Marriage from A to Z

Principles for a Successful Marriage

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“What are you putting on?”

What should I put on? This is often a question I ask myself each day. I know some people don’t give it much thought, but one of the things that I have always enjoyed since I was a little girl is getting dressed. I love the whole idea of coordinating outfits and putting on clothes each day. When there is a special event, I love figuring out the right thing to put on. The ironic thing is that I married a man who appreciates this about me and part of him enjoys getting dressed too. When it comes to a relationship, the clothes that one puts on will vary from day to day based on the person. However, if you want a lasting relationship, there are some clothes that everyone needs to PUT ON!

In Colossians 3:12-14 the Bible says, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

May the Lord help us to put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, and longsuffering. Father, we ask that you would give us the patience to bear with one another. Teach us to walk in forgiveness and to cast our complaints on You. Make us mindful of the fact that You forgive us therefore, we can forgive others. Show us how to love the way that You love.

As much as I love to put on different styles and colors (orange is my favorite) of clothing, I know that my outward clothing is not as important as the wardrobe mentioned in Colossians. I want to encourage every husband, wife, parent and everyone in a relationship to PUT ON Colossians 3:12-14. Ask God to help you get dressed!

Until next time . . .

Carolyn

“How to make Valentine’s Day last?”

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone! I know every day is a day of love, but Valentine’s Day is just one day where we can be more intentional about showing love to everyone. God is love and real love comes from Him. ( I John 4:16) I am so glad to know that God’s love lasts. I don’t know about you but I want Valentine’s Day to last beyond one day.

As I think about Valentine’s Day and marriage, I want to share some tips on making Valentine’s Day every day in your marriage. After twenty-three years of marriage, I can honestly say that these are tips that I strive to live by. Before, sharing Valentine’s Day tips, I want to say that having an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ is truly the key to making a marriage or any other relationship successful.

V – (VALUE) Value your spouse and each day that you get to spend together.

A – (AFFECTION) Give the affection (hugs, kisses, back/foot massage, and gentle touches) that is due to your spouse.

L – (LOVE) Show your spouse some love every day!

E – (Eat) Eat meals together often.

N – (NEVER) Never go to bed angry.

T – (TALK & TOGETHERNESS) Take time to talk and spend daily time together.

I – (INTIMACY) Spend intimate time together on a regular basis.

N – (NOURISH) Nourish each other by aiming to please, take good care of each other.

E – (ENJOY) Intentionally enjoy each time that you spend in your spouse’s presence.

S – (SAY) Say something good to affirm your spouse on a regular basis.

D – (DATE) Plan different types of dates with your spouse, lunch dates, dinner dates, getaways, and spend quality time together.

A – (ACKNOWLEDGE) Whenever you fall short or mess up, take a moment to acknowledge it and ask for forgiveness. Forgive each other and move on.

Y – (YOU) Take care of yourself! One of the best things you can do for your spouse is to keep yourself in good health and practice self-care.

Until next time,

Carolyn

“Did you decorate for Christmas?”

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“Deck the halls with boughs of holly fa la la la la, la la la la, ‘Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la, la la la la . . . ” I don’t know why, but I am just realizing that the first few words of this song are about decorating for Christmas. I think my focus has always been on the fa la la la la la, la la la la, (LOL!) Have you decorated your home, office or business for Christmas? When I think of decorating for Christmas, I can’t help but think of my grandmother who passed in September 2020. This was her time of the year. I dedicate this week’s post to my loving grandmother, Delores D. Lucas. I will refer to her as “Decorating Dee.” The picture above represents one of the many times that we spent together.

My grandmother had the gift of decorating and she used it to serve others. I Peter 4:10 says “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others . . .” She loved to decorate not just at Christmas, but all throughout the year. In her younger years, she would use her gift of decorating to decorate her church for special events. Whenever there was a church celebration she would decorate the fellowship hall. Decorating Dee would use her money to buy decorations for the walls, tables, chairs and matching paper products. She would mostly find her decorations at Party City, Dollar Tree and Big Lots. Decorating Dee would get so excited about putting a room or table together and seeing the finished project.

Christmas time was very special because my grandmother would be thinking about Christmas all year long. At the beginning of the year she would start saving by putting money in her Christmas account. The savings would be used to purchase gifts for her great-grandchildren and to help decorate my house and my sister’s house. Decorating Dee would dedicate a day, sometimes two days to decorating our homes. She would put the Christmas music on and decorate the Christmas tree with lights, ornaments, garland and then move to the dinning room to decorate the table. She would also put decorations on our stairway. My children and I would assist. We followed her directions and were so excited to see the house when she finished. Oh what sweet memories of my grandmother, Decorating Dee!

Decorations help to set the tone as soon as you walk into a room. I have witnessed the power of decorating and have always loved walking into my house after Decorating Dee finished. My grandmother’s gift of decorating blessed so many people. Thanks to Decorating Dee, I have made decorating at Christmas an annual tradition. We start decorating the day after Thanksgiving. Did you decorate for Christmas?

This is my last post for 2021. Thank you for reading. Have a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Until next time!

Carolyn

“What makes your spouse happy?”

This picture represents a husband doing something just to make his wife happy. Ever since we have been married, my husband has said that he does not like taking pictures. However, I really enjoy taking pictures. I see pictures as creating memories and I always want to have pictures for us and our children to look back on. On the day that this picture was taken, we had been out and my husband was ready to go in the house to relax. As soon as we went in the house, I said let’s go out back and take a picture. It was a beautiful day, and I just wanted to capture it. My husband could have said no, “I don’t feel like it!” Instead, he went out back to take the picture. Now trust me, it doesn’t always go this way but on this day, he went with it! Seeing the picture reminded me that he didn’t really want to take the picture, but he did it, just to make me happy!

Are you willing to do something just because it makes your spouse happy? Maybe you are not married but you can relate to someone doing something just to make you happy. I believe this is one of the keys to a happy marriage. This week, I want to encourage you to do something special for your spouse just because you know it will make them happy. If you are not married you can still participate by praying about who God would have you to bless.

Before I go any further, let me just clarify, I am talking about doing good things. I am not talking about doing anything that is unlawful, unethical or contrary to the Word of God. Making your spouse happy may require you to do something that you don’t feel like doing, however, it’s okay to sacrifice, be inconvenienced and step out of your comfort zone to make your spouse happy. You may not do it every time but be mindful of this throughout your marriage years.

What’s really great is when both the husband and the wife have the same desire, to make each other happy. This is not a one-sided thing, the goal should be mutual. In I Corinthians 7:33-34 the Bible says “But he who is married cares about the things of the world–how he may please his wife. . . But she who is married cares about the things of the world –how she may please her husband. To please your spouse is to make them feel happy, satisfied or to give pleasure. If you are not sure about what really makes your spouse happy, ask them! After you ask, be intentional about doing it!

Until next time . . .

Carolyn

“Where is your heart?”

Is your heart at home with the one that you said I do to? Perhaps your body is at home but your heart is somewhere else? Have you ever heard a person say they love you but their actions are saying something else? This week, I challenge you to do a heart check. Where is your heart?

In Matthew 15:8 and Isaiah 29:13 the Lord said: “These people draw near to Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips but their heart is far from me.” Only Jesus has the power to clearly see a person’s heart. In both verses the Lord says there are people who say things with their mouths and their lips but they are nowhere near being close to Him. What would the Lord say about your heart? Where is your heart?

No one can judge you or see your heart but the Lord. What does He see? Do you think He is pleased? As I meditate on these verses. I couldn’t help but relate them to marriage and relationships. There is nothing more painful than someone saying that they love you with their mouth but based on their actions it appears as though their heart is far from you.

May we all draw nearer to the Lord in our words, actions, and in our hearts. Let’s draw closer spiritually and in our marriage (for those who are married). Be sure that you are fully present and that your heart is near to your husband/wife. James 4:8 tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Oftentimes, sin keeps us from drawing near to God. Just like when a spouse is doing something wrong they have a way of distancing themselves from their spouse. Pray about ways to draw nearer to your spouse.

Keep your heart clean! Make sure there is no one else taking the place that was only meant for God. We must guard our hearts and keep Jesus as Lord! Where is your heart? Is it close to God or distant? Lord help us to draw closer to you and closer to our spouse. Remove any thing or anyone that is causing us to have a distant heart. In Proverbs 4:23 we are instructed to guard our hearts!

Until next time . . .

Carolyn

Do you remember?

How’s your memory? Our 21st and last word to totally transform your 2021 is “REMEMBER!” Would you say that your memory is good or not so good? As we go through the last few months of 2021, I want to encourage you to remember what God has done. There is power in remembering God, His character, His faithfulness, and His track record. Remembering can help to strengthen you on the journey of life.


To remember is to recall to the mind by an act of effort! Let’s put some effort into traveling down memory lane in your mind. Think about what God has done. Think about that situation that you didn’t know how you were going to get out of but God. Think about the bill that you didn’t know how you were going to pay but God. Perhaps God healed your body, your marriage, or your broken heart. Maybe you had COVID but you are still here! Remember when He delivered you from the bondage you were in? Maybe He made a way for you when there was no way. He kept you and protected you from something bad that could have happened. When I think of the goodness of Jesus and ALL that He has done, my soul cries out hallelujah! If you would just take some time remember!

Psalm 143:5 says “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that You have done; I ponder the works of Your hands.” I want to encourage you to meditate on all that God has done! Psalm 77:11 says, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your wonders of old.” Declare that you will remember!

God’s track record and character speak for itself. He is faithful. As the saying goes, He may not come when you want, but He is always on time. Whenever we are facing challenges in our life the enemy wants us to doubt that God will bring us out. We can become fearful and doubtful when we can’t see how things are going to work out. However, if we would just take a moment to look back over our lives and remind ourselves of how God did it before, He can do it again. This gives us the strength to keep believing and keep standing no matter what. God’s got you and He will see you through!


It’s a blessing to be able to remember. Thank you Lord for a mind to remember. There is power in remembering God! Lord refresh our memory. Help us to Remember You, Remember Your character and Remember Your faithfulness In Jesus’s name Amen!!

p.s. I hope that you have enjoyed the 21 Words to Totally Transform Your 2021. If any of these words have been a blessing to you, I would love to hear from you.

Until next week . . .

Carolyn

“Let me tell you about God’s Timing!”

I love when God reveals Himself through His Perfect Timing! I am reminded of the song, “He’s an on time God, yes He is! This week I want to share the 20th Word that can totally transform your 2021. The word is “TIMING.” Over the past week, I have noticed the perfect timing of God in various ways and it has been such a blessing to me. When we recognize God’s perfect timing, we must tell of His goodness!

The dictionary defines the word “TIMING” as; “The selecting of the best time or speed for doing something in order to achieve the desired or maximum result. God’s Timing is always perfect! He has a reason for allowing things to happen at certain times. Take a moment to think about the times where you clearly saw the hand of God operating in the timing of something.

The picture above represents God’s perfect timing. Let me tell you about it. In the picture is myself and my friend NaTasha in a Target store in Minneapolis, MN. The smiles that you see are a reflection of the joy that we both experienced when we walked into each other while being in the same aisle. You see earlier that morning we both attended Priscilla Shirer Going Beyond Live at Grace church in Minneapolis but we did not see each other there. Priscilla Shirer asked ladies to help with an outreach by going to Target to get cleaning supplies. We both were participating in the outreach and did not see each other until we walked into each other in the cleaning aisle of Target. Wow! This was God’s perfect timing! NaTasha and I used to be a part of the same church in Maryland. She relocated and I have not seen her nor spoken to her in at least 10 years.

God allowed us to see each other for a reason. She said my presence served as a reminder and encouragement from God to keep pressing and being steadfast in the Lord. Her presence was a reminder to me of God’s perfect timing and His faithfulness. God knows I was so happy to see her and to reconnect. I didn’t know that she lived in Minneapolis. Only God could have orchestrated the time for the two of us to be in the same store, same aisle at the same time. I went to Target to get some things to be a blessing to someone else and the Lord blessed me by allowing me to see a friend that I had not seen in years!

God knows that it would make me very happy to see NaTasha and to reconnect with her. I believe Psalm 37:4 which says; “Delight yourself in the Lord, He shall give you the desires of your heart.” When we take pleasure in the things of God there are some things that you will not have to ask God for, He already knows that it is a desire and will bless you with the desires of your heart. I also remember David saying; “My times are in Your hand” (Psalm 31:15). Sometimes you don’t understand why things happen the way that they do but we must know that our life and the timing of everything is in God’s hands.

Be encouraged and know that whatever you are believing God for, the timing is in His Hands. Just like I walked into NaTasha, you can walk into your next blessing. Trust God for His perfect timing! He is never late or too early, He is always right on time. God’s timing is perfect!!

Until next week . . .

Carolyn

“Are you ADVENTUROUS?”

Would you describe yourself as adventurous? I don’t think I would classify myself as a naturally adventurous person but I have taken some adventures over the course of my life. As we continue on our journey of “21 Words to Totally Transform your 2021, this week’s word is ADVENTUROUS (#19). The question is; “Are you ADVENTUROUS?”

Let’s define adventurous. The dictionary defines adventurous as; to be inclined or willing to engage in adventures; enjoying adventures, full of risk, and requiring courage. So when was the last time you engaged in an adventure? As I ask this question, I am thinking about the fact that life is an adventure. Especially living life in the midst of a pandemic. However, let’s just think about the last time that we actually did something that was very exciting, unusual or something that required courage. What kind of adventure did you take? I would love to hear about it.

When I think of an adventure, I think of something that is fun and exciting. Also, something that is risky. Just a few weeks ago, my family and I took an adventurous trip in celebration of my 23rd Wedding Anniversary. While on this trip we did some adventurous things and even stayed at an adventurous resort. The picture above will always be treasured as a wonderful memory because we were adventurous together. The truth be told, I was a bit afraid and almost told my family to take the adventure without me. It was a risky and dangerous ride on an ATV (All-terrain vehicle) through the jungle. Before getting on the ride, there was a training session and many were paying for insurance. After going through the training and hearing about how dangerous it was, I had to make a decision. Do I take the 45 minute adventurous ride or not? I originally said, “You guys go ahead and I will wait until you’re done LOL! However, my family said; “no,” we are doing this together. They encouraged me and reassured me that it would be okay. So, I decided to take the ride.

Oh what a fun, bumpy and dirty ride it was. I had a ball and enjoyed every bit of the adventure. I am so glad that I said yes, this is a memory we will never forget. The ride on the ATV ended up being the highlight of our trip. Sometimes we miss out on the adventures that God wants to show us because we allow fear to rob us of the experience or we allow someone to talk us out of it. Is there anything that you are not doing because of fear or discouragement?

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

When was the last time you incorporated some adventure in your life, your marriage or your family? I hope that you have taken some time for fun and adventure this summer but if not, please don’t let 2021 end without being ADVENTUROUS!!

Until next week. . . .

Carolyn.

“Have you been blessed by God’s BEAUTY?”

Have you been able to change your scenery this summer? As I continue to provide 21 Words to Totally Transform your 2021, the 18th word is “BEAUTY.” Perhaps it was going to a park, looking at flowers, going to the beach, taking a trip or simply admiring something beautiful that only God could make. This week I want to remind you that there are blessings in admiring God’s BEAUTY.

What Do I Mean By God’s BEAUTY?

I am so glad that you asked, the dictionary defines “BEAUTY” as; “The quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else. . .” When I say God’s BEAUTY, I am specifically talking about things that remind us of who God is and that are naturally beautiful because of God. Thank you God for your beauty!

Oftentimes we take God’s beauty for granted or we don’t really appreciate it the way that we should. When was the last time you said; “Thank you Lord for your BEAUTY?” Like many things, we don’t realize the blessing of something until we go without it. A few summers ago, I traveled to Arizona. I loved seeing the beauty of the Grand Canyon (Breathtaking beauty! ) but one of the things that I didn’t see in many of the residential areas was pretty green grass and flowers. Although I saw lots of cactus plants, I missed not seeing the beauty of colorful flowers. When I came home, I had a new appreciation for the green grass and flowers.

Let’s not wait until something or someone is taken away before we realize the beauty that God has made. Take time to admire the beauty that God provides each day. Appreciate it! It’s truly a blessing to sit and watch the sun rise, or see a sun set and to watch the waves in the water or to hear its beautiful sound. I am also reminded of the beauty of a woman giving birth and the beauty of holy matrimony. I grew up hearing the popular saying, that “BEAUTY is in the eyes of the beholder.” What are you beholding? What may be beautiful to me may not be beautiful to you.

In closing, this week’s picture is a collage of different forms of God’s Beauty that I was able to capture by taking pictures on my phone. I was so blessed by seeing each one of these sights in person. God’s beauty makes me smile, its often good therapy, it refreshes and refuels me. How about you? Look for God’s BEAUTY wherever you go! Give God praise for His BEAUTY!

Psalm 27:4 David said, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple”.

Until next week . . .

Carolyn

“Loving Me for Twenty-Three”

Let’s CELEBRATE!! On August 8, 1998, my husband and I had the pleasure of entering God’s holy institution of Marriage. As I continue on my series of providing 21 words that can totally transform your 2021, the 17th word is “CELEBRATE.” When you think about it, God is so good that we can find something to celebrate everyday. This week, I want to encourage you to intentionally celebrate what God has done and is doing!!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CELEBRATE?

To CELEBRATE is to observe or commemorate an event with festivities or ceremonies. It also means to make known and to publicly make something known. It is to praise widely or to give a favorable public notice. In other words, share and tell What God has done! It’s good news!! When we celebrate, we need to give God the glory and honor because He really is the One who gets the credit for whatever we are celebrating.

First, I want to celebrate the love that God gives to us. Can’t nobody love you like Jesus!! Having a loving relationship with God is what has helped my husband and I to truly love one another. I John 4:7 says “Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” This is the key to having a loving relationship. In every relationship, there are times where you get disappointed, hurt and angry. But because of Jesus you can forgive and keep loving one another. For all of those who are Christian singles, please don’t settle for marrying someone who does not love God. Having a loving relationship with God is truly the key to having a loving marriage. Jesus teaches us how to love one another.

Second, In a world where marriages are falling apart and true love is hard to find, I am celebrating the love my husband has given me for twenty-three years (I have loved him too, it’s mutual). His love has allowed me to grow freely and he has supported me in everything that God has assigned me to do. This means so much because his love has not hindered me, it has only helped me!!! Thank you Jesus for the love that you have given me through William Tatem. It’s truly God! Ephesians 5:25 says; “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify her, and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.

Third, when the love in a marriage is good, we have a good foundation for being fruitful and multiplying. In Genesis 1:28 God blessed Adam and Eve and said, “Be fruitful and multiply.” God wants us to have fruitful activity and multiply, that means add to what’s already there or to produce more of something. I also celebrate the children that have come out of the 23 years of a loving marriage. We have been blessed to be fruitful and multiply in more ways than one. God gave us a loving marriage and has anointed us to help other couples. The more loving marriages we have, the more couples can stay together and produce loving families. God has given us His love and we must use it to impact this world. God loves us, we love each other and it brings us pleasure to share His love and His godly principles with others.

In closing, I know this is not a gospel song, but as I was writing and thinking of the love that I have received for 23 years, I kept hearing the first few words of this song ringing in my ears; “When a Man Loves A Woman” by Michael Bolton. Listen and see if you agree with these words. .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFhqiioWdwY

Until next week,

Carolyn

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