Following God with Courage

"This is my command--be strong and courageous! Do not be

afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." -- Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Love, Be Encouraged by the Plan... NOT Overwhelmed

Here is a link to my Proverbs 31 Woman's Monday Checklist blog. I had a hard time deciding where to put this information. Since it is a list, I put it on the checklist blog, but it is also a step in a direction that I hope will bless and encourage my husband and improve our relationship. Right now, Holidays, special occasions, and any other times we want to have guests over are stressful. We have to scrounge to get the living area presentable. And, we do that often enough that we never really get to the "back rooms" of the house.

So... here's to My Lord Jesus. May this new habit - 14 minutes a night (7 organizing & 7 cleaning) glorify you in the peace it brings to our home.

And, here's to my husband. May this new habit bring peace to our home.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Change the Climate of Your Marriage

Here is an article I read that I want to remember for a long time:

Change the Climate of Your Marriage
Whitney Hopler Contributing Writer

Just as every place has a climate, so does every marriage. The climate of your marriage relationship can be a stormy one that's filled with conflict, a chilly one that lacks intimacy, or a sunny one that brings warm joy into your life. If you don't like the weather outside, there isn't anything you can do to change it. But you can change the climate of your marriage to make it what you'd like it to be.

Here's how you can change the climate of your marriage:

Focus on communication. The single greatest factor that influences what your marriage conflict is like is how you communicate with your spouse. More than what you say and do, it's how you say and do it that affects your relationship with each other the most. Your communication climate can change throughout different seasons of how you communicate, depending on the value and satisfaction you and your spouse feel as you interact with each other. So to improve your marriage climate,
it's important to improve the way you and your spouse communicate.

Seek your spouse's perspective on the various situations you encounter and the different issues that you discuss. Even if you don't condone or agree with your spouse's perspective, get to know it and try to understand it. Give your spouse your undivided attention when he or she is sharing thoughts and feelings with you. Ask questions to clarify and learn more. Ask God to remind you regularly of ways that your spouse reflects His image.

Build trust between each other. Do all you can to live with integrity so your spouse can trust you. Tell the whole truth in all situations and follow through on
your promises. If trust has been broken between the two of you, realize that the process of re-building will be slow and gradual, but make the effort one step at a time.

Adjust your expectations. Talk openly with your spouse about what you each expect your marriage to be like, and why. Define what counts as expressions of love, respect, spirituality, romance, responsibility, and other issues that matter in your marriage, learning what's most important to each of you. Use the knowledge you've
gained to adjust your expectations of each other.

Strengthen your commitment. Ask God to help you and your spouse remain
committed to your marriage and continue to mutually invest in it. If either you or your spouse harbors any nagging doubts that your marriage will survive, those doubts will negatively affect your marriage climate. But the security of knowing that you both are truly committed to each other will improve your marriage climate. Remember key moments of your shared history together, and put energy into your present relationship to make new memories together.

Resist cultural temptations that can harm your marriage. Rather than rushing around in a constant state of hurry, trying to accomplish multiple tasks at once, slow down to give your spouse your full attention when you're interacting. Instead of adopting a consumerist attitude that breeds dissatisfaction, ask God to help you become content with your lifestyle, and remember that your spouse is more important than material things or status. Reject an overly romantic view of love and
marriage and realize that only God is capable of loving you perfectly, so don't put too much pressure on your spouse and accept his or her imperfections. In the face of a culture where divorce is commonplace, renew your resolve and efforts to making your marriage last.

Talk supportively. Ask God to help you speak positive words that convey support to your spouse and avoid speaking negative words that discourage your spouse. Keep in mind that God gives you grace every day, and let your gratitude for that gift motivate you to give your spouse grace in the conversations you share.

Take a climate reading before discussing a key issue. Don't just jump into serious discussions about key issues. Instead, make sure that your current marriage climate can support the stress of difficult conversations before starting them. When the climate is right, your discussions will have a better chance of being productive than if you and your spouse talked at the wrong time. If you need to improve your
marriage climate, call a marital truce, temporarily avoiding controversial issues and overlooking each other's offensive actions so you can strengthen your relationship.

Deal with conflict wisely. Recognize that conflict is a normal part of every marriage, and that your marriage climate can improve as you and your spouse deal with conflict and invite God to strengthen you both in the process. Pray against evil spiritual forces that cause tension in your relationship. Seek to understand how both you and your spouse feel about each conflict you engage in, listen well, speak the truth in love, and seek solutions that will benefit both of you rather than just one of you.

Forgive each other. Let your gratitude for how much God has forgiven you motivate you to obey His command to forgive your spouse when he or she hurts
or offends you. Rely on God's help to get you through the forgiveness process. If abuse is involved, be willing to forgive, but also get out of unhealthy situations so you're not subjected to any more abuse. Trust God to help you overcome any obstacle you might encounter, because of His great power and love for you.

Keep strengthening your communication climate with God. Remember that you must be in a close, loving relationship with God to be able to truly love your spouse well. Stay close to God through regular prayer and other spiritual disciplines so you can enjoy a great climate in your relationship with Him that will impact your
marriage climate too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

101 Things I Love About my Husband 2010

101. He's a bedrock and values our relationship above all except God.
100. He helps me when I am sick.
99. He put up Christmas lights Thanksgiving night... even though he doesn't like to start celebrating Christmas so early.
98. He made a Christmas music play list just for me in my car.
97. He gets the book drop in for me on cold mornings.
96. He likes SciFi.
95. He tries to keep filth out of his mind by avoiding watching it or reading it.
94. He wears dress clothes just for me.
93. He wears dress socks just for me.
92. He shares his warmth on cold days.
91. He takes me to Christmas concerts.
90. He goes to the Y with me... even though he doesn't really enjoy it.
89. He swims with me.
88. He shares his gloves when my hands are really cold and my gloves just aren't working.
87. He works on his time management issues just for me. They don't bother him.
86. He makes plans... just for me.
85. He helps me set boundaries against outside forces that threaten to crush me.
84. He builds things for me.
83. He works on organizing our house.
82. He likes my piano playing.
81. He likes my coloring.
80. He is impressed with the birthday present I gave him.
79. He does my laundry.
78. He does the dishes.
77. He does the floors.
76. He cleans my bathroom.
75. He cleans his bathroom.
74. He prefers my cooking to others.
73. He packs my lunch.
72. He packs me lemons so my water tastes better.
71. He makes me rest.
70. He turns on the Christmas lights for me.
69. He loves my cinnamon rolls.
68. He is tall.
67. He gives teddy bear hugs.
66. He talks about his work with me.
65. He endures my talking about my work... sometimes.
64. He walks the dog for me.
63. He watches chick flicks with me... sometimes.
62. He loves my family.
61. He misses my nieces.
60. He leads our family in Advent readings.
59. He opens doors for me.
58. He fixes the drinks at dinner.
57. He makes tea.
56. He helps me grocery shop.
55. He helps me shop for clothes.
54. He wears and likes the clothes I bought him.
53. He is great to talk to.
52. He thinks I'm beautiful.
51. He eats new and strange vegetables with me.
50. He is starting to like many vegetables.
49. He tries new food with me.
48. He lets me try new recipes.
47. He encourages me to try new recipes.
46. He has a giving spirit.
45. He helps with the Christmas shopping.
44. He takes pride in taking out the trash.
43. He takes pride in doing the dishes.
42. He takes pride in helping me.
41. He is affectionate.
40. He values honesty.
39. He values honest communication.
38. He is appreciates when I sacrifice so he can spend time with friends.
37. He appreciates my help with formalities.
36. He makes me coffee.
35. He supports me trying to be healthy.
34. He helps me try to prevent my headaches.
33. He enjoys sacrificing to help his mom.
32. He is still tender towards his mom.
31. He is protective of his sisters.
30. He protects our family unit.
29. He is helping to balance our time between the two sides of our family.
28. He cares how I feel.
27. He loves the LORD.
26. He is willing to sacrifice and take a stand for what is right before the LORD.
25. He hopes for the best.
24. He doesn't let me lose hope.
23. His beliefs are not easily swayed.
22. He loves Jesus.
21. He doesn't let horror into our house.
20. He prays for me to have good dreams.
19. He prays for me to have hope.
18. He turns off bad movies.
17. He goes out of his way to find good Christian music.
16. He enjoys texting me.
15. He texts me "100" times a day... maybe not always that many times, but he talks to me all day... everyday.
14. He is working on scheduling... for me.
13. He is a reader.
12. He reads to me.
11. He wants me to have fun.
10. He likes to hold my hand.
9. He likes to have me on his arm.
8. He thinks going to church is important.
7. He thinks having a calm Sunday morning is important to worship.
6. He is against going to church as a thing we "have to do".
5. He thinks we should go because we want to worship God, and we should be in the right state of mind when we get there.
4. He gets out of bed early so that I can have my time with God.
3. He encourages me.
2. He seeks God.
1. He loves me.

Being Thankful: "Where's Johnny's cap?"

I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. —Psalm

A story is told about a family that went on a picnic by a lake. At one point, their 5-year-old son waded into the lake, stepped into deep water, and sank out of sight. None of the adults in the family knew how to swim, so they ran up and down the shore in panic while the child bobbed up and down and screamed for help. Just then, a man happened by who sized up the situation, leaped into the lake, and rescued the boy. He climbed out on the bank with the child, who was frightened but unharmed, only to hear the mother ask with irritation, “Where’s Johnny’s cap?”

So often we focus on small disappointments that cause us to grumble and complain rather than focusing on the wonderful things God has brought into our lives, not the least of which is His everlasting love and eternal salvation. When we complain about the small dissatisfactions of life, we’re asking, in effect, “Where’s Johnny’s cap?”

Paul wrote, “In everything give thanks” (1 Thess. 5:18). We may not be thankful for everything that comes our way, but we can give thanks in everything. It may be difficult to be grateful when we lose our job or our health fails, but we can be thankful for the good that God has brought to us in this life and grateful for the life to come. —David Roper

As endless as God’s blessings are, So should my praises be for all His daily goodnesses that flow unceasingly! —Adams

Instead of being preoccupied with our problems, let’s praise the Lord for His blessings.

So often we focus on small disappointments in our mates. It causes us to grumble and complain rather than focusing on the wonderful person and helpmate has brought into our lives. When we complain about the small dissatisfactions of their behavior, we are in a sense asking, “Where’s Johnny’s cap?” I am guilty of this. But, I don't want to be. Lord Jesus, please help me to properly appreciate all that you have given me... and that includes all the parts and aspects of my wonderful husband... My Love. -- Amen.

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Daily Diligence

READ: 2 Timothy 2:3-16

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. —2 Timothy 2:15

Internationally acclaimed violinist Midori believes that focused, diligent practice is the key to performance. While playing a rigorous schedule of 90 concerts a year, she still practices an average of 5 or 6 hours a day. Jane Ammeson, in NWA WorldTraveler magazine, quoted Midori as saying: “I have to practice for my job and I practice every day. . . . It’s not really the hours, but the quality of the work that needs to be done. I see with students, that they play and they call it practice, but they are not listening and not watching. If you have your textbook open, it doesn’t mean that you are studying.”

That same principle applies to our walk of faith. Paul wrote to Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Diligence implies constant, earnest effort, and is the opposite of a careless, inattentive approach. It embraces every aspect of our relationship with God.

Just as a musician strives for excellence, we should want to serve God with confidence, seek His approval, and skillfully share His Word with others.

Am I diligently studying, praying, and listening to the Lord today? —David McCasland

When we live with expectancy,
Awaiting Christ’s return,
Our diligent obedience
Becomes our main concern. —Sper

God speaks to those who take time to listen, and He listens to those who take time to pray.

Oh, that I would give my life with Christ and my marriage to My Love the diligence talked about here. Father, forgive me for the times I have failed, and give me the strength to carry on with diligence. Help me to rely on you and trust you. Help my unbelief. Help me respect, need and fulfill my husband. Help me to be truly thankful for him, for all he does, and for his heart for you.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Decleration of Dependence

Devotional today:
Adults celebrate when children learn to do something on
their own: get dressed, brush their teeth, tie shoelaces, ride a bike, walk to

As adults, we like to pay our own way, live in our own
houses, make our own decisions, rely on no outside help. Faced with an
unexpected challenge, we seek out “self-help” books. All the while we are
systematically sealing off the heart attitude most desirable to God and most
descriptive of our true state in the universe. It’s what Jesus told His
disciples: “Without Me you can do nothing” (

The truth is that we live in a web of dependence, at
the center of which is God, in whom all things hold together. Norwegian
theologian Ole Hallesby settled on the single word helplessness as the best
summary of the heart attitude that God accepts as prayer. He said, “Only he who
is helpless can truly pray.”

Most parents feel a pang when the child outgrows
dependence, even while knowing the growth to be healthy and normal. With God,
the rules change. We never outgrow dependence, and to the extent we think we do,
we delude ourselves. Prayer is our declaration of dependence upon the

Give Him each perplexing problem,All your needs to Him
make known;Bring to Him your daily burdens—Never carry them alone!

Pray as if your life depended upon it. It

As I read this, I thought of how my dear husband, My Love, desires me to depend on him. It is SO HARD for me. I really have a very strong independent streak. I have long believed that marriage is a gift from God to teach us more about Himself and relationship with Him. Now I see more clearly from experience how it works. My Love gives God's words to me physical form and structure. Just as he desires me to need him and trust him and rely on him... My LORD Jesus does even more.

Thank you LORD Jesus for this message. I choose to be dependent on you. Thank you for a husband who loves you. Thank you for using his heart of service and giving to teach me how to depend on you. --Amen.

Until next time...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Husband Encouragement for Week of October 4

Husband Encouragement
- Make a concentrated effort to say thank you for all of his efforts to help me.
- Recognize his intentions no matter what the outcome.
- Make him cookies.
- Savor hugs.
- Let him know that his following God and being in tune to Him is all I want.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Husband Encouragement for Week of September 6

  • Notice all the stuff he does around the house and thank him.
  • Believe in him.
  • Submit... choose to not always have to have my way... let him be the leader of our home.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Husband Encouragement for Week of August 23

  • Pray for him... out loud & in front of him.
  • Give him lots of hugs.
  • Flirt.
  • Believe in him, & show it in the way I talk to him about his job search.
  • Share the verse of the week with him. Then share how it encourages me about our situation.
  • Thank him often for all the stuff he does around the house & for me

Monday, August 9, 2010

Goals to make me a better wife:

  • Faith. Oh LORD, help my unbelief. I need you so desperately right now!
  • Trust. Trust God with my current situation. Turn my husband, his job situation, and our finances over to God. Don't worry. Be happy in the LORD... and not just when I am having a quiet time. Practice those principles all day. Trust. Really trust God with my future... and My Love's... each time that nagging fear starts to try to ease into my brain - deny it. Counter it with a way God has provided for me in the past and scripture. Here's a couple to chew over:

Luke 12:6-7 (New Living Translation)

What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins?Yet God does
not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all
numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole
flock of sparrows."

Philippians 4:4-9 (New Living Translation)

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see
that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming
soon.Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God
what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience
God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard
your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.And now, dear brothers and
sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable,
and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are
excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned
and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the
God of peace will be with you."

Husband Encouragement for week of August 9:

  • Thank him for doing the dishes.
  • Thank him for doing a great job with the laundry, and help him fold it all and put it away.
  • Help him write cover letters for his job search.
  • Help him dress for interviews.
  • Let him know all the ways I need him.
  • Speak to him with balance. Be honest about my fears for our finances while he is without work, but balance it with speech of faith.
  • Do not lie to him. Acknowledge that I know he is not perfect and has faults, but emphasize that I love him anyway. Then emphasize the things he is good at, and help him to see how to turn his weaknesses into strength.
  • Thank God for him in front of him.
  • Pray for him out loud!
  • Hug him often.
  • Watch my tong. Temper my frustrations. Don't bottle them up, but don't take them out on him!
  • Get over my needs and fulfill him. Especially now. He needs to be respected by me, needed by me, and fulfilled by me. I can do it with God's help. I know the job God gave me, and I know I can do it as I trust Him.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Husband Encouragement for Week of August 2

  • Give lots of hugs
  • Pray for him out loud... with him.... let him hear me praying for him.
  • Tell him all the things he does well.
  • Laugh with him.
  • Let him lead.
  • Seek his advice more.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Husband Encouragement for week of July 21

  • Make sure he is fulfilled.
  • Need him. Don't be so independent. He needs that.
  • Pray for him... his walk with the LORD, his ability to love me the way I need, his leadership of our family, his ability to communicate effectively at work, his friendships...
  • Support his decisions. Let him lead... even when the direction he takes is contrary to the way my family always did things. Cleave to him, & seek for God to lead him.
  • Trust him to God, and make sure God & he are my head or covering. Seek God for the feelings to follow this decision and for it to come more easily and naturally for me.
  • Send him love texts.
  • Affirm him with my words... become fluent in the words of affirmation love language.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Husband Encouragement for Week of July 12

  • Make sure he is fulfilled.
  • Need him. Don't be so independent. He needs that.
  • Pray for him... his walk with the LORD, his ability to love me the way I need, his leadership of our family, his ability to communicate effectively at work, his friendships...
  • Support his decisions. Let him lead... even when the direction he takes is contrary to the way my family always did things. Cleave to him, & seek for God to lead him.
  • Trust him to God, and make sure God & he are my head or covering. Seek God for the feelings to follow this decision and for it to come more easily and naturally for me.
    Send him love texts.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Husband Encouragement for the Week of July 5

Husband Encouragement
  • Say "Thank You" often... & quickly after he does something for me.
  • Make him a special snack.
  • Put a love note in his lunch at least one day.
  • Pray for him daily... his interactions at work, his computer business, his walk with the LORD, his leadership of our home, his loving me.
  • Share with him how God is answering my prayers.
  • Keep the laundry folded.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Husband Encouragement for Week of June 21, 2010

Husband Encouragement

  • Remember to say please and thank you... use manners.
  • Send him a love note or poem in his lunch.
  • Bake cookies for him.
  • Believe in him and let him know that I do.
  • Pray for his interactions at work.
  • Pray for him to grow closer to God.
  • Pray for him to have wisdom to lead our family.
  • Let him lead our family & support him without taking over.

Friday, June 18, 2010

On Sweet Names, Respect, & Admiration

I read a blog in the last couple of weeks that was warning that our words can hurt & harm our husbands. It really hit me. I started becoming more conscience of how I was talking to my husband. I started watching things that I felt and said that I had never thought about before. It was very constructive advice, and I think it helped me to be a better wife. If we do not speak with love, respect, and admiration to our husbands and about our husbands, it hurts them inside (even if they never say it), and it hurts our relationship and true intimacy with them.

Several years back, I had a pastor named Bro. Fred. He had advice for when you want to get rid of a bad habit... a habit of the flesh such as any from the following verse. Note here that speaking harshly with our husbands or speaking out of anger or hurtful words could be put under quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, division, or envy depending on the situation.

Galatians 5:19-21 (New Living Translation)

"19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God."

Bro. Fred said that if you want to get rid of one of these habits of the flesh then you need to pray, yes, but then you need to start replacing it with a good habit. The good habits or habits of the Spirit are listed in the verses immediately following the habits of the flesh.

Galatians 5:22-23 (New Living Translation)

" 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!"

So... I have been looking for ways to replace any habit of fleshly talk to or about my husband with Spirit led talk to or about my husband.

Last night at the end of my ladies bible study when we were sharing prayer requests and praises, my sister-in-law was praising God for the FLY Lady because she has found the help in disciplined homemaking that she had been praying for in the FLY Lady's site. As she was talking about what all was involved in the FLY Lady's plan, she mentioned that the aspect that really won her over was the FLY Lady calling her husband her "dear husband". My sister-in-law said that was an example of respect that she wanted to follow. That really made an impression on me.

I thought, "Wow. Such a small thing, but such a BIG thing." In the Spirit talk habit that I have been trying to develop it shows love, kindness, & gentleness as well as respect as an important and dear part of the wife's life.

Then I though about how I had been watching how I talked to my husband and trying to avoid talking to or about him out of frustration... I have been trying to replace this by adding praise for my husband to my daily talk... self talk, talk to friends, talk to him. I have been trying to consciously say "thank you" more often and to send him love texts and love notes and to tell him I love him more (not just when he tells me).

All this led me to think about how my husband and I have pet names for each other. They are simple. He calls me "My Love" and I call him "My Love". But, I have trouble doing it in front of others. I think this is probably because we did not have sweet names for each other in my family home growing up. My parents just didn't do it... except for my dad to me...

However, after listening to my sister-in-law talk about how the FLY Lady calling her husband "my dear husband" really impressed her, I have come to a decision. I am going to start working on using the sweet name of "My Love" more openly for my husband as a sign of respect and admiration. I want to pump my dear husband, "My Love," up and do him good and not harm all the days of his life.

I'd like to give a big thank you to my sister-in-law for so openly sharing from her heart and to the FLY Lady for sharing what she has learned about "keeping" a home and a good outlook on life.

Until next time...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Husband Encouragement for Week of June 14, 2010

  • Be kind even when I feel bad (which is often with my job and the busy summer schedule it entails).
  • Thank him often for all his help.
  • Send him love notes.
  • Pray for him and his daily interactions at work.
  • Pray for him to have a close, growing relationship with Jesus.
  • Pray for him to have wisdom as he leads our family.
  • Bake him a cake.
  • Dress up really special for him for our 10 month anniversary.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Husband Encouragement for Week of June 7

  • Use manners... please, thank you, after you...
  • Thank him often.
  • Put love notes in his lunch.
  • Brag on him to his Aunt & Uncle Monday night.
  • Brag on him to his friends on Friday night.
  • Tell him how I want him around.
  • Tell him how I need him.
  • Pray for him to make wise financial decisions.
  • Pray for all of the decisions he will make this week.
  • Pray that he has close communion with God this week.
  • Seek to encourage him and bless him in at least one way each day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Husband Encouragement for Week of May 31, 2010

Husband Encouragement
  • Practice manners (please, thank you, after you...)
  • Flirt & carry through
  • Do at least one thing special for him every day
  • Pray for him to grow closer to God and follow Him daily
  • Consciously work on understanding him, or at least knowing where he comes from & thinking about how my actions affect him
  • Fold laundry
  • Do more housework to balance the chore list

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

He Wants to Please You

Here are some more notes, from "7 Things He'll Never Tell You" by Dr. Kevin Leman, that I want to remember:
  • "Your husband wants to have sex with you for his own sexual relief. But even more than he wants his own pleasure, he wants to please you. He enjoys seeing how much you enjoy the pleasure he can give you... If he fails to do that, he'll end up feeling inadequate, lonely, and unloved."
  • That means your guy wants to be romantic, but he may be worried that he can't pull it off. That he won't know what to do or that he'll fail... So if you're smart, you'll help him."
  • "HOW TO GROW YOUR OWN CRAVING FOR SEX: A fulfilling sex life is one of the most powerful marital glues a couple can have. But often the biggest enemies of sex among women are being too busy, tired, and stressed. One women's magazine puts it best: 'What's the first thing to go when you're busy, tired , and stressed? If you said sex, you're not alone. An estimated 24 million American women say they don't have time, are too exhausted, or just aren't in the mood for sex, and more than a third of Redbook readers say that being too tired is their number-one excuse for not having sex. So we put it off for later -- but later can easily become never. In case you haven't noticed abstinence doesn't make the loins grow hotter, it just begets more abstinence. Sex on the other hand, begets more sex. Studies show that lovemaking elevates the levels of brain chemicals associated with desire. So the best way to increase your yearning for sex is to have it.'"
  • "Having a great sex life is an exhilarating experience; it can bond a husband and wife like cement until there is nothing that they won't do for each other."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Husband Encouragement for Week of May 24

Husband Encouragement

  • Find one way to bless him everyday.
  • Pray that he hears from God and has close fellowship with Him everyday.
  • Admire him and speak to him through the "lenses" of admiration.
  • Show him how I need him and thank him often.
  • Wear something special for him.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Husband Encouragement for Week of May 17

  • Submit to him as to the Lord.
  • Put his needs above my own not matter how I feel!
  • Fold laundry
  • Have a joyful and inviting spirit both in the morning and when I pick him up from work.
  • Ask him how his day was and allow him to relax and take a shower before any demands are put on him, as well as not dumping my day on him until he asks.
  • Do something special for him everyday…
  • Pray diligently for him through out the day, for him to be a light at work and for his faith and decisions.
  • Strive to have a meek and quiet spirit!!
  • Speak only words of encouragement and love.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Summing up a Husbands 3 Basic Needs

I read in Dr. Leman's Book "7 things he'll never tell you {but you need to know}" that my husband has three basic needs:

1. Respect
2. to feel Needed
3. to be fulfilled

I have been thinking long and hard about my part in meeting these needs. The summary of what I have come up with is below.
  • Respect means: to feel or show deferential regard for; esteem
    to avoid violation of or interference with... such as in respecting the speed limit
    to relate or refer to; concern... So, show concern for what my husband feels and thinks, esteem him, try not to violate his sense of right and wrong, regard him as highly important and refer to him often. Put him first and foremost in my life.
  • Need is defined as: "A lack of something required or desirable 2. Something required or wanted; a requisite 3. Necessity "... So, make sure my husband knows he is a necessity in my life. He likes to do things for me... let him... even if he does not do it how I would do it... He is that important. And, tell him how much I need him to help me... because I really do. I am not super woman.
  • Fulfilled... (this one really boggled me) means, "To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises. To measure up to; satisfy. To bring to an end; complete." According to Dr. Leman I need to be a willing wife sexually for my husband to feel fulfilled... So, flirt often, carry through, and make enjoyment known.

Until next time...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Husband Encouragement for Week of May 10, 2010

Husband Encouragement

  • Fulfill Him/Flirt and carry through
  • Make him feel needed... don't try to do it all myself... ask for help and tell him how I need his help.
  • Make sure he gets his showers when he first gets home from work.
  • Speak to him with a tone of admiration.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Husband Encouragement for the Week of May 3

Husband encouragement goals:
  1. Say something that I admire about my husband to him.
  2. Say something that I admire about my husband in front of him to others.
  3. Don't say anything negative about my husband to my husband
  4. Don't say anything negative about my husband to other people.
  5. Tell him how I need him.
  6. Take his advice... even if it is hard.
  7. Tell him thank you for the things he does for me... dishes, clothes, cleaning, support...
  8. Pan sear him a steak.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Recognizing Love Exercises

In Dr. Kevin Leman's book "7 Things He'll Never Tell You {but you need to know}, he asks the question, "What kind of things does your husband do for you that show he really cares?" He immediately follows it with the question, "What kinds of things can you do for him that show you really care?" When I read that today I thought, "What a great set of questions to ask!" It is easy to get to going each day and forget to really think about these things and to not really show love or feel love. So here goes with my two lists...

Things my husband does for me that show he really cares:
  • Does the dishes every night.
  • Gets up consistently at 6:40 AM so that I can be on time for work at 8:00 since I need to give him a ride to his work... even though he doesn't have to be at work until 8:30 AM.
  • Eats whatever I fix... even if it is fish which he doesn't really like.
  • Brags on my food.
  • Makes time to spend with me.
  • Works on solving storage problems for me.
  • Does my laundry.
  • Gives great hugs.
  • Tries to be on time for church... even though it goes against his nature and personality.
  • Watches TV... he doesn't like to, but he knows that I do.
  • Wishes he could buy me flowers.
  • Tells me he is in it with me when things get really harry and bad.
  • Takes a shower... even when he doesn't think he needs one, but I do.

Things I can do for my husband to show I really care:

  • Cook food that he likes.
  • Make snacks that he really likes.
  • Make sure he doesn't forget his lunch.
  • Take time out for him everyday... even when it doesn't seem possible.
  • Listen to his dreams.
  • Listen to his techno talk.
  • Bike with him.
  • Give him lots of hugs.
  • Tell him how I need him.
  • Treat him like the most important thing in my life.
  • Respect his individuality, needs, and opinions.
  • Let him fail... don't impress my perfectionist tendencies on him.

This was a good exercise. I would challenge any married person to take it.

Until next time...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Husband Encouragement Goals for week of April 26

Husband Encouragement Goals

  1. Show him respect. By my actions, the way I phrase questions and speak to him, show him that I value his opinions, what he thinks, and how he feels.
  2. Tell him & show him he is needed... often.
  3. Work at getting the house cleaner.
  4. Try not to use too many dishes.
  5. Make him a really good snack.
  6. Make an effort to show him more affection even in the midst of our hectic life.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Daring Love to Meet Needs

I read this love dare this week:

"Lord, teach me what real love is & make me a loving person."

And, I thought, "I want God to teach me to love my husband and make me a loving person. I don't always feel like I am. I feel like I struggle with selfishness."

Then I read in Dr. Leman's book "7 Things He'll never tell you {but you need to know}" that my husband has three major need:

1. to be RESPECTED
2. to be NEEDED
3. to be FULFILLED

And, I thought, "I needed that. I have been forgetting those things as of late."

So... my goals this week? Learn to love my husband. Pray for God to show me how. And, show my husband respect. Think about my responses before I respond. Think, "Does that reply honor my husband or is it selfish?" and, "Will that make my husband feel needed?" This week it is my goal to act or speak only after I have thought about the impact it will have on my husband.

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Birth Order

I am still reading "7 things he'll never tell you {but you need to know}" by Dr. Kevin Leman. The secontion I read today is "Your Grown-Up Boy and His Birth Order. Here are some quotes I'd like to remember:

  • "Firstborns (that's me) or only children are achievers or overachievers and are usually scholarly... the oldest child is not only an achiever, but ordered, well-disciplined, and well-organized."

  • "[Firstborns] tend to be dependant upon the family - meaning they will uphold the family values and that approval of the family is important to them."

  • "A firstborn is an achiever, reliable, consicientious, cautious, and conservative... hard worker... someone who sees that all the needs of [their] family are met... perfectionist and competitive by nature... And when [they] fail at a task, [they] get really down on [themselves]."

  • "If you are a firstborn, rein in your competitive urges. Let your husband "be a man" and take the lead once in a while. And when your own perfectionism kicks in, take the long-range view."

  • "Middleborns (that's my husband) make very good peacemakers and negotiators. They make friends easily and are loyal... [they] are the most faithful marriage partners. They don't let stress get them down, but they attack problems with gusto to get them settled. They don't let conflict remain in a family for very long without talking about it and trying to resolve it... they have a lot of training in give-and-take."
  • "But because a middle child is good at compromising, he may be hesitant to tell you what he really thinks, even when you ask."

  • "If you're married to a middleborn, you have to watch carefully to make sure yo're not trampling his feelings. Because he is so susceptible to peer presure (what others think of him), he may tend to do things to make you and others happy."
  • "If your husband is a middleborn, what can you do? Model for him that you really do want to hear what he thinks... Make sure you don't judge his opinion when he does share it with you... Assure him that he doesn't have to do something he doesn't want to do."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Meanderings on Marriage

Marriage is hard work. I had heard that my whole life, but until now, I did not really know what it meant. I have worked hard before, but there is something about the fact that I now have no personal space that makes marriage even harder than anything else I have worked at before. I want to bless my husband and to do him good and not harm all the days of his life, but then I get SO VERY FRUSTRATED with him.

I have started reading a book by Dr. Kevin Leman titled "7 things he'll never tell you {but you need to know}". The first thing that Dr. Leman told me that I needed to know was that my husband would run out of words. I am not the most verbal of females and my husband is rather verbal for a male, so while we have experienced this, it has not been a big problem, yet. Reading the first point of Dr. Leman was not very hard.

The second thing Dr. Leman told me was more timely for me. He says that boys never really do quite grow up... and that you wouldn't want them to. This point is harder for me. Just the other day I found myself wondering why my husband hadn't grown up in a particular area. I thought, "I knew this about him. I can not honestly say that it is a surprise or that I thought something different before we were married. However, now that we are married, it bugs the mess out of me at times."

I have a co-worker who is getting ready to get married within the next year. She and her fiance are reading through a book that is supposed to make sure that they have discussed everything before they get married and that they do not have any surprises once they do get married. It got me to thinking. My husband and I did not use such a book, but we knew each other pretty well. I can not honestly say that I have had any surprises about who he is, what he thinks about things, or how he approaches life. The big surprise for me has been how seemingly small things that did not seem like a big deal before marriage.... areas where we knew we were different/ ways that we process life or approach life differently.... are now huge. Now, several of those seemingly small things seem huge since our lives are so permanently linked. The fact that boys never really do quite grow up... that is one of the small things before marriage that feels huge for me now.

Dr. Leman says...
1. Baby him when he is sick. -- OK. Can do.
2. Let him win sometimes. -- When and how am I competing with my husband? I pray God will show me and give me the grace to let my husband win sometimes.
3. Let him be a boy. -- How? I pray God will show me.

I haven't finished the chapter. Maybe Dr. Leman has some great, practical advice. In the meantime, I am praying about how to deal with this in a personal way that makes me and my husband joyous and happy.

Until next time...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lessons from Philippians 1:1- 6

On Thursday nights I lead a ladies bible study in my home. We have just started studying the book of Philippians. We are going through a book by Elizabeth George and studying how to have the peace Paul talks about in Philippians. I have been looking at the lessons from the perspective of a new wife and not just how to have peace in my life but how to have peace in my marriage. My husband and I really want a marriage that has God at the center. This was an easy choice for us to make in our heads, but putting it into action is taking some learning. The following are a few things that I have been learning for my marriage from the book of Philippians.

Philippians 1:1

"1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:"
  • Paul saw himself as a servant of Christ. Servants were to be quiet and not heard and to follow the precise orders of their master. Christ is our master. We should obey Him without fighting and arguing. This includes following His teachings through Paul on how wives should treat their husbands.
  • Ephesians 5:21-24 says, "And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything."
  • To be a servant of Christ, I need to respect my husband and submit to him. It is not up to negotiation. It is something that I need to do. And, I need to really do it from the inside, not just the outside actions. The outside actions are nearly impossible if I do not internally think of him with esteem. As a little side note, as I have worked on the homework I gave myself and tried to praise my husband in front of others, it has helped to change the way I think of him. The more I try to think of ways to praise him and think highly of him, the softer I feel toward him inside and the easier it becomes to submit (give up my power over my life) to him. I am so thankful that I have married a man that works at submitting to God! I love you, my love.
Philippians 1:2

"2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
  • Elizabeth George says, "God's grace is His unmerited favor poured out upon those who have trusted in Jesus Christ. But did you know that the whole sustaining power of God is packaged within his grace and favor? God's grace means God's force and His power. It's God's marvelous grace that enables us to go through all the trials of life. Just as God is all that you need, so God's grace is also all that you need it to be."
  • In my marriage, this means that God's grace is from my Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and it is all that I need. It is God's force and His power helping me to properly love my husband. This is so encouraging to me! I feel so inadequate to be a good, Godly wife. However, with the power of God strengthening me, this is a goal that I can strive for.

Philippians 1:6

"6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. "

  • No only did God start this good work in me of trying to be a good, Godly wife, but He will finish it. I can be confident of that. My husband and I sought God each step of the way from courtship, through engagement, and into marriage. God will not abandon us to do this alone now. God will complete His work. He will continue to pour out His grace on us. This is so very encouraging to me!
Philippians 1:3-5

"3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of you partnership in the gospel from the first day until now"
  • Paul thanked God for his friends and how much they loved God every time he thought of them. We see that he had joy in his heart as he did so.
  • I should pray for my husband this way. I should pray for him daily. And, I should thank God for him every time I do it. My husband strives daily to be a man of God in actions and feelings as well as in talk. I am truly blessed. I should not take this for granted. I should support him in prayer. It will bring joy to my heart. It will make my heart soft toward my husband as I pray for him and the decision and daily tasks that we must make together and separate. It will help my husband for me to agree with him in prayer and to pray for him, but it will also help me to love him better. God is so great to make a thing like prayer double edged with a double blessing!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Homework for Week of January 10, 2010

1. Practice treating my husband with esteem. Show him that he is important to me. Three ways I plan to do that are:

  • Enjoy tonight as he takes me out for my birthday, and show him that I enjoy it with my actions and words.
  • Hold my tongue more and/or speak to him as if he is a highly respected boss that I would not raise my voice to. Temper my words or let them go.
  • If he doesn't do something, let it go... as many times as I can. Don't get discouraged when I fail... just let the next thing go until it becomes easy.

2. Join my husband in things that he enjoys. Three ways I plan to do that:

  • Listen intently as he talks about his technical drawings.
  • Make him dessert at least one day this week.
  • Go to see Avitar with him again.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two New Insights... for me

Let's start with the bible verse, emotions, and circumstances that God used to give me the insights, and then move on to the insights. Here goes...

My memory verse for this week is:

Colossians 3:16 (HCSB)
"Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and in singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your heart to God."

Great verse when you are down, but I had a hard time picking it. Finding a memory verse of the week is not an easy task... I have learned. But, I came across this one and felt impressed that it was the one for me. I put it on a posty on my computer at work yesterday, and I wrote it on my white board over my kitchen table last night so it would be ever before me all week. And, I have been thinking about it. I can hear God saying to me, through this verse, that I need to be grateful to Him more. It will help improve my marriage and my life in general. It will improve me and make me feel better.

I must confess, I have been down lately. Work is stressful right now and being a new wife is harder than I would have thought it would be. Learning to live with someone else after living alone for seven years is hard. I actually liked and enjoyed living alone with my dog. The change is hard... even when you love the other person so very much.

I have been hearing on the radio lately - with it being a new year and decade and all that - how we need to not set "New Year's Resolutions" or goals. They keep saying in sound bits on my radio station that what we really need to do is set our focus back on Christ. Can you see how that is similar to what the verse above is saying? "Let the message... dwell richly... with gratitude in your hearts to God."

Life circumstances are ever before me... but... as I have become more and more depressed over them, I have not turned from God. Oh, there has been a voice whispering to me to just give up. I hear it clearly. I have been tempted. Sometimes... I find it impossible to form thoughts to pray, but I refuse to turn my heart from God. I just lay there unable to talk to Him, but knowing I am with Him just the same. I choose faith, even though I can not bring myself to feel it.

Anyway, I think the Holy Spirit intercedes for me during these times and has been telling the Father what I need and what I feel. Proof of this to me is the answer I have been hearing from multiple sources... sound bits on the radio, memory verse selection, Sunday School lessons (my husband and I and our class have been studying the gospel of Mark), and now a newsletter from Steve Alton (an unexpected source!).

See, I was wondering how to put this verse into practice, how to kick all these negative thoughts out of my head, and how to make my husband's life better not worse because of me; and I read this practical advice in a newsletter from Steve Alten this morning.

  1. Each night before bed, at dinner or while taking an after dinner walk ask each other your success of the day. The success could be a great conversation, an accomplishment at work, something you are proud of, a situation where you helped someone, etc. The important thing is to focus on an accomplishment instead of failures.
  2. Feel Blessed instead of Stressed. Research says we can't be stressed and thankful at the same time. Thus, here is a simple ritual to help. Identify three things you are thankful for each day. You can create a gratitude journal or diary or blog or simply talk about them at dinner. And, anytime you are feeling stressed you can recall something you are thankful for.

Good advice. I plan to start the journal. Thank you God for hearing my heart. Please, continue to help me out of this murk I am in right now.

I am committed to finding one success to share with my husband at dinner tonight and sharing it with him. I pray he has one for me.

Here are my three things I am thankful for today:

  1. My husband and how he loves, supports, and helps me daily. Thank you, my love.
  2. My nieces. The fun we have and the relationship God blessed us with. I always wanted to be a special Aunt, and they make me feel very special. I look forward to making that cake with them tonight.
  3. My dog. He is my baby, and he is a blessing from God.

Until next time...

Monday, January 4, 2010

3 Things I can Respond to my Husband in front of Others

List three things you can respond to your husband in front of others that will show a heart of respect and honor toward him.
  1. You're right.
  2. What do you think is best?
  3. Praise what he does and how he lives his beliefs to others in front of him.