Typically you interact with more people over the holidays. There are celebrations with family, co-workers, folks at church, friends and so much more.

With all these gatherings, take the opportunity to talk up your man.

What does he do that blesses you?
Where has he grown?
Any accomplishments this year?

He’s the love of your life. Brag on him a bit.

A compliment is verbal sunshine. Robert Orben

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to grow your appreciation of your husband.

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Holley Gerth: What’s Really BIG to God {it might surprise you} Wow! Yeah, it’s really that good.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: My 3 Gifts of Christmas I love this gift giving strategy.

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Have a Cuppa

December 7, 2014

in the generous life

I just read this wonderful blog post about having coffee with Jesus. 1-Minute Bible Love Notes: 5 Roles Jesus Plays in Our Lives (do click on over and read it)

I did this one day when a friend of mine called to let me know she was going to be late. I just snuggled back into the booth and enjoyed a little time resting in Him and savoring the coffee. (Jesus and I are going to have an actual cuppa in heaven one day, yes, we will.)

Since that day, I’ve thought about doing that more often. I love the warmth and friendliness of our local coffee shop. It just seems like the best place to meet Jesus and have a little time with Him.

Where’s your favorite place to hang out with Jesus? Make time for Him this week.

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to meet you there.

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Remember When?

December 6, 2014

in the generous life

On occasion, does your husband remember events differently than you do?

My husband and I have had this happen now and then. We’ve decided it’s a respectful thing to let it go. If it’s just a bit of simple storytelling, it’s not that big of an issue and who’s to say which one of you got it right anyway. 

Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin. Barbara Kingsolver

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you have the grace to let unimportant things go.

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The Forgiven Wife: What Does Your Anger Mean? Spend some time in prayer to get to the emotions that are behind that anger.

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We are THAT Family: Don’t Make Me Take Away the Nativity and Other Things Moms Say In December Need a good laugh?

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My sweetie and I were talking about “winning” and “losing” and how that mind set tears up a marriage.

Arguing over vacation plans is more about who gets their way. Saying yes to sex means your husband wins and you lose. Finances are a mess because you can’t agree. My way vs. your way. Always a battle.

I think a part of being generous for me was setting down the war. I became more about lovin’ on my man. I trusted God to look after my interests. (Yes, it was a huge leap of faith.) I started caring about what my husband cared about and we became a team. It also softened his heart toward me and what I wanted and needed. Over time when we disagreed it was more about results and not about pushing for our own way. “Doing what was good for us” became more important than “my way” or “his way.”

When I was more concerned about us and what made us better, I did better.

A couple of questions for you: What struggle in your marriage is more about personal rights than the actual issue? Can you set down your personal stake in it and do what is right for the marriage or do something that will deeply bless your husband?

Teamwork: Simply stated, it is less me and more we.  Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you and your husband develop and/or strengthen your team mentality.

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Holley Gerth: When You Worry You’re Not Enough This gal has such a healing message.

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Are you shopping online this weekend? Please start on the Shop and Support TGW page. It won’t change your purchase price, but I will receive a small commission.

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Yesterday I briefly mentioned taking the time to regularly hang out with a good friend for encouragement and prayer.

I honestly think this is one of the best things you can do for your marriage and personal sanity.

I have a friend I regularly meet at a local coffee shop (where they serve eggnog as cream during the holiday season, woohoo!). We laugh, share, listen, pray and sometimes read and discuss books. We keep each other honest and give each other a safe place to explore ideas and concepts. (It’s also nice to have another perspective when you’re concerned about something.)

I realize this kind of relationship doesn’t just fall into your lap. Start by praying and looking around at the gals in your life. Perhaps invite someone out for coffee or invite a couple of gals over for tea at your kitchen table. Look for one or two ladies who are hungry to grow and change.

If you struggle with conversation, ask someone if they want to do a book study with you. As you go through the book (perhaps one chapter a week or just go at your own pace) you develop a relationship and conversation becomes easier.

A few years back, another friend and I created a few questions that we asked each other each week. It kept us focused on those areas where we needed to grow.

Basically you and a friend (or two, keep it very small) can shape your get together any way you wish. The point is that two are better than one. We are not meant to walk alone and a good friend is invaluable.

Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer. Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God for one or two good friends that will want to grow with you.

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rebelauthentic: Where did I hide my whimsical? Find your whimsical this holiday season.

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(in)courage: Why You Don’t Have to Hold it Together During the Holidays Trying to be perfect is exhausting.

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This post may sound a bit psycho-babble, but please hear me out.

Years ago I had a friend who had a rough patch or two in her past. She has good reason to hurt and one day she “felt scared.”

Because she “felt scared” she assumed there was a reason for this fear in her life. So she went looking for whatever it was that was making her feel scared. The problem was there wasn’t really anything in her life that was a problem, but her feelings were real and she couldn’t let it go until she found something scary. She ended up picking something and making it scary, which meant this thing had to be fixed so it wouldn’t be scary anymore.

The sad thing is, she picked her husband.

She nearly destroyed her marriage because she needed something current day to explain why she felt so scared.

I share this because recently something similar happened to me. I realized I was feeling worried, tense, and scared. It went on for several days. Yes, there are things that are not great in my life, but nothing that would explain the level of my feelings. I finally had a sit down with God and said, “Lord, please, you’ve got to help me sort this out.” The upshot of it was that I’m in a period of significant change. In my history that has usually been a bad thing. I was dragging the past into my present. My present is just fine (not perfect, but good).

At this point, I just needed to hang out with God and talk to Him about my past and the lies that I’ve believed because of it. I’m sorting it out and actually doing quite a bit better.

Y’all, learn from this. Are your current feelings accurate for your current situation? How much of your current situation is being affected by past wounds and feelings?

(One of the healthiest things you can do is meet regularly with a friend for prayer and encouragement. It gives you a safe place to talk this stuff out. If you feel stuck or over your head, please seek professional help.)

Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf.  Jonatan Mårtensson

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you identify your feelings and find the real source of any pain, anger or fear.

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Of The Hearth: Alternative Gift Exchange Ideas A dozen plus gift giving options.

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: Does Your Husband Look at Other Women? A little ruminating on how men and women notice physically attractive people.

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Giving Tuesday

December 2, 2014

in the generous life

Today is Giving Tuesday. It’s a day created to encourage generosity and inspire charitable giving.

After all the rush, rush and buy, buy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s nice to take time out to just … reflect and give.

As a couple concept, it’s always good to be on the same page with your sweetie. I encourage you to take the time to talk through your beliefs about giving and look for places to give that embrace your values and passions.

Realize also that giving is a heart attitude and not just about dollars and cents. Ask God to show you ways to give of your time and talents too. Make generosity a lifestyle that you and your husband embrace together.

Online fundraising for Year-end-kickoffOne Giving Option: My husband and I are donation supported. We are kicking off our year-end giving today. Razoo, the non-profit company we use to process donations is having a Giving Tuesday special event. If you are thinking about sending us a year-end gift, today would be a great day.

Donations for our support are processed through The Marriage Bed, Inc. (the ministry we started 17 years ago). US donations are tax-deductible, and all donations are greatly appreciated.

What do we do? Paul and I blog daily on The Generous Wife and The Generous Husband (my husband also blogs on The XY Code). We founded and maintain The Marriage Bed site (a safe place for Christians to discuss marriage and sexuality). 

When you give to our support, you make it possible for us to write, teach, pray, encourage, mentor, coach and more. We pour our time and energy into helping couples grow their marriages and we encourage ministries with a similar focus (we helped form the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association).

Regardless of your giving choices, please do take a moment and pray for Paul and me. (Praying for others is being generous with your time.)  :)  Thanks so much.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  Winston Churchill

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to give you and your husband generous hearts. Ask for direction and wisdom for when, where and how to give.

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The Forgiven Wife: Bring It into the Light To tell or not to tell?

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Storyline: Why You Need a Mid-Life Crisis Make sure your life and relationships are healthy.

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