31 Days of Prayer for Marriage,  Uncategorized

5 Ways to Capture Joy (Marriage Challenge – 31 Days of Prayer)

Day 28 - 31 Days of Prayer for Our Marriages

Looking for the husband’s version of this prayer? Click here.

I’m about to tell you a little secret about myself. And after I do, I hope we’ll still be good friends.

Here it is. I’m not so good at putting laundry away. Clothes have feelings too and sometimes they just want to hang out with the rest of the family for a while before going back into the drawer. Know what I mean?

One day my daughter put a basket of clothes at the top of the stairs just outside of my bedroom door. Several days passed before I stopped and said, “Oh, that’s where that purple sweater is!”

It’s one thing to be that way about a basket of laundry; unfortunately we can also be that way when it comes to the people in our lives. Going about our work, day after day we get so used to hurrying by that we forget to stop and breathe in the life around us, and the people that God has given to us.

The world is alive when we open our eyes to it.

When we stop long enough to give thanks for the things that we have instead of complaining about the things that we don’t have, we’re able to breathe in the sweet scent of His blessings.

I tend to remember this most when I’m alone at night. After the kids go to bed, I get this sudden urge to sneak into their rooms and kiss their foreheads. And when Michael’s asleep I can’t help but to snuggle up close to his pillow. I’ve actually gotten used to his snoring, and most days I kind of like it because it reminds me that I’m not alone in the dark.

It’s surprising to discover all of the little gifts you enjoy when you actually stop to consider them, isn’t it?

It’s natural to appreciate my husband when everything is going my way. It’s easy when things are coming together and he’s going along with the flow. That’s when I usually start counting my blessings and telling myself what an incredible husband I have.

It’s not so easy on the days when my idea of how things should be done conflict with his. When things aren’t coming together the way that I hoped they would. On days like that I’m not counting my blessings too quickly, because I’m too busy counting my wants, my needs and my desires.

Whenever I’m in the zone of self-centered desire and pride, I hear a voice that beckons me without fail to let go of my selfish behavior.

I’m offered a choice. I can either be thankful to God in the moment or I can hang on to my anger and make everyone around me miserable too. Thankfully I’m learning that the moment I let go of my anger and humble myself before God, I find joy and peace that I would otherwise miss.

Are you looking to capture the joy in your life? Here are five good ways to get started:

  1. Start your day with prayer and scripture.
  2. Be intentional about smiling and spreading joy to others.
  3. Put down electronics that are distracting you. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with social media. Draw boundaries that offer a healthy balance–and stick to them. Walk away from the computer and engage in person-to person face time.
  4. Start a gratitude journal. Count your blessings and write them down daily. It’s amazing how many we have when we sit down and start counting them.
  5. Remember this one important rule: You might not be able to change your circumstances, but you can choose your mood. A bad mood won’t make a difficult circumstance any better, so why choose it?

This article is an excerpt in part from Messy: Beautiful Love by Darlene Schacht. Used with permission from Nelson Books © 2014.

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You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

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  • Peggy

    Amen! How very true Darlene—every word! Thank you for those 5 great ways to capture JOY in our marriages or as you say in our life in general. (#3 particularly) Seize the day with JOY! Hallelujah! —and might I say getting a copy of your book to “GIFT” to someone would be a great JOY giver! If it blesses me, surely it will bless someone else! I choose JOY! Thanks Darlene for such wisdom — little gifts are sometimes the best! Have a blessed and wonderful Weds.! May I pray this prayer every day to start my day with JOY!~Peggy

  • Jen

    Darlene, I know this wasn’t the point of your post, but I felt a little bit better about the clean laundry in baskets in my hall waiting to go home. I still love you. And the baskets are there because in the midst of work, school, having an afternoon snack with my four children and making breakfast for my amazing husband, putting away that laundry didn’t make the priority list in the last day or so. And when it does finally make its way to the top, it will be under the sub-heading of loving the family God blessed me with and therefore honouring Him by taking care of them and the things He has provided us with as well. Thanks for all of the posts in this series. Your book is on my wish list!

  • Jess

    Hi Darlene! I came across your website one day surfing, navigated it and read in depth to learn more about you and Time Warp Wife Ministries, & signed up immediately for this prayer challenge on day 11. I am committed to having and maintaining a Christ-centered marriage. I started receiving your daily e-mail, reading each daily prayer(s) and your personal excerpt(s) included & pinning each and every one of the prayers that very day to a new board on my Pinterest. I also started sending my husband the “husband” versions when they were available. He enjoys receiving them. 🙂 I started this challenge a little late, but I remember you welcoming everyone no matter when they joined. Thank you for that! That was very encouraging for me. When we get to day 31, I will continue going on with day 1, 2 and so forth until I finish the challenge on day 10. I have gained so much encouragement and inspiration from this challenge! I haven’t commented any until now. I hope that is okay. I really needed this prayer today! It hit home for me. On days like today, when I am not feeling as up to par as normal due to sickness (allergies/headache), unexpected events happening, things around the house messing up while the husband is away for work, etc., it is very easy to get discouraged, moody and forgetful of my (our) many blessings from The Lord. To take a few minutes, sit back, look around, recognize, acknowledge and soak in the many blessings our family (my hubby, the kids, puppies & I) do have is a blessing in itself to me. Thank you for this prayer today and for reminding me to count my blessings and keep my joy at all times!! I am going to add your #4 to my Quiet Time routine and start a gratitude journal!! :)) ❤️

  • Jess

    P.S. I will be participating in the Messy Beautiful Love Book Club in Novembet with y’all over at Women Living Well! I can’t wait!!