Dream On

January 22, 2015

in the generous life

♥ ♥ ♥ 26 days until Valentine’s Day ♥ ♥ ♥

This Week’s Marriage Challenge: Every day this week,
look for an opportunity to practically serve your husband.

 
(Sorry, yesterday’s images did not come through by email or RSS. Here are links to the Pinterest pins for Valentine bookmarks. thumbprint bookmark calendar bookmark)

From The Generous Wife archive:

I mentioned that Paul and I are making time to go out for coffee and talk.

What’s really interesting is that we are dreaming more. Some of it’s simple stuff (we want to paint the living room), some of it is pie in the sky talk (it would be amazing fun to give away a million dollars) and some of it is long term dreaming (we’re still talking about getting a motor home and traveling a loop through the US).

The upshot of it all is that we feel happier and we are accomplishing baby steps toward our goals.

I encourage y’all to create a bucket list for yourself and also to dream with your man and create a bucket list of things you want to do as a couple. Visit your buckets from time to time, add to your dreams and get serious about your plans (baby steps will get you there).

Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.  Les Brown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you in your dreaming and planning.

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Calm.Healthy.Sexy.: Make One Simple Change to Improve Your Marriage A simple 30 day challenge that could reap great results!

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Life Of Joy: Anniversary Date Night & Laughter What a cool way to celebrate your anniversary.  :)

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Image courtesy of artur84  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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On the Same Page

January 21, 2015

in the generous life

♥ ♥ ♥ 24 days until Valentine’s Day ♥ ♥ ♥

This Week’s Marriage Challenge: Every day this week,
look for an opportunity to practically serve your husband.

 
Well, I’m feeling a bit crafty this week. How about a romantic bookmark for Valentine’s Day?

   

If these aren’t quite what you’re looking for, Pinterest has a bazillion ideas

There is a wisdom of the head, and… a wisdom of the heart.  Charles Dickens

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God for ideas for little ways to bless your man.

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Intimacy in Marriage: 9 Things I Would Say About Sex if I Had No Filter   :)

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The XY Code: This Blog As a Conversation Starter Use this or any blog to share and connect with your sweetie.

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A Play on Words

January 20, 2015

in the generous life

♥ ♥ ♥ 25 days until Valentine’s Day ♥ ♥ ♥

This Week’s Marriage Challenge: Every day this week,
look for an opportunity to practically serve your husband.

 
I love those little magnetic words available in tins. They’re great for leaving love notes on the fridge or slightly warmer notes someplace in the bedroom (a dressed up cookie sheet as wall art would work).

   

(Look for something like this in the February giveaway contest!)

If buying something like this is a bit pricey or you’re just feeling creative, you can always make your own (I like this gal’s use of magazine words).

You can stroke people with words.  F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to teach you how to love your husband with your words.

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: Why Try More than One Sexual Position A little variety can enhance the experience, physically and emotionally, for both of you.

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The Forgiven Wife: A Shaded View of Romance Perspectives on romance novels and the upcoming movie Shades of Grey.

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Images courtesy of Amazon.com
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Support Items

January 19, 2015

in the generous life

♥ ♥ ♥ 26 days until Valentine’s Day ♥ ♥ ♥

This Week’s Marriage Challenge: Every day this week,
look for an opportunity to practically serve your husband.

 
There are a number of items around the house that need “support items.” Remotes needs batteries. Shavers need blades. Shoes need shoelaces. 

Run through your house and create a list for “support items.” When you go shopping be sure to check the list or buy extra to create a pantry for those needed household items.

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God for practical wisdom in running your home.

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Life Your Way: Have you bought new underwear this year? A “make you think” article. Make time and space for the things that feed your soul.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: Top 10 Ways to Relax During Sex Do you struggle relaxing during sex? If so, you are not alone.

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Image courtesy of James Barker / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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♥ ♥ ♥ 27 days until Valentine’s Day ♥ ♥ ♥

Sometimes we think “practical” is unromantic, even boring. 

Not so! Practical acts of love are very needed and offer comfort, relief, and a sense of being known and appreciated. (If your husband has an “acts of service” love language, he will be in seventh heaven this week.)

This Week’s Marriage Challenge: Every day this week,
look for an opportunity to practically serve your husband.

 
Run an errand.
Organize his clothing drawers.
Do one of “his” chores.
Massage his aching shoulders.
Mend his favorite shirt.
Help with a project.
Help him off with his coat.
Make your bedroom neat and welcoming.
Bring him a drink or snack.

Look for ways to practically touch the life of your man. (Feel free to leave ideas for practical service as a comment.)

Do small things with great love.  Mother Teresa

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you see opportunities to practically serve your husband.

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Pop Quiz

January 17, 2015

in the generous life

♥ ♥ ♥ 28 days until Valentine’s Day ♥ ♥ ♥

Settle in a quiet spot and go over your marriage relationship in your mind. 

Is there any anger?
Frustration?
Do you need to talk through a disagreement?
Can you let an offense go?
Do you need to forgive him?
Do you need to ask for forgiveness?

Don’t let problems hang on and take up residence in your relationship. Be quick to deal with them.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32  ESV

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to give you a heart of forgiveness and wisdom to deal with the real problems.

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Ashley Willis: 4 Simple Phrases that Keep a Marriage Going Strong Yup. These are good ones.

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Journey to Surrender: The Gift of More Variety A balanced look at adding variety to your bedroom life.

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The last few days I’ve been writing a bit about how God sees sex and how it’s meant to be an incredible blessing to you personally and to your marriage.

Sadly, we live in a fallen world, which generally means anything can (and usually does) go wrong.

Perhaps you were sexually abused. Maybe you’re using hormonal birth control and your sex drive went away. You’re too tired for sex what with working two part time jobs, plus husband and kids to come home to. You or your husband is struggling with porn. You have pain during sex or difficulty having an orgasm. Maybe you’re the one who wants sex and your husband doesn’t. The list really is endless.

The nice thing about it is that God understands the problems and He can lead you in a path for help. Ask Him to help you clearly identify the problems and give you a plan of action.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.  James 1:5  MSG

I was abused by several people as a preschooler, poor sexual messages as a kid, acquaintance raped as an adolescent, and had a difficult first marriage that ended in divorce. I can’t even begin to tell you the stuff I had to work through (and at a time when there were far fewer resources). God gently baby stepped me through and continues to heal, teach and grow me up.

He can do that for you.

I don’t know what your journey will look like and, because marriage takes two, it’s bound to be a bit bumpy. If you will pray and work on your stuff, you will be doing everything you can to give your marriage and sex life a chance at health and growth.

My best advice is pray, read, talk, and try.

Ask God to help you find good resources and then try what they suggest. Try for awhile and then examine and adjust. If something doesn’t work, stop and try something different. If your husband is willing to pray, read, talk, and try, it will be that much easier, but do whatever you can do regardless of however much or little cooperation you get from hubby. If you have a good friend or two to pray and talk too, that’s a plus (be discrete about how much you share about your sex life, it’s one thing to know about, it’s another thing to know the details).

When you find yourself stuck (you don’t know what to do or your husband can’t/won’t work on your marriage) it’s time to go for third party help. Simple concept ~ if you can’t do something by yourself, then you need help from someone else. If your issues are fairly simple, find a happily married woman to talk to. For more complex issues, find a counselor. Take your time in finding someone that is a good fit for you (even great counselors aren’t a good fit for everyone). If your husband won’t go, go by yourself.

The Family and Marriage Counseling Directory
Find a Counselor ~ The American Association of Christian Counselors

Consider also looking in your area for:

Accountability Groups
Couple to Couple Support
Lay Counselors
Lay Support Groups (12-step etc)
Licensed Counselors
Marriage Enrichment Courses
Mentoring
Pastoral Counselors
Prayer Ministries (Theophostic Prayer Ministry)
Professional Support Groups
Psychiatrists
Psychologists
Marriage Books

Online:

Message Boards (The Marriage Bed forum)
Good blogs on married sexuality:

The Forgiven Wife
Hot, Holy & Humorous
Intimacy in Marriage (here’s an interesting post)
To Love, Honor and Vacuum
Pearl’s OsyterBed
The XY Code
(Each day I link to good blogs that occasionally mention sexual issues as well.)

Y’all are blessed in that there are a truckload of books and blogs available on marriage concepts and there are folks who can and will talk about sex solutions. (If you know of good resources, please leave them as a comment.)

IF YOU ARE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP:
Please seek help immediately.
You need to deal with your marriage from a place of safety. 
http://www.ndvh.org hotline: 1-800-799-7233

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you find sexual resources that are perfect for you and your husband.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge of 2015 This gal will be sharing great marriage resources all year long.

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Calm.Healthy.Sexy.: Will You Live in the Land of Scarcity or the Land of Enough this Year? Lovely guest post on self-talk and expectations.

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