Finding “the one”

I was a seventeen year old, belly beginning to swell with new life, shoulders hunched with the heaviness of life. Satan had robbed me of the belief that I deserved love.  In fact, I was convinced that love didn't really exist.  If a man purported to "love" me, if meant that he wanted something from me. I was on my own, figuratively and literally. I rented a room in an apartment.  I walked to work the drive thru window, saving every penny for the baby that would be joining me soon. And, then I met Mike.   I wasn't looking for the one. I was not looking for a mate, let alone a soul-mate for life.  A life-long commitment was too grand a concept for my mind and my heart to fathom. The first time I met him, he was washing dishes shirtless.  And, my first thought was not how good … [Read more...]


Somehow our television was on the absolutely frightening spectacle that is Bridezilla this weekend. I love to study human behavior and this show did not disappoint. The women were obnoxious to their potential spouses and pretty much everyone else in their path.  I got haughty for a moment.  How can people act like that?  Why are these men marrying women that treat them like that? And, then it was like the film started in my mind.  All the times I have gone all wife-zilla on my hubby. To be brutally honest, it happens far more often than I would like to admit. I am stressed out about something and the person I snap at is Mike. I am tired and the person I take it out on is Mike. I am sad and the person I lash out at is Mike. Don't get me wrong, I love him and treat him well {most of … [Read more...]

Fill my tank

Why do we run on empty and then wonder why we are stressed and burnt out? This was a question posed by my pastor a few months ago.  I wrote it down because, while an obvious sentiment, I forget this principle far too often in my busy life. I have been running on empty lately.  Two kids are graduating, vacation plans, physical therapy and other doctor appointments,15th birthdays, church obligations, ministry work, writing--you get the picture. Something's gotta give. Unfortunately, it has been my marriage and my relationship with God.  I was reminded by a good friend that we can say that God is our number one priority and our spouse is a close second but if the way we spend our time and energy do not reflect that, we are fooling ourselves. I was in a rush this morning and knew I needed … [Read more...]

Does life make my butt look big?

Today's topic is: Does your hubby help you lose weight or hurt you? Can I start off by saying that it is incredibly frustrating to be married to the man that can eat a mixing bowl of cereal right before bed and not gain an ounce?  The guy whose 6'2" self weighed less than my 5'4" self for a long time?  For crying out loud, the man's body has barely changed since we married {almost} 14 years ago while mine- well, suffice it to say, my body has changed. Throw in chronic illness and medication side effects and I can feel like a real mess standing next to him. I am blessed to have a husband who is attracted to me no matter the season my body is going through. It makes me think that God gave men some kind of special lens through which they see their spouse.  I can guarantee you that Mike … [Read more...]

Fighting the Frump and Fatigue

Today's topic for Wifey Wednesday: Caring for our Appearance. OUCH! As I sit here in my Old Navy sweatshirt and ratty yoga pants, I needed to read this today.  I had another marriage post planned that I will publish in the future but felt convicted to write about this topic for those of us living with chronic illness. There are many days when getting out of bed is a feat in and of itself. My body hurts, I am weary and the thought of turning on the curling iron makes me want to crawl back in bed.   By the end of the day, when my hubby comes through the door, the benefit of any brush that made it through my hair is long gone.  And, he never complains about it. Somehow, the man still finds me attractive, even when I look like death warmed over. But, that doesn't let me off the hook of … [Read more...]

Is Marriage a Testimony?

"I am going to take the boys and pick up Sweet Pea.  See you when you get home.  Drive careful". His lips brushed my forehead and he headed out of the lodge with our three sons in tow.  All four of them had rosy cheeks from the windy night of snow tubing we had just enjoyed. I had a van full of teen moms to chauffeur home so I waved at my hubby and smiled at my boys as they piled into our car. "How long have you been married?" she asked. "You make it look so easy." The first part of the comment was not hard to answer.  I've been married since I was eighteen. But, easy? Hardly. I prayed a silent prayer before I answered her question and addressed the questioning in her eyes. "Well, we have been  married for almost 14 years", I replied.  "And it isn't ever easy but it has gotten … [Read more...]

When “it” hurts

Blogging has been scarce lately but I am slowly getting back in the swing of things, including joining in for Wifey Wednesday posts about marriage.  You can search for other marriage posts I have written by typing Wifey Wednesday or marriage in the search box in the right hand corner of your screen. This week's topic is one I am unfortunately familiar with-  Having an active sex life with my spouse and a chronic illness. This is soooo not easy. As most of you know I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in January 2008 and systemic lupus in October 2009.  My health is a roller coaster and even on my "good" days I am exhausted and hurting by bedtime. Thankfully, I have a patient and understanding {and just all around awesome} hubby.  But, sex is still crucial to the health of a … [Read more...]

Meeting Needs

I remember those early days {translate years} of marriage.  Those years where I walked around wondering why Mike wasn't working harder to make me happy, why he wasn't meeting my needs and whine, whine, whine. Do you notice how many me's, I's and my's are in those questions? As God has grown our marriage and grown us as individuals {not always a pretty process, by any means} we have learned a lot about our needs and meeting each others needs in the context of marriage. Here are a few things God has revealed to me in our marriage: 1+1+1=2: Anyone that knows me knows that math is not a strong suit but this equation is actually accurate when it comes to marriage and relationships.  Marriage is between two imperfect human beings.  Mistakes abound.  Cruel words are spoken {usually by me} … [Read more...]

Catching up…

1.  Sweet Pea turned one month old on October 1st!  Where does the time go?  Miss S. is doing a great job as a new mama and we are all adjusting to our new family dynamics.  I have been accused of spoiling Sweet Pea {and I'm okay with that!} 2.  I am addicted to baby headbands.  I peruse Etsy for cute ones like this {can.not.wait for it to arrive} and make sure that Sweet Pea is looking her girliest each and every day. Miss S. and I have a blast dressing her up while my hubby shakes his head at our "antics". 3.  In other Smallwood family news, Jared is no longer grounded.  It was a long {almost} three weeks for Jared to get his geometry honors grade up.  Sometimes, I think that grounding a kid is punishing the parents but I am pretty sure he won't be "forgetting" to turn things in … [Read more...]

The gift of serving…

Alone time with the hubby is a special thing.  I had grand plans to unwrap that gift this long weekend, as he had extra time off work and our boys are off in different directions. However, God had other plans for how we would spend our time together this weekend.  Rather than a candlelight dinner, we had fast food drive thru on our way to comfort a girl in crisis. Rather than sleeping in, we spent time at the courthouse getting a protection order for her and her baby. Rather than a romantic evening of movies and cuddling, we moved things from one place to another and spent late night hours at the sheriff's office, learning the grim realities about domestic violence and the extent of the law. Rather than him bringing me breakfast in bed this morning, I went off to a meeting at … [Read more...]

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