had to become more and more creative, especially when on a tight budget. One of the things I do for family members (especially grandparents) is create photo albums. I asked for a scrapbook program several years ago for my birthday and use it to make inexpensive gifts. I know there are a ton of websites to do online albums, but I can never get a price without signing up. Also, because we have four albums to produce (3 sets of grandparents and 1 great-grandparent) it's a whole lot cheaper for me to buy the paper and ink and print out the same album four times. Best I can estimate it, it costs me about the same for 4 as I'd be spending online for one. Could be wrong, but it works for me.

Other great ideas can be found a websites like Wal-mart photo and Walgreen's. They have great, inexpensive gift ideas that grandparents, aunts, and uncles love. Pictures on coffee mugs, travel mugs, puzzles, mouse pads, and ornaments. Some items you can even do annually with updated pictures. Others (like a throw blanket) are probably a one time thing, but still great ideas.

This year, I diverted from the photo gifts and started looking for perishables. These are good because they get used up and aren't one more thing to find a place for. There are gift baskets and towers from $20 up - something for all budgets. And something for all tastebuds. at 1-800-flowers I found great options. They have baskets with fruit, candy, sauces, chocolate covered fruit, and mixed baskets. It's a great idea for the hard-to-by-for person(s) on your list.

So, if you haven't finished shopping and don't want to brave the frigid temps outside, let you fingers do the shopping and have it shipped strait to who it's for. Only 7 days of online shopping left!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Helpful Tools for Christmas

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 7:40 AM 0 comments
I almost wish I hadn't already done my Christmas cards. Or that I had some other great Christmas craft to do. I might just come up with one.

I'm working on photo albums for the grandparents and didn't want to use any of the graphics that came with my scrapbook program. (You know, after you've used the same program for half a dozen years or so, they get old.) So, I had a brainstorm - google Christmas fine art images. And I found a fantastic website that has loads of free Christmas clip art - good quality and variety. And you know me, if I find something worth sharing, I simply have to share it!

So, if you're in need of some Christmas clip art or are looking for gift ideas, head over to christmasgifts.com and check it out.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Picture Perfect

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 1:49 PM 0 comments
Do you take pictures of your children/family for Christmas cards? I do. Every year. And every year, I go into it with expectations that I can take the perfect picture. With all my children (ages 7, 5, 3 & 1). Standing exactly where I want them to stand. Smiling nicely without making funny faces. And all after I've dressed them up perfectly. And once again, my expectations are not met.

This year, after getting the kids dressed up twice, arguing with the sun to go back behind the clouds so the lighting will be right, and taking 47 pictures in 3 different locations, I still didn't get the perfect one. So, I've given up.

I'm grateful for photoshop, and online ordering, and a decent picture, but I've decided to give up on the perfect picture. I feel like one of those Christmas commercials where no one behaves and you end up with crazy pictures. I'm thinking next year I'd like that program where you can steal a good face from one picture and add it to another. Then, maybe all four of my children will be smiling, looking at the camera, and be in perfect light.

But for now, I'm ordering my B+ picture. And I'm sure everyone (especially family members out of state whom we don't get to see often) will love them. I'll take my own advice, not strive for perfection, but for excellence, and have a cup of coffee while I attach each picture to the 250 cards I'll be sending out this week.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Great Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 7:02 AM 0 comments
Are you scrambling to come up with presents for those you love? Are you on a limited budget? Do you have people who can buy whatever they want, making them impossible to buy for? There are lots of things we can do for our family and friends that they will appreciate without breaking the bank.

One thing I do is bake. Cookies, breads, etc. Not as many people take the time to bake these days and most appreciate homemade items. You can find lots of great recipes at the tips of your fingers at websites like allrecipes and food network, and by simply setting aside one day this season, you can make a miriad of gifts.

Don't have the time to bake? Put together pre-measured, ready-to-bake gift jars. You can use old jars or buy new canning jars inexpensively and fill them with a variety of mixes. Make your own pancake or waffle mix (which won't have all those preservatives of store bought ones). Put together a flavored coffee mix, hot chocolate mix complete with marshmellows, or cookie mix. Find many great ideas and "recipes" at websites like kitchen link.

Not a fan of the kitchen? More of a crafty person? There are many ideas to use cheap supplies or things you have around your house. Gather some pinecones from around your neighborhood. Save/gather items you don't use any more (milk cartons, craft sticks, old CD's and cases) and turn them into something useful. Websites like make stuff have fantastic ideas on the cheap.

Still not up your alley? Or time lacking? Create a personalized gift certificate. Offer babysitting, a homecooked meal, help cleaning, a trip out for coffee. Look at the needs of those people you love and see how you can help meet them.

I've probably missed about a million other great ideas, but knowing how difficult it can be sometimes, I hope I've helped at least stir the creative pot and send you in some helpful directions. Merry Christmas, and happy presenting!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Avoid Stress during the Holidays

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 7:02 AM 0 comments
I've been fortunate to be asked to speak to a local MOPS group about balance this month. I'm fortunate not only for the opportunity, but the reminders of what I need to do to stay balanced during this time of crazy, busy, extra responsibilities.

As moms, we have a wealth of daily responsibilities - cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework, diapers, potty training, character reinforcement, errand running, and being Mom taxi. Then the holidays come and we add shopping for presents, wrapping those presents, going to and hosting parties, Christmas cards, etc. All these things are fun and great, but we often wonder how to fit those things in on top of everything we do already.

First, allow yourself to let some things go. While your family still needs to be fed and clothed, surely there are some items that can wait until after the holidays. My ironing is currently piled up in the laundry room and has been on my to do list for a while, but truly, it can wait until after the family Christmas party we're hosting this weekend. I'm a homeschooling mom, and we haven't completely given up school, but we're on a reduced holiday schedule. What can you let go?

Second, realize that you can't do it all. It's okay to say "no" - even to good things. If that good thing causes you stress, then it's not ultimately a good thing.

Third, don't forget to take care of yourself. Take time, at least once a week, to do something for you. Watch a chick flick, take a bubble bath, get or give yourself a pedicure, read a novel, get a massage. Most importantly, spend time with God. Ask Him for strength to get through this busy season and follow His guidance in what to do each day.

Which brings me to the last item: focus on one day at a time. It is helpful to plan ahead (I don't need to be going grocery shopping the morning of my dinner party), but once we have an overall plan, we should focus only on today. After all, today's the only day we can live out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top Secret Key to Successful Marriage

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 3:17 PM 0 comments
I will not make rule number five that marriage takes God. I believe that the best, healthiest marriages are based on a solid foundation in God. I believe that the best way to grow in your marriage is to grow in your relationship with God. But if I were to say that I’ve never seen two people enjoy marriage for a lifetime without God being a part of their lives, we would all know that it was untrue. If I were to say that all marriages where both people are believers are happy and successful, we would also know that this is untrue. I never want to diminish the impact that God can have on our marriage, but as with everything, I want to be honest. God has certain rules for living and those rules apply to everyone. This includes the rules, or principles, for relationships. If we work at it, have the proper perspective, enjoy it, and commit to it, it will succeed almost every time. What God can add to a marriage is basically what he can add to an individual’s life. We can do a fairly good job of filling the God-shaped hole in our lives and in our marriages, but true joy and fulfillment – individually and in our marriage – will only come with Christ as our Savior and Lord.

Working on, having the proper perspective about, being committed to, communicating effectively, being flexible, forgiving, and having fun in your marriage are the pieces of the healthy marriage puzzle. Making God first in your life and submitting yourself and your marriage to Him is the frame which enhances the puzzle and makes it a masterpiece.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow for Christmas




Actually got a white Christmas this year (very rare in eastern Virginia.) My cousin shared this great picture, and it made me smile. So, I'm sharing with you. Hope you have a blessed day, snowy or not.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to All Moms

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Luke 2:1-21

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Organization

After



Before





I'm one of those people who is organized in spurts. I hyper-focus on one thing and make sure that's organized, letting any number of other things slip. I don't like things chaotic and in disarray, I just haven't figured out how to keep up with everything.








My most recent neglected item was the closet off of my office nook. My office is a converted closet and had a cubby hole to the side that my hubby opened up and made a new closet. It's great, but didn't have many tools for organizing. And stuff keeps coming in I don't know what to do with. It's really easy stuff things away in a closet. But, recently it had gotten out of control. School stuff, art supplies, Christmas and pre-purchased Birthday presents, videos, books, paperwork, etc., etc., etc.








So, when my mom came up with my nephews (good entertainment for my kids) I asked if she'd be willing to help. It only took a few hours and an extra pair of hands to make the amazing transformation. I feel immeasurably better about the space and that I can actually use it now. I have other things to be tackles and organized, but I've learned, to maintain balance and create a peaceful environment, I don't have to do it all at once. I only have to tackle one project at a time and not give up.








Monday, December 20, 2010

Joy in Christmas

Life is busy. And then the holidays start. And life gets busier. Christmas is supposed to be a time of celebration and enjoyment, remembering the birth of Jesus and spending time with family. But often times, the extra stuff - shopping, cards, wrapping, parties, etc. - adds more stress than enjoyment to life.

If this is the case for you, I recommend stopping to catch your breath. These moments are few and far between and won't happen on their own. They have to be sought after and grabbed hold of. These are the moments you do nothing but squeeze, tickle, and play with your child. These are the moments you set aside to take your older child out shopping or for a "date." These are the moments you make cookies simply to spend time in the kitchen together. These are the moments you sit and watch a classic Christmas movie from beginning to end. These are the moments you chase the millions of things you have left to do from your mind and actually enjoy the Christmas musical at church.

We often let the extra expectations of us ruin our holiday season. Are we going to buy something that everyone likes? Did I wrap it just right? Did I forget to send a card to someone? Am I going to offend someone if I don't make it to their party? But, these are not the things Christmas is about. They are fun, or at least they are meant to be, but when they become the pull of Christmas, things have gotten out of order.

In order to find joy in Christmas, Christ has to be put first and mas has to be secondary. Otherwise, you have the proverbial cart before the horse, which will steal your joy. According to one source, mas means festival. We have lots of festivities during the Christmas season, but they tend to take over and take our focus off celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Christ child. Whenever you're not experiencing joy (during the holidays or any time of year), intentionally put your focus back on Jesus and He will give you joy.

Take time to play Christmas music, read different versions of the Christmas story, share what you're thankful for about this time of year, etc. Grab hold of the joy freely given us and go along for the ride of a lifetime!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas gift ideas for People hard to buy for

Sorry for the long title, but I had a hard time trimming it down. Like I sometimes have a hard time finding presents for certain people. These people shall remain nameless because it doesn't matter who they are, and I believe we all have those people in our lives. The ones who buy whatever they want, or don't want much, or plain don't give you a clue what they might want or need.

Over the years I've had to become more and more creative, especially when on a tight budget. One of the things I do for family members (especially grandparents) is create photo albums. I asked for a scrapbook program several years ago for my birthday and use it to make inexpensive gifts. I know there are a ton of websites to do online albums, but I can never get a price without signing up. Also, because we have four albums to produce (3 sets of grandparents and 1 great-grandparent) it's a whole lot cheaper for me to buy the paper and ink and print out the same album four times. Best I can estimate it, it costs me about the same for 4 as I'd be spending online for one. Could be wrong, but it works for me.

Other great ideas can be found a websites like Wal-mart photo and Walgreen's. They have great, inexpensive gift ideas that grandparents, aunts, and uncles love. Pictures on coffee mugs, travel mugs, puzzles, mouse pads, and ornaments. Some items you can even do annually with updated pictures. Others (like a throw blanket) are probably a one time thing, but still great ideas.

This year, I diverted from the photo gifts and started looking for perishables. These are good because they get used up and aren't one more thing to find a place for. There are gift baskets and towers from $20 up - something for all budgets. And something for all tastebuds. at 1-800-flowers I found great options. They have baskets with fruit, candy, sauces, chocolate covered fruit, and mixed baskets. It's a great idea for the hard-to-by-for person(s) on your list.

So, if you haven't finished shopping and don't want to brave the frigid temps outside, let you fingers do the shopping and have it shipped strait to who it's for. Only 7 days of online shopping left!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Helpful Tools for Christmas

I almost wish I hadn't already done my Christmas cards. Or that I had some other great Christmas craft to do. I might just come up with one.

I'm working on photo albums for the grandparents and didn't want to use any of the graphics that came with my scrapbook program. (You know, after you've used the same program for half a dozen years or so, they get old.) So, I had a brainstorm - google Christmas fine art images. And I found a fantastic website that has loads of free Christmas clip art - good quality and variety. And you know me, if I find something worth sharing, I simply have to share it!

So, if you're in need of some Christmas clip art or are looking for gift ideas, head over to christmasgifts.com and check it out.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Picture Perfect

Do you take pictures of your children/family for Christmas cards? I do. Every year. And every year, I go into it with expectations that I can take the perfect picture. With all my children (ages 7, 5, 3 & 1). Standing exactly where I want them to stand. Smiling nicely without making funny faces. And all after I've dressed them up perfectly. And once again, my expectations are not met.

This year, after getting the kids dressed up twice, arguing with the sun to go back behind the clouds so the lighting will be right, and taking 47 pictures in 3 different locations, I still didn't get the perfect one. So, I've given up.

I'm grateful for photoshop, and online ordering, and a decent picture, but I've decided to give up on the perfect picture. I feel like one of those Christmas commercials where no one behaves and you end up with crazy pictures. I'm thinking next year I'd like that program where you can steal a good face from one picture and add it to another. Then, maybe all four of my children will be smiling, looking at the camera, and be in perfect light.

But for now, I'm ordering my B+ picture. And I'm sure everyone (especially family members out of state whom we don't get to see often) will love them. I'll take my own advice, not strive for perfection, but for excellence, and have a cup of coffee while I attach each picture to the 250 cards I'll be sending out this week.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Great Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas

Are you scrambling to come up with presents for those you love? Are you on a limited budget? Do you have people who can buy whatever they want, making them impossible to buy for? There are lots of things we can do for our family and friends that they will appreciate without breaking the bank.

One thing I do is bake. Cookies, breads, etc. Not as many people take the time to bake these days and most appreciate homemade items. You can find lots of great recipes at the tips of your fingers at websites like allrecipes and food network, and by simply setting aside one day this season, you can make a miriad of gifts.

Don't have the time to bake? Put together pre-measured, ready-to-bake gift jars. You can use old jars or buy new canning jars inexpensively and fill them with a variety of mixes. Make your own pancake or waffle mix (which won't have all those preservatives of store bought ones). Put together a flavored coffee mix, hot chocolate mix complete with marshmellows, or cookie mix. Find many great ideas and "recipes" at websites like kitchen link.

Not a fan of the kitchen? More of a crafty person? There are many ideas to use cheap supplies or things you have around your house. Gather some pinecones from around your neighborhood. Save/gather items you don't use any more (milk cartons, craft sticks, old CD's and cases) and turn them into something useful. Websites like make stuff have fantastic ideas on the cheap.

Still not up your alley? Or time lacking? Create a personalized gift certificate. Offer babysitting, a homecooked meal, help cleaning, a trip out for coffee. Look at the needs of those people you love and see how you can help meet them.

I've probably missed about a million other great ideas, but knowing how difficult it can be sometimes, I hope I've helped at least stir the creative pot and send you in some helpful directions. Merry Christmas, and happy presenting!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Avoid Stress during the Holidays

I've been fortunate to be asked to speak to a local MOPS group about balance this month. I'm fortunate not only for the opportunity, but the reminders of what I need to do to stay balanced during this time of crazy, busy, extra responsibilities.

As moms, we have a wealth of daily responsibilities - cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework, diapers, potty training, character reinforcement, errand running, and being Mom taxi. Then the holidays come and we add shopping for presents, wrapping those presents, going to and hosting parties, Christmas cards, etc. All these things are fun and great, but we often wonder how to fit those things in on top of everything we do already.

First, allow yourself to let some things go. While your family still needs to be fed and clothed, surely there are some items that can wait until after the holidays. My ironing is currently piled up in the laundry room and has been on my to do list for a while, but truly, it can wait until after the family Christmas party we're hosting this weekend. I'm a homeschooling mom, and we haven't completely given up school, but we're on a reduced holiday schedule. What can you let go?

Second, realize that you can't do it all. It's okay to say "no" - even to good things. If that good thing causes you stress, then it's not ultimately a good thing.

Third, don't forget to take care of yourself. Take time, at least once a week, to do something for you. Watch a chick flick, take a bubble bath, get or give yourself a pedicure, read a novel, get a massage. Most importantly, spend time with God. Ask Him for strength to get through this busy season and follow His guidance in what to do each day.

Which brings me to the last item: focus on one day at a time. It is helpful to plan ahead (I don't need to be going grocery shopping the morning of my dinner party), but once we have an overall plan, we should focus only on today. After all, today's the only day we can live out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top Secret Key to Successful Marriage

I will not make rule number five that marriage takes God. I believe that the best, healthiest marriages are based on a solid foundation in God. I believe that the best way to grow in your marriage is to grow in your relationship with God. But if I were to say that I’ve never seen two people enjoy marriage for a lifetime without God being a part of their lives, we would all know that it was untrue. If I were to say that all marriages where both people are believers are happy and successful, we would also know that this is untrue. I never want to diminish the impact that God can have on our marriage, but as with everything, I want to be honest. God has certain rules for living and those rules apply to everyone. This includes the rules, or principles, for relationships. If we work at it, have the proper perspective, enjoy it, and commit to it, it will succeed almost every time. What God can add to a marriage is basically what he can add to an individual’s life. We can do a fairly good job of filling the God-shaped hole in our lives and in our marriages, but true joy and fulfillment – individually and in our marriage – will only come with Christ as our Savior and Lord.

Working on, having the proper perspective about, being committed to, communicating effectively, being flexible, forgiving, and having fun in your marriage are the pieces of the healthy marriage puzzle. Making God first in your life and submitting yourself and your marriage to Him is the frame which enhances the puzzle and makes it a masterpiece.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
 

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