I am very excited to share with you today’s second marriage interview as a part of the 144 Plan to a Memorable Marriage. I first met Marlene via the iHomeschool Network and probably know her best now from the iHomeschool Network G+ Hangouts. She is always encouraging and helpful and I appreciate every chance I have to connect with her. Thus, I am so happy to introduce you to Marlene Griffith.
Marlene is a wife to an amazing husband and a mom to three kiddos. Her days are spent making her home a haven for her family and homeschooling their kiddos in-between hugs and snuggles. In her not so spare time she enjoys crafting, painting, or just relaxing with a cup of coffee and a good book. You can find her blogging over at A Diligent Heart. She loves the Lord and is passionate about living life diligently for Him in everything she does. Without further ado…Marlene!
1. Tell us a little about yourself, your family, how you met your husband, how long you’ve been married, etc.
I’m Marlene, wife to one and a mom to three. We also have a little one in heaven. I’m a girly girl who loves makeup, clothes, and cute purses. I’m not one for many accessories, but I do love a good pair of sunglasses and some cute bracelets to go along with my outfit. I love the Lord with all my heart, and I am continually humbled by His matchless grace. I have a tendency to be a “lazy lifer”. Meaning, it is easy for me to just “go-with-it” and take each day as it comes–no purpose, no direction, no reason. It wasn’t until God grabbed a hold of my heart, that my path began to change. I’m still a work in progress, but daily I seek out ways to fervently pursue His will in my life. I am a sinner, saved by His matchless grace. Daily He is refining me. When I met my husband, one of the first things out of His mouth was an expression of His love for the Lord. I knew at that moment, he was the one. I guess that’s what they call “love at first sight”? My husband is an amazing man. I’m blessed to be married to him. He encourages me, challenges me, and loves me more than I could ever dream of. He’s a hard worker, and a great provider.
2. What is your favorite thing about being married?
Honestly, having someone to share my life with. I love it. He gets me, and I get him. I can be a total dork around him, and he a total geek…yet we don’t think the other is weird. I love doing life with him. I wouldn’t say he is my best friend, because I think he’s much more than that. We are an extension of each other, and together we are one.
3. How do you prioritize your relationship with your husband above the kids, work, or other life stressers?
This is something I’m continually working on. Being a stay at home mom/work at home mom, my daily tasks easily get in the way. What’s helped me prioritize my marriage is setting a time to stop everything else. By that I mean, when 4:30 hits (that’s the time hubby gets off work), I make the best effort I can to be done with schooling, house chores, work, and whatever else may be on my to-do list. This way when he gets home, I’m not distracted by anything else. I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in my marriage by doing this.
4. What is the toughest challenge you’ve gone through as a couple? How did you “solve” it or “get through” it?
Battling what others say. By that I mean what others have offered as marital advice (solicited or unsolicited) to either of us. My husband and I hold our loved ones dear to our hearts, and we value what they have to say. So we struggled for a while with an overload of opinions from people outside our marriage. It almost ripped us apart, when the hope behind it was to help us grow closer to each other. We stopped trusting each other, and it made both of us become incredibly self-centered and selfish. Constantly pointing the finger at the other. The moment we stopped listening to those voices, and came back to us and the Word, and narrowed down our advice givers…we were golden.
5. Do you have any tips or lessons learned from the bedroom that might encourage someone struggling in this area of their marriage?
Don’t bring your past, nor your problems, into the bedroom. By your past, I mean you past relationship issues. If your husband wasn’t the first guy you dated, you have baggage going into your marriage – rather you want to admit it or not. By problems, I mean your daily problems. If you had a rough day, don’t bring that feeling of discouragement into your bedroom. Intimacy in marriage is such a beautiful thing, when it’s untainted by external issues. If your husband says you’re beautiful, believe him. Don’t think he sees you the way you see yourself in the mirror. To him, you are HIS wife, and he adores you just the way you are.
6. How do you handle your finances as a couple?
We both handle that equally, but we let each of us handle the areas we are stronger in. We have an excel spreadsheet to help us keep track of our budget. Since I’m the one who usually goes through each of our bills and pays them when they come due each month, I tend to deal more with our finances in that regards. Our financial plan doesn’t really change often. About every quarter, we discuss plans and things we may want to do. For instance, our truck will be fully paid off in June. In July, the third quarter of the year begins. So we’ll sit down before that and discuss what we’ll be putting that extra money towards. We’ve already began tossing around ideas, but haven’t settled on something just yet.
7. What is your idea of a fun yet frugal date night?
Curled up in bed together, snuggled up, and watching a good movie or two. We usually watch two – a chick flick and an action movie. And snacks, there’s gotta be snacks. :o)
8. What are your favorite resources for marriage tips and encouragement?
First and foremost – our track record. I think it’s wise to look back and see what has worked and what hasn’t. Most likely, if it hasn’t worked in the past, it won’t work now. We also both enjoyed the book When Sinners Say I Do. It was recommended by our amazing pastor a few years ago. We’ve read it through, cover to cover, several times. Each time, we are encouraged and our marriage is strengthened.
9. What is the best marital advice you have received and/or could give?
The best advice that I could give is don’t listen to what everyone tells you about marriage. The Debbie downers – ignore them. You’re going to get a LOT of marital advice, especially early on in your marriage. Especially if you’re struggling in your marriage. Most of it will be bad. The advice you want to take, is that from couples who have been married for decades (plural), 20 or 30 years. It won’t be from those married for 10 or even 12 years. And don’t think what works in one marriage will work the same in yours. You are two unique and original beings, there is not one couple out there exactly like you. You must take that into consideration when attempting to apply marital advice to your own marriage.
Have any marriage questions for Marlene?
Take it to the next level with these resources:
- Intentional Marriage by Crystal Brothers
- The Irresistable Husband by Jason Gratehouse
- My Hubby Lovin’ Pinterest Board which includes everything from date night ideas to relationship builders and more.
This post is the 7th of 12 in the 144 Plan to a Memorable Marriage. To learn more about the 144 Plan or catch up on a missed post, check out the complete 144 Plan Training Log.
Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous, it does not boast, it does not become conceited, (1 Corinthians 13:4)