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Marriage and Gardening

Plant

This is our first year to garden here in Lubbock. There has been quite a
bit of work involved.
• Tilling the soil
• Having extra topsoil trucked in
• Building three huge planter boxes
• Staining the planter boxes with two coats of stain
• Shoveling the topsoil from the pile into the boxes
• Adding fertilizer
• Adding more good soil
It took all of these steps and many hours of labor just to get us to the
point we are at right now. We are finally ready to plant.
I got to thinking today about how a marriage is much like gardening. There are many background steps involved before the harvest of a peaceful
and enjoyable marriage. You can’t just imagine a perfect garden and then
start harvesting your vegetables later that day. Likewise, you can’t
just dream of the perfect marriage and then magically enjoy one. Marriage takes work. It takes sweat. It takes tears. It takes
compromise. It takes fighting and coming through stronger. Marriage
sometimes feels more like work than like fun. But take it from me, the
rewards of a strong, vibrant, and healthy marriage are worth every minute
you spent making it so.
What do you think makes a marriage strong and vibrant? Leave your
comments below.

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

Magnetic Marriage

Would you consider your marriage to be magnetic?
Believe it or not, marriage is magnetic. Some days you are like opposite
polls who cling together by an invisible force. You want to hang around
your spouse and laugh and share. You want to cuddle or be close to your
loved one.

There are other days, however, when you more closely resemble two like
polls of a magnet. When you come close, you both want to push away. It
is on these days that you need your space. Everything you say gets on
your spouse’s nerves. You argue about everything from who made the bed
last to why the toilet paper is on the roll wrong. You just don’t feel
like touching or being near one another.

On the attraction days it is fun to be married. You can enjoy and love
each other with ease. You may even begin to think you have married life
all figured out. But there come the repellant days. On these days you
question why you would marry someone who annoys you so much. You see your
marriage as work instead of fun. If there are enough repellant days in a
row, you might even start to wonder why you got married at all.

My dear friend, take heart, this is totally normal. Those magnets attract
or repel each other depending on how they are positioned. It is not quite
as easy to change whether you are having an attraction or repellant day
with your spouse, though. Each type of day will come and go. There is no
need to brag on the attraction days or fret on the repellant ones. Instead of worrying about the status of your marriage on the repellant
days, try the following…

1. Realize it is a normal part of a relationship.
2. Tell your spouse how you are feeling so they know you aren’t upset with
them.
3. Watch what you say and how you say it so you don’t cause extra hurt
feelings.
4. By mutual consent, take some time apart to do your own thing.
5. Allow your spouse to have alone time too without taking it personally.
6. Look forward to tomorrow when you will have another attraction day.
7. Most importantly, spend some time with God asking Him to comfort your
heart and repair your attitude.

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Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

God is Good With the Details

Today I was reading Exodus 27 where God is giving Moses instructions on how to build the tabernacle and the furnishings for it. I was a little overwhelmed at all the detail that God goes into in describing what things should look like, how they should be made, what materials they are to be constructed out of, etc. God was extremely explicit in His expectations. Moses knew exactly what God wanted of him. But rather than the details being constricting, knowing the details is freeing!
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Have you ever had one of those professors or teachers who didn’t spell out what they were looking for when you were to do projects or papers. They would give an assignment like: do a paper on ancient Egypt. I hated all the uncertainty with an assignment like that. I wanted to know how many pages the professor was expecting, what citation style, margins, font size, cover page or not and on and on. It was so much easier to create a project when I knew what the professor was expecting of me. I wouldn’t be stressing about the details and could focus on doing my best on the project.
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God knew that we need structure. We need to know the guidelines and limits. We need the details. He wanted craftsmen to work on this special place where He would abide, but He set forth what He expected of them so they could concentrate on creating without worrying about whether it would meet His approval.
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We also have been given guidelines by God. He tells us in His Word what we need to know to live victorious lives. He tells us that in order to be right with Him we have to believe on His son, Jesus, turn from our sins, and accept His free gift of salvation. If we have done that, then we are free to live our lives without worry that we won’t meet His expectations. Of course, we won’t want to stop with salvation. Our gratitude for our salvation will overflow into wanting to live our lives to bring glory and honor to His name. He has even given us guidelines for that process all over His Word. Philippians 4:8 is a great place to begin.
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So rather than thinking of God as exacting and restrictive and His Word as full of dos and don’ts, let us see it in a new light. Let’s focus on the great time God invested in telling us how to please Him. We know exactly how to please our God, now let’s get out there and do it!

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

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Untitled

In plenty and in want.

In happiness and sadness.

Today and forever.

Blessed Be the Name of the LORD!

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

By All Means, Disagree With Me!

My husband and I noticed a funny phenomenon the other day. There are some times when I not only expect him to disagree with me, I actually want him to!

We all do it. We ask a question or make a statement that is worded so that if your spouse were to agree we would be mad.

“I look terrible in this shirt, don’t I?”

“This lasagna I made tastes horrible!”

And he does it too.

“I didn’t deserve that promotion at work anyway.”

“I am starting to go bald, aren’t I?”

Now I am all for telling the truth. I am not telling you to lie to your spouse. I AM telling you that some questions need to be answered with more care than others. If you get one of these tricky questions, think what would be the most loving thing to say in that situation. Here are a few examples…

“You look good, honey, but you look super-sexy in your blue one.”

“It doesn’t taste as awesome as it usually does when you make it, but it is still way better than my mom’s, or cafeteria food, or fast food).”

“Of course you deserve the promotion. I know soon your boss will see the same potential I see in you.”

“I don’t notice it at all, but even if you go as bald as a cue ball you will still be sexy!”

It is great to know how to answer when your spouse asks that type of question of you. It is even more helpful when you warn your spouse that type of question is coming. I have caught myself making a statement that I want him to disagree with. I will then signal him—“What do you think of the new recipe I tried? Keep in mind that I worked on it all day.” He then knows how to respond appropriately. Yes, it would be better if we were all ready for the cold, hard truth at all times and would not take offense. However, I know myself and sometimes I ask not because I want the truth but because I want affirmation. Keep your ears out for those types of moments in your marriage. If you tread softly, you can prevent a lot of arguments.

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Her Again?

From the devotions of Malinda Edgell:

Some of you may dread tax day in April.  Folks required to work retail dread Black Friday.  Customer service employees nation-wide dread working their counter the day after Christmas.

  Me?  I dread the day each year when I’m expected to read about her–the Proverbs 31 woman.

  Ugggh.

  Today I’ve decided to focus less on the Super Woman of the Bible and more on the mother wanting to provide her son with the most detailed list possible for a future mate…King Lemuel’s mother.

  I’m no Bible scholar, but I’m just guessing she wasn’t anyone different than you or I.  She wanted the best for her child.  She wanted to give advice that would make her son’s life easier, happier and less stressed.  She wanted to make sure her son repeated no mistakes she, or her friends, had made.

  Down deep, I’m pretty sure of this, she wanted more for her son than she was herself.  Someone better, smarter, more productive, more business savvy, more generous, more frugal, more supportive, more–well, just more, than what she was!

  Hence, the Proverbs 31 gal.

  To King Lemuel’s mother, I can relate.  I set much higher aspirations for my son’s future mate than a replica of me.  I desire that he marry and spend the rest of his life with someone more lovely, inside and out, than his father picked.

  Nope, I’ll never be the Proverbs 31 woman, but I can pray my daughter-in-law wil be!

Reflections by Christi:

What about you, bride?  Are you the type of woman your mother-in-law can be proud of?  Will she be delighted to introduce you to her friends?  Will she brag on all the things you have accomplished or how kind and generous you are?  If you are not, then today is YOUR day to start becoming the Proverbs 31 gal.

Photo courtesy of Regina Penney http://www.penneyphotography.net/index2.php

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

World’s Most Daunting Wedding Task: Writing Thank-You Notes and How to Do It Quickly

Most tasks having to do with your wedding are fun.  Everyone likes to choose the cake or shop for the wedding dress.  Booking the church or ordering the tuxedos are not chores that can be left undone.  When it comes to writing out the thank-you notes, though, it can seem like a very boring chore that can drag on weeks or months if you aren’t careful. 

Dreading a chore like writing thank-you notes does not mean that you are not thankful for the gifts you received.  You may be very thankful, but there are just so many other things to do after you get married that are more interesting and fun than writing thank-you notes.  And it is just so tempting to save the postage and tell someone you appreciate their gift via Facebook. 

While I don’t always agree with so-called wedding etiquette experts on everything, I do still think it is important to send hand-written thank-you notes in the actual mail and to do so promptly.  Most experts say that gifts received before the wedding should be acknowledged within 2 weeks and gifts received at the wedding should be acknowledged within 1 month.  I will admit none of my thank-you notes were sent out that soon.  The task of writing a personal note to so many people was just overwhelmingly daunting to me.

Thank you notes are important because it assures the gift-giver that you did in fact receive their gift and it wasn’t stolen off the gift table when everyone was busy with the Chicken Dance.  It also shows the gift-giver that you are appreciative of the gift.  Many people still think that the more thankful you are for the gift, the quicker you send the thank-you note.  So it remains very important that you send a note for every gift you receive and to do so as quickly as possible.

So how do you make yourself sit down and complete this monumental chore of sending out so many thank-you notes?  Here are 13 tips and tricks for you and your husband to choose from to help turn an overwhelming chore into a completed task.  Every person and every couple are different, so pick and choose the tips that will work best for you.

1.       Write out 2 cards before each meal until you are done.

2.      Don’t fast-forward commercials on your DVR.  Use that time to write out your cards.

3.      Write 4 cards and then get up and do some sit-ups or pushups to get your blood flowing then get back to the cards.

4.      Write 5 cards each night before bed.

5.      Race your husband to see who can get the most cards done in 15 minutes.

6.      Every time you want to check Facebook or email, do a card first.

7.      Take cards on trips in the car and the passenger writes them out while the other spouse drives.

8.      Keep a few cards in your purse so you can write out the cards when waiting at the doctor or dentist or the supermarket checkout line.

9.      Set aside a Thankful Day and do all the cards that one day.

10.   If you open your gifts at home, write the card immediately after you open the gift before you move on to opening the next gift.

11.   Take some cards to work and do them at lunch or break time.

12.   Set up a reward system for yourself.  You do 2 cards and get a kiss (either Hershey’s or regular).

13.   Write the note before you put the gift away or before you use it.

While there is no way to make the task of writing the thank-you cards go away except to just do it, maybe here you can see a tip or two that will make the task more manageable.

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

A Man Without Honor

I came across one of the saddest verses today.  It was Mark 6:4.  Jesus said “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” 

That struck me today because there are many men I see that are without honor in their homes.  At work they are respected and admired.  At church they are relied upon and looked up to.  But at home they are bossed and belittled.

Most likely the wives don’t even realize they are doing it because they didn’t start out that way.  After they were first married she would smile and lovingly ask if he would take out the trash or cut the grass.  A few months pass and instead of lovingly asking him to do it, she states that “the grass really needs mowed.”

More time passes and maybe she has children to take care of too.  She is exhausted, overwhelmed, and sticky with peanut butter.  She talks to her husband as if he is one of the children.   So now she says to her husband, “Why do I have to nag you to death to get you to do anything around here?  That yard has GOT to be mowed before Friday!”

What the wife doesn’t realize is that she is showing her husband no honor in his own house.  We have all seen couples like that.  I daresay we have all acted like that from time to time.   Ouch!

Make a conscious effort this week to think before you speak to your husband.  Ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say demonstrating that I honor him as a man or not?”  Let your answer to that question guide your mouth.  Let’s treat our men with the honor they deserve.

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

Guilty Conscience Talking?

Jesus’ name was becoming more and more popular. People were discussing
him and his miracles all over the area. People disagreed about who he
was, though. Some people thought he was Elijah. Other people thought he
was a prophet just like they had in the early days of the nation. And
some people even wondered if Jesus was really John the Baptist come back
from the dead. When Herod heard the speculation, he was convinced of the
latter. He just knew Jesus was John come back to life. Why was Herod so
sure?

Herod was so sure because he had a guilty conscience!

Herod had been the one to order the murder of John. Herod knew he had
been wrong to do so. John had done nothing worthy of death, but to save
face among his officials, Herod had given in to the request of his wife
Herodias and her daughter. So now when there was another person telling
people they needed to repent, Herod was sure it was a formerly dead John
coming back after him.

What in the world does this story have to do with your marriage you ask? Everything!

I can’t tell you how many of the arguments I have had with my husband have
been because one or the other of us had a guilty conscience. It usually
goes something like this…

Toby comes home and moves something out of the way so he can set his stuff
down. Then he picks up a glass and puts it into the sink. I tell him
testily that I will get it. He says he was just helping out. I say that
he must hate coming home to a dirty house and a lazy wife. The argument
escalates quickly from there.

Now he never said I was lazy or anything of the sort. I projected that
thought onto him because I was myself feeling guilty because I had gotten
involved in the book I was reading and hadn’t picked up the house. So my
guilty conscience caused the entire argument—not something my husband said
or did.

I have been trying to watch out for those arguments lately and stop them
before they begin. I have to pause to tell myself the truth. It is I who
feels this way, not Toby. I can’t assume I know the meaning behind what
he is actually saying. I have many talents, but mindreading is not one of
them. He may have just realized that he had left his glass out from
supper last night and thought he should take it to the sink. Period. End
of story. No argument necessary.

So next time you feel yourself gearing up for a fight with your spouse,
ask yourself if it is your guilty conscience doing the talking.

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

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