Monday, November 14, 2016

Who's protecting my marriage???

I took this picture in NJ and think it is so applicable to a marriage relationship path.  It is a path that has to be protected. Sometimes we can leave the beautiful gate open for others to join us for dinner or game night etc.

And other times - on a regular basis - we have to close the gate and protect our marriage path and walk alone, just the two of us.

So "Who IS protecting your marriage path?"

Just take a look at these sentences and phrases for wise and practical answers to that question!

Love - from the center of who you are.

Be real - don't fake it.

Run (for your life!) - from evil (recognize that sometimes we do says things intending to hurt the other person --- RUN RUN RUN from that mentality.  
You are a "we" now.  
When we say mean and hurtful things to one another we essentially are hurting our own selves.

Hold on for dear life!  -  to "good" and to each other. This marriage "thing" is a wild ride!  Hold on to each other!!!!  
It's more fun that way!

Be good friends - I smile as I ponder this phrase because my Paul is my BFF.  He loves me unconditionally... makes me smile.  Makes me secure.  Makes me understand this mysterious marriage relationship better.

Love deeply - This takes time and energy and consciousness - 
Well worth it in every area: communication, finances, and especially intimacy.

Practice playing second fiddle -- The best phrase for me. 
On your next "date" -- Ponder it with your mate.  
What does it look like for your marriage? 

To your marriages and relationships Kurt & Stephanie, Jana & Adam, 
Scott & Kim, Mark & Courtney
I am so proud of you, my children, and love you with all my heart.

And to all the readers and "ponderers" out there - 
Read and heed these words and protect those relationship paths.

Onward and Upward to my beloved sojourners :) 

Friday, November 4, 2016

The challenges of marriage ---

Challenges!!!  In marriage?  Do they ever go away?

I just read this in "The 7 Rings of Marriage" from a Youversion app reading plan:
"We should expect challenges to happen, but be encouraged by them because we know God is creating something great."  

[Really Lord? Challenges create something great?]

Read on  ....
"Spend some time in prayer giving thanks to God for what He's doing in your marriage.  Encourage each other to continue on, not getting tired of the work and the challenges..." 

[oh but Lord - I do get tired and weary.... I have a sense that we all do.
And I ponder...
Yet this I know; when I encourage Paul and he encourages me, then we are building and growing and foundational and happier and more content than when we are "at" each other and tearing each other down.]

The author of the devotional ends with these thoughts,
"...but be expectant and excited about what will be the result."

[The result of what?  Oh yes!
Through challenges we are encouraging our mates, building them up, cheering them on, loving them when they don't seem very lovable, accepting them, being on the same team as they are, thinking the best of them rather than the worst....
And God is creating something really great in us and in our marriages!]

The takeaways?
Let those challenges pull you both closer together rather than pulling you apart....
Encourage each other through them....
Remember that God is creating something really great!

Truly - I am
Remember to look for the rainbow!
praying for all of you and your marriages.

Be encouraged and excited and expectant as you travel through the great times and the challenges together!

Onward and Upward we go!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Want to spice up your marriage????

I was just browsing through Pinterest and found this blog!
A date-night jar!
Will that spice up your marriage??? It will - only as much as you use it ---

Does your marriage need "spicing up?"  Chances are it does---
Marriages can grow "stale" or "routine" - So if you don't have a date night jar - at least be sure that you have date nights and also that you surprise one another!  Surprises are just so much fun!!!

Please remember dear children (and other beloved readers),  your marriages need attention.  This attention is specific to the two of you.  And the more attention you give it regularly (not annually, not monthly... I repeat - regularly!) the stronger your relationship, the closer you become, the more secure your children will be, the more fun you will have, the more deeply you will love each other, the more contented you will be, the more secure and stable you will be.... I could go on and on.....

So read on dear readers - and spice up your marriage this week!  I know Paul and I will - I am pondering how to surprise him even as I write!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

What are the two most important words for your relationships?

So what ARE the two most important words for your marriage????

Believe it or not - we are not always this "happy!"  We definitely have our times when we are miles apart- not only physically but emotionally and relationally.  And those times, if not addressed quickly and purposefully - will pull folks apart.

So what ARE the two most important words for your marriage????
"I do?"
"Your fault?"
"You're right?"
"Let's eat?"

All kidding aside - I have found that the two most important words in our marriage are - "I'm sorry"
     * I'm sorry that we are fighting. Let's work on this.  I want us to be ok before we go any further.
     * I'm sorry that I hurt your feelings.  Let's talk this out.
     * I'm sorry you're having a hard day - Let's hug :)
Now pay attention here - EVEN IF YOU BELIEVE THAT "IT" IS ALL YOUR PARTNERS' FAULT - SAY, "I'm sorry...."
Truly - humble yourself -- You ARE sorry that things are not right between you.  You are sorry that there is a rift.  You ARE sorry if you misrepresented yourself.  You ARE sorry that this had to happen.

I have found that when that "wall" comes between our precious relationship - that the best way to start pulling those bricks down is with those 2 words - "I'm sorry......"
Those words magically and mystically open up communication - dispel misunderstandings - create an atmosphere of love and acceptance....

And - the more quickly one of you says them -- with the intent of growing closer and tighter and stronger --- the more quickly you will see the benefits!

Love to you all - especially Kurt, Stephanie, Jana, Adam, Scott, Kim, Mark and Courtney

And absolutely Love to my husbud, Paul! <3 nbsp="" p="">

Monday, May 23, 2016

Do I want to grow old with my husbud?

Really?  Do I want my husband, Paul, to be there all the years of my life?  To see me shrivel up and wrinkle up?  And I make myself smile. Of course I want to grow old with him.  And not just for us - but for a real life "legacy love."  The type of love that affects our future generations... Giving them stability and foundation and commitment and a picture of covenantal love....

I've always wanted a "picture" of the dedicated, self-less, committed "legacy love" of a marriage...

I love this picture of my mom and dad -- Look how they are holding hands.  Despite a lot of tough times, they stuck it out.  And the joy and blessings of this foundation is seen and felt throughout future generations.

Another "picture" of legacy love is this video - it is precious and encouraging and just watch --

How Much I Love You ....

And don't forget to tell your beloved How Much You Love Them.....I'm going to text Paul right now :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

"Great, Wow Marriages" just happen --- NOT!
I went out with my sister, CC, last Tuesday night.  We are being coached through a dog agility course with our two pups (thank you Courtney Huther - and we love to catch up and encourage one another before class.

Anyway, she mentioned that a younger friend of hers approached her and said, "Ok Cheri - my mentor- do you have any words of wisdom for me?"  What an open and humble heart she displayed!
Trusting CC to guide, lead and speak encouragement to her....

It made me think of think of resources and folks that have come into our lives to mentor Paul and I in our building and protecting our marriage covenant....
Letters to Karen (, The Book of Solomon (wild and crazy book!!!), American Family Marriage weekends, The 5 Love Languages by Chapman (  etc etc...

Also made me ponder - We have life coaches for all kinds of stuff -- and we seek them out.
Do we seek out ways to be coached and mentored to build up our marriages as much as we seek out ways and folks to build up our bodies, our psyche, our doggies?


Why not?  Perhaps because we think marriages just happen --????
Hmmm [my pondering word!]

Great marriages, "wow" marriages -  don't just happen! 
Just like obedient, agile doggies don't just happen....        
I am absolutely, positively certain of that truth -- 

So  - precious couples - my "mentoring" advice to you is --
Build your marriages --
Get mentors in place--
Garner resources that will protect, nurture and grow your relationship --
You will be blessed beyond measure as you proceed in this adventure together --

Truly -
Onward and Upward --
with love and joy for the journey ---

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hired Hearts ---- hmmmmm

Hello precious sojourners --

I just read this quote:

"In the Harvard Business Review, Seidman writes about the shift to a human economy, focused on "hired hearts" and away from the knowledge economy, which held "sheer intellect" in highest regard. He reports:
In hiring, a recent study of over 1,000 CEOs indicates that above all they seek candidates who are "collaborative, communicative, creative, and flexible." (from Matt Levinson's blog)
I can't help  but see the parallel to marriage -- "hired heart characteristics"

Collaborative - we are in this thing called "marriage," relationship, legacy building  together.  So make it collaborative -- working together -- growing together-- laughing together!

Communicative - What in the world does that really mean???
 I know I communicate - but Paul?  He is lousy at it!
OR is he???? Communicative means being able to communicate (duh:)....
I have to admit, it does not mean doing all the talking. It doesn't mean articulate.  Communicative means being able to listen, suspend judgement... To me, it means working through discussions by honoring each other and giving each other time to express themselves.  Does that make sense?
I wonder how any times I "shut Paul up" because I was doing all the talking and explaining... hmmmm.  Ponder that one .....Perhaps the picture of Uncle Mark and baby Derek are the picture of active communicating?  See how they are listening?  just a thought.....

Creative - Create your relationship!  It will definitely be different than any other relationship ever established.  That doesn't mean you can't learn from others' good relationships.  And I know that I certainly learn from the bad relationships -- don't want to copy that idea!!! :)
So be creative -- enjoy each other -- enjoy creating your legacy!!!  Your adventure! Your story!

Flexible - Urgently needed!!!  It amazes me how much we look at others and think - "Wow, that's a great idea!"  or I want to have a party just like theirs, or I want to have children just like theirs, Or a house like theirs, or or or.....
Please listen here --- One of the biggest pitfalls that I see today (myself included) is the need to have everything perfect!!!!  And with that view comes rigidity --- yucky word in my book!  Rigid!
Now, I certainly want to be rigid about the idea that "divorce' is not in our vocabulary (check this post from long ago on that one.....Never use the "D" word!)
But - the more determined I am to find that perfect piece of clothing, perfect name, perfect menu, perfect body, perfect child--- the more frustrated I become -- And I would venture to say, the more frustrated and depressed my fellow sojourners are too.... (that's you guys by the way - my adult children - and family and friends and readers etc).

Thanks for reading and pondering.  Don't take this all as gospel please.  Just read, and ponder and reflect.... How does this fit into or benefit my relationships?  What take-aways do I want to take away?

And so I ponder --- Am I a "hired heart"  when it comes to my marriage relationship?