Listening Well

February 4, 2017

in the generous life

♥ ♥ ♥ 10 days until Valentine’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥

I was wandering around a few quotation sites and ran across this quote.

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. Ralph Nichols

Listening Well - It's an amazing gift for your relationship.

It’s a simple thing, but listening carefully to your husband can be an amazing gift for your relationship, a game changer. How lovely it is to have someone actually listen and consider what you say. It feels loving and calming. It’s like a welcoming hug.

Spend a couple of days watching how you respond to your husband. Can you listen more? Ask a few questions?

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you be more present in conversation and listen well.

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This Month’s Marriage Challenge  Bless your husband with small acts of kindness and generosity.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: What’s Your “WHY” When It Comes to Budgeting? Motivational help in dealing with your finances.

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My Beloved Is Mine!: Getting Away Together! I love their intentional mindset. Fun!

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♥ ♥ ♥ 11 days until Valentine’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥

I just read an interesting post by Chris Brogan – Work on Your Habits, Not Your Goals.

His basic premise is, when you set a goal, begin to focus on the habits that will get you there. If you work on the habits, the goal will take care of itself.

Work on Your Habits - The goal will take care of itself.

For example, if you want a nice wardrobe, start creating the habits that will create and maintain a good wardrobe. Create a good laundry system and make it habit to stay on top of it. Do you have a mending basket? Does your iron work (or is it cranky like mine)? What shopping habits do you need? Build the wardrobe habits and you’ll reach your goal of a nice wardrobe.

Marriage application: (so going there)

What do you want to see in your marriage? What habits would get you there? Focus on those.

Better conversations: ask one question each evening over dinner, read a good book to share, invite your hubby for a coffee date each week.

Better bedroom intimacy: make your bed each morning, do your Kegels, initiate sex at least once a week.

Think through your marriage. If there is an area where you want or need growth? What habits would move you in the direction you want to go?

Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.  Zig Ziglar

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you develop good marriage habits.

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This Month’s Marriage Challenge  Bless your husband with small acts of kindness and generosity.

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Kathi Lipp: Connecting With Your Husband in the Everyday Study your spouse’s daily routine.

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Life Of Joy: Intimacy, Especially When You Don’t Feel Like It Do you, your husband, and your marriage a favor.

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♥ ♥ ♥ 12 days until Valentine’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥

THURSDAY THROWBACK – NECESSARY REST
(Originally posted February 9, 2014)

Awhile back I mentioned I was convicted about taking a Sabbath – a day of rest. It was a bit tough for me because I’m a doer with check lists. Gotta get stuff done!

Well, for a few months I was doing pretty well. I made plans to get stuff done on the other days so that I could take time to relax, rejuvenate, and connect with God and family. Sunday is more of a service day for Paul and me, so typically we rested on Wednesday, but it was really a good move and I was feeling more rested and balanced in my life.

Necessary Rest - Can you create a more restful day once a week?

Then January hit with truckloads of bookkeeping and then the wedding and then the stomach bug. So now I’m taking a forced rest. <sigh>

I have to wonder if I would have had an easier time with this bug if I hadn’t been overworked and generally frazzled. I’m also certain that my relationships slipped because of all the busyness.

Back to my regularly scheduled Sabbath rest.

How about you? Can you create a more restful day once a week?

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.  Ovid

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you plan times of rest.

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This Month’s Marriage Challenge  Bless your husband with small acts of kindness and generosity.

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Of the Hearth: 5 Reasons to Keep a Journal for Your Husband Interesting communication tool.

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Nesting Place: When A Space Isn’t Working For You Look at the “whys.”

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♥ ♥ ♥ 13 days until Valentine’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥

Our guys face a lot of challenges in their day. Most of them deal with a work environment, they shoulder other responsibilities, drive in crazy traffic, and generally deal with the challenges that come with life.

I’d like to think we can become a refuge for our spouses. We can be loving, gracious, thoughtful, and kind.

DoodlesFromTheHeart - You-Color-It "Kindness Matters" Cards

With that in mind, let’s take on a monthly challenge where we are intentional about doing small acts of kindness and generosity.

This Month’s Marriage Challenge:
Bless your husband with small acts of kindness and generosity.

 
Use a kind tone of voice. Bake his favorite cookies. Smile. Drag him off to the bedroom. Do his least favorite chore. Pray for his day when you are matching his socks. Look for small ways to let him know he is loved.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to teach you how to express kindness and to have a generous heart.

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The XY Code: Why He Won’t Talk: The One Lady Bloggers Miss This was a tough one to read, but profoundly true. 

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(in)courage: 5 Tips to Create a Happier Winter Home I’m currently buried in snow, so this post blessed me.

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Image credit © Lori Byerly
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♥ ♥ ♥ 14 days until Valentine’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥

I started a monthly challenge at the first of January. If you get The Generous Wife by email or Facebook you would have seen this reminder every day.

This Month’s Marriage Challenge  Daily: List something about your husband or marriage for which you are grateful.

I actually did the challenge and because I had a wedding anniversary on the 27th, I turned the challenge into a letter for my sweetie. I created a list of 32 things for which I’m grateful (we’ve been married 32 years). It was interesting which ones really touched him (I learned something). 

Share Your Gratitude List - Be a voice that builds him up.

If you did the challenge, share your list with your man. If you didn’t do the challenge, list a few things to share.

Our world is full of negative messages. Be a voice that builds him up.

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.  G.B. Stern

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you continue to exercise your gratitude muscles.

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Making Sense of Cents: 59 Things To Do Instead of Watching TV So That You Can Take Your Life Back Great for brainstorming.

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Gary Thomas: One of Your Best Friends in Marriage What makes you vulnerable to temptation?

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♥ ♥ ♥ 15 days until Valentine’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥

If you follow any of the links at the bottom of my blog posts, you will have at one point or another ended up on the (in)courage site. The (in)courage team routinely turn out great material and I always look forward to reading their blog.

So you will understand I was excited to read and review their newest book and I’m delighted to recommend it to y’all.

Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement

It is a collection of devotional-like chapters, each with insights, questions, and a challenge designed to help you creatively and prayerfully explore connection to God, friends, and community. 

We are designed to live in community. We are healthier and happier when we are in loving, supportive relationships. This book is designed to help us be more intentional about connecting with others. (And marriages tend to be healthier when couples have a network of family and friends.)

It would be a great book to read with hubby, a good friend, or a small group.

The fun part of reviewing this book is the publisher has offered a free copy for a giveaway.

So, let’s talk about friendship and community.

 What makes for a good friend?
 What special thing has a friend done for you?
 What do you look for in a friend?
 What fun things do you and your friends do?
 What do you love most about your friends?

Please leave your thoughts as a comment to this post. On February 6th, I will pick a random number and the commenter in that spot will win a copy of Craving Connection.

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.  Marcel Proust

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you find loving, supportive community.

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This Month’s Marriage Challenge ♥ Daily: List something about your husband or marriage for which you are grateful.

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Encourage Your Spouse: How to Encourage Your Spouse to Stop Worrying Use the tools of hope, faith, love, prayer, and supportive action.

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Confessions of a Terrible Husband: Husbands, THIS Must Be Your “One Word” for 2017 Would be a great word for wives too.  :)

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♥ ♥ ♥ 16 days until Valentine’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been sending out giving statements for donations given to our support in 2016. I sent some as letters through the mail and some through email (if I didn’t have your address). Some folks donated through Razoo (they send their own acknowledgement of giving). If you got missed in the mix, please let me know.

Bottom line. Thank you, thank you, thank you.  :)  

Thank you for supporting us!

Y’all have been so gracious to us over 2016. We met all of our donation goals (which meant we were able to pay our bills, eat, and do some traveling in our RV). Your prayers and encouragements have helped us along the way as we talked to folks about marriage and now we are making plans for more ministry (book writing, some speaking, and a bit more traveling). We are also looking toward creating marriage resources for the small to mid-sized churches. It’s a delight to give more time and energy to serving marriage communities.

Thank you for whatever part you played in making that happen. Your financial gifts, prayers, comments, letters, emails, retweets, likes, and pins are so appreciated, as are all the things you do to bless your husband and help create a marriage friendly culture where you live.

Bless you. Thank you.

I thank my God every time I remember you.  Philippians 1:3  NIV

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Prayer Prompt  Thank God for His provision in your life and marriage.

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This Month’s Marriage Challenge ♥ Daily: List something about your husband or marriage for which you are grateful.

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Image credit © Lori Byerly
Shop & Support TGW Thanks!
We’re Donation Supported

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