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Giving and Receiving Hospitality

Hospitality at Home

Hospitality is an opportunity to help people feel welcome in your home. It spreads happiness when you smile, offer refreshments, and help people feel comfortable. Have you had anyone over recently? There is an effect on you as well. I notice my husband and I feel uplifted as we prepare our home to be clean […]

Giving Birth to Stepchildren


I feel like I have just given birth. Being a stepmother is like being in labor over time, and in my case, I’ve inherited my stepchildren already fully grown. But, they are still maturing and finding their paths in life. Over the last weeks, I’ve poured a tremendous amount of time and energy into helping […]

Growing from the Relentless Challenges of Life

Couple at Beach - David Niblack - edited for blog

It’s relentless. For the last few months, I’ve been traveling and responding to the needs of critically ill relatives. When I’ve been home, the piles of needs insisting on being met grow like a well-fertilized garden. Each day has calls and emails with more problems to solve. This week a family member was tricked with […]

Pace Your Relationship

Character Quality Skit 1

When I travel, I occasionally pick up a light-reading romance novel that I can leave behind in airplanes or hotels. After reading one, I notice I am feeling resistant to the popular notion of “instant relationships”. It is the norm in these books for the couple to be physically intimate after barely being introduced and […]

Navigating Big Money Decisions

Mountain Climber - IMG_9502 David Niblack-edited

Money is often a challenge for couples to talk about. Every aspect of money decisions has links to emotions and personal history. It is easy for fear, envy, anger, and more to be triggered. This first year of marriage has had many financial complexities as Phil and I have integrated our lives together. Here are some […]

Getting to Know Your Spouse

West Point Parade Ground

It’s easy to think you know your spouse well. However, there are always deeper opportunities. It’s also easy to get busy and lose track of important details. Over the summer I was sorting through some of my husband Phil’s boxes long stored in the garage. Included were many items from his college years at West […]

10 Tips for Family Unity

Free Daddy and His Little Shadow Girls at The Skate Park Creative Commons

Think of constructing a building and compare it to your family. Your unified marriage is the foundation for strong and happy family unity. The mortar of love holding the bricks of each of you as individuals together with one another is also a vital component. The pace and content of your lives may often seem […]

8 Tips for Unifying Your Family

Unified Ducks at Chester Frost Park

Every family has a different culture and ways of staying connected and unifying your family will be unique. My husband and I don’t have children at home, so our mornings generally begin quietly with each other. We usually pray and eat together and ensure we know how to support each other for the day. We […]

Helping and Not Helping Elders

ElderlyCoupleIMG_6271 - David Niblackedited

It’s fairly common for married couples to juggle the demands of work, home/marriage, and community service as well as trying to meet the needs of senior parents. My husband and I are in our late 50’s with three parents still living, and so it is an art knowing when helping and not helping elders is wise. […]

Getting Along with Your In-Laws

Pelicans in Flight

Family unity is vitally important for fellowship, stability, and maintaining a happy marriage. I encourage couples to practice the character qualities of respect and flexibility in building relationships with their potential or actual in-laws. If you fight about or criticize one another’s family, it will cause stress within your relationship or marriage. Before and after […]

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