Heather Marshall on July 26th, 2009

A little over a year ago, I started this blog…. & since then, God has shown me SOO much about what it means to be a wife after His own heart.  Sometimes I felt like the best wife ever…. but so often I’ve felt inadequate and barely striving.

God is sooo not done with me yet, either! Tonight I finished a 5-week DVD series at church based on the book “Love & Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs.  While there were so many amazing points that I want to share with you, tonight’s session really made me go “hmmm… wow”.

As a preface, in case you’re not sure what “Love & Respect” is all about, let me give you a brief summary.  A woman’s deepest need is to be loved, and a man’s deepest need is to be respected.  In fact, marriage is not about your own personal happiness, but rather meeting the deep need of your spouse - regardless of whether or not he deserves it.  We are to give our husbands unconditional respect.

Perhaps another time I’ll talk about some of the specifics of what that means, but right now I want to focus on God’s purpose for our marriage.

God has called us to obey Him… & His command to us women is to respect our husbands. (See Ephesians 5:33).  In our obedience to God, our husband is actually irrelevant. That’s right! He’s not even in the picture… It doesn’t matter what he does (or doesn’t do), what he says (or doesn’t say), or whether or not he is obeying… we’re to look past him & obey God.  Our obedience to God will spill over onto our husbands as respect.

Crazy concept, huh?

Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on June 29th, 2009

In an effort to stay organized and productive throughout my days, I’ve decided to adopt another good plan in addition to my daily timesheets:

Menu Planning!!!

I’m the type that usually starts thinking about dinner around 4 or 5 p.m., shortly before my husband is due home. Not good when I realize that there is NOTHING in the house to eat!  The other day I lucked out because I still had some frozen turkey burgers in the freezer… and since it’s summer, the little market down the corner from me had some corn on the cob & watermelon in stock.  Disaster averted.

However, I’m literally down to NOTHING LEFT in my cupboards & fridge that could make a meal worth eating… so I have to grocery shop. Not one of my favorite things to do.

However, I’ve been hearing it for months now (and I’ve half-heartedly tried it on occasion) that menu-planning is the way to go.

Why? Because then grocery shopping has a purpose (all the ingredients can be bought ahead of time) and you’re never left scrounging for some last-minute ideas!

There’s actually TONS of other women out there who swear by menu planning… in fact, there’s even a day dedicated to it, started by Laura over at OrgJunkie.com:

Menu Planning Monday

Menu Plan Monday

In my effort to join their ranks, I pulled out my recipe box (which was within easy reach, thanks to last week’s organizational skills!) and found some great meals to make for this week!

This is what I’m planning on making: Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on June 25th, 2009

I have discovered the keys to being productive! Really!! It works!!

Okay, so by now you may have heard me say (many times) that I am not the neatest of people… clutter is something I hate, but for some reason seem to put up with all the time.  I’m not self-motivated to clean, and I get overwhelmed with mess VERY easily. Oh, and I’m also easily distracted (Facebook & Twitter are major culprits!).

So, when the school year ended last week, I knew I was in trouble: All day long, at home, with everything to do but nothing was actually getting done.  I’d half-heartedly move some clutter from one pile to another, putter around trying to find places for things, and end up with an even bigger mess than I started with.  Frustrated, I’d sit on the computer and update my Twitter status for the umpteenth time, check out my friends on Facebook, and search the Babies R Us website, looking for cool things to get for the baby.

Needless to say, when my hubby would come home at the end of his full day of work (and still have his at-home business to take care of), he would NOT be too happy with the state of the house.  He wouldn’t always say much, but by the look on his face, I knew.

For the last week, I felt less like a striving wife, and more like a failure…. but I couldn’t articulate how I was feeling to my husband without getting defensive and us fighting.

Last night, before youth group, Jason and I went out for pizza & broached the subject of the state of our house once again.  For once, I was able to listen and be open to suggestions without crying (too much) or shutting down.

Here are the keys to my being productive that we came up with (& that I implemented today): Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on June 9th, 2009

Vow, n. A solemn promise made to God; an act by which one consecrates or devotes himself, absolutely or conditionally, wholly or in part, for a longer or shorter time, to some act, service, or condition. (Dictionary.com)

Tomorrow is my 3 year wedding anniversary.  Wow… How fast time has flown by, yet…. it seems like we’ve been married for forever!  I think that that’s a good sign, though. :)

June 10, 2006

June 10, 2006

Three years ago, as I prepared for the wedding, I thought it would be neat if Jason and I wrote our own vows.  I’m not a huge fan of all things traditional (hence the non-traditional look to the wedding party’s attire!), wedding vows included.

Unfortunately, Jason didn’t seem as enamored with that idea, so I set off in search of the “perfect” wedding vows for both of us: Non-traditional, meaningful, and powerful.  By piecing several examples of vows together, I came up with vows that I loved (he liked ‘em too). Here are my vows to him:

Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on June 2nd, 2009

Hmm, as I began to write the title for this post, I thought, “Wow, that’s got a double meaning! I’m announcing the winner of the book “Love & Respect“… but I’m also going to tell everyone who the winner is if they PRACTICE love & respect in their marriage!!”

So first…. let’s talk about the book giveaway.  Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who participated…. I had fun, and hope you all did too!  I’d love to hear your thoughts: Would you want me to do MORE of these types of giveaways?!

Okay, so… just to prove to you my methods in choosing a winner, I photographed the whole process (except the cutting & folding of all the little papers with the names/email addresses on them).

All my little name pieces :)

All my little name pieces :)

I put them in a box....

I put them in a box....

...Shook up the box....

...Shook up the box....

...Closed my eyes...

...Closed my eyes...

...And picked a name!!!

...And picked a name!!!

So… without further ado… the winner is………………..

Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on May 26th, 2009

This weekend, I was given the opportunity to share with a group of ladies at a “20-Something” retreat.  I chose to talk to them about an area in marriage that is often lacking: RESPECT! 

Ephesians 5:33 commands that a wife respect her husband.  Unfortunately, there is no condition on that command.  We are to respect our husband regardless of whether or not he deserves it, regardless of whether or not he shows us love or respect, regardless of whether or not your own needs are met.  

Douglas Wilson makes an interesting comment on this topic. He says,

“Respect is to be rendered to husbands because God has required it, and not because any husband has earned it.  It is good to remember that God requires wives to render more than their husbands deserve.”

In fact, in 1 Peter 3:1, Peter predicts that many wives will not be married to men “deserving” of our respect - men who are disobedient to God’s word. However, it’s our respect that can change their hearts!  

Next week, I will talk more about this topic… and what we can do to ensure that we are showing respect to our husbands, out of our obedience to God.  To get ready for next week’s topic, I’ve decided to give away the book entitled “Love & Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs.   

THE GIVEAWAY: Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on May 11th, 2009

This weekend, Jason & I took a nice long walk/jog along the road that leads from our island (Ocean City) to the next island (containing the towns of Strathmere & Sea Isle).  Jason works in Strathmere in the summertime and wanted to check out the beach situation, since storms tend to wash part of it away in the wintertime. It’s about 2 1/2 miles from our house, so we drove part of the way, leaving about 3 or so miles for us to go on foot.

The afternoon was beautiful and sunny, although a bit windy. The marshland to the right of us stretched on for miles, and the bay to the left of us soon opened up into the wide ocean. It was gorgeous (I love living here!).

As we were heading back towards our car (still about a mile away), something on the side of the road caught my eye.  It looked like a shiny pebble at first… but on closer inspection it was a BABY TURTLE!!

babyturtlehand

Seriously, this turtle was the CUTEST thing I have ever seen! About an inch long, it was soo tiny yet so spunky, as you’ll soon see….

Our running past it must have startled it, because he was scrunched up in his shell, but his little eyes were darting back and forth, perhaps wondering when it would be safe to pop back out.  We backed off & watched it, wondering if it was headed back to the bay, or across the scary road to the marshland beyond.  After a few moments, the baby turtle emerged from its shell & TOOK OFF for the middle of the road!

babyturtleshell

Now, let me explain something… while this road is not a highway, the cars do drive rather quickly, and a turtle of this size would never be seen by a car!  This little turtle was bravely heading where he knew he needed to be… unbeknownst to any danger though. :(  It made me so sad to think of how many baby turtles must die while making a trek like this!

So, Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on May 2nd, 2009

Stop, Drop, & Roll…. you probably learned this as a young child, just in case your clothing ever caught on fire.  To put out the fire, your teachers had you practice these three things:

  • Stop what you are doing.
  • Drop to the ground.
  • Roll until the fire is out.

Now, I’ve never had to use this method in a real fire (thank God!) but I recently learned how to apply this concept to MARRIAGE!  Just like we talked about with our Complaint-Free Week Challenge, it’s often hard to tame our tongues…. but it is sooo important we do that for the sake of our marriage!

All men thrive on respect… & when we cut them down with our tongues, whether through complaining, sarcasm, nagging, angry words, etc… it belittles them and shows them great DISrespect.  Not a great way to strive for a holy marriage!

So, I’m borrowing my content from Stacy Miller of Shore Fellowship Church in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, who taught this at She Speaks ‘09 Women’s Conference this weekend.  This is a portion of what she talked about, but it really got the wheels in my head turning!

She turned the Stop, Drop, & Roll concept into a positive habit we can form when we are ready to open our mouth with something negative to say to our husbands (or children, co-workers, parents, etc).

So here’s what to do: Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on April 19th, 2009

Are you up for a good challenge? Depending on your personality, or even what’s going on in your life at the time, this challenge may or may not be EXTREMELY difficult!

Your challenge is, for a WHOLE WEEK, to not complain.  No complaining about your husband, your kids, your co-workers, your boss. No complaining about your messy house, dirty dishes, never-ending laundry, or shoes that are left in the middle of the floor for you to trip on.  No complaining about your job, workload, lack of extra money, or need for a vacation. No complaining about headaches, vomiting children, tiredness, or your desire for sanity in the midst of chaos.

For one whole week, no complaining allowed! At all! No excuses!

So, what’s the catch?  Why are we doing this?  Read the rest of this entry »

Heather Marshall on April 13th, 2009

As a wife, a mom, or a woman… what kinds of FEAR do you face?

As a wife, I face the fear of failure - that my husband won’t think I’m good enough, that I’ll fail at being the best wife out there.

I face the fear of rejection - that if I do something “wrong”, my husband won’t love me anymore.

I face the fears of burning dinner, leaving wet clothes to rot in the washing machine, forgetting to take the garbage out before it stinks up the whole house, and yes…. I face the fear of getting fat.  I suppose all of these seemingly “minor” fears stem from fear of rejection, now that I think about it.

Now, I find myself beginning to face NEW fears… as a soon-to-be Mom! That’s right…. Jason & I found out that I’m pregnant, and I’m due in November!  Exciting times, but scary nonetheless. :) Read the rest of this entry »