It's Been 17 Years and It Wasn't Always Easy


It’s been 17 years of marriage and everything has been perfect! Well, not so much. Yes……really. Have you every heard someone say how their marriage is ALWAYS perfect? Uhhh, excuse me? But, has your marriage NEVER had a bad day? Kind of hard to believe, huh?

Well, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we’ve been married 17 years and it has NOT been easy. We could literally start anywhere and end everywhere. It’s been a full roller coaster of emotions, maturity, personal development, spirituality and more.

Think of taking two solid blocks and trying to merge them together into a single block. Yep, that’s marriage. Two selfish single hard heads taking on the challenge of becoming one heart. It is THE ultimate challenge.

Challenge? Yes, challenge. Those roller coaster of uneasiness, imperfections, and bad days (and the list goes on) are all in that challenge. But, the thing we love about challenges are the opportunities it gives to work hard at something that can be WON.



Well, one thing that we’ve realized is one of the hardest struggles in marriage is personal development. Self. Think about this…..How can you fully learn about and love someone when you don’t know yourself? How can you successfully grow with someone when you refuse to change something about yourself? How will you ever understand someone when you choose to hear over wanting to listen to them?


Through our marriage we had to learn how to tear down the wall of self….ishness. We had to grow personally with an intent to grow together. We had to change the way “I” thought it should be and think about how it could be if “WE” did it together. We had to take a few steps back when we were offended and not be so quick to speak. But, instead think about what was said before we answer. We had to put ourselves in the shoes of the other so we can walk in how they were feeling and how they were understanding. We had to learn to speak with respect in our voice, even when were upset. We had to learn to see the beauty in each other even while going through the most unfortunate situations.

All of this challenged our personal development and maturity. It took years to tear down these walls and replace them with new ones. We learned somewhere between year 1 and year 17, we had to change some things about ourselves in order for our marriage to be what we always dreamed of it to be. We couldn’t be stubborn anymore.

Going through a hard time? Thinking of separation or divorce? Yeah, we did too. Really, I think it crosses many minds at one time or another. But, we believe that its in those moments where you find the deepest meaning of what your marriage is and how much you really do love each other. Not give into it. It’s also your most important time of change.

Yes, its been 17 years and it wasn’t easy. But, we chose to change some things about our selves to meet the needs of our marriage and give our marriage a chance. We CHOSE to do that. And, that is one reason why we are married 17 years strong today.

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Lane 14th Anniversary-Final Gallery-0005

Mark and Laquilla Lane

Husband and Wife for Life Founders


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The Summer is here and nothing is more important than spending this time with family and the ones you love. My husband and I believe that traveling and vacationing is a beautiful part of life. We always want to share that with our children. And, what’s more exciting than a family vacation together? So, when we have saved enough in our budget to plan a get-a-way, we always find the place with the sandiest beach and the biggest waves.


The three things that I absolutely love about the beach are the reclining beach chairs under the shady palm trees, the crystal blue pools that are conveniently located beach side (perfect for the kids), and the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore (perfect for me). So, our choice this year is Hemingway Beach, in the beautiful Juan Dolios, Dominican Republic. 

IMG_9853                                                        The beautiful view from our Room……A-MA-ZING

Planning is key when taking the family to the beach. Especially abroad. You want to be able to enjoy every bit of what the experience offers. This is most important for me because of the consistent dry eyes I suffer from. Yuck! This beach comes with so many colorful trees, plants and unexpected nature, so I have to pack Rohto Dry-Aid to be sure my eyes can feel comfortable and I can see clearly.

fullsizeoutput_e42                                          Important must haves for dry-eye sufferers www.rhotoeyedrops.com

My dry eyes always keep me from enjoying daily activities, affects my appearance, and impacts me while homeschooling my children, working on my laptop, and more. And, at the beach its the same. With the issue of dry eye on the rise, Rohto, the #1 Global Eye Care brand developed a non-blurry tear repair formula clinically shown to provide longer lasting relief that provides superior comfort and soothes my eyes for up to 12 hours. #WINNING! Rohto Dry-Aid has truly given me the comfort and clarity I need to enjoy my family AND the love for everything Hemingway Beach has to give me.


I LOVE our family vacations! Our trip to Juan Dolios has been one of the best vacations I have experienced and we are already pre-planning our next one. I’m so glad dry eyes won’t ever keep me from doing what I LOVE! Where are you going this summer?

fullsizeoutput_e49                                                                                        My family

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Laquilla Lane

Husband and Wife for Life, Founder


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Rohto. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Direct Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Stress-Free Family Weekends

Weekends are fun and relaxing at our house. Between waking up late, the sounds of our children playing through the house, the smell of our favorite meals and gathering around the TV to find the perfect movie for everyone to watch, we find a way to make everyone minute last.

Our mornings always start with loading the washing machine with laundry, then we make the kids their traditional “pannie cakes”. (In other words….pancakes. lol) I always successfully sneak away to wash my hair and blow dry it while i’m watching my favorite channel on TV. Then, it’s the kids turn. Next, I start making lunch and dinner…..this is the kids favorite time of the day. But really what makes our weekends that much more relaxing is knowing that our electricity is FREE.


Our son loves watching the clothes “Go Round”.


Lunch and dinner made easy.


Washing and drying our hair can take up to three hours.


Mommy’s  favorite channel.

With Direct Energy’s FREE Power Weekends we can go through our weekend not worrying about the cost of everything we use. From Friday at 6pm through Sunday 11:59pm we are not charged for the electricity we use (which makes this the plan with the most free weekend hours in Texas*!) Ahhhhhhhhhhh…….perfect. The washing machine, the dryer, the stove, my hair dryer and the TV are all covered under this plan and makes our weekends stress-FREE. This is POWERful for our family and its saves us money every month. There’s really nothing better we can ask for.

Next weekend when you have an opportunity to relax with your family, do it…….and save money too!  You are blessed with life everyday, so make sure you take advantage of every moment.

Find out more here:



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Direct Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.

View More: http://zestzealphoto.pass.us/laneanniversary
Mark and Laquilla Lane
Husband and Wife for Life Founders


*Most free hours weekend electricity claim as of June 19, 2017 when compared to other retail electric providers offers listed on the powertochoose.org website. Subject to change.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Direct Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.

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4 Ways to Help your Spouse Choose a Different Career Path



After 10 years of retail work, my husband made a huge decision. He was tired and unfulfilled with his job and nervous to make a change. We had a daughter and pregnant with our second baby girl. We were behind on our bills and he was fed up with it. Fed up with the early mornings and the long hours. Fed up with having to choose between our daughters dance recital and overtime. Fed up with working tirelessly throughout the day and still wondering when he will be able to fill our gas tanks. At this time in his life, he made a difficult choice to find a new career. It was the one of the biggest decisions he wanted to make…….but he needed me to help him do it.

Here are 4 ways to help your spouse make one of the biggest changes in their life….a career move.


  • Highlight their strengths, minimize their weaknesses. Making a career change is a tough decision, especially in the midst of a financial disaster. Even in the best financial states spouses struggle to find the right career move to make. Help your spouse by highlighting what they do best. Let them see the great you see in them. In result, this will give them a tremendous boost of confidence in what the right path will be.




  • Be observant and recognize their talents and passion. Pay attention to what makes your spouse smile, motivated or even passionately cry. Compliment them when you see them doing their talents and tell them when you notice passion in their eyes. Take the initiative to research jobs around what you see they LOVE to do.


  • Encourage continuing education. Talk with your spouse about taking classes to earn their certificate, degree or licensing to help their career move. Online programs at Ashworth College make it very easy for them to earn their degree at home while in transition to their new job. They have programs such as Management, Healthcare and Early Childhood Education that are designed to fit into the lives of their students. They create an incredible balance between work, family, education, and most of all your marriage. It’s Perfect! People who take the time to get a degree receive not only more credibility in their field but they have a higher likelihood of landing a new job at a higher salary.  Learn more about Ashworth College here.


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  • Be supportive, Be their biggest cheerleader. Celebrate your spouses’ decision to change their life and the life of your family! It is a step of confidence and faith to make a decision that could ultimately change their life and the people in their life. No one can determine the outcome of what tomorrow will bring, but facing the challenge of life’s situations and deciding to stand up to them, is worth a standing ovation. Cheer your spouse on and give them the greatest gifts they could possibly receive during this time….your love and approval.


Life choices can be hard, especially when you have a family involved. Parenting, financial, personal and work decisions are important for the longevity of your marriage and family, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Making big changes take teamwork. Help each other and make this transition an easy and smooth one. After it’s done, make it work and continue to help each other succeed.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ashworth College . The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ashworth College . The opinions and text are all mine.

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Laquilla Lane

Husband and Wife for Life, Founder

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Direct Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.

As a homeschooling family of five, our days are filled with homework, lessons, cooking, playing, dancing, and multiple naps. Our daily routine is full of activities that we can easily do during the daytime. We purposely utilize the beautiful solar power of the sun by positioning ourselves just right in the house.  We open as many curtains possible to fill our home with natural light. BUT, as much as we work to save energy, there are some things that require electricity.


From our oldest daughter finishing the last bit of her schoolwork, her little sister needing a night light to scare off the monster in her closet, or to us wanting to see our baby boy at night when he cries. These moments seem so simple to fulfill for our family……just with a flip of a switch. But, to another family, these moments create a difficult task.

1/4 of all people live without electricity… approximately 1.6 billion people. And,unfortunately, having access to electricity is so easily taken for granted.


Developing communities all around the world use kerosene for light, which is very dangerous and toxic. In some communities, they simply have no light to run businesses, keep health clinics open, or be comfortable at home with their families. Just think…..this could be your small business, your spouse needing an emergency operation at night or you having to search through a dark room for your child in distress.

POWER is very important to EVERYONE around the world. And, that’s where Luci light come in!

Direct Energy recently partnered with MPOWERD to bring their solar Luci light to families in need. For everyone who participates in Direct Energy’s Give Brighter 12 plan; a competitively priced 12-month-fixed-rate electricity plans, MPOWERD will send one Luci light to a developing part of the world, and one to your home. WINNING!


Our Luci Light was very easy to power in the sun and it lasts up to 12 hours during the evening. Its our perfect night light for little girls monster in the closet, seeing our baby boys beautiful brown eyes when he wakes during the night and its so soft and lightweight for our children to carry around.


Please #GiveBrighter by signing up for Direct Energy. You will be extremely happy you did.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Direct Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.


5 Important Marriage

Goals for a Better 2017


woman reading

          It’s almost March……already? The year is quickly moving by and it’s time to take a look at how well we are doing with our 2017 goals. With the huge responsibilities of family and career, we understand how easy it can be to fall back into the current routine of daily duties and less into planning new projects and ventures. So, if you’re starting over or continuing your goals, here are 5 simple and helpful goals that will set your family up for a very successful 2017.

  1. Create a Financial Plan – A lot of couples know how it feels to be in a financial disaster, or live pay check to pay check. But, this is not the life that is designed for you. God has a bigger life of prosperity for you and its right at your finger tips. Research money savings ideas and create a healthy budget. Start a savings account, give to your local church and discuss ways on how to make extra money. Every little step will create an impact on your marriage, but you have to start now. Read “The Big Financial Trap that is Destroying Marriages” as a tool to start your greater financial future.
  2. Set a Date Night Schedule – Life can get so routine and busy that sometimes you can forget the the importance of spending one on one time together. Date Nights have proven to be a one of the most important times in a marriage. Spending time together gives you an opportunity to re-focus yourself on each other, strengthen your connection and find out fresh new things about each other. Once a week or once a month, make laughing and cuddling the priority of your date. And because dates don’t need to cost a ton of money, here are “25 Budget-Friendly Date Night Ideas” to help you get going.marriage-money
  3. Support Each Others Ideas – Does your spouse always come to you with the next “BIG IDEA”? I know, I know, it can get a little frustrating. But, what if one of those ideas is the idea that helps your family move out of your apartment and into the house you’ve always dreamed about? Or, start a college fund for your children? Key thing when listening to new ideas from your spouse is to not decide that it is a “Bad” idea so quickly. Take into consideration that your spouse has thought about and invested time into thinking of a new venture that they believe will help the family.  Ask questions, look interested and try to understand all the details. Be willing to research further with them and even test the idea with them to see if it is a healthy choice for the family.
  4. Encourage Continuing Education – With technology being at the peak of the century, continuing education can be easy. Encourage your spouse to continue learning by earning their certificates, degrees and licensing in their area of specialty. This will not only help their career, but expand the wealth of your family as well. Research online programs you can study from home like at Ashworth College. Their online learning programs such as Nursing are designed to fit into the lives of their students, which means you can progress at your own pace and find the balance between work, family, education and most importantly……your marriage. They are accredited and extremely affordable, and are five times less than other institutions. That’s a WIN for your new financial plan. SCORE! Learn more about Ashworth College.Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 8.20.52 PM
  5. Planned Communication – Everyday you should be making an effort to talk each other about important areas in your marriage. Even if it is as little as 10 minutes. We never imagined the financial crisis we went through 12 years into our marriage. It cost us some of our most precious things, health issues and numerous sleepless nights. This simple advice would have saved us a lot money…….and tears. Keeping a consistent flow of communication will help you stay in control of things that can easily spiral out of control. Both spouses should keep a small pocket sized note pad to document things you talk about and the new ideas that you have for the future.

These tips will give your marriage and family an edge (and SUCCESS!) into the next stage of your life together. Be proactive in setting times to start these adventures and PRAY together every night that God will help you both be consistent and strengthen the connection between each other.

Check out Ashworth College for more about their college programs and flexible study schedules.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ashworth College . The opinions and text are all mine.

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Mark and Laquilla Lane

Husband and Wife for Life, Founders

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ashworth College . The opinions and text are all mine.

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The Best of Me


It’s Valentines season!!  For my family, this is a time of hand-made cards and an overload of mini reese’s butter cups! But as I started thinking about what I can give the loves in my life, I feel that the Holy Spirit reinforced the thought of giving them the best wife and mommy ever…in addition to the chocolate of course!My question to Him was, “how do I do that?” A simple, yet profound response brought me to tears. He said “Believe what I’ve said about you.  Believe that I love you and that I will take care of you.” The truth of my life isthat I’ve lived as a people-pleaser for most of it. Even though God has begun an incredible work in me through revelation of His love for me, I’ve idolized the acceptance of my parents, siblings, friends and my spouse.

An inward battle rages on as I question myself as a good wife.  I struggle at times with the idea that I can be enough to raise these beautiful and innocent children that God has blessed us with.  So in the light of the beautiful answer God gave me, I propose a challenge: In this season of love and gift giving, let us embrace God’s love for us.  FULLY!

Let’s drop all the weight of others’ expectations, the hurt of past failures that scream how unworthy we are and the let’s be done with the definitions of ourselves that are outside of what God says. Let’s make Valentine’s Day cards for ourselves and our loved ones from the Lord that say “you are fearfully and wonderfully made” and “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” God has shown me in different ways and through different people that we love others the way we believe we are loved. We do not have it in ourselves to love perfectly, but through Him, we can know that there are no exceptions to His love for us and love others in the same way.

When we can accept God’s love fully, then we can love others fully.   Can you imagine? Loving without offense, bitterness, or fear of being hurt?  God loves us, taking all that we are (and are not) into consideration. He never draws back or turns His heart away. Seriously, I want to love this way. The longing of my heart is to give love like this. Imagine the security, confidence and freedom we can have in our relationships, both with our spouses and others when are completed in God’s love and never looking for anything else to complete us. So my prayer for a while has been for God to perfect His love in me.

For this Valentine’s Day, I am giving my husband the freedom to be himself; all of himself, without paying a price for the parts I don’t agree with.  I am giving my children the acceptance they need to be exactly who they are without my imposed ideas because this is the way the Father loves me. Unapologetically.This Valentine’s Day, I am giving God a valentine.  I am giving God my trust.  Trust that His Word is true. Trust that He made me exactly the way He wants me to be.What are you going to give your Kings for this day of love?  Whatever you give, give in love and truth.


Dominique Nealond

Dominique Nealond
Lover of 2 Kings, Founder
Website: loverof2kings.com 
Facebook: Lover of Two Kings
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His Greatness

Dominique Nealond

    Have you ever wondered what it is like to have the ultimate power of influence? You know the kind of influence that changes the atmosphere when a person walks in the room or that draws the very best out of people with a simple glance?  I have often thought of how it would feel to impact drastic change in hearts and outcomes of people’s lives. Then the Holy Spirit showed me that I absolutely possess this atmosphere altering dominance…and so do you! It just so happens it is with the most important person in your life; YOUR SPOUSE!

So, what do we do with it? It is for so much more than getting our husbands to wash the dishes or paint the room that has needed a touch-up for two years or unclog the sink.  Its application can help him to become everything that God created him to be.

It seems that now in our culture, there is a fight against the idea that a woman was made for a man. We strive to prove our independence in many facets of life and women are (rightfully) fighting for the many of the same benefits (equal pay, opportunities, etc.) as men. I believe that God created us equal–no doubt. But in order to embrace the fullness of my femininity, I have to accept the power of my influence and the importance of being a supportive wife. There are several ways to reinforce the greatness in your husband, a few things that work great for me are praying, remembering to be his friend, and then being my best.  

When we pray, we let God know not only that we care about our spouses, but that we trust His plan for them.  The best way to pray is “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” God has countless thoughts towards us and our loved ones.Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 7.39.13 PM So I like to pray that God would put us in position to make all of his thoughts towards us come to pass.

Also, when we pray, we can unload some of the stress that comes with being a great and supportive wife.  Prayer allows us to draw close to God and get filled and refilled on what we need to be what our families need.  Plus if there is an offense towards my hubby, I can talk to God about it and find out if I am in the wrong (which I am, more than I care to admit). It’s much better than arguing with him about it.

After prayer, a top priority in our home is friendship.  We laugh together, pray together, eat together, and sleep together.  It is the basis of our relationship, so when we need to attack a situation together, the foundation is already there. I do things with him that I never had interest in prior to meeting him. Like shooting our guns or watching a basketball game (without complaining).

Continuing to build our friendship also helps so that when I have constructive criticism, he knows I’m coming from a place of love and not judgment. Friendship with our spouses breaks down the barriers of obligation and we do the things that are needed out of delight and love for each other.  It causes a light atmosphere in our home that allows him to open up to me and share his hopes, dreams, and fears.  Then, I know what to take to God in prayer and what to get an action plan about.

Lastly, (through God) I am my best. That means, I spend quality time with the Lord to get what I need for myself. When I am the best me, our brains can fire together and we can make really good things happen. Whether it is coming up with a plan for a business venture or a simple tag team effort to feed and bathe Carver.  

Sug can then see the strengths that I bring to the table and allow me to play the role that will bring the best out of him and the challenges we encounter.  Through the basis of prayer and our friendship, he respects the qualities that God put in me to help him and doesn’t feel like I am nagging.  This gives me the best opportunity to help him and please God.

We know God is pleased when we are supportive in our marriages through a simple scripture that most (church) women have read many times:

Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders  Proverbs 31:23 NLT

Most of the scriptures in Proverbs 31 detail the actions of this noble woman and how she carries herself.  But the exception is verse 23. The key is though her husband holds the position; the honor is ascribed to her.  That’s right ladies…she gets the credit for his accomplishments!  Not that I am after credit, but it is great to be recognized every now and then for your efforts.

So not to say that your entire life is revolved around your husband’s hopes and dreams; but, it is to say that in accomplishing all that God has for you to do, helping hubby be successful in Christ is a major part of that. It is rewarding in our relationships with Christ and our hubbies.

So now that you know about that awesomeness inside you to influence, what do you plan to do with it?


Dominique Nealond

Dominique Nealond
Lover of 2 Kings, Founder
Website: loverof2kings.com 
Facebook: Lover of Two Kings



Heart Rings


1. Each spouse grab a piece of paper. Starting tonight, write down one thing that you are thankful for about your spouse.

2. Do this every night until Thanksgiving Day.

3. Be thoughtful with what you write, BUT don’t cheat! You can not write down anything twice.

4. On Thanksgiving Day, roll up your paper and wrap it in a ribbon, flower, or something else meaningful. Then, take 10min out of your day, sit with each other and exchange or read to each other.

5. Enjoy and be present in this moment with each other. Remember that this day is not all about food and being with family, but about being grateful for the things that are easily overlooked or taken for granted.


Read some of our testimonies from the 2014 Thanksgiving Challenge!

“My husband and I exchanged ours this morning before the kids got up. It was so heartwarming and emotional. It feels so good to know that he really does notice and appreciates things I do for him.”    Michelle H.

“We exchanged our “Thanksgiving Challenge” this morning and it was fantastic to know what we don’t say to each other everyday. I love this woman.”  Matthew H.

“It was the best when I saw my husband and how he couldn’t go on reading it without holding back a tear. I loved his reaction. Thanks for the idea.”  Marisa G.

“We exchanged our list this morning and we had a few of the same things. We are so thankful for each other.”   Samantha D.

“My husband and I shared ours via email since he is deployed…I have been smiling all day!! God sure did bless me with a great man.”   Jazzy L.

“I did this for my husband and gave it to him yesterday morning before our day got crazy. He had a big smile while he read the list.”  Stephanie G.

Leave your testimonies below from your Thanksgiving Challenge!

Also, don’t forget to read the 5 Ways to Re-Build Broken Trust!


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Mark and Laquilla Lane

Husband and Wife for Life Founders


5 Ways to Re-Build Broken Trust

Heart Rings       Trust, love, respect, communication and God are five important parts to your marriage that help build the foundation of a successful union. As we looked back on our years of marriage, we experienced that if both spouses have a sincere relationship with God……trust, love, respect and communication will ALL fall into place. For that is what God gives to us for trusting, believing and living for Him. 

But, when one of these vital parts are compromised, the marriage can become weak and begin to shake. Knowing how to re-build trust, re-love, re-gain respect, re-evaluate and change our communication, and know how to pray are the keys to lead us to the success that we all hope for in our relationship. We are going to tell you how to achieve all of these. In this article we are going to show you ways on how to re-build the trust in your marriage. Whatever your situation is, take one or all of these ways and apply them to your relationship. Share your results in the comment section below.

       1.Take responsibility for your mistake. Don’t shift the blame. Shifting the blame discredits your truth and creates a bigger barrier of mistrust.

       2. Give your spouse an opportunity to change. As long as they are changing, credit their progress and never bring up their mistake out of spite.

       3. Even if it may hurt, be completely honest with your spouse about the mistake. Answer all the what’s, when’s, where’s and how’s sincerely and truthfully. This is how the healing starts.

       4. Prove your words, with your actions. Your words are only as good as the actions you put behind it.

       5. Forgive. The true process of trusting again begins when forgiveness has taken place.


Our next article, 10 Ways to Successfully Communicate with Your Spouse, will show you easy ways to help encourage positive communication with your spouse so you can enjoy your conversations together.


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Mark and Laquilla Lane

Husband and Wife for Life, Founders