3 Habits You’ll Be Glad You Established as a Newlywed

My husband D.J. and I met one fall night during our junior year of high school. I wouldn’t exactly say it was love at first sight, but it was definitely a love that developed over time. One of my favorite things about our relationship is that it took about a year and a half for it to go from friendship to a dating relationship. It’s a good thing too because, little did we know, … [Read more...]

Why Hospitality Really Is a Big Deal

Why Hospitality Really is a Big Deal

God has used marriage to teach me a lot of things: I’ve learned how selfish I can be. I’ve learned that I sing a lot, loudly, and terribly (Space Jam sound track, word-for-word, in my darkest hours). I’ve learned that I’m worse with directions than even I thought (on the other hand, Hannah is a human GPS that rivals Google Maps). I’ve learned that I’m not good at … [Read more...]

Being Too Busy Is Costing Us Greatly

Being Too Busy Is Costing Us Greatly

This article, this truth, this word from God has been in my heart and mind for years now. What price have we paid, what has it cost us, to not observe a day of rest? A purposeful, intentional day to “cease and desist” and just look at our six days of labor and accomplishment and be thankful for everything God has given us. To take a day and just be thankful for having completed … [Read more...]

Why We Schedule Date Nights in Advance

Why We Schedule Date Nights in Advance

At the end of January, we celebrated 16 years of marriage. We dated for three years before we got married, so at this point in our lives I have been with him for almost half of my life. Just yesterday we were planning our lives together, and now we have three children who are 12, 10, and 8. Time moves so quickly, so we want to make sure that we are wisely investing our time in … [Read more...]

Different from Our Parents, Starting in the Kitchen


Supermarkets have changed in the last thirty years. Indeed, they’ve had more than a face-lift since my childhood in the eighties, but the change I speak of is not the updated décor or the appearance of Redbox kiosks. Since those golden years, I have witnessed the appearance of “organic” foods, along with the disappearance of the time-worn question “paper or plastic?” Paper … [Read more...]

Questions I Ask Myself Before Speaking About My Husband


“I wish my husband was more like yours.” This is not meant to be boastful by any means, but I have actually received that compliment many times. My husband and I have often heard, “Y’all are the cutest,” or “Relationship goals: Be like Tyler and Nikita.” I’m going to be real—it feels good when people say that. I think my husband is awesome, and I’m glad other people do … [Read more...]

Seeing Sides of My Husband I Had Forgotten


You know what’s hard for me? Socialization. Not because I’m a hermit or a shy-fly-on-the-wall type, but because I’m selfish with my time. I am a list maker whose one love in life (well, maybe that’s a bit much) is to check off tasks. You know what’s hard to do? Get your family running smoothly, the laundry done, the dishes done, the family world going in perfect order … [Read more...]

Traveling Without the Kids

Traveling Without the Kids

Just over a week ago, I dropped my son off at his grandparents’ house, and hopped on a jet plane for an eight-day cruise with my husband. As I was walking out the door, saying goodbye to my son, I promptly started to cry. I quickly apologized, blaming the fact that I’m pregnant. My precious father-in-law simply stated, “It would be just fine to cry even if you weren’t … [Read more...]

Sunday Mornings Matter

The Power of You and Your Spouse’s ‘Hello’

If you and your spouse are comfortably integrated into a church home, let me be the first to say, “Congratulations!” Now this letter is for you: There is a group of us who haven’t found our church home yet. We lay in bed on Saturday nights, and we go back and forth with our spouse on which church we should attend the following morning. Sunday mornings are not an oasis … [Read more...]

Looking Ahead: Trying to Avoid a Child-Centered Marriage


A month before Melissa and I were to be married, we were sitting in a church. The setting sun fragmented by the ornate stained glass had held me in a distracted daze until the priest said something that made my ears perk up: “From this day forward, your life has changed. Your life now revolves around her.” We weren’t in a premarital counseling session or at a wedding. … [Read more...]