Heather Marshall on June 25th, 2012

It’s the same reason why you won’t find me on twitter anymore, or posting too much on Facebook, either. Ready for it?

I’m busy living life. Being a wife, a mom, a friend, a daughter, a sister. A housekeeper, master chef, chauffeur, referee, counselor, nurse, entertainer, lifeguard, teacher.

It’s not that I don’t WANT to be a consistent blogger or have a definite presence online… It’s just so hard to do it all! (& unfortunately I’m not superwoman - though I do attempt to be at times!)

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Even with my handy-dandy iPhone, it’s still not enough to keep me connected. I can’t have my nose buried in a phone all day - my 2 VERY active boys would tear my house apart! (or each other!)

So if you need to connect with me, leave a comment or - even better - write me a note on my Facebook page & I’ll see it!

Until I can find more time to write (which I truly would love!) I hope you will connect with me via Facebook & KEEP ON STRIVING!!!

Heather Marshall on December 30th, 2011

A few months ago, my husband & I began to seriously consider getting rid of our dinosaur phones & upgrade to something better…. Namely, the iPhone. So, right after the 4s version came out, we went out & got the iPhone 4. It was cheaper, & readily available since the 4s models were sold out everywhere. :)
SO… now that I’ve had time to think about it…. Here are my top 10 reasons why I LOVE having a smart phone!!

1. Info at my fingertips! If I have a question about something (an actor in a movie, hours a store is open, etc) I whip out my phone & find out the answer in seconds! No more saying, “Hmm I wonder…”

2. Maps when I need them most! Driving through NYC with my husband, looking for the best route to/from/around Central Park, it was so nice to have a map with my current location on it! Another time when we missed our exit I was able to find a new route easily. Who needs GPS? I’ve got my phone!!!

3. Apps for everything!! Seriously! Airlines, bill paying, devotionals, recipes, even the wait times for rides at Disney!! Thanks to my handy-dandy apps, I can listen to my favorite music on the radio, edit videos & pictures to perfection, & upload them to wherever I want. Oh yeah baby.

4. Pinterest. At my fingertips, all day long. Need I say more? ;)
5. Wifi wherever I go! REALLY great when my 2 yr old throws a fit in the car…. There are TONS of full Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes on YouTube!

6. New recipes all the time! Between Pinterest, AllRecipes, & Epicurious apps, I’ve been finding (& trying!) bunches of new recipes. I was even inspired to start using my crock pot!!

7. A 5 megapixel camera! So nice to be able to take decent quality pictures & videos of the kids… & then upload it to facebook that same day!

8. Multi-tasking! I can pay bills, check facebook, look up recipes, pin stuff on Pinterest… all while nursing an infant, riding in the car, waiting in line, or monitoring my son’s bath (the 2 yr old, not the infant!!). Case in point, I’m sitting in bed flossing my teeth as I write this. Nice, huh?

9. Words With Friends. The only game I allow on my phone, but it’s fun because it exercises my vocabulary (& gives me something to whoop my husband in!) Anyone else play? My username is StrivingMom! (Warning though - I don’t use cheats, & I don’t like playing against people who do!!)

And…. The final (& possibly BEST) reason…..

10. BLOGGING!! Could it be that just yesterday it dawned on me that there’s got to be an app for my blog? Sure enough…. There is! & so here I am. What’s great about blogging from my phone is that wherever I am, I can write. I started this post yesterday while nursing my 5 month old son, continued it during my older son’s bath, wrote more from my bed last night… I don’t have to wait til I have time to jump on a computer (which rarely happens these days). I can write whenever, wherever inspiration hits. The only negative - tapping away on a tiny screen with just my thumbs. Oh well. :)
Well, now you know! Hopefully this will indicate a return to blogging for me! Since I haven’t figured out my email or newsletter yet from my phone, keep connected through my facebook page… All updates will come through there first!!

The Striving Wife facebook page

So, now that I’m back…. What should I blog about?! :)

Heather Marshall on July 6th, 2011

Hello again!

Ready for a whole litany of excuses as to why I haven’t been blogging? :) Just kidding, I’ll spare you the gory details.

However, I WILL take time to apologize for not putting more priority on letting you, my readers, know where I’ve been. I’m not dead, or divorced, or anything like that… in fact, my husband and I recently celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary, and in another 6 weeks (give or take) we’ll be expecting our second child, another boy, to be born! So life’s been good, just hectic.

Yesterday I logged into my email account for this site for the first time in MONTHS.  It’s been annoying to do so because of the loads of SPAM I keep getting (I don’t know HOW they all got my email address, but it’s obnoxious), and sorted through 1,300 messages in my inbox. Unfortunately, several of them were from my readers, and, in tears, I realized that I have been neglecting a ministry that was given to me by God.

So that is why I am apologizing. I am going to TRY to be on top of blogging more (though with another needy child I don’t know how successful I’ll be, we’ll see), and I’ll TRY to stay on top of my email inbox.. BUT… if you truly want to stay in touch with me & keep up with what’s going on in my world, please please please “like” me on Facebook!

Here’s the direct link to The Striving Wife on Facebook:

http://facebook.com/TheStrivingWife

I check it quite often, so feel free to say hi on the wall & we can chat there! I look forward to reconnecting with you all again!

Keep on Striving,

Heather :)

Heather Marshall on August 22nd, 2010

The first two Beatitudes in this series were general concepts meant for any marriage, regardless of religion. This next one is slightly different. This Beatitude shows the foundation our marriages should be built on.

Blessed are they who thank God for their food and who set aside some time each day to read the Bible and pray.

This Beatitude actually has nothing to do with marriage… yet everything to do with marriage. Why do I say that? Because marriages work best when our relationship with God is at its best.

Let’s look separately at the three parts to this Beatitude:

  1. Thanking God for your food
  2. Setting aside time each day to read the Bible
  3. Setting aside time each day to pray

Thanking God for your Food

As parents, we often teach our children early on to pray for our food. But I don’t think this is referring to a habitual saying of “grace” before meals. Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on August 5th, 2010

These past few weeks have been slightly tumultuous in the lives of the Marshall family as we “figure out” what God has planned for our lives in the coming weeks/months/years. We have been seeking God for guidance, praying constantly, and discussing many many many different paths and options.  Thankfully, in this time of stress and uncertainty, we have not turned mean… in fact, we have been following this next beatitude pretty well, without even realizing it!

Here is our 2nd Beatitude of a Christian Marriage:

Blessed are those mates who never criticize or speak loudly to one another and who instead quietly discuss their disagreements and work toward solutions.

Do you ever feel like certain times “justify” criticizing your husband? Financial stress or  periods of unemployment can put a strain on relationships; colicky babies or rambunctious toddlers can make a wife resentful of a husband’s life outside the home; no matter what the situation, criticizing and speaking angrily may seem like the best solution, but it certainly is not!

Remember what the Bible says about harsh words: Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on July 19th, 2010

Recently my mom gave me a plaque that had on it the Beatitudes of a Christian Marriage. As I read through them, I realized just how true they are!! There are only four of them, & I’d like to take some time to go through each one.I hope you will join me as I work to make each of these my own “Be-Attitude”!! :)

Here is the first:

Blessed are the husband and wife who continue to be considerate and affectionate long after the wedding bells have ceased ringing.

It’s easy to be the “best” wife when you’re a newlywed! Sure, there are a LOT of new things to get used to, living with your husband for the first time… but there’s that new glow, new excitement, new areas of romance that keep things going strong.

Then two or three years go by… those little nuances of your husband are no longer endearing, but are downright annoying. Sex is less spontaneous & more planned (most likely because, at this point, you’re either trying to have a baby, or trying to avoid having more), and much of your life is in order & quite routine.

How’s your marriage at this point?

Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on June 29th, 2010

So, in April Jason and I bought our first house! Very exciting stuff… we absolutely LOVE this place!

We are still working to unpack some boxes, mostly in our spare bedroom. The other night Jason and I were trying to get organized, unpacking books and placing them on the bookshelves in the room. We were being quite productive… until he found some of my old diaries!! Uh oh!!!

The first one he cracked open was from 1994… written by 13-year-old me! HA! Such a boring play-by-play of my life. He moved on to the next one, from 2005. THIS one I knew would be interesting - it was from the year before we got married!  (If you’re unfamiliar with our unique Love Story, be sure to read about it here!) Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on June 14th, 2010

I’m sitting here in my new home while my precious baby boy is napping, surrounded by piles of folded laundry, unsorted mail, and half unpacked boxes… writing a blog post.  Does this seem like I’ve got my priorities wrong? On the contrary, my friend! I’m making time for ME!

Last month when I sat down to write my latest blog post (the first in sooo long), I realized that I had been missing out on something all this time! It felt sooo good to get back into writing, answering emails, reading blog comments… I’d been missing out on ME time!

So much of what we do as wives and mothers centers around others. We cook, clean, care for, and spend time with our husbands & children. We run errands, go to church, and attend family BBQ’s. Even when we snuggle up with our hubbies to watch a movie, it’s with another person.

What many of us miss out on is time spent doing something for yourself.  Perhaps it’s reading a good book. Maybe it’s taking a class. It could be a hobby, like crocheting or scrapbooking. Perhaps it’s even exercise! For me, well… I’d like to do ALL of those things but… blogging is definitely on the list for me!

I know what you may be thinking… in fact, I’m willing to bet that at least one of these objections are yours: Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on May 18th, 2010

So… how do I explain my absence from the blogging world for the past 8+ months? Well… I suppose I could blame it on being in my last trimester of pregnancy, or having a newborn, or going back to work full time,  or moving into a new house (all of which happened these past 8 months!) but in truth, my reason for not blogging goes much deeper than that.

How can I write about being a striving wife when, for so long now, I’ve felt like a STRUGGLING wife? I’m sure I could have written about my struggles & found that I’m not alone, but for some reason I turned inward and refused to give a voice or any recognition to my struggles.  I couldn’t figure out why I was so discontent & constantly snapping at my wonderful husband (& no, I am not suffering from post-partum depression!).

A few weeks ago, though, God finally got through to me & I realized that my attitude and struggles had NOTHING to do with my job, my baby, my husband, or my new house but had EVERYTHING to do with my waning relationship with God!

In all my busyness, I had been neglecting Him. Go figure, He’s the most important key to it all!!

Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on September 7th, 2009

WOW, where did the summer go? I thought I’d have so much time for blogging, but… WOW! I completely missed August!

This has been a busier summer than expected, working 3 part-time jobs, trying to stay on top of menu-planning, house cleaning, baby preparation, youth ministry, friends leaving for college, and family visiting on vacation. Oh yeah - and house hunting.

I’m now 30 weeks pregnant, back to work at my full time job at a school (occasionally picking up a few extra hours of work here & there), and wating to hear back from the bank about a house we’re trying to buy (& still looking at other house options in the meantime).  I wouldn’t exactly call this schedule easier, but it’s slightly more predictable than the summer schedule.

I have spent a lot of time reading this summer.  I read Max Lucado’s newest book “Fearless”, as well as some parenting books and fiction books.  Ted Dekker’s Circle Trilogy was just as riveting the second time around and also painted a beautiful picture of Christ’s love for us, His Bride.

Jason and I have also been working on developing the youth ministry at our church.  We have a small group (8-15 teens, depending on the night), making a traditional “worship” time awkward, so we’ve taken a non-traditional approach.  Instead of making the kids stand up and uncomfortably sing karaoke to the songs we play, we take one song (especially one that we sing often on a Sunday morning) and break it apart.  By the time we’re done, the kids know what the song means, and can (hopefully) actually worship God through it, not just sing karaoke. Or stand there, bored.

Last Wednesday, in addition to our time of worship, we took a Spiritual Inventory of our lives.  Each teen was given a survey to fill out - as honestly as they dared.  Their names were included so that we can take those teens and pray for them, disciple them, and gear lessons toward them accordingly.

Well, the other day I was in a BORING meeting at work that had absolutely nothing to do with me and my position at the school, so I tuned out a bit and began to think about how we can take inventory in other areas of our life.  Jason, when telling the kids why we were taking an inventory, explained it this way:

If you managed a retail store, you would have to take an inventory of your supplies. Why? To see what you need to order more of, what just isn’t selling (& see if there’s a reason), what works,  and what doesn’t.

The same thing occurs in our spiritual lives - we need to take stock of what’s lacking, what’s working, what we need to do more of, what needs to change or be purged.

So, this got me thinking…. why don’t we do the same in our marriages? We can take a marital inventory to see what’s working, what isn’t, what needs to change, and what we’re doing great at.

Of course, I won’t ask you to give ME your results (unless you want to!), but I think it would be a great idea to do this inventory either with your husband or a female accountability partner or ladies group, and discuss the results candidly.

So, here it is… The Marriage Inventory: (Remember, it will only work if you’re HONEST!) Read the rest of this entry »