Husbands First

Good morning! : ) I’m a little later than usual writing this post, but I decided to spend some quality time with my husband last night instead of writing my blog. You, my readers, are awesome, but my husband is the most important person in my life, and I want to make sure he knows it! Which brings me to today’s topic.

For me, and for any other married woman, our husbands are the most important people in our respective lives. If they’re not… well, I think they should be. And our actions should prove that this is the case. When two people get married, God unites them in a way no other pair can be united, and they become one. In a spiritual sense, my husband is actually a part of myself! So of course he’s the most important person to me. Not only that, but God commands us to ‘forsake all others’ when we get married. Besides the obvious message that we are to be faithful to our husbands and not pursue other men, to me this also alludes to the fact that once we are married, our husband has priority in our life. He comes before our other family members, friends, pursuits, even our children. Because to make a marriage work, to make it blossom, you need to put a lot of time and effort into it. Above all, a lot of love! And love is more than a feeling, but also and more so a commitment. I commit to choose my husband first every day. And when he does the same for me, our marriage thrives!

Of course, this isn’t always easy to put into practice. There are many other demands on us, we get tired, we get grumpy, we get distracted. Often those other demands are very important, too, like taking care of our children. And it’s natural to get tired and grumpy. But if, despite all that, we take care not to neglect our husbands in the process, sometimes even just letting him know we love and respect him in little, simple ways, it will make all the difference. In fact, doing so when we don’t necessarily feel like it, is one of the best ways to show our love! And if we ever need help, all we need to do is look to God, and He will give us all the strength and love we need! “A chord of three strands is not easily broken.”

I know I don’t always give my husband the priority I want to in my life, but I’m striving, with God, to do my best, and to keep doing better! If you’re married, I encourage you to do the same – your marriage, and ultimately your whole life, will be the better for it! : )


5 Things I’m Thankful For…

…that make my life easier.

Today I’m simply writing a gratitude post. There are so many things I have to be thankful for, but I’m focusing at the moment on some things that just make my life a whole lot easier. A lot of them are basic modern conveniences, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable in my eyes! Sometimes I feel guilty that I rely so much on these things, when other women, either in the past or just in different situations than I, didn’t or don’t have them. But then I remember that God put me exactly where I am and when I am for a reason, and I stop feeling guilty and start thanking Him!

1. My Laundry Machines

This may seem like an odd thing to be thankful for, especially to those who hate doing laundry. But if you think about how people used to do laundry, when everything had to be scrubbed by hand and hung to dry and it was an all day affair… We have it SO MUCH BETTER now! Also, the fact that we live in an apartment building, yet have our own machines in suite, is amazing. You know, I actually really love doing laundry. It’s so easy to get the washing and drying itself done, when all one has to do is transfer loads in and out of the washer and dryer at intervals. You can spend a few minutes at a time on laundry, while most of the work is done by the machines as you’re going about other activities in your day. And the folding? Why, folding laundry is none other than the perfect excuse to sit down and watch TV by myself! Any other time I’m alone and turn on a movie or Netflix, part of me is bound to feel that I should be doing something else. But if I’m folding laundry, which has to be done anyway… Bring on the “Gilmore Girls!” : )

2. My Dishwasher

Maybe this should have been #1. Because I truly LOVE my dishwasher. To be honest, there are many days when the only dishes that get washed are the ones that go in the dishwasher. It’s not that I dislike doing dishes, it’s just that there are so many other things I could or should be doing, so it falls by the wayside more often than I’d like to admit. Because of that, I am eternally grateful that at least the majority of our dishes still get quite promptly cleaned, thanks to our dishwasher. Again, it’s so easy… Just fill up the soap and push a few buttons! Voilà! I grew up with a dishwasher, so I really missed it through university and the first few years of our marriage, though I did get used to it. Then, when we moved into our condo, I finally had one, and fell in love again. Thank You, thank You, thank You, Lord, for dishwashers!!!

3. My Car

I’m both thankful for having a car in general, as well as specifically thankful for “my” car, our second vehicle that we got just a few years ago. Living in Edmonton, a big city that’s buried in winter half the year, makes owning a vehicle a luxury that one COULD do without, but really, really, really wouldn’t like to. At least, I wouldn’t. For a long time, we shared one vehicle, and that was fine. I don’t mind taking transit, so that was fine during the day when my husband, Jonathan, had the car, but at least I still had the use of a vehicle the majority of the time. It just gives so much more freedom than taking the bus, and it’s really nice not to have to wait outside for your transportation when it’s 30 below! Then, a couple of years ago, just after Jared was born, our amazing friends (shout-out to Grace and Kevin) gave us their vehicle when they moved to England for a year. My life was forever changed! I mean, I could’ve continued to manage without a vehicle during the day, or started dropping Jonathan off and picking him up when I needed the car, but this is SO much easier. Especially with a child! The winter months would be especially not fun with a baby/toddler on the bus, and it would be much harder to do many of the things we like to do during the day. And then there’s our current nap situation. Because Jared has been having a hard time with them lately, but obviously still needs one, I’ve been using the car quite a lot to get him to fall asleep. (Yes, I’ve become one of those people, lol.) And although I’m sure I’d have figured something out if I didn’t have that option, I really feel like I don’t know what I’d do without it. Jared and I are BOTH much happier when he’s napping regularly! We’ll see how long this method lasts, but for now, I’m very thankful!

4. The Internet

Yep, another basic modern convenience that we all probably take for granted. But think about what life would look without it! I am extremely thankful for it for many reasons. The Internet makes it way faster and easier to stay in touch with the multiple friends and family members I have scattered across the country/continent/globe. If I have a question, almost any answer is available at my fingertips through a search engine. I can read the news, check the weather, or get directions whenever I want. I can work from home so I can be with my son and still earn money. Heck, it’s the reason I can write this blog! I think we’re all pretty dependent on the Internet by now, which could be construed as a good or bad thing, but overall, I’m really thankful for it.

5. Superstore Click & Collect

This is actually the main inspiration behind today’s post. If any of you live in Edmonton (or one of the other cities they offer this service in) and haven’t heard of Click & Collect, I highly recommend it! Basically, you go to Superstore’s website, shop online, select a time slot during which you’d like to pick up your groceries, and boom! Done! All you have to do is show up at the appointed time, and they have your groceries all picked out for you and bagged. They bring them to your car and load them up, so you don’t even have to get out! This is amazing for many reasons, especially if you have children. At first it was nice because I didn’t have to worry so much about timing my trips around Jared’s naps, because he could just keep right on sleeping. It’s also great if you have a lot of things on the go and want to save time on your grocery shopping. And the BEST thing is that if you don’t want to bring your child into the store with you… You don’t have to! : ) Jared is usually pretty good, and I really don’t mind bringing him shopping with me. But this morning I could tell he was in one of those rebellious moods, so I instantly altered my plan to take him shopping in the morning. Instead, I hopped onto the website and set the pick up time for after his nap (you only have to submit your order a minimum of 4 hours in advance). By the time he’d woken up from said nap later in the day, he was in a much better mood, and it was a pleasant drive to and from Superstore as he sang and coloured in the backseat. As opposed to the multiple battles I may have had to face getting him in and out of his car seat and who knows what kind of whining in the store if I had taken him inside earlier. Click & Collect has a $3-5 service charge, but to me, that is TOTALLY worth it.


So there you have it! Five of the many things I’m thankful for. Who’s with me? What else are you thankful for, particularly if it makes your life easier? Feel free to comment below!

When Not Doing Much Is Okay

As I was reflecting back on this weekend, I got the feeling that I hadn’t really accomplished much. But I’m okay with that.

There is often an unspoken pressure in our culture to accomplish a lot, to do many things, to always be busy. Even if not everyone WANTS to be busy all the time, or even IS busy, there is often a feeling that we SHOULD be busier, doing more, working harder. I know that this is certainly the case for moms, as we have so many responsibilities at home, more if we work, and relationships to nurture with God, our husbands, our children, our friends, and more. Personally I feel like there is always something else I should be doing, or at least could be doing. I sometimes feel guilty if I take the time to sit down with my cup of tea and read for a bit when I could be doing the dishes, playing with my son, or working on some translation. I’m sure many others feel the same! Or maybe you’d feel so guilty doing so, that you don’t! True, these things that land on our to-do lists are usually important, but I would like to argue that they are not all equally important, and they are not always important at all. Sometimes it’s okay to ‘not do much’ for awhile.

First of all, I think that sometimes our idea of using our time in a valuable way isn’t accurate. For example, as I thought about my day last night, I didn’t feel like I’d accomplished much of anything besides making supper. I hadn’t vacuumed, made a list of ingredients for freezer meals I wanted to make, worked on translation, or done other things on my to-do list. But when I really thought about what I HAD done, I realized that I had spent my time on other things that mattered to me, in fact, things that mattered more. I had spent time watching TV and playing with my son in the morning, done some reading for my book club and Skyped with my brother in the afternoon, gone on a lovely walk as a family before supper, and enjoyed relaxing with my husband in the evening. True, I did not accomplish many tasks yesterday, but I invested time in relationships that are important to me and activities that I enjoy and that feed my soul. To me, though many tasks are necessary and good, my relationships come first overall. If I have to forego doing the dishes sometimes in order to nurture one of those relationships, that is more than okay with me. The dishes will get done eventually, but that particular moment with my loved one won’t come again. Often I work to get tasks done instead of spending time with my family and friends, so when the reverse is true, it doesn’t bother me. Balance is good, and intentionally making time for relationships is part of that balance.

Besides the question of priorities, another reason why I think ‘not doing much’ is okay sometimes is because some we need to ACTUALLY not do much! We are human beings, not working machines, and our bodies, minds, and spirits need rest sometimes. Sometimes, the best thing we could do is have a nap, because our tired bodies desperately need to recharge. Or maybe we need that half an hour of reading a novel, to allow our minds to rest and refocus. Even a slow-moving morning, where everything is done at half the pace as usual, can be a chance to conserve energy and get ready jump right back into life afterwards. No, we shouldn’t be lazy, floating through life with no ambition, motivation, responsibility, or work ethic. But we should allow ourselves little moments, hours, or days to take care of ourselves in whatever way is best at the time. It is more than okay – it is good. If we are in good shape, we’ll be better able to do all those other things we want and need to do. In the end, resting will probably help us be those productive people we felt guilty for not being!

So if you feel the pressure to do more, be more, or deny yourself relational connection, rest, and pleasure, I encourage you to consider the fact that sometimes those are exactly what you need. Some seasons in life are just unavoidably busy, but often they don’t have to be. Often, not doing much is okay.

We Are Far Too Easily Pleased

“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward…promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

~ C.S. Lewis


When I read this today, in the book we are working through for Bible study, that’s what I thought. Wow. I’m a very visual person, and this quote enabled to me to really visualize that boy, who loves making mud pies so much that he doesn’t want to even consider doing anything else, with no idea that a holiday at sea is infinitely better. It really brought home the theme of the chapter I was reading, encapsulated well in the last sentence of the quote: We are far too easily pleased.

I’m going to keep it pretty short today, but I want to give you something to think on. I don’t know what God’s plan is for your life, but I do know that whatever it is, it’s probably bigger than you are imagining. God is INFINITE, but we are finite, so our minds can only comprehend so much of God. We only see what is before our eyes, but God has a view of all eternity. He created each one of us, He knows us more intimately than anyone else does, and only He knows the very best way for us to live our lives to the fullest and make the most of our time here on earth. Whatever your current ambitions are, they are not necessarily bad – I’m sure many of them are good, even given to you by God! But I can almost guarantee you there is more. He has more in store for you, perhaps even now, and certainly in the future. GOOD things, good plans, good purposes. For He is good. And I want to encourage you not to settle. Not to be so content with where you are that you can’t, or won’t, see what else He has for you. Wherever you are at in life, to always keep looking and listening for God’s direction so that you don’t miss the next invitation to take another step with Him into your unique and amazing destiny.

Because I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather take a holiday to the sea than make mud pies for the rest of my life.


This weekend I’ve been thinking about choices.

My family and I, along with a few other friends, took a road trip to visit our friends who live a few hours away in the house they just bought. It was a fun weekend, involving little sleep, lots of fun, and a variety of conversation topics. Since we brought our son with us, and we encountered various other children over the course of the weekend, the conversation inevitably turned to children and parenting more than once. One of the things we talked about was discipline, and the approach of using the terms ‘good choices’ and ‘bad choices’ with children, instead of ‘good boy/girl’ and ‘bad boy/girl.’ My husband and I use this approach because we don’t want to label our son as ‘bad’ or ‘good,’ as if goodness is simply a quality he does or does not possess at certain times, over which he has no control. Further, we don’t want him to grow up thinking all his choices must be good because we’ve told him that he’s a good boy, or that all his choices are inevitably bad because we’ve told him he’s a bad boy. Rather, we want to teach him that we each have control over our own actions at all times, and the choices we make will lead to certain consequences, which will depend on the choice. He ALWAYS has a choice, and we are teaching him to strive to make good choices.

At first this was as far as my thought process on the matter went. But, as the weekend wore on, I was reminded that this notion of ‘choice’ applies to more than just our actions. It also applies to our attitude. Lately Jared (my two-year-old) has been fighting his naps, and when he ends up missing one from time to time, it throws his whole schedule off. One of those times was this weekend. I went into it exhausted from being up early with him and struggling to get him to nap on Friday, and then the same thing started happening on Saturday. I was tired and frustrated, and I was sorely tempted to feel sorry for myself and dwell on the situation and, basically, let it ruin my whole weekend.

But then I remembered that I had a choice. I had the choice to give into that temptation and LET this situation, which really wasn’t even that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, ruin my whole weekend. To put on a slightly strained smile and on the inside be pouting about how tired I was and silently ranting about how I wish Jared could just fall asleep when I wanted him to for BOTH of our sakes, with a side helping of feeling like a bit of a failure as a mother in the toddler sleep arena. The consequence of this would’ve been that my weekend trip with friends and family would’ve had a huge damper on it, which in turn would’ve made me even more upset!

Or, I could choose to be positive. I could choose to make the best of the situation. I could choose to focus on what was more important than sleep schedules – enjoying my family and my friends – and let go of some of the control I was grasping for. In short, I could choose to focus on the good instead of the bad. To be thankful instead of resentful. To give my problems and emotions to God and receive His peace back from Him. To let Him be my Rock, instead of my own sense of being in control.

So I did. I chose to let go and let God work in me and in the situation, to be present and thankful for the great people around me. I chose to have a positive attitude, and the consequence was a great weekend!

I still hope my son’s sleep routine improves a little, but I’m not going to let the situation control my attitude. Because just as he has the choice to obey or disobey his parents, I have the choice to cling to the negative, or to release it to God and focus on the positive. And I like the consequences of the latter choice much better. : )

Inspired to Encourage


Hello, Internet! My name is Miranda, and this is my very first post on my very first blog. I’m pretty excited about it, and I thought I’d start by telling you why I started it!

The most important thing to know about me is that I love God and believe in Jesus as my Saviour. I may be relatively young still, but in my roughly thirty years here on earth, He has brought me through a lot and has taught me even more. The most exciting (and sometimes scary) thing is, I know that after all that, He still has so much He wants to show me and teach me and do through me. And one of the things He’s been showing me lately is that He has created me to be an encourager.

Encouragement seems a common enough concept, and it is. Almost everyone encourages others, or themselves, to some extent. But just because many people can write, doesn’t mean they are all writers; and though virtually everyone encourages, that doesn’t mean everyone is an encourager. That said, I believe anyone can learn to encourage more and better! I also think we need more encouragement all around in our world full of competition and criticism. Since God has made it pretty clear that He’s given me the gift of encouragement  (Romans 12:8), He and I decided to start this blog as one way to use that gift.

So, long story short, I’m here to encourage you! I will write about my life and my thoughts, and in sharing those with you and being real, I hope that you will be encouraged in some way, shape, or form. Sometimes I’ll post something deep, sometimes it’ll just be a recipe I tried that might encourage you in your own cooking endeavours! Or maybe it will be a mom struggle story that reminds you that you’re not alone.  There are many ways to encourage, big and small, and I hope that as we virtually ‘do life’ together here, you will be inspired to encourage others more, too! 🙂