Thursday, March 26, 2015

No Relationship is all Sunshine...

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Massonforstock
"No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm

Love this perspective!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Put on the Armor of God

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Massonforstock
I've mentioned this one before ... The enemy of our marriages is not made of flesh. It is the devil himself. He desires to make our marriages fall apart.

Although he is not specifically speaking of marriages here, God tells us in Ephesians 6:10-17 how to put on his armor to protect ourselves. I love the visuals.

As you read it, think of how you can use this armor to protect your marriage, and if you'd like, you can see some of my suggestions here.

10   Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.

11   Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.

12   For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.

13   Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.

14   So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,

15   and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.

16   In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one.

17   And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Just Because it is Done ...

Photo credit: Disney
Sticking with the Cinderella theme today. One of my favorite lines in the movie was, "Just because it is done, doesn't mean it should be done."

This is a great point for all of us to ponder.

Where are we repeating a behavior or pattern that doesn't serve us?

In the movie she was talking about hunting animals, but I'd like to apply this concept to our everyday lives.

Here's a simple example: In marriage, many women find themselves nagging their husbands to get something done, perhaps taking out the trash, painting a room or making a household repair, but the task never gets done. What would it be like if the wife stopped addressing the topic altogether? What if she did that thing herself or hired someone else to do it? If repeated requests are not getting the job done, are more repeated requests really going to help?

Sometimes we need to stop and ask ourselves why we continue to do certain things that don't get us the results we seek. Try something different next time!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Life Lessons from Cinderella

Photo credit: Disney
Couldn't help but put this one out there ... Have courage and be kind.

So simple, but true.

In life, we need courage to overcome fear.

I'm not talking about fears of heights, spiders, monsters or anything like that. I'm referring to fears that impact us on a daily basis.

Here are a few common ones:
  • intimacy -- this fear keeps us from fully receiving love from others
  • loneliness -- this fear causes us to never have healthy silence in our lives
  • failure -- this fear causes us to not take risks and live fully
  • rejection -- this fear causes us to not be ourselves
  • commitment -- this fear keeps us separate from others
  • abandonment -- this fear causes us to act in controlling ways to keep people near us
So, take some wisdom from Cinderella's mom -- have courage, take a risk to live and love fully, and always be kind!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Battle for Your Marriage

Your marriage is under attack. Every minute of every day, via spiritual warfare. I want people to know about this, because so often we think our spouse is the enemy. But our spouse is not the enemy. The Devil is, and he is relentless.

He will stop at nothing to destroy your marriage, because it is something good that God has created. He will use things like petty little arguments, busy schedules, crying babies, selfishness and temptations to slowly drive a wedge right between you and your spouse. He will do such a good job you might even get to the point where you don't think you like your spouse anymore.

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / 4774344sean
I want to encourage you to fight for your marriage on a daily basis. Do it for yourself, your spouse and your children.

Practically speaking, here are a few simple ideas for cultivating a happy marriage:
  • Set up a daily check-in time with your spouse and ask, "How was your day?" Allow 5-20 minutes for this task where each of you will talk about your day and listen to the other. Insist the children give you this time -- it is for their own good, and it shows them you value your relationship.
  • Check in with your spouse periodically -- maybe once every few months -- and ask, "What can I do to be a better partner?"
  • Plan some dates that are different and interesting. Specifically plan something your spouse would like. Get out of your comfort zone. I've tried some things in the past like fishing and camping because my husband enjoys them.
  • Always look for the best in your spouse. What you see is what you get, so if you are constantly nit-picking and noticing everything he does wrong, that is all you will see. Change your focus. Put on a new pair of glasses. Notice what he is doing right.
  • Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Thank your spouse for all of the things he does for you and your family. Thank him for going to work. Thank him for taking out the trash. Thank him for driving the kids to soccer. These things may seem minor, but they will cultivate gratitude in your heart.
  • Don't take your partner for granted. Just because you are married and promised to each other for as long as you both shall live does not mean you stop trying to be the best version of yourself for your partner. Give your best to your spouse, not the left-overs from your day. I know this is challenging, but I can't emphasize this enough -- don't take your partner for granted. Appreciate him and tell him so.
  • This list could go on for eternity, but I'll leave off here saying you can always contact a life coach to guide you through a personalized marriage tune-up. We can create lasting change in just a few weeks.