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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Paul and I are now home in Washington for a few months. We’ve traveled for the last nine months through 35 states in the US. We’ve met with individuals, couples, small groups, and big groups. We’ve attended conferences and taught at conferences. We’ve met up for meals, taught, prayed, encouraged, and generally shared life with folks (and ate alligator, which was actually not too bad). We’ve asked a lot of questions and done a lot of listening.

It’s been an amazing journey.

There are a few things that have stood out to me and I’d like to share them with y’all, a bit here and a bit there over the next few weeks. I’m still processing so it might be a bit messy, but I hope you can grasp the heart of what I share.

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Everywhere we go we ask folks about the stressors affecting the marriages in their area. Usually the first answer is busyness. If it’s not the first answer it’s in the top five.

At one conference Paul shared the story of the professor taking about time use using a large jar, big rocks, gravel, sand, and water (the big rocks are the important things to be put in your jar first with the lesser things filtering around them). Paul also shared the second picture which is a closer representation of most of our lives.

Big Rocks and Margin

We stuff our lives full of every little thing that comes along and the important things get crammed in as we are able, if at all.

Beyond that we have no margin (extra room/time) in our lives so we miss out on surprise opportunities (the red ball).

Big Rocks and Margin

The first picture has great priorities, but no margin. The second has great priorities and margin. There is room for the surprise opportunity (because who doesn’t need a red ball in their lives?).

I don’t know how busy you are, but I can pretty much guarantee it’s a factor in your life (our culture is full of the push and pull of busyness). Please take a long hard look at your life. Are you too busy? If you are, it took you awhile to get there and it will likely take you awhile to cut back to make room for the important things (like your marriage) and those lovely surprise opportunities.

Please don’t judge yourself harshly, just take the time to think through ways you can begin to cut back. When you plan, don’t pack your days tightly. Leave a little room for lovely surprises (and those days when life just kind of happens in your face, cause we all know it will).

You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it. Charles Buxton

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you set healthy priorities and time use.

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The Forgiven Wife: At the Heart of Change Time for a heart check.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: Can Romance Novels Ruin Romance? Be thoughtful about what you read.

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Image credit © Paul H Byerly
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To Be Kind

July 4, 2016

in the generous life

Love is … kind …   1 Corinthians 4:13a ESV

definition of kind: of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, indulgent, considerate, or helpful

To Be Kind

What does kindness look like between you and your husband?
What little things can you do that express kindness?
What words would sound kind to him? Tone of voice?

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to teach you how to be kind to your man.

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Encourage Your Spouse: Encourage Your Spouse with Appreciation – Robert and Lori are starting an alphabet series on value-driven ways to bless your spouse.

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The Romantic Vineyard: 5 Disciplines For A Successful Vacation Plan for success!

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Today is the first Sunday of the month and time for a cyber prayer meeting!

Please pray for all the marriages represented by The Generous Wife list (it’s certainly OK to pray for friends’ marriages too and don’t forget your pastor’s marriage!).

Lift Them Up

Ask God for protection and wisdom. Ask for sweet intimacy and a sense of being team players. Please also pray for each couple’s values and time use (we are all way too busy).

If you have a specific prayer request, feel free to leave it as a comment. Be aware this is a public forum, so please be discreet and kind.

All I know is that when I pray, coincidences happen; and when I don’t pray, they don’t happen. Dan Hayes

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

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(in)courage: When Her Burden Is Yours: Fighting for Friends on Our Knees Bring them before God.

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Mini Vacays

July 2, 2016

in the generous life

It’s healthy to get away with your man for extended couple time. However, sometimes life makes that difficult and a full vacation may not be possible.

Don’t let it discourage you. Try taking a number of mini-vacations.

Swap babysitting with a friend so you can have 24 hours free for you and your husband. Piggyback a little couple time when you or hubby has to travel for business. Camp in your back yard or play tourist for an afternoon in your own home town.

Mini Vacays

Look for small bits of time you can spend with your man relaxing or doing the things you love.

Vacations are a time to stop our daily routines, take a break, rest, invite adventure, engage in easy conversations, and have fun. Suzanne Kyra & Nathan Derksen

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you see where you have opportunities to get away with your man.

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The Art of Simple: Defining slow Learn to speak each other’s language … or you could just blame the pig.

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My Marriage: Hug your way to a Better Marriage Hugging has a therapeutic effect on the body and mind.

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A few weeks back I had a birthday. The day was full of work and we knew that celebrating wasn’t going to happen, so we shifted the celebration to several other days (when you are over 50 you get to celebrate for a whole week, over 60 it’s a whole month, over 70 it’s party all the time).

That said, it was great fun to spread the celebration over a few days instead of packing it into one day (because sometimes life comes in fits and spurts anyhow).

It also reminded me of how important it is to celebrate and have fun with our loved ones.

Party All the Time

We can celebrate holidays and special days (like birthdays), but we can also celebrate achievements (for when hubby gets a promotion or you finish the accounting class) or smaller fun things (for when you finish picking all the strawberries in the garden or you’re grateful it’s Friday).

You can make banners or wear funny hats (Paul and I used to go to a restaurant that made you wear a paper mache fish hat on your birthday) … or you could wear nothing at all for an evening of private celebration.

Celebrations can be simple (blowing bubbles on the patio) to elaborate (a surprise birthday party). They can be small (a special dessert) or large (a full day of kayaking).

Look for opportunities to celebrate and have fun with your man.

Every day should be a holiday to celebrate love.  Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you find reasons to celebrate.

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(in)courage: Please Stop Calling Yourself Names He delights in you.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: Top 10 Ways to Crank Up the Heat in Your Marriage  Guest author Chad Edwards shares some great ways to spice it up.

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EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY SPIRITUALITY
(originally posted June 19, 2013)

I have a couple of friends that I meet with weekly and from time to time we’ll grab a book to read and discuss. Lately we’ve been reading Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero (paperback, Kindle).

Yes, I know the title is an awkward mouthful, but it is an absolutely amazing book.

The author writes about the critical link between emotional and spiritual health. He’s shares his own story (which is a wild ride) and explains how we need to face and address our emotional condition within the framework of our spiritual walk.

Here is a list of some of the things that show emotional health:

* naming, recognizing, and managing our own feelings
* identifying with and having active compassion for others
* initiating and maintaining close and meaningful relationships
* breaking free from self-destructive patterns
* being aware of how our past impacts our present
* developing the capacity to express our thoughts and feelings clearly, both verbally and nonverbally
* respecting and loving others without having to change them
* asking for what we need, want, or prefer clearly, directly, and respectfully
* accurately self-assessing our strengths, limits, and weaknesses and freely sharing them with others
* learning the capacity to resolve conflict maturely and negotiate solutions that consider the perspectives of others
* distinguishing and appropriately expressing our sexuality and sensuality
* grieving well

If you are hungry for any of these things, this book might be a good fit for you. I am seeing myself all over the pages of this book. I hope to study the book again with a couple of other groups that I belong to. It’s just that good.

One of the kindest things you can do for your spouse is grow up. Lori Byerly (yup, I really do say that)

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to show you what maturity looks like.

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Life Your Way: The power of the family meeting Connection and conversation for a saner week.

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Paul and I are donation supported. You can give to our support through The Marriage Bed, Inc. (tax deductible giving for US folks). Thanks so much for your prayers and support. print out for checks Razoo Paypal (Please mention “Paul & Lori” when donating through Paypal. )

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