Years ago I had a friend that would tell me what I was thinking and why. She assumed she knew my thoughts and motives. Even when she got it right, it was still hurtful, because it’s my job to share what I think and feel, not hers.

Don't Assume You Know

Over the years, I realized I was guilty of the same thing with my husband. I may not have verbalized it, but I thought I knew what he was thinking and that I understood his motives. Chances are I got at least some of it wrong and it messed up a number of conversations and generally hurt our relationship.

I think a sign of maturity is inviting others to reveal their thoughts and motives, instead of telling them what they think and why. It’s respectful and you avoid many a misunderstanding.

Learn from my mistakes: If you don’t understand why your spouse is doing something (or not doing something), nicely ask why.

Before you “assume,” try this crazy method called “asking.”   Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you remember to invite your husband to intimacy instead of assuming you know what’s going on between his ears.

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Life Of Joy: Loving Through Frustration For those days when everyone is tired.

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: What Are the Real Purposes of Sex? Three basic reasons for God’s gift of sex in marriage.

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Got Plan?

July 11, 2016

in the generous life

Is there something you and your husband want to do, but haven’t made any concrete plans toward?

Make time for a planning session something this week and map out baby steps that will get you there.

Got Plan?

During busy times even doing one little baby step will encourage you. When things settle down do more.

Then one day soon you’ll be able to enjoy the fruit of your plans and work!

A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.  H. Stanely Judd

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you and your husband stay on track and work toward your personal goals.

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The Forgiven Wife: Just Breathe I used to practice those things that helped me stay calm and thoughtful. Good habit to create.

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The Generous Husband: Learn to Share Information Better Open up and look at all the options.

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As Paul and I were talking to various groups, I kept hearing women apologize ~ for their home, their kids, their marriage, their hair, the way they study the Bible … pretty much everything.

Be Kind to Yourself

There was a lot of self-contempt and dissatisfaction.

Though I can’t entirely blame Pinterest, things like that certainly play a part.

We are a culture of perfectionists with outrageous standards that no one can live up to. It’s destroying our sanity, our relationships, and our lives.

Let’s be kind to ourselves and each other.

Life is messy and (if we let it) it can be a lot of fun. Can you enjoy the birthday cake even if the dinosaur is a bit crooked (I guarantee your kiddo loves it)? Can you enjoy the walk with your sweet hubby and not worry that some of the laundry will have to wait for tomorrow?

Much of what we do isn’t about legitimate standards (it’s about someone’s preference or sense of beauty). We can choose to live by saner standards and enjoy the life we have. Yes, make changes as you like, but be sure the standard you’re creating is about you or your family and not trying to live up to some crazy perfect Pinterest standard. (And I really do like Pinterest, I just can’t buy into the perfection.)

Oh, and please stop apologizing. Each of you are a wonderful creation, deeply loved by God and others. Don’t compare yourself to others’ standards. Live by saner standards and enjoy your life.

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.  Harriet Braiker

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Prayer Prompt Ask God to show you how to set down any unreasonable standards.

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Dinner and a movie is a fairly traditional date night idea.

That’s not a bad thing, but you can add an interesting twist by going to a movie theater that serves meals/snacks during the movie. Paul and I have seen a couple of movies at the Alamo Drafthouse (see his post for a list of such theaters). The prices were slightly more than the usual cost of tickets and a meal (though you could just order the never ending popcorn).

Dinner and a Movie

If going out for a date is too pricey for your season of life, why not create your own theater experience? Take a picnic lunch to a movie in the park (usually free or inexpensive), watch a flick at your favorite coffee shop (during non-busy hours), or have dinner on the patio while watching a movie on your laptop.

Date night gives you a chance to get away from it all and slip into “couple mode” for a few delightful hours. Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God for creative ideas for couple time.

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Gary Thomas: What if You’re Asking the Wrong Question? Stop asking your spouse to be the destination. Accept them as a traveling partner.

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Journey to Surrender: 5 Ways to Keep Technology from Hurting Your Marriage Simple steps to prevent technology from stealing from your marriage.

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As Paul and I traveled I also became aware that folks are not living full, healthy lives. A part of this is the busyness that takes them away from the truly important parts of life, but it seemed to be a larger problem.

It’s like folks don’t know they are unique creations with a unique calling. They are constantly hungry and they don’t know why. There is more to life and they can’t seem to find it in the busyness of their day.

They don’t seem to value themselves or their spouse and they often end up adversaries instead of teammates. They’re hungry, not whole.

Hungry, Not Whole

There is no quick, easy answer for this. Most of the answer is grown in us as we learn more about Who God is and who we are in Him. That usually means more time in prayer, in the Word, and in fellowship (just one more reason to kill the busy monster).

It’s also about being intentional to explore who God made us to be (ditto for your spouse). It means having conversations where we challenge the norm and consider our dreams and expectations. It means growing up, helping each other, and encouraging each other.

You and your spouse are delightful creations. God has a plan for your lives and you can team up to walk in those plans.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10  ESV

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you and your husband grow toward wholeness in Him.

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Stupendous Marriage: Your Marriage needs Five Hours of Magic Pick up a few marriage maintenance strategies.

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Becoming Minimalist: 3 Steps to End Closet Chaos This system works for any mess.

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THURSDAY THROWBACK – A SIGN OF RESPECT
(Originally posted July 31, 2013)

I was looking at our vegetable garden and realized I was looking at more than just the fruit of all my husband’s hard work. I realized its existence was a statement of respect for the things that are important to him.

A Sign of Respect

I could have fussed about the cost in time and money. I could have fussed about the weeding or the bugs or the size (it takes up a fair amount of our yard).

Instead I made room for what he enjoys and what is important to him.

Respect… is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.  Annie Gottlieb

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you see ways to show respect to your husband.

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Encourage Your Spouse: Discovery – A Value That Opens Up Our Life Time for a little adventure!

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Awaken Love: Keeping the Creativity Going See if you can outdo each other.

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Yesterday I wrote about making time for the important things in your life (big rocks).

More on Big Rocks

I encourage you talk through this with your husband.

 What (and who) are the important things?
 What does “success” mean to you?
 What feels fulfilling?
 What is your sense of where God is directing you?

Take your time and talk through the specifics. Then ask yourselves how can you begin to make time for the big rocks in your life.

If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else. Lawrence J. Peter

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you identify the big rocks in your life.

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: Are You His Type? God created you as a beautiful woman and you are beautiful in your husband’s eye.

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all red tire © Goodyear TireThe Generous Husband: So Many Miles, So Many People, So Much Food! For a cute look at our recent travels.

And …

Help Us Retire: No, we’re not stopping.  :)
We lost a couple of tires on the RV (we ended up replacing them all because of age) and we need to replace four of the six truck tires before we head out in the fall. Mounted we are looking at roughly $200 a tire, for eight tires total.

If you can help, click here for ways to give to this need. We will show progress with a tire that starts out red and becomes black to show the percent raised.

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