It’s the first Sunday of the month and time for a cyber prayer meeting!

Gather in Prayer

Please pause right now and pray for all the gals represented by The Generous Wife list. Pray for blessing, wisdom, and protection. As you pray, please also pray specifically for couples to grow in grace and develop their communication skills.

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 does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.  Oswald Chambers

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Prayer Prompt Please pray for all the marriages represented by The Generous Wife list.

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The other day I was talking to a gal struggling in her marriage. Her husband was acting badly and it was easy to point fingers and blame.

The truth is her husband is not the enemy.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Ephesians 6: 12-13  ESV

Your spouse is your partner for life. He is both beautiful and broken (same as you). Even when he acts more broken than beautiful, the Bible says he is still your partner, not your enemy.

My Spouse is Not My Enemy

There is a spiritual enemy that would love to harm your marriage, even destroy it.

The next time you hear yourself begin to fuss and blame your husband, stop and pray. Then go talk to him like he is your partner for life, not your enemy.

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you see your husband as your partner and not your enemy.

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: Why Some Optimism about Marriage Disturbs Me For a taste of optimism and realism.

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 My Marriage: Sexual Intimacy Mistakes that can Damage Your Marriage Spot on.

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I like most leftovers. Leftover split pea soup or pizza, it’s all good. Though I think if I had a steady diet of leftovers I’d begin to feel a little less valued. If you always get second best does that make you second best?

Leftovers Again?

There are other kinds of leftovers. Like leftovers of time, leftovers of attention, leftovers of energy.

If folks don’t have time for you, they’re not really there in conversation, or they turn you down a lot, it’s easy to feel less important to them.

Be careful to give your husband the best most days. Leftovers are OK now and then (life happens), but a steady diet of leftovers can leave him feeling second best in your life.

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you serve up good time and attention for your husband.

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Kathi Lipp: 10 At-Home Ways to Create the Bed & Breakfast Romance Bring the getaway experience home.

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Of the Hearth: 5 Morning Activities That Lead to Productive Days Simple strategies for making your day easier.

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THE WEDDING DRESS STORY (AKA PLAN Q)
(originally posted August 22, 2103)

Years ago a friend of mine teamed up with a bride-to-be to help her have a lovely wedding on a small budget. They bought fabric and my friend (a gifted seamstress) set to work sewing the wedding dress (it was a Vogue pattern for those of you who know sewing).

The Wedding Dress Story (aka Plan Q)

Everyday my friend would close up her sewing room and go off to her day job and then evenings she would come home and work on the dress. About a week before the wedding, my friend was adding the finishing touches to the dress displayed on the dress form in her sewing room. It was beautiful! 

Well, somehow … the next day while she was at work, her new little poodle puppy managed to get into her sewing room and did what little puppies do all over the hem of the dress.

The dress was ruined.

They didn’t have the money for more material and, even if they did, there wasn’t enough time to sew another dress.

After shedding more than a few tears, they both decided to pray and ask God for a solution. My friend cut away all the soiled and chewed fabric and then shaped the edge a bit. Thankfully it was mostly in one spot in the front. She had just enough leftover fabric to fill the gap and with a piece of antique lace as an overlay, it looked as though the panel was a part of the design. She added a bit of the lace to cuffs and bodice to balance out the effect.

The dress turned out beautifully and the bride walked down the aisle in time looking amazing.

I tell this story because it is my life story (and probably yours).

My life started out with all the promise of a happy little girl who loved twirly dresses and chocolate chip cookies. But when I was three years old I was abused by a group of people. Plan A for my life ended at age three.

My life was ruined.

However, just as my friends received a beautiful Plan B for the wedding dress, I have received a remake in my life (though, honestly, I’m probably somewhere around Plan Q, my life had many more bumps along the way, some that others created and some that I created).

The heart stopping thing is, God loves me so much that His Plan Q is as amazing and lovely as His Plan A. My life and marriage are as beautiful as that wedding dress with the antique lace overlay. And one day I hope to walk down the aisle as His bride in a beautiful made-for-me dress.

He has a dress for you too.

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you walk in joy.

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The XY Code: A Safe Place Thoughts on home as a safe harbor.

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Awaken Love: The Heat is On Get comfortable in your own skin.

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Lately I’ve heard a number of gals say, “he said <thus and such>, but what he really meant was <this other thing instead>.”

Take Him at His Word

Gals, that’s a bad mental habit to create. It leads to all kinds of misunderstandings and it’s … well, it’s just rude to think you know better what he thinks, believes, wants, etc.

He’s a grown up. Let him speak for himself and take him at his word.

You don’t have to agree with him (you’re allowed to have other thoughts, beliefs, wants, etc.), but give him the room to represent himself and his thoughts.

If you find something hard to believe, ask a few questions instead. Tell him your perspective, but please, please, please, don’t tell him what is truth for him. That’s his job, just like it’s your job to share yourself.

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. Bryant H. McGilluote

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you listen to your husband’s perspectives.

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The Art of Simple: Saying yes Say yes for all the right reasons.

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Seed Time: 12 Things You Can Learn Today That Will Make You Better at the Game of Life Neat article. Neat site.

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Hormones Rule

August 2, 2016

in the generous life

Aunt Flo and I have never been great friends, but we got along OK. I had a couple of days a month where I cried at commercials or was a little short with folks, but generally I could stay calm and reasonable. Honestly, I thought most women were using their monthly cycle to excuse bad behavior. 

Then <scary music> I hit perimenopause. Hot flashes, headaches, insomnia, heart palpitations. I could live with those. Some days were tougher than others, but I could slow down a bit and live through it.

Hormones Rule

However there came a day <even scarier music> when I was totally out of control. One minute I was calm and the next I would rage. I ended up hiding in the bedroom so I wouldn’t hurt anyone. It only lasted a day, so I was grateful when life seemed to get back to normal.

Only problem was it came back the next month and it lasted two days. By the time my next period rolled around I was nearly hysterical. I couldn’t live the rest of my life hiding in the bedroom closet. Paul did a fair amount of research because he feared for his life loved me. I ended up taking a low dose of DHEA and that took care of the crazies (this is not medical advice, y’all, be smart and talk to your doctor).

I am also deeply repentant when it comes to judging other women and their hormones.

At the same time, I want to encourage y’all to be proactive about dealing with your hormones if they are driving you nuts. If you’re not sure how much your hormones are effecting you, journal your daily feelings and watch for mood swings. If you find (or know you have) very difficult days during the month go to your doctor and talk to him about treatment options. Please don’t just muddle through the misery. Get help.

Some other practical advice:

 Track your menstrual cycle.
Let your husband know where you are in your cycle.
Don’t plan any difficult events or projects on your tough days.
Plan those things that will make your schedule easier and help you keep your sanity.

Hormones are powerful and can make some days really challenging. Be practical and do what you can to make those days easier for yourself and your sweetie.

Dear mother nature, I’d like to cancel my monthly subscription.  Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God for wisdom in dealing with your hormones.

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: The Beatitudes in the Bedroom: Poor in Spirit Walk in a little humility.

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The Generous Husband: Forgiveness vs Permission Do the right thing and communicate first.

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List three things you can do for your spouse this week that will help him feel loved.

3 Things This Week

They don’t have to be large (you could make his favorite meal or buy him post-it notes). Just make sure at least one of your choices speaks to his love language.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.  Nelson Mandela 

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God for creative ideas in loving your man.

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Jerry Stumpf: 3 magnetic moves to secure a pleasurable, healthy and thriving second marriage Transparency is key.

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The Generous Husband: Does Your Marriage Evangelize? Let your walk with Him shine in your marriage.

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