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Balance? Moderation?? ME????

My husband and me in June of this year
My husband and me in June 2012

MY BIGGEST FAN

Greg  (the Respected Husband) is my #1 fan.  He has been behind me with this whole blog thing from before day 1. Almost a year before I started Peacefulwife – he wanted me to start teaching other wives what God had taught me.  He is extremely supportive of me as a wife, as a mom, as a pharmacist and as a blogger.  He is even my IT guy for all my technical issues!  I am pretty sure I wouldn’t even have a functioning computer if it weren’t for him!  I am not very tech savvy.  I am most blessed to have him for my husband for so many reasons.

TWO WEEKS AGO

The week of Valentine’s Day was a little rougher than usual.   Not because of Valentine’s Day  at all- and nothing catastrophic:

  • my period started WAY earlier than usual (like over a week earlier), so I was much more hormonal than usual, and not expecting it that week
  • some extra difficult email situations
  • frustrations with the book I have been writing – to the point that I am rewriting much of it
  • even less sleep than normal (normal being 5.5 hours max per night)
  • some dizziness with my chronic sinusitis

… you know – LIFE.

My poor husband – normally I am so stable these days.  Not so much that week.  I cried a few times that week – which is now very unusual.  It was not about him, and I didn’t blame him for anything.  But it is hard on him to see me like that.  It was probably my most hormonal week in 4 years.    You see – I am, indeed, truly human! 🙂

As soon as I realize my hormones are taking over – I try to disengage them and begin depending on my husband’s perspective and judgment rather than my own.  It took me about 5 sentences to realize – hmmm… maybe I am hormonal?  Greg said, “It is definitely a possibility!”

A TEST

Last Monday, Greg mentioned in passing that he was thinking about “pulling the plug” on Peacefulwife. 🙁

That made me REALLY SAD!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE doing this ministry and blogging and emailing and seeing God work miracles in marriage.  And I care so very much about my readers and many of them are now very dear friends to me.

But – I know that God can and will lead me through my husband.  So, I released my blogs/book/emails to God’s hands and sought His will.   I do that every day – but even more so when my husband made a comment like that – which he has never done before.  It is definitely possible that even something like blogging could become an idol for me.  What a GREAT chance for me to practice holding all things loosely before Jesus – allowing Him to lead me in His will. And it was a fantastic opportunity for me to practice living out, “Not my will but Yours be done!”

I decided that I would accept his decision if that was what he believed was best – even if it meant stopping the blogs.  And I was able to enjoy the day with him and our children while we went to the zoo together.  I was still exhausted that day from some other medical issues, and lack of sleep.  But I thoroughly enjoyed my family and my heart was a bit sad but at peace.

I told Greg that I love blogging and believe that is what God wants me to do but that I would trust him and if he felt that the blogging/emailing/book writing were not right for me to be doing – that I would accept his decision as God’s will for my life.  I waited patiently.  I also quickly emailed the wives on my prayer team and asked them to pray for me.  Which they did!  I’m so thankful for them!

ANOTHER HUMBLING MOMENT

Our pastor knows that I write this blog.  He likes to kid me about it in a friendly way, “Isn’t ‘peaceful wife’ an oxymoron?”   That same week, he came to Greg and me and said, “April testifies that she is a peaceful wife.  What is your opinion?”  And, with this huge questioning tone in his voice, Greg said,  “Mostly????”  And my pastor laughed so hard.

Wow… that was humbling.  It was probably a pretty bad week to ask my husband that question!  But I figured my husband would say, “She is a wonderful wife.  She’s doing a great job!”

Nope.

I did keep it together at church and waited to get home to cry.  My husband didn’t mean his answer to sound negative – he said he doesn’t want me to feel like I have to be perfect.  To me that answer sounded like I was doing a terrible job!  Then I remembered all the times we had misunderstandings because I expected him to use the same enthusiastic words and tone of voice I use.  That is just how he talks.  He didn’t mean I was a failure.  And then I thought,  “Awesome.  Now my PASTOR is going to think I am a failure.  Maybe I really shouldn’t be writing for other women!”

But then God prompted me so quickly, “What are you respecting your husband and submitting to him for?  Whom are you trying to please?  Your husband?  Your pastor?  Isn’t MY opinion of you the one that matters the most?”

And I realized –

I am not doing this for my husband or for the praises of people.  I am doing it for God.

My disappointment with my husband’s answer  and my embarrassment at feeling my reputation could be ruined with my pastor was a great time to check my motives.  AND MY PRIDE.   Apparently, I was starting to veer off course.  And is my pastor really going to be that affected by my husband’s answer?  I was probably being quite overly sensitive.

So – Thank You, GOD, for the pop quiz and the motivation checkpoint.  I am so grateful for the chance to see some hidden ungodly motives and confess them and repent!

I NEED MY HUSBAND’S LEADERSHIP

Thankfully, Greg decided that particular week was a bit of an anomaly because of all my medical issues/hormones/extra stress from a few specific emails/book stuff.  And he told me he supports me continuing on with the blogging ministry.  YAY!  BUT – he said he wants me to have more BALANCE, and to be sure to put him and our children ahead of the blog stuff.  I completely agree with him.

Unfortunately, I am HORRIBLE at balance and moderation.

I am awesome at obsession or just stopping something altogether.   But BALANCING things.  UGH.  So I asked him what his definition of balance was and told him I am really bad at this!  And that I might need his guidance and direction.

RELAXATION TIME

We spent a very quiet evening – cuddling in our bed after our children went to bed. Greg told me how much it means for him to just have me there with him, even if he is just watching tv.  And I actually relaxed!

If I am left to my own devices, I will run myself into the ground until I CAN’T do anything.   Like my friend, Selena, says, “I unbalance easily.”

So I am really thankful that I have a husband who will help me establish balance and help me figure out how to keep him and my children first and not get so consumed by good things that I am missing out on the most important things.

I have been a bit slower in responding to emails this past week.  That is because I have been spending time with my friends and my grandmother and my twin sister and my family.  Y’all are REALLY important to me!  But I hope you can be patient as I learn to get this balance thing going.  I do plan to respond to each email, but it could take a few days at times depending on my schedule. 🙂

And, please pray about the book.  Please pray that God will give me the exact words He wants me to use and the messages He wants me to write.  Please pray for it to only be for His glory and His will in His timing by His power and for His purposes.  Thank you!

I am thankful that there are moments in life that keep me grounded and humble.  I need that!

48 thoughts on “Balance? Moderation?? ME????

  1. April,

    I have prayed for you this morning. You do have so much to balance in you life right now. Yet, there is great joy and peace in knowing that God is All-Sovereign and ordains each of our days (Psalm 139:16).

    I read your blog Every Single Day after I have my quiet time … that’s how important it is to me. Thank you for your ministry to those of us who are, by God’s Grace, trying to understand and live Biblical submission. The Peaceful Wife is a beautiful, godly resource in a fallen world.

    May you feel the presence of the Prince of Peace abiding with you each moment of your life.

    1. Thanks, Martha! Yes – I want to use my time very wisely in the way that will most honor God.

      THANK YOU for praying for me today!

      I definitely do have peace. Even in the turmoil two weeks ago, God quickly brought me back to Himself and His peace. I’m so grateful.

      Much love to you!

  2. My husband is so thankful for this blog. It has made me a better wife!! I’m so thankful for the motivation it keeps giving into my life! I’m sure you saved many many marriages!!
    Melatonin is a really good sleeping aid by the way! Magnesium is also a really good thing to get more relaxed. Google it! Love!

    1. Thanks, Theresia!

      I LOVE doing this ministry. I believe it is a huge part of my calling. If it were up to me, I would just sit here all day and write and answer emails a lot of times. But I am sure that I can continue to do this – just will have to be more careful to limit my time. Thank you for the encouragement and support! And thanks for the recommendations!

  3. April, your ministry has been invaluable to me and is often a huge motivation to “keep on keeping on” in my marriage and journey to become a more respectful wife. I pray you will be able to continue it for years to come, with balance, peace and joy!

    1. Thanks, Jodi!! It is a blessing to hear that. I know God is working through me. I know it is NOT me that is the key – but Him! I will be content with whatever place of service my Lord gives me. But I sure do love this ministry and the wives I have met here. Thank you for the prayers!

      1. Peaceful wife,
        I’ve only been here for a short time, but I had honestly thought to myself a dozen times…”how does she do it? Find time to answer every reply and put up a post a day and… ” What you are doing is so needed and you are doing a great job of it. So hang in there! Be there for your husband & family, the rest of us will make out just fine! Really there is so much here everyday, I can’t digest it all….for me it would be a blessing to have a little less so you can give more to the ones who need it- your family. You & your family will be in my prayers this month.

        Thank you In Christ-

        1. Thank you, Thankful Husband!

          I am working on making my posts shorter. SO HARD for me because if I leave out important details – then I end up getting even more questions and comments and emails. But sometimes I will be breaking things into series instead of trying to tackle all on the same day.

          And I will probably be using some archival posts, too.

          I have a blog for single women, too. It’s not as big – http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com. So I usually do a post on each blog each day, plus the emails. Adding the book to that made it a much heavier load. And then of course- I have a home and children and a husband and I do work as a pharmacist about 12 hours/week.

          Some days I have over 100 emails. Many of them are very long and involved and it can easily take me 30 minutes to read and answer one. I want to do it prayerfully and carefully.

          I see God SO at work here. I know it is Him and not me.

          But I have to be careful and not be prideful thinking that I am what is important. Jesus is the important thing, not me!

          I’ve been cleaning the house this morning! And just taking a few little 5 minute breaks every 30 minutes or so to check emails. That’s improvement!

      2. Peaceful wife,
        Just put God, your husband and family first in time & energy and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I know my wife and I would be glad to help in any way possible, that’s how much we believe in what you are doing. Also, please don’t email me back! I know some folks need a response as they are truly hurting, but I figure many of us don’t….sometimes not only delegating but discernment goes along way towards balance.

        God bless!

  4. April,
    Thank you for sharing the struggles with balancing family and ministry, and for your obedience to God. Really, God has used you to speak wisdom, honesty, grace and guidance into my life in a very practical and tangible way. For so long I’ve heard I need to respect my husband, I just didn’t know how. I needed practical and applicable examples to help paint a picture for me to understand what respect looks like. That is one of the huge ways that God has used you in my life. I appreciate your openness and honesty. Without it I would not have learned all that I have learned. As christian women, we have so much to share as a way to teach and encourage others in their walks, but I think too often we hold back because of pride. SO much would have been lost if you would never have humbled yourself to share with all of us. That takes GREAT courage and TRUST in God! I too, want to be humble, open and honest with my own struggles. Thank you so, so much. I pray for you, your family, your health and ministry. God bless you abundantly.
    Ann

  5. I pray for you as well April! I have the same problem with blogging sometimes. Maybe you can watch the Disney movie “Mars Needs Moms” with your family. My guess is it will give you a whole new article to write about. I saw your other article on Disney movies and you really opened my eyes. I think “Mars Needs Moms” will probably leave your husband speechless and you gasping when you see what the Martian women do to the men there…

    1. I’ll admit sometimes I have an explosion of ideas pop in my head and I want to tell them to everyone. What I have found though is God uses many of those ideas to construct a bigger picture that He would rather me share than the little pieces themselves. I try to pray before I write something. If I still feel strongly about writing after I’ve prayed about it then I write. Otherwise I just trust that God gave me a piece of the puzzle for safe keeping to be called on at a later date. Whether we like it or not disrespectful wives and unloving husbands are here to stay for the time being. That’s life. :-/

  6. Wow, so your husband was joking when he said “mostly” to your pastor? Everything you post on here you sound like an okay wife. One that he should be proud of. But like he said you don’t have to be and can’t be perfect! : ) Your failures just show that you can still grow.:) We don’t stop growing till we get to heaven♡
    And I think your hubby can understand when you have a bad day/week etc. I think sometimes we can take ourselves much too seriously lol.. its okay to mess up sometimes, its ok, breath:) that just shows us we are human. And I believe God has a sense of humor!
    With all your medical conditions and the things you posted that you struggled with that week your feelings are understandable. God is still smiling down at ya, He knows our hormones He made them lol. Plus it could be testing/showing your husband how to understand you more and how to show/extend extra grace and love to you during these wacky times which is ok. Sometimes during our “human” moments the times we fail, fall, the times we go “Ugh!, did it again!, could be the times that God is saying See you are still just human, calm down, relax, it’s gonna be OK, Get back up, dust yourself off and try again. He sees and knows our hearts..
    I personally spent years as I grew to learn to be a respectful wife beating myself up every time I failed!! Everytime I got it wrong which was a lot lol. But I truly believed that it was humility. I know now it was FALSE humility. I spent a lot of my time frustrated even times so angry at myself and crying alone because I just couldn’t seem to “get it RIGHT”! All the times I did do good wouldn’t matter the moment I would fail! It was like a busy busy cycle of never feeling I could be the wife that I truly wanted to be, the wife that God wanted me to be, the kind of wife I would read in those books and blogs. But God somehow (and that is a different testimony all on its own:) finally showed me that all that time that I had been TRYING with all my heart to be a respectful wife, a good wife for my man..that I was being a good and Godly wife!!!! Perfect? NO. But by golly I had been and was giving it my best shot to be a good wife. But during the whole process I had thought perfection was the only thing that mattered, the only thing I would settle for!!
    But It was like God opened my eyes and showed me my heart, the times I had sincerly tryed!
    It was just an eyeopener for me! I was enough! Even though I felt like I would never get it right, I had been enough! I had been on the right track just trying and trying to be that respectful and submissive wife. That alone that I WANTED to be a respectful and submissive wife was a HUGE HUGE step into obedience!!! But I didn’t see it that way. I would just strive and strive and strive and strive to be that wife because that’s how much I wanted to be a good Proverbs 31 wife that I would just see ALL the times that I failed and messed up and all the progress I had already made didn’t mean anything! It wouldn’t had mattered until I had gotten it ALL right until I was that wife I read about. But what I didn’t see than was I am a good wife! WANTING to be a peaceful wife and *really trying and striving* to be that wife already makes you a GOOD, awesome, wonderful wife!! You WILL fail, you WILL fall, you WILL mess up…oooh yes…BUT ready for this. IT’S OKAY! It really is! Just as long as we just get back up and just keep on keeping on and moving *forward*.: )
    We will never “arrive”, we will never be perfect, or even close till we get to heaven. And maybe that’s a good thing because maybe if we could get it perfect here…we would think why do we need heaven than?
    So at the end of the day God sees our weakness’s and He’s not up there on His throne laughing an evil laugh and rubbing His hands together plotting how He can really test us so we can trip and fall. That may be what satan does but even then God KNOWS we are but dust here today..gone tomorrow. He sees and knows our hearts and at the end that’s what really, truly matters.

    Just wanna encourage ya April. And all the wives out there that are truly and sincerly trying to be a respectful,and peaceful wife. You are a good wife!:) You are enough! Even with all your hormones and all lol.
    Luv ya

    1. Happiee,
      Thanks!!! I totally agree. 🙂

      And it was a good test to check where my heart and motives were.

      But you are absolutely right. We will mess up and fail at times. Then we repent get up and keep going.

      Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful heart and your story! I love it! 🙂

    2. PS,
      He is proud of me! 🙂 He also knows that I am not perfect. And that is for sure!

      He also uses words differently from me. I would say, “I’m SO excited! THAT IS AWESOME! What a GREAT idea!” And he would mean the same thing if he said, “I guess that would be ok.” 🙂

  7. Thank you for your blog. I will pray for the Lord to inspire you as you write your book. It is so needed! ! ! However, your husband and children need you more than we do. You only have one shot with them. Ministry, while it can give us an incredible sense of significance, will always demand more of your time than you have. It is so easy to put off those closest to you for the sake of the call. However, your ministry begins at home, living out the lessons you are passing on to your readers.

    Take care and don’t feel as though you have to reply.

  8. Interesting you post this today, as I was JUST thinking yesterday–as a fellow “lacker of moderation and balance”– that you must spend an incredible amount of time, effort and energy keeping both blogs and this ministry going! I greatly benefit from all you have written, and I’d much rather you write LESS often than for you to keep charging ahead at this pace and have to STOP altogether!

    Here’s just a thought…could you somehow begin to combine the two blogs so that you don’t have to keep fresh material coming for both at the same time? (not necessarily combining the archives, which are both fantastic in and of themselves.) There is so much information already on your website—I am still going back and reading all the past posts that were written before I came across your blog!

    Thank you…thank you again and again for all you have done to offer help to us wives in our marriages! I am praying for wisdom for you and for your husband as he leads you in this!

    Much love, HisHelper

    1. HisHelper, Thanks! Yes, I would rather slow down a bit and be able to keep doing this than give it up altogether!

      I do sometimes use the same post on both blogs. Some material is applicable to both blogs.

      It is pretty normal for me to spend 30+ hours/week on the blogs and emails. That doesn’t count the book stuff or my housekeeping chores or anything with my family. And I do work 12 hours or more per week. So, yes. It is a lot of time.

      I LOVE IT. But I do need to figure out balance!

      Thank you for sharing your heart and the suggestions!

      1. The material is all there…in your blog! The blog is a book in and of itself–(maybe not organized as a book, but the information is there! 🙂 So, anyone who comes across your blog has what they need as far as information. If you were to never write another post, we’d still have a goldmine of information at our fingertips (assuming the blog was still kept online!) It’s the interaction with a real live person that makes this special and more than just reading a book…Walking through life alongside someone who has been there herself in “real” time and hearing the stories of others as they have applied the information and relied on the Lord is, from my perspective, what makes your ministry special. You are accessible…you DO reply to questions and concerns, and your heart is sincere in earnestly trying to help others. I don’t know what I’m trying to say, except maybe the real need is the latter–the personal interaction–more than the former–more information? I don’t know how that would play out…just thinking “out loud” trying to help you find a solution, I guess! 🙂

    2. …More thoughts as I chop veggies for chicken pot pie in the kitchen! 🙂 100 emails is an overwhelming amount to keep up with in a day! Would there be other peaceful wives that you know and trust who might be willing to help you in discipling the wives who are contacting you for help? I know this ministry is your “baby”, but really, it’s the Lord’s. Could it be time, or in the very near future, to expand this ministry to allow one or two other “older women” (experience-wise) to join you in using their gifts and wisdom to minister to other wives too, and at the same time take some of the weight off of your shoulders? …again, just thinking out loud! I care about you, dear sister in Christ, and want to see this ministry continue to flourish and not drown you!!! 🙂

      1. I had tried to offer some emails to some of my prayer partners. But they were also very busy and weren’t able to help.

        I do think it could be helpful for me to have someone else who could help with emails. Last Wednesday night, after I had already spent hours on comments and emails (and a good bit of opposition, too), I finally stopped at 10:30 and I still had 21 emails that I hadn’t answered. Over half of them were VERY long and involved and were the kind that could easily take me 20-30 minutes to answer properly.

        Yes – the volume of emails can be overwhelming. But then I see God working so much. I do want to pray about that – if there might be some more experienced, godly wives who might be able to shoulder some of the load when it is so heavy.

        You are absolutely right – this is God’s ministry, not mine. I am not the important factor, He is! 🙂

        Thank you, HisHelper! You are such a joy to me!

      2. This sounds like a really good idea! Women weren’t made to carry so much. A very wise women told me We can care but not carry.
        <3

  9. April,

    I too have said a prayer for you and your sweet family this morning. I am so grateful for your blog and hope that it doesn’t detract from your home life too much. (pms is so SO real, and I empathize with you on that.) I appreciate your honesty and openness on the blog. It’s blessed so many lives and marriages, including my own. I’m glad you’ll keep blogging 🙂 And don’t forget some YOU time okay?

    Love and blessings,

    Steph

  10. Continuing to keep you and this in my prayers!

    Please know that if God is calling you to Him first and this all must wait (even indefinitely) that the work you have already done in Him has been such a huge help here. If you were never to say another word – you have done a lot. I have seen that you have done this by the things God has revealed to you in your walk with Him. Let Him continue to build this (not you building what you think should be) and it will succeed. (Psm 127:1) Trust that less, delegating, or none will be better if He sends you that direction – because He knows what He is building sometimes before we do. He has used you mightily, let Him continue to use you – whatever direction that may be. That is one of the greatest encouragements you have given me in this walk!

    Blessings and His peace to you April!

  11. April , Again how we all learn from you. Thank you for your honesty. May God show you His perfect balance . Nature and nurture. Nature is one expression of Gods love in perfect balance. May you find your expression of God’s love in your own life in
    perfect balance.

  12. April, I found your blog through youtube. Through this brief time reading and absorbing it has helped me. If you wind it down, DO NOT FEEL YOUR LETTING ANYONE DOWN!

    You are rare with genuine care.

    Blessings, to you, and your husband and kids.

      1. April,
        First time I’ve commented instead of emailed lol ,but maybe you could have it like a forum type instead of blog. Wives could post questions or short articles of their own and other wives or husbands could comment? You’d be another member or moderator,instead of having soo much riding on you ? 🙂

  13. I’m so very thankful that you won’t be stopping anytime soon–but I TOTALLY understand the “lack of balance” thing! I also blog (and work from home) and it’s SO hard to find that balance! (hubby has made some comments lately too!!) So you and I can be praying for each other! 🙂

    1. Nicole.

      I’m doing MUCH better now that I am only posting every other day. 🙂 And, if necessary, I can do it even less frequently. But – I am also very thankful that I can keep it up! I believe this is where God wants me. I LOVE this ministry and meeting so many different wives and the awesome privilege of watching God do miracles in people’s marriages and families. It is SO addictive! 🙂

      THanks for the support and prayers! We will pray for both of us to find balance and to listen to our wise husbands!

      1. Hi, thanks for getting back to me 🙂
        Rudy and I have been talking about priorities and balancing. We have an 8 month baby so finding time to do things is a bit rough. We started our blog since Jasmin was born because of how God has blessed us through pregnancy and her amazing one hour birth and also because I dnt work the blog may help to bring some income, which it hasnt yet. Anyway, between my house chores, Jasmin, blog and anything else that comes up I have trouble finding balance. Sometimes my husband will get agitated because I dont find time for him or leave other things neglected. He told me that its important for him to hear from us during the day, sometimes its difficult to get to my phone or i forget its on silent so it doesnt wake the baby. Also i feel like he focuses on other things that i havent done and loses sight of those things which i have accomplished. Now that hes on summer break, hes a teacher, its been a lot easier since he sees how hard things can be with a baby. And ive felt less pressured to keep up with the blog and other things, just let it flow and God will give me time to get them done in due season. My husband is great with communicating, just sometimes in his frustration i feel so pressured and get tense with an unnecessary urgency! Thank God for summer break! We all get a breather! Also talking to other moms has helped me realize that we are not all supermoms that can be home alone and have the house spotless and dinner on the table when hubby gets home! Not gonna happen! Lol Rudy said to me that he doesnt want to hear i love you, he wants me to show him. By answering his calls and texts, having the house clean, preparing meals for him, just knowing that im considering him and thinking about him to show that i care. So thats what im working on.
        Thanks for your blog its truly a blessing and im grateful for you reply!

        Bless you,
        Jenny P

        1. Heavenly treasure,

          Having a young baby is VERY demanding!!!!! It can be extremely difficult to even get a shower or anywhere near enough sleep to feel human, much less clean and cook and get on the computer!

          I am glad things are better now during the summer and that you are not feeling so pressured. I pray God will help you find wisdom and balance and help you with your priorities.

          Much love to you and congratulations on your precious baby!

          1. Exactly! Thats what he doesnt seem to understand sometimes! Lol so i have to keep it cool and be patient because theres no way he can understand as a man. Sigh……thanks again for responding 🙂

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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