Fun Work – Get Rid of the Barriers

Fun Work – Get Rid of the Barriers

Fun Work – what is that?  

“It’ll be Fun!”  My husband knows me well – he’ll often entice me to an activity or task all wrapped up in a coating of fun. Yes. After 32 years of marriage, Robert knows what’ll motivate me. And I’ve learned to identify my barriers to a task, and he fills in to negate them. So “it” will be fun!

The Value of Fun in Work and Marriage

As a differentiating value, Fun means

activities that are enjoyable or amusing; playfulness; or therapeutic refreshment. 

I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to you if I share that there isn’t much fun in some work. Taxes. Cleaning out the garage. Some work is just that. Work. However, as a husband and wife who want to embrace the value of fun in their work and marriage, then attitude is the muscle that needs to be exercised. Marriage is a lot of work. Why shouldn’t it be fun work?

(Note: I was going to make a list of all the things in marriage that are work and put it here – but I decided that wouldn’t be much fun… 😉  I’m guessing you can think up your own list if you need to.)

Can you be playful with your spouse as you work? Can you feel refreshed as the work gets done? Sometimes our attitude is the barrier…

An Attitude

Stuff needs to get done – even in a meaningful life as husband and wife. However, if you get the mundane work done with an attitude of playfulness and build in refreshment, then you can keep fun in the work!

fun work be playful

5 Ways to Be Playful Even if the Work Needs to be Done

  1. Play energetic music. The most mundane work can be fun with the right music playing! Wear headphones if it’s not appropriate for the environment you’re working in – just start the music at the same time as your spouse, and you’ll be movin’ and boppin’ on the same beat!
  2. Dress the part. Yes – I’m serious! Cleaning is much more fun if you put a bandana around your head, roll up your shirt sleeves and play the part. Dance with the broom as you sweep…  (You get the idea, right?)
  3. Use a board game as a marker of getting things done. Think of Snakes and Ladders – every time you get part of the work done (you’ve already determined the way-points), then you get a chance to roll the dice and move your piece. If the game isn’t done before the work is done, then you get to finish the game as part of the fun!
  4. Take photos – use funny expressions – kiss! and smile!  It’s been proven that smiling changes mood.
  5. Listen to comedians. (Or tell your own jokes.) SiriusXM Satellite Radio has comedy channel options. Try the library to see which CDs they have of your favorite comedians. (Sometimes you can request that the library purchase some, if they don’t have what you’re looking for.)  Or invest in some of your own CDs – or digital downloads. There are lots available in whatever fashion you and your spouse find funny. (Rob and I like Bill Engval.)

Fun Work You are a team

5 Ways to Build in Refreshment During the Work That Needs to be Done

  1. Break to stretch. In fact – you can even do some stretches together! Or try a bit of Tai Chi.
  2. Drink!  (No – not that kind of drinking… or maybe. 😉  )  Staying hydrated keeps your head in the game and feeling refreshed. Be fun and make different flavors of iced tea, or mix up a smoothy… or enjoy popsicles…
  3. Kiss! Oh, come on – what’s not refreshing about a nice kiss, part way through the work?
  4. Nap. Grab a 10-20 minute nap to refresh yourself during the work.
  5. Break to be alone or connect – according to how you build energy. Extroverts: phone someone and say hello!  Introverts: find some solitude to reflect.

Fun Work is Possible!

Just get your attitude muscle flexing, and you can mix in playfulness, and refreshment into the work, making it fun work!

Are you avoiding the work? Why?

You might be procrastinating to avoid the work that needs to get done… Maybe you don’t know where to start – or you think someone else should be doing that work.

There are nine reasons we all procrastinate. (There’s a book about moving past that procrastination problem, if you’re interested.)  If you know which of the nine reasons is stopping you from getting the work done, then it’s easier to remove the barrier.

Here’s an illustration – it’s pretty simple, and kind of silly, but it’s real.  Maybe you wouldn’t find this a problem… Think of something you’re avoiding doing, if it helps.

fun work sewing on a button

Robert’s shirt needs a button sewn on. This usually isn’t much fun as a task by itself… and I’ve been procrastinating. Rob would really like to wear his shirt. (And yes, he does know how to sew on his own button, but I offered and I’d like to do something nice for him.)

Yes – I know how to sew on a button, so lack of knowledge isn’t the procrastination problem. Maybe I’ve been been hoarding my energy for something else? (Otherwise known as laziness.) But, after consideration, the real procrastination problem is that I don’t have the button – the washing machine ate it.

Rob removed the barrier for me by suggesting I use the button at the top collar, which he never buttons up. And then he suggested we watch a movie together and I can do it while I’m enjoying the movie.

See? No more procrastination and Fun Work.

Move past procrastination, and add in some fun.

If you’re stuck, or avoiding the work you need to get done – first decide why you’re avoiding it, then add in some fun.  Anything is possible if you work together.

As a husband and wife you’re a team… Encourage each other! 

No Ego And It Will Come Together

No Ego And It Will Come Together

“No ego… it seems to come together.”

Husband & wife,  two artists with one vision, working side-by-side on the same canvas; Kevin & Wendy.

Married in 1987, they’ve been painting – together – till today. Yes. Painting on the same canvas. Two brushes, many colors, one painting.

Schaefer Miles Fine Art Poppies Divine Love Kevin and Wendy No Ego and it will come together

from Kevin & Wendy’s facebook page (used with permission)

When Rob and I talk about how we live in 282 square feet (our RV) and work together all day, every day (or almost), many people respond with, “Oh, I could never do that!” For some reason, some people can’t imagine working with their spouse. What’s the barrier?

Is it an ego problem?  

On February 3, 2016, I participated in a twitter chat about collaboration. The topic of ego showed up numerous times. This was a business twitter chat (BufferChat), however, like most things, it can be a indicator for relationships and marriage also.

A number of the tweets mentioned not letting ego be a part of the collaboration… these are two:

What is EGO?

In the Lead Like Jesus Encounter, a program Robert facilitates, there is a section revolving around EGO. Good ego – and bad ego.

Edging God Out – (bad ego)

Exhalting God Only (good ego)

Whenever I hear or read the word “ego”, those two ways of looking at the topic are top-of-mind.

I wonder somtimes, if we, as husband and wife, could only focus on always giving God the honor and glory, we’d work much better together. Our collaborations would be sweeter and have greater impact. 

Working with Your Spouse

Maybe you are reading this post and think you don’t work with your spouse. You don’t own a business, earn money together, or volunteer together in a non-profit or even at church…


You DO work together – as a couple – every day!

  • you work together to make a strong marriage
  • you work together to build a life
  • you work together to make the finances cover all the bills
  • you work together parenting your children
  • you work together making a few rooms into a home
  • you work together to be sure there is food to eat
  • you work together to plan holidays and events
  • you work together to nuture relationships with friends and family
  • you work together creating a future that has meaning and purpose
  • and collaborate, working on more and more!

I’m sure you can add to the list, can’t you?

What would happen if you could contain or restrain your own ego, and instead, in everything, exhalt God only?

How would that change your working together as husband and wife?

Remember – you’re a team!

LLJ lead like jesus logoLead Like Jesus Revisited Want to know more about that good Ego?

Take a look at a post we wrote about EGO for Lead LIke Jesus: Learning to Collaborate with the Right Ego  —- And a post about edging God out by the President and CEO of Lead Like Jesus, Phyllis HendryThe #1 Sign You’re Edging God Out

As a resource, we recommend the new book, Lead Like Jesus Revisited. On page 63 there’s a chart which details the signs and consequences of Edging God Out (the bad ego). And on page 82 there’s a chart with the details of what it looks like if you Exhalt God Only (the good ego).

Reach out to us – Robert . Lori @ – we’d love to to come and do a Lead LIke Jesus Encounter with you and your friends/family/church group, with Robert as your facilitator.  As you might realize, our sweet spot is working with husbands and wives… imagine what a weekend retreat would feel like if you were together with your couple friends – learning, growing, and enriching your marriages!

Lead Like Jesus - use the good EGO - exhalt GOD only


No ego and it will come together - Husband & Wife in a meaningful life - Pin

at about minute 6:15 you’ll hear the quote at the beginning of this post from Kevin & Wendy

Difficult Mother’s Day – These Flowers Are For You

Difficult Mother’s Day – These Flowers Are For You

Difficult Mother’s Day?

Soon we will be wishing women a “happy mother’s day” – In North America it’s the traditional 2nd Sunday in May to do this. For all those who celebrate, there are others who can’t wait for the day to be over – it’s a difficult mother’s day.

For some, this is a day filled with anguish and grief.

Why is that? The term “mother” can’t be pinned only on those women who gave birth, and who will get a card or gift acknowledging their role.

There are also people we sometimes forget – or perhaps we don’t know how much they love children with a mother’s love.

With these flowers … #honorallmoms

With these flowers honorallmoms on a difficult mothers day

I’m thinking of you…

The first group of women who might have a difficult Mother’s Day, could have given birth, but those babies aren’t here – they’re in heaven.

  • Maybe those babies didn’t breathe even one breath and only the mom and dad knew there was a life growing. These flowers are for you.
  • Maybe those babies’ lives were ended before they left your womb, and only you, the mom, think of them today with a deep love. These flowers are for you.
  • Maybe those babies lived for a while, and even grew into adulthood, but they aren’t here today – they’ve preceded you, their mother, into eternity. These flowers are for you.

We acknowledge your love and sorrow. Your Heavenly Father loves you. These flowers are for you.

HonorAllMoms on a difficult mothers day

The second group who might find Mother’s Day difficult, are those who love a child, but these women can’t wear the name “mother”. 

  • Some of these women love children with a mother’s love, because they married, and their husband brought the children into their lives. Maybe no-one else sees and knows how fiercely you love these children. Maybe you aren’t allowed to wear the name “mother”. These flowers are for you.
  • Maybe you gave birth to a child, but everyone else has forgotten. You gave that child to another couple to raise – yet your heart aches today with a mother’s love. These flowers are for you.
  • Perhaps you are longing to give birth. You love this child to be – this child you can imagine holding in your arms…

We acknowledge your love and sacrifice. Your Heavenly Father loves you. These flowers are for you.

HonorallMothers on a difficult mothers day

The third group of women and men who might find Mother’s Day difficult are those who love a child – but that child is not with you, nor might anyone else call you a “mother”.  Yet – you love that child with a motherly love.

  • Perhaps you’re an aunt or uncle or grandparent, who nurtured a child with a mother’s care and love. These flowers are for you.
  • Perhaps you love a child, and wanted to give that child a forever home, but circumstances ended that option. You think of that child today – where ever he or she is — and love her or him with a mother’s love. These flowers are for you.
  • Perhaps there is a child – or children – you have adopted within your heart. There are no legal ties, and maybe that child doesn’t even know. But you love the child with a mother’s love. These flowers are for you.

We acknowledge you. Your Heavenly Father loves you. These flowers are for you.

a mothers love has no barrier honorallmoms

These flowers stand as a small banner to a mother’s love.

A mother’s love has no barrier – not earth or eternity, not time or distance, not fear or hate.

We acknowledge your mother’s love.

You are not forgotten.

You are thought of and prayed for.

Happy Mother’s Day.

roses honor all moms 5

These photos are from a bouquet made for our church members in Garner North Carolina – we will be reading a version of this piece on Mother’s day – and the bouquet will be visible for all to see. We seek to honor all mothers’ love on Mother’s Day.

As a husband – take a look at this post to encourage your wife on a difficult day…

encouraging words for your wife on a difficult day


Encouraging Words for Your Wife on a Difficult Day

Encouraging Words for Your Wife on a Difficult Day

Encouraging words for your wife might be hard to find on a celebratory day she finds difficult.

In North America we celebrate “Mother’s Day” on the second Sunday in May. 

For many deeply distressing reasons, Mother’s Day is not always a day all women can embrace. Perhaps infertility is a constant wound. Perhaps they’re grieving over a baby who never took a breath, or a child who died or was killed… perhaps they’re in anguish over a child who won’t or can’t call them “mom”, yet their hearts love with a motherly love. Perhaps it’s an adoption that didn’t happen, yet they continue to love that child, wherever he or she may be…

For other women it’s another celebratory day in the year: birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving… it doesn’t matter what the day celebrates – it’s what that day represents to your wife. And it’s hard.

As a man, you might understand how your wife feels about that dreaded day. Or you might not. At least not fully.

But you still care about your wife. You still want to encourage her – you want to provide that bit of extra care which transcends her hurting/anger/guilt/sorrow/distress/anguish…

Where do you start with encouraging words for your wife?

Maybe you start without words?

  • extra long hugs – many hugs – hugs that are gentle and silent
  • an arm around her shoulder as you sit together, or walk into church
  • holding her hand – clasping it securely, with a loving grip
  • encouraging her to put her feet up on your lap as you sit together – and give her a foot massage
  • a passing caress – she might be concentrating, but a touch to let her know you care won’t be amiss
  • a gentle kiss on her cheek – or her forehead
  • a loving, warm and patient smile as she struggles.

Maybe you start by praying for her – even as the day she finds so difficult approaches.

  • ask God to bless her with peace – His peace.
  • pray that she will feel God’s perfect love, first and foremost.
  • ask her (and your) Heavenly Father to help her see your love.
  • ask that you have a patient and wise heart, as she battles her own emotions
  • pray that God will bring into her life those she needs to surround her to lessen her distress
  • ask for help in finding the right words, at the right time, with the right tone

Are there encouraging words for your wife on a difficult day?

I’m not sure I can give you those encouraging words – here on this blog. I don’t even know if any words will work to encourage your wife… however you can try these:

“I love you.”

Remind her of your love. Your unconditional, steadfast, and loyal love. Your over-the-top, without prerequisite love. Be selfless in your love. Serve your wife in love. Love heals.

“I’m here with you. I’m here for you.”

Remind her that she is not alone in her distress. Her grief and anguish is seen and heard. She’s not battling her feelings in a void – anger, hurt, resentment, misery, ache and depression – you are with her. Demonstrate your strength by being gentle.

Have Courage. Encourage.

Encouragement is made up of five ingredients; hope, faith, love, prayer and action.

  • give your wife hope for the future – consider what you two can look forward to… Our God is a God of HOPE!
  • use your faith in God to encourage your wife – fortify her with your faith.
  • love her with a Christ-like, selfless love.
  • pray for her – pray over her – pray silently, pray together. Ask God to encourage your wife.
  • take over-the-top, without restraint action to encourage in the ways your wife responds to – use her Love Language.

encouraging words for your wife

This day won’t stop being difficult.

This day won’t stop being difficult, even after it passes. Chances are, it’ll still be hard again next year. I’m imagining you’d love to change circumstances, but it’s not within your power. I’m sorry.

But Robert and I are here to encourage you – the husband!

Don’t give up! Continue. Be steadfast. Be loyal.

Be together – united – with your wife, even if this day is hard.

You can. It’s possible. What you will do matters… all you need is to do it!

encouraging words for your wife on a difficult day#HonorAllMoms on Mother’s Day

Take a look at the companion post:

When Mother’s Day is Difficult – these flowers are for you!



Procrastination is a Poison in Your Marriage

Procrastination is a Poison in Your Marriage

I’ve been researching time management and procrastination. And yes, I’ll say it before you can think it: All the research might count as procrastination. 😉 I’ve ingested the poison of procrastination often…

Theo saying ohHere’s my confession:  We have a small issue with doing things at the last moment. Sometimes it’s a time management issue – sometimes it’s a procrastination poison. And when I say “we”, I mean me. And Robert. And our adult kids.

Are you seeing a trend? We have a new grandboy, and I really don’t want to pass this trend on to the next generation… Our family’s inside joke is to use the hashtag  #fergusontime — usually in a text to each other when we’re running late.

Being Aware of Procrastination

As soon as I find myself procrastinating, I realized I need to be self-aware and determine exactly why I’m procrastinating…

Exactly. In detail. What am I afraid of? By being brutally honest with myself over the reason I’m procrastinating, I can address the fear (and it’s usually a stupid fear), to develop a solution, work-around, or strategy to begin – or more often, finish -whatever I’m avoiding. Yeah. I’m a great starter, but haven’t been as successful at finishing. Yet.

Here are 9 reasons we all procrastinate:

  • fear of the outcome (good or bad)
  • helplessness over a lack of knowledge
  • boredom – a lack of interest
  • perfectionism – if you can’t be perfect, what’s the point?
  • saving energy for something else (otherwise known as laziness)
  • fatigue – being just too tired, physically and mentally
  • rebellion/resentment over the task
  • no motivation – holding the belief that taking action won’t get you anything
  • distraction – too many other things taking precedence

Have you ever encountered any of these issues? 

9 reasons we procrastinate

I’m going to guess that you can relate with one or more of these nine reasons to procrastinate. I’m going to suggest that you’ve encountered them in many areas of your life; in your job, in your household work, in your health, in your fitness, in your undeclared goals (like writing a book, running a marathon, starting a business etc.), in parenting, and in relationships.

Do you ever procrastinate when it comes to your marriage?

  • Do you put off spending time with your spouse because you really don’t want to talk about a certain issue?
  • Do you let the busy-ness of life supersede your relationship?
  • Are you fed-up with not having the marriage you’d hoped to have, so you avoid your spouse?

Where has procrastination crept into your relationship with your husband or wife?

I’m guessing you’ve used all these nine reasons to procrastinate in your marriage relationship at various times, for varying reasons…  I just need to say:

Procrastination is an enemy of encouragement.

Yes. Just like procrastination is an enemy of achieving anything in life – succumbing to procrastination ensures you’ll never encourage your husband or wife.  And… next I’ll have the audacity to take it further:  

Procrastination poisons marriages.

Procrastination is a poison that causes good-hearted people, married to each other, to:

  1. Never make a positive impact in their marriage. They’re too caught up in the “what if” syndrome.
  2. Get stuck. A lack of information is like quicksand, sucking them down.
  3. Become a slave to boredom. Those spouses lose sight of how to make use of change.
  4. Circle the road to perfection. Nothing gets done because they’re trying to be perfect.
  5. Stop reacting to the warning sirens. They have no idea what’s really important.
  6. Collapse. They’re too tired to build a life filled with meaning.
  7. Lose connection with each other. They use procrastination to express their resentment.
  8. Grow apart. They’re so distracted by a million items, that they forget they’re a team.

Sounds pretty grim, doesn’t it… As I was researching, I realized how damaging procrastination really is to marriages.

And the realization that procrastination is poisoning marriages got me to take action… I kicked my own proclivity to procrastinate to the curb, and !finished! a book. 

moving past procrastination to a great marriage

Moving Past Procrastination to a great marriage!

In the book I detail all nine reasons why we procrastinate in our marriage, and provide work-arounds, solutions, and suggestions to move past those procrastination poisons.

The book is available this weekend – Friday, April 29, 2016 till Monday May 2, 2016 –  for FREE! The digital version will be free to download to your ereader (Kindle) or Kindle app on your smartphone, tablet or computer.

Click HERE

If you’ve ever procrastinated in your marriage, you’ll find this book valuable. Check it out!

The book is also available in paperback.

What if you want to get the free digital version, but don’t own a Kindle eReader?  You can download the Kindle app to your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Click on the picture below to learn how.

kindle download free kindle reading apps

Has procrastination impacted your life?

procrastination is a poison in your marriage - most past procrastination to a great marriage