“ I loved it when you stopped by my office the other day”, whispered my husband. “You haven’t done that in a long time.”
My heart fluttered with a gentle feeling of love.
A sweet blow-in-the-ear was all it took and I had him. I hadn’t done that…well I guess I can’t even remember the last time. It was a simple gesture by stopping by his work to connect with my husband and tell him how much I loved him.
I was practicing my advice of the 10-Day Challenge to Love The One You’re With. It was Day 3-give without sparing is grounded in Proverbs 21:26 Giving without expectations is the first act of love that inspired my act of love that day.
I am hopeful that God has flooded your marriage with His encouraging words (tips) from our 10-Day Challenge to Love the One You’re With. Each day a scripture helped you focus and “show up” in your marriage.
While guidance from scripture appears simple, it is challenging to carry out. His words speak to our longings and needs.
Life throws curve balls. Unexpected things happen. People change, your spouse changes and so do you.
Before you know it, you’ve grown distant and distracted. Disagreements go unresolved, tempers flare and the silence becomes deafening.
God is all-powerful as you consent to his action within you.
Yet, God is all-powerful as you consent to his action within you. When you allow Him to work through you and love the one you’re with; you move toward him/her in love.
Simplify Your Efforts
- Simplify your prayers. Focus on one or two words as your daily intention.
- Print off each graphic sprinkled throughout this post and
- Use it as bookmark or
- Stick it on the mirror in your bathroom or car.
- Do 1 Thing. That’s it.
- Take one suggestion from the 10-Day Challenge or do any other tip, suggestion, recommendation or piece of advice to Love the One You’re With!
- Meditate on it.
- Put in your calendar and set up alerts to remind you of your intention.
- Check in at the end of the day and celebrate your efforts.
Let the simplicity and strength of Gods word shepherd you. Here are the simplified, short prayers paired together as a reminder for your daily mediation and goal.
It really was simple to do that one-act of love (stop by his office and blow in his ear) J to move my husband and I closer to one another. Such a powerful reminder for me! I hope it was an encouragement for you to make a deliberate choice to love the one you’re with.
Sometimes, it’s not that easy
Marriages are one of the greatest gifts and teachers. If you find these prayers challenging to pray or your relationship isn’t what you were hoping for; I can help.
Couples wait on average 7 years to reach out for help. That’s 7 years too long! Waiting too long allows deep chasms to grow between husband and wife. This is deadly to a marriage.
All of us need help at one time or another. There is no shame in seeking help. In fact, God encourages the wise to seek counsel. Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
Call me with no obligation. I am happy to talk about what the next right step is for you so you can love the one you’re with!
Marriage is one of the most rewarding and challenging relationships there is. In fact, it can be downright confusing and heartwarming all in the same conversation.
You know, you’ve had this experience when you’re sharing from your heart with your spouse and “BAM” a harsh comment is said (intentional or not) or an insinuation is made (indirectly or bluntly). You feel misunderstood, hurt, angry and defensive. Before you know it, you’re wondering what the heck just happened!
I’ve had similar interactions in my own marriage and I hear them all the time in the counseling room. They are confusing at best and alarming at their worst.
I wish I had the magic formula or perfect to-do list that could make all marriages and relationships loving, caring, fruitful and…….anything else you wish.
What makes the best marriage?
There are a few foundational attitudes, perspectives, awareness’s and actions that lead to a loving, honoring and respectful marriage or relationship.
Start with your marriage first or closet relationship and consider the following tips.
- Listen without interrupting– It is a sign of respect when we fully listen to our partners. To openly listen for the heartfelt message they are trying to share. (Proverbs 18 )
- Speak without accusing – In tough conversations is it wise to be slow to offer opinions and input without first seeking Gods perspective. (James 1:19)
- Give without sparing– Giving without expectations is the first act of love. (Proverbs 21:26)
Giving without expectations is the first act of love. Proverbs 21:26
- Pray without ceasing- You can never go wrong in praying continually! Our ways are not always the best. Why not go to the One who knows all and knows what’s best. (1 Thessalonians 5:17
- Answer without arguing– Check your goal in the conversation: Do you need to be correct or do you want to connect? (Proverbs 17:1)
- Share without pretending- Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Be lovingly honest, humble, admit mistakes and seek forgiveness. (Ephesians 4:15)
- Enjoy without complaint-Life is full; enjoy it. Be cheerful and ready to help. (Philippians 2:14)
- Trust without wavering-Doing what is right is not always acknowledged or even appreciated. Yet, God notices and is pleased. (2 Corinthians 13:7)
- Forgive without punishing-Wear love, it’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Forgive without holding a grudge. (Colossians 3:13)
- Promise without forgetting-Be true to your word. Follow through on what you promise. Often times your actions speak louder than your words. (Proverbs 13:12)
The 10 Day Challenge
What if you focused on one of these intentionally, each day? It could be a way to simply show up in your marriage and extend love in your relationships.
Take the challenge with me. Starting February 19th and watch for 1 tip in your mailbox (you need to follow this blog….upper right hand corner of site) or a tip will post on our social media sites.
Pray and seek God’s guidance on how you can extend love by focusing on 1 tip per day. It can simplify your intention to love your spouse, kids and friends.
Please share your challenges and victories here on the blog or social media sites so we can encourage one another on to have meaningful and Christ-filled relationships.
This post was inspired by Swat Swot
It happened one day, out of nowhere. Then it happened again.
They were random feelings: gratitude, joy, exuberance, contentment and love.
They exposed themselves at indiscriminate times. The first time it happened I was about to get into my car. I had one foot in the car, the other firmly planted on the street, my purse slung over my shoulder and multiple shopping bags in my other hand. Trying to delicately slide into the drivers seat, I had an overwhelming rush of love come over me, one that; completely warmed my soul.
The second time it happened, I was standing in the kitchen next to my husband as he was doing dishes. We were cleaning up after our daughter and son-in-law’s baby shower. It was a hot flash of “all is well”. The kind of hot flash that starts slowly, then heats me up.
These feelings appear out of nowhere, like I’m being showered with undeserved goodness and love.` It’s like the familiar feeling of drinking a cup of hot chocolate and warming from the inside out.
All is well.
Never Thought it Was Possible
These random feelings got me to think about my life. I remember a time when I didn’t think I would ever experience something like this. It’s even hard to put into words, as it really is a spiritual experience that is difficult to explain.
From my early 30’s into my late 40’s life was very full! It involved being a mom to 3 very different and sometimes challenging girls. My life was organized around their school, Awana, dance, gymnastics and voices lessons.
I became a chauffeur when needed, sometimes driving almost 100 miles in a day. Just like you, I had disgusting bathrooms that needed to be cleaned, and dishes, laundry and mail piled high screaming for my attention and “Mom!” being yelled repeatedly.
I was exhausted!
I arranged my workdays around my husbands schedule so one of us was available to be home with the kids. I was fortunate to have the flexibility to choose part-time and full-time work as needed. In the midst of this, God called us to home school our kids on and off for most of their schooling years. I was overwhelmed to say the least.
In addition, like most families; life happens. We had marriage problems that encompassed counseling and a separation. We had years of conflict with our daughter’s behaviors and attitudes. Illness. Death. Loss of dreams. Grief and Anger.
There were times when I thought, “Is this worth it? Does this hard work pay off? I don’t know if I can keep doing this!”
Friends, mentors and professionals said to me in a variety of ways, “Yes, it’s worth it. Your dedication and commitment will pay off someday. Keep your eyes on God, remember His promises and put one foot in front of the other”.
They had promised that one day I would be on the other side of the daily grind.
They assured me that all the prayer, bible study and time with the Lord would give me relief, perspective, guidance and peace. There were days when I felt my prayers were unanswered. I seemed like a waste of time to study the Word and who has time to get away with Jesus anyway. What the heck, I couldn’t even get to the bathroom by myself!
But…the advice I was given was true!
I was promised that reaching out to close friends for help, seeking professional guidance and being gut-wrenchingly honest would change my life. There were definitely times I thought I would explode with anger. I had even cried myself to sleep multiple nights in a row and felt so numb I didn’t know what to do next.
They were right!
Nonetheless, I kept putting one foot in front of the other and did what was asked. See, I knew these people were Jesus in the flesh. They had my back. They carried me when I couldn’t walk. They even let me borrow their faith when I didn’t have any. I knew deep in my heart they had Jesus at the center of their life so I could trust them!
I knew deep in my heart they had Jesus at the center of their life so I could trust them! ~Laura Longville
I don’t know how God is going to do this for you; but I have faith that He will. He will because in His nature he longs to be gracious to you. When you’re stuck on the hamster-wheel of life, overwhelmed with grief or wondering if things will ever get better; look to God. Pour your heart out to Him and he is a God of compassion and understanding.
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! ~Isaiah 30:18
I believe God blesses us through significant relationships including our relationship with Him, friends, mentors and occasionally an unfamiliar person. The joy we feel and the washing of His goodness that comes over you and I today, are only from Him.
When you find yourself in the deep trenches of daily duties or life’s unexpected trials become overwhelming, trust God in the following ways to keep going:
- Rely on our promise-keeping God. As Whitney Capps of First 5 Ministry puts it, “Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past lets us embrace the difficulties of the present and the uncertainties of the future.”
- If you need support, encouragement and guidance; God hears your cries. Call out and pray, “I need help Lord. I’m overwhelmed, tired, sad, hurt, angry, and fearful… I don’t’ know what to do next, but I know you do. Please help me listen for your direction and reassurance. Help me to remember that this is only a season in my life. Give me hope to keep going. In Jesus Name, Amen”
He also uses our friends, family and professionals to assist us when we need help. Reach out to others, as you don’t have to do life alone!
- Keep the course. When you’re weary, disillusioned or hurting, keep your eyes on the Lord. He will guide you and before you know it; all is well.
I don’t’ expect to be flooded or showered with an overwhelming sense of awe on a daily basis. However, I delight when God gives me a glimpse of eternity with Him as he overwhelms me with joy, love and the knowing that; all is well.
I pray my dear sisters and brothers that you too will experience His goodness, know you are loved and that all is well.
Good-Bye January, Hello February
With the month of January we kicked off the Marriage Tips video and it really proved to be helpful and encouraging to many of you. Thanks for the support and in case you may have missed the videos, you can catch up on our social media sites like Facebook and Twitter or on our YouTube channel. If you follow or sign-up on each site you will benefit from immediate motivating posts.
I also received feedback indicating that having a theme focus for each month would be useful and inspiring. Therefore, February will “logically” focus on Love because in America we celebrate Valentines Day. Our theme title is 8 Surprising Ways Love is More Refreshing Than New Socks.
This month look for video tips and easy-to-do ideas that will blow your socks off, or maybe blow a hole in them! There’s nothing better than a fresh pair of socks. Our relationships and marriages can feel like an old, worn out sock. The good news; it doesn’t have too!
The videos are posted each Tuesday and Friday. Please share your favorite video each week. You never know how a marriage or relationship can be impacted by a simple or funny idea.
Get your home construction project started off on the right foot by preparing for your project and strengthening your relationship. Source: How to Build a Strong Relationship AND Successful Construction Project