Wow, less than a week until Christmas.

May I encourage you to step off the crazy wagon?

Make a list of all the things you want to do between now and Christmas. What few items will actually make a (good) difference in your holidays? Leave those on the list and cross the rest off. Really. Cross them off and forget about them.

Pause. Take a deep breath. Relax. Sit back and look around you. Are there simple, spontaneous ways you can bless yourself and other folks?

Smile at someone who is tired (offer help if you can).
♥ Give away one of your presents (a nice one).
♥ Make love with your husband, slowly.
♥ Pray for the people in the room (it’s OK to pray for yourself).
♥ Thank God for three (or more) things.
♥ Be patient with someone (that someone may be you).
♥ Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
♥ Find a private moment to tell your husband how much you love him.

These are the kind of gifts that will give meaning to your holidays. You don’t necessarily have to do more or buy more. Love on your hubbie man, family, friends, and strangers too!

Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.  Dale Evans

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you relax and enjoy your husband over the holiday season.

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Online fundraising for Year-end-kickoffIf you and your husband are thinking about any year end giving, please consider giving to our support. Thanks so much to those who have already given! (Donations are tax deductible for US folks.)

You may also give by Paypal, JustGive, or check/money order.

Or you can do your holiday shopping online and help TGW. It doesn’t change your purchase price, but I get a small commission.

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Holley Gerth: Why You Don’t Have to Be on the “Nice” List this Christmas More encouragement to step off the crazy wagon.

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Image courtesy ofmario beauregard / DollarPhotoClub.com
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One a Day

December 18, 2014

in the generous life

Looking for an inexpensive couple time gift?

Print out this free download, cut the questions into individual slips, and randomly draw a question a day for 2015. A Year of Questions for You and Your Spouse 

A sudden bold and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open.  Francis Bacon

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you and your husband continue to learn about each other.

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Darling Magazine: A Year Long Holiday Spirit A wonderful guest post encouraging us to hold onto the important things all year long.

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The Romantic Vineyard: A Christmas Infused Marriage A sweet perspective about strengthening your marriage with the heart of the gospel.

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Image credit © Lori Byerly
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Keep In Mind

December 17, 2014

in the generous life

Congratulations, Sarah, you were the 277th poster in the Favorite Things Stocking giveaway. You have won The Generous Wife stocking with lots of fun goodies. (I wonder who won all the other stockings?)

(Hi, all, We had a number of “Sarah”s make comments. My apologies for the confusion. I have contacted the winning “Sarah” by email.)

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How much time do you spend thinking about your husband?

 

Yes, there are a lot of good things to think about, but if they routinely crowd out your husband, it will weaken your marriage relationship over time.

He’s your main man, best friend, lover, and partner in life. Make space in your head for him.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.   Norman Vincent Peale

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you create a thought life that will help build and sustain your marriage.

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Storyline: How to Deal With Your Inner Grinch Having a hard time this holiday season?

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Intimacy in Marriage: Has Your Husband Stopped Initiating Sex? A wake up call.

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Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Who’s On First?

December 16, 2014

in the generous life

As a cute gift idea, buy a calendar with a theme your husband will love (I need to find a Dr. Who calendar for my hubbie man). With the holiday season and the end of the year in sight, calendars are everywhere and in every theme imaginable.

drwho

Fill in all the special days, but also add a few fun or made up holidays (like kiss in the shower day or share your jellybeans day).  If you need help there are a number of holiday websites to help you out. You could also buddy up with a fun friend and brainstorm.

The important thing is to bless your husband with the choice of calendar and potential future fun.

What do you get when you cross a kangaroo with a calendar? A leap year!  Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you face the new year with love and laughter.

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The XY Code: Deal Me In One way to engage with your man.

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Life Of Joy: Making Memories Love her concluding remarks. “You have to be a good giver and a good receiver. Marriage is about knowing when to do which and doing it with grace and love.”

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Image courtesy of Amazon.com
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2015?

December 15, 2014

in the generous life

Other bloggers are beginning to talk about the new year and new year’s resolution (can you believe it?).

I thought through 2014, my word for the year (gracious), and my year’s goal (to ask for what I want and need specifically). It’s been a good year and a hard year.

Speaking more specifically has been a growth thing for me. A mature woman doesn’t hint or hope her husband can read her mind. I’m better about speaking up and being clear.

The “gracious” thing has been far harder. I’m learning to be gracious by receiving of His grace. I’ve bounced off old wounds and lies. I’ve struggled with my own selfishness and sin. I feel like I’ve fallen into the refiner’s fire more than a few times (hopefully I’m a bit shinier).  :)  I’m hungry to be like Him. I love His presence, His goodness, His grace.

Once received, it can be shared. I hope I am growing in graciousness as I come to know Him and His lovely gift of grace.

This next year? I don’t know yet, but my heart yearns to sit in His lap and hear His voice. It’s good to plan, to be thoughtful about my life, but I want His wisdom and direction.

I’ll let you know what I hear over the next few days and weeks.

What about you?

How was your year?
Did you learn anything?
Did you grow?
Did your marriage grow?
What is your heart cry?
What is your dream?

May your new year be blessed with His presence and wisdom.

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.  Carl Bard

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Prayer Prompt  Look over the last year and ask God to speak to your heart with truth. Ask for His wisdom for the coming year.

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Pearl’s OysterBed: Meet the Bedroom Elf: Randy Reindear His job is to help Mr. and Mrs. find time for each other during this busy season.

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One Flesh Marriage: Broken Oneness Maybe we are meant to be broken together.

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Image courtesy of noppasinw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Join Me in Prayer

December 14, 2014

in the generous life

I totally forgot to do the cyber prayer meeting reminder last Sunday. (I do have an excuse. I’ve had a couple of very crazy weeks ~ handing off the day job, the holidays and a very sweet addition to our family tree. Turns out something really strange happens when you become a grandma. You develop this overwhelming urge to share pictures.)

Image Credit © Lori ByerlyMarshall “chubby cheeks” Byerly

At any rate, let’s join together and pray. This time of year can be rough on our marriages. Let’s pray for wisdom and creativity so that we can keep investing in our marriages even when things get busy, when we travel or when we’re elbow deep in food preparations. Please also pray for those who are separated over the holidays (business travel, military, etc.).

If you have any personal prayer requests, feel free to leave them as a comment to this post (this is a public forum, so please be discreet and kind).

Prayer has the biggest impact on your marriage, use it as your everyday tool. Jennifer Smith

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you connect with your husband several times over the holidays.

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Image Credit © Lori Byerly
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Bedroom Mailbox

December 13, 2014

in the generous life

I live in a small town, so when we got a Dollar Store in my town last year, it was big news. :)

I buy gift bags there, but I had some extra time one afternoon so I wandered through the store and I found this … a holiday cardboard mailbox.

 

I think it has possibilities.

You could park it on your bedroom dresser during the holiday season. Leave little Christmas love notes. Maybe drop off a gift wish list to help your gift challenged hubbie. Tuck in a few holiday love coupons?

What do you think? How would you use it?

You’ve got mail.  (romantic comedy)

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you find words that will bless your husband’s heart.

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Becoming Minimalist: The Men and Women We Desire to Become Who would you like to look like when you are 40? Profound post about where you are going.

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: What Should You Share about Your Sex Life with Friends? Develop healthy boundaries for sharing.

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Image credit © Lori Byerly
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