To be Happily Daily After

So I am learning that with even just two adults in this apartment, things get messy and dirty really fast!

I can not believe the dust this place collects. We are on the 9th floor of a very busy street and I tend to keep the windows open 24/7 so it’s partly my own fault….but still!

I have to dust daily or else it honestly looks like I haven’t dusted in weeks!

I started to get a routine to help me stay on top of things! I am not crazy clean but I do not like dust. I have a feeling I would be a lot more of a “clean-freak” if we had space and storage. But storage and Japanese apartments do not tend to go together.

Here’s the things I find that save me time and help this TINY apartment stay clean.

1) After cooking, when I wipe down the counters I choose 1 row of the spice rack to wipe down also. This way I don’t have to wipe all the spices down every time but it does help the tops from getting dusty or greasy from the cooking. At least once a week all the spices and the rack are wiped clean.

2) Scrub the shower WHILE I take my shower. (I realize this works best in the stand alone shower stalls which is similar to what I have here). This is part of my relaxation therapy! I wash myself from head to toe and then I douse the shower in cream bleach. This is my favourite shower cleaner. I LOVE when things smell of bleach  (sorry to any enviro people out there.) I leave a scrub brush in the shower and just scrub it all while I pray, or sing or meditate..whatever. Then I rinse it all down and myself and I am ready to start the day. Fresh!

3) I pre-plan all my meals for the week on my day off. For me this is Monday as I work Saturdays. I look through blogs, recipe books and ideas from friends and then I put together my meal plan for the whole week. I go shopping twice a week but only from this list. Once a week would be fine back home but here a) I have a SMALL fridge and b) vegetables do not last more than a couple of days before going bad. I shop Mondays and Thursday evenings.

4) Budget. This keeps me happy, organized and feeling in power of my life. I tend to be rather frugal and cheap but I do not sacrifice as much as it may seem. Yesterday I wanted to try a new recipe that included feta cheese. The only option was  a small brick of 50g for $7. I bought it! But I do not do this every week. I tend to pic and choose my splurges and plan around them so they are used optimally and I can spread the money out across the week.

5) Low Ball. I don’t know if this is the actual term I should use here but see if you catch my drift. I put my food budget a bit lower than it likely would cost and then when I do my shopping my goal/game is always to get things cheaper than that. Of course I have more money available, no one is starving here! Sweets and I make decent money so were not sacrificing or miserable. It just makes shopping fun when I have a game or challenge. Usually I am really successful at spending less than I challenged myself even if it is just on one of the meals or by a few $ for that week. It simply makes me happy. My top budget for the 2 of us is 18$/day (500$/month) but my low ball attempt is always 14$/day ($400/month). I am not sure if this is high or normal for Canada/USA but for Japan this is pretty decent. Prices tend to be rather high, or you get a much smaller serving for the same prices so I need to buy more.

6) Do the Laundry as soon as I wake up. For me this works as I wake up usually with about 1.5 hrs before I need to leave for work. My washer takes about an hour to run through and so I still have time to hang everything out before I need to leave for work. (No dryer here, everything is and hung on the line) But having the smell of the laundry while I’m reading or making breakfast ect.. is so motivating and automatically I start the day feeling productive – which then helps me to BE productive the rest of the day. This is another reason I prefer to vacuum in the morning…I only get to do this on the mornings Sweets goes to the gym before work, but its all good!

*7) This is a special one for me. I make a point to do something loving and sacrificial for my husband at least once a day. This can be anything really. But I found that I appreciate him the most and feel the happiest about making him smile when it actually cost me something. Usually for me it is time not money. This weeks example is waking up early to make lunch for him. He has never asked me or expected this. Typically he eats cold Japanese style lunch, but  he is always very appreciative when I do this for him. It is a struggle some mornings for me to will myself out of bed that few minutes earlier to cook him a hot lunch and put it in the thermos – even just left overs need to be piping hot which takes a bit of time. It is always worth it when I see his smile! He gushes about how he is just so thankful for me and how I make his life so much better. He has told me that even when he is at work his life is improved since we married and he never imagined or expected that. This makes me the happiest!

Well, I’ll end it there today. Its been a good day!  I hope you also have/had a fabulous day where-ever you are, doing whatever you need to do!





The Power of Prayer

I love the book The Power of a Praying Wife!

I got it right before Sweets and I were married. I read it through as a whole during our engagement. At that time I started to pray through some of the areas that Stormie Omartian highlights as important areas to pray specifically for.

Now I have been married for just under 2 months and I have read this through another 3-4 times. I make an effort to pray for at least a couple of each of these areas for my husband on a regular basis.

I looked quite a bit for a blog, or commentary on this book before I bought it, just to be sure it would be useful for me and my life before spending the money. But sadly I did not find too, too much that was helpful. I am thankful that int he end  I purchased the book. I would recommend it to any women who is married, engaged or one day plan to be.

As I mentioned, I prayed through many of these areas before my wedding and it was a good habit to start. Another unexpected benefit is that it opened my eyes to areas in my husband’s life that a) I didn’t even consider he may be struggling with, b) I hadn’t  realized existed, or that I never thought would affect myself or our marriage.

Over the next few weeks and maybe months (depending on how much time i can find!) I do want to expand on these thoughts and areas to include some of the things that totally were new to me but also the changes I have seen take place in the course of just two months!

Why not try to pray in one of these areas everyday for a month. Note the changes not just in your husband but also in yourself, the way you relate to your husband and most importantly your relationship with the Lord.

1. Wife – prayer for yourself to be a Godly Wife.

2. Work – to be balanced and fulfilling.

3. Finances – not praying for more money, but using the money to Glorify God be giving, saving and wise.

4. Sexuality – sexual fulfillment and satisfaction for both partners.

5. Affection – Forming emotional bonds, and meeting needs for affection.

6. Temptations – those you may know about, suspect and ones you are not aware of.

7. Mind – clarity, unity, a sound mind at peace.

8. Fears – those you know about and those that you do not. Many men fear not being able to take care of their family, not having work, or illness that leaves them unable.

9. Purpose –  as a man, a husband, and a servant to his Creator.

10. Choices – In all areas of life, that he will be wise and led by the Lord.

11. Health –  Protection and prevention as well as healing and wholeness.

12. Protection – From immediate and possible threats, danger and accidents.

13. Trials – to keep strong and faithful through character building struggles that he may need to go through in order to be a greater husband, man or Christian.

14. Integrity – doing what is right because it is right in ALL situations, to stand against opposition and being mediocre .

15. Reputation – to not be spoiled, or tarnished by such things as gossip, jealousy, misunderstandings or mistakes.

16. Priorities – to be in the right order, balanced and that he gives strong attention to those areas that are eternally significant.

17. Relationships – with everyone around him. In and out of the house. Especially for trustworthy, Godly men friends to help him, encourage him and guide him when needed.

18. Fatherhood – that he be confident, strong and sensitive, as well as present and attentive.

19. Past – anything that might be cause of concern, habits, learned behavior and things that hold him back, bring him down and cause ill thoughts or feelings to haunt him in any way.

20. Attitude – To be Spirit filled and not fleshly, that he would be thankful and grateful and not critical or negative.

21. Marriage – Pray against divorce, adultery or distrust. This is important no matter how perfect the marriage is now. Pray for joy and peace and unity as well.

22. Emotions – namely that he will not be guided by them but by the Lord only. That he will not act on his emotions but be stable, self-controlled and able to discern.

23. Walk – That he will walk in all the ways of the BIble. That he will be guided by the Lord and directed by Him on his paths each day. To walk in righteousness and holiness ect.

24. Talk – That he may bridle his tongue, speak wisdom and truth and that he will not be foolish with the power of his words.

25. Repentance – That he would be sensitive to the Lords ways, and have an honest and humble heart to easily repent for his sins and seek the Lords strength for making him a better man.

26.  Deliverance – From anything that may have a hold on his life, thoughts, heart and behaviour. These may be known, or a hidden struggle deep within him. Only God can heal and bring wholeness.

27.  Obedience – To the Lord of course. That he would be still and know God, accept whatever works God has planned for him to walk in and that he would easily obey no matter what he feels or thinks about the situation.

28.  Self-Image – identity in Christ and viewing himself as God sees him. Poor self Images can lead to missed opportunities, fears and other hindrances to growing in the Lord and being a strong husband capable of leading  as well.

29.  Faith – To carry him through all things, to be unwavering and to be placed in the right source.

30.  Future – Vision and direction for the future as well as hope and ambition to motivate decisions. Men need goals to work towards and Gods vision for the future is a great driving force for a husband and his family.

I learned SO much from praying these little things and adding my own concerns, thoughts and personal aspects of Sweets personality to each prayer.

Prayer really can change the course and path a man is walking on. Only when God is invited into the midst can there be any hope for an alternate destination.