It’s holiday time.

  • the decorations are out of storage and strewn about  (Or carefully placed, according to your style of decorating),
  • the cookies are baking,
  • the lights are illuminating the front of your house,
  • the gifts are being wrapped,
  • the nativity scene is set out,
  • the children are practicing for their Christmas programs at school & church,
  • cards to friends & relatives are addressed (or  already sent),
  • chestnuts are roasting  (Have you ever eaten a roasted chestnut? I’d like to know what it tastes like…),
  • carols are being sung by the fire.

So many things to do... Have you spent any time with your spouse – planning?

As wonderful as this time of holly and mistletoe may be, it’s important to take time to plan.

Plan.  Plan what, you ask?

There are three areas often forgotten in this season of festivity. Maybe they’re overlooked. Or perhaps these three items are just plain ignored.  It might be different in your household, but from experience and observation of others, I believe these three areas are best addressed proactively.


Oh, my.

Did I say the “M” word out loud?


As difficult as the topic of finances are – all year ’round – the month of December brings special joy. Do you and your spouse have a set budget for this time of year?


Maybe this topic is a bit touchy. Can I have a show of hands?

(If I’m candid, I’d raise my own hand.)

It’s so easy to procrastinate on this topic. It’s so easy to leave the thinking till January. It’s so easy to ignore that small, still voice that whispers to you in the check-out lane, or at the online shop just as you put in your credit-card number.

2013 is coming… 

Plan a realistic, relationship-healthy, holiday budget with your spouse – now.

Perhaps only use a predetermined amount of cash and Dave Ramsey’s “envelope” solution. (At the end of this post are links to articles elsewhere on the web on this topic.)

Imagine going into January 2013 with a sense of ease over your spending during December. Wouldn’t that feel good? Husbands & wives who encourage each other do more than just use their voices – they take action to encourage their spouse. Money is a huge topic – and whoever is the money-manager in your household will appreciate your actions to make things easier for 2013.

Encouragers use their actions to make the world around them better.


If you’re a man or woman – it makes no difference – the month of December is busier than normal. There are more distractions, more interactions, and more over-reactions. Emotions are high. DEFCON high.

(Just being real here…)

Children are home. Visitors are dropping by and family members are coming to stay. Perhaps you’re traveling over Christmas.

When will you take time OUT to be intimate with your spouse?

(No. The answer is not January.)

Spontaneity is awesome. But in the month of December, spontaneous combustion is a bonus.

Give your spouse the gift of planned intimacy. 

Send the kids away overnight – or put yourself and them to bed early. (It can’t be too early if Mom & Dad are going to bed too, can it?)  Or plan to put your smart-phone under your pillow, on a buzzer alarm for 3AM, and take turns giving each other the tingles.  Come home early from work – and connect.  Send the guests out shopping so you can do some exploration of your own. Oh, there are so many ways to be creative about intimacy. It just takes a little planning.

I don’t usually delve into the delicacies of this topic – but I have awesome partners in the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association who handle every part of intimacy in marriage with posts that I admire. At the bottom of this post you’ll find some links.

Be proactive about intimacy in your marriage – it’s another way to encourage your spouse with a bit of action!   😉


But wait a second, isn’t December and Christmas all about faith?


We’ve already celebrated the first Sunday of Advent. I just lit our first candle on our Advent wreath at the dinner table. I can see the promise of Christ’s birth represented by the middle candle.

I’m playing Christmas hymns on the piano at church.

“Come, O come, Emanuel”  *  “Silent Night, Holy Night” * “Joy to the World”

Christ Jesus was born – He was the culmination of a divine promise for mankind’s salvation. He is my Savior through His sacrifice on the cross. By anticipating His birth every year, I am reminded that He will come again.

Are we seeking God’s will for more than this month – how are we preparing for 2013?

Are you praying to see where God wants you to go – spiritually, relationally, financially – in 2013?

For the last two years I’ve embraced a concept that uses one word as a focus for the year. Just one word.

In 2011 my word was “uncomfortable”. Someone challenged me that my focus on comfort was not serving me well. I felt spiritually convicted. After much prayer I adopted that word for 2011.

For 2012 I was much more proactive – I even found a site that promoted this concept: OneWord365.  Again, after prayer and more prayer, my word for 2012 was “Connect”.  ( I wrote about it here.)

How are you and your spouse planning for 2013 – where is your focus on faith for 2013?

Spouses who encourage each other focus on a hopeful future…

Where is there more Hope found than in the God of Hope? 

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

  If you’re interested in exploring ways to “Plan” – here are some links:

Articles About the Envelope System & Budgeting:

Articles About Intimacy from CMBA members:

Please explore all the sites of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association (CMBA) – they’re a fount of Godly insight.

Planning a direction for 2013?  OneWord365

 Any links or resources you’d like to add about planning?

Just leave a comment!  Let’s share.


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