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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?

I Love You 100!?!?

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“I love you!”

“No, I love you!”

“I love you more.”

“No, I love you more.”

“Well, I love you infinity!”

“Well then, I love you double infinity!”

 

Has this never ending conversation ever gone on at your house? I know it has at mine. That is until we put a stop to it. Continue reading

Being Present When You Are Absent

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PresentAbsent

Being a parent is not easy.  It would be challenging if it was the only thing we had to do, but of course it is just one of many things on our weekly schedule.  These other necessary items, like maintaining the home, doing ministry, and earning a living all take away that most precious of resources:  time.  A child needs your time and your attention more than anything that is on their Christmas list.  You can’t create time from scratch, so what can you do to make the most of the time that you have?  The key is to be ‘present.’

Presence When Present and When Absent

Being present is difficult to describe, but I think you know what I mean.  The easiest way to imagine it is to imagine its opposite.  We have all been in the same room with someone who was absent – a growing problem with all the digital distractions.  So being present when you are home is a key.  But what about when I am not home?  As a working parent who spends 50 hours per week outside of the home, I have an even greater disadvantage.   Much of the day I am not physically present, but we have found a fun way that I can be ‘present’ even when I am absent.    Continue reading

Valentine’s Promises For Your Kids

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ConversationHearts

Valentine’s Day is not too far away, and I am sure all of us are trying to figure out how to show love to our spouses.  But it is also a great opportunity to show your kids how you love them, in specific ways.

As Nate and I read book after book, we see a common thread about the inner longings of the human heart. A female longs to be cherished, to be sought after and adored. A male no matter his age needs to know that he has what it takes to succeed. As parents it is our job to speak to those longings. To build their confidence and make sure they leave our homes with the boldness to live out God’s calling on their lives.

What better time than Valentine’s to get yourself in the habit of expressing that love to your children. (And your spouse too, of course!)  Here are two ideas to get your mind a thinking. 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: Your Most Important Customer

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His Needs, Her Needs- Part 3 in the Foundation of Marriage series.

You have probably heard the term ‘the customer is always right.’  And although many customers are very wrong, the adage still makes sense when you are running a business.  If people don’t like the delicious pistachio ice cream you are selling, then it would be in your best interest to find out what kind of ice cream they want and start selling it.  Sure, you can offer free samples and try to persuade them, but if they don’t like it, then it does not do any good to argue with them.  Give the customer what they want.  Serve your customers!

In the same way, you are truly serving your spouse only when you are serving them in a way that they enjoy.  See our review of the 5 Love Languages for an introduction to this foundational principle.  Today’s review is of another book that approaches this same concept from a different angle: His Needs, Her Needs – Building an Affair-Proof Marriage, by Willard Harley.  Continue reading

C13 Mom: Love Never Fails

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C13MomNeverFails

Love NEVER Fails.

There are days when life may seem too hard to handle. There are days when you doubt. Days when you are fearful. Days when nothing seems to be going right. But on those days there is one truth that remains constant: Love never fails. God’s love will always be there, ready to wrap you up and comfort you. God’s love will draw you near. God’s love is ever ready to supply all your needs and bless you beyond what you can even imagine.

Remember, the love your heavenly Father has for you is like the love you have towards your children. No matter how naughty they have been, you always get up the next morning to do it all over again, because your love is never ending. There may be days when you don’t like them very much, but your love for them will never change!

Praise God the same is true of our heavenly Father. No matter what we do or don’t do, His love is permanent. It never comes to an end. It never fluctuates and will last for eternity. On the days you don’t have much left to give, hold onto this promise: LOVE NEVER FAILS! Continue reading

Reflections On My Daughter’s Birthday

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Our sweet oldest turned 9 recently. I can’t believe I have been a mom for 9 whole years – time has really flown! Hannah makes parenting easy and breaks us in to each stage of parenting easily. Here are the lessons I have learned from my firstborn.

  • Others come first. It doesn’t matter how badly Hannah wants to read a book or play with a toy. She is so willing to lay it down and get her brother a drink or play a game with someone. She allows others to make the decision and puts her needs aside.
  • Joy comes with serving others. Hannah is always looking for one thing that she can do to bless others. Often she leaves a note on her homework telling her teacher to have a good day. She tries to think ahead and be one step ahead of me in the kitchen or when we are cleaning up the house.
  • You can’t change others, but you can change yourself. When Hannah is having trouble with a friend or sibling, she always asks me what can she do to make the situation better. She isn’t focused on what they did wrong or what they should do. Her focus is always “How can I be kinder?” or “How can I show her that I do care and want to be her friend?” This is good reminder for me.  How many times to I justify my own actions instead of just focusing on what I could have done better? I do have the power to change me so that is what I should be thinking about.
  • Leaders are readers. Hannah is constantly learning. We got her a Nook for her birthday, and you would have thought we gave her a million bucks by her reaction. She enjoys learning about people and especially about people who lived a long time ago. (She of course reads fun books too.) I know that her love for reading will do her well as she continues to get older.

Hannah challenges me to be joyful in my servanthood. To stop focusing on my own needs and instead focus on how I can be a blessing for others.

Who in your life is an example of a good servant?

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Birthday Donuts With Dad!

 

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Photo Credit: Sasha Logan

C13 Mom: Love Always…

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C13MomLoveAlways

As we have journeyed through how to be a 1 Corinthians Mom, we have learned so much about the different character traits of love. We started with two positive expressions of love, patience and kindness. Then we talked through eight different verbs of what love is not like. Now we end on four absolute truths of love.

  1. Love never gives up.
  2. Love never loses faith.
  3. Love is always hopeful.
  4. Love endures through ALL circumstances.

When it comes down to it, the song is right: “All you need is love.” It is love that keeps us going. Love for our children is what gets us up in the morning ready to do it one more day. It is love, after a long battle of the wills that melts their heart and gives us strength to do it all over again.

Love believes the best in our kids. Love is what motivates us to never give up on them. Love so deep in our soul that puts us on our knees to pray even harder for their souls. Even on the bad days, the days when their wills battle against our own, our love for them flows out as we rock them to sleep at night.

There is nothing that love would not do, especially when it comes to our kids. Continue reading

C13 Mom: Love Rejoices With the Truth

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C13MomLoveIs

1 Corinthians 13:6 (NASB)

 Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

At first read, this one seemed easy.  Of course I don’t rejoice in unrighteousness!  Quite the opposite in fact.  But when I got to the second half of the sentence I realized it was a little trickier.  I mean, I like the truth and everything else that is the opposite of unrighteousness, but do I really, actually rejoice along with it?

My commentary 1 says it so well: “The person full of Christian love joins in rejoicing on the side of behavior that reflects the gospel…”  In other words, 1 Corinthians 13 love rejoices when God’s character is lived out. As moms we can sometimes be so focused on correcting the wrong that we fail to praise the good. We fail to recognize when our child does reflect the character of God. I know that I am guilty of this. Some believe that for every criticism or correction you should give your child seven words of praise. Sadly, there are days when I would be hard pressed to even have a one to one ratio. Continue reading