How to Rekindle Your Love for Your Spouse | alyssajhoward.com

How to Rekindle Your Love for Your Spouse

Let’s face it. Deep down you love your spouse. Even on their worst days, you care about them deeply. But if we’re being totally honest with ourselves… romance has a way of… coming and going. While we would do nearly anything for our significant others, sometimes we lose the “loving feeling” so to speak. So what do we do when the feelings aren’t there? When marriage feels more like work than romance? How do you rekindle your love? Continue Reading

How to Stand in Faith for Your Children | alyssajhoward.com

How to Stand in Faith for Your Children

The moment my little girls were born, I was overwhelmed. I never knew it was possible to feel so many different emotions all at once. But I found myself mesmerized by their innocence and purity. Sure, they cried a lot, but they were so incredibly… perfect and untainted. I wanted to protect them at all costs, but I didn’t know where to start. Our culture is far from perfect. My children are growing up in a world with reasons to fear at every corner and sin so readily available. I knew I needed to learn how to stand in faith for my girls. Continue Reading

4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Church

We all have different methods of finding a local church to attend. Some of us go where we have the most friends. Others pick churches for their amazing worship team or inspiring sermons. Some of us like a more traditional feel, while others prefer a more contemporary vibe. Truth be told, many of us will attend several different churches throughout our lifetime. Our personal preferences change, we move to new cities, we get married, etc. We all have our reasons for attending a new church. So is there a “right” way to go about choosing a church to attend? Continue Reading

3 Ways to Renew Your Mind and Better Your Marriage

Marriages are never easy. As compatible as you think you are with someone, at some point you will disagree. It’s at this point that most of us seek out a way to better our marriage. We try to fight less, have “date” nights, read marriage books, and look for advice from those who have been married longer than us. But when push comes to shove, many issues within our marriage could be solved if we would simply choose to renew our thinking. Continue Reading

3 Ways to Recover from a Parenting Failure

It happened one sunny day not too long ago. I lost it. And by “it,” I mean that I lost my temper. And when I say “one sunny day,” I mean today. (How’s that for transparency!) I have two little girls, and I love them more than anything. Seriously… they mean the world to me and I would do anything for them. But unfortunately, these tiny humans know how to push my buttons. They know how to get under my skin at the worst possible moments. It’s normal to have a parenting failure from time to time. We would all be lying to say it never happens to us. So how do we recover from the wreckage?  Continue Reading

3 Ways to Protect Your Heart from Offense | alyssajhoward.com

3 Ways to Protect Your Heart from Offense

In our politically correct culture, offense is the name of the game. We get offended over every little thing. And I mean every. little. thing. But should offense be a part of the Christian life? The truth is that the Bible calls us to forgive the way Jesus forgave us. That means always and for everything. So if we’re being honest with ourselves, being offended is the exact opposite of that command. Continue Reading

When Your Children Want Nothing to Do with God | alyssajhoward.com

When Your Children Want Nothing to Do with God

We all want what’s best for our children. I’ve only been a mother a short time, but I’ve learned more about what it means to be a parent in these six short years than any parenting book could have ever taught me. And I am FAR from being an expert! But there is one thing I do know for certain. I love my children. And as a child of God, I know that the only way to raise my children to be all that God intended them to be is to raise them in a way that leads them to the love of Christ. It would break my heart to see them in a place where they wanted nothing to do with God; but unfortunately, I know of far too many mothers (and fathers) who have had to watch their children grow far from Him. Continue Reading

Why It's Important for Your Children to Witness Your Marriage | alyssajhoward.com

Why It’s Important for Your Children to Witness Your Marriage

And they lived happily ever after… From an early age, these are often the words our children first learn about marriage. After all, nearly every princess fairy tale ends in a wedding gown. Most don’t dive into the inner workings of a marriage. We never see Cinderella and Prince Charming in the middle of a heated argument. We only see the dress, the fairy tale, and the happy ending. This is why it is so important for your children to witness your marriage… They need to see what happily ever after actually looks like in the real world. Continue Reading

How to Teach Your Child about Heaven

My family recently experienced the death of a loved one. As I told my young daughters, I was met with a billion and one questions. What does it mean to die? Where do we go? What is heaven like? I truly believe it is important to teach your child about heaven. For Christians, heaven isn’t a far away place in the distant future. It is our home. In fact, the Bible tells us to make it our focus. Continue Reading

How to Be Intimate with God: Relationships Are a Two-Way Street | alyssajhoward.com

How to Be Intimate with God: Relationships Are a Two-Way Street

The entire purpose of Christianity is for God to be intimate with His creation. I know that may seem like a bold claim, but it’s true. In the Garden of Eden, God walked with Adam and Eve. They had a relationship unlike any other. They were intimate with God. But when sin entered the world, all that changed. Ever since that infamous day in the Garden, God has been at work making all things new. He’s restoring what once was… all so that He could walk with us once again. Continue Reading

When Your Spouse Doesn't Have Time for You | alyssajhoward.com

When Your Spouse Doesn’t Have Time for You

Marriage can be one of the most rewarding relationships in our lives, but it can also be one of the most difficult. When you’re young and in love, you think to yourself, “This is it. I can’t imagine anything better. I couldn’t be happier!” But as the years pass, you begin to realize that there’s a reason most fairy tales end with the wedding… (and they lived happily ever after right?) After the wedding, life goes back to normal. Careers, children, and everyday chores can get the best of us if we let them. And when there’s not enough time in the day to finish your mile long to-do list, it’s easy for your marriage to take a back seat. Continue Reading

It’s Okay to Grieve: A Biblical Look at Losing a Loved One | alyssajhoward.com

It’s Okay to Grieve: A Biblical Look at Losing a Loved One

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at a concert with friends when I received the call that my grandpa had died. It wasn’t a total surprise. My parents were actually there visiting him in the hospital because we knew his time was short. But none of that mattered. It was still just as hard. It was difficult finding out in front of my friends. I didn’t feel like I could grieve his loss. It wasn’t until later that I was able to let my guard down and cry. Continue Reading

What to Do When Your Child Struggles with Nightmares | alyssajhoward.com

What to Do When Your Child Struggles with Nightmares

A few weeks ago, it happened. My daughter had her first real nightmare. It actually caught me off guard. Up until this point, neither of my daughters have suffered from nightmares. Interestingly enough, she didn’t wake up with it; rather, she told me about it the next day. I won’t go into specifics over the details, but it was very vivid. And as her mom, I felt deeply sad for her. I honestly didn’t know what to do for her… so I prayed. Continue Reading

Born of the Spirit: What It Means to Be Adopted by God | alyssajhoward.com

Born of the Spirit: What It Means to Be Adopted by God

Adoption is a beautiful thing. As a parent, you are able to experience the joy of bringing a new family member home for the first time. As a child, you are adopted into a forever family. No longer on your own, you have a family you can rely on who loves you. Some children come from difficult circumstances; and for these kids in particular, adoption means new life. It’s a chance to start fresh and never again face abuse or neglect. Continue Reading

When You Don't Have a Church Home | alyssajhoward.com

When You Don’t Have a Church Home {Why Bother With Church}

I grew up in the church, and I never once questioned the benefits of attending. In my mind, it was simply something Christians were supposed to do. We worship together, give offerings, hear a sermon, and recharge for the week ahead. I always loved church. Perhaps it was my time spent on the worship team or the fact that I’ve always loved to study and learn. Regardless, I looked forward to Sunday mornings.

 

About four years ago, my husband experienced a major disappointment at our church home. He was a major part of the worship team, words were said, feelings were hurt, and it felt as if things were crumbling beneath us. The church itself crumbled as well. Nearly every person we knew left to attend elsewhere. It was a mess.

Deeply wounded, my husband asked if we could take a break. He was extremely burned out and wondered if and how he would ever feel “at home” again in a church. Continue Reading