zensmI just finished reading Zen to Done by Leo Babauta (I’m an organizing junkie and I love reading organizing books). One of the things that stood out to me was the author’s advice to pick one large goal to work on at a time. More goals tend to be too overwhelming and you drop out (that’s why most of us don’t stick with all our New Year’s resolutions).

It’s OK to write down several goals, things you know you want to do, but work on one at a time for better success.

I figure you could double the success if you and your husband would each pick one goal and work on them until you complete them.

Two Successes for the Price of One - Team up to help each other along.

Being there for each other makes you stronger. You have someone with whom to brainstorm. You have an encourager and a sweetie to celebrate with when you make your goal.

Give it a try. Invite your husband out for coffee and talk through what goal each of you will chose. You could even make it a weekly coffee date. Talk about the process and see where you are on your projects.

I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.  Zig Ziglar

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you pick a goal and stay focused until you have completed the task.

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Respect 101: 3 ways to mess up your marriage…  A look at three common factors that stir up trouble.

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Awaken Love: Be a Life Giver to Your Spouse Come out of hiding and bless your man.

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During dinner play music you both enjoy (or perhaps play some of your husband’s favorite music as a treat).

Dinner and a Dance - Plan a little musical play.

After dinner invite him to dance.

If music be the food of love, play on.  William Shakespeare

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you find good music you both will enjoy.

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I’m an Organizing Junkie: How to Find Time for Self-Care Restore, refresh, recharge.

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Storyline: Why You Must Learn to Disappoint People  Know your limits and be wise about your choices.

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THROWBACK THURSDAY – GRACIOUS FLEXIBILITY
(originally posted August 7, 2013

We had a schedule change in our day. I ended up fixing lunch an hour earlier and moving a couple of things around.

Gracious Flexibility - Handle life's bumps with a kind word and a smile.

My husband snuck up behind me in the kitchen and whispered, “Thank you for being so flexible.”

I realized that a few years ago I would have responded quite differently. I was “organized.” I had a “schedule” to meet. If I was going to get everything done in my day, then a small change would frustrate me and I’d be … cranky.

Now, honestly, there is nothing wrong with being organized or having a schedule. I do both, but these days I hold life a bit more loosely. I’ve worked to have more margin in my life so that changes aren’t as upsetting. Also, I’ve taken a very large “chill pill.” I’ve faced my attitudes and asked God to help me change them. People and life are far more important than getting the laundry done by four or making sure that all my kitchen cabinets are in order.

I guess my bottom line thought about this is it’s a lovely gift to give to your husband … handling the bumps in life with a kind word and a smile.

That which yields is not always weak. Jacqueline Carey

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you face change with a kind word and a smile.

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Reader’s Digest: 10 Effortless Things that Clutter-Free People Do Every Day Nice list of do-able habits to create.

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The XY Code: Confronting to Connect: Why Would You Do That? Genders can approach connection differently.

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The other day I overheard part of a very sad conversation. A gal was talking down to her husband, a series of complaints and harsh judgments (that went on and on and on). Apparently he just couldn’t do anything right and he was a worthless piece of junk. It had to have broken his heart and left him feeling deeply shamed.

I’m going to guess he doesn’t look forward to going home after work.

Afterward, I thought about it and wondered how a couple can turn around something like that. How do you get out of critical mode? How do you see your spouse in a more balanced way? (I’d be willing to bet the guy wasn’t really a piece of junk.)

My only thought is to become intentional about seeing and valuing the good in your spouse. Yes, talk about the bad and work for solutions, but be careful that you don’t slide into only seeing the bad.

Step Out of Critical Mode - Major on the positives.

If nothing else, grab a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, and write down the good on one side and the bad on the other. And please don’t excuse or minimize the good. If he did something for your brother, he was probably on some level doing it for you. That’s a good thing.

Truthfully, no one can handle an ongoing litany of negative talk. Sooner or later they will walk away because they can’t handle the weight of all the judgement and condemnation.

Major on the positive. Give your husband reason to look forward to coming home. Be that safe place where he feels wanted and appreciated. (If you struggle with this, ask a friend to hold you accountable.)

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  1 Thessalonians 5:11  NIV

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you see the good in your husband and build him up.

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(in)courage: That Time I Stole a Television…and Other Lessons in Generosity I love stories about generosity.

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Seedtime: How To Create A Will In Less Than 10 Minutes And For FREE! No excuses! Get this necessary paperwork done.

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Every now and then I look down and realize I’m on the frumpy side (my favorite T-shirt has a hole in the armpit as I type). And, that’s, ooooh, so sexy … not.

So I figured it was time for a wardrobe challenge for myself and ya’ll, if you want to play along.

If your wardrobe is in fairly good shape, you can work through your clothes a drawer at a time and work through your closet by sections. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you may need to schedule a day, remove everything from your closet and drawers, and work through everything piece by piece.

Lookin' Good - A Wardrobe Challenge

Ask yourself what kinds of clothing you need for your lifestyle. How many outfits? What kind of outfits? Keep a pad and pen nearby to make notes on clothes you need to replace or add to your wardrobe. Grab a basket for those clothes that need mending (and schedule a day next week for that job). Have a box or two on hand for your unwanted clothes and take them to the nearest donation spot when you’re all done.

Only put back those clothes you regularly wear and/or love. Toss the moldy oldies, clothes you will never wear (even if you got them on sale), and clothes that are no longer stylish for you. Don’t forget to keep the outfit your hubby loves to see you wear.

If you know this is going to be a difficult challenge, invite your most clothing savvy friend to help you sort it all out.

I have enough clothes for two weeks, plus a couple of dress up outfits and some grubbies for painting/dirty work. Keep in mind that I live in an RV (have to stay on the minimalist side of life) and my lifestyle isn’t too dressy. You might need more or different clothes based on your lifestyle and your tastes. 

Having a solid wardrobe means you will usually have something appropriate to wear, you’ll feel good about how you look, and your husband will appreciate your effort to keep your appearance pleasing.

Never wear anything that panics the cat.  P.J. Rourke

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you find a good standard for your wardrobe and work through all your clothes.

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howsyourlovelife: I’m Done With Being Done Stay in the conversation.

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The Generous Husband: Better Date Nights: You Plan, She Picks Turn it around: you plan, HE picks.

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Yesterday I talked about making plans for this next season. Be sure to talk about finances too. What do you need financially to walk out your plans? What is available for holiday spending?

Be willing to downsize if your finances don’t match your plans. Small or simple can often be a better choice (rather than more and more / spend and spend).

Don't Forget to Consider the Cost - Budgets rock!

Create a budget that helps you and your husband move toward the life you want. Budgets aren’t bad (sometimes we think they keep us from doing what we want to do). They are actually a great tool that can make the difference between the success of our plans and a financial crash and burn.

Financial Peace University has helped bazillions of people gain control of their finances and get out of debt.
Youneedabudget.com has been helpful to several of my friends. It’s a phone app for budgeting and keeping track of your spending.

Looks for good tools in governing your finances.

You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.  Dave Ramsey

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you and hubby create a good budget.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: Top 10 Ways to Help Your Spouse Lose Weight How to encourage your man when he’s dealing with the weight issue.

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The XY Code: Forgiveness vs Permission Is griping/fussing the culprit?

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Find a quiet moment over the next week to begin the talks with hubby about your fall schedule and the coming holidays (if you’ve already made a start, pick up the conversation and refine it a bit).

Summer is ending, the kids will be off to school soon (or you have homeschooling to navigate), vacations are over, and the holidays are barreling down on us.

Make Plans Before Autumn Runs You Down - Make time for those things that matter.

There are a lot of options to consider and many decisions to make.

If you talk about them up front and make your decisions now, you are less likely to be run over by circumstances and you can say “yes” or “no” intelligently (which makes for a saner daily schedule and holiday times).

Grab a notebook (paper or electronic) and your sweetie and start hashing out your thoughts and plans. Be realistic about your time and energy. Make room for those things that matter the most to you, your hubby, and your family. Let the rest go and give yourself some margin.

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.  Carl Sandburg

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you plan a sane schedule and holiday season.

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