5 Valentine Ideas that Don’t Cost a Thing
Rekindle the flame
Write a letter to your Valentine
Create a digital photo album
Take a walk on the beach
Make your bathroom into a spa
There’s nothing more relaxing then a trip to the spa. How about recreating the spa experience at home? Draw a warm bubble bath, turn the lights off and light some candles. If you don’t have bubble bath, try some rosemary or lavendar for a delightful scent. Add a classic touch, by using flowers petals either in the water and leading up to the bath. This is a perfect way to start or end your Valentine’s Day.
What is a way that you can celebrate Valentine’s Day without spending any money?
I found this cool freebie online, and as a wife who is striving more and more to be the Proverbs 31 wife — well, I want this stuck on my fridge every day so I can remind myself of what I promised to God and to my man.
To get this marriage freebie, visit Darlene over at Time Warp Wife where she is offering this to all her lovely readers.
What did you do today to make the world a better place?
Whether you are an adult or a child, every day we have a chance to do something special for someone else – to make a difference in someone’s life. It doesn’t take much time or money. All it takes is a kind heart and a passion to make a difference. Start small. Everyday do one thing for someone. It could be a total stranger or a close friend. I made a list of 25 different ways to make a difference. Add to it and make your own list. Then share it with everyone you know. It really only takes one person to start a change that makes the world a brighter place. Plus, when you pay it forward and help others, we get an instant boost of happiness. Remember, every day brings an opportunity to enjoy life.
2. Give a hug
3. Tell someone you love them
4. Give a compliment and receive a compliment. When was the last time you just said “Thank You” when you received a compliment.
5. Listen – really listen to what someone is saying to you. Don’t think about your answer, just be in the moment.
6. Call an old friend you haven’t talked to in years just to see how they are doing. Tell them you miss them.
7. Say you’re sorry if you need to. Learn to forgive others and yourself. Anger doesn’t do anything but destroy relationships.
8. Support your local stores – buy local produce, family pharmacies, small independent stores. Keep the American dream alive!
9. Start a garden – plant a tree.
10. Treat yourself with respect – if you don’t, others will follow suit. Take care of yourself. If your happy, your passing on a positive vibe. Your positive attitude is contagious – share the wealth!
11. Be a positive role model – others will follow.
12. Share your experiences – wisdom is priceless.
13. Did you recycle today?
14. Altruism is good for the soul. Volunteer, join a charity – the more we help others, the better we feel about ourselves. It’s a win-win situation, a 2 for 1. You help others and yourself in one shot! Get your kids involved. Altruism, it raises their self-esteem.
15. Be part of the community – be involved!
16. Take a moment of silence to just be – learn to slow down. We don’t need more impatience in this world.
17. Eat Healthy – watch what you put in your body, it’s the only one you got. Prevention is key to a long, healthy life!
18. Keep the world clean – throw your trash where it belongs and pick up others. Help keep the world bright and shiny!
19. Be supportive, honest and loyal to your loved ones. Be a good friend!
20. Ask people if they need help? Then do what you can to make their world happier.
21. Adopt a pet – a dog is really a man’s best friend – why? They give unconditional love, loyalty and help relieve stress. At the rehab I work at for Traumatic Brain Injury clients, we have Therapy dogs that come in on Friday’s and it’s the happiest day of the wee. They bring so much love, hope and friendship.
22. How can I empower someone today? Use positive word choices, positive reinforcement or bring them back to a time when they were feeling strong and high on life. Good memories brings a sense of control back to a person’s life. We feel happier when we are in control of our lives.
23. Be realistic – have realistic expectations for the world. Don’t expect perfection or you set yourself up for failure. Watch how your perceive the world. If you perceive the world in a negative view then that is what you will see. If you choose to see the world from a positive perspective – people will seem good, the world will seem inviting. The choice is yours – how do you want to see the world?
24. How can you help one person a day? Think of something you can do each day that makes a difference in just one person’s life. It can be a friend, family member or a complete stranger. Sometimes, we try to help a lot of people and get lost in the “Trying.” Help one person a day. It’s the Domino Effect, you make one person happier – they will make one person happier and so on…..We think to make a change, it needs to be HUGE and affect a lot of people. You can start the process of change and making this world a better place, one person at a time. Every day I think to myself: How did I make a difference today? Ask yourself that every day and as long as you affected one person in a positive manner, you’re doing your job to help make the world a brighter place.
25. Just be a good person – practice goodness, kindness, caring and empathy each and every day. Be the person you always wanted to be.
What did you do today to make the world a better place?
Written by Diane Lang, Author, Speaker, Psychotherapist and Positive Living Expert.
Diane Lang – Positive Living Expert and psychotherapist – is a nationally recognized author, educator, speaker, therapist and media expert. Lang is extremely mediagenic and offers expertise on a variety of health and wellness topics about creating balance and finding happiness through positive living. Lang offers expertise in multiple mental health, lifestyle and parenting needs. In addition to holding multiple counseling positions, Diane is also an adjunct professor at Montclair State University and Centenary College.
Lang has been interviewed for numerous magazine and newspaper articles and has been a frequent guest on radio and TV shows including “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Network. Lang is a monthly contributor for “Family Beautiful” magazine, a weekly columnist for MommyTalk.com, a regular featured expert on the “Expat Show” broadcasted weekly on the New York ABC affiliate WTBQ-AM, and a Blogger at www.MyHappyBlog.vox.com.
Lang is the author of two books: “Baby Steps: The Path from Motherhood to Career” and “Creating Balance and Finding Happiness.”
Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.
We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog.The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.
If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
God with Us . . . And Us with Him
By: Susan May Warren
Every year over labor day weekend, the Warren family has a MWE. Mandatory Warren Event. It’s a call to come home and enjoy the long weekend with our favorite people. Since my children have left for college, I relish every second of this weekend—the laughter in the kitchen, the long conversations in the family room, the frenzy of backyard football, the quietness of the morning as we drink coffee on the deck and watch the sunrise. I cherish these people, and when they are with me, I drink in their presence.
I’ve been reading the prophecies about Christ this season and came across Isaiah 7:14, Therefore the Lord himself will give you[ a sign: The virginwill conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
I am struck by the word Immanuel. God with us. The closest I get to comprehending this is reading about how Jesus’ loved his disciples. Surely they relished the time with him more profoundly after his resurrection, knowing he would soon leave.
Thankfully, he didn’t leave them for long and sent His Holy Spirit. God . . . still with them.
As I consider the magnitude of this God who would come to earth, who would abide with the disciples, and then with me, I have to wonder not only do I relish God’s presence in my life, but does God relish time with me? Am I committed to embracing His entrance into my life? Am I even making the effort to see Him?
Imagine that during our MWE weekend, I ignored my children, and they, me? I would lose the joy of their presence.
It is not surprising to me that the Jewish people did not recognize their Savior. After all, who would guess that the Almighty might package himself as a baby and appear among them, fragile and dependent? But today, we know the story, we know the miracles, we know the truth, and God invites us into an abundant relationship, one that He wishes to relish, one that will change us. A relationship that will slake our thirsts and satisfy our hungers. One that reminds us that we are never alone.
Because every day we are a mandatory event to our Immanuel.
This season, look for the ways that God is your Immanuel, with you, every day.
Susan May Warren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 40 novels. With over 750,000 books in print, her stories of family, romance and adventure have earned her acclaim and reader fans from around the world. Visit her website for upcoming books and sneak peeks!
I’ve been married for almost 20 years. I still can’t believe it myself. I’ve been married longer than I’ve been single. The sad thing is this — I’ve never been on a honeymoon –at all. We’ve only been on one overnight trip together for just he and I, and to be honest, I am needing a trip with just me and my honey!
So where do I want to go?
I want to visit Maui. Ever since I have seen the Elvis movie where he gets married in Hawaii (I think it’s Blue Hawaii). I have wanted to visit there. It just seems like the most romantic spot ever.
Where Would I Stay In Maui?
I think I would love to stay at Maalaea Beachfront. It looks SO inviting and I have a beach view with a balcony. That is a definite must, because at night, the beach view would be romantic, right? I could picture us sitting on the balcony having a delicious dinner by moonlight.
It’s all about creating the romantical mood on a honeymoon!
What Would I Do While There?
There are so many options to choose from like National parks, beaches, and the Road to Hana sounds like something I would LOVE to do.
I want to see the Banyan trees, walk through Twin Falls, and to shop at the Lahaina Cannery Mall. I would definitely have to stay for a week or more to do all the things I want to do.
What Would I Eat?
I seriously have started trying to eat different foods when I visit somewhere new. I like to try things that you can only get from that area, so there won’t be any fast food places on my visit if I ever get to go. No — I want to eat at places like, Mama’s Fish House, The Hula Grill, The Flatbread Company, Aloha Mixed Plate, and I definitely want to experience a luau.
Putting together the perfect dream honeymoon was super easy thanks to Gogobot!
Gogobot, a social travel site that launched in 2010, is a place on the web you should know about. The company has racked up accolades including being named one of Time’s top sites of 2011 and winner of the 2010 Crunchie award for Best Design.
Gogobot’s big win is that it allows you to connect with your friends to get their advice on where to visit, what to eat, and where to stay when you travel. You can use the service to plan things ahead of time, or you can poll your friends on the fly.
Gogobot allows you to tap into the knowledge of your friends when planning a trip anywhere. You can find like-minded travelers and inspiration for your next vacation, creating easy-to-use wishlists you can return to again and again.
And when you are not in vacation mode or planning a trip, you can discover hidden gems in your own neighborhood for entertaining guests or a weekend staycation.
The best part? Every page on Gogobot is personalized. You can see reviews from your friends and people you are following at the top, which allows you to weed out the noise and fraudulent reviews that become a problem on other review sites. Check out Gogobot today!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gogobot. The opinions and text are all mine.
Did you ever have a time in your life when you just knew that you were confident and strong enough to do something that everyone else said you couldn’t? What about talking yourself into doing something by making it sound as if it will be the most extraordinary thing you’ve ever done — only to realize it was nothing like you dreamed it to be?
In A Love Forbidden we are introduced to Shiloh who is feeling just like I described above. She goes to teach at an Indian School and has made it sound so beautiful and awesome in her mind, only to find out it is heartbreaking and NOTHING like she thought it would be.
I really liked this book a lot. The storyline of Shiloh and her long time friend Jesse will make you cheer for their blossoming love until the very last page. Their relationship is one based on friendship (which happens to be my favorite kind of love story of all times).
You will really enjoy this book. Kathleen Morgan’s books are some of my favorite to read, so grab a copy today
About the book:
They’re from two different worlds. Can love cross the divide?
Moved by a compassionate heart and the desire for adventure, twenty-year-old Shiloh Wainwright impulsively accepts a teaching position at the White River Indian Agency in northwestern Colorado. Eager to use her skills to help improve the lives of Ute Indian children, she looks forward to a fulfilling, independent life on the Colorado frontier.
But her new job isn’t what she imagined it would be, and Shiloh soon finds herself caught in the cross fire between the Utes, their unyielding Indian agent, and a demanding US government. Her unexpected encounter with a half-Ute childhood friend, Jesse Blackwater, only complicates matters as they battle their growing feelings for each other amidst spiraling tensions that threaten to explode into a catastrophic uprising.
Set amongst the wilds of the Colorado Rockies in 1879, this tale from bestselling and award-winning author Kathleen Morgan explores the transformational power of forgiveness, compassion, and God’s healing love with artistry and authenticity.
About the author:
Kathleen Morgan is the award-winning author of many novels, including those in the bestselling Brides of Culdee Creek series. She lives in Colorado.
I received a copy of this book in order to write my review. All opinions are my own.
Chasing the Sun was a great book. I really loved Hannah’s character and how strong she was. When her mother died, Hannah stepped into that role as a young girl and cared for their home and helped their father raise the other two little ones. I even loved the fact that she homeschooled them!
You can’t help but fall in love with William. He is a manly man and you can just feel his protective nature coming out as he begins to care for the family.
Kind of reminds me of an episode of Bonanza or something I loved it so much!
About the book:
Tracie Peterson Embarks on a New Texas Series
When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but for the ranch her father recently acquired on the Texas plains. Though a marriage of convenience could ease her predicament, she determines to trust God for direction.
Wounded soldier William Barnett returns to his home only to discover that his family’s ranch has been seized. Though angry and bitter at this turn of events, he’s surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.
Hannah, desperate for help, and William, desperate to regain his family’s land, form an uneasy truce. But nearby Comanche tribes, the arrival of Confederate soldiers, and a persistent suitor all threaten the growing attraction that builds between them. Will they be able to set aside their own dreams and embrace the promise of a future together?
About the author:
Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than eighty-five novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.
Visit Tracie’s web site at: http://www.traciepeterson.com
I was sent a copy of this book in order to write my review. All opinions listed are my own.
In Forever Hilltop, you will fall in love with Alex, the preacher who has come to Hilltop Church. I found myself more amused with this story than I have been in a long time with a book. As I was reading, I could feel myself smiling and I could definitely envision this book in my head. I would love to see this as a mini series on tv.
Inside the pages of Forever Hilltop, you have 2 stories — An Unlikely Blessing and Surprising Grace.
This is a book you will not want to miss. It will make you laugh and once again fall in love with the feeling of community and helping one another. Kind of reminds me of where I live and the people I am surrounded with.
About the book:
The charming and often hilarious Forever Hilltop series follows the experiences of former city dweller Alex Armstrong as he settles into his new role as pastor of a Scandinavian community in rural North Dakota. Alex is sometimes baffled by his parishioners and their colorful ways, but he comes to appreciate their simple wisdom. One thing’s for sure — life in Hilltop Township is never dull! This new two-in-one format features An Unlikely Blessing along with its sequel, Surprising Grace.
In An Unlikely Blessing, Alex Armstrong is a former city dweller who has just accepted his first parish assignment to a small community in the wilds of North Dakota. In Hilltop Township, Pastor Alex becomes familiar with the residents and their odd traditions, from julebukking to King Oscar’s fish balls. And then there’s the excitement the single pastor creates among the unmarried women in the community! Alex soon discovers that his new church home has as much to teach him as he has to teach them.
In Surprising Grace, Alex Armstrong is settling into his new role as pastor of Hilltop Church, and he’s even starting to understand the strange ways of the people who populate this barren stretch of North Dakota prairie. But he also finds that his flock needs help and counsel like he never imagined. In this cozy and entertaining read, Alex must choose between the woman he once loved — and the home he’s come to love.
About the author:
Judy Baer was born and grew up on a farm on the prairies of North Dakota, experiencing many of the same things as her Hilltop characters. An only child, she spent most of her days with imaginary people-either those she read about or those she made up in her head.
Baer graduated from Concordia College with majors in English and education and a minor in religion. While at the time, she was simply studying what interested her, Baer later realized that she was educating herself for her future career as a Christian writer. She certainly put her education to use as she is the author of more than 75 books.
A certified professional life coach now certified in three coaching disciplines, Baer coaches primarily professional and aspiring writers. She is also a faculty advisor in the Department of Human Development at St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis, MN. Baer has two daughters and three step children. She and her husband live in Minnesota.
She invites you to visit her at her web site www.judykbaer.com for more information on her and her books.
Read what others are saying about the book here.
Celebrate with Judy by entering to win a Kindle for you and a friend!
One lucky winner will receive:
- Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi
- Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi to Giveaway to a Friend!
- Forever Hilltop by Judy K Baer for you and a one for a friend
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 22nd. Winner will be announced 5/24/12 on Judy’s Blog.
In Pursuit of Lucy Banning, The: A Novel (Avenue of Dreams) we meet the Banning Family. You will instantly fall in love with Lucy and her dreams of being an art major. Her family has other plans for her including her stuffy fiance, but then Will shows up and he shakes Lucy to her core as she realizes that there is so much more to life than just doing every single thing your family wants of you.
I really liked this book a lot as I felt like Lucy at one time in my life and I could totally relate to her character. Will is just the kind of man that my husband is and was when we were dating so I really felt connected with this book.
This book is set in Chicago in the late 1800′s, which is a really neat time period. I loved the fact that right after I read this book, I actually took a trip to Chicago
You will want to read this book. It’s exciting and you will definitely fall in love with Lucy and Will.
About the book:
She has a secret to keep. But will she give her heart away?
Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue among Chicago’s rich and famous, but her heart lies elsewhere. Expected to marry an up-and-coming banker from a respected family, Lucy fears she will be forced to abandon her charity work and squeeze herself into the mold of the well-dressed wife who spends most of her time and money redecorating.
When she meets Will, an unconventional young architect who is working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World’s Fair, Lucy imagines a life lived on her own terms. Can she break away from her family’s expectations? And will she ever be loved for who she truly is?
Get swept away into the lavish world of Chicago’s high society as Olivia Newport brings to life an age of glitz and grandeur, stark social contrasts, and one woman who dares to cross class lines for what she believes.
About the author:
Olivia Newport‘s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. Her husband and two twenty-something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where day lilies grow as tall as she is.
I was sent a copy of this book to read in order to write my review. All opinions remain my own.
So what shall we talk about?
Today I wanted to share with you what it means to love your man — I mean really love him. This December, I will have been married to my husband for 19 years — been together for 22 years. WOW! When I sit and think about how many years we’ve been together I am just blown away.
Our marriage was not always rock solid. In fact, there was a time when we were gonna get divorced, but God had other plans. I’m so glad that He intervened. Because of that time, God has shown me over and over again what it truly means to love my husband. Here are a few of those things
Give 100% of yourself and expect nothing in return
This of course is SO hard, but I have found when I put ME aside and focus on his needs, he will in return put his needs aside and focus on me, so it all works out in the end — most times. And sometimes, that doesn’t happen. However, that doesn’t mean that I stop focusing on him ( I do sometimes and I lose sight of the bigger picture). It means that I should focus all the more on his needs and then GOD will meet mine.
Learn to overlook the petty issues
Every marriage has its ups and downs and we all find little quirks that drive us NUTS! If we focus on those, then we will start to see all of their flaws and before long, we kind of just do nothing but nit pick those petty things to death. Instead of focusing on those, find the traits about your spouse that you love and focus on those things. It will make the petty things seem trivial.
Now it’s your turn!
What marriage info do you have to share? Join us and enter your post in the linky below! Remember to add the button so that others can join as well.
God is really doing a number on me lately. He is deep into teaching me about love and forgiveness. It’s a hard lesson to learn. So many things have been going on in my life–with my children, me, my husband. Through it all God keeps whispering to me–
Love and forgiveness.
My flesh cries out NO!!!, but my heart says yes. It is the heart that I follow because I know that God is burning this in me for a reason.
You see, love and forgiveness go hand in hand. You cannot truly forgive someone if you don’t know what love is, and you cannot love someone fully until you have truly forgiven them.
It is a lesson I am intent on teaching my children. I want them to know that when mistakes are made, there is love and forgiveness to be found. Both in God and in me as a parent.
Are you a parent dealing with unforgiveness?
Has your child disappointed you in some way?
Have they made a choice you don’t agree with?
Are you taking your hurt out on them?
Take it to the Lord and allow Him to show you how to handle the situation. Remember this verse–pray it, live it daily.
Are you struggling with love and forgiveness? Need to talk? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.Pin It
I have learned a lot over the years being married– almost 18 years. I come from the school of hard knocks, which means that mostly I have had to learn the hard way.
I had one of those lessons this week. One I was not really ready to learn, but God felt it important for me to learn. You see, for the longest time, I have had issues with intimacy.
What I mean by this is just allowing someone to get really close and love me. I grew up in a home where love was conditional and I have always struggled with that. Even after all these years, God is still peeling away those layers.
So it was no surprise to me when God decided it was time to learn a new lesson about intimacy this week. How important it is!
I am going to be honest here…real honest. I brush my husband off a lot (and yes…that is what I am talking about here. We are all grown women and should be able to talk about these things, right? ‘mkay? Good!) . Not because I don’t love him, but because I use the excuse, I just don’t have time.
Are you kidding me?
No time? I have all the time, but I just wasn’t making him an important part of my life.
Other excuses I have used in the past–
~We live in a small house
~The kids will hear
~I have to cook supper
~I’ve got too much work to do
Courtney at Women Living Well always encourages me to meet my man’s needs. I got a firsthand look this past week at how important meeting his needs really are.
God used an experience to smack me back into reality of why His word is SO clear about coming together often.
1 Corinthians 7:5
Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Nothing bad happened or anything. God just found a way to get my attention to a matter that I had been lacking to pay attention to.
Do you see yourself in the excuses that I shared above? Are you one that tends to tell your husband “not tonight honey”.
Stormie O’Martin has a great plan for getting past that hurdle of not wanting to be intimate with your man. She suggests spending 20 minutes in prettying yourself up. Take a shower in your favorite scent of soap, put on some lotion and something that makes you feel attractive and then purpose in your heart to make your man feel special.
It dawned on me that this had been my problem all along.
I had not purposed in my heart about anything. I was just going through the motions of waking up, being here, and then going to bed.
So I made a conscious decision this past week to purpose in my heart to make my husband feel special–to show him that I enjoy the love he wants to share with me. I will not turn away and I will not say no. I will accept him with open arms.
I cannot tell you the difference this has already made in our relationship–in just a few days. You should try it as well.
Courtney shares this in her video. I encourage you to watch it and take to heart what she shares!
Last night I learned something that I believe will stick with me for a very long time.
My kids watch how I act with my husband.
I knew that in my mind, but I saw it come to completion last night during a really bad storm. The kids were so scared. The storm was so bad that I had them huddle in the hallway *just in case*. They were predicting this one to be the worst our area had seen in 50 years.
My husband is a weather watcher. When things start getting rough, he begins watching all the reports, he stares at the sky examining the clouds and whether there is rotation or not–he pays attention to all of that.
We tease him a bit about his pacing from the computer to the front porch. But last night just really spoke to me.
Our neighbors up the road were all huddled into one of the houses basements. They came over right about the time the storm was going to get really bad and asked if we wanted to join them for safety. My first instinct was to jump at the chance to join them and take my mind off the storm. Just about the time I was going to speak up, I felt God hush my words and he spoke to my heart, trust your husband’s judgment and share that with the kids. My husband declined the offer, thanked them for thinking of us, and then went back to watching the storm as it hit our area.
I had no clue that my kids were watching me and waiting for me to say something. My daughter asked me if we could go wait it out in their basement. She was really scared. What I told her next shocked even me, but as I said the words–I really felt them. I told her, “Honey–your dad would never put us in harm’s way. If he thought we were in serious danger, he would have taken them up on that offer of going to their basement. I trust your dad wholeheartedly with my life. He knows what he is doing and I am not worried.”
As I spoke those words, I saw the worry leave her face and was placed by relief. It wasn’t long after that, that Stephen came and told us it was okay to come out. The rain was still coming down hard and the wind was still blowing, but my heart learned a very valuable lesson last night–one I soon won’t forget–I must trust my husband like I trust my Savior.
Two things to take away from this post–
1) Your kids watch how YOU, the mom, interact with your man. When you doubt his abilities, they doubt. When you don’t trust him, they don’t trust him. Show them what it truly means to stand behind your man and support him.
2) Esteem your man highly in front of the kids. When you do that, they gain a better respect for the man that they call daddy.
What about you? Have your kids had issues with trusting their dad? Maybe it’s time to look at your trust in him to see if that is where the problem lies.
Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng.
I was recently watching one of the morning shows that come on television and a question was asked, “Should I tell my husband everything going on in my life?” The answer that was given kind of took me by surprise. Supposedly, this woman was a relationship expert and her answer was a resounding NO!
Evidently, she is not a reformed liar like myself.
Apparently, she has never been through the trauma of what one little lie can do to a relationship.
More importantly, all her “relationship knowledge” is what leads her to believe that it is okay to have secrets with your spouse.
That is THE furthest thing from the truth!
The reason that I say this is because for so many years my relationship was built around secrets and lies. I was brought up believing the line “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him”, and I watched as countless times my mother would buy something, hide it from my dad in order to cover up her purchase and then later present as something old she had bought years before and never wore.
This kind of thinking is what leads marriages into failure daily.
I have seen marriages begin to crumble because of secrets of addictions.
I have seen marriages fade away because of secret desires to be someone other than who they are.
I have watched women go from being content with the man they have to secretly wanting a husband who is more romantic, or more loving, or more understanding.
Here is a personal testimony about secrets.
I will be the first to tell you that I had tons of secrets from my husband–my money issues, my adultery issues–all the little issues I had. I would rather lie and keep my secret safe, than to come out and share with him the things that were hurting me.
I have learned that harboring secrets from your spouse causes dissension in a marriage. As a woman hiding a secret, you always are worried he is going to find you out. Then what happens when he does find out is serious betrayal. A man will feel betrayed, disrespected, and unloved.
Secrets will tear you apart.
They need to know. Regardless of how bad it will hurt. Regardless of the outcome. Don’t let secrets tear you apart.
1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 2nd Corinthians 4:1-4
Today–make it a point to keep no secrets between you and your husband. My marriage has flourished because my husband knows without a shadow of a doubt that he can trust me. I am truthful with him regardless of how much it may hurt to tell him whatever has been going on. I urge you to do the same thing.
I wrote from the heart today about falling in love all over again with your man. You can read the post in its entirety over at A Martha Heart!
Hop on over there and check it out!
My Valentine dinner turned out fabulous! From the steaks and mushrooms all the way down to the crepes and the chocolate covered strawberries.
I will be the first to tell you that crepes are EASY to make and they look scrumptious! The batter is thin and cooks up quick.
As you can see, my crepes did not look that good in the pan. However, once they came out and cooled off, I transformed them into this!
Dessert was DIVINE! My husband and kids both said that these looked good enough to be served in a restaurant. It took me a total of 10 minutes to put them together from start to finish.
For our main course we had steak and baked potato with cabbage salad and I added mushrooms to my plate!
Everything turned out SO good.
Here is the recipe for the crepes! Hope you enjoy.
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- In a blender combine eggs, milk, flour, salt and oil. Process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brush with oil. Pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter into pan, tilting to completely coat the surface of the pan. Cook 2 to 5 minutes, turning once, until golden. Repeat with remaining batter.
My husband made me confront something about myself recently that I had been to stubborn to see. In the search for becoming the perfect wife and mother, I have lost my voice. I thought he was seriously losing his mind, but he pointed out to me the fact that I almost no longer share my opinion on things. It has become a “whatever you want” kind of situation. . . like the one in the movie, Coming to America. Have you ever seen that scene?
Get my drift? At first when he shared this with me, I was angry. Wasn’t that what he wanted from me? To be a submissive and compliant wife? He basically told me that I had become his puppet–that I had lost my voice.
His words hurt. But more than that, the truth hurt. I realized for the first time in my life that I have been living in fear of displeasing him to the point that I no longer had been thinking for myself. Whatever he wanted from me, I would become.
It took his love and truth to make me realize how complacent I had become as a wife. For fear of losing him or driving him away, I had become a puppet and a door mat.
Men do not want that ladies. What they want from us is a strong woman–one who doesn’t mind sharing her opinion and her insight. One that can be independent and yet still let her husband know that she needs him.
I had totally lost sight of that. I started thinking–when did I get like that? Then it hit me. When I came home and started homeschooling our children, I started allowing my voice to take a backseat–all in the name of being a stay at home mom.
By being at home, I convinced myself that my voice, my opinions, and my thoughts did not matter. My husband is the head of the house and his opinion is the only one that matters. How stupid is that? Ladies–don’t be like me. Don’t lose your voice. In doing so, you lose yourself.
My husband began to see the signs of a woman who was about ready to lose it. He has seen this firsthand with many of his friends whose wives just picked up and took off after years of marriage. He wanted to stop it before it consumed me too. When I told him one night–I don’t even know who I am anymore–a warning sign went off for him and he confronted me and made me use my voice again.
He is helping me rediscover who I am by giving me some space to make my own decisions. It’s hard. I find myself saying Are you sure you don’t care?” when I should be saying This is something I really want to do.
I am telling you today–don’t lose your voice. Be who God created you to be. Share with others. Don’t be afraid to live. Speak up when you need to, but do it in respect. Your husband will love you more knowing that he has a wife who has a backbone. Thanks to my wonderful man I am rediscovering mine. This is a long hard road that I hate that I have to go down, but in order to find me again and be the ME that God created me to be, I have to–regardless of how much this hurts.
I challenge you today to stand up for yourself. Speak–live–love. Don’t let fear of “whatever” rule you and back you into losing your voice. Speak out.
As you all know I have been in a real funk the last few months. It has been the worst spiritual funk I have been in. I have fought more with my husband in the past few months than I have in the last 10 years since we have been “restored“.
But I think I am finally coming out of it.
Not because anything has changed much, but because I am realizing some things about myself that have needed changing for a while.
This book that I happen to be reading at the moment is really helping me to see myself in a new light. I have been trying to formulate in my brain how to say what I want to say so that it comes out right, but it still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either! I guess it is not supposed to make much sense and that I am just supposed to trust this new found “thing”. It is freeing and yet one of the most scariest things I have ever been through since accepting Christ as my Savior.
I have learned that I am
~addicted to approval
~quick to jump to conclusions
I have always been those things and thought that at one point I had laid them down, but have just recently realized that I am STILL dealing with all of those things. It frustrates me that I have to return to all of these things and peel off new layers. This process hurts worse than anything I have been through.
Then to top it off, I have come to realize that going to church has become an idol to me. I did not realize this just until this week. My husband has been dealing with this for a while and finally came to terms with it. I was freaking out because we weren’t going to church anywhere. I could just picture God up there with His arms crossed, glaring at me for not gracing the church with my presence each week. On Sunday, I would get upset if we didn’t go because I felt like I would get punished if I wasn’t there. Then when we would go, I would pride myself on being “at church”–and yet, the whole time I was there, my mind was elsewhere. “What am I gonna serve for lunch?”, “I wonder if we will go out to eat?”, “I need to clean the house.”. Get my drift?
I have finally come to grips with the fact that God is not going to smite me down if I don’t go to church on Sundays. That does not mean I love Him any less. In fact, He is teaching me more and more how to love Him just like I am. Being a people pleaser, I have also realized that I have been trying to “people please” God which is totally ridiculous, but that is what I have been doing. Everything that I do for the church or things that I do, I have been doing them so that God would be pleased with me. It took this book to make me realize that is such a false notion. There is nothing I need to “do” to make God love me. I have already done the ONLY thing He required of me and that was to accept His son as my Savior.
I will walk with Him every day, but I no longer am feeling the need to “do-do-do” and learn how to just “be” while He teaches me to trust Him. This feeling is so weird for me because everything that I have been learning about church is completely changing and it is seriously rocking my world and turning everything in me upside down.
Like I said before–it is very freeing, and yet scary all at the same time. Just being able to be me and me alone without worrying what everyone else thinks has just raised my mood level so much. I don’t feel so guilty for not going and doing things lately. I am enjoying this week this new found “freedom”.
So my suggestion is that if you are dealing with these feelings as well, check your motives. Why are you doing them? Once you answer that question, you will feel more alive than you have in a long time–once you let those feelings go.
I am reading a book right now that is rocking me to my core. Chapter three just totally captivated me this morning and I wanted to share part of it with you.Please excuse the longness f this post. I don’t normally write them this long, but it was just too good to pass up on not sharing this part of this book with you.
“Jake, do you see that boy sitting next to your daughter in the shorts and yellow t-shirt?”
“No. Not specifically.”
“Well, I’m not surprised. There wasn’t much to look at really. He wasn’t making any noise, just sitting there with his head down and his arms folded.”
“Oh, I know who you’re talking about. That must be Benji.”
“Benji. Did you notice that he didn’t know one word of that memory verse and he didn’t even get up to get the star he earned for coming today?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“How do you think all of that made him feel?”
“I hope it made him want to do better; to bring his Bible, to come more often, and to memorize his verses. That’s how we motivate the kids. Everyone does it. It’s for a good purpose.”
“But how is he ever going to compete against. . . .Sherri, was that it? Are his parents as supportive as you are?”
“He only has his mom and has never seen his dad. She’s a hard worker and loves him a lot, but you know how tough single parenting can be. I can’t even imagine it myself.”
“Do you think Benji will go away encouraged?”
“That’s what we’re hoping.” I thought about Benji sitting there with that distant look I had seen in his eyes so many times in the past. “But I guess we’d have to say that it hasn’t worked for him yet, although it works for most of the other kids. We have one of the most successful children’s ministries in the city.”
“Is it your point that Sherri’s feelings of accomplishment are worth Benji’s shame?”
I tried to answer his question, but couldn’t think of anything to say that didn’t sound incredibly stupid.
“Did you go to Sunday School, Jake, when you were young?”
“I did. My parents literally raised us in church. I even won a Bible for memorizing one hundred and fifty-three Bible verses in one three-month contest.”
John’s eyes popped open. “Really? And what drove you to that?”
“The winner got a brand new Bible.”
“And I suppose you probably didn’t even need one.”
I paused a moment, remembering that my parents had bought me a Bible shortly before that. I cocked my head and squinted my eyes at him bewilderly as if to say, How did you know?
“The ones who win usually don’t need the prize.”
“I did have another Bible, but this one was special. I had won it.”
“A hundred and fifty three? That’s a lot of verses.”
“Memorizing has always come easy for me. I just read a verse over a couple of times and I’ve got it. It really wasn’t hard. Most verses I memorized in the morning before church.”
“How many verses did the second place winner memorize?”
“About thirty-five if I remember right. I really blew them away.”
“And you’re thinking that all of this is a healthy demonstration of spiritual fervor?”
Well now that you question it, I thought, but remained silent.
“What else did you win?”
“When I was around ten, I won a gold plated pin for two years of consecutive Sunday School attendance. The Pastor gave it to me one Sunday morning in front of the whole church. You should have heard the applause. I will never forget how special I felt.”
“It gave you something to live for, didn’t it?”
“What do you mean?”
“Isn’t that what you’ve been seeking ever since, that feeling of being special?”
It was as if a veil had just been lifted off of my eyes. Most of my decisions had been made craving the recognition and honor of other people. I loved people’s approval and often fantasized about it. If the truth be told, that was probably the strongest draw in leaving my real estate job and taking a position in ministry, where I could be up front, well-known, and appreciated. “Did that one moment cause me to seek approval?”
“Of course not. It was a lot of moments like that, exposing and nourishing a desire you already had way down here.” He pointed to my chest. “Who doesn’t want to be liked and appreciated? It’s an easy thing to use when you are trying to motivate people to do good things. The larger question is, did all that memorization and attendance help you know your Father better?”
“What’s easier for you to do? Pursue relationship with the Father, or your own sense of personal success? That’s the real test. It seems to me you wouldn’t be so desperate if it had really taught you how to know Father’s love. Instead, you are so busy seeking everyone’s approval, you don’t realize you already have His.”
“What do you mean? How can I have His approval when I am still struggling so?”
“Because you are struggling for the wrong thing. You think that you can earn Father’s approval. We’re approved not by anything we can do, but by what He did for us on the cross. Honestly, Jake, there’s not one thing you can do to make Him love you any more today; and there’s not one thing you can do to make Him love you any less either. He just loves you.”
“It is your security in love that will change you, not your struggle to try and earn it.”
My eyes began to moisten with tears. He had unlocked something I had never considered before. “So, all my efforts are in vain?”
“If they are directed at trying to get Him to love you more, yes they are. If you never counseled another person or taught another class, Jake, He would love you no less.”
What? I was speechless! I wanted to believe him, but he had just challenged everything I had ever worked for. While it would explain why so many of my efforts had fallen short, I had no idea how to embrace what he just said. Was I really trying to earn what He had already given?
“You know that morning you got the attendance pin? If that pastor would have really loved you, do you know what he would have said? ‘Ladies and gentleman we want to introduce a young man who has just completed a two year span of never missing a Sunday school class. We want to pray for him because that means his family priorities are so askew that for the last two years they never took a vacation together. It means he probably came here when he was sick when he should have been resting. It means that winning this gold-plated trinket and your approval is more important to him than being your brother. And not one day of his attendance will draw him any closer to God.’
further into the chapter. I hope that this post is not too long at the moment, but here is where the real light bulb came on for me. This is what I have been struggling with for the last year. Do not miss this part.
“One of the most significant lessons Jesus taught His disciples was to stop looking for God’s life in the regimen of rituals and rules. He came not to refurbish their religion, but to offer them a relationship. He wanted His disciples to know that the rules and traditions of men get in the way of the powed and life of His Father.”
“No prison is as strong as religious obligation.”
“I passed a synagouge and the Rabbi came out and asked if I could go in and turn on some lights for him because someone had forgotten to do it. He could not do it because he would be breaking the sabbath.”
“That sounds kind of silly doesn’t it?”
“To you it might be, and so would some of your rules and rituals to him.”
“Some of mine? I don’t do anything like that about the Sabbath.”
“Of course not, but what if you missed Sunday morning services for a month–just stayed home and gave your tithe to the poor instead of putting it in the offering plate?”
“Those are the same thing?”
“Yes, but I don’t do those things because I think they’re law. I do them because I am free to.”
“The rabbi would say no different. But if you were honest you would see that you do them because you believe they make you more acceptable to God and make Him more favorably disposed to you. If you didn’t do them you would feel guilty.”
Light bulb moment.
I will stop right here and let this portion of this chapter soak in for you as it has for me. Even that word makes me cringe. Guilty. I know that is the truth–the cold hard truth with me right now.
I am struggling with guilt.
And so many other things that this book is bringing to light for me. I will share more in another post. I have to step away and think for a bit.
The excerpts provided here are from a book entitled, So You Don’t Want to Go To Church Anymore.