Monday, January 13, 2014

Decluttering A Marriage {Life Simplified}

My husband (James) and I will have been married 10 years this coming June.

The longer you are married, the longer you have had time to acquire junk in your marriage. By junk I mean things that do not positively impact your relationship. You have longer to keep score on each others good deeds as well as the wrong-doings. The honeymoon period has been over for awhile and the real you has surfaced. The every day you. The....not showered....unshaven....sloppy you. The not always nice...the not always positive you surfaces.

  Then take that marriage and start it with a 5 year old...and then add two more kids....and our announcement we made last week of one more baby on the way! Life does not get easier the more kids you have, it can becomes more complicated...thus the importance of decluttering every area of my life so that I can actually have time to enjoy these crazy people I call my family!

So, we are starting at the head and working our way down. First up is decluttering my marriage.

Jennifer Flanders book "25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband" a honey jar, and Justin & Trish Davis' book "Beyond Ordinary"

This idea started a few weeks ago when my friend Debbie shared this article titled 25 Ways to Communicate Respect. As I read the article I agreed with it all and that noticed that there is a follow up article for the husbands 25 Ways to Show Your Wife You Love Her. THEN I noticed that Jennifer wrote a book based on her list for the wives after she received such a huge response to her original post. So, naturally I hopped onto Amazon and purchased 2 copies. Why two?...well...hang in there, you will see why. 

Here is more about the book:
 So then while waiting patiently for the book I had sent both articles to my husband to know just in case he wanted to put any of the things into practice. wink wink.  To my surprise he not only read the articles, but when he came home had printed a copy of each one. His idea was to used the honey jar that he got me for Christmas to help us put these things into practice.
I had this vision months ago of a mason jar filled with positive affirmations and prayers to pray over our boys daily. Something that my husband and I would do to encourage our kids. Like most projects, the thought was good but I just hadn't gotten around to it. I was then reminded of it when I was at Allume. It was at the end of one of the worship sessions that a dear new friend Kate came and prayed for me as I was crying at the alter with a heaviness on my heart. She spoke these words over me "I have a picture for you of a large mason jar overflowing with honey. It was running over and pooling up around all sides. He (Jesus) is that sweetness spilling over into every area of your life. Others can't help but get His goodness on them, too. You are a vessel of His sweet goodness." Wow, talk about a flood of emotion. My mind was immediately reminded of the honey jar that I had dreamed up months ago. The honey is representative of God's word that talks about how powerful our words are. There is life and death in the tongue! What you speak over your people, your circumstances, and your life in general make a huge impact on everything that you do!

So I took those two printed lists and cut them up. Twenty-five for the wife and twenty-five for the husband. I then put them into the honey jar. Once a week we each draw a new one and that is what we each focus on and pray about that week.

The second book that I am reading simultaneously with the first one mentioned is "Beyond Ordinary" by Justin & Trisha Davis. What is fabulous about this book is that it is written by both the husband and the wife so you are getting both points of view on marriage situations. 

I can already see a difference in our marriage...and naturally it is trickling down through the entire family...and hopefully the example we are leading will also trickle down onto the people around us....hopefully they won't be able to help but see the light of Jesus shining through us and to desire that same light on the inside of them!

What about you?What are you working on simplifying? Your house, your home, your business? Join our link-up below! Also, don't forget to check out what all of our Life: Simplified Project team members are working on in their own lives.

Lastly, would you like to have your own copy of Jennifer Flanders book, 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband? Leave a comment telling me what areas of your life you would like to or are working on simplifying...and you will be entered in the giveaway! One comment per person. Only open to US and Canada. Check back here next Monday as I reveal the winner! The giveaway ends Sunday evening at 6:00 PM CST. 

**I was not paid or compensated in any way shape or form by any of the people mentioned in this post. There are also no affiliate links in this post. All opinions are my own and the book I purchased.**


  1. I am working to simplify my home, our food, and our activities. I'm learning that a simple life is a journey and a process of changing habits and thinking patterns. I really like your honey pot idea. Pinning for future reference!

  2. This is wonderful, Janelle!!! What a great idea and fun giveaway!! I'm simplifying in my home, my diet, my time, and my homeschool. Right now the only clear vision I have is for my home. I am currently working through Crystal Paines, "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode" book to help me flesh out the rest of my goals.

    Going to share your giveaway with my peeps now!! Love you, friend! xo

  3. Oh there are so many areas I need to simplify - I like the idea of decluttering my closets each season, we accumulate so much "stuff" and at times I feel like it overwhelms me!!

  4. I need to simplify pretty much every area of my life right now. I have begun the process of cleaning out stuff, but have a long way to go. The most glaring need in my life right now to "simplify" and get back into order, though, is my marriage. We have been married 10 years this past summer, and unfortunately we let our relationship fall to the back burner for the past five years. We let life, kids, jobs, etc come first and now we are feeling the effects. Time to rebuild and reconnect but it is a real struggle every day. I'm an avid reader, and eating up any book, blog, etc on marriage I can find to try and help my marriage thrive again. Glad for a chance to gain another book of wisdom!

  5. I am working to Simplify every area of our lives right now. I have been Married 11 years and we have 2 Girls so we have accumulated a lot of "Stuff" and a lot of Emotional Baggage. Because a little over a Year ago we lost our Home to Fore-closer because my Husband was out of work for almost 3 years. We now live in a home less then half the size and Couldn't be Happier but I still need to Simplify to make things less Stressful.