Helping Hands

April 26, 2015

in the generous life

A few months back my husband became more aware of the financially needy in our community. Well, he’s a “do something about it” kind of guy, so he looked around to see what was being done and found a local food pantry that was actually doing the work. He set up a large collection box at church and started talking it up with anyone who would listen.

Each Sunday people drop in a few boxes or cans and once a month Paul and I gather the donations and take them to the food pantry. It doesn’t take a huge effort on anyone’s part, but it makes a huge difference for folks in need.

I bring this to your attention for a couple of reasons.

The world around us could use some help. Let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus and serve folks. (When you do things in a group and everyone does a small part, you can do big things.)

 It’s great for your marriage (and your friends if they are a part of your effort). There’s just something special that happens when you serve together, your hearts get knit together in a lovely way.

I call that a win/win. Folks get helped and your marriage and friendships gets blessed.

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.  Albert Schweitzer

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to show you and your husband one small way you can serve others.

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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 (your $2 to $5 donations can make a difference!). We have received 58% of our $15,000 goal (from 219 donors). Thanks, y’all, for your generous support. You can follow the adventure on The Generous Journey.

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Do you know your husband’s love language? (If you don’t, click and ask him to take the quiz.)

Take that knowledge into consideration when you buy or make gifts for him.

A “quality time” guy will go for movie tickets. A “practical acts of service” guy might like a selection of love coupons for services from you. “Touch” guys would go for a massage gift certificate and so forth.

It pays to know your husband when you want to bless him with a gift.

A hug is a great gift – one size fits all, and it’s easy to exchange.  Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt Ask God to help you become a student of your husband.

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Life Your Way: It’s all sacred…even scrubbing the toilet An attitude changer for facing those mundane chores.

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For the Family: My Husband Wants My Best Have you ever realized that you give everyone else but your spouse the best of you.

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(After Jesus) Who has the number one spot in your life?

You mom? Your kids? Your best girlfriend?

Who do you want to tell the good news to first? Who gets in on most of your free time? Whose opinion matters to you? Who do you dress up for?

Your marriage relationship is the only covenant relationship you have (with another human being). You made unique promises to your husband and, in the interest of keeping those promises to “love, honor, and cherish,” give your spouse a place of importance in your life. 

If that’s a struggle for you, if others hold a higher place in your life, begin to ask yourself why and look for ways to change that. Other people are important and add richness to your life, but your husband needs to stand in the #1 spot.

[Jesus] answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.  Matthew 19:4-6  ESV

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you grow the friendship part of your marriage.

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The Generous Husband: Make A Change. Any Change… A little trial and error is better than sitting in something that doesn’t work.

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Calm.Healthy.Sexy: 3 Simple Strategies for Increasing Organization and Reducing Stress Her second strategy is so helpful (visual clutter can be so stressful).

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Stay Charged

April 23, 2015

in the generous life

From The Generous Wife archive:

I am terrible at keeping my toothbrush charged.

The other day it was getting slower and sadder, moments away from toothbrush death. I had to dig through my toiletries basket to come up with the charger. If I made a regular habit of charging the silly thing this would never happen!

Right about that moment the Lord reminded me that if I made a regular habit of keeping myself charged, I wouldn’t burn out, wear out, and generally get cranky. So I sat down with pad and pen and made a list of what I need. Regular sleep, healthy food, time with God, time with family and friends, creative outlet, play, etc.

What do you need to be on top of your game?

Stretching oneself too thin is the disease of modern life.  Terri Guillemets

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you build some self care in your life.

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: If At First You Don’t Succeed… Ask for Sex Again Love perseveres.

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Authentic Intimacy: The Very Important Difference Between Conflict and Fighting Care more about your marriage than winning the fight.

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When your husband says something that you think is not quite right, please (if at all possible) let it go.

Yes, sometimes you need to correct (“the meeting starts at 10 not 9:30″), but for much of life it’s just not that important (little differences in detail don’t significantly change the story). People are entitled to have their perspectives and beliefs. That includes our husbands.

Correction often feels like disrespect. Like we are smarter or know better. Like they are children and need us to come along behind them and fix their mistakes.

I’m not asking you to stifle your own voice. You have a right to your own perspectives as well. I’m just saying it’s a respectful thing to let those small differences go.

Respect is one of the greatest expressions of love.  Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you see where you don’t need to correct your husband.

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Life Of Joy: Love is Serving Go first!

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Confessions of a Terrible Husband: Making (True) Love: It’s More Than Just Ripping Your Clothes Off! I need to get one of those books!

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Nom Nom

April 21, 2015

in the generous life

Food.

We shop for it. We create meals with it every day.

I know there are times I’ve been bored or irritated with the constant need to produce meals and clean up, only to have to turn around and produce another meal a few hours later.

I want to bless my husband, family and friends with good food. Food sustains us. We can use food to serve and comfort others. Meal time gives us opportunity share conversation and connect. There is so much good that can be done in and through food.

I learned fairly early, the way to deal with an important thing that is difficult or boring is to get good at it so it’s easier and takes less time. You can’t change that it needs to be done, but you can make it easier on yourself by getting better at it.

Here are a few ideas that might help (if you struggle like I do with fixing meals).

 Gather your good recipes in one place (I use Evernote now, but a nice binder will do).
 Always know at the start of the day what your meal plans are (I hate the “It’s 3 o’clock and I don’t know what’s for dinner” thing).
 Create two weeks worth of recipes. If you repeat your plan, you will only have the same meal twice in one month. (Though it’s OK to plan favorites more often than that and have leftover nights.)
 You may also want to create two weeks worth of cold weather recipes and two weeks of warm weather recipes.
 Sometimes it helps to make Monday chicken night and Tuesday beef night, etc.
 Having a meal plan makes shopping much easier. You know going in the ingredients you will need.
 Try one new recipe a month to keep things fresh.
 Consider keeping your dining room neat and pretty (yes, I know the dining table is a common work area and dumping ground). It will take a bit of work and you’ll likely need to create a new habit of two, but it will be worth it.
 Make a section in your meal planning for potlucks and other group meals. (Hint: most folks like deviled eggs)
 When you make a meal, make enough for two meals and freeze one for later.
 Buddy up to someone who loves to cook. They will have cooking experience (not to mention recipes) to share and can be a great encouragement on those days when you don’t even want to look in your fridge.

I encourage y’all to make the time to develop a certain level of expertise in the kitchen. It will make meals more enjoyable for your sweetie and it will make that job easier for you. (Feel free to share your favorite meal tips as a comment to this post.)

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. Voltaire

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to give you meal planning wisdom.

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(in)courage: Love The Home You Have (and a giveaway!) “Establish warm welcome traditions that make coming home the sweetest part of everyone’s day.”

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Unclutterer: What important documents to keep and how to organize them Nice list of what to keep. (We just finished up our taxes and I’m organizing and boxing up the important paperwork. I was glad to find this list.) 

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From The Generous Wife archive: 

Last night a storm moved over our town. My husband and I pulled back the curtains and watched lightning streak across the sky. We enjoyed the booms of thunder (not so much our dog).

It was so beautiful that we talked about it this morning and it reminded me of how important it is to share little moments of wonder and beauty with your spouse. It creates a bond of common experience that is positive. 

Look for the beauty around you and invite your husband to share the moment. An amazing sunset. Newborn puppies. Garden plants pushing up through the soil. Children playing in the sprinklers.

The most beautiful view is the one I share with you.  Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you be aware of the beauty around you and make opportunity to share with your husband.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: What My Two-Year-Old Taught Me About Marriage Build Mommy-Daddy time into your day.

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The XY Code: Why Does My Husband Want Me to Initiate Sex? Initiating sex says a number of things he needs to hear.

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