God Took My Favorite Lyrics as a Kid & Made Them Reality

When I was a pre-teen I was introduced to a singer/songwriter named Britt Nicole. She came to my church one weekend to sing her latest album. The only thing I knew about her was that her musician was the drummer I went to church with since I was a baby. Even though I knew basically nothing about her, what pre-teen is going to turn down a free concert? I started doing everything that most people do before going to a concert…you listen and learn all of the song that are going to be sung! I went straight to LimeWire, yes LimeWire was a free music download tool to get music, to listen to her music. Once I started listening to her work I began to fall in love with her gift of songwriting.

To this day I have still never heard an artist write songs that connect with me on such a deep level. I have been following Britt Nicole ever since that very first concert. I have pre-ordered every album she has released, and her music is my go-to when I am having a bad day. I could easily be one of her biggest fans! But what I like most about Britt Nicole is how God used one of her songs to be my anthem into adulthood before I even know what was happening.

Britt has a song called ‘Set the World on Fire’ that I would sing and cry out as a pre-teen and teenager for God to use me to make a difference for His Kingdom. I connected to the song because I wanted to see the world and make an impact that pointed people to Christ. My heart was so connected to this song that I would sing it every day, I would whisper prayers to God that asked Him to ‘use me to set the world on fire’, I would even us it to sign off in my daily journals. This was my song.

Little did I know how real this song would become in my life! No, I did not go straight to a third world country to share the message of Jesus or become a preacher. To me, it was even better. While I was praying for God to show me what my next step was after high school, He pretty much opened one door for me to go to Valdosta State University (VSU). This may sound normal to anyone transitioning from high school to college but let’s get this clear, I NEVER wanted to go to college. But here I was, God made it clear that this was my door, college at VSU was my path. When got my acceptance letter to VSU I had no idea of the school’s mascot or even the school colors.

It wasn’t until my third year in college that I noticed that me being on VSU’s campus, me doing the student leadership and involvement was exactly what I cried out for through Britt Nicole’s song. Valdosta State University’s mascot name is Blaze and he is just that, he is a flame. I had cried out so many times for God to use me to set the world on fire and here I was in this season of life at the only school in the state that had a fire flame as a mascot. God had put me in a season where I would be able to love on students and share the message of Jesus Christ through promoting school spirit, through promoting the ‘Blazer Spirit.’ God put me at VSU so that I would have the opportunity to serve at WinShape Camps and lead teams to travel to over 10 states sharing the love of God. He made every single cry out for me to ‘set the world on fire’ so real and so true.

What I have learned from this discovery is that God will bless you tenfold for what you cry out for. Write your prayers, sing your prayers, say them under your breath, cry them with your tears but let God know! He hears each one of them. God answers prayers and puts you exactly where you are supposed to be. Going to college at VSU even when I never imagined going to college set me up to learn so many amazing lessons, meet incredible people, start organization and create jobs for college students, travel the country, lead kids to Christ, and even meet the most amazing man I get to call my best friend and husband.

Let your prayers out to the Lord and one day after taking the right step at a time you will wake up and see that you are exactly where you asked to be. I am beyond thankful for the way Britt Nicole’s music has impacted my life! From jamming out to ‘Holiday’ with friends on vacation to dancing with hundreds of kids to ‘Gold’ even blasting ‘Read or Not’ to hype me up before a project or presentation to making ‘Set the World on Fire’ the song cry of my prayers for so many years. It never amazes me how God uses so many people’s talents to point others to God’s goodness. God takes the favorite things of your heart and will make them dreams come true!

Keep your head up high and your words filled with love!

Your friend, Colleen Howard

Check out the song now!

 

Patience

Recently I was working in Garden City outside right outside of Savannah, GA. As I was getting ready to head for lunch, I started asking for food recommendations. To my surprise, no one gave me a lunch recommendation, all anyone said was “any food choice I could want is just two miles down the road.” Sure, I put ‘food’ in my GPS and almost 100 food locations popped up for me to choose from that were just two minutes down the road. My game plan was simple, pick a place to eat, get food and head back to work.

Little did I know that traffic was HORRIBLE! After it took me TWO HOURS to go two miles, I decided to eat at Chick-fil-a (shocker) and get back two miles down the road. TWO HOURS! Everyone told me ‘just two miles’ not one person mentioned how bad traffic gets just two miles down the road. But after my frustration and being out of work for over an hour, I learned a good lesson.

This two-hour, two-mile commute, four total miles taught me that sometimes there are short steps to take in your next stage of life, but that step may take more time than expected. Your next step may be right in front of you. You may know exactly where you want to go and have your own time frame lined up and planned out, but that is not how life works. I am finding more and more that the next two miles in life may be a two month or even a two-year wait.

I see this so true in my life and so many of my friends’ lives. I have seen friends struggle with wanting to take a two-mile step into the direction of working full time but having to finish extra college first and that small next step take two plus years. I have heard of friends who have been married for a few years and so desperately want to buy a house and start a family but have to wait for the next step that has taken them longer than their friends. There are people who can see their next step in front of them to open their hearts and homes to fostering or adoption, but the next step is taking longer than it should.

We live in such a fast-paced world where we want the ‘to-do list’ lifestyle or the “one step at a time” to happen quickly, but God does not promise us that we will live on our own timeline. He gives us so many promises of prospering that I believe we find our biggest desire and need for God during the in-between. We find our greatest need for God while we are in the two miles of traffic that takes two hours of our life. God draws us in to remind us that we are created to be fully dependent on Him. That even though we see the next step in our life, we are not in control. That when we find that we are stuck from point A to point B that God has not forgotten us, He has not left us stuck in the same season without a purpose. He is with us every step of the way, at every traffic jam drawing us closer into His love, trust and faithfulness. You are not stuck! You are in your season for a reason.

As I was still frustrated about the two miles taking so much more time of my life than expected, I turned to the Bible and was reminded of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. Hannah so desperately wanted to have a baby. She saw her friends in the season that she also wanted to be in. She didn’t understand why she couldn’t have what she wanted but she could see it in others around her. I’m sure she questioned why it taking her so long, why was she the one feeling stuck? This is the same questions that I have asked myself and I have heard friends question from a deep part of their heart as well.

Just as Hannah had so much faith in God for His perfect timing in her life, we are called to have faith and to wait in faith. We are to build our faith to be strong and unwavering on the time it takes to get from step A to step B. Have faith that God’s presence is with us, He is not simply ignoring our prayers and heart desires. God has proven time and time again that He loves us too much to let life unfold on our timeline. Instead He answers prayers at the right time, every time.

Join me in building our faith in the wait! Worship with me as we sit through the traffic of life. Spread the joy that comes from God as we are being prepared for the next step in life. Help me in making a culture of supporting each other in our own seasons of life without adding pressure of what is next. Remind friends that God is a God of promises and answered prayers. Keep praying, keep pressing, keep trusting there is joy at the end of your traffic jam.

I Have Learned More About Sabbath From a Secular Podcast Than I Have From Church.

To be honest, I learned more about what a Sabbath looks like from an atheist on a podcast than I ever did in church. I always heard that we are to take a sabbath and how important it is but come on! What the heck does a sabbath look like? I get why it is important, but for 17 years of my life I had very little to no control of my schedule and then college is basically a few years of hard-core procrastinating balanced with getting everything done to graduating college. Then a transition into working a full-time job and very little other obligations.

Where are the concrete reasons of how to help someone experience a Sabbath? Oh, and especially as super type-A, to-do list, task-oriented human like myself.  Where is the importance of a Sabbath in the pre-marriage books that I read? Sure, biblical things were all over those books like not cheating, finances, serving togethering, picking a church together but NOTHING about the importance of taking a Sabbath.

One of the first podcasts I came across as I started discovering more than music on road trips, I came across Dax Shepherd’s “Arm Chair Expert” podcast. He had an episode with Ashton Kutscher where he talked about Kutscher’s Jewish faith. Kutscher went on to explain that no matter what is going on in his life he prioritizes time to rest each week. A few weeks later Mila Kunez (Kutscher’s wife) talked a little more in depth about their family ‘Sabbath’ practice. Even though she claims no religion, she values the importance of stopping, resting and refreshing with family. She went on to explain that one evening every week her family has nothing planned but time together. They don’t worry about anything besides enjoying being together. They share a meal and take time to reflect of the past week. Their family uses this time to apologize for anything that might have come up or gone wrong the past week. This prompts them to start a new week on a clean slate of love and gratitude. Kunez mentions that it was so important for her to not carry any negativity from past weeks into the present.

Once I heard both of their explanations of the importance of their weekly Sabbath in their families, I was so blown away at how I have gone my whole life and missed the teaching and commandment of the Sabbath. Adam and I took our first Sabbath about six months into our marriage. We had to look at our calendar and planned out a day where we would intentionally schedule nothing! It was a great day to just breathe and have no expectations. But that day came and went, and we did not make it a habit to take a Sabbath weekly.

Since that first Sabbath we have really dove deep into what a Sabbath should look like. I have learned so much good knowledge about making my Sabbath routine by listening to people like Annie F. Downs who takes a Sabbath every single Wednesday no matter what. As well as Lysa Turkerst who schedules a Sabbath on whatever day best works with her schedule. And Dr. Caroline Leaf who takes science of the brain to match what the bible says about the importance of a day of rest for our body, mind and soul. The more I research, read, learn about the importance of adding intentional rest in my life, the more I am driven to make it non-negotiable. If these super productive, important and famous people can take a day of rest why can’t I? Why is this not already the normal? Why do I feel such a need to be busy all the time? And why is this not covered in any of our pre-marriage advice?

Adam and I have started out planning a Sabbath at least once a month! To start we are not even planning a whole day to Sabbath but instead just a Friday evening. The few we have done have been planned out a month in advance but are so refreshing. We take this time to reflect on how the month is going, how we are doing individually and how we are doing as a couple. We get anything off our chest and fill the time with joy. It is important to me that we spend equal time in our sabbath apart as we do together. This gives us a chance to breathe as an independent human and to connect with God.

Our desires are to be more structured in planning our months to make sure that we get a full day of Sabbath at least once a month and then move into maybe half a day every week until we can make it a habit of a full day of rest every single week. We are still seeking advice and wisdom from people in our lives and quite frankly any resources possible to really try to understand what a true Sabbath can look like. We are tired of Sabbath seeming like such a secret and out of the normal thing to do. It is clear that our bodies and minds need deep spiritual rest and connection, but it shouldn’t feel like a burden to pause life and to recharge with a Sabbath. We don’t have it all figured out, but we do know that life is too short to not pause and rest in a Sabbath.

 

What does Sabbath look like for you?

Did you grow up learning about the importance and practicality of a Sabbath?

What is your favorite way to rest during your Sabbath?

 

Keep your head up high and your words filled with love!

Your friend Colleen Howard.

Happy Mother’s Day Letter to all Moms of Millennial Daughters!

There is a stage in life where every little girl wants to be just like her mom. Then the little girl turns into a teen and goes through a phase of hating her mom! After a few years through the teen phase comes the time when a daughter realizes how thankful she is for all the things she never knew all moms did or went through. Yet, as the stages continue, so many things are unintentionally taught and picked up to be passed on from mom to daughter. Some of these traits are extremely beneficial and some the daughters fight to not repeat as their mother did.

This Mother’s Day I asked 20 millennial females to answer two questions.

  1. ‘What is one trait you got from your mom that you are thankful for?’
  2. ‘What is one trait that you saw in your mom that you wish she didn’t unintentionally teach you?’

Some of the responses I got made me speechless. My heart broke from the one who responded that said she could not participate because of bad choices her mom was currently making. No response was exactly the same, but I was shocked by the common themes that showed up in the responses.

To all of the moms of millennial daughters, this one is for you!

Mom, thank you so much for teaching us how to be strong. ‘She taught me how to be strong and keep pushing through the bad times because there was always a greater purpose.’ Because of the strength that was passed down to so many daughters there is now a generation of independent females paving the way because of you! ‘I will forever be thankful for my Mother’s strength. While raising 3 kids on her own, she was able to wake up every day & continue to move mountains.’

Mom, you taught us to keep going no matter what. That nothing is too big to get in the way of our dreams. ‘She taught me to be a strong independent woman and to always reach for the stars no matter the obstacles.’ You created a life for us to truly live and a safe environment for us to learn and grow. ‘She allowed me to set my own expectations and goals for myself and reach them accordingly.’ There is a whole force of females in the world because they watched mom’s show us how to go with the flow of life, ‘She taught me that life will not always be easy, therefore you should prepare that. Work hard, be intentional with your time, and love hard (even if that’s not in the most sensitive or emotional way).’

Mom, you showed us how to have ‘responsibility and independence from a young age’. Not only to be responsible but to ‘stick out your commitments and stay true to your word, a simple lesson in integrity.’ Most importantly, mom, you created a generation of females that are proud to say that their mom is their best friend. ‘I am forever thankful that my mom has always been my best friend and someone I could talk to! Whether about good or bad things, I could rely in her for support, encouragement, excitement, and wisdom.’

You have taught us so many lessons but the ones that we are most thankful for are for teaching us independence with strength, being our best friend with unending support, and for given us determination to never give up. Mom, because of you loving on us, the world will be a better place! You have made us who we are, and we are forever thankful. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for showing us what it is like to be a strong independent female. Thank you for walking through hard times to teach us to never give up. Thank you for believing in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves. Thank you for building trust, never letting anything get in the way of our relationship and for being our best friends.

Mom, we are forever thankful and celebrate the habits and traits we picked up from you! There are little moments when we realize we are turning into you and it brings us so much joy. Yet, even though there are moments we embrace being like you, there are habits and traits that we watched and so desperately knew you deserve better. These habits and traits we have seen for years and know that you did your best. We understand that these traits came because you were putting yourself last to put your kids first. These are by no means complaints. These are traits that were unintentionally taught to us that we have picked up and noticed we do not want to copy.

Mom, you worked so hard! Sometimes too hard and it made us feel second best because work seemed more important. ‘My mom worked A LOT, and still does. She worked to the point where she would miss family dinners and sporting events to make sure work was happy over anything else. When I was younger, it upset me, but now that I have a job of my own, I sometimes find myself overworking myself and missing out on fun things and family times. I didn’t realize then what it was teaching me, but now I feel like it’s imbedded in me to put work a little too high on the priority list.’

Mom, there are things that didn’t matter to you but mean the world to us. ‘I wish my mom wouldn’t have always had a cleaning service come to our house each week when I was growing up. As I have gotten older, I struggle to keep up with laundry, dishes, and lack organization a lot in my life because it was always done for me.’ We understand that you did your best, but we pick up and learned so many things from you. How you treat us, and others is such a big part of our everyday lives. ‘My mom never apologized. So, I never learned how to apologize to others. It’s something I have been actively working on the last few years.’ No matter what day of the week, or what the topic we were watching and learning. ‘I wish my mom had a stronger faith and taught me and my siblings more about God.’ The way you lived was taught to us in every day we were with you.

Mom, you did so much for us that we noticed you so often forgot about you. Your mental health as a mom is what seem to have affected every millennial daughter the most. It seems to affect us the most because we love you and know you deserve the absolute best, but you give us your best over and over again before you give it to yourself. ‘I wish my mom did more for herself. I appreciate all she did for us but wish she would have taken more time to preserve herself for the sake of her spirit and us.’ It is actually really amazing to see how incredible you raised us all while never really focusing on taking care of you.  You did so much to care, love and protect us. ‘I wish my mom wouldn’t have bottled her emotions up about life happenings like death, money troubles, being human and needing a good cry. Mental health is real and emotions shouldn’t be hidden from the ones you love just to always be that “strong hold” of the family.’

Mom, you are a rock star in so many ways. Yet, you taught us that we could conquer the world yet ended the day being disappointed. ‘I wish my Mom wouldn’t let things get her down as much as they do. She always taught me how important it is to seize the day and make your own path in life and it kills me to see her waste days on the couch.’ You taught us to be ourselves and to not care what others think but didn’t always live it out. ‘I wish my mom didn’t give way to social standards. She was always worried about what others would think and it created a schism in our relationship.’ We always knew, and we still do, that you are just as much capable of anything you set your mind to just how you taught us. But it breaks our heart when you ‘…complained without making strides to address the root problem’.  

Mom, we think you are beautiful! From the inside and out we are so thankful you are who you are. We would not be the same incredible young adult changing the world without you! It breaks our hearts to hear you tell us how beautiful you think we are, but you have lost seeing your own beauty. ‘I wish my mom had more confidence in herself. From her body to her abilities, she neglected herself for us kids a long time ago and never recovered. I wish my mom knew herself better and was confident in who God made her to be.’ Mom, most of all. Every little ‘flaw’ that you pointed out about your own body, taught us that it was okay to be unhappy with our own body. ‘Due to hearing her constant body complaints growing up, it is hard to ever accept and love myself. Instead, I just see my flaws when looking in a mirror.’

Mom, you are beautiful. You are inspiring, you are encouraging, motivating, determined, strong, caring, kind, fearless, smart, amazing, and hardworking. Mom, you are our best friend! We spend the first part of our life wanting to be just like you! Now we are spending the rest of our lives trying to make you proud! We look at our lives and see how blessed we are to have a mom who put us first so much that you forgot who you are. If you take anything away from this Mother’s Day letter, please take away that we want you to take care of you! We want you to love yourself how you love us. We want you to believe and support yourself and your dream, how you constantly support us. And last, we want you to see yourself how we see you, as an incredible woman, and most importantly how God sees you.

We love you so much mom! Because you gave us the world, you deserve the world.

Happy Mothers Day, your millennial daughter.

 

Keep your head up high and your words filled with love,

Colleen Howard

(Disclaimer, these are all real quotes from millennial daughters.)

p.s. Huge thank you to each and every one who responded to help me create this post!

 

 

Girl, Buy Your Own Flowers      

One year into marriage and you would think that my husband would get the hint. I love having flowers on our dining room table so I would drop very clear hints that I wanted him to buy flowers to belong on the table. My hints were somewhere along the lines of “Can you pick something up on your way home from work to fill this vase,” “When was the last time you got me flowers,” “I wish this table had some pretty flowers” and you can imagine other hints dropped! But nothing I said worked. I never got flowers.

When I started to get frustrated with Adam when he did not pick up any of the signals, I quickly realized something. Adam does so much for me and is so sweet to me every single day of my life, even when I don’t deserve it. I realized that I was the one who like flowers on the table.  I did not like that Adam got them for the me. I would really not care who in the world gave me flowers to put on my dining room table! It was something that brought ME joy. Eating at the table with fresh cut flowers made ME happy. Seeing bright colorful flowers on the table brought a smile to MY face.

I was expecting something from Adam when it was something simply for ME. Why do we so naturally find ourselves in this rut? Why do we want something, and do everything possible to get it, except just do it for ourselves? We make excuses. We wait for someone else to do it for us. We get frustrated when other people aren’t fully focused on what we want.

This is my call to all ladies:

1. Know what you want.

2. Stop asking or waiting for other people to care about what is important to you.

3. Do everything possible to make it happen for yourself!

No matter if it is as simple as buying yourself flowers, accomplishing your small daily tasks or achieving your biggest life dreams. Girl, buy your own flowers.

 

Keep your head up high and your words filled with love,

Your keeping it real friend, Colleen Howard

Book Club

After recently leaving an event, I had a quick exchange of words with a friend who loves books. When I say she loves books, I mean she really loves books. And so do I, don’t get me wrong, but no one loves books the way that she loves books! As we were leaving, we got the idea to do a book club. But this would not be an ordinary book club because we both don’t like spending money on books and having to read so many pages by a certain date. We wanted a book club where girls can just gather and talk about the book they are currently reading and why they are reading it. Just a few short weeks after this idea was planted into our heads, we had a date on the calendar and a cute little flyer to send out to our friends.

My goal was to have about five girls gather and talk about our current books and why we are reading them. For us to have just a night to be real, meet other girls in similar stages of life, to relax and talk about books. I know I am not alone in the sense that I will be reading a really good book, but it’s not really common conversation to bring up what you are reading. It’s about movies, music, podcast, sports or politics. Come on world, let’s make reading cool again! This book club would be a night to speak to other people who care about what you are reading and to exchange in dialogue or even exchange books. So, we invited almost every female we knew between the ages of 20-30 to come experience book club.

Once the night finally arrived, I was so nervous for how it would turn out. I have never been to a book club let alone host one at my house! Seven smart, strong, and beautiful women decided to give book club a try. My dining room table was full of snacks, drinks and our hands were holding our books! We introduced ourselves and got right into telling each other about our books. This incredible group of women talked about books for about two whole hours. The best part about it was that everyone’s book was so different from type, theme, author, genre and even why we were reading it. No matter what the book was we could all relate and learn from the book and the reader explaining the story line.

It was such a good time of laughter and relaxation! The night went on as if all the ladies had known each other for years but the joy in the room was so fresh. There were so many big take-a-ways but the biggest thing that we took away was that it was okay to read at different paces, where some ladies have a goal to read three books this year and others have a goal to read 19, and we all read different genres for different reasons. At the end of the night we decided that we enjoyed it so much that it should be a reoccurring monthly event. We all agreed that the second Friday of each month could work and that we would bring a few books to possibly exchange if someone in the group wanted to read one of our books.

Maybe book club will turn into monthly book exchange? Who knows! All I know is that life is too short not to regularly gather with like-minded people. Books are too rich to leave closed and never read. People are too important to not ask them what their dreams and goals are! Living rooms were made for living, laughter and fun. I am so thankful that I stepped out on a limb and hosted a book club…and not a normal book club. It was worth it and then some!

 

If you are a female in Valdosta, GA and would like to come to book club the second Friday in May please reach out to me!

Just some books that were brought and talked about: Basilica by R.A. Scotti, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Why Her by Nicki Koziarz, Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker, White Awake by Daniel Hill, For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn, Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist, The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon, Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, all of Bob and Maria Goff’s books and others!

What are you currently reading?

 

Keep your head up high and your words filled with love,

Your friend Colleen Howard!

Let’s talk about…. CHORES

It was just a random lunch break as Adam and I sat down with a friend at Zaxby’s who is on the edge of popping the question. Our friend out of nowhere asked, “so tell me about household chores.” As a wife who says too many words per day anyway, decided to shut up and listen to how Adam answered this question. I was surprised to hear what he had to say and also honored. He answered our friend telling him that we do pretty much 50-50 of the house hold chores but I have them planned out so that it is not ever an over-bearing load of cleaning and that I tend to stay on top of it more than him. He was correct in every way!

Growing up I never really had a chore chart. I only remember my mom or dad telling me to go clean my room once in my whole life. We all helped out around the house but there was never a set schedule for what to do when or who was doing what. When I was in college, cleaning was something that really only got done when I was procrastinating for writing a paper or studying…am I right?!? But I knew enough about marriage that household chores are one of the topics that lead couples into fights.

Adam and I both appreciate a pretty clean and neat home. The first few months of marriage we both just went about our week and then we would spend one day of the weekend doing EVERYTHING in the house that needed to be done. From a MOUNTAIN of laundry, taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, buying groceries and everything else we would try to get it all done that one day. This worked for a bit but then we both started dreading this one day of the weekend because it felt like a whole day of nothing but laundry. And coming from a girl who enjoys doing laundry…saving two peoples weeks’ worth of laundry to do on one day is NOT FUN for anyone.

Once I hit my peak annoyance of wasting away a full day of the weekend, I knew something needed to change. Luckily, I follow a few wise working women on the internet that had little tips and tricks to help me re-think how chores can be effortless and smooth! Once I perfected my own system of what works for me and Adam, we have stuck to it and are never turning back!

Below is the schedule of what day we do what chore.

Monday– One load of laundry

Tuesday– Side gig

Wednesday– Load of laundry and wash towels

Thursday– Plan out meals for next week

Friday– Wash bed sheets

Saturday– Plan next week

Sunday– Wash dog and vacuum

With the very few house chores that we have to do (we are enjoying the small list until kids come) breaking them up to do one a day makes the load so do-able. I found that washing clothes every 2-3 days gives us a few medium size loads that don’t take long to fold and put away instead of doing seven days’ worth of laundry plus bed sheets and towels on one day. This is also helpful for Adam because he has three pairs of work scrubs that he likes to wear so this rotation lets him pretty much always has clean scrubs. Since we cook a good bit at home, dishes are pretty much done every night. We take turns if someone is folding and putting away the clothes then the other person is doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. Our robot vacuum cleaner runs about three times a week whenever we feel like it is needed. And about once a month we will need to get out the old fashion broom and give the corners of the house a good clean.

Now, one year into marriage and about six months into this system, we have it pretty down pack and almost muscle memory. It is such a simple break down that we don’t question if it is worth skipping a load of laundry or not because we know if we do the laundry will get quickly backed up and overwhelming. This system came up after hearing Emily Ley suggest writing every household chore on a sticky note and dividing them up between spouses. We aren’t at the point where we want one person to be solely responsible for a specific chore but could break it down day by day.

There is nothing better than the weekend coming around and only having a few simple chores that need to be done before Monday rolls around! This is the system that works best for us in this season of our life. I’m sure once we are both deep in our careers and once we become parents our chore schedule will look extremely different, but for right now we appreciate the teamwork and simplicity that this system brings. It has protected our marriage from miserable weekends of cleaning and arguments about who does what and when.

We are very aware that living with someone is not always easy. And on top of that, we all grew up with different cleaning habits and house roles of who does what in the marriage. The sooner that household chores are talked about and expectations are set for who does what the better off all couples will be! Keeping a house clean should never be grounds for arguing, life is too short. It is so worth taking the time to sit down and look at your weekly responsibilities and make a plan that best fits your schedule.

Keep your head up high and your words filled with love!

Your friend, Colleen Howard.