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February 5, 2014

Happy …Right Here, Right Now

Guest Post by Arlene Pellicane

Arlene Pellicane
I met my husband James in graduate school and started falling for him in an unusual place.  A nursing home.  A van load of students would go once a month to the local nursing home to share music in the activity room and visit residents Yes, you might say James had me at Jell-O.  I’ve been blessed to be married to a Christian man for the last 15 years.  But of course, just because we’re both Christians, doesn’t mean we get along perfectly.  After all, we are human.  Happiness in marriage isn’t really up to your mate. 

We’ve all got to take responsibility for our own their rooms.  One day, James shared encouraging words from the Bible and his own life with the group.  While most of the residents were dozing off, I was fully awake…and falling in love! I decide each day whether I’m going to be irritable or even-keeled, smiling or sulking, hopeful or downcast.  I have found it’s not up to James, or a great job, or well behaved kids to make me happy.  Happiness is a choice I make to rejoice in the midst of whatever. On my own, this is a very tall order, but when I place my hope in God (instead of my marriage or my man), some amazing things can happen.  Joy and peace flood in, taking the place of restlessness or discontent.

31-Days-Happy-Wife-smAlthough I don’t know what it’s like to walk in a spiritually unequal marriage, I certainly know women who have, including your very own Lynn Donovan.  Lynn was kind enough to allow me to interview her for 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife.  You don’t have to spend but two seconds talking to Lynn before you sense the joy of the Lord in her life.  Here’s a little bit of advice from Lynn that I used in my book:

The longer I have walked this unequally yoked journey, the more I have watched the Word of God proved true.  In the early years, I tried to use my words.  That did not go over well.  That just created more conflict.  You know what works?  Love.  Through my transformation of just loving him, he could see I wasn’t trying to manipulate him and he could finally relax.  I didn’t feel it was my personal responsibility to save him and he felt freedom because he didn’t feel like he was a disappointment to me.  We had peace in our marriage.  The hostility went away.  And now my husband is free to discover Christ on his own.  I can’t wait to get up and see what God’s going to do today.  It’s a blast!

When you are happy, joyful, optimistic – regardless of how your husband is acting – it will have a positive effect on his life.  And on yours! If you are ever tempted to compare your marriage to someone else’s and feel sorry for yourself, remember these words from Lynn.  If she can rejoice and find peace in the here and now, you can too.  God is working in your home. 

Happiness isn’t just for the couple who prays together and goes to church together.  It’s for you too…for you to enjoy for yourself and share with your spouse.   Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife.  She and her husband James live in Southern California with their three children.  You can find out more about Arlene’s ministry at