As Paul and I are getting ready to go RV, I’ve been going through all our paperwork and slimming down. One thing I realized is our will is out of date. And, in talking to a friend of mine, I also realized we don’t have important medical papers in order (like setting up medical power-of-attorney in case one of us were to become incapacitated). We’re going to have to work through this stuff before we head out (and it’s probably a good idea to review yearly to make sure all our ducks are still in a row).

I know no one really likes to think about these things, but it’s a tremendous kindness to prepare and make it easier on your spouse should something go wrong.

How’s your paperwork? (If you need a little help sorting things out read Being Generous to the End. If you do a little bit each week or month, it won’t be long until all your ducks are in a row too.)

Keep your aquatic water fowl in co-linear formation.  Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God for wisdom and ability to handle your important papers.

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Encourage Your Spouse: Patient Love No hurrying. No worrying. Just waiting.

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Confessions of a Terrible Husband: How would you describe your family…in just one word? It would be cool to create a marriage theme too.

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Listen Up

May 5, 2015

in the generous life

Paul and I have been talking about listening. (OK, I’ll own that’s a funny sentence.)

Truly knowing another person starts and grows with listening. So this is no small matter.

As an exercise this week, make a point of listening to your husband. Listen for something that he wants and make the effort to respond to that want.

That might mean baking his favorite biscuits (because he bragged about them to a friend). It might be buying him a magazine on photography to help him get back to his hobby (because he mentioned how he needs to make time for it) or perhaps it’s a shoulder rub (because he said he was so tired and sore).

Listen and learn.

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

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you stay aware when your husband is talking.

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The XY Code: Why Does My Husband Put Me Down? The why behind this destructive behavior. Part of the “Why Does My Husband … ?” series.

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: 3 Things Higher-Drive Spouses Long For Very insightful piece.

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I just read the most interesting article (8 Things Top Practicers Do Differently). It’s about a study of musicians and how the best of them learned a new piece of music.

What they found is that those who did best, faced and dealt with their mistakes well. They worked to understand their mistakes, slowed down, and worked through difficult passages until they mastered them.

The biggest factor was “strategically slowing things down.” This one factor enabled them to do all the rest well and pushed them into the field of “best players and most effective learners.”

I love articles like this because they explore the principles and themes of a thing. What that means is that you can apply these same principles and themes to other stuff … like marriage.

Where do you struggle in your marriage? Could you slow down the process of addressing it and fixing it? If you can, you give yourself and your husband a better chance of fixing it and moving into success in that area.

Slow down, talk through the problem, read, pray, try new things, and practice, practice, practice. (I took piano lessons, can you tell?) Don’t hurry the process. Take your time.

God made time, but man made haste. Irish Proverb

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you slow down and work carefully when you are facing a problem in your marriage.

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Calm.Healthy.Sexy: 11 Ways to Love Your Body This is a lovely encouragement, full of practical tips for taking care of yourself.

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Darby Dugger: What Every Husband Wants to Hear from His Wife What ten things does your unique husband want to hear?

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

Please pray for all the generous wives and their marriages.

Father,

Thank you so much for all these generous wives. Please honor their desire to bless their husband and grow their marriage. Teach them about their husband and help them learn to do what works for their unique marriage.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Feel free to write specific prayer needs as a comment to this post. Remember that this is a public place, so please be discreet and kind.

Prayer is not itself powerful; it is not magic. But its power is unlimited in that the child of God calls on a Father of unlimited goodness and ability.  Peter H. Davids

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you to remember to regularly pray for your husband and marriage.

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Paul and I are working toward traveling full time in an RV doing small seminars and meeting folks around the country. We’re asking our readers to Send Us Out with a Cup of Coffee (your $2 to $5 donations can make a difference!). We have received 59% of our $15,000 goal (from 223 donors). Thanks, y’all, for your generous support. You can follow the adventure on The Generous Journey.

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Different

May 2, 2015

in the generous life

Not wrong, just different.  Dr. Emerson Eggerich

Dr. Eggerich says this frequently when he speaks. He’s encouraging folks to know, appreciate and work with the differences of being male and female in marriage.

I’d like to push it a step further and say that differences come from a number sources (like life experience or personal design), not just gender differences. And (as long as we are not talking about sin) his statement still applies.

Not wrong, just different.

If you’re an early bird and your husband likes to dawdle in bed in the mornings, neither of you are wrong. You’re just different.

If your husband likes spicy food and you like softer flavors, neither of you are wrong. You’re just different.

If you like rock and roll and your husband likes country … OK, he’s wrong.

:)

No, really, you’re just different and that’s very OK.

The challenge in these scenarios is to find a way of honoring both. Let your husband dawdle in bed (perhaps join him on occasion), fix meals with a bottle of hot sauce on the table, and let him enjoy country music (I’m thinking headphones).

He’s just different and so are you.

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you honor and bless your man where you have differences.

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Fierce Marriage: 5 Habits for a Healthy Marriage Great habits to build into your marriage.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: 5 Ways to Pray for Your Husband Wonderful list created by a guy on a prayer adventure.

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Years ago when I started the generous journey, one of the first things to change was my tone of voice.

I was pretty nice most of the time, but the grumpy stuff bled into my tone of voice pretty quickly and my family tended to hear more of that others.

I had to be more aware of how I spoke and I had to be willing to stop, apologize, and restate it more kindly (and sometimes just drop it all together). I also had to be careful not to let my frustrations with person A bleed into my conversation with person B. 

All in all, it’s made a huge difference. I’m not perfect at it (sometimes I still have to stop, apologize, and regroup), but most of the time my speech is kind and appropriately directed.

I encourage y’all to take the time to listen to your own voice. Do you sound friendly? Welcoming? Warm? Caring?

If you don’t like what you hear, begin to self check at regular intervals and sweeten your tone of voice.

… the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  Proverbs 31:26b  ESV

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you listen to your voice and make appropriate changes.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: How Believing the Best Can Turn Your Marriage Around Research rocks!

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For Better – Or What?: Jack Sprat Dealing with those tough differences.

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WHAT I’M READING:

changesbChanges That Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud
One of my go-to books on healing and growing up. Some friends and I are going through the book in a Facebook group (which is a great way to connect if time or distance is an issue). The workbook has amazing questions.
paperback Kindle workbook

Mini-Habits by Stephen Guise
This is an interesting read that encourages baby steps, the smaller and more doable they are the better. These kinds of tasks are so small they get past the usual resistance to creating habits.
paperback Kindle

Knowledge of The Holy by Tozer
My Wednesday night group felt they needed to focus on Him for awhile, so we’re reading and discussing this book. A right understanding of Who He is is so critical to relationship and overall health.
free pdf

WHAT I’M COOKING:

Paul and I have been creating meals that we can double up on and freeze for later meals. Soups are an easy choice as they freeze well.

Cheeseburger Broccoli Chowder

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cans cheddar or Nacho cheese soup
2 soup cans milk
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
2 cups chopped broccoli
2-4 potatoes, peeled and diced
(I add a small can of corn as well)

In a large saucepan, cook beef with onion and green pepper until the beef is browned and the vegetables are tender; drain. Stir in soup, milk, and Worcestershire sauce. Add broccoli and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

WHAT I’M PINNING:

 10 questions to help you declutter
a recipe for homemade chocolate bars (what’s not to like?)
make your own KOOB (a fun outdoor game)
an artsy gratitude journal
 how to make collapsible fabric containers (I’m going to need some of these)

WHAT I’M TWEETING: (a few tweets that got a higher response)

Is your life “preaching” a sex-positive message? What would that look like to your kids, your friends, your co-workers?

 Love your spouse for who they are and who they are becoming.

♥ (Most of the time) Our levels of stress and energy are about the daily choices we make. Choose wisely.

♥ “Quality time” happens in surprising moments during “quantity time.” You have to spend time with each other!

 Heated arguments just cause destruction. If your discussion takes a harsh turn, take a break.

WHAT I’M DRAWING:

I’m still tangling away. I enjoy the small “canvas” (3.5″ square paper tiles) so I can start and finish a piece of art in an afternoon break.

  

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

Fixing up the RV has been my major project (I’ve been painting the bedroom and cleaning carpet) and I’ve been organizing and packing up paperwork. Much of the hard copy paperwork will go in storage, but everything for this year is in the cloud (love, love, love Wave accounting software) and in files on my computer.

WHAT I’M THINKING ABOUT:

God’s been digging around in my past helping me see the different labels I’ve worn. Some of them reflect talents or dreams (like “artistic” and “organized”), but many have been labels created by the enemy (like “worthless” or “outcast”). God delights in revealing Truth and setting us free from the bitter lies. I “belong.” I am “loved” and “forgiven.” The Gospel really is the Good News.

As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”  Romans 9:25  ESV    

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to speak to your heart about how He sees you. What “labels” are from Him?

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The Forgiven Wife: A Tale of Sinuses, a Bladder, and Avoidance Too often we avoid seeking help for fear of discomfort and embarrassment.

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The Generous Husband: Is TV Stealing Your Life (and Marriage)? The average American man watches 1,301 hours of television a year!

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