Category Archives: marriage

Good-Bye, 2013!

This morning my husband admitted  he was thankful to say goodbye to 2013.  He’s the stable one in the family, the glass half-full man who walks steadily by faith through the valleys and the mountaintops. If he’s ready to bid the year good-bye, it really was a hard year. 

In fact, that was part of the reason blogging has been so sporadic for me this year, funerals, illnesses, and other heartaches have interfered with my time, my schedule, and my heart many times.

However, sorrow and joy always mingle together, so we try hard to remember the times of joy, and grow in grace through our sorrows. 

To close out the year, I wanted to share the Top Ten Blogs of 2013 my readers enjoyed. 

10.  My Courage Failed

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A look back to a time of discouragement.  I was flying home to a beloved family, but leaving behind an Innocent Man who had been sentenced to jail.

9.  Ten Things to Look for in The Perfect Man

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A challenge to the unmarried and a reminder to the married.  Can your relationship survive The Bed Pan Test?

8.  I Am An Old, Old Mommy

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As a toddler, my 6th child was confused that other mommies looked more like her big sister than her mommy.

7.  Why I Had Kids Not Dogs

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Tongue-in-cheek reasons why a dog never resided in our home, even though I live in an area where there are more dogs per capita than children.

6.  The Sweet Gospel Message -Vacation Bible School Idea

 

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Sweet ideas for sending a treat and the Gospel home with children who attend Vacation Bible School.

5. The World’s Most Famous Teenager

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(postcard from Anne Frank Huis, foto by Frans Dupont, in honor of Anne’s 80th birthday, June, 2009)

What childhood reader didn’t cry through The Diary of Anne Frank?  It was my first exposure to the horrors of World War II.  My husband and I visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. It wasn’t a tourist destination, it was a life experience.

4.  I’ve Eaten Rattlesnake

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My 7th grade homeroom teacher was a Vietnam Vet who impacted my life in many ways, including my culinary appetite. This blog post was featured on Freshly Pressed by WordPress, an honor that earned this badge below.

It’s kinda’ like a merit badge for bloggers. It was almost as exciting as eating a pet snake.

3. Best Answers to Big Family Questionable Questions

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This was in follow-up to my #1 blog post, “Things I Would Never Say to a Parent of Two Children.” The comments were so hilarious, I featured my readers in this post.

2. When Gramma Lost her Marbles

Mindy and Gramma Geneva 1993

Laughter and tears are two reactions to unchangeable circumstances. This post was a visit back through my Grandmother’s Alzheimer’s, when I became known to her as only “The Lady with the Kids.”  I was blessed that this post was shared through Facebook support groups all across the world, and I was able to laugh and cry with others as they shared their personal stories.

1. Things I Would Never Say to a Parent with Two Kids

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I wanted to recap what it was like to be the mother of six children, highlighting all the inappropriate comments that were made in front of my children.  I took the opposite of things I heard frequently and wrote a post.  I was astounded at the reaction. To date, I’ve had 43,119 visits to this blog post.

What I’m most grateful for with this post isn’t the number of visitors, it’s what I learned from the reactions to this post.  As beautiful women poured out their hearts in the comment section about their lives, I learned that women in all circumstances have to deal with rude and painful comments from others, just as I have done. 

Above all, I was blessed that women would so openly share their hearts.  Whether they agreed with me or not, they entrusted me with their experiences and their pain.

As I evaluate these top ten posts from 2013, I see the representation of all the things that are dear to me, the Lord Jesus, marriage, mothering, extended family, and my upbringing. And I was reminded of the many joys I experienced through the year.

I was also struck with the encouragement my readers have provided through this year.  Your comments, prayers, and private emails have blessed me and upheld me during the hardest times when each keystroke in telling the story has been a dagger of pain.  Several times I even wondered if I should quit writing, and one of your dear readers would send just the perfect encouragement to help me press on in my calling. I am incredibly thankful for each of you, you are my support, my strength, and my friends.

May this coming year bless you with joy unspeakable and the ability to find joy in all your sorrows.

Happy New Year!

 

How to Git the Honey-Do List Dun

Warm weather  and weekends are for projects, or so women think.

Warm weather and weekends are for relaxing, or so men think.

Spring is getting closer and our Honey-Do Lists are getting longer. The longer the list gets, the higher chance you have for marital conflict. 

I asked my husband for his insight on the  Honey-Do List.  Oh boy, did I get insight.  I should have asked him when we got home from the honeymoon and saved myself years of frustration.  This is a direct quote. Hang onto your office chairs, ladies.

His admission also proved this post  could have been titled, "The Man Who Betrayed All Men.”

Apparently, the 1st time I ask him to do something, he views it as a "SUGGESTION."

Hubbster explained, "I don’t want to act at this point because I need to discern if it is a suggestion or is really critical. If I hear about it for about six years, then I know it’s important."

When he heard me typing 90mph, he started laughing.

"OH, NO! I just revealed my trade secrets!" Yes, you are busted, Mr. P.

The 2nd time he hears me ask, he knows it’s important, but by the third time,  he knows he’s treading on thin ice. By the 3rd time I’m treading on thin ice, too, because I’m getting too close to nagging.

AS A WOMAN, anything that comes out of my mouth is important, so I assume I should only have to ask once.

AS A MAN, he knows I change my mind, my plans and my priorities, so he wants time to discern my asks.

The Honey-Do List can cause friction in marriage. After all, there are things only a man can do. I realized that after trying to pound a 16 penny nail into solid oak. I pounded and pounded and pounded, and couldn’t get the nail to go in. I thought it would be an easy project. I was wrong.

I ended up pounding the oak floor  in frustration instead of the nail. Yep, I did. Yep, it made me feel better. Nope, the shelf in the closet never got hung. I just couldn’t do it. Later, my laughing hubby explained how to drill holes in the wood first. It proved a point to both of us. There were some things he needed to do for a variety of reasons.

During the years my hubby traveled  for work and I was at home with six small kids, many things got broken. Many of those broken things didn’t get fixed. The pile became a source of irritation for both of us. To me, it symbolized his failure. To him, it symbolized my nagging.

At my next garage sale, I made a huge sign that said Honey-Didn’t Do and marked the broken items a dollar.  They all sold to retired men looking for things to do and women who had mastered DIY. Hubby and I both got a laugh, the list was knocked down in size, and I never missed those broken items.

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1. MAKE A LIST

The marital conundrum.  If you don’t remind a husband, he doesn’t remember.  If you remind him only once, he won’t remember.  If you remind him more than three times, you’re a nag.

Let the list do the nagging.  I bought cool little whiteboard for his side of the closet. The wall was textured and the sign kept falling down. I bought more double stick foamy stuff and used a ton. Didn’t work. I was gunna’ pound a 16 penny nail through the whole thing, but that hadn’t work 20 years prior, so I figured it wouldn’t work now.

I brought the whiteboard to the thrift store. However, the few weeks the thing actually stayed on our wall, it worked. He liked the idea of not having to remember the list and having the ability to do them in his timing. Now I keep a simple paper list.

 

2. DIY

Learn a new skill.  Bing it.  YouTube it. I divide my list into  Honey-Do and the  Honey-I-Dun-Did-it-Myself. Relieve some of  the burden if you can.

3. HELP THE HONEY HELP YOU

I needed a coat rack hung in the downstairs hallway for bathrobes. 

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They were in the way on the closet doors.

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I bought the coat rack I wanted.  The tools he needed were added to the pile.  When he came home from work I showed him the task.  It was done within the week.  I praised and thanked him.

It worked so well, the next week he asked me if I needed anything else done, since he was running to Home Depot.  I asked him to buy a white towel bar for the bathroom.  A few hours later, he brought me down to the bathroom to show me the finished project. 

He was as a proud as a kid with a homemade clay ashtray. 

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I smiled and stammered and said, “Well, thank you, honey, but that isn’t a towel bar.”

He stared and stammered and stared some more. The gerbils were running their guts out to process the information.  Coat rack….towel bar….coat rack…towel bar…

OH. I used glue and screws and it will NEVER come down.”

We now use coat hooks for our towels.  In the PNW it isn’t the best option because towels don’t dry quickly.  But, he was able to git ‘er dun, so we’re making the thing he dun got dun make do.

Speaking of git ‘er dun, this blog is done.  A three day weekend is coming up and I have to write my current Honey-Do List out. 

Good thing I know three ways to git the list dun!

…and the Winners are….

I’m interrupting my MWF blogging schedule to announce some contest winners.

If I was really techy I would have figured out how to imbed some sound for a drumroll, but since I am not, feel feel to slap your desk in rhythm as you await in clichéd anticipation with baited breath on pins and needles.

The Annoying Husband Contest

This wasn’t really about how annoying husbands can be, but how wives get easily annoyed by making silly rules the husbands don’t understand and can’t seem to follow.

Pillow with Text from Snipping Tool

Like my rule about couch pillows being for decorative use only.  Who wants one more thing to clean?

Anyhoo,  Tandis won the contest for having the most annoying husband, or for being the best wife to see that her wonderful hubby is really trying to be a help and an encouragement.

Tandis’ contest entry said, “My husband is “juicing” to lose weight – how annoying is that? ;););)
When he juices – every single night – he sometimes lets the juicer get a little crazy and the cupboards and walls and ceiling end up with pieces of pulp plastered to them. ugh! When I remind him to wipe it off right away so it doesn’t stick/glue/stain the walls he laughs and says, “Wow, it got way up there??” As he stands gazing at where the pulp went. He is always impressed, like it was his goal all along!!! I tell ya… if I wasn’t rolling my eyes and holding back a laugh, I’d really be ticked. ;)

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I included enough chocolate for Tandis to share with hubby to set back his dieting for a few days so he can juice more and decorate the ceiling even more.

If you want to read more of their exciting adventures with four daughters and assorted life adventures, she blogs at “Life as We SKI It.”  No, they don’t ski, hubby comes from Polish ancestry. That’s why he’s called SKI. 

The Memory Jar

The next contest also included chocolate and a good book.  As part of the 2013 Launch Team for Tricia Goyer, I was given a free copy of the first book in her Seven Brides for Seven Bachelor’s Series to give away.

I’m not a huge Amish fan, but I found I could easily relate to Sarah in The Memory Jar.  You can read my review here.

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I rolled a dice for this one and Connie Mace was the winner. Connie is a gifted, inspirational writer who blogs at “Raise Your Eyes.” 

Top o' the Mornin' Mini Minnie!

Connie also wrote this adorable children’s book, “Top o’ the Mornin’ Mini Minnie!” that I’ll be reviewing in the future.

So, there ya’ go. 

THE WINNERS

 Thank you to all who entered. To those of you who read my blog but didn’t leave a comment for the contests, yes, I’m talking to you….maybe that ONE POUND CHOCOLATE bar might be enticing enough for you to step out of the blog shadows and enter my next giveaway…

 

The Annoying Husband Contest

When I got married, I thought I married a highly intelligent, wonderful man who would function well in life.

I was wrong.

Totally wrong.

As soon as we returned from the honeymoon I learned  my husband lacked intelligence in some areas. I had promised to love and cherish, and my wedding vows were soon tested.

He actually thought the couch pillows were for his head. He would lie down for a nap on the couch, grab one of my new ruffled pillows,  put his head on it and think he was going to take a nap.

Can you believe that?

Pillow with Text from Snipping Tool

Thinking pillows are for heads?

He also proved his lack of intelligence in the bathroom.  He actually thought the rug next to the shower was to step on when he got out of the shower.  DUH.  It gets wet and it doesn’t always dry out. It took me years  before I finally taught him to dry off his feet before he got out of the shower and stepped on the rug.

You would think that men would at least be good with mechanical things in the house, like appliances.  My husband actually thought he could put dirty dishes in the dishwasher.  I had to teach him how to scrape them and rinse them and then put them in the dishwasher.  Of course, he never could figure out how to put the stuff in the dishwasher, tall cups on the right, short cups on the left, coffee cups in the middle.  On the bottom, plates in the front row, 8 facing east, 8 facing west, meeting in the middle.  Along the edges you fit cutting boards and platters.  Bowls can be tucked neatly together in the back row of the dishwasher and misc. items between the rows of plates and bowls.  After he says "it’s full"  I can fit another sink full of items in there. 

Whoever taught men to place spatulas and utensils on their side in the upper rack?  You could fit six glasses or one spatula.  I choose six glasses.

My husband also has a hard time putting things away in the kitchen.  To me, it’s obvious.  We have a corner cupboard just for items to drink from.  The bottom row is glass drinking glasses, short clear on the right, short green in the middle, tall clear on the left.  The middle shelf is coffee cups.  I prefer to have all the handles facing to the right, but I am flexible on that point.The top shelf is stemware, clear on the right, gold on the left.   Easy-peasy puddin’ and pie.

BUT NOOOOOUHHHH!  He just opens the cupboard door and randomly shoves stuff in there.  I can just hear the reasoning, "Hey, they’re all things you drink out of, so I got the right cupboard!"

Do you know how hard it is to set the table when you want to use all the short green glasses and you have to rearrange the whole cupboard to find 8 that match?

He also had the audacity one night to set the table with two green glasses, two clear, one taco bell cup, one leftover sippy cup that got lost for a decade ‘cuz it was in the wrong cupboard, and two 7-11 Slurpee cups. 

Speaking of dishes, once he served our daughter, who was two at the time, her morning cereal in a serving bowl with a tablespoon.  It looked like a scene out of Honey I Shrunk the Kids.  He’s ridiculous!

But you know what shows his greatest lack of intelligence?  Choosing a woman who is so finicky, she  needs to live on her own planet.

stuff from june 068                           toilet,

       mAkInG fUn Of mOm                                              What About That Toilet Seat?

mAkInG fUn oF mOmMy – again

Scott and I joke about becoming comedians so we can get paid to make fun of each other. Read the above posts so when this dream comes true you can say, “Hey, I knew those guys before they were famous!”

But, the spirit of the laughing at each other is to prove that even those irritations in a marriage can be used to STRENGTHEN a marriage instead of TEARING it down, if you learn to handle them quickly. 

Laughter is always a good option.  Forgiveness is  a better option.  Changing habits is a good option.  Accepting and loving when something  isn’t changed yet is a better option.

101 Things Husbands Do to Annoy Their Wives

I respect Ray Comfort.  He has publically acknowledged how annoying husbands can be.  He also gives good marriage advice.

Marriage Resolutions from Ray Comfort:

  • Never mention the word “divorce” during an argument.
  • Vow not to let your emotions lead you to say things you will regret.
  • Learn how to say “I’m sorry.”
  • Be aware of your own faults.
  • Agree never to argue in front of your children.
  • Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.

 

Writing Contest

So, in honor of annoying husbands, I am giving away the above book free in a writing contest.  Leave entertaining comments below about something annoying your husband does.  This is not actually a husband-bashing contest, write in the spirit of making fun of the demands or expectations wives place on husbands. You may enter more than once.  It’s Monday.  We need a few laughs.

A random committee will choose and announce the winner whenever I remember on  Monday, April 22nd. That random committee may or may not include any random people sitting on my couch at that moment and may or may not include random people walking their dog in front of my house on Monday morning. 

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Oh, your comments may or may not be used in random blog posts in the future.  Just warnin’ ya.

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Fight Right with your Spouse

No matter how happily married, or how many ever-afters they’ve been married, all couples fight.

I can already hear some of your horrified reactions, “OH, NO!  We don’t fight!”

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(These models are highly experienced and well-trained.  Do not try this at home.
No spouses were harmed in the photo op.)

I’m not talking about fist fighting.  I’m not talking about yelling. I’m not talking about abusive  behavior.  I’m simply talking about two people with opposite ideas coming to a mutual agreement.

Some don’t want to associate their marital behavior with the above behavior, so use softer, kinder words like disagree or argue.  There are also the  couples who never fully speak their minds to solve an issue so they bicker. Constantly.  Staring at them in disbelief at the grocery store is like watching a tennis match played on a three feet long court.  You’re gunna’ get whiplash.

But a couple that claims, “we never fight” is using poetic license to cover the fact that they, like every other couple, have moments  where they hold extremely opposite views and need resolution. They reserve the right to call it what they want.

My husband and I don’t fight….just checking to see if you’re listening….about big issues.  We were drawn together by like spiritual beliefs and life goals and just celebrated our 27th anniversary. But an issue of any size can affect your happily-ever-after if you let it.

I often jest with my husband, “If you would just apologize as soon as I get angry, we would never fight.”

Since we do fight, we’ve come up with ways to keep it fair and clean. Our goal is always to strengthen our marriage, not to weaken it with unresolved issues.

RULES   FOR   FIGHTING

1. If you can’t kiss goodnight because you don’t want to, the night isn’t over. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. It’s better to lose a little sleep than to start a new day with an old problem. 

2. Have the same goal in fighting.The goal isn’t for an individual to win, because you are on the same side. You are not fighting against each other, you are fighting for your marriage. Your goal is to make the marriage a place of contentment, acceptance, unity, love and respect

3. Pray about the issue three times before you bring it before your spouse. "Three strikes ‘yer out" isn’t just for baseball. The more you pray, the less likely the offense will remain an issue. It might be prayed out of the ballpark as your heart changes.

4.  Nobody is perfect, so  allow imperfections.  I’ve been driving for over 30 years, but still forget to check my gas gauge.  My husband admits to practicing "selective listening"  on a regular basis.  He reminds me to put gas in the tank, I remind him to listen. Then he reminds me to remind him to listen  in my telephone voice.

5. If your children can’t behave in a certain way, neither can you. No name calling or making fun of the other person. If you do, give yourself a time-out. If that doesn’t work, ground yourself from the Internet until you can be nice.

6. Fight the  present battle by sticking to the topic.  Don’t bring up past battles.

7. Error on good intent.  You can’t judge motive, so let the other person supply their own motive. This is the person you love, assume the best.

8. Know your battle plan. Squeezing the toothpaste tube in the middle doesn’t constitute a fight. Neither does throwing a bath towel on the floor. Irritation with minor things might indicate a larger issue you’ve been unwilling to address. Use respectful conversation and honest questions to get past the minor skirmishes and into the real fray.

9. Don’t show battle scars to others unless by mutual consent and for a good purpose. You might want to write a blog someday about how to fight, then you agree about what you want to reveal. Telling too much too soon can damage your marriage. Sharing battle strategy might help strengthen other marriages.

10.  Finish the fight with forgiveness.

Each must say:
      "I’m sorry for _______________, will you please forgive me?"
      "Yes, I forgive you for _________________________."

An inability to apologize or  to forgive indicates the fight is not over.

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The kiss challenge from #1 is another test.  If you failed both tests, keep fighting discussing. Remember to use your telephone voices and the behavior you expect from your children.

 

Since we all fight, we gotta’ fight right.

Making your home sing Mondays

 

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Speaking of Happily Ever After…

 

Look at the advice from my Splenda this morning.

How did they know it was my anniversary yesterday? 

How did they know I needed some new inspiration for the first day of my 28th year of marriage?

splenda message

With any relationship, this is good advice. Children, relatives, neighbors and co-workers could all use the sweetening true kindness bring.

There isn’t time to pour into lives.  We all have jobs and tasks during the day.  Sitting by someone’s side to rub their feet, fan them with exotic leaves and peel their grapes isn’t going to happen.

But, we can sprinkle  their hearts, bodies and souls with happiness.

  • sincere smile
  • express thanks for assigned chores (like garbage)
  • gag gift (hey, we all need a laugh!)
  • prayer (I have a friend who prays in email for me.  I love it!)
  • do a chore they don’t like doing
  • pleasant greeting (I like to welcome my kids into each day with a “Good Morning”, even when nobody is feeling good about the day)
  • a card for no reason
  • GOOD gossip, tell someone else something you admire about another person
  • greet people when they come home
  • compliment something you haven’t mentioned before
  • notice a need and meet it before asked
  • LISTEN when they talk and give a verbal affirmation
  • give a soft answer to turn away anger

How do you sprinkle Happily Ever After into your relationships?

What Makes an Anniversary Happy?

Today is our 27th wedding anniversary.

I’m thankful for the years together, and blessed that we’re still best friends and deeply in love. This is the marriage we purposed to have years ago, and with the grace and strength from  the Lord, we are experiencing this.

People who may not know our lives, may  think  our marriage is happy because our life has been easy. Without going into great details, the exact opposite has been true. We approached the financial problems, parenting and health issues, many moves and job challenges with the goal of drawing closer together instead of further apart.

It wasn’t just a goal or a glib platitude; we fought for this. When our marriage was tossed into the storm, we clung to each other and the Lord. 

Wedding Pic

The cord of three is the rope that rescues.

PRAY to FIND EACH OTHER:
Like most young people, our marriage really began in the earnest prayers we poured over our respective lists of "Things We Want in A Spouse." Along with the prayers, we purposed to not compromise our standards. If the Lord was good enough to hear and answer our prayers, then we were going to have the faith that He would provide the answer to our prayers. We were willing to wait for the person that suited those attributes we each desired in a mate.

PRAY to HELP ONE ANOTHER:
Complete unity requires complete honesty. We tell each other absolutely everything. The only information we withhold is in a counseling situation, especially if we are asked to not tell our spouse.

Complete honesty means complete honesty about our own life and each other’s. We take the spiritual admonitions to exhort, encourage and rebuke one another to heart, knowing that we are brother and sister in the Lord. We pray about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, then we may speak about them, then we pray more. It is vital to not only point out spouse’s spiritual gifts or their faults, but to pray for them.

PRAY SPECIFICALLY:
I specifically pray for my husband concerning his spiritual gifts, relationships, parenting, performance at work, wisdom, blessing, his Bible reading and Biblical understanding, his role as an elder, and his unsaved family members. I pray specifically for situations he needs to make decisions about, I pray about conversations he needs to have or is having, and I pray for his influence on others.

For myself, I pray to love, honor and obey him. I desire to be a good helpmeet and not be selfish. It’s too easy to have a Disney princess mentality, thinking your husband’s purpose in life is to make you look and feel like royalty. Sometimes it is about cleaning toilets and being alone because your husband is spending time with the kids, other believers or is in the Word. I pray my my joy and strength would come from the Lord so I don’t drain my husband with demands that aren’t his to meet.

 

PRAY for UNITY:
Because I purposely chose a man who had the Biblical doctrine, parenting ideals, a work ethic, future plans and beliefs on marriage roles I could wholeheartedly submit to, our marriage has been one of little major conflict. I get cranky about dumb stuff, we may argue because we are frustrated about something/something else, but we don’t disagree on the major issues in life.

We make decisions together. We pray about things, then decide what’s most in accordance to the Lord’s Word. If it isn’t a spiritual issue, we just ask for wisdom.

When we do disagree, we pray for unity. Someone has to change. Instead of each insisting on our own way, we commit to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to change our hearts. Disunity is  lonely in a marriage, and the Lord wants our hearts unified as much as we long for this.

A specific example has to do with the number of children we wanted to have. Since I was 12 years old, I wanted six kids. During our engagement, my husband thought four would be a good number. Once we began having children, he thought two would be a good number. Although my heart wanted six kids, I could feel them in my arms before they were there, it was more important to me to have unity. I prayed and prayed for the Lord to unite our hearts and plans according to His will.  The Lord answered my prayers. One pregnancy at a time, my husband’s mind was changed, by the Lord, not by me. We have six children, six that were a blessing in unity, not a happening because I insisted on my own way.

PRAY through SCRIPTURE:
Another way prayer has blessed our marriage, is by praying specific Scriptures in the Bible for ourselves and for one another. We pray for the children this way, too. We feel it is more powerful to use the Lord’s words in prayer, we are more likely to be praying in His will if we are praying His Words.

PRAY to STAY
Staying in the race isn’t the same as finishing the race well.  Growing up, Scott  spent much time with an older couple in the neighborhood. At times being in their little home was like being caught in the crossfires of a world war.  Their communication over 50 years had been yelling and bickering, even though the love and commitment were real.

Through each stage of life, your marriage must grow and change with you. It gets better, it never gets easier.  The challenges of live only increase with the increasing demands. Pray to stay your way through. 

Tying your marriage together with a cord of three that’s strengthened by prayer, is how to make your anniversaries  happy.

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To read other posts I’ve written about love and marriage, click the image or link below.

 

Grandkids and Wedding Cake Topper 056                

       Happily Ever Afters Don’t Just Happen                    The Man She Married

         Girls' Apt 045                           

   Ten Things to Look for in the Perfect Man                  Laughter Doeth the Marriage Well

When Love Dies Giveaway Winner!

I really tried to grow-up as a blogger and update my giveaway technique.

I’ve seen other Big Girl Bloggers use Rafflecopter,
so thought I would check it out.
It’s really cool, and ya’ know how I love me some Cool Tools,
and it’s free, and ya’ know how I love me some free stuff,
but WordPress hosted sites can’t support it.

Give Away Drawing

We’re back to my vintage Jadeite bowl,
and my daughter’s lovely hand,
who now can tell the world she is a hand model.

Even if it’s for her mommy’s blog it counts, doesn’t it?

When Love Dies

I’m giving away the book I never knew I needed to read.
I should be giving away a box of Kleenex with it, too,
but I’m not.

Just something sweet.

Love Finds You drawing 087
Karen, I’ve sent you an email of congratulations!

To those of you who didn’t win, thank you for entering.

I appreciate all my blog followers and commenters. 
You are a tremendous encouragement to me!

I’m not endorsing this book because I know Judy,
or because I receive anything from her or Amazon.
I honestly believe this book 
is a huge blessing and needs to be shared.

To those of you who are hurting in their marriages,
or know someone who is,
click on the book above to buy it on Amazon.

The value of a happy marriage is
PRICELESS.

Ten Things to Look for in The Perfect Man

 

For years I’ve joked with  single women, “You’ll never find The Perfect Man because I married him.”

My love for my husband grows and changes from year to year as we survive trials and tribulation.  They aren’t troubles within the marriage, they’re troubles outside we’ve weathered together. In fact, we’ve often joked that if the Lord had shown us the path we would  take together, we wouldn’t have gotten married.  Just joking, of course.  The truth is, life is hard for everybody, and going through life with someone who is your best friend and is there for you no. matter. what. is a joy and a privilege.

Years ago, my friend and her fiancé  took a test to see if they were compatible for marriage. They were asked questions about household chores, common interests, and expectations for future family. To me, it was shallow.

Who decides who’s going to do dishes before they’re married?

Life happens.  Some couples can’t have kids, others end up having more than they planned.  Other couples move and are exposed to new foods, interests and hobbies.  There are too many unknown factors to match up couples according to a simple list of physical things that will change.

The ideal is to  match the core of your ideals and ride the changes and hardships in life together. Choose a man who has a depth of faith and moral character that will endure for eternity.

Ten Things to Look for in The Perfect Man

Red heartThe Perfect Man loves the Son of Man more than you.  He is faithful to the Lord Jesus, His Word and His people. He actively uses his spiritual gifts to minister.  He should love the Lord more than you.

 

Red heartThe Perfect Man loves the real you.  There is no glass Cinderella slipper in his hand that you must fit into.  Yes, there are colors he  likes you to wear, or foods he wants to eat.  But, overall, he loves you for your passions, interests, and  beliefs. He wants you to become the woman the Lord created you to be, not the ideal mate he created in his mind.

Red heartThe Perfect Man loves you more than his possessions.  How does he react if you have an accident with something he owns?  When I dinged up our Suburban, my husband said, “It’s just sheet metal.”

 

Red heartThe Perfect Man loves the way you look, but his staying power isn’t dependent on your staying that way. Illness happens.  Babies happen.  Stress happens. I have two  6 1/2 inch skinny scars  that interweave across my neck like a macramé’ choker.  My husband  doesn’t see the imperfection, he sees the woman he loves. These blemishes don’t affect me, because they don’t affect him.

 

Red heartThe Perfect Man listens to you.  Yes, he needs to be reminded, he needs to be told more than once, after all the word MAN is still in that title, but overall, he listens to your words and understands the passion,  because he knows they come from your heart.

 

Red heartThe Perfect Man understands you come with baggage.  He’s willing to open up the baggage, help wash what’s inside and  repack it neatly.

 

Red heartThe Perfect Man knows when he marries you he marries the whole family. He won’t make you choose between him and them.  He doesn’t have to agree with their philosophies, approve of their life choices or enjoy all their activities.  He respectfully chooses to love them and be a part of the family because they’re your family.

 

Red heartThe Perfect Man is not afraid to ask for advice and is not too proud to act on advice given.  No person is an infinite fountain of wisdom, your life will always benefit from a man who is willing to seek out advice from others who are older and/or wiser.

 

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Red heartThe Perfect Man blesses you when there is a reason and when there isn’t. I get flowers on Valentine’s Day and the First Day of School. But, I also have been given lovely gifts like an usual rock or a twisted piece of wood when my hubby was out hiking. When he went to the ocean for the first time on a business trip, he brought home a takeout box of white sand so I could share his experience.

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Chocolate is always good, too.  It’s never about money, it’s about the thought.

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Red heartThe Perfect Man will pass the Bed Pan Test. This is the final and hardest test to pass.

Many  men will buy flowers.

Many men will buy chocolates.

Not many men will hold a bed pan.

The Perfect Man  holds the bed pan while you puke your guts out.Then he’ll wipe your mouth, give you a drink of water, and not care that your breath stinks.  That’s what my man did eight years ago when I went through my first round of thyroid cancer.

The Perfect Man grows more perfect through trials, clinging to the Lord for His strength and  wisdom. He endures poverty and riches, sickness and health, joy and sorrow with the same faith and joy. Because His love for the Lord endures, His love for you will endure.

Not all marriages will require a bed pan, but all couples will endure trials together. Many marriages end during cancer. Other marriages are destroyed while dealing with a prodigal child, a miscarriage, death of a child or financial troubles.

The bed pan signifies the commitment of a man determined to stick out his faith and his marriage, by the grace of God,  at any personal cost during every trial.  He’s willing to sacrifice for his bride, because He loves the One who gave up His life for His bride. How men handle frustration and trials will tremendously affect your marriage.

So, that list you have in your Bible.  C’mon, single girls, admit it.  I know THE LIST is in  there, that’s where I kept mine. Take it out right now and add one more thing:

“Must be able to pass the Bed Pan Test.”

And next time you look into the eyes of the young man you’re swooning praying over, if you’re confident he could hold a bed pan,  he just might be The Perfect Man. 

 

 

Keep Love Alive

 

I didn’t  buy When Love Dies:How to Save a Hopeless Marriage by Judy Bodmer for me. I bought it because I’m an elder’s wife and I thought it would be a good tool for the occasional marriage encouragement we do  with couples.

I was also curious. I know the author, Judy,  as we’re both members of the Northwest Christian Writers’ Association.  She’s a director for the annual Northwest Christian Writers’ Renewal and I’ve been privileged to volunteer alongside her for several years. She’s an amazing older woman I’ve grown to love and admire.  On the occasion I’ve  watched Judy and her husband work together, I’ve seen their mutual admiration, respect and affection and thought, "Judy? Really? She had marriage troubles? And she’s willing to admit it?"

Christians don’t always do that. Sometimes we put on our church clothes and our church words and play a part. We don’t always delve into personal lives the way we should for mutual encouragement and burden-bearing.

Do you know anyone you could walk up to right now and truly confess what you’re going through? Would you get the spiritual wisdom you need? Would your confidence be kept?

Judy caught my heart, by opening hers. She graciously combines the wisdom of human experience and the wisdom from her study of the Word of God. Through the printed page, she is the wiser, older woman your heart has been longing to know.

I made the mistake of reading this on an airplane with only half a package of travel tissue, ya’ know, those little ones you carry in your purse, but the tissue is folded up so much, that by the time you get it all the way unfolded, you need more than one?

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I began taking notes of her admonitions and I knew I would be reading this book again.  And again….and again…

There isn’t any marriage that’s at a state of  perfection and doesn’t need encouragement.  I wasn’t packing the suitcase on the way out of the door, but I learned how to keep it from getting to that point.

But, this book doesn’t relate to only marriage, it relates to ANY relationship you have. When you see the word “husband” just substitute the name of anyone you are struggling with.

Like she was peeking through the dirty windows of my heart, Judy describes the Symptoms of An Unforgiving Heart, p. 41

1. Blowing up over seemingly small things

2. Sarcastic remarks that are meant to hurt

3. Talking about your husband to others

4. Criticizing

5. Correcting

6. Unexplained headaches, stomach problems, fatigue

7. A bout of tears for no apparent reason

Though the book is written at a time when her marriage was struggling, it could be read by newlyweds to keep themselves from getting to that point.  It could be read by happily married couples, to have an even better marriage.

I didn’t buy When Love Dies for me, but it was exactly the book I didn’t know I needed to read.

It also might also be the book you didn’t know you needed to read.

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Despite trying for days to use one of those fancy blog give-away plug-ins, I couldn’t figure it out. Crying face We’re still going to do the old-fashioned way this week.

My giveaway will be open from Wednesday, February 13th at 5am Pacific time until Monday, February 18th at 12:00pm.

There are three ways to enter. You may enter three times if you qualify for each of the three different options.

1. Leave a comment on this blog about something you do to keep love alive in your marriage. We all could use the encouragement! Include your email address.

and/or

2. Like my Mindy Peltier Author image42 page. Click on the FB icon to find me. Return to this  blog  post and leave a separate comment letting me know you did this. (All new followers will get credit for this, even if you liked me before the give-away.) Include your email address.

and/or

3. Become a follower of this blog if you aren’t already. Look for this image_thumb3_thumb and fill out your email address. Leave a comment letting me know you are a new follower. Include your email address.

 

MANDITORY! You must leave your email address with each entry.  I can’t find you without it.  Entries without email addresses will be deleted.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I appreciate all my followers and visitors!  May you always find encouragement for the journey when you visit here.