Saturday, November 1, 2008

KItty Cats, Bunnies and Prizes, Oh My - Plus A Fun Surprise!

Well, we had a great Halloween! Full of fun, candy, trick or treating and, yes, indeed, a miracle of sorts!

Our sweet Hattie, as most of you know, has a language delay. She is four and a half but her communication skills are more on the level of a two, or MAYBE, young three year old. OF course, she is perfect in our eyes, but at times it can be difficult. Well, the last few Halloweens have been a trial. I bought her a Sully costume when she was two because, at the time, Monsters, Inc. was her favorite movie. Well, she hated it. And, by that I mean, screamed and ran away in terror and, as a result, has hid behind the couch every time Monsters comes on the TV ever since. Yes, it WAS that bad.

So, for two years we have done last minute costumes, thrown together on the way out the door. Age three she was a scarecrow/cowgirl. We were going for scarecrow, but NO MAKEUP was going on her face (she doesn't like to be touched in the face or feet), so we switched it up to cowgirl. Last year - on Halloween day - we watched an episode of Dora in which Dora was a cat for Halloween. The light came on - I have cat ears (actually skunk ears, but don't tell H), she has black sweats and a black turtleneck, quick cut and sew with some felt and we have a tail... VOILA, instant cat. And she loved it. Still, no paint on the face, so no whiskers, and no talking at houses. Just holding out the pumpkin and waiting. Frustration...

But this year, ahhhhhh, this year. She has actually been excited for Halloween this year. We talked about it very early on and she told me right away that she wanted to be a cat. YES - she told me!!!!! We even went to the store and found some wings, I told her she could be a butterfly or a bee (her new fave movie is Bees), but she INSISTED (even amidst all things Princess and Backyardigans) that she wanted to be a cat. She even helped me make her tail this year.

And, if all of that was not enough ....

... she let me paint whiskers on her face!!!!!

May not seem like much to all of you, but to this mommy's heart, it is a MIRACLE!!!!! And, how cute is she?!?!?!?!

Sophie got her some whiskers too!! Cute little Bunny:)

Hattie had her Kitty tail (that she could not keep her hands off of!!)

Sophie had her bunny tail!!!

Which she promptly parked in the hay and corn husks in the yard!

And then we were off for trick or treating!

Sophie had fun. Sophie has fun ANY time she is in her Daddy's arms!

Hattie went to every door all by herself ... AND said "Trick or Treat" all by herself ... AND said "thank you" without prompting (she even said it in Spanish!!! Gracias!) Miracle number two!

Still can't keep her hands off of the tail ;)

And now, for your viewing pleasure ....

My favorite yard decoration (I took pics of many other Halloween decorations, but they were all blurry - guess the camera has been dropped one too many times!!)


And now for my fun surprise. I was going through my diet journal and I realized that I had made a mistake. (No, that is NOT the surprise.) I was kinda bummin' because I had only lost 5 pounds in 8 weeks. Five pounds is great, but it has been 8 weeks! But, my journal reminded me, I had lost 5 before the 3day, gained five that weekend and then had to catch back up. When I did catch up, I reset the scale so as not to confuse myself. Which, ya know, confused me. So I have lost five more SINCE I reset the scale.
Which means I have lost a total of ...

TEN POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!
Whoo! Hoo!!!!

PLUS, I found out from Christie, that I was one of the biggest losers this week ( a four way tie with three pounds), so I won me this handy dandy foam finger ... 'cause, I ROCK!!!!
Good times~~

Love Dare - Day 13: Love Fights Fair

So, yesterday I FINALLY got to make my man his dinner. And he LOVED it! YAY!!!! Didn't have time to do the blueberry muffins, so this morning it is blueberry pancakes! YUMMY:)

How about you? Anyone do anything fun that they would like to share? Anyone? Bueller?

Allrighty then, on to today!!

"If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand"
- Mark 3:25

How do you and your love handle disagreements? Are there rules, either unspoken or otherwise? Well today is all about establishing those rules ... and following them.

See, in marriage, disagreement is a given. When you got married, you brought baggage. So did they. Don't feel bad, it is normal. We all did. Some of us more than others, but we all had bags. Some were little carryons that were stowed away in the overhead bin for takeoff - but even those shift during flight and are likely to come flying out when you open the bin. Others of us had those big trunks that people used to take with them on transcontinental cruises back in the day. I think Tom Hanks tied 'em together and floated to safety on them in Joe Versus The Volcano (OK, not a great movie, really not even a good movie, but the scene with him playing golf and dancing on the trunks in the middle of the ocean is a highlight for me!!!). Anyway, those bags were HUGE and full of junk. No matter how big or small, ALL of the bags have to be unpacked eventually. And that is where conflict usually starts.

And said conflict is usually what brings out the ugly side. It is when we are most stubborn, most angry, most vulnerable and most, well, LOUD!!! So, it is best to establish rules. Rules are good ... when followed.

There are two kinds of rules - the "we" rules and the "me" rules:

"We" rules may be never go to bed angry, never fight in front of others, never touch your partner in offensive ways, etc....

"Me" rules may be never bring up old hurts, listen FIRST, keep my voice down, etc...

Now, I am going to suggest two rules - ones that we have found very handy in conflicts. A "we" rule would be to never, EVER, mention (even jokingly) divorce. Never even put it into your mind. For us, divorce is not even an option, so it is get it over and move on. We are stuck together FOREVER, so we might as well make it as enjoyable as possible while we are here:) A "me" rule would be to take note of your own issues before pointing out your partners. In other words, check your own eyes for logs, before pointing out the speck in the eye of the one that you love (Matthew 7:3).

Today's Dare

Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement, if your spouse is not ready for this, then write our your own rules to "fight" by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.

Remember, I am praying for you. You can do this, and the end result will BLESS you both!

See ya tomorrow!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hot For The Holidays - Week 8

Hot for the Holidays

All righty boys and girls (but, really, any boys reading this? Hmmm ...), it is Friday and that means I get to tell you about my week ... And, this week, I am ever so happy to do so!!!


This makes for a total of FIVE, y'all!!! FIVE STINKIN' POUNDS!! And if I could possibly figure out how to get that cute little button off of Christie's page, I would put a big 'ol 5 for the world to see!!! But, alas ... I cannot.

Ummm, Christie, a little help;)

So, we are s'posed to post fun "dress up" pics in honor of Halloween. But my girlies are not dressed up yet. So, I will give you a little glimpse of Halloween past (and a little more)...

This is Miss Sophie last Halloween (at not quite 2 mos. old)

And this is Hattie in the same costume (at just over 4 years old!!)

And, here are a couple of sweet princesses.

And tonight? Well here is a hint ...

One will say "meow" (which she has been practicing A LOT!!!), and the other will have a puffy white tail....

Love Dare - Day 12: Love Lets The Other Win

Soooooo, how did you do yesterday? Did you do something WONDERFUL for your spouse? Something for them and not, in any way, for yourself? Was it hard?

My plan fell through, yet again. I realized, too late, that I had forgotten to defrost the meat for the shepherd's pie. So, in a quick thinking ploy to save the deed, I thought, BLUEBERRY PANCAKES. Yes, saves the day:)

Except, then we realized that Hubbs would not be home for dinner at all. Nope, he had to go run sound at church for worship practice. Sooooo, we will try again tonight. He, however, stopped at the store for me on his way home and picked up a last minute item for Hattie's costume. And some flowers for his surprised wife! LOVE HIM!!!!!

OK, on to today...

"Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others" - Philippians 2:4

If I asked you to write a list of three things causing disagreements in your marriage, you probably would not have to think very hard, would you? What about ten? Little tougher, but still doable, right?

Stubbornness. Not a pretty personality trait is it? It is what 'causes us to argue with the ones we love the most. But is it ALL bad? I mean, isn't stubbornness the very thing that leads us to stand up for our convictions and everything that we believe in? And, as long as we can find a balance, doesn't it all work out OK in the end? Yes, but BALANCE is the key.

We also need to know when to back down. When it is a good idea to give in and let someone else have THEIR way. Now, I am not saying we should be wimps. There is a BIG difference between "wimpy" and "willing". And that is what we are gonna try to be today. WILLING!

And, aren't we Blessed? We have the very best example of willingness that there ever was to model ourselves after. Jesus Christ. Had He been stubborn, he would most likely have stayed in Heaven and left the rest of us down here to fend for ourselves. But, that would not have been the best choice for the ones that He loved (i.e.YOU AND ME!!). So, He WILLINGLY left His throne for a manger. He WILLINGLY gave up being supernatural to be one of US!! He WILLINGLY gave up the clouds to get his feet dirty, calloused and bruised. He WILLINGLY gave up sitting at the right hand of the Father to lay Himself in the hands of his accusers. He lived, bled, suffered and died, WILLINGLY, so that we might live with Him. He did it all because that was what was best for US. Because THAT is what love does.

And Christ's love for the church (us) is the model for a husband's love for his wife and a wife's respect for her husband. And this is our chance to start learning to be WILLING. Willing to let the other one win. Willing to do what is best for all involved ... not just ourselves.

Today's Dare

Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse. Tell them you are putting their preference first.

This is a big one, and NOT an easy one, I know. I am praying for you. And I COMPLETELY believe that you can do this!!!! Do not give up on me now, we have come so far. It will get easier the more we work on these areas. And the end result ... Just keep your eye on the prize!

See ya tomorrow!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Love Dare - Day 11: Love Cherishes

Sorry this is up so late today, crazy morning and had to get to Bible Study on time ... ya know I cannot miss me some Beth Moore. She is my PBFF, after all;)

So, how did yesterday go? Did ya do something wonderful for you spouse? I made my man a special dinner, not the one that I had planned to make though. See, he LOVES shepherds pie. LOVES it. So, I was going to make it for him, cause that is the kinda wife I am. I was gonna carb myself into a coma just to please my love. Unfortunately, there was not a single potato in this house with which to make the mashed potato topping. SIGH ... So, I changed up the plan and made the last dinner that I could remember him raving about - the famous crock-pot-baked-spaghetti-chicken-parmesean-wanna-be-dinner. And, this time, NO FIRES!!! Good times!! I also planned to make him some blueberry muffins. 'Cause in my mans heart it goes God, me, his children and blueberries. Seriously, he loves 'em that much. BUT, due to the fact that I have a hurricane and a cyclone blowing through my house every single day, I did not get that done. However, he came home after stopping at the store, carrying a bag of potatoes. Hello! Can anyone say second chance? Tonight, Shepherds pie with blueberry muffin dessert. YAY!!!!!

Now, on to today ...

"Husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies." Ephesians 5:28

OK, if you have an car that keeps breaking down, 'causing you to pour money into it hand over foot, coming to the point that there is a choice to make. Either you replace the engine or you call it a day and start looking for a new car. What would you do? If you are like us, you would donate that ford windstar with over 200,000 miles on it and the engine light that has been on for three years and you go shopping for a new one. Just makes sense, right?

Now, let's say that you break your leg. The doctor says that you can do one of two things, place it in a cast, stay off of it for 6 weeks or so, get some physical therapy and hope that it is good as new when it is all said and done, OR, you can cut it off and move on with your life. What do ya do now? I am willing to bet you would do the cast, rest and therapy. Right?
So, your marriage, if it started falling apart, which category would IT fall under? How far would you go to make sure that your marriage is strong and lasting?

In this culture, sadly, there are too many people who would treat the marriage like the car. Throw it away and look for a new one. That breaks my heart. Marriage was meant to be lasting, til death do you part. Death, not annoyance. Your spouse is supposed to be a PART of you. Two become one, they are like one flesh, etc... It is not meant to just give up on. We are to look at our partner as part of our own body. Like the leg that was broken. And most people would not just give up on a part of their own body, now would they?

So, what about you? How do you look at your marriage?

When Hubbs and I got married, we did what was called a "Covenant Marriage". I do not know if that is an option in every state but in Arizona it was either a marriage licence or a Covenant Marriage licence. The difference being this, the Covenant Licence is hard to break. You cannot just file for divorce, you have to give legal reasoning behind your choice, and there are very few circumstance that it would be granted under. So, we can not just decide we are not happy and call it irreconcilable differences. We would have to prove IN COURT, that the other party either abandoned us, was unfaithful, was abusive or had an illegal addiction. Seriously, we would have to prove it in court to be granted a divorce. And I think that THAT is just what God had in mind when he created marriage in the first place.

Now, here is the question of the day. Do you cherish your spouse like your own body? Would you go to the ends of the earth to let them KNOW that you are that committed? I am praying that , if you don't now, you will by the end of this dare.

Today's Dare

What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Can you run an errand? Give a back rub or foot massage? Is there housework you could help with? Choose a gesture that says "I cherish you" and do it with a smile.

I hope that you are up for this. remember, it is not a chore, it is a privilege to love your spouse. Have fun with it!!!

See ya tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

America, BLESS GOD!!!

OK y'all, I swore I would not do this on my blog. I hate politics - H.A.T.E. THEM!!! - and, in general, know enough to support my views but not necessarily enough to argue the point. So, as a general rule, I avoid political discussion like the plague. But, at this point, I can no longer do so. So, here I go ...

We, as Americans, go to the polls next week to make a HUGE decision. And this time, more than ever, it is a decision that we can not afford to take lightly. Our future as a country is riding on the outcome of this election. And, as Christians - which I believe most of you reading my blog are - we REALLY cannot afford to take this one lying down.

I am in no way fooling myself into thinking that what I say here and now will make a difference in the way this election goes, but it is something that I must say. I have been writing this in my head for weeks now, and this is the time to put it out there.

Now, I am not going to point out that the Elite Media seems to have a seriously one sided stance on this election and, therefore, rips Sarah Palin apart for everything from the clothes that she wears (seriously?) to the fact that she tried to have an Alaskan State trooper removed form his post just because he was her ex-brother in law (omiting the fact that said trooper shot his own ten year old son with a tazer gun!!!), all the while saying nothing about the HUGE missing chunks from Sen. Obama's past, among other things.

I will not talk about the fact that Sen. Obama aligns himself with a vast array of seedy characters. Characters ranging from a group accused of registering voters across the country fraudulently to someone who was found guilty, and subsequently released on a technicality, of assisting in the terrorist activities in the 1970's against the Pentagon and the White House. Someone who was actually PROUD of his involvement in said attacks and has been quoted saying that he wished he could have done more. And these are just a few of the dishonest, dangerous and criminal associations that he has been found to be involved with.

And I will not go into the fact that, as these relationships have come to light, his responses have regularly been the extent of "I had no knowledge of that activity ...", "I was not aware ..." and "I didn't know that that was happening ...". Um, pardon me, but I would like a president who DOES KNOW, IS AWARE and HAS KNOWLEDGE of things happening in front of his face.

Call me crazy.

I, also, will not talk about the fact that he claims to be a Christian and to never have been involved in any type of Muslim religion, even though several people have stepped forward with many pieces of evidence to the contrary. Now, I am not saying that we cannot have a non Christian president. I am not saying that we cannot have a MUSLIM president (although, admittedly, I would not vote for one), I am saying that whatever you are, were or have ever been, I want an HONEST president.

What I will say is this, there are two reasons that I will not be voting for Sen. Obama in this election. The second most vital being this:

This country is at war, a war started when our soil was invaded and attacked not once, not twice, not even three times, but FOUR TIMES in one day on September 11, 2001. A war which must be fought to the finish. A war which is being fought by brave men and women who VOLUNTEERED to fight it. (And, given that war, can we afford to place someone in power with even the smallest chance of being associated with known terrorists?) Also, we are in the midst of an economic crisis the likes of which has not been seen since the great depression years. We are in an energy crisis, which is serving to increase the economic woes of every single person in this land - not just the poor or middle class, but the wealthy as well (we are ALL being gouged at the pump!!!).

So, in the midst of all of this upheaval, can we really afford to put someone in the white house who has never been put in a leadership position AT ALL?!?!?! I do not think so. Oh, sure he served on the Senate, for what amounts to about a quarter of a year. And in that time he spent alot of time voting "present" rather than giving a definitive answer. AND, in that time he also began is bid for the white house. But, did he get anything done for his constituents in that time? I don't know ...

But, here is the number one reason that Barak Obama will never get my vote:

As an adoptive mother, I cannot begin to tell you what the phrase "punished with a baby" did to my heart. Let me say, here and now, that the baby is NEVER the punishment. It may, in your opinion, be a result of a "mistake", but that mistake was not the Baby's. that mistake was YOURS. And the act that Sen. Obama speaks of does not punish the mother, it punishes the CHILD. And, I can say that I know of 2 such "mistakes" made by women who had the guts to follow through with the consequences of their actions. And because they did, I have two precious little girls running around my house, filling it with laughter and joy beyond my wildest dreams. Not to mention the fact that I can give you a list of up to 10 families right this moment who would gladly give your "error in judgement" a loving home, filled with joy and LIFE.

Also, as a parent, I will raise MY children with values and morals and integrity. But if, and when, they make a mistake, you can bet your sweet bippy that I will take advantage of the consequences of those mistakes to help them learn a lesson. I will not let them simply "get rid" of their mistake and walk away. THAT is not what being a parent is about.

And if that is any indication as to how he serves as a leader in his home, I can tell you I do not want him leading my country.

As a Christian woman I cannot vote for someone who has such little value for the sanctity of life. He says that the specificities of when life begins are more than he can answer. That it is "above (his) pay grade". Well, Mr. Obama, I am a stay at home mom who makes NOTHING, and I can tell you that life begins at the very moment of conception. And that, in Truth, it begins even before conception. Because the Bible tells me that "Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be." (PS. 139:16). And that pertains to the child who is yet to born as well as the child whose birth was aborted, no matter what stage of life it was aborted in!

This is my stance as a Christian woman. I am sorry if that offends anyone, but I will not apologize for that stance. I cannot separate who I am in God from who I am as an American.

Put simply, who I am in God is WHO I AM. Period.

And, for that reason alone, Sen. Obama will not get my vote.

Love Dare - Day 10: Love Is Unconditional

OK ladies and gents, this is where the rubber hits the road. You are a quarter of the way through this dare. So, tell me, do you see your spouse any different than you did when you began? I know I do. I see myself differently too, and that is pretty surprising.

I knew going into this that we have a strong marriage, but I can see it becoming even stronger. We have been able to talk about a few things that were on our hearts and that is HUGE. I am so thankful for the people that made this movie (Fire Proof) and this book. I pray that your marriage is benefiting as well.

Now, I said in the beginning that the marriage has to be about more than just the husband and the wife, that if the love is going to be true, you have to bring God into the fold. And today is where we will begin to really get into that...

"God demonstrates His own love toward us in this, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" - Romans 5:8

If I were to ask you why you love your spouse, what would you say? Would you give me a list of qualities that they possess? Possible Handsome, beautiful, kind, wise, steady or generous? Now, what if, through the years, those qualities were to change? Would you still love him/her? How would you answer me then?

Love comes in three forms. First there is PHILEO love. This is a friendship kind of love. It is when you have enough in common with a person to feel a strong bond that becomes love. Very important in a marriage, but not enough to make it last.

Secondly, there is EROS love. This is a sexual love. It is when you are sexually attracted to the other person and that attractiveness deepens your feelings for him or her. Also, as I am sure you would agree, very important in a marriage. Yet, it is still - even when combined with the phileo love - not enough to sustain a lasting marriage.

Thirdly, there is AGAPE love. And this is the love that lasts. This is the love that God has for us. He does not love us because we are lovable, but because HE is loving. It is not for anything that we do, but because of everything that He is. He loves us unconditionally, no matter what, without fail and without end. And in a strong, Bible based, God centered marriage, it is the love we are called to have for our spouse.

This is what you meant when you said "for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do us part". And this is where a marriage can either thrive or dwindle, or even fail.

And this is where today's challenge begins ...

Today's Dare

Do something out of the ordinary for your spouse today - something that proves to you (and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car. Clean the kitchen. Buy (or make) his favorite dessert. Fold the laundry. Demonstrate love for them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.

Remember, the dare is to make this not about you, but them. Not about anything that makes them lovable, but all bout what makes you love. Period.

Good luck and I will see ya tomorrow!

Love Dare - Day 9: Love Makes Good Impressions

Welcome to day 9 ... are ya still with me out there?

Yesterday was about jealousy, how did you do? I have to admit that my day did not start out so well ...

See, Hubbs and I always pray over each other and our children before he leaves for work in the morning. And, honestly, it is one of the very best parts of my day. But this week he is working extra long hours, so he left a little earlier. And he didn't wake me up. I called him and, in a not so friendly tone, asked him why he left without praying. He said "You were sleeping so soundly I didn't want to wake you. So, I prayed over you and left." And ya know what, I was jealous. And not that good kind either. Now, don't get me wrong, I was touched and Blesses that he had taken the time to pray over me, but jealous that I had not gotten to HEAR his prayer and to pray over him.

Geez, obsess much?

And, without even realizing it, I pretty much missed the mark on today as well ...
With that said, let us move on to today.

"Greet one another with a kiss of love." - 1Peter 5:14

Once you have a first impression of someone - whether it be good or bad - it is hard to change that way of thinking, isn't it? I mean if you meet someone and immediately have a dislike for them, they have to work a little harder to get on your good side don't they? And, I have had experiences where I start off thinking someone is nice and trustworthy, only to have that trust broken when I learned that, sadly, they were not as honest as I thought. That particular lesson once cost my mom some of her best jewelry. Another story for another time...

First impressions of the day can be hard to cast away as well. Especially to the ones that we love. And, sadly, they often times get our worst rather than our best.

I mean, even if we are in a rotten mood, when we see someone at the store or work or even church, we use our syrupy sweet voice to make a good impression and NOT look like we have just had the morning from you-know-where! But, we don't save those manners for our family. Nope, we stomp around the house grunting and whining about every little thing.

How sad for them, huh?

So, today is all about relearning that particular skill ...

Today's Dare

Think of a specific way you would like to greet your spouse today. Do it with a smile and enthusiasm. Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.

As simple as this might seem, it is amazing the difference it can make!!! Good luck!

Remember, I am praying for you!!!

See ya tomorrow!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Picture Perfect Monday - Hattie Grace

Four years ago this week a sweet little girl came to live at our house ...

(a day at the beach)
(splish splashin' in the mud!)
(9 Months old, her first trip to MI)
(Funny girl in the stroller - 2 yrs. old)
(crisp spring day at the beach - 3yrs. old)
(being silly at McD's while we wait for Grandma's airplane - 3 yrs. old)
(A Halloween fairy - 1yr. old)
(ARRGGHH - she's a pirate - 3 yrs. old)
(playin' with her Daddy - 4 yrs. old)
(Adoption Day - 2 yrs. old)

... and she stole our hearts away the very first moment.
We love you Hattie Grace!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Love Dare - Day 8: Love Is Not Jealous

So, did you make your list yesterday? I hope that your Happy list was longer than you other. If not, please know that I am praying for you and that if you continue to focus on the positive attributes of your mate, you will most likely find more to concentrate on. Funny thing about looking for the positive ... we usually find it. Be warned, it works the other way as well.

And now, we begin our second week...

"Love is as strong as death, it's jealousy as unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire." - Song Of Solomon 8:6

Jealousy is a very strong emotion. It is, in fact, one of THE strongest emotions that we can know. I think that is because jealousy happens when we have a passion for something.

It comes in two forms, one is a legitimate jealousy based on love. This occurs when we are jealous FOR someone. It is the kind of jealousy that God has for us. He wants to be our first love and He wants us to BENEFIT from that relationship. He has so much to give us, but we have to choose HIM to get it.

Legitimate jealousy also happens when there is infidelity in a marriage. The cheated upon spouse has every right to be jealous, because he/she is jealous FOR his spouse, not of them.

The other form of jealousy is illegitimate. This is when we are jealous OF someone else. We want what they have. This type is based on our own selfishness. When we cannot find happiness or satisfaction in what we have, but live our lives wanting what someone else has. Nothing good can come from this type of jealousy.

If there is illegitimate jealousy within a marriage, it can not be good. When you married, you agreed to be your spouse's biggest supporter. Their joys became yours and their heartaches yours as well. And, well, you can't pick and choose in this area.

If your spouse's joys cause you to wish that they were yours, there is a problem. So, maybe the wife gets to go out with friends while hubby stays home with the kids. Or maybe Hubby gets a promotion at work and now makes lots of money. These, and many other scenarios, can cause big problems at home - IF YOU LET THEM!!! So, how do we NOT let them?

This is where that "what's yours is mine, what's mine is yours" part of your promise comes into play. Rather than looking at it as "hubby getting all the glory", look at it as "Hubby must be amazing at what he does, look at his success!" and take some pride in him!!! And hubby, instead of being jealous at the fact that she is out with the girls, see it as time for her to be refreshed so that she can bring even more to the relationship. It is all in the perspective. All in the way you choose to see it!

Today's Dare

Determine to become your spouse's biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. To help set your heart on your spouse and focus on their achievements, take yesterday's list of negative attributes and discreetly burn it. Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he or she recently enjoyed.

I realize that some of these assignments are not as easy or as fun as others, but we are making our marriages stronger day by day. I believe in you and know that you can do this!!!

Have a Blessed day, and see ya tomorrow!

Love Dare - Day 7: Love Believes The Best

I am posting this a little late today. Actually I should have posted it last night. BUT, last night I was spending time with my man. So, your choices are either to take today off and start up again tomorrow or start a little late today. We are gonna skip Sunday, but I will keep the posts coming so that anyone who wants to keep going can do so. If you were behind us anyway, this might give you a chance to catch up:)

SO, yesterday was another tough one. Did you make it through OK? I hope so, and I am praying that you don't give in. I PROMISE you that it will all be worth it in the end!

Today, we put our focus back on the positive stuff. The positive in our spouse and our relationship. Positive, because LOVE believes the best!!!

"(Love) believes all things, hopes all things." - 1Corinthians 13:7

When Hubby and I were going through our pre-marital counseling we were asked to pick a Bible verse to define our future marriage. We were given a few suggestions, one of which was the one we ended up choosing. We even made the verse part of our vows. This is what we chose:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." - Philippians 4:8

You see, we promised each other and GOD that we would choose to see the good in each other, rather than the bad. We vowed to concentrate on the things that led us to fall in love in the first place. And if - WHEN - things happened to disappoint or anger us, rather than think about and stew over those things, we would remember and think about the POSITIVE! And, I promise that there have been times that I have had to make a loooooonnnnggggg mental list of those pluses in order to get past the negatives. But I made the choice to do that because I do not like being angry. And I am willing to bet that you don't either.

Now, I am sure that when you were dating or first married, you could have talked for a very long time about all of the wonderful qualities he/she had. Have they changed? Or have you made another list of the not so wonderful qualities? Now it is time to choose ...

Which of those lists do you want to focus on now? Which of those lists will make your life, and your marriage, a happier place to be? I am praying that you choose the happy list.

I am not going to make light of the unhappy list. I am sure that the things on that list are true. And I realize that there may be some pretty serious things on that list, things that may be extremely difficult to just set aside. And I am in prayer for those issues as well, please know that. But the happy list is real to. So, spend some time with it as well, please.

And today's dare is all about those lists. So if you haven't made them, here is your chance

Today's Dare

For today's dare, get two sheets of paper. On the first one spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse. Then do the same with negative things on the second sheet. Place both sheets in a secret place for another day. There is a different plan and purpose for each. At some point during the remainder of the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.

Remember to think about the things on that first list before you let anything on the other list take over your thoughts. It will make both of your days better, I promise!

See ya tomorrow!