Becoming One: A 30-Day Devotional for Wives {Guest Post}

New Devotional for Wives by Madison Weaver


What to Do When You Struggle With Communication in Marriage


When my husband and I first started dating, our communication skills were terrible! We didn’t know how to effectively express our feelings, so arguments ensued almost daily. We handled our problems by lashing out in anger or either bottling them all up until one of us exploded. There was rarely ever any calm discussions or respectfully stating our issues. We were clueless when it came to this communication thing! We eventually grew out of this stage and after a long learning process, we started communicating in a healthy way. Even so, it was a rough time!


I know we aren’t the only couple who has struggled with this. Many marriages fail because of incorrect methods of communication or the lack thereof. I believe that a lot of it has to do with the fact that many people aren’t taught how to effectively communicate with others in the first place!


If you and your spouse are having problems when it comes to communication, I might have some tips to help you out!


Make Time for Communication


This is the hard part! Actually sitting down and taking time out of your day to talk with your spouse is the first step to better communication. Life gets crazy with work, kids, and extracurricular activities and sometimes it is easy to put communicating with your spouse on the back burner. Be sure to quit that habit today! I believe that is one of the biggest contributors to communication issues in marriage.


If you are having trouble finding time to do this, talk when you are laying in bed at night, get up earlier in the mornings, or send the kids to Grandma’s for a bit. Marriage, along with proper communication, requires work. If you want to communicate with your spouse better, you have to make time for it!


New Devotional for Wives by Madison Weaver


Discuss Expectations or Problems you May be Having


Take this time to dig deep and truly express yourself to your spouse. Respectfully and lovingly explain how you feel and what you want your spouse to do. Make this a time of no yelling, no judging, and neither of you can get up and walk away. Seek to understand each other’s viewpoints. Listen to each other intently. Aim to listen more than you speak, and truly seek full reconciliation with your spouse.


I know this is easier said than done! Trust me, I’ve been there! If you really want to have better communication though, you have to work through these tough discussions and problems. Marriage is all about working together and coming to a middle ground. Use this time to come to an agreement that you both will be happy with.


Make a Plan


Don’t let this be just a one-time thing! Make a plan to do this regularly. Have weekly meetings together and discuss what your plans are for the next week and/or talk about the struggles you’ve had in the past week. Even if you have no problems or struggles to discuss, still do it! Talk about your goals, dreams, and how God is working in your life. Pray together. Ask God to strengthen your marriage! I can guarantee you won’t regret this time together.


Are you and your husband struggling to effectively communicate? If so, what are your struggles? Are you willing to put in the time it takes to become better at it? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!


If you want to invest in your marriage and learning how to truly become one with your husband, I have the perfect resource for you! I just released my new e-book “Becoming One: A 30-Day Devotional for Wives”! It is designed to help wives grow closer to their husbands while also growing closer to God. To learn more about it and purchase, go to From This Day Forward Blog


Madison is a follower of Jesus, wife to Steven, and mommy to her fur baby Bentley. She strives to encourage and equip wives to grow closer to God and their husbands on a daily basis. She loves to spend time in the Word of God, go on dates with her husband, whip up treats in the kitchen and travel the world when she can. In all that she does, she strives to please God most of all.

A Great Bible Based Historical Fiction Novel {Review}

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver}

I really enjoyed reading Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer from Peggy Consolver – Author . I love historical fiction and haven’t found much historical fiction based on Bible times – ESPECIALLY Old Testament times. This book is written from the perspective of the Gibeonites during the Israelite conquest of the Promised Land. The Gibeonites were the one group who survived that conquest by tricking the Israelites into making a treaty with them.

The book starts off just a little bit slow (which actually works well in the overall reading) and you will probably want to read the character list before beginning (I didn’t and it took me a couple of chapters to figure out what was going on – purely my fault for not reading the list first). Once the story picks up and you know who everyone is and what their role is you won’t be able to put it down!

Old Testament historical fiction addressing family dynamics, sibling relationships, survival, history, geography and culture.

Even though I knew what happened to the Gibeonites based on the account in the Bible, this book kept me on the edge of my seat to the very end. The author skillfully weaves in backstories (fiction of course) for all of the characters and an intricate web of relationships. In her story, the Gibeonites come to faith in God, something I don’t think we know from scripture but is nice to think may have happened.

The author draws from her knowledge of scripture gained by reading through the Bible in chronological order many times. I am currently on my 3rd chronological read through of the Bible and was reading through Joshua and the conquest of the promised land at the same time as reading this book. This made both more interesting and added a wonderful dimension to the book. I highly recommend consulting scripture while reading this so you can imagine the scene as it happened and add in the fictional story while you are reading. It will also help you keep straight the fact and fiction.

Old Testament historical fiction addressing family dynamics, sibling relationships, survival, history, geography and culture.

My 11-year-old daughter tried to read this book as well but it was slightly above her reading level. She had a really hard time following along in the first few chapters and didn’t stick with it. I think the book is ideally suited for teens and adults. The main character is a child/teen himself so it is certainly relatable to that age but is deep and interesting enough for adults of any age. There are a lot of details and characters, which I LOVED, but I think that is what made it a little difficult for my daughter to follow.

There is a companion study guide available for purchase on the author’s website that you can use to dig deeper into the history behind the story. A free sample of the study guide is available there as well to help you decide if you want it. Also on the author’s website, you will find additional information about the time and the area including links to research, videos, and maps. Make sure you check out those additional resources to get the most out of your reading.

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer Peggy Consolver

I highly recommend this book to any teen or adult who enjoys historical fiction or fiction stories based on the Bible.

If you have read or are planning to read Shepherd, Potter, Spy — and the Star Namer let me know in the comments!


Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

A Double Book Review – Author Jennie Goutet

Read to the end for special sale information!


Review of Jennie Goutet's novel The Viscount of Maisons-Laffitte and memoir Stars Upside Down


Stars Upside Down

a memoir of travel, grief, and an incandescent God

Review of Jennie Goutet's novel The Viscount of Maisons-Laffitte and memoir Stars Upside Down

What it’s about:

At seventeen, Jennie Goutet has a dream that she will one day marry a French man and sets off to Avignon in search of him. Though her dream eludes her, she lives boldly—teaching in Asia, studying in Paris, working and traveling for an advertising firm in New York.

When God calls her, she answers reluctantly, and must first come to grips with depression, crippling loss, and addiction before being restored. Providence takes her by the hand as she marries her French husband, works with him in a humanitarian effort in East Africa, before settling down in France and building a family.

Told with honesty and strength, Stars Upside Down is a brave, heart-stopping story of love, grief, faith, depression, sunshine piercing the gray clouds—and hope that stays in your heart long after it’s finished.

What I thought:

Jennie shares her story very openly and honestly, including some very personal details. Her story involves struggles that many people face and you are likely going to relate to at least some of them. It takes us through her searching for herself and finding her faith, overcoming her demons (and addictions), and facing loss and grief and upheaval in various ways. Through it all she demonstrates how God was present in her life and how she found hope and healing. It is a lovely story written in a friendly way that makes it a pleasant read. If you want to feel like you aren’t alone in your struggles or if you need help seeing God and finding hope in hard times this is a great book to read.


The Viscount of Maisons-Laffitte


Review of Jennie Goutet's novel The Viscount of Maisons-Laffitte and memoir Stars Upside Down

What it’s about:

Single moms are not supposed to fall for rich French aristocrats!

There’s just no way he will ever choose her.

Is there such a thing as Prince Charming? Chastity didn’t take a teaching job in France to find hers, but a woman can dream, n’est-ce pas? If the father of one of her students–the Viscount Charles Jean Anne Monorie de Brase–is the best local example of princes, Charming or Otherwise, Chastity is ready to put aside any thought of falling in love again.

She’s had enough of his arrogance and would prefer him to keep his distance, yet it seems there is no avoiding each other. With the ongoing pressure of a repentant ex-boyfriend, a nefarious drug dealer, and an art heist that spans the decades, Chastity and the viscount are thrown together by circumstances she would soon rather forget.

As the intimacy between Charles and Chastity deepens, they must decide if their love is enough to bridge the gap between their disparate worlds, and if happily ever after can exist outside of fairy tales.

What I thought:

I read this book shortly after it was released. It is a sweet, beautiful story! It is also completely clean so you don’t have to worry about stumbling across a scene with more detail than you need. It is engaging and keeps you turning the pages. If you need a few hours to relax and escape into another world this would be an excellent choice.


Review of Jennie Goutet's novel The Viscount of Maisons-Laffitte and memoir Stars Upside Down

RIGHT NOW both of Jennie’s e-books are on sale on Amazon for 99 cents (sale available in the US, UK, and Canada). The sale is good through Sunday February 19th so hurry and get a copy of both today!


You can also follow Jennie on her social media platforms to read more of her writing learn about upcoming book releases:

Twitter  – Facebook – Instagram – Pinterest – Blog –  Author site


I received a free copy of Stars Upside Down in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine alone.

The Polygamist’s Daughter Review

I am adding a new feature to my blog with “self-care” or “mom time” ideas. These will include crafts, hobbies, and leisurely reading suggestions for taking a little time for yourself here and there! Here is my first post in this category.

The Polygamist’s Daughter Book Review

This is an inspiring story about an amazing woman with an unspeakably painful past who escaped her father’s polygamous cult, overcame her circumstances, and created a better life for herself. She now shares her experience and the hope she found that got her through.

I “met” Anna through a very close friend of mine who also happens to be a close friend of Anna’s. She added me to the review group that Anna runs about a year ago, but The Polygamist’s Daughter ended up being the first book I got to review due to her taking a break from running reviews while finishing up her own book. I almost missed my chance to review this book because the sign up came out in the middle of my move but I was lucky enough to make the second round of advance readers!!

I received this book days after having a baby and it was a couple of days before I was able to start reading. Once I did I couldn’t put it down. Even my husband commented on how quickly I read it. Even with all the tasks of caring for a newborn, I got through it in just two or three days.

my review of The Polygamist's Daughter book

Anna shares heart-wrenching memories from her childhood. She and her siblings and other family experienced things that nobody should have to go through. It is mind boggling how adults can accept such a life but there is a vast amount of mental abuse and manipulation involved in cults like the one from which Anna escaped. The writing itself is engaging and the story flows seamlessly, making it hard to put the book down even though the story itself is so sad and painful.

It is not an “easy read” so don’t misunderstand me. The content is hard to digest and can be triggering for many who have experienced trauma in their own past. Be prepared to work through your own issues while reading this book.

One thing that struck me is how much grace flows through Anna’s writing. Even when discussing people who treated her horribly or situations that no child should ever have to experience I felt hope, love, and grace shining through the words. I could feel her love and care for her family members and her desire to see them also escape the mental and physical bonds that held them.

Anna blesses us all by combining her gift of writing with her past experiences and sharing the hope that can be found even in dark circumstances.

my review of The Polygamist's Daughter book

The Polygamist’s Daughter will be released March 21 but you can go ahead and pre-order a copy from Amazon to get it as soon as it is released. It is currently on sale for over $5 off the cover price, nobody knows when the sale will end so order today!

If you pre-order Anna’s book you are also invited to join her Facebook pre-order book club where the author herself will offer Q&As, prizes, live videos and more. (See the group description for instructions to join.)

I received an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, all thoughts and opinions are mine alone.

If you plan to read The Polygamist’s Daughter and/or join the Facebook book club let me know in the comments!