How to Draw Closer Together…When You’ve Drifted Apart {& Date-Night Giveaway}

Club31women.com_How to Draw Closer Together When You've Drifted Apart

She wasn’t sure how it even happened.

It’s not what either of them had ever intended.

There was a time when she felt close to him, but now . . . somehow . . . they seemed so far away from each other.

I suppose they could blame it on the kids. I mean, it’s a lot of time and work to raise children.

Maybe it was her health issues and all that she’d gone through as of late.

Or maybe it was his job. It seemed to take everything out of him and he was away a lot of the time.

Perhaps it was all the problems with extended family, or the ministry. So much to do and so many people to care for.

In any case, here they both were. Living in the same home. Standing in the same spot. But feeling a cavernous distance between them.

So how do you draw closer together . . . when you’ve drifted so far apart?

7 Ways to Draw Closer Together

1.  Be the one to make the first move.  Don’t wait for him to start the steps forward. Reach across the span and see if you can’t bridge the distance.

2.  Be willing to open up.  Be the one who starts the discussion – just make sure it’s encouraging, building-up talk.  This isn’t the time to address all the things wrong with him, or what you’re unhappy about. Think of at least one small thing you can be thankful for and begin there.

3.   Please don’t give up.  No matter how discouraged you are with where you’re both at. Dig in for the long haul and determine to make it work.

4.   Slowly move together. In the same way you had slowly moved away. Lasting changes are often made incrementally and gently over time.  And before you know it, you’re looking back and seeing how far you’ve both come.

5.   Reach out for help.  Friends, we were not made to walk through this life alone. Call out to a friend, or a godly, older couple at your church that you can ask for help. Get professional counseling, if it’s necessary.  A wise, outside perspective can make all the difference in many cases.

6.   Pray for your marriage.  Ask God to renew your love for each other.  Ask Him to show you any blind spots or barriers that are between you. Pray with faith and pray for change. 

7.   Remember that you love each other.  Because sometimes we lose sight of that, don’t we? We get caught up in the busyness and pressures of daily life, that we forget that we actually like each other. That we used to be crazy-in-love with on another.

And when that happens?

Sometimes the best thing you can do is to take a little time out and time away to remind each other of those things that drew you together in the first place. And don’t wait for your 25th anniversary or that dream cruise to come about!  Instead, put aside a special time so the two of you can pull away and renew your love for one another.

And with that in mind . . . . . (are you ready for this?) . . . .

We’re offering a chance to win this fabulous Stay-at-Home Date Night Giveaway!

Date Night Giveaway

Stay-At-Home Date-Night Giveaway

Are you ready for an unforgettable date night? I’ve teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers to offer you one of the best stay-at-home date nights ever!

Alison of Pint-Sized Treasures

Crystal of Crystal & Co.

MaryEllen of ImperfectHomemaker

Becky of YourModernFamily

Melissa of AVirtuousWoman

And together we’ve put this HUGE package of date-night goodies that will arrive on your doorstep just in time for Valentine’s Day!

So what’s included in this amazing date night package?

Here’s the scoop!

Love jewelry? What woman doesn’t! Enjoy this $100 gift certificate to Luxe Design. They offer a fabulous selection of personalized and sentimental jewelry. They have a number of items that would be perfect for wives who wish to wear a tangible reminder of their choice to love their husband.


What’s Valentine’s Day without chocolate? Of course, we only included the very best for our readers — Godiva Truffles!

Godiva Signature Truffles

Are you a Dayspring fan? We are offering some super-fun gifts from them to celebrate your marriage! These will add the perfect pinch of romance and sentimentality to your at-home date with these gifts below:

  • Mr and Mrs. Coupon Book
  • Mr. and Mrs. Love Note Set
  • Love Never Fails Plaque

Mr. and Mrs. Coupon Book

How about some items to help you freshen up for your date? Don’t worry, we thought about that too! The winner will enjoy the following products from a fun place to shop for moms — Zulily.

  • Liz Claiborne Spark Eau de Parfum
  • Adrienne Vittadini Bright Five-Piece Lip Gloss Set
  • City Color Cosmetics Vibrant Palette Makeup Set
  • Raspberry Foaming Milkshake Bubble Bath
    lip gloss

For some awesome, inspirational reading, we are also including hard copies of the following books (look familiar? *wink):

100 Ways to Love Your Husband

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, we thought you needed some extra sparkle!

Enjoy some extra shopping by choosing one gift from either of these stores (item will be shipped separately from the winner’s package):

Monarch Jewelry

To finish it all off, enjoy a good scrub and long soak with these natural bath products. Get ready for some pampering with this AMAZING basket of goodies from Bend Soap Company.

  • 3 Lotions
  • 3 Soaps
  • 1 Milk Bath in a bag
  • 2 Travel Size soaps
  • 2 soap dishes
  • 1 Natural Loofah Pouch
  • 1 Foot Scrub Brush
  • $25 Gift certificate

These goodies all come in a reusable stylish antique copper tin. Soaps and lotions are in the following fabulous scents: Oatmeal and Honey, Cranberry Wassail, English Garden, Lemon Verbena, Island Coconut, Sweet Orange, Almond Delight, Eucalyptus Spearmint, and High Desert Rain.

Bend Soap Company makes natural goat milk soaps and lotions on their farm in Bend, Oregon. Made with only the highest quality of ingredients, including farm fresh goat milk, coconut oil, olive oil, and palm oil. The luxurious, handmade products soothe dry skin and offer a nourishing elixir to the skin in place of the common commercial skin care products on the market.

Choose to Love Your Skin … One bar at a time with Bend Soap Company. Visit their website and order online at

Bend Soap Company Gift Basket

*Enter below for your chance to enter this HUGE Stay-at-home Date Night Package:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Giveaway is for U.S. Residents only

7 Steps To Raising Up A Courageous Young Son

7 Steps to Raising Up a Courageous Young Son

Seemed it was all settled with just one phonecall.

He called to tell us that he probably wasn’t going to make it home that summer. Instead our 20-year old son was heading to Paris and attending a language-immersion school.

Oh, okay.

He was in his second year at a college back east and there’s no denying that we’d miss him. A lot.

But if this was what he was set on doing? What he believed God would have him do?

Then our blessing went with him.

Although I couldn’t help but ask a few questions before he took off . . . .  

Do you know anyone there?


Can you speak the language?


Have you ever been there before?


(Well, at least no one could ever accuse him of being overly verbose. ;) )

“Please pray that I will be a light for Christ on a dark hill.”

That was his one request.

I didn’t know if I should say anything, but it seemed a fairly bold move to make. To venture into a part of the world that he knew nothing about.  To a place where he didn’t even know the language.

It took some courage.

And as this young man still has three younger brothers left at home, it made me wonder what kinds of things a mom can do to help raise up a brave young man.

Because this world could use a few courageous Christian men.

7 Steps Toward Raising Up a Courageous Young Son


7 Steps to Raising Up a Courageous Young Son

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. ~ Deut. 31:6

7 Steps to Raising Up A Courageous Young Son

Always consider him as a young man in the making.

Even when he is still quite small, consider your influence in forming his manhood. I had a friend who commended her 3-year-old who patiently waited while she and I finished up a conversation. She quietly affirmed him, “You’re patient and I like that in a man.”

How powerful for a little boy to hear those words from the woman in his life! She was already addressing him as a man in the making.

Teach him to reach for the heights, but have a heart for the lowly.

We want our boys to conquer mountains, to reach for the stars and so he needs to hear our enthusiastic shouts of “I know you can do it!”. Yet he also needs to listen to our quiet reminders, “Look out for her; she can’t walk like you or me.” or “He’s smaller than you. Be sure and help him out.” A good man is mindful of those who need tender care.

Don’t pick him up every time he falls. 

It’s difficult to resist our mothering impulses to rush out when our boy falters, to help him up and comfort him. But to put it bluntly, this does not make for strong men. As he grows older, the greater gift is to help him find his own strength in Christ, rather than depend on mama’s.

Stand by him until he gets back up.

Always believe that he has what it takes to recover and go at it again. Never give up on him and never give in. Stand by your little man.

Direct him toward daddy as his hero.

Mama will always have a special place in his heart, but direct his eyes toward Daddy (or another older, godly man if dad is not part of the picture). Throughout the day, I might say to one of the boys, “Now, Son, what would your dad think about that?” Or “Your dad is a good one to talk over such things.”—often even if I could answer the question myself. (An encouraging resource for single moms: Kim at NotConsumed.)

Leave no doubt you’re his biggest fan.

Boys generally try to act tough. He doesn’t always show that he’s scared or unsure on the inside. So don’t leave the slightest doubt that you are cheering wholeheartedly from the sidelines as he ventures out into this world. He needs to hear more “Go, Son, go!” than he might let on.

Pray for him every day. 

Your faithful prayers as a mother will be the best gift you could ever give your son. I pray for each son’s protection, for guidance, and for his growth in maturity and strength. Our prayers can carry our sons much farther than our arms ever could.

7 Steps to Bringing Up a Courageous Young Son

The Lord bless you, dear mom, to have both the grit and grace to raise up your son into a courageous young man!

We could certainly use a few such men in this world.

In His grace,
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Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

My Dear Daughter: A Word About Love Stories and Happy Endings

Club31Women.com_My Dear Daughter - A Word About Love Stories & Happy Endings
I feel rather blessed.

Being the mother of several lovely teenage daughters—young, bright, and beautiful.

All of them hoping to get married some day.

Or at least they think they will.

But to tell you the truth, they’ve grown a little doubtful lately.

The girls observe these marriages around them falling apart right before their eyes. They’ve seen the destruction of divorce and have stayed up late comforting dear friends whose parents are parting ways.

Or, they watch while some couples stay together, yet grow increasingly cold and distant.

Tension filling the air.

It troubles them to think of their lives ending in this unhappy way.

It messes with their minds and messes with their dreams.

They’re not little girls anymore and they understand that life is no fairytale.

But they can’t help wondering where did all the good stories go? You know, the ones with a happy ending?

Whatever happened to happily-ever-after?

And this is what I tell each precious one . . . .

My Dear Daughter - A Word About Love Stories and Happy Endings


My Dear Daughter

My dear daughter,

I believe in a good God who desires to write a beautiful story for our lives.

Rather than looking at the messed-up world around you, fix your eyes on Him who is more than able to care for you. He is the One you can trust for your hope and for your future.

. . . casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (I Pet. 5:7)

I believe in a God who’s in the business of changing people.

He can change me and He can move that man of mine. He has the power to transform our marriage into something wonderful and glorifying to Him.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor. 5:17)

I believe in a God who restores and redeems.

He can heal the broken and save the lost. I’ve seen Him turn lives around and rescue marriages from the most impossible situations.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Ps. 34:18)

I believe in a God who sees the big picture.

While we might only see the snapshot – what is happening today – He knows what our future holds.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11)

You can take your daddy and me, for example. Here we are, two imperfect people who have learned to love each other—who are still learning to love each other. Look at the good work God is doing in and through our life together.

Growing, learning, forgiving and loving some more.

This is the stuff that makes for some of the best stories.

This is a real love story.

With a very happy ending.

With love,


A Good and Powerful God

So that’s the kind of story I’m hoping for our daughters and the kind I’m hoping for you.

Not because I believe in fairytales, but because I believe in a good and powerful God.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)

Let’s call on our God – He who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think – to do His beautiful work in our lives and relationships!

In His grace,

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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

Raising Kids to Shine Bright in a Dark World {& FREE eBook}

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Please pray that I will be a bright light on a dark hill.

That’s the text that came through on my phone.

Our oldest son, now 20 years old, was in Paris studying in a French language immersion program for the summer. He proposed the idea earlier in the school year – his sophomore year at college – and decided this would the best way to complete his language credits . . . as well as get to see some more of the world.

So that’s how it came about that our son was staying in the heart of Paris for nine weeks—far away from both friends and family.

A young man alone.

Certainly not the ideal scenario for a Christian parent to consider.

His dad and I were never naive about what he might encounter there, having spent some time in Paris ourselves in earlier days. Yes, we were rather familiar with the spiritual darkness and moral depravity rampant throughout the ironically named, “City Of Light”.

And now it would seem that the streets of Paris were worse than ever. Filthy, dirty, immoral, and oppressively dark. Our son’s description of the conditions around him were even worse than we feared.

The Streets of Paris

Come Home Now

So did I have the impulse to text him back?

To text him something along the lines of, COME HOME. NOW.

Why, yes, I did.

A strong impulse to do that very thing.

I mean, what mother wouldn’t feel sick to her stomach to imagine her son facing just about every temptation the world has to offer?

Drunkenness, carousing, sexual pleasure. It was all his for the taking.

Actually, it went further than that.

The immoral life was all there just begging, urging – even pressuring – him to take it in. The young women were literally throwing themselves at him, confused and somewhat disgusted that he would refuse the easy opportunity to take them to bed. What was his problem anyway?

But that’s not the way we raised him.

We raised our son, along with his seven other siblings, in a Christian home where Christian values were taught and upheld. We looked to the Bible for our source of moral instruction and life guidance. We attended our local church gathering every Sunday, prayed and read the Bible as a family, and boldly called ourselves Believers.

So that was good . . . .

Club31Women.com_Raising Heavenly-Minded Down-to-Earth Kids

Is a Christian Upbringing Enough?

But was it really enough? Does this kind of upbringing adequately prepare our children to grow up and, say, go off to Paris for the summer?

No. It really isn’t.

A disappointing answer, but there you have it.

Both you and I know it’s not enough.

We’ve seen far too many kids leave their good, Christian homes and never look back.

Or, at least never look back at their Christian training.

And such a trend terrifies me—me and a whole lot of other Christian parents.

There is a solution, however. Have you heard of it? It’s simple, really.

Never let your kids out of the house.

Hmm . . . no, even that’s not radical enough. Never them let out of your sight. Completely protect them and make all the decisions for them. Preferably for the rest of their lives.

I can see a few of you scoffing all the way from here. Ridiculous! That’s not any kind of solution.

I see what you mean and agree with you. But whether you realize it or not, there are parents who are trying to do just this very kind of thing in a desperate attempt to keep their kids on the straight and narrow.

And I can hardly blame them.

Why risk your children falling into sin and immorality if you can help it? Why risk them rejecting their entire upbringing and walking away from Christianity?

A moral dilemma to be sure.

But if we keep our children from all temptation and keep them from going out into the world where they might fall . . . and even possibly reject their faith altogether . . .

How will they reach a lost and dying world for Christ? How will they grow strong in their own faith? And how will they marry and raise Christian families of their own?

Yes, how?

These are exactly the kind of questions my husband and I have seriously wrestled with over the years. So what goes into bringing up children who have their hearts set on heaven and their feet planted firmly on solid ground?

How do we raise heavenly-minded, down-to-earth kids?

Club31Women.com_Raising Heavenly Minded Down to Earth Kids

Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids

Raising Kids to Shine Bright in a Dark World is taken from the first chapter of the ebook, Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids by Lisa Jacobson.

Now as a thank-you gift to the wonderful subscribers to Club31Women – for all your encouragement and faithful support – I would like to offer this as a free ebook for you. Anyone who subscribes (either in the past, or going forward) will receive a copy of this new parenting book.

As always, please feel free to share this with any friends or family that you think might be blessed by the ministry here as well!

*For those of you who have already subscribed, you will find the link under the attached post: A Free eBook for Subscribers.

Happy New Year, my friends! I pray that it’s a year filled with His light shining into your heart, your home, and out into the world!

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” ~ Matthew 5:14

In His grace,

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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage  and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

A Free eBook for Subscribers: Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids

Club31Women.com_Raising Heavenly Minded Down to Earth Kids

As a thank you for subscribing to Club31Women, I’m happy to be able to offer you this FREE eBook, Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids: Bringing Up Children With Hearts Set On Heaven and Feet Planted on Solid Ground.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 – Raising Kids to Shine Bright in a Dark World

Chapter 2 – Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids

Chapter 3 – Raising Kids Who Know They Are Deeply Loved

Chapter 4 – Raising Kids Who Genuinely Love Jesus

Chapter 5 – Raising Kids Who Might Fall…But Get Back Up Again

Chapter 6 – Raising Kids Who Walk in the Power of Purity

Conclusion –  Raising Kids Who Shine Brightly For Jesus

You are welcome to download your copy of the book right here. Be sure and save it to your computer!

Click Here: Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids by Lisa Jacobson

If it doesn’t work immediately, please wait and try again in a few minutes. When too many people are simultaneously downloading, the system  will sometimes “jam”. If all else fails, you can contact me  and let me know and I’ll try to take care of it directly: Contact Me.

Please remember that this book is a gift intended for subscribers ONLY. If you, or someone you know, would rather not subscribe then the the book will also be available on Amazon for $1.99. Thank you so much for understanding.

I hope you are blessed and encouraged!

In His grace,

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The Homemaker’s Friend: My #1 Pick for a Daily Planner

Club31Women.com_My #1 Pick for a Daily Planner

You’re absolutely right, of course.

I’m “supposed” to be taking this week off. But I had so many requests along the lines of, “What did you say was your favorite planner?” Because I’d mentioned it a couple of months ago and now . . .

Well, now the New Year is here and, if you’re like me, it suddenly snuck up on you and you’re trying to get a little better organized.

So this is something of a “replay” (and you know what I’m talking about, sports-fans!), but here is the planner I’ve used for several years now—after having experimented with more than a few!

In my (humble) opinion, this is the best planner if you’re looking for something handy, well-laid-out, and user-friendly. And it’s rather purdy too. ;)

Daily Planner

My Favorite Planner

I’ve tried so many planners, it’s a little embarrassing.

I’ve used everything from a plain spiral notebook (not enough structure) to an expensive professional planner (spendy! Plus not well-suited for what I really need it for).

So when my friend Sue shared with me several years ago that she was putting together a  Daily Planner made especially for the needs of wives and mothers, I raised my hand, “Oh, pick me! Please, pick me! I’d love the chance to try out your planner.”

And it’s been my first choice ever since.

What makes this planner my favorite?

  • It’s pretty. (Don’t you think it’s nicer to have one that’s lovely?)
  • It’s the perfect size. Small enough to fit into my purse and large enough for me to actually write in (and see what I’ve written).
  • It has encouraging verse and quotes throughout.  For example, on the cover: My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. ~ Ex. 33:14 What a beautiful reminder when I pick up my planner!
  • It has year, month, and week sections.  Necessary for short-term and long-term planning.
  • It offers additional sections for tasks, projects, info, and shopping.
  • Oh, and it has easy tabs and is spiral bound – did I mention that?

The Homemaker's Friend


Weekly Layout

  • Two-page spread with entries for each day
  • Menu planning
  • To-do list

Monthly Calendar

  • Two-page month view

Year Calendars

  • 2015 and 2016 calendars with place for notations

Shopping List

  • Perforated shopping list

Task List and Project & Events Sections

  • Untitled pages for you to customize for your own duties and ideas


  • Short-term information that is relevant to 2015

Now there you have it. My favorite planner. And why.

Order NowAnd if you’re interested in trying this wonderful Daily Planner too, Sue has kindly offered to give Club31Women readers a discount (I told you she was a good friend!).

You can find out more and order your Daily Planner here at Sue’s site:

The Homemaker’s Friend


Real-Life HomemakingReady to get better organized? Me too.

And looking forward to seeing you (again) in the New Year!

In His grace,

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*A small reminder, or if you’re new here: I only recommend products that I actually use myself and genuinely love. I sometimes get a small commission for these, but this does not in any way affect your price. See my full disclosure.