If you could say thank you to your spouse…

If you could say thank you to your spouse…

If you could say “thank you” to your spouse, what would that statement entail? Make your “thank you” be about the person she/he IS… not only for what they DO… Does the person you married – the one you love more than any other human on this earth – know how much you value him/her? And for what?

Let Me Count The Ways

There’s a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning detailing how she feels about her husband: “How do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways”.  (It’s a beautifully touching poem. If you haven’t read it— click the link — it’s only 14 lines.)

The above poem came to mind when I read the second prompt in the 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge: “The Loves of My Life: Why I want to thank them for being in my life?”  For the month of September 2016 I’m refocusing on gratitude. On being thankful. These are excellent prompts for husbands and wives to ask each other…. (Learn more about the challenge here.)

Could you list all the ways – all the reasons – you’re thankful for your spouse?

Is your spouse especially patient? What about being resilient? Are you thankful your spouse is a wonderful parent? Or do you thank God for the way your spouse navigates every challenge? Again – it’s not about their actions.. but rather their character.

What are the positive character qualities you admire about your spouse? 

Can you list them?.

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Character. It’s all about the inside stuff.

thank you for all your wonderful character qualitiesRobert and I’ve been together since we were 15 and 17. Four years later we were married. I’ve known this man for 36 years – and he’s always been one of the greatest blessings in my life. (I thank God for him every day.) It’s not about what he does… it’s about who he is!

 Here are some aspects of Robert’s character for which I’m thankful…

  • He’s appreciative when anyone does something for him. I’m thankful he never takes anything for granted.
  • He’s ambitious – he looks at the big picture. I’m thankful he embraces a challenge.
  • He’s organized. His ability to be neat is one of the reasons we can live well in 282 square feet.
  • He’s forgiving. I’m so thankful he can let hurts go… and move forward.
  • He’s dedicated. I’m thankful for his constant perseverance regardless of obstacles.
  • He’s kind and gentle. I’m thankful he guards my heart, my hurts, and our love.
  • He’s loyal. In our 36 years together I’ve been so thankful I can trust in his loyalty to me.
  • He’s responsible. (Oh, my. It’s good that one of us is!) I’m thankful he always does what he says he will.
  • He has a servant-heart – focused on serving God. I’m so thankful my spouse and I can serve together.
  • He is strong. Strength isn’t just physical (although it’s really nice that he is that too!) I’m thankful that he’s strong in his ability to stand up for what’s right. I’m thankful he’s strong-minded (never wishy-washy). I’m thankful he uses his strength of character to protect those who are less strong.
  • and so many more qualities… I could have easily kept going!

Robert Ferguson Headshot

I have to tell you that I took the easy way when making this list. A while ago I made a resource – 276+ Character Qualities – and I looked at those words as I wrote the list above. 

Would you like this resource to create your own list?

 

 Make it a priority to say “thank you” to your spouse!

Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate! 

Sometimes we don’t know where to start to say “thank you”… so we don’t begin. This resource will help you start.

thank you rob

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#30bbdaysofgratitude challenge thank you

The #30bbdaysofgratitude by Aurélie has 30 prompts with questions for each day in September.

Today’s prompt and question is: The Loves of My Life: Why I want to thank them for being in my life?

Though I’m adapting the prompts and questions for husbands and wives here on EncourageYourSpouse.com, I thought I’d also give you all a glimpse into the other “Loves of My Life” – my three children and why I’m thankful they’re in my life…

Thank you Alex Sarah Alisane

So – I gave birth to the two on the left of the picture – Alex and Sarah – and then Alisane became our daughter-in-love in 2010. I’m beyond thankful to have these three adults in my life – I admire them greatly. Here’s a small taste of what I’m thankful for…

  • All three of them are using the gifts God gave them to make a difference in the world.
  • All three of them actively serve the Lord. They value their faith.
  • All three of them are loving and kind.
  • They’re encouraging and supportive.
  • They’re generous with their time and energy.
  • and so much more.

My three children are a beautiful gift from God. I give thanks for them daily.

thank ful for TheoAnd then…

There’s this little guy. Our grandboy. Theo.

He’s 8 months old and what is keeping us tethered to North Carolina… but we’re very thankful for him. I “grandparent” him two days a week, so we’re getting to really know each other well. He’s exploring his world. And learning how to get his own way. I’m thankful to hold him as he sleeps, to sing songs to him, to read books and say silly nursery rhymes with funny voices. Yes. I’m thankful to watch him grow from an infant into this engaging and willful and loving and laughing little human.


I'm thankful for you - character qualities

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Refocus on Gratitude – A Challenge for 30 Days

Refocus on Gratitude – A Challenge for 30 Days

Refocus on Gratitude. Being Thankful. 

A happy marriage doesn’t just “show up”! Sometimes you need to refocus. Change your focus – to the small things… or those larger things. Being thankful is a good action to take. And it works best if both of you are refocusing. So….

30 days to Refocus on Gratitude

#30bbdaysofgratitude challenge

I found a group of ladies doing a challenge that caught my attention – they’re bloggers, and I’m guessing most of them are much younger than Rob and me. The blogger who has crafted this challenge is Aurélie @BumpandBlush – she’s a mum of one, with a little one on the way. Some are putting photos on Instagram with the hashtag #30bbdaysofgratitude — others are writing posts. I’m looking forward to reading their responses to this challenge.

The challenge is a bit more than Gratitude. 

The challenge to refocus on gratitude is a curated challenge with wonderful prompts. I especially like her questions which accompany the prompts!

These questions seemed like a perfect fit to encourage your spouse… Imagine the two of you asking each other… 

  1. My House : Why I feel good at home?
  2. The Loves of My Life : Why I want to thank them for being in my life?
  3. My Projects/Work : What do I love about my projects / work?
  4. My Friends : Who have always been there for me?
  5. My Family : Why are they so precious? Why am I so thankful?
  6. My Inspirations : Who inspires me and Why do I want to thank them?
  7. My Funny Moments: What are they and why I am thankful for them?
  8. Technology : What are the gadgets that surround me and how do they help me?
  9. My Books : What are the books that had a great influence on me and why?
  10. Nature : What I love about the outdoors?
  11. Knowledge: What have I learnt and how did it change your life?
  12. My Routine : What do I like in my routine? In what way does it contribute to my happiness?
  13. The Gift : A gift that you cherished and why?
  14. My Dreams : Why are my dreams so important and What are they?
  15. The Trip : What is your most memorable trip and why?
  16. The Song: What song inspires you and why?
  17. Childhood : What I love the most about my childhood and how it made me the person I am today?
  18. Food: What food makes you feel good and why?
  19. Hobby: What is my hobby and why I enjoy doing it?
  20. Emotions : What brings you joy?
  21. Era: What are you grateful about living in this time and age?
  22. Challenge: What is your greatest challenge in life and how you plan to overcome it?
  23. Greatest Accomplishments : What is your greatest accomplishment and how did it make you feel to succeed?
  24. Seasons: What season are you grateful for and why?
  25. The Memories: What is your favourite memory and why are you grateful about it?
  26. My Hidden Talent: What is my hidden talent and what do you use it for?
  27. My Past: What aspects of the past can you now be grateful about?
  28. Life Lessons: Why are they necessary and What are the good lessons I have learned?
  29. My Body : What are the reasons I want to say thank you to my body and why do I accept it the way it is?
  30. The Gratitude Challenge: Why am I grateful for this challenge?

The goal is to appreciate all of life’s little blessings… 30 days to feel happy!

Day 1 – Our Home

Why I feel good at home?

Some of you might realize that we don’t live in a traditional stick and brick home… we live in a recreational vehicle – a RV – a fifth wheel trailer towed by our Ford F150 pickup truck.  (I believe those in the UK and Australia call them caravans?)

It’s a pretty big change from our first 30 years of marriage. We’ve lived in 4 houses – two in Canada and two in the USA. We collected a lot of stuff in 30 years… and it was a challenge to downsize… But this time in a RV is a dream realized!

refocus on gratitude - day 1 - our home

 

After 30 years of marriage we sold our house and moved into an RV – it was a dream that became reality. So, why do we feel good at home, in our little-house-on-wheels, right now?

  • We’re thankful we can travel easily, and as Discovery is one of our values, that’s good!
  • We’re thankful it takes 10 minutes (at most) to clean. It gives us more time to enjoy each other!
  • We’re thankful all we need is with us –  in 282 square feet – we’re living a minimalst lifestyle.

Part of the task to refocus on gratitude is to look at exactly where you are in this moment. Sometimes it’s easier to look backward. Or forward. But today, for this first challenge consider this moment, exactly where you are and look at the positives. Be thankful.

Take this moment – and ask yourself – ask your spouse:

Refocus on GratitudeWhy do we feel good at home?

Leave a comment and share! :-)
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