A few folks have asked me to put the Shop & Support TGW link in the daily emails to make it easier for them to get to the link. Ask and you shall receive. The link is now at the bottom of every post.

That said, I’m going to do a consumerism nag.

Yes, if you are going to buy something online, please start on my page. It won’t change your purchase price and I will get a small commission that supports Paul and me in our ongoing work in the marriage and sexuality community online. I appreciate it more than you know.

However …  :)

As the holidays approach, please consider being thoughtful and economical with your dollars. You don’t have to have every decoration, every meal treat or every gift. Too much stuff is … well, too much stuff. Think lean and creative. Buy gifts that are wanted, not just stuff. Consider gifts that can be used up or experienced. Think “family” gifts instead of “individual” gifts. Buy gift items ahead of time on sale.

The holidays are for enjoying, not for going into debt and dealing with stuff that you don’t like or has little meaning to you.

Yes, buy. There are treats to be enjoyed with friends and family. There are gifts that will bless others immensely. There are amazing moments of fun and delight to be shared.

Just, please, be thoughtful and wise.

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.  Will Rogers

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God for wisdom as you approach the holiday season. Ask Him to help you find creative ways of blessing your husband, family and friends.

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Calm.Healthy.Sexy: 5 Things Women Can Do to Treat Themselves Better Y’all, you have to read this post.

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Here are more folks who have taken on the CMBA challenge ~ marriage wisdom from family, the Bible or friends.

Pearl’s OysterBed: Words of Wisdom: Why I worked harder to understand sex
The Romantic Vineyard: Words From Friends Part One – Some Not So Wise
Love Seat Marriage: Your Spouse’s Opinion Matters
Directed Path Ministries: Keeping Score in Marriage

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Goodness, it’s been awhile since I reminded us all about our New Year goals/words/baby steps.

“Asking for what I want and need in a specific way” is second nature now. The few times I hint, I catch it pretty quickly.

“Gracious,” as a word for my year, is still an ongoing adventure. I find the more I receive grace and kindness from God, the easier it is for me to be gracious and kind to others. I will probably have to keep this word for life though.  :)

How are y’all doing? Have you made any headway? Have you learned anything about yourself or your husband?

(If you’ve fallen off the wagon, no prob, just get up and dust yourself off. Where would be a good place to start back up? Pick a baby step.)

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.  Pauline R. Kezer

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God for wisdom and direction when it comes to personal change.

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Here are more folks who have taken on the CMBA challenge ~ marriage wisdom from family, the Bible or friends.

The Romantic Vineyard: Words of Wisdom from the Bible
The Generous Husband: Words and Wisdom: Friends
Love Seat Marriage: Are You Sweet?
Sex Within Marriage: Words and Wisdom from Family

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The Art of Simple: Holly’s story of shedding the excess stuff Here’s a simple, do-able process. So encouraging.

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Image credit © Berna Namoglu | Dreamstime.com and Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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This week’s theme in the CMBA October challenge is to share words of wisdom for your marriage “from friends.”

I remember years ago when Paul and I befriended a young married couple. They had asked us to hang out weekly with them for awhile. They didn’t have any married friends and they were lonely. A few years later they told us we saved their marriage (we were shocked). Turns out having encouraging friends can do a lot to keep a marriage stable.

As the years have rolled by, I keep seeing the same thing over and over. Having good friends is deeply important to keeping your marriage strong. Yes, friends will say amazing things (that you could write up in a post), but the most important thing is having them stand with you.

Friendship is a sheltering tree. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Prayer Prompt  Thank God for the friends in your life (or pray for them if you are in need of a few).

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Calm.Healthy.Sexy.: This Week, Do One Thing to Be Intentional About Your Marriage Focus on your man.

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Hungry for God: Why do we forget His power when the evidence is all around us? Amazing photography and the sweetest message.

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Image credit © Roman Sluka | Dreamstime.com
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Holley

October 21, 2014

in the generous life

A few days ago I talked about reading good books and subscribing to good blogs to help challenge y’all to grow.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been aware of a lot of great material from Holley Gerth. Holley is not a marriage blogger, but her blog is so encouraging and uplifting I wanted to mention it especially. She also writes amazing books (to the betterment of myself and several of my friends).

Her writing speak to the wounds our culture helps to create and that, in turn, effect our marriage and other relationships. Her recent post You’re Wanted was so touching I felt I needed to point to it and encourage y’all to read it.

holleyDrop in on her blog and read a bit. If it speaks to your heart, why not follow her blog.

God wants you–just as you are. Always has, always will. Holley Gerth

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you dump our culture’s bad standards for womanhood and marriage.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: This One Tip Revolutionized Our Marriage Guest author Kyle Gabhart shares a marriage changing perspective.

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Intimacy in Marriage: 3 Secrets to Amazing Oral Sex Common sense efforts for connecting with your husband sexually.

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Image Credit: © HolleyGerth.com
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Calendar Fun

October 20, 2014

in the generous life

AmyWA commented on yesterday’s celebration post ~

“I have begun a “Family Celebration Calendar” on my computer calendar. I set each event as a yearly reminder that sends me an email. Then I share it on Facebook. Just little things like “Abel Learns to Blow Up a Balloon Day (2004). My goal is to have a celebration for every day of the year by the time I die!”

This is an adorable idea. (Think of what fun you could have around the dinner table.)

I’m just now seeing 2015 calendars in the stores. Grab one (or use your computer calendar) and begin to fill in the holidays and special family days. After that you can look for fun family happenings to celebrate or pick some of the holidays that folks are creating (or create your own!) If you need help finding holidays, here’s a good place to start. Brownielocks and the 3 Teddy Bears – holidays common and silly

I’m a baby step gal, so I think I will work on finding one thing a week to celebrate. (This Wednesday is National Nut Day. I think Paul and I qualify. Now, how to celebrate?)

Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!  Amanda Bradley

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Prayer Prompt  Thank God for all the things you have to celebrate.

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The Forgiven Wife: What About Him? The tough choice over who goes first.

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The Generous Wife: Friday Flashback: Random Massage I can think of several variations of this game that would be fun.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Has there been good news in your household?

Has your husband finished his backyard project?
Did your kids finish out the season in track?
Are you being considered for a new position at work?

Time to celebrate!

Celebrations knit hearts together and let people know they are valued. Look for every opportunity to pat someone on the back (make sure you and your husband get a turn).

You don’t have to be extravagant. Perhaps you have a crazy hat that gets to be worn or someone gets to pick their favorite dessert. Celebrations can look like anything that blesses your family. Don’t forget to make up a few silly celebrations too (just because).

Cultivate more joy by arranging your life so that more joy will be likely. George Witkin

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to show you opportunities to celebrate with your husband, family, and friends.

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Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Start Positive

October 18, 2014

in the generous life

Over the years I’ve been a part of a number of stressful conversations (in the mediator role).

One of the things I stress out front is the need for a soft start up. (John Gottman talks about a harsh start up. Basically if you start angry then it’s not likely that your “discussion” is going to end well.) I ask folks to talk about the good before they talk about the stressful so that they have a positive framework for dealing with the negative stuff.

Overall I think this is a great concept. Start your day with kind words. Start your meal with thanks. Start a conversation with a sincere compliment. Just writing about it feels uplifting.

And, on the flip side, if you find yourself or your sweetie starting a discussion in a harsh way, I encourage you to ask for a break. Heated arguments just cause destruction. If you find you can’t discuss it at all with relative calm, then get third party help.

If you want to learn more from John Gottman’s perspectives, read The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Discussions invariably end on the same note as they begin.  John Gottman

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you catch your grumpiness before you speak.

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Intimacy in Marriage: 5 Worst Excuses for Not Having Sex Time to examine the excuses.

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The XY Code: Sometimes He Has No Clue Keep teaching him and keep showing him grace.

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