Is There Such a Thing as a Good Fight?

Mike and I didn't fight well in the first several years of our marriage.  We were both the oldest child in our respective families.  Combined with the overwhelming need to be right and coming from dysfunctional households, our arguments tended to get nasty very quickly. I was the main culprit with a cruel tongue and, at times, a vindictive nature. When he and I both look back on those days we are amazed that we are still together.  In July we will celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary!  Praise the Lord. Marriage counseling helped us tremendously.  We learned how to fight.  We were not taught NOT to fight.  Let's face it- living with someone 24-7, 365 days a year is not possible without some friction.  We were taught HOW to fight.  How to express our differences of opinion, our … [Read more...]

25 Ways to Keep Your Love Alive

The hubby and I have been married for 15 years, together for 17.  He still makes my heart race.  He is my best friend, my fiercest advocate and my rock, soft enough to lay my head on, tough enough to stay with me for all these years. Our marriage has been full of ups and downs, peaks and valleys. A strong commitment and God at the center is what has brought us together through the storms.  Each obstacle we have faced, whether it was parenting a special needs child, adoption or my chronic illness, has brought us closer together. I've been with this man for half my life.  And sometimes the busyness of life, the fatigue of motherhood, the temptation to give up when things got tough-- those circumstances have tested our love and threatened our spark.  On this week of Valentine's Day, I … [Read more...]

2012 in Review

Wow!  2012 was one for the record books for the Smallwood family.  In terms of milestones, this year was chock full of 'em. Shayla graduated with her certified nursing assistant license in March and started her nursing career. Attended her first college classes. Got married. Moved into their first place {and out of ours} and turned 21.  Amazing to have all that happen in one year! Jason finished boot camp and AIT training and graduated as a military police officer for the Army National Guard. He experienced his first emergency deployment.  Got a job, learning the trade that has sustained our family, right alongside his daddy.  Bought his first car, with his own money and fell in love with a special girl.   Jared turned 16, got his drivers license and totaled our … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Help Your Husband Feel Loved

    Source: via Emi on Pinterest Mike and I had the privilege of escaping for 10 kid free, work free, responsibility free days in September to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful time together. A few days ago, my hubby remarked that we needed to plan a cruise every year because he felt really loved by me {and not just in a sexual way} on that trip. His words have stayed with me and God used those words to convict my heart that my husband should not have to plan a getaway with me to feel loved by me. I have to admit, I am not the best at showing love to him. We have come far in our almost 17 years together, but I still tend to give him my leftovers, instead of the best of me. I have been praying and journaling and came … [Read more...]

Moments Like This

Sunday, my daughter will become a wife.   I will return with regular posting {actually a 31 day series} October 1st. Appreciate your love and prayers in the meantime! … [Read more...]

Wedding Bells and Setting Sail

Our sweet daughter, Shayla, and Sweet Pea's dad, Chris are getting married in less than 2 months!  September 30th to be exact.  We are so excited and beyond blessed to see how God has brought them together and to Him over the {almost} two years since Sweet Pea was born.     When I'm not at work, my days and weekends have been a flurry of wedding planning.  Pinterest is our best friend!  Then, I got the crazy idea to redecorate the younger boys bedroom while they were visiting family in Florida. {pictures of the finished room to come soon!} They like it and were surprised!       Combine all of that with back to school preparations and trying to maintain some semblance of order in our home and I have had little to no time for writing.  I am so thankful … [Read more...]

The best kind of Dad

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.  ~Clarence Budington Kelland I could not be more thankful that God chose Mike to be my hubby and the father of our children.  However each child has joined our family, his love, devotion, direction and affection doesn't differ.  He leads by example and his quiet strength and integrity keep the ship of our family on an even keel. Happy Father's Day, Mike.  I love you and thank God for you every single day. and Happy Father's Day to all the other men God has entrusted children to.  Do Him proud! How did you celebrate Father's Day this year? … [Read more...]

Living Your Priorities

I hinted in my last post that I have had some surrendering to do lately. But, first let me tell you a story about a king named Saul and a time when he did what he thought was good, rather than what God had asked him to do. {That is not a recipe for success, my friends!} In I Samuel 15, God commands King Saul to punish the Amalekites for what they had done to God's people.  His instructions were specific.  Spare no life, including livestock. Saul rounded up his army and attacked the Amalekites just as God had commanded him to do.  In the middle of the bloodshed, Saul and his army were impressed by the quality of some of the sheep and cattle that belonged to the Amalekites.  The Bible says "these they were unwilling to destroy completely" I Samuel 15:9 In verse 11, God tells Samuel "I am … [Read more...]

Our Love Story {not quite what you would expect}

Happy Valentine's Day!  Whether you are married or single, I think this commercial holiday can be a good excuse to thank God for the people He has placed in your life to love- be it friends, children, a spouse and those He has called you to serve.  Please know that I love and pray for each of you that take time to come this little space on the internet. I thought it would be fun to participate in this little link-up going around the web about love stories.  Mike and I have a backwards love story that has been redeemed by God and brought together for His purposes in wonderful ways (Romans 8:28).  I would love to hear your story in the comments.  And, if you are waiting on God to bring you the person He has designed for you to spend life with, please let me know in the comments so that I … [Read more...]

Love is…

Love is... watching your husband love on a baby, having opened his heart and life to the unexpected and embracing it for all it is worth. Love is... a teenager playing with a little cousin, making them laugh and admitting they had a good time, too. Love is... opening your heart and trusting God to give you enough love to go around to all those He gives you to love. Love is... accepting your body as the Temple in which He dwells and loving it accordingly.  Not in spite of the imperfections but because you are just who He created you to be, imperfections and all. Love is.... cheering your son on in a sport that you do not understand and makes you cringe to watch. Love is... celebrating the moments, big and small, together.  Giving glory to the One that makes all things new! Love … [Read more...]

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