Investing time with the important people in your life builds them up – and you too! People are more important than anything else, right? In this 16th mid-marriage encouragement video we talk about people who make a difference in our life. Do we see them enough – spend time with them?
How do you make time for the important people in your life?
Sometimes those people who are most important aren’t the “squeaky wheels”, or the loudest in our life – perhaps they hesitate to make a fuss. And yet – they remain the vital relationships which make the most difference in our quality of life.
Make a Plan
Whether you visit, use a video chat service, or even the telephone, remaining connected to the important people in your life improves the quality of all your lives. Make a plan and reach out to those in your life you miss. Write those dates on a calendar, and follow through.
It’s not those things we actually do that we regret… too often it’s those actions we never get around to doing that cause the deepest regret.
Get off the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” merry-go-round and make a difference in everyone’s world!
Make a Plan for “Show and Tell” with Important People
Robert and I have been deliberate this year about making memories with our adult children and grandboy.
We meet once a week for an hour or so and have a “show and tell“. This is our way to remain connected. We each share one item (show or tell) from our life that week. And then we go on our way…. It’s too easy for the weeks to go by, and we’ve not spent any quality time with each other.
Do you have a plan for regular quality time with children to build memories? This may take some work as your children enter their teen years, and then move on as adults into their own lives. Leave a comment if you have a plan – I’d love to know what you do!
Make a Plan to Visit Important People
Do you have family and friends that live far away? We do too.
This year our son created a plan for us to travel to a church convention, and then swing by our parents (his grandparents) in Canada. This allowed us time to visit with our adult children while living together in an AirB&B house and also to meet up with friends we haven’t seen in a while at the Sunday event. After that, we spent two days with our parents. It took someone to make a plan. This year it was our son and daughter-in-love who made the plan, and I’m so thankful. (We have photos of our travels on our Instagram page.)
Who makes the plan in your family to travel to visit important people? How often do you make the time to visit those who are important, but who don’t make a lot of “noise” even though they’d love to see you?
Who prays with you?
An active prayer life is important. Making time to pray alone is imperative. Praying together as husband and wife is a powerful experience. (If you’ve not tried praying together, then just start simple – read this post to learn how.)
Who else do you pray together with? Do you have a praying church family or small group? Do you pray with them? What about a trusted minister?
Don’t let time or distance stop you from praying with people who have a strong prayer life. Reach out. Make a plan to pray with people on a regular basis. These important people who pray will make the difference in your “up” moments and in your crisis moments. (Don’t just wait till it’s a crisis!) Start now.
Plan to pray with others – it’s a wonderful defense.
Who are the important people in your life?
Do you have a plan to invest time with them… soon? Stop procrastinating!
(PS- we have found that the video service Zoom.us is the easiest venue to make a digital visit with far-away people!)
To be kind… Are you kind to your spouse? What about those around you? In this mid-marriage video, we talk about how important kindness is, and how each of us may view it differently.
Kindness is not about you!
Being kind is not about you and your needs. Sorry. Being kind is not about your agenda and how you’ve scheduled it within the time you’ve allotted. To be kind may have some pain involved. Being kind can be intrusive, and downright inconvenient.
Sometimes, being kind will be uncomfortable. Sorry.
smiling at your spouse – even if you don’t feel like it
offering to serve your spouse – to meet a need – even if you haven’t been served
giving your best to your spouse – before anyone else receives your best
refraining from an action because it might cause pain or concern, even if you really “want” it
remaining neutral (and silent) when your spouse needs a sounding board, even if you have an opinion
Be kind – as a spouse, kindness may not be about you – but it will make a positive mark on you both and the future.
(and if you think you’re too assertive or strong-willed to be kind, then see a suggested post listed below!)
but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good
as far as it can be obtained.”
~ C.S. Lewis
Be kind. Demonstrate love in action.
If we were to describe how to be kind we’d use these words:
Which behaviors would you add to this list of words?
How do you demonstrate kindness in your marriage – in your family – and in the world around you?
Want to add some kindness into your lives as husband and wife?
Discuss kindness with your spouse. Explore posts from other marriage bloggers.
Discover what you both would define as kindness and then pass it on!
Some thoughts on generosity from The Generous Wife and how she came to value kindness, encouragement, and overall generosity. Click HERE
Having a strong will isn’t a curse – use it to be kind to each other. Chris has an excellent view from her experience with her Big Guy. Explore how to be a strong-willed blessing for your spouse – read Chris’ ideas HERE.
Want to give your spouse a gift? Then consider these gifts from Gaye’s post – yes, from Christmas time, but the ideas are relevant all year long. Being kind takes many forms –discuss with your spouse these kind gifts – will he/she agree that these actions are kind?
How do you be kind to each other, even as you seek to connect while your spouse is busy? Lori Byerly (The Generous Wife) has some solid suggestions on how to handle interrupting your spouse… kindly! Read the ideas here and discuss!
Do you have a post on KINDNESS on your site? Leave a short description and a link in the comments… let’s share!
Making Choices – sometimes we go with the obvious. But is the obvious always the best route?
Making Choices – Plan A – Plan B and more!
In this video, we talk about the idea that the choices we make don’t have to be obvious. That’s in the area of regular, mundane choices – things that happen every day, week or even year. Taking the obvious route might be the easiest, but sometimes the easiest choice isn’t the best. If it’s a routine, change it up a bit – see what happens!
And when there’s a serious issue – do we go with the obvious, or do we have more than one plan to move past the issue?
In our family circle we have a serious situation – it’s with our son and daughter-in-love’s dog, Pixel. Alex and Alisane needed to make some decisions. The obvious wasn’t going to happen…
Making choices for Pixel and her family…
Pixel is four years old. She’s a mixed breed – boxer, pitt and hound. Alex and Alisane adopted her as a puppy. She visited us regularly before we left on our travels. Here are a few pictures of puppy-Pixel:
And then Alex and Alisane added a new member to the family – and Pixel had to adjust.
Pixel has done so well! She’s very patient with the grandboy.
And a full part of the family.
Making choices for Pixel – what to do?
One day Pixel came in from outside – limping. And her limp didn’t get any better. So Alex and Alisane took Pixel to the vet.
… it turns out that because of a genetic malformation in the bones of her legs, she ended up rupturing both of her ACL’s and needs her first knee surgery in June and her second knee surgery in September.
Surgery for a dog’s ruptured ACL is not cheap. Can you imagine what it costs for two knees to be repaired?
Thousands of dollars!
What choices did Alex and Alisane have?
end Pixel’s life – this might be some people’s response – it wasn’t for Alex and Alisane
take out a loan (that’s tough for a young couple)
reach out for help from friends and family – they’ve done 2 garage sales with donated items
create a go-fund-me page
use Alex’s business for raising money. Pixel is an official member of the Team at Your Local Studio. Her title is “Director of Happiness”
Be thankful. Demonstrate gratitude. That’s how to get out of the rut of mid-marriage blahs.
Being thankful is one way to realize there’s “more” in marriage than you thought.
Be thankful – thankfulness makes everything new!
We encourage you and your spouse to start a habit of thankfulness – perhaps at every mealtime, you can each think of one person or thing you’ve been thankful for in that day. Do that for at least 2 weeks and see what a change of view it can cause!
Then… take action together and write a note or text that person who has brought that feeling of thankfulness to you.
thank the attentive cashier as you check out your groceries
send a Facebook “thank you” to a long-distance friend who brightens your day with their memes
PRAY for those you’re thankful for – ask God to bless them
smile and thank the person sweeping or mopping or collecting trash where ever you are
give your children a huge hug and be thankful that they are yours!
tweet a favorite writer whose prose makes a difference in your life
text your minister and thank him/her for having a servant’s heart
write a note and send it to your parents – no special occasion – just be thankful
send an email to a teacher, a co-worker, a client, your local governmental representative, another couple friend, your siblings, the person who cuts your grass, the business owner who you value…
Maybe make a list?
You probably know that Robert and I are doing the #93toJOY challenge… one of the days has a prompt to write out 100 things/people for which you’re thankful! (it’s not as hard as you’d think!)
When we did the prompt our first 50+ were all people!
Have you ever made a list of all the items you’re thankful for? Try it tonight! You’ll end up feeling really good about your life together. And then take action to write a few notes, or send emails or texts or shout out on Facebook or Instagram to those people on your list.
Rob and I are going to be taking those names on our list and reaching out this weekend!
Join us on the #93toJOY journey!
#93toJOY is for when life isn’t as easy, isn’t as fun, and you’re not feeling connected with your spouse in the way you’d like. Learn more HERE. We put photos on our Instagram account (http://instagram.com/Robert_and_Lori) with the hashtag #93toJOY – take a look!
Be thankful! Leave a comment on what you’re thankful for today!
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4 NASB
Sigh. Sometimes it’s hard to find and feel the joy.
Consider it all joy?
All of it? Really? Joy in all the trials – seen and unseen? Consider joy? Those trials in your head – the ones that wake you at 2 AM, and the trials which seem insurmountable, even if you’re the one that created them? Consider joy?
What if you woke tomorrow with only those things for which you are thankful today?
33 years to be thankful for…
We’re thankful for 33 years of marriage – today. May 27th.
Even though we’re thankful, finding and feeling that joy isn’t always easy. Marriage and life haven’t always been easy. Boy-oh-boy, have there been some trials. And thirty-three years together as husband and wife doesn’t give us a “pass” to get out of the current or future trials, either.
However, we have a promise. Those trials testing our faith produce endurance. Endurance is a gift for which to be thankful… and if we practice that endurance, we will be complete. We will lack nothing. There are gifts along the way. We’ve seen them already and we have faith there will be more, according to God’s will.
In this “not easy” season we’re holding onto that promise of lacking nothing – with both hands, all four hands. We’re trusting. We’re exercising our faith.
Gifts in this “not easy” season…
What are some gifts in this season of marriage that’s been less than easy?
Our adult children are gifts.
Consider the joy of children. At first, becoming parents on our 1st wedding anniversary was a trial. Oh, yes. That wasn’t easy. But joy has come from being parents to those children. Adult children are the best gift! They are our sparks of joy and watching them serve the Lord is a truly joyful gift.
Our grandboy is a gift.
Consider joy. Everyone predicted grandparenting would be a joy. (Frankly, I was skeptical. It was just a crying, poopy baby, after all…) Today, a year and a half later, we are unable to truly define where this overwhelming joy in the grandboy comes from… it must come from God. It must! Rob has been saying that “If God loves us the way we love our grandchild, then we’re golden!” Yes. That’s a gift. A gift filled with joy.
Friends are a gift.
In the midst of our trials, friends have reached out. A kind word. Prayers. (Oh, you have no idea what a gift it is to know that friends are praying for you and with you!) Encouragement despite ongoing circumstances is a gift of joy. We’ve received gifts – both monetary and physical. Every. Single. Friend. Is. A. Gift.
Consider joy – yes. There is joy in knowing you’re surrounded by the Godly love of friends who are also ministers. There’s joy from family, of congregational members… and friends who unknowingly provide gifts. In this time that’s not been easy, we’ve been surrounded with those who give without measure and without any hope or expectation of repayment.
We’ve been learning the art (and gift) of humbleness. It’s not always an easy gift – but it’s priceless. And there’s joy in it.
The gift of Endurance
We are learning endurance – and it’s having its result. I hope. Our faith is increasing. We have no other choice but to have faith. And we’re already feeling that promise that we lack nothing.
Because when you really think about it, all our hope lies in Jesus. In Jesus’ sacrifice. And the future His sacrifice and God’s grace will provide… is already providing. That’s ALL joy.
Consider it all joy – friends – when we all encounter various trials. That testing of our faith does produce endurance. And if we let it, endurance can have its perfect result. We will find ourselves perfect through God’s grace. And we will find ourselves complete, lacking absolutely nothing…
Are you going through a time that’s not easy?
We can relate. (As you might guess by this post.) Not all years in marriage are easy. It’s hard to encourage each other when it’s been a while since you’ve felt some joy. (Rob says that encouraging an “encourager” is really hard.)
So – as a gift for you… and us too…
As an anniversarygift, one we can all enjoy – and spark some JOY – we’ve created something.
93 simple, quick and mostly free activities for you and your spouse – for all of us – to spark some JOY! (Why 93? That’s part of a longer story you can read when you click HERE.)
We will be right beside you! We are doing this too!
Those who sign up will receive one email a day with one simple and quick action to take together. Each action is easy – and where it might feel like a stretch, we’ve given you some help. And if you really hate the idea, or physically can’t do it, then there’s the option to pull a different idea from the JOY JAR…
This is our gift to you – a gift to spark some JOY!