The Secret to a Perfect Home Date

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I enjoy seeing married couples travel the world and go out on dates. I’m a sucker for love. However, there’s married couples like myself who were blessed with the gift of parenting. Travelling the world and being wined and dined is still possible but not at our leisure. Our children come first. I also have to acknowledge the couples who may be strapped for cash. You would love to indulge in a pick 2 for $20 but you don’t even have $5 to put towards drinks! Don’t feel ashamed. My husband and I been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. Then there’s times you simply want to switch it up. That’s why I had to share my secret to having the perfect home date.

Many people might think negatively of a home date. You live there. That’s not exciting. Right? Wrong! The best part? You can plan it with your love or make it a surprise. Home dates also allow you to tap into that creative gene. Below I’m going to share with you a few home dates that were an ultimate success pre and post baby. Feel free to tailor them to you and your husband’s tastes.

Before I lay the goods on you there are a few tips I do have to assist you in making your date night a success.

  • Don’t overthink it. The internet and apps like Pintrest can be your greatest ally or enemy. You want to do something new and exciting which is wonderful but don’t go beyond your means. Home dates are supposed to be enjoyable and stress free. The ultimate point is to be resourceful so don’t feel bad if you can’t create a desert oasis in your living room. I found that surfing the web is awesome for inspiration, everything else is all me.
  • Rethink the word ‘date’. In order to make a home date a success you have to see it as an actual date. This is not a Netflix and chill situation. Don’t be afraid to dress the part for the occasion. This is your time to go outside the box even if a date is something simple.
  • Mix it up. After you discover that your first home date was more than you imagined discipline yourself and don’t immediately repeat it. I know you’ll want to replicate it. You rocked it out! However, throw this in your bag of tricks to pull out at a later time. Instead, try a new set-up and theme.
  • Plan. This is exceptionally true if you’re a parent or have a demanding job. Planning ahead is a saving grace. This is supposed to be fun from beginning to end. Take out the stress by taking your time to iron out the minor details. Have a baby or other little one at home? Plan a naptime so you can be refreshed and energetic when your husband gets home. Plan how you’re going to execute your date to perfection. Answering when (date and time), where (bedroom, living room, balcony), how (items you’ll need), and what (what are you going to eat, what are you going to do) will take you a long way.
  • Take it easy. Although planning is necessary don’t go haywire if something goes wrong. We can’t anticipate the future. Take everything in stride. As I’ve stated, tap into your creative gene. If you end up burning the main course, you’ll need to! I always set up a back-up plan. Either way, if something fails take a breath and continue to make it great.

Now that we’ve covered some basic points to help you achieve your goal of a perfect home date let’s get into some date options:

  • Romantic. Who’s not a sucker for romance? We could always use some extra spice in our marriages. The typical clichés of candlelight, rose petals, and bubble baths are always an excellent choice. Create an ambiance of love. Don’t stress about creating a sexy meal. This is a great time to cook your husband’s favorite or perhaps a meal you both enjoy. If you want to try your hand a more sensual menu be my guest. Top it off with a delicious dessert. This type of date is about the ultimate indulgence, including each other. Wear something that not only makes you feel beautiful but makes your man’s eyes pop! Other things you can include in this sensual evening are body massages, reading a poem or love letter, cuddling with honest conversation.
  • Movie Night. Okay, okay. I know I said no Netflix and chill and I meant that. Make this movie night thoughtful. Pick a movie theme and make that the focus. For example, watching a classic like Goodfellas? Have an Italian feast to commemorate the night. If you want to go the simple route be more creative with your snacks. Create a movie bar to take your popcorn that extra mile. Set out toppings such as chocolate or fruity candies, chocolate sauce, or caramel. You can do the same with ice cream. Want to do something other than popcorn? Muddy Buddies are always a delight.
  • Taco Tuesday. Tacos are taking over! You don’t necessarily have to wait until Tuesday to do this and you don’t have to only make tacos. Quesadillas are a hassle free option that I enjoy making. Enchiladas are an awesome way to land some leftovers to give you a break for all your hard work. A personal favorite is getting a few small bags of nacho chips like Doritos and setting up a bar of toppings. Simply add the toppings into the bag and nibble away! You can easily fry up some churros for dessert. Get festive!
  • Game Night. I recommend this for the couples who have a competitive edge. Hopefully, no one is too much of a sore loser. Game night may seem ordinary but there’s a few ways you can execute this:

o   Classic- Dust off the board games, ladies! If you’re not a fan of board games such as Monopoly, card games and dominos are also within reach. I’ve enjoyed board game spin-offs such as Scrabble Slam.

o   Video Games- I know plenty of wives who would willingly auction off their husband’s game system. Take this night to join his fun. You may surprise the both of you and be a natural.

o   Obstacle Course- Have your own Olympic games! Set up challenges to flex those muscles. Make sure to wear the appropriate gear, don’t do it in inclement weather, and ensure to be hydrated.

Have an award for the winner. Make the prize interesting. Perhaps the victor is exempt from household chores for the weekend. If you have the cash to spend, get a trophy made.

  • Spa Day. Women aren’t the only ones who like to get pampered. This is a day geared towards relaxation. Normally my husband and I include manicures, pedicures, and foot rubs onto the list. You and your honey can also slather on a good facial, play some calming music, prop up your feet and relax. Cap it off with a cold pitcher or lemon or cucumber water like the pros.
  • Shower Time. This may seem so odd but to newbie parents it’s as close to a date as you can get in the beginning. I remember reading an article that recommended taking a shower or bath for a date. For the week when your house schedule is hectic taking time to scrub each other down is the perfect way to unwind before getting a good night’s sleep.

Now that you’ve learned the tricks of the trade for a perfect home date, start planning your own. Don’t forget to be creative, have fun, and be stress free.

What other type of home date ideas would you recommend?

 

 

 

Parenthood and God’s Character

Parenting is probably one of the greatest paradoxes ever created. It will bring you to tears but fill you with joy. I tell anyone that it is the most challenging and rewarding job I’ve ever received. I’ve only been a mother for 6 months (I’m a newbie, I know) but already my son has taught me so many lessons. One of the most important lessons I would like to share with you today.

My son Deuce has a strong personality (I wonder where he gets it from). Since birth he’s been a very particular child. He knows what he wants and when he wants it. Being a mother there have been times when I’ve had to deny his request. He doesn’t understand why my answer is ‘no’, he doesn’t understand the danger. Like once he wanted to play with a plastic bag which is not happening on my watch. There are other times when my answer was ‘yes’ but it was in his best interest to wait. For example, he wanted milk because he was sleepy. I knew that it was best for me to bathe him so when he nursed he could go to sleep and not be disturbed. Sometimes Deuce has the patience of his father and can wait for me unbothered. Then, there are days when I’m certain the neighbors wished they lived elsewhere; the crying is unbearable. Whatever his response, Deuce knows that I’m his plug. Whatever he needs he knows I can supply.

These instances immediately direct my mind to God. The Bible says:

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Psalms 84:11

For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him [Jesus]. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory.

2 Corinthians 1:20

We know who to ask for our needs to be met but oftentimes we become frustrated when our wants are denied. This makes me think of one of my closest friends. Her one-year-old son always says “I need” even when it’s something he simply wants. The inability to discern what we want and need can be the root to our frustrations. Psalms 84:11 says God won’t withhold any good thing from the righteous. God is a caring Father and He desires to see us succeed That also comes with God telling us ‘no’ when He knows that the thing we want is no good. He does this despite our tears, tantrums, and failure to understand why. There’s time we think our request to God is a need but God knows that if He was to say ‘yes’ it would be the equivalent of me allowing my son to play with a plastic bag. Lastly, there’s the times we’ve asked more than once and God didn’t say ‘no’ but it’s not the right time. It’s during this time we have to hold fast onto God’s Word and trust His timing.

So today I ask you to be more grateful for the times God said ‘no’ and rejoice for the times God said yes. Make excellent use for the times you have to wait. If you ever need a reminder simply look at your beautiful child/children, how much you love them, and how you’ll protect them even to their dismay. Then consider that if you would do that for your own children how much more God would do for you.

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A Mother’s Tears: Being Christian, Black, and Angry

I will never forget how excited I was when I found out I was pregnant. I knew from the start I was having a son. Every day I would daydream what his life would be like. The foods he would like, his favorite color, what his hobbies would be are a few things I would ponder. Then there were days I would look at the news and cry because as much as I wanted a son I feared the world he would be born into.

My son is here. I found myself with a broken heart, a teary mess, and weighed down by the events of this passing week. At driving distance a man, identity still unknown, was found hanging from a tree in Piedmont Park. Although it’s supposed to be a suicide my heart has convinced me it’s much more. I looked at my beautiful boy after swimming through the gruesome details of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile. Holding him in my arms I broke into tears, shaking and sobbing uncontrollably. My tears flowed from the deepest place of fear and pain my soul could offer. My cry was so deep my husband took our son from my arms and I began to explain…

When we’re out in public strangers fawn over our baby. White people jokingly ask to take him home. They tell us how seeing him makes them think of their grandchildren. They tell us how precious and adorable he is. My husband and I smile and thank them for their compliments. As I walk away, in the back of my mind I think how one day they won’t find him to be precious. One day he will grow up and they won’t see a comparison between him and their grandchildren. One day, our son won’t represent innocence he will represent stereotypes.

I used to believe that if a black man stayed out of trouble, became a productive member of society, worked hard, became educated, and dressed properly he could live almost worry free. Philandro Castile took that idea away. I found myself in a place knowing that no matter how well we raise our son for someone it won’t be enough. I carried the burden of knowing that beyond the common worries a mother holds for  her child, mine has amplified. The black community has hit a point that we must be honest with our children. Compliance no longer means their life will automatically be spared. The proper conjugation of verbs, the absence of a criminal record, or simply being a child innocently playing will not shield them.

I have to be mindful not only of where my son plays but what he plays with. I have to be mindful of who his friends are. I have to know about his school the best I can to avoid him being found rolled up in a gym mat and it being declared he fell in “by accident”. I have to be mindful, no intentional, about what I teach him. This week I found my mind reeling and myself praying for wisdom. Then I realized…

I will not live in fear for my son. I could quote every scriptural reference to justify myself but I’ll be honest for a moment. This week I found my faith wavering until I realized something about God. God is not a man that He should lie. Every word that He said is true. His Word told me not to fear, that my son will be blessed. His Word tells me my son can be protected and has purpose. His Word tells me that my baby was made in HIS image. Not the image of the media, the image of ignorance, the image of people who will hate him for baseless reasons.

Therefore, I resolved to teach him to stand firm in his image that God has given him. I will teach him to take pride in who he is. I will teach him, alongside his father, to be a MAN. I will not emasculate my son to make ignorance comfortable. I will not mold him to go against the nature God planted in him. I will teach him to hold his head high above the insults, biases, and stereotypes. I will teach him to stand firm when a woman clutches her purse or avoids eye contact on the elevator. I will teach him not to fear but to be wise and to embrace the challenge of adversity. I will work hard to create the right path for him to take. I will teach him to love; to love those who hate him, to love those who love him, to above all love God and himself.

I have every intent to join my husband and raise a black man that society has never encountered. I have purposed in myself to be fearless so that he may be fearless. I have acknowledged that as a Christian it is not a mistake I was given the melanin I possess or the obstacles before me. I realized that God saw us fit to survive the society in which we live. God knew we could endure every tragedy, fear, and prejudice to be successful. God knew that raising a black man child was not for the weak or for the faint at heart and gifted us the opportunity to use our parenting for His glory.

So, with a focused mind and a steady heart my response to God is: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

A True Ride or Die

One of my friends posted a picture up of him and his girlfriend. The caption read: My Ride or Die. Being my silly self I responded, “Let’s just let her ride no dying please lol.” For years having a ride or die has been a compliment. It lets the world know that your woman is there for you until the very end. As I grew older I started to dislike the dying part. Who wants to die? No, really. I would like to live as long as possible. As I laughed at my response to my friend’s photo I heard the Holy Spirit say, “You do have to die, daily.”

I sat and Paul’s words came to mind:

For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)

Every day we get the option to choose two types of death. We can abandon the lifestyle of holiness that God requires and live according to how we feel. In result, we bring death to ourselves. In this scripture the word ‘die’ translates to apothnēskō in Greek. It means to literally die or to be at the point of death. It also points to natural or violent death or eternal death/being eternally in hell. The second option is to live according to God’s Word and die to sinful desires and actions. This allows us to live the life God desires for us.

As if that connection wasn’t good enough for me, I realized that even in marriage there’s a lot of times we have to choose one of these paths. How many times has your husband upset you? What path did you choose? Did you curse him out? Decided to be unforgiving? Did you show mercy or compassion? Even in marriage we have to kill our flesh. I know sometimes it can feel like mission impossible, but it is possible.

Sister, let me encourage you to “put to death the misdeeds of the body” so that not only you can flourish in God but also so your marriage can flourish. Begin to pray and ask God that each time you’re presented with the two paths you select the one that will bring life. Let’s become intentional about this because we must choose daily and throughout the day which we will take. So for once I urge you to ride and to die!

Dear Reader

In my bathroom is the scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. It doesn’t look fancy. I wrote it on a piece of white paper and taped it to my mirror. This was when I began praying about starting my blog. It was a daily reminder of how I desired to live my life. It was a reminder of how I wanted to run my blog.

If I could be honest, I’m surprised that I’ve had over 1,000 readers for the year thus far. When I began I wanted my blog to gear towards women who love God and desire to live holy. However, I wanted it to be real. Even as Christians life can be brutal and ugly. We have emotions. We get angry, confused, and lost. Although we may hold heavenly citizenship we can be easily weighed down by the news we hear on a daily basis due to our earthly citizenship. Yes, we are spiritual but we are so composed of soul and body.

When I decided to take my blog up a notch I decided to attend to all three areas. I was excited! As I began to work on my website I found myself sucked into trying to read how to make my blog successful. I saw so many other bloggers with thousands of followers and they covered mundane topics. I began to watch my daily numbers. Sometimes I was disappointed in seeing a drop in readers. I began to question what could I do to boost my popularity. I tried popular methods. I added topics to my blog in hopes it would attract more readers. Then I realized something- THE GOSPEL ISN’T POPULAR ANYMORE. I could add a million recipes and personal stories but that wasn’t the basis of my blog. That’s not why I started and God had to remind me that I wasn’t doing this for the likes or for popularity. I was doing this for Kingdom.

Then, I heard from my readers. Women asking for prayer. Women saying how a post helped them. That piece of paper on the mirror began to take life for me again. Doors have opened for me to spread the Gospel even further and I am blessed.

I wrote all of this to say this…I am on a sabbatical from the blog. Not because I simply needed a break. I needed to refocus. Going forward I know for certain my posts will go against the grain of today’s society. I know my posts will be counter cultural and will seem like “back in the day”. I’m content with that. I’m writing to inspire women to live holy again. I want women not to feel ashamed for living godly. I want wives to feel empowered to be in their marital positions. I want mothers to know that we share in the very attributes of God. There is nothing weak about being a woman and I have every intention of showing you that from a biblical standpoint.

So I ask you to team up with me if you’re in this small, unpopular population. Shoot, if you have a friend standing on the Word grab her too! We’re going to do this. We’re going to live holy but we’re going to do it being real. There are no facades on The Wivelihood.

Stay tuned…

Getting Your Nourishment

Matthew 6:11 “Give us this day, our daily bread.”

Have you ever been through a time in your life where everything seemed to have been going great for you, then it suddenly took a turn for the worse? Well, if you haven’t, I have. There was a time in my life when I was comfortable. I was walking with the Lord and serving Him to the best of my ability, in my first medical school class, and my family was doing well. Then IT happened. You may be asking yourself “What the heck is IT?” Well, I’m glad you asked. IT was when my whole world turned upside down. On July 9th, 2014, I lost my Mother. On July 26th, 2014, just 17 days later, I also lost my Maternal Grandmother. This was all during my 1st semester of medical school.

I remember feeling like I was going to lose my mind. I was an emotional roller coaster. Part of me felt relieved that they were no longer suffering from various illnesses, while the other part of me felt angry, sad, and hurt that they couldn’t see me finish my goals or be there for important life events like my wedding, or having my 1st child. I was only given a week off from school to make arrangements, so I had to truly depend on God to carry me through each day as I finished the semester. I had to realize that He would supply my needs, but I first had to surrender to Him.

Your situation may be worse than mine, but what I learned in my season of turmoil can be applied to any situation you may be experiencing in your life right now.

So how do you recognize God as the provider of your daily bread? Here are a few tips:

  1. Know that God will give you what you need on a daily basis.

When I hear the term “daily bread” I think of the Israelites when they were wandering around in the desert, they became hungry and complained and grumbled until Moses sought the Lord on their behalf. God’s response to Moses’ prayer was that He would make bread rain down from Heaven, so that the Israelites would have something to eat. The only stipulation on His provision was that the people were to only gather enough for that day. If they gathered more the bread would become rotten and full of worms (Exodus 16). In the same way, God wants us to trust Him with our day-to-day needs. He told us not worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34). Why? Because He wants to handle every little thing for us, from the smallest matter to the largest. We just have to let Him be God and trust Him to provide for us.

 

  1. Dive into God’s Word for strength.

Psalm 119: 50 says, “This is my comfort in affliction, That Your word has revived me.” I found the most comfort in reading my Word during my initial grieving time. When you need to hear directly from God, His Word is the first place to go. The Bible is God’s own personal love letter to His children that He has given us to provide comfort for every situation we are going through in our lives.  When you are surrounded by chaos, dive into God’s Word. It will lead to the calm in the middle of your storm.

 

  1. Realize that if God has already solved your eternal problem, He is more than able to solve your day to day problems.

Isaiah 46:10 says, “ Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” God knows His plans for you( See Jeremiah 29:11). This tough season in your life is to mold you into what He wants you to be so that you are capable of living out His will for your life. Take a moment and think about the biggest problem your facing right now. Got it? Now, replace it with this thought:

”My God is so big that even my biggest problem has to bow down under His power.” (I’ll wait while you get your shout on!)

 

I encourage you to put these tips into practice. It’s not easy, but the effort will not be in vain. God promised that He will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus (Phillipians 4:19). See your hardship as a way for you to know God in a way like you have never known Him before. Your testimony will not only allow God to show you His awesome and mighty power, but it can also lead to someone else being helped as I hope my struggles  have helped you.

 

Peace, Love and Blessings

-Johnice Littlejohn

 

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The Motherbird

 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

Romans 8:35

I’m a mother. Sometimes I still can’t wrap my mind around it, but I am. I’m proud of this fact. Motherhood is beautiful but it’s challenging even with an infant. Sleep deprivation is a real thing. Tasks that used to be simple such as cooking or using the bathroom aren’t as simple anymore. It’s loving and daunting work to get up and do the same thing day after day. Yet, there are moments when I need a moment of peace. Those are the moments I look at my darling husband, snoring his heart out as I’m running off of 3-4 hours of semi-decent sleep, and give him our son. My one earthly saving grace is my husband. He’s been my rock for all the hard stuff like shots or when I’m not sure if I’m mothering quite right. He reassures me, pushes me, and encourages me to be myself aside from a mother and a wife. Those times remind me why I waited to marry before having a child.

What if a woman didn’t say vows and had children? For some reason I see single mothers taking a hit everyday for this very thing. Unless they live the “glamorous” reality tv life there’s constant judgment. I know from watching my mother, a single parent, endure it my entire life. Hearing the comments, seeing the looks when people discovered she was raising twins, watching her sacrifice…seeing her hurt by people, watching her cry until she managed a smile so I could feel the world was okay….all the hours she spent in her career but always finding time to be there, her shifting bills around, her being a single parent while she was married…I watched it all. Her life motivated me to marry before I had children. That’s why I will never be able to put my nose up at women doing a two-parent job. 

As Mother’s Day approached I felt compelled to speak to single mothers. I feel the silence is far too great towards these amazing women. I can’t pretend for a second that I know what that life is like, I’m clueless. After much prayer and talking to my favorite single mother (my mom in case you forgot that quickly) I discovered the words I would like to say:

Dear Single Mom,

I see what you do every day even though many times you feel it’s invisible. I see your quiet strength. The strength that helps you do a two-person job on your own. Believe it or not that makes you exceptional. How many people, especially women, can work as hard as you do and still find strength to rise for another day? You do it all and you do it all alone.

It’s you that pays the bills. It’s you that washes the clothes. It’s you when the children are sick. It’s you screaming from the stands at all the games. It’s you working overtime to give your children more than they need. It’s you who cries behind closed doors when life won’t give you a break. It’s you who goes to bed alone. It’s you who can’t stop, won’t stop even when you don’t get a ‘thank you’ or ‘job well done’. You find the strength when people don’t follow through with their promises. You make a way for birthdays, holidays, and graduations. You do it all. You do it all because you love your children. Somehow that love motivates you, strengthens you to work extra hours. Something about their safety and stability pushes you to get up every day when your body can’t take another step.

Those babies, your precious babies are the reason you sacrifice so greatly. The sacrifice of a real social life. The sacrifice of dating with ease. The sacrifice of not buying that purse or shoes you saw in the store window. The sacrifice of sleep. The sacrifice of time. The sacrifice of energy to give them the energy of two parents by yourself. The sacrifice of having a real moment alone. The sacrifice of dreams you once had to see theirs become a reality. I see you, mama, I really do.

All I ask is who loves you besides those babies? Who helps you to succeed as a single mother? Who has given you the grace and the favor? Who was the One who open the doors so you could make a way? Who gives you strategies when things seem bleak? Who loves you when men break your heart? Who hasn’t abandoned you? Who hasn’t loved you less because the child came before the vows? God. Children are never a mistake. Your pregnancy wasn’t the sin, having premarital sex was. God, however, is still God.  

God is love. He is a loving and forgiving Father. Your situation didn’t catch Him off guard. He knew you would be in the fight of your life to raise your children alone. He created a plan for your life so that you don’t have to struggle the whole way through. The question is will you trust God and His Word? Will you trust Him enough to provide your needs? Will you give Him your life to find peace, joy, and strength when life seems to be throwing it all your way? Will you trust Him with your children? God has a plan for your children and don’t let anyone let you feel differently. You’re not the first single mother He’s ever blessed. Timothy in the Bible was raised by a single mother. What more could God do for yours?

That’s the beauty of our God. When you love Him, God pours out favor. God makes the impossible possible. God provides the grace and the mercy. He’s a Father to you and your children. He’s protection and comfort. He’s strength. God is shelter and provision. God is a rewarder to those who love Him, obey Him, and diligently Him. Is that you? Could this be you? Don’t carry this load alone. Don’t think for a moment that your mistakes count you out. NOTHING can separate you from the love of Christ. 

Tomorrow will be another day. Let tomorrow be different. Wake up not wondering how you’re going to make it but know that you will. Wake up knowing that God is on your side and with Him you can never lose. You will always win. Wake up with your head held high no matter how many noses are pointing down at you. You are amazing. Wake up knowing that there is someone rooting for you and praying for you. That someone is me and I’m always an e-mail away.

Love From A Woman Raised By A Single Mother,

Chloelle Bond

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Slay the Summer

Well, ladies the summer is coming upon us. If you’re fortunate like me you’re already dusting off your sundresses and skirts to enjoy the hot weather. We all know that fashion changes continuously and that’s why I’m super excited about this post! Tiffany Stallworth is a lover of all things fashion. So much so it’s become her bread and butter. After gawking at some of her items I asked her to select a few pieces that a Christian woman may be able to rock for this season! As soon as her choices rolled into my inbox all I could think about was fun in the sun, vacation, and going out with the girls. 

Don’t be shy. Don’t be coy. If you see something you like PLEASE by all means buy it! Her items sell like hot cakes and they’re one of a kind! You’ll find all ordering and contact information below:

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When I first saw this dress I was instantly transported back to Puerto Rico. I asked myself why I didn’t haven’t then! I’ll admit, the super saint in me said the back was a bit low but BAYBAY when the sun is not playing with you a light, and airy dress isjust what you need! This is truly a go-to dress if added to your closet.

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I’ll confess, I’m that girl wearing all black in the summer time. However, if you do see me in color it’s because I found that color to be worth having in my wardrobe. This ensemble is one I would gladly add. This item screams fashionable sophistication. 

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This defines what the summer is all about. Truly a versatile piece, the model is wearing high heels but this could easily become more casual with a pair of cute sandals or some low cut kicks. The possibilities are fun and endless.

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Going on a romantic night out with the hubby? This one piece would come highly recommended. I would encourage a light jacket or shawl (I’m cold wherever I go). Due to how stunning it is jewelry can be kept at a minimum. That means less work for you! That’s music to any woman’s ears!

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I. Love. This. Jumpsuit. That’s all I can really say about it. 

If you fell in love with any of these pieces please get your card and hand and grab your one of a kind item!

If you liked (or LOVED) what you saw from her collection you can connect with her further via the following:

Email:flawlessbylaw@yahoo.com // Phone: 248-692-4721 // Website: www.flawlessbylaw.com // Instagram: flawlessbylaw // Facebook: Flawless By LAW

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5 Things To Maintain Your Marriage

I tell anyone that marriage is one of the most beautiful experiences in life if you’ve found the right person to share the experience with. However, in the society we live in today we tend to romanticize marriage. People assume you fall in love, have the grand wedding, and skip off into the sunset. What many don’t realize is that after the sunset there’s work to be done. Marriage is something that has to be worked at and maintained. No matter if you’re a newlywed or veteran keeping your marriage from getting dull is a huge task in itself. As women we have so many responsibilities whether it’s working outside the home, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children and our spouses. Don’t forget squeezing ourselves in there! We all know that men and women speak completely different languages. So, I asked a panel of men that I know, trust, admire, and love to give me their recommendations on how a woman can keep a marriage from getting dull. Needless to say each man is not only God-fearing but a model example of what husbands and fathers are made of.

Pastor Ryan Grafton 

  1. Seek to Glorify God in your marriage. (Ephesians 5)
  2. Bless and please your spouse. (Find fulfillment in your spouse.)
  3. Plan for marriage growth.  (It doesn’t just happen.)
  4. Maintain realistic expectations for your spouse. Having unrealistic spouses can cause boredom and destroy your marriage.
  5. Find fulfillment in your marriage instead of outside sources (i.e. other relationships, porn, hobbies).

 

Minister Phillip Lott

  1. Verbalize her continued confidence in me.
  2. Spontaneous affection.
  3. Cover our family in prayer.
  4. Play video games (non-negotiable).
  5. Stress Less! Not so much from a nagging sense but it kind of ties into the first one…..two people stressing never is beneficial. And when you are doing all you can, it can give the appearance of ungratefulness or doubting your man’s ability to lead or provide.

 

Mr. Bond

  1. Be confident and do things spontaneously (i.e. when he least expects it).
  2. Try something different, do things you normally wouldn’t do activity wise (sexual and non-sexual alike).
  3. Write little love notes like a puzzle that lead to other things.
  4. Do to him what you want him to do without asking questions.
  5. Prepare for your husband’s arrival such as sending him text messages leading up to his arrival at home or meeting him at the door.

 

Kelvin Belfon, simplicty blogger at GoingUncomplicated.com

  1. Invest in yourself. Read, study, learn something new, etc. A smart woman is attractive to a confident man.
  2. Be interested in the things he likes. When possible, participate with him.
  3. Be an active listener. Allow him to share his heart without interruptions.
  4. Avoid comparing him with other men from past or current relationships.
  5. Smile, laugh, and don’t take life too serious.

What are some things you believe can keep a marriage from getting dull? Sound off below!

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Protect Your Peace

Greetings Wivelihood! I am ecstatic and appreciative of Sis. Chloe for extending this guest invitation to me. I celebrate her. Not just for the invitation, but for everything this blog stands for. Her commitment to building women in the areas of marriage, motherhood and spiritual foundation is to be applauded. Considering we live in a world today where everything we see and hear seems to push us away from the old examples of marriage and parenting, it is good to find places that remind us of the things we ought not forget. To each their own, however, I believe there is still a niche of woman who don’t mind a “lil ole school”.  So, thank you Chloe for leading the way!

Well, here’s what I felt led to share with you today: “PROTECT YOUR PEACE”. Every opportunity that I am afforded to encourage, counsel or pray for the women at our ministry these 3 words I find I share the most. They even seem to have the greatest impact above so many other things that I teach and share. Why? Possibly because we live in a day and time where we feel pressured to meet the needs of everyone around us, no matter how it affects our personal lives. A time when people will inconvenience you, stress you, use you and worry you until what they need is obtained. Again, I say PROTECT YOUR PEACE. Protecting your peace means to respond to every situation, every relationship, every opportunity in a way that causes you to maintain your sanity and avoid inviting any unnecessary stress, drama or chaos.

Ladies, I hear you! Great advice First Lady, but how do I do that? How do I do it without hurting others? How do I do it and keep my relationships in tact? Well, here’s the truth. Everybody won’t be happy when you start setting limits and most people are ok with you changing, so long as the change doesn’t involve them. There will be people who become angry, accuse you of being selfish and may even choose to never deal with you again. Newsflash: It’s ok. Some of your relationships only exist because of what you do and give. Therefore, you lose nothing if it ends.  Besides, what’s more important? Your sanity or their cause?

We have to stop letting the decisions and issues of others turn our lives upside down. Some of us are such sponges that we end up carrying the burdens of others while they live as if they have no concerns. Eating up their worries while they’re planning a vacation. Trying to work out their problems while they’re out to dinner. I’m paying rent and you’re buying outfits?!?! Not so!!! Therefore, we have to be wise. Before you know it, you’ll be yelling and fussing at the kids, mistreating your spouse and misdirecting anger at everyone around you, except those who actually contributed to your stress. Sound familiar?

Now, listen. I’m not contradicting any teaching of being a believer who exemplifies the love of Christ through service. Should we give? Should we support others? Should we be available to our fellow man to be a blessing? Absolutely! That’s not what I’m discussing. I’m discussing those relationships in your life that deplete more than they give. Those situations that constantly pull you away from your home and your priorities. Those phone calls that cause you to stress and be anxious when they’re over. That’s what I’m discussing and we have to learn the difference between the two.

Boundaries and good judgement will prevent you from falling into this repeated pit. Boundaries! Boundaries! Boundaries! YOU MUST LEARN TO PLACE BOUNDARIES IN PLACES WHERE OTHERS WILL NOT. People will over flood your life in any and every capacity that YOU allow. So, stop allowing it.

Below I’ve listed some practical ways that you can begin to PROTECT YOUR PEACE if you are someone who often finds themselves worn out with the weights of life and are guilty of over extending.

How to Protect Your Peace

  1. Learn to say NO: Saying No does not require an explanation. No can also be translated into “I can’t do it” and “I’m not available”
  1. Use discernment: The Lord gives wisdom and is great at letting us know when to go or when to stay. When to say no and when to say yes. When to take it or leave it. Use His leading to your benefit. Allowing Him to guide you in your decisions
  1. Place an expiration date on it: Only agree to a commitment length that you are comfortable with
  1. Take time to consider the options before committing: There’s nothing wrong with taking a pause. Use that time to pray and consult wise counsel 
  1. Finally, be ok with the decision that you make: When it’s all said and done make a decision and be well with what you decided. It’s your life!!

Contributed by Lady China

Lady China is the First Lady of Refreshing Life Church. To connect more with her please visit: www.RefreshingU.org

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