Valentines Day Recap

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ConversationHearts

As Christians, we know that we are to love.  Jesus said that our greatest and second greatest commands were to love God and others.  So, in some ways, Valentine’s day is as important of a holiday as any of the rest, because it celebrates Christianity’s primary characteristic.

If we are to love each other, we might as well get good at it!  Here are some of our favorite posts about how to show love to your spouse and kids.  Enjoy!

God’s Love

Happy Valentine’s Day 

God loves you!  So what else matters?!?!?!

Valentine’s and Parenting:

We love our kids, and this is a great time to show them.

Valentine’s Promises For Your Kids

Valentine’s Wreath 

Vital Words For My Girls

Vital Words For My Boys

Conversation Hearts of Love

The 1 Corinthians 13 Mom

Valentine’s and Marriage:

Here are a few of our posts about marriage.  You can find more by hovering over Men and clicking on Husband or hovering over Gals and clicking on Wife

The Foundation of Marriage Series

These books and concepts have been foundational to our marriage.

The Foundation of Marriage

Foundations of Marriage: Sacred Marriage

Foundations of Marriage: Your Most Important Customer

Foundations of Marriage: Proceed With Caution

Foundations of Marriage: Love and Respect

Foundations of Marriage: For Men and Women Only

Other Fun Marriage Posts

Guys – Creative Date Nights

It’s hard to think of good ideas, so here are a few to get you started.

Marital Intimacy Troubleshooting – Men

“Marital Intimacy” is a code word so that our posts don’t get blocked by your internet filters.  This topic is critically important to every marriage, so it stands to reason that we should try to tackle problems in this area.

Warning Husbands: T Minus 8 Days to Valentine’s

Don’t mess this up guys – it’s the same day every year.  Right after Lincoln’s birthday.  Right before Washington’s birthday.

Fun Game to Play – Spouses Only 😉

This may leave you blushing.

Gift Ideas For Your Hubby!

This may also.

Love

Valentine’s Day is a great time to reach out to the ones you love.  We hope some of these ideas are helpful.  What ideas do you have?


Text Tone

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TextTone

Oh be careful little mouth what you say

Oh be careful little mouth what you say

For the Father up above is looking down in love

So be careful little mouth what you say

Anyone remember this oldie but goodie? Today I was texting back and forth with my husband and noticed myself adding extra inflection to my words as I was telling Siri what to text. Subconsciously I think I was expecting Siri to translate my tone and my humor into the text. I chuckled to myself as I read my text to make sure that Siri interpreted it right. She got the words right, but somehow it didn’t have the extra kick of humor that would have been there if I was talking with Nate face to face. Thankfully my husband knows me well, and I am sure he was able to read each and every text in the tone of voice that I had hoped. Even if he didn’t, he knows and understands my heart.

But it got me to thinking. Not everyone knows me this well. It doesn’t matter how I tell Siri to say it – the recipient of my text will interpret it any way they choose. Scary, isn’t it! Words are so powerful. What we say to others can make a dramatic impact on their mood, emotions and outlook. That is why we must choose our words wisely. We must also choose how to hear words. We can allow words to affect us in a positive or negative way. Only through the help of God can we interpret things in the way that we should.

IMG_0672 Continue Reading…


13 Marriage Lessons From 13 Years

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Wedding1

For our 13th anniversary we sat down and reminded ourselves of 13 lessons we have learned about marriage.  Some of these we learned the hard way.  Others we have learned from wise teachers in our life.

Wedding2

  1. Never stop dating
  2. Life changes and your spouse changes. Keep learning about your spouse and adjusting and growing.
  3. Keep laughing. Don’t always be serious.
  4. Do ministry together.
  5. You are your spouse’s biggest cheerleader, not critic.
  6. Put your spouse before your children, in your mind and in your actions.
  7. When in doubt, serve your spouse.
  8. Go to a marriage retreat (or similar getaway) every 1 or 2 years. (Put time and effort into your marriage continually.)
  9. Pray with your spouse daily.
  10. Actively work on YOU and who God created you to be.
  11. Practice talking with your spouse about important things, like God, money, and sex.
  12. You are on the same team – your spouse is never the enemy.
  13. Life isn’t a cake walk, but it is better with a partner!

Continue Reading…


Conquering Self: Walking in Peace

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LessOfMe

Last week we discussed the idea of pursuing peace with all people. Today we are going to break down two different passages that I feel give us guidance on how to actually put this into practice.

But first remember these promises:

1 John 5:2-4 (ESV)

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

Mark 10:27 (NLT)

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

 

Go to your journal page seven and look at the name of the person or the situation that you wrote down. Keep these in mind as we go through these next two passages. Continue Reading…


Two Reasons to Get Out of the Accountability Rut

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Hannah_Bek2BW

We have talked a lot about accountability (see links below) and how it can help you become who you want to be. A better spouse. A better person. A better you! But like all good things, if you aren’t careful it can turn into a burden, a checklist, or a rut. A few months ago, I hit the check list roadblock.

It started slowly. I was late giving my report one time. Another time I hurried and banged it out in 4 minutes. I slowly started just answering the bullet points instead of sharing my heart. Then unfortunately I allowed my complacency to affect the way I responded to my partner’s accountability. My responses became shorter and shorter. My words of encouragement were few and far between.

Thankfully I have a wonderful friend, who kindly asked how I thought things were going. She asked me if I felt like the accountability was meeting my needs and if not, what she could do better. She also gave me the option to stop for now if I needed to. She could have said, “You are stinking at this accountability thing, and you are not helping you or me!” She would have been justified in doing so, but instead she chose the loving and grace-filled route.

I realized that I had forgotten the purpose of the accountability. I let Satan trick my mind into thinking it was yet one more thing that I had to check off my list. I forgot that the two main reasons you do accountability are to renew your mind and to love God and others better. Continue Reading…


Foundation of Marriage: For Men and Women Only

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Skyscraper-001

“My wife is so complicated and irrational – I could never figure her out!”

“My husband is so simplistic and childish – all he thinks about is conquering something and sex.”

True?  False?  On the surface, there is some truth to these statements.  Men and women are certainly very different from each other, as different as Huck Finn and Cinderella.  But when married people stop at this level of understanding, it makes them into 1 dimensional cartoon characters and robs them of any chance of deep and lasting intimacy.  It sets the stage for a life of the man in his man-cave and the wife out shopping with the girls, living miserably ever after.

That’s not what we want. 

Dana and I want to spend our entire lives getting to know each other better and more closely.  I want to figure out what I can do to make her life better, and do it!  She wants to find out what I really need, and provide it!  This is how we can be the couple that is still flirting with each other and having fun together in our 80’s!  Today’s book helps us to do just that.

The last post in our series of Marriage Foundation books is actually about couple of books:  For Women Only and For Men Only.  These two books reveal the very practical, deep, down things that a husband would like his wife to know, and that a wife would like her husband to know about her.  The books are drawn on research that Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn have conducted, where they asked good questions and got real answers. We did these books as a Bible study with our marrieds group, and it made for good conversation about how the opposite gender really thought about serious issues.  We felt like it took the principles of love and respect and 5 Love Languages and went a practical step further.  Of course they are presenting results that won’t be true 100% of the time for your or your spouse, but our group found the themes to be helpful starting points to understanding our spouses more completely.   Continue Reading…


Foundation of Marriage: Proceed With Caution

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Skyscraper-001

Part 4 of the Foundation of Marriage series.

Nate and I love questionnaires and evaluations. We love assessing things and figuring out new and better ways to do things. But proceed with caution!  We have learned over the years there is a right way and a wrong way to use these tools to improve our marriage and ourselves.

(Route A is the wrong way and Route B is the right, productive way.)

It all starts with the approach! Are you…

A: Trying to point out where your spouse is falling short?

or

B: Trying to help your spouse understand you and what makes you tick?

Your approach determines your words….

A: Accusatory and demeaning statements like “You need to do this better!” Or “You need to stop doing this!”

or

B: Affirming, encouraging, and helpful statements like: “I appreciate when you do this____. ” Or “I know this isn’t your intent, but when this happens, this is how it makes me feel ____.”  “Another way to do it that would be helpful in this situation would be if you could do this___.”

Your words (and tone) determine the outcome.

A: End result: Wounds being made, frustration forming and hope diminishing.

or

B: End result: A plan put in place to strengthen the marriage and move it forward in a productive and positive way. Continue Reading…


Foundation of Marriage – Sacred Marriage

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Skyscraper-001

Last week I mentioned that a few books have helped us create the foundation for marriage.  Today we are going to highlight one of those books:  Sacred Marriage.  We were introduced to this book after several years of marriage, and it has become the foundational principle to all else that we think and write about marriage.

Selfless Service

I suppose that is a redundant phrase:  Selfless Service.  But I think it is important to use both words, because too often even our service to others is rooted in selfishness.  The thought, down deep, is “I will do this for her because of what it will get for me.” We may not even be cynical or calculating – sometimes it is just a simple reality.  “If I don’t do the dishes, she will be grumpy.  And that is slightly worse than doing the dishes, so I will do them.”  The point I am trying to make is that Gary Thomas turns marriage inside out with this question:

“What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”  Continue Reading…


Funny Things Happen When the Tables Are Turned

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Phone

At the beginning of the summer I took on a part time job at our church. Since April I have served as the Children’s Ministry Coordinator and have loved every minute of it. It is a fun job but a crazy, busy job. VBS filled up most of my summer and the time spent paid off since 48 children made a commitment to the Lord!! (Sidenote: International Spy Academy by Answers in Genesis was AWESOME!! I highly recommend it for your church!  Here is 2015’s Camp Kilimanjaro!)

In the past I worked 12 hours a week as a pharmacist. I got the privilege of working with my husband for most of my working career and loved it. My work schedule was less hectic than my husband’s manager job, but for the most part he took the time to eat lunch with me and connect with me throughout the day. It was great.

Then I got pregnant with our fourth child. We decided it was time for me to stay home. Not having those close connections during the week I started to crave more interaction with my husband. I wanted to know how he was doing, and I for sure wanted him to know what was going on in my day. I desired to hear his voice – to me it comforted my soul. Well, as we adjusted to the new way of doing things, I mourned the loss of our lunch dates and the random phone calls or emails. I began to get hurt when he could only give me 2 minutes of his time before he went on to his next meeting. There would be days when he would forget to call at lunch (which I am blessed that he does call on a fairly regular basis) and I would be sad and feel neglected. Continue Reading…


My Fall Semester

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MyFallSemester

It is back to school time. The girls are back in school. The boys and I have started to settle into our new schedule of worksheets and ‘preschool’. As I was starting to get a game plan on what I would like Luke to learn this fall, the thought dawned on me…”What should I be learning?”

We should always be learning something. God wired us that way. When we aren’t learning we get bored and boredom almost always leads to trouble.

So, as of today I have decided that that I am going to enroll in two classes this fall!  Continue Reading…


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