Make memories – don’t add to your stuff. Living in 282 square feet for more than three years has taught Robert and me that we don’t need as much stuff as we might believe we do… but the memories we’ve made over the last years are priceless.
I encourage you and your spouse to think about what you could give to each other, your family and friends that would increase their “memory bank” – not their clutter.
Make Memories in 2018
What gifts could you give to your family, spouse, and friends that are designed to make memories? Try these!
1 – Classes or lessons to learn a new skill.
Ask a few questions to determine if there are any skills your spouse has always wanted to learn but hasn’t taken the time to explore. Consider:
scuba diving, sailing or paddle boarding
rock climbing or parachuting
photography or videography
flower arranging or pottery making
yarn or fabric work – knitting, crochet, sewing, weaving, etc.
sports – golf, tennis, racketball, swimming, kick-boxing etc.
dance – swing, ballroom, line-dancing, etc.
computer skills – html, css, website design, etc.
writing – fiction stories or a book, or a children’s picture book
gardening – raising vegetables, nurturing orchids or succulents, herbs, etc.
landscaping – adding a pond, or rock walls, a putting green or orchard to your space
music – learning an instrument or joining an ensemble, or group to sing
health and fitness – tai chi, heart-healthy cooking, yoga, lifestyle makeover, etc.
Instead of adding stuff to your space, why not make some memories together while taking a class? You could attend something local or use YouTube or a streaming service!
When Rob and I want to see how the other feels about a certain activity, we ask each other…
“On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you feel about ______”
If you use the 1-10 Test to determine how your spouse feels about a certain activity, you’ll be much more likely to hone in on a winner!
Take it one step further – ask if your children & friends want to join you in making memories!
You don’t need to do these things with only you and your spouse. (Although that’s always fun, too!) Invite others to join you! We’ve had some really fun times with other couples and their children.
2 – Memberships
What about the gift of regular explorations? Consider memberships at:
museums, and art galleries
sports, historical or theme parks
national or state parks
Having a family membership for a year at a park or museum means you can gather with your family and friends on a regular basis for a low-cost memory-making event. It takes the planning and cost off the table, and just allows you and those you love to explore!
One of the best things we ever did with our children when they were pre-teens was to have a membership to the Ontario Science Center. Another family also bought their year-round membership and though it was an hour away, we’d go exploring monthly. Our children (and the other family’s children) are now adults, but it remains one of their favorite memories. When our son and family visited Canada he even added an excursion to the Science Center to share those memories with his wife and baby boy. Memories are priceless and continue to add to the legacy you leave as parents!
Wine! Rob and I have tried a new startup called Bright Cellars. It’s a wine subscription that helps you learn what kind of wines you like. It alleviates that deer-in-the-headlights feeling when looking at aisles and aisles of wine in the store – we wrote about the idea here.
Here’s a video of our daughter-in-love unboxing our first order!
Increase your memories – not your stuff!
These are just a few ideas for things to give to your loved ones to make memories in 2018. Some of them are affiliate links, which mean Rob and I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Do you have any other suggestions?
Have you tried any other “memory making” experiences that had a great impact? Leave a comment and share!
Words Matter – your words, the words you read, and those you hear. Words matter to your spouse, to your children, to your guests and everyone you love. The message you give to those in your home shapes their day – their view of life and their understanding of what is important.
Words Matter – What are you doing to make a positive impact?
Is Facebook and social media the prevailing force in your life or the lives of those you love?
We have a friend who is being deliberate about her words on Facebook. She is a mature lady, a Christ-honoring widow, and an example for me. She became specifically disturbed by all the negativity on her Facebook feed and decided she’d do something about it. Personally. Actively.
She began a deliberate campaign many months ago to post at least one positive thought each day. Many people (online and in person) remark on her active choice to be optimistic. Recently I overheard a friend speaking to her about all the positive posts and how much it means to this friend…
We all can change our Facebook, Instagram, and other social media channels to reflect what is good, true, and positive. I’m joining my Christ-following, widowed friend in her online campaign…
I challenge you too!
But social media is only one way we consume words…
What words are in your home?
What forms of media are a part of your mental consumption?
Which shows do you watch or stream? Are they building you up — or pulling your mood down? How do you feel when you’ve finished watching these programs? Do you feel energized and positive about your life, world, and future? If the television is on, it’s having an effect on everyone in the house – not just those who are actively watching.
What books or magazines are you reading?
This book is what is on the table beside my chair – guess where my thoughts are…
Are you learning something new that will make a good impact on you, your spouse, your family and your community? Remember, even a book left sitting on the table influences everyone by the artwork on the cover. The influence might not even be conscious but it’s there. (Do you have a Bible? Does it have dust on it, or is it piled under every other book?)
What pictures are on your walls? What’s on your ‘fridge?
Rob and I have been house/dog sitting in quite a few different environments over the last 3 years. Every home is unique and what is displayed is a choice they’ve made at a particular moment in their life. Is it still relevant for them at this time?
Rob and I have felt “at home” and comfortable in all the spaces we’ve stayed in… and we do take note of what’s displayed. (It’s hard not to!) Some displays have even impacted what I write about here on Encourage Your Spouse or post on social media.
Are you in your house right now – as you read this post?
If you’re not at home, think about your rooms.
What words/art would impact everyone in your home?
We’ve found a site with all kinds of art – including inspirational art with words. Click here to explore. Maybe this Christmas your “home” could have a gift under the tree with words to encourage, inspire, uplift and motivate! Words matter!
Or maybe for the upcoming Holidays including Thanksgiving, you want to gift your family, adult children, and friends with something that will inspire them? All the photos on this post are from GreatBigCanvas.com. This is one of the affiliates we’ve chosen to highlight for unique gift giving options. Other gifting options we’ve found are for wine and for tea! (It’s kinda humorous that a teapot I like has fun words.)
Below are a few other pieces of art from GreatBigCanvas.com we think would have a positive impact on you and your spouse.
I think it’s cool that they’re available in a few different forms, including, of course, framed and unframed of various sizes, but also as a wall peel, printed on a reusable vinyl with a special adhesive that sticks to walls without harming them. The wall peel format would be good for Rob and me in our little house-on-wheels. (Hanging photos and traveling don’t go well together!)
What are the favorite words you have on your walls?
Leave a comment with what you want to influence your spouse – your family – and guests! With your comment, you can impact us too! 😉 Words matter!
Chai Tea comfort date – it’s a comforting drink for you and your spouse in autumn and winter. (It’s comforting in spring and summer, too, of course!) Have you ever tried STASH Chai tea? You’ll see it in the grocery store… but only one or maybe two varieties of Chai are available there. When I explored the STASH website, I was blown away by the variety of Chai teas!
vanilla chai– it’s a rich and creamy, naturally decaffeinated chai tea. With a splash of milk and sugar, it feels (and tastes) like a delicious dessert – without the calories!
spice dragon red chai– it’s a herbal blend with Rooibos, a South African herb also known as red tea, combined with clove, ginger root, and sweet cinnamon to create a unique, caffeine-free sweet and spicy chai.
ginger fire chai – A touch of fiery ginger adds a kick, yerba mate provides an energizing element, and cinnamon lends a nice spicy finish. The subtle sweetness of vanilla balances out the overall flavors.
green chai – Chai Green blends green tea with cinnamon, whole cloves, cardamom, ginger root and sarsaparilla.
and more – including loose leaf Chai tea blends an K-cups!
When we want to have a quiet and simple date night (in our little-house-on-wheels, on the road, or while we’re house/dog sitting) it’s so easy to pull out two tea bags and brew a cup for each of us.
Date night doesn’t have to be expensive – you just need to enjoy what you’re doing!
Give your spouse a gift of comfort – try some Chai!
Have you and your spouse ever tried Chai tea? Even die-hard coffee drinkers enjoy Chai tea because of its unique flavors. This is no namby-pamby, colorless experience! Our adult children also enjoy Chai – and we love to share a pot of the “flavor of Christmas” as the days grow shorter, and the nights get colder.
It makes a perfect gift — buy a new mug and add a few Chai Tea varieties as a gift for your spouse… along with a coupon to invite them on a “Chai Tea comfort date”! It’s unique. It’s tasty and warm… just like you! 😉
A Mug filled with Comfort – Invite your spouse for a Chai Tea Date!
A date doesn’t need to be expensive!
Chai Tea Comfort Date – give your spouse an invitation!
Is there a “Date Night” on your calendar? Now’s the time to schedule one!
How to value your spouse with a 10 Point Marriage Tune-Up? Is this necessary? Doesn’t marriage just “happen”?
Oh, yeah. Marriage can just happen.
There are those husbands and wives who let marriage “happen”… and then years into their relationship they realize they’ve grown apart. They don’t have anything in common. Or these couples look at the person they live their life with and say, “Is this all there is?”.
If people gave the amount of attention to their vehicles the way they do to their marriage, that vehicle would stop working. It would run out of gas, and oil. The brakes would fail. The headlights would go dark. You’d never drive around in a car with no headlights, with dirty spark plugs, with broken springs, or cracked windshields, would you? Why would a marriage relationship need less attention than a vehicle?
Your marriage needs more attention to its working parts than your vehicle does. It’s not easy. And if you’re in a time of sputtering, and your marriage tires need a top-up of air, then we want to encourage you to try some small stuff. Simple stuff. Give it a try…
Give it a 10 point marriage tune-up.
Invest in your marriage relationship – tune it up!
A few years ago we created a series of articles on this concept – 10 posts about 10 ways to show your spouse you value her/him. This year we’ve updated these posts to make the series more rich and robust! The links to each post are below – click on each image to go deeper.
Good Questions. When we mentor couples, we encourage them to ask each other at least one good question every day. Why? Because having deep and satisfying conversations are vital for a growing relationship.
Great conversations begin with good questions.
Maybe you’re feeling a bit lacking in the “good question” ability department. If you are, that’s OK. Even we’ve had those dry spells where we can’t think of a “safe” topic. 😉
Here are some resources to build a repertoire of good questions:
The Byerly’s have 365 questions you can download and print. That’s a whole year! Click HERE.
Use Proverbs so spark some conversations. Click HERE
These are some of the best fun questions and thoughtful questions we’ve compiled from other bloggers. Click HERE
What if you can’t ask good questions?
We know you’re busy. If it’s not possible to print out these good questions, then here’s another option: Dayspring’s Conversation Starter Jar – this is the first time we’ve seen something like this already created for you!
We’d rarely suggest buying something if you can make it yourself, but there are instances when you might not have the time or the inclination. If that’s the case – then this product is perfect for you. It’s a pretty jar. There’s a lovely inscription from 1Thessalonians and 60 questions already printed and cut up.
This Jar filled with Conversation Starters is part of a sale until August 22, 2017 – take $20 off any $40 purchase and get FREE SHIPPING in DaySprings Secret Sale. Go to the SECRET SALE page to see what else is offered… (You have celebrations coming up, right? We won’t reference Christmas – don’t worry.) We’re affiliates for Dayspring which means if you purchase we’ll receive a small commission at no cost to you and we really appreciate and thank you for your support.