One at a Time

April 1, 2015

in the generous life

From The Generous Wife archive:

When you have hard discussions with your husband, do you bring up “other stuff”? You know, the time he didn’t stand up for you with his mother and how he always leaves the toilet seat up?

May I propose a perspective?

Bringing up multiple issues tends to cloud the discussion.

Stay with one topic until you have understood each other and worked through to a plan of action. (If some of that “other stuff” really does bother you, treat each topic as a single issue and work through them one at time.)

One thing at a time (with lots of patience and grace).

Be like a postage stamp— stick to one thing until you get there.  Josh Billings

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you stay focused and work through tough discussions.

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Encourage Your Spouse: What do you see when you look at your husband or wife? Your spouse is a gift – for you – from God.

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Intentionally Pursuing: Unlock Your Libido Bonny of OysterBed7 guest authors and has a giveaway of her new book Unlock Your Libido: 52-Week Sex Drive Transformation.

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WHAT I’M READING:

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

I get a BookBub email most days. They notify me of current offers of inexpensive and free Kindle books. Classical literature is usually free and I picked up the Oz series for a little fun reading.
~ free on Kindle

God has a Dream for Your Life by Sheila Walsh

God has a sense of humor. I had just finished reading the first of the Oz series when I picked up Sheila’s book at the library. Sheila uses the story of The Wizard of Oz to share God’s love, grace and purpose for our lives. It’s a lovely encouraging book. (Lately God has been using books to help me see I don’t have to work for His approval, I already have it. He’s also encouraging me to run after my dreams.)
Paperback

George Müller by Janet & Geoff Benge

Linda, my friend and my son’s MIL, loaned me this book. It’s an amazing story of prayer and faith. Müller started several orphanages in England years ago. He trusted God for provision and only asked for what he needed in his prayers. God came through in some pretty amazing ways. This book has encouraged me to keep record of my prayers so that I pay better attention to His answers. This book is a part of the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series.
Paperback

WHAT I’M COOKING:

I’m fixing split pea soup this week. I never thought I’d be eating weird green soup, but turns out it’s quite yummy. The weather is still a bit cool here, so it’s great having warm soup and bread for a meal.

WHAT I’M PINNING:

103 affirmations every husband wants to hear.
an absolutely adorable bird feeder
a dresser makeover (looks like stacked suitcases)
faux kitchen backsplash tiles (I may end up doing this in our 5th wheel)
a steampunk journal cover (amazing how-to video)

WHAT I’M TWEETING: (a few tweets that got a higher response)

Be patient with yourself when you make mistakes. It takes practice and effort to grow as a wife.
Add more kissing to your day and vary the kind of kissing. Soft, slow, long, short, french, playful, etc.
There is always hope 4 change. Whether it’s sexuality or finances or communication, consistent baby steps can get u there.
Do you choose to define your husband by his weaknesses or his strengths?

WHAT I’M DRAWING:

Here are a couple of my favorite Zentangle tiles from this month.

2-28-15   3-23-15

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

I’m painting the bedroom in the RV… a soft butter cream color (yellow is Paul’s favorite color). After that I’m back to working on the cabinets in the kitchen. I’ll be posting pictures here as we go along.

WHAT I’M THINKING ABOUT:

I mentioned above that God has been really nudging me about relaxing in Him. I don’t have to prove anything to Him. I don’t have to work hard for His approval or walk perfectly to get into Heaven.

I grew up in a performance conscious culture. It’s been hard to set down all the fear of failure or fear of disappointing Him. It’s so nice to know He already knows everything about me, still loves me, and delights in our time together.

I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.  Romans 8:38-39  MSG

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to show you how much He delights in you.

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(in)courage: The Importance of Knowing Your Credentials What are your God-given credentials?

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Turning the Page: Dealing with the Debris What do you do with the debris of grief, loss, and pain?

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Paul and I are looking forward to traveling full time in our RV. One of the things we want to do is talk to people about what is fun in their area. There are all kinds of sights to see, places to explore, and good food to enjoy wherever you are.

If we shared a cup of coffee with you and your sweetie, what would you recommend about your town and surrounding areas?

1) Use your answer to come up with a date idea or two. You and your husband can enjoy those things that are native to your area.

2) Share your answer as a comment. On April 6th, I’ll pick a random number and the poster on that spot will win Mr. and Mrs. coffee mugs (or the book of their choice from the Marriage Book Library).

I’m looking forward to your answers. I think I’m going to create some pages on our website for places we explore and enjoy.

Coffee is a hug in a mug.  Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you see your city with new eyes and give you ideas for time with your spouse.

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Encourage Your Spouse: Challenge Yourself To Try Something New It’ll make you a keeper!

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Ashley Willis: What’s Your “50″? Do everything without grumbling or arguing…” Philippians 2:14

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Something Good

March 29, 2015

in the generous life

A generous wife shared this idea in response to the Memory Box post (thanks, Christina!).

Every day I try to think of something good about each of them (husband and kids). I don’t always come up with something, but I do this instead of journaling and the focus has changed my life. It’s not all about me any more.

Also I do write an e-mail to family detailing that there is good in the world and my life letting them know we are fine, weekly. This has not only helped them stay in touch BUT my husband wants to do good things and be recognized. He thrives on this and will do things purposefully!!! Like fixing things or mowing the lawn …

I like the intentional focus and appreciation of the good (an idea she got from Marcus Elmer, her pastor) and the awareness that people enjoy being appreciated for the good they do (and it tends to motivate them to do more). There are a lot of wins in this simple expression of appreciation.

Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.  Margaret Cousins

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you see all the good in your man and your marriage.

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Paul and I are working toward traveling full time in an RV doing small seminars and meeting folks around the country. We’re asking our readers to Send Us Out with a Cup of Coffee (donations of $2 to $5 dollars). We have received 43.3% of our $15,000 goal (from 195 donors). Thanks, y’all, for your generous support. You can follow the adventure on The Generous Journey.

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This Week’s Marriage Challenge:
Every day this week, show preference to your husband.

 
When your husband messes up, that is not the sum total of who he is. He is not a mess up. He is a mix of strengths and weaknesses, abilities and failings … a lot like you and me. 

My point here is to be very, very slow to judge and, even then, kindness needs to rule. Most of the time we don’t understand all that is going on anyhow and our husbands need empathy and encouragement, not blame, shame and harsh judgement.

Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another.  Zechariah 7:9 ESV

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to soften your heart toward your husband when he messes up.

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Holley Gerth: The Secret to True Peace It’s time to pray a little differently.

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The XY Code: Why Does My Husband Lie? The first in a series about understanding your man.

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Memory Box

March 27, 2015

in the generous life

This Week’s Marriage Challenge:
Every day this week, show preference to your husband.

 
I remember my mother telling me to write down stories about my children. She said in later years you won’t remember which kid said this or did that. At the time I didn’t believe her. Both of my kids have distinctive personalities and interests, they’re different genders, and surely I would remember!

Well, it’s years later and, sure enough, I’m struggling to remember all the details.

I was thinking about all the good times in my marriage and with friends. If I don’t write it down, one day they will be fuzzy memories too.

As an idea, why not create a memory box. Take a pretty box, pad, and pen and tuck them on a convenient shelf. When something happens write it down and tuck it in the box. On special days (like anniversaries or holidays) open the box to read and share the memories. (Might also be good reading on days when you and your spouse are struggling.)

Memories are timeless treasures of the heart.  Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Take some time to remember the good times in your marriage and thank God for His goodness toward you both.

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Intimacy in Marriage: 3 Ideas if You Can’t Afford Professional Marriage Counseling For when it’s just not in the budget.

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: How to Boost Romantic Chemistry in Your Marriage A bit of science to build your marriage relationship.

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This Week’s Marriage Challenge:
Every day this week, show preference to your husband.

 
Sometimes the simplest of questions can communicate love and care.

What do you need?
Can I help?
Need an extra hand?

There may or may not be something you can do, but it’s so nice to have someone care enough to ask.

Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.  Mother Teresa

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you stay aware of your husband’s stresses and strains.

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Intimacy in Marriage: 3 Lies You’ve Maybe Told Yourself About Sex (#3 is the Worst) Give truth a try.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: Ten Truths About Emotionally Destructive Marriages Marriage does not give a husband the right to crush his wife’s God-given dignity.

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