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Posted by on Oct 29, 2013 in Blog, Marriage | 3 comments

Simplify Your Life – Removing the Clutter

Simplify Your Life – Removing the Clutter

A few weeks ago Zach and I went shopping. We are strolling through Target and I see them. Ankle Cut Boots. They are suede and I am in love instantly. (Ok not really in love but about as in love a person can be with an inanimate object).

I have a 20% off coupon, and they are only $30.00. That means I would be spending $24 on a pair of shoes I will most definitely wear all the time. I grab the last 8.5 left on the shelf (it was obviously destiny) and almost get them to the cart when Zach’s hand stops me.

“If you buy these you need to get rid of two pairs of shoes that you have at home.”

…Silence.

You would think my world was crashing down around me. 2 pairs of shoes! That isn’t fair. I thought about it, weighed my options, and decided these adorable ankle cut suede boots were totally worth two pairs of shoes in my closet. I am sure I have two pairs of old flip-flops somewhere, right?

Wrong.

I still have yet to throw away two pairs of shoes in my closet. Oops.

I walked into my closet this morning trying to find a pair of shoes and realized, I only wear a few of these on a regular basis. My justification however is totally logical, some of these are for summer and the others are for winter. It is not my fault that in Texas you most definitely need both.

It’s that time again– I need to set aside my materialistic, sinful heart, and start uncluttering my home. Starting with my closet.

The truth is that having a ton of stuff is often overwhelming. It means that I have more to put away at night. It means there is more stuff that needs to be dusted. More laundry to fold. More, more, more. Uncluttering doesn’t always mean throwing everything away, it does however mean going through everything and deciding what you do or do not need.

It seems strange, but removing the clutter from your house is just a small way that you can better your home. The state of you house will affect you, your husband and ultimately your marriage.

In our Simplify your life series, uncluttering your home is the next thing we are looking at. Here are a few steps to removing the clutter in your home.

  1. Plan for It

Take that trusty calendar we talked about last Monday and find a day where you can set aside a few hours to go through one or two places (Notice I said places and not rooms). I would do this over the course of a month. That gives you enough time to finish the task without feeling overwhelmed by it. For me, I will focus on doing this every Sunday afternoon in November.

  1. Enlist help

This may be the most difficult part of the entire project! Ultimately you need help. I will enlist my husband, possibly a good girlfriend who I know is great with these kinds of projects. You may want to enlist your daughters or best girlfriend. It seems weird, but an unbiased, unemotional, and unattached opinion will help you sort through the things you do or do not need. If you are anything like me, you will need this. You may thing “I work better on my own”. Hear me when I reiterate, you need this.

  1. Make Four Piles

I would grab four laundry baskets, boxes, or trash bags. Keep, give-away, storage, and trash. I would make your storage bin a plastic tub or box, so you can easily close it, label it, and store it away. I would also make the trash bin a trash bag or a throw-away box. Everything needs to go in one of these places. I would focus on one thing at a time. For example – all of the shoes first, then move onto hanging clothes, all dresser drawers, bathroom drawers etc.

 

  1. Divide and conquer.

I would probably ask my husband to go through the clothes while I do the shoes. I may have him do the book shelves while I work on the office closet. If you divide and conquer you will work faster.

 

  1. Don’t leave any stone unturned

This is the other hard part. Look at everything. Look at the items on your walls, look through your kitchen drawers and cabinets. Clean out that pantry. Go through the DVD cabinet. Go through all the video games.  If you decide that a room (like your living room or office) is already uncluttered then pass over it, but at least you thought through it.

 

This may seem like a huge project. It could actually be a huge project. You can make it fun, or you can make it grueling, but the outcome will ultimately be found in your attitude.  I will choose to take on the attitude that I am bettering my home for my husband and for myself.  It doesn’t mean it will be easy, but I know I will be satisfied with the outcome and glad that I took the time to do it.

Do you have any advice on uncluttering your home? Is there something you do on a regular basis that helps you keep up with all of the clutter?

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Posted by on Oct 22, 2013 in Blog, Marriage | 2 comments

Simplify Your Life Series – Using a Calendar

Simplify Your Life Series – Using a Calendar

Have you ever felt the urge to simplify your life? Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you would rather run away and hide until it all goes away? This feeling of being overwhelmed is often driven by the fact that we don’t feel like we are in control. Ultimately, this feeling of being overwhelmed stresses me out and it stresses my husband out.

I have found that to be a wife (not just a spouse), I need to prioritize and simplify my life. Prioritizing and simplifying can help with the feeling of being overwhelmed, and ultimately affect your marriage in a very positive way. I am excited that every Monday for the next three weeks we will be looking at “Simplifying Your Life”.  What steps we can take to invest in ourselves, our home, and ultimately our husbands.

I truly believe that the key (and first step) to successfully prioritizing and simplifying your life is having a calendar. In my life, having a calendar has significantly helped with the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Often times, the feeling of being overwhelmed comes from two places. It can come from 1. The belief that nothing is changing or 2. The feeling that you don’t have any control over your life (schedule, house, financial situation, living situation etc). Using a calendar can help with both of these, it may seem weird, but stick with me here.

Three years ago I started working full time, I was still in college, and newly engaged.  I suddenly became incredibly busy. I started double booking my schedule for the first time in my life and I had to keep track of so many things. I quickly became overwhelmed.  I am the kind of person that does not just burn the candle at both ends – I take the candle and throw it in to the fire. No really.

I realized that I needed a place to write everything down and organize it, so I bought a calendar/planner. From that moment on, my life has never been the same. In my calendar I started detailing everything. My calendar includes my to-do lists, my honey-do lists and my schedule. I plan time for homework, family get-togethers, and working on the budget with the hubby. I detail who I need to call on what days and their contact information. My calendar/planner – contains my life.

Using a calendar helps you organize your life. You may think “I don’t need one, I don’t have anything to put on the calendar” or “I don’t want to because I wouldn’t even know where to begin”. That’s where I come in!

If you are struggling with the belief that nothing is changing, and it makes you feel overwhelmed, I want to encourage you to get a calendar and use it. Fill in your day to day routine and fill it with activities that are taking place outside of that day to day routine. It gives purpose and value to what you do during the day, but it also gives you a way to plan change. You can look forward to having Sunday night with a small group, or a Friday date night with the Hubbsters. Schedule time for the small and big things – but regardless of what it is, put it on your calendar.

If you are struggling with feeling like you don’t have any control over your life, I want to encourage you to get a calendar and use it. (Notice how the circumstances don’t change whether or not you need a calendar!) If you are overwhelmed with finances, having a calendar helps break down due-dates for bills and contact information for each company. If you are overwhelmed with your house and feeling like you never have time to clean or organize, you can schedule time to do it. If you are a stay at home mom, schedule time for your kids to take a nap, watch a movie or do something productive (color at the table, work on a puzzle etc) while you take care of the house. Side Note: If sitting for an hour or two is difficult in your house, you may try using incentives if your child is old enough. “If you can sit through this entire movie in the same spot, you can have a small cup of ice cream or a juice box”.

Calendar Rules:

When you pick up and start using a calendar you need to set ground rules for yourself, otherwise having a calendar is pointless.

The first rule – Regardless of how big or small the task, write it down! (Easy right?)

The second rule – Once it is written down, it doesn’t change. I want to encourage you to stick to your schedule. Obviously you need to be flexible, but for us if something needs to be rescheduled we will fit it in where we have time, we don’t rearrange out schedules to fit it in. When it is written down, it stays written down.

The third rule – Schedule things two or three weeks in advance. Zach and I rarely schedule last minute things. This seems a bit weird, but it keeps everyone else from controlling our schedule and lives. It gives us a game plan for the upcoming weeks, and ultimately we are in control of our calendar (not our friends, family, or work). This cuts down on feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It also allows us to set healthy boundaries.

Having a calendar isn’t always easy (and everyone may not always be happy about it), but it will help you gain a little more control of your life and it will allow you to simplify your schedule.

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Posted by on Oct 15, 2013 in Blog, Marriage | 1 comment

Prayer and the Vision

Prayer and the Vision

I wholeheartedly believe in the power of prayer. So, over the last couple of weeks I have been in prayer; giving this blog/project/website/thing to the Lord and hoping that he makes something beautiful out of the mess. (And take it from me, it is a bit of a mess right now).

For me (and I hope for you too), this journey is about becoming more than a spouse, it’s about learning what it means to be a wife. The in’s and out’s. The day-to-day struggles.

More than anything I have felt called to create a place where women who are married or are about to be married can come together and be a part of a community that does life together.

That’s really the key – this isn’t just about me writing a blog and providing resources. I want YOU to be involved. I would love for you to comment, respond, email, and encourage your fellow wives. I also want to know who you are. It allows me to be more intentional and specific when praying for you and your marriage.

In all honesty this is bigger than us. This is about providing a community for all wives. Christians and non-Christians. This needs to be a place where wives can come when they are hurting or jumping for joy. It is our job to comfort and encourage as well as celebrate their successes.

Ultimately this is a place where all wives, no matter where they are in their relationship with God, can meet Jesus.

I am amazed that through prayer and petition to the Lord, all of this can come to fruition. I am so excited what God is going to do through this.

Do you believe in the power of prayer? Will you join me in praying today? Please pray for this blog, that God would use it as he sees fit. Please pray for me as I become transparent and share my life and heart with you.  Please pray for those who will be contributing to this site through guest blogs. One last thing to pray for today. Pray for yourself and your marriage. Pray that the Lord would begin (or continue) a work in your life to mold you into the wife he has called and created you to be.

I am praying for you.

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Posted by on Oct 15, 2013 in Blog, Marriage | 1 comment

Handling Conflict: The Honeymoon is over

Handling Conflict: The Honeymoon is over

The difficult part of a new marriage is handling conflict. Most people can handle conflict for a week or even two while they’re getting settled into their marriage. They are still excited about the newness of it all.

But then you get home from your honeymoon and are faced with reality.

Does the toilet paper go over or under? Do you flatten the bottom of the toothpaste or squeeze from the top? How many times a week should you have sex?

Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. You married someone – which means you have bound your life to another person. Someone completely different than yourself. Conflict is normal. Conflict can be healthy. 

So, the honeymoon is over. Now what? You have stepped back into the ‘real world’. A world with in-laws, limited finances, and busy schedules – which means less time to focus on meeting each other’s needs (sex, companionship, conversation, affection, support…).  How do you handle conflict in your marriage?

I am not perfect, but as a wife, here are a few practical things I have learned when it comes to handling conflict.

1. Assume the best in your spouse. – First and foremost, before ever accusing your spouse of anything assume the best in them.

2. Step back from your emotions. – This is really hard most of the time. But more often than not emotions are what drive conflict.

3. Evaluate the situation. – Before becoming upset with your spouse about something evaluate the situation. Are you over reacting because you’re tired and grumpy or because you have a legitimate reason to be upset?

4. Pick your battles. – Not every battle is worth fighting. Also some battles can be fought at a different time.

5. Communicate, communicate, and communicate. – The key to making conflict productive and healthy is to communicate. Both sides need to be heard. Apologies will need to happen sometimes. Communication helps bring closure to the conflict.

I have found that applying these things to my marriage has significantly decreased how much my hubby and I argue. It has helped me be a better wife, they have helped me respect my husband. More than anything though, they have helped me fight for my husband.

I want to encourage you to take just one or two of these items this week and apply it to the next conflict you face with your hubby. See if they will respond any differently to you.
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Posted by on Oct 15, 2013 in Blog, Marriage | 3 comments

The Dream of a Married Wife – Introduction

The Dream of a Married Wife – Introduction

Here it is – the start of the dream. A God-Sized Dream as Holly Gerth likes to call it.
My name is Lindsay. I am a 24 year old communications student in Dallas. I am studying to get my Master of Arts in Organizational Communications (it sounds so official).

In 2012 Zachariah and I exchanged vows in front of 120 people. We promised for better or worse, in sickness and in health. The day was completely magical and everything we had ever dreamed.

We had a wonderful honeymoon, not even stand-by flights and over-priced last minute hotel rooms could stand in the way of our newlywed bliss. Hawaii was everything we ever dreamed. We indulged in real Kona Coffee and swam with wild dolphins. We endured painful sunburns and sea sickness. And we stayed up together all night flying home when the vacation was over.

Coming home from the honeymoon was hard. Reality had set in. We had to make this thing work. For better or worse, right? Your side of the bed is now our side of the bed. Your car is now our car. Your family is now our family. Your space is our space.

The list goes on and on. Becoming “one” isn’t easy. It is only through the Lord that The Hubby and I were able to dive head first into married life. No amount of pre-marital counseling could have fully prepared us for this adventure.

The truth is that our faith, our love for God, our desire to serve him is what binds our marriage.

I realized somewhere along the way that as a woman, you can be in a marriage and not actually be a wife. It takes more than vows and saying I love you every day to be the wife God has called you to be. This is more than a blog.  I hope you will join me on this journey in discovering what it looks like and what it means to be a godly wife. My greatest desire is that this will become a community of women who desire to grow and learn together, trusting that through this journey God will mold us into the wives he has created us to be. I want this to be a place where we are free to express our thoughts and to ask questions, receive advice and encouragement. Most of all I guarantee this will be a place where every wife is loved.

Will you take this journey with me?

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