United Response – It’s how you demonstrate respect.

United Response – It’s how you demonstrate respect.

United Response… Why? Because any response or decision you make impacts your spouse! 

PAUSE for a united response to show respect.

Build respect with your spouse by waiting to discuss issues before responding. Use the “pause button” before you respond to others.

7 more WAYS to be united:

 Obviously, responding together after discussing an option or situation is one way of being united. But what else could you do?

Being united strengthens your family.

This world we live in isn’t an easy place to be. It’s filled with so many pitfalls. Too many couples succumb to one hazard or another, and their division causes pain. The pain isn’t just felt for the two of them, it’s also felt like a ripple effect. Children are hurt when couples are no longer united. Parents of the couple suffer when two people choose to no longer be united. Even friends can feel great pain when their couple friends are no longer united.

Having a united response as a husband and wife impacts more than only the two of you – it also strengthens your family. Your children, your parents, your siblings and all of your friends can have a sense of security when they trust that the two of you – husband and wife – are united.

Unity matters.

Please – give some thought to the areas in which you are not united with your spouse.

And address those areas.

Today.

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Genesis 2:24 NIV

 


…on being united in finances…

When both spouses are not on the same page, success becomes very difficult. It’s like having a business partner who is not working on the business. Both spouses must pull the same cart together. When one spouse is not on the same page, the cart will eventually become too hard to pull on your own.

from a post by Tom Corley “ Are You and Your Spouse on the Same Page”

Thomas C. Corley researches and writes about the habits of those who are rich. This post was spot-on for Robert and me. He talks about loyalty ( that’s one of our Values) and being supportive and optimistic…

Little ideas to build unity… and JOY!

Have you seen our video about #93toJOY?  We had so much fun recording it…  It’s about doing 93 days of little activities together that don’t take much time or money. #93toJOY is about addressing those days, months and years that aren’t easy…  Learn more HERE

Dealing with Decisions in the Middle of Marriage

Dealing with Decisions in the Middle of Marriage

Dealing with Decisions? Mid-marriage is defined by too many options.

You could do this… or that. Or another. And another thing.

Analysis paralysis sets in and nothing happens. Nothing. You’re stuck in limbo as a couple because you can’t decide. 

Are you and your spouse…

Proactive or Reactive? Or some combination of the two? 

With two reactive people you hear a lot of “I don’t know… what do you want to do?” They meander through their days and very few decisions get made until they’re in a corner. Sometimes it’s even hard to choose which movie they want to watch that evening! They may even wonder, “Is this all there is in our life – our marriage?”

In a proactive & reactive combination, they’re usually on the path of the more proactive person – where the reactive person doesn’t feel heard because they’re slower to react/make up their mind, and the proactive person is wondering why as a couple they’re always doing what she/he wants!

The relationship between two proactive people might have a lot of “head-butting” – both husband and wife are taking action and they’re wondering why they’re never on the same page… and they’re saying to others, “we’ve grown apart” because they’re busy doing their own thing.

dealing with decision - proactive and reactive

How can all these types of couples make a decision?

What’s it like in our marriage when we’re dealing with decisions? Well, Robert is the more proactive person and I’m the reactive person. One way we’ve found useful to make an immediate decision is knowing our 3 differentiating Values – those Values we’ve chosen that define who we are as a couple. We look at every decision through the lens of our Values of Loyalty, Optimism, and Discovery (they’re rank-ordered). But that’s us as “Rob and Lori”…

The Values you and your spouse choose will be very different than ours! If you’re interested in determining your own differentiating Values as a couple, we’ve developed a workbook/guide. And we’re in the process of creating videos to accompany you through the workbook.

But there’s something every couple needs when dealing with decisions. Specifically the serious decisions. What is it?

The ability to pray together. 

Prayer is necessary when dealing with decisions.

Even with knowing your own differentiating Values as a couple, diligently praying and asking for direction from your Heavenly Father must be a part of the equation.

As humans we don’t know all the details – only God has the big picture view. He’ll lead and guide us if we ask. And if we seek. When we knock and keep knocking to understand and know what He wants in our lives, then the decisions become clear.

dealing with decisions - make sure you pray together

What if you’ve never prayed together? Or it’s been a while? We have some suggestions for you HERE.

Just a note: Prayer isn’t a magic solution to get what you want, and neither is God a genie in a bottle. The act of prayer renews your faith. The answers you recieve will shape your perspective. It’s a process that’s simple but not necessarily easy. However, it is necessary.

Pray. Together. Make a decision. Together. Then go for it.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re naturally proactive or reactive. Embrace the opportunity to make a decision together and then go all in.

Which combination are you and your spouse?

Who is reactive and who is proactive? Who innitiates prayer in your relationship? Prayer is not a passive tool, you know!

Be Thankful For The Annoying Things Your Spouse Does

Be Thankful For The Annoying Things Your Spouse Does

Being a thankful spouse or an annoyed spouse – it’s your choice.

Are there things that annoy you about your spouse?

Maybe you feel they spend too much time on the computer.

(What could they be possibly doing all that time?)

Maybe they leave their dirty clothes on the floor.

(Why is it so hard to just hang them up, or at least put them in the laundry basket?)

Maybe they put things away before you’re finished using them.

(Why can’t they just leave things alone until you’re finished, or at least ask first?)

Maybe they drive too slowly for your taste.

(Why can’t they drive more like you, at least when we’re together?)

Maybe they have an irritating habit, like how they blow their nose, scratch their backside, burp, or hiccup.

(Didn’t their mother teach them anything?)

This is the person you fell in love with…

The truth is – your spouse possessed many of these habits before you first met. Much of the behavior you experience each day is built into their DNA. In other words, for the most part, God made your spouse this way.

And this is the person you fell in love with.

  • The same person who spends too much time on the computer is the one to whom you’re grateful for how they quickly find the perfect solution to your everyday problems.
  • The same person who just drops their clothes on the floor is the one you admire for their ability to be spontaneous, for their creativity, or the way they always put people first before possessions.
  • The same person who keeps putting things away is the one you appreciate for keeping your world organized and neat.
  • The same person who drives too slowly for your taste is the one you trust to drive your children around because you know they will be safe.
  • The same person who has that irritating habit is the one you appreciate for allowing you to feel relaxed and at home without any need to worry about your own strange habits.

The secret to removing the feeling of annoyance is the Value of thankfulness.

thankful spouse or annoyed spouse

When you can see the flip side of the irritation, you just might see all the wonderful characteristics that you first fell in love with.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

So you can choose to be annoyed or your can choose to be thankful.

It’s your choice.

What annoying thing does your spouse do? What’s the flip side for which you could be thankful?

Maybe you could be focusing on the good stuff!

Take a look at our 6th mid-marriage video…

Lemon Cake – Celebrating the Good Stuff with the Sour

Lemon Cake – Celebrating the Good Stuff with the Sour

Lemon Cake – Good Stuff! In our 6th mid-marriage video we talk about the good stuff in marriage. Even when everything is going wrong (which happens to all of us) you still can take time to celebrate the good stuff.

Your spouse loves you. You love your spouse… that’s good, right? 

What about making a cake that your spouse will love?  (Robert loves lemon cake…)

And isn’t there a concept of making lemonade out of the lemons you’re given in life? Well, I say make CAKE – Lemon Cake!

March 29th is Lemon Chiffon Cake Day

An insurance salesman, Henry Baker, sold his famous recipe for Lemon Chiffon Cake to Betty Crocker in 1927. Here’s the original recipe:

But if you’re not a natural baker, then why not whip up the lemon cake mix, which still exists today! I’ve made this lemon cake many times for our family and then drizzled a mixture of lemon juice and icing sugar on the top. The icing drips down the sides of the cake and makes a sweet/sour combination that’s delicious. It’s a combination of sweet and sour – just like life.

So, even if not everything is good in your life right now – there are still things that can be celebrated. Hey! It’s Lemon Cake Day. Why not celebrate that!

Whatever is true, noble, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy – focus on those things. Lemon cake has to be in there somewhere, right? 😉

celebrating the good stuff amongst the sour - try lemon cake

Here’s our encouragement on focusing on the good – and what do about the bad stuff.

Not everything in your life together will be good. Sometimes you need to wait a bit to weed out the bad stuff, and in the meantime, focus on the good. Robert re-tells a story of how wheat was sown, and an enemy snuck in to sow weeds between the wheat. Do you know what the Master recommended?

Update: Rob enjoyed the cake! 😉

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3 Ways to be Sure Your Online Legacy is Appreciated

3 Ways to be Sure Your Online Legacy is Appreciated

An online legacy is tricky. Even if we don’t have a specific online website “home”, what we post on Facebook, Twitter, photos in Instagram and recipes or crafts on our boards in Pinterest, become our legacy.

These online social forums detail who we are by showing

  • our emotions and reactions
  • what we treasure
  • what we dislike
  • our view of the future and the past
  • our opinions about people and events

This thought isn’t new to you, I’m sure. I’m not trying to put fear, uncertainty or doubt into your minds. I’m just trying to prompt some awareness.

Why am I writing this post now? Well, a few days ago I had a shock. A heart-breaking awakening. And a special awareness is growing…

How will our children view our online legacy?

Amanda Kelly was a Christ follower, a mother and a wife who believed worship was a way of life. She wanted to inspire women to realize that worshipping God is more than corporate worship in church, but can be an everyday practice where God is in control, and gets the glory for every aspect of life.

How did she do that? She wrote. Online. She left an online legacy on her blog, and all the other places we all post items online: pinterest, instagram, facebook etc. Here’s an example of her view and tribute to her oldest daughter.

Her life wasn’t easy. It included both infertility and waiting quite a while to be a wife. I’m sure there were days where she didn’t want to get out of bed and other days where the commitments she’d made in ministry, in family, in the local church and elsewhere felt very heavy.

Where was she focusing?

In all her posts online, and on social media, Mandy honored her God, Jesus, her husband, family and her role as a mom – both as a step-parent, and adoptive mother. 

Why am I highlighting Amanda Kelly and online legacy?

On Tuesday morning, March 21, 2017, Mandy, her husband Scott and two of their four children died in a house fire.

Amada Kelly Worshipful Living online legacyThough she graciously accepted a guest post on procrastination from me last June, I never met Mandy.  I only know her online personality through her blog and social sites.

I’m sure she was a normal human like you and me – she had her good days and not-so-great days. Those days are documented on her Instagram feed and in facebook posts, just like mine and yours. However, her online legacy for her remaining children has great value.

You can read more about their tragic story here. 

Yes. This event is a tragedy. Those who know me realize I usually refer to bad life happenings as “not a tragedy“. This one is a devastating life happening for the children and extended family still on this earth. But Amanda Kelly leaves behind a beautiful online legacy for those children and family.

Her words and desires for her children’s future remain for all of us. It is a beautiful online legacy we can all appreciate.

Now, what about you? What about me? Consider all you’ve posted online in the last week…

3 Ways to Be Sure Your Online Legacy Will Be Appreciated

I’ve been pondering this online life we all are subject to – in greater or lesser ways. One of our church leaders recently wrote a note about our activity online as Christians and it has also impacted my thoughts. Only God knows how long our online world will exist and in what form. But for now… it does.

Here are the three points I’ve considered:

1 – We need to focus on what will please God – loving Him first.

To be sure our online legacy will be valued and appreciated, honor God. Give Him the glory. First. Please God, before we please humans. Matthew 22:37 Whatever is true, noble,right, pure,  lovely, admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— we need to think about such things — and express those things. Philippians 4:8

Do your online posts reflect your desire to please God?

2 – Followers of Christ need to live and lead like Jesus.

We are striving to live and lead like Jesus, so we need to apply our energies – offline and online –  to being Christ-like. What does this mean? When we’re online, we must realize we are one in Christ – Galations 3:28 – Enough of this divisiveness – it’s not from God! And communicating with our heavenly Father, the Creator, must happen regularily. Jesus is our model. John 17 Leading life like Jesus will make sure our online legacy will be appreciated and valued.

How do you demonstrate online that you live and lead like Jesus?

3 –  Our view must be greater than ourselves.

How are you serving? How are you loving your fellow-human? Matthew 22:39  Self care is important, but so is loving others. It must go hand-in-hand. Your online legacy will be valued and appreciated if you love others as you love yourself.

Is your love for those around you evident in what you post online?

Of course, we’re all fallible humans, with uncountable flaws… we aren’t perfect. That’s a given.

BUT — we are forgiven. 🙂

What else would you add to these 3 things?

I’m sure there’s more to add.

How would you suggest our online presence leave a legacy which our children and grandchildren will value?

3 ways to be sure your online legacy will be appreciated and valued