We’ve recommended three ideas from this very old book by Dale Carnegie – “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” to begin to worry no more… There’s nothing particularly new in here – but it’s a classic and he hits on so many good ideas to stop worrying. The stories are fun to read because they’re from the 1920’s to 1940’s. (FYI -Robert isn’t a fan of Dale Carnegie – but I (Lori) enjoyed it!)
In the middle of marriage you might be feeling a bit worn down, a bit overwhelmed, and thinking, “Is this all there is?” We want you to know that life in the middle of marriage can have an even better flow of love and loyalty than when your marriage began. It just takes a little work. (Sorry – is that a 4-letter word: work?)
Again – the work is what it takes to get your worry under wraps: Prayer for the future together. Focus on today; do the best you can with what you have today. Stop replaying what you can’t change from yesterday.
How do you deal with worry?
Have you and your spouse found ways to worry no more? Any books you’d recommend on this topic, or posts you’ve read?
Encourage and motivate your husband or wife? Sometimes words (alone) won’t motivate or encourage, but they are a place to begin…
21 things to say to encourage and motivate your spouse…
Below are 21 ideas for you to say or text or write in a note to encourage your spouse. Play around with the ideas – make them your own!
But then what? What can you do after you use these phrases to encourage and motivate? Here are three things to do that will add some real emphasis to your words:
Inspire with HOPE – convey these phrases with a belief of hope for the future. Provide concrete ideas on how this hope can come alive.
Lift up your spouse with PRAYER – your faith in God and all He can and will do can be backed up with prayer. Pray aloud, pray with your husband or wife, ask others to pray. Be a warrior. Need help learning to pray? Take a look at these ideas.
Support with ACTION – this is where your words make the greatest impact. What can you do to demonstrate what you’re saying is true? Remember – you and your husband/wife are a team. What are you doing to hold up your end of the teamwork? Be a “Dream Team” –read this to learn how!
Your ability to encourage and motivate is like any other skill. It takes practice. Each spouse is unique – every time-period is different. You know what makes all the difference? NEVER giving up!
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”