Feb 16 2013

Beauty in Imperfection

Apparently everyone wants an Affenpinscher!

It won’t hurt you, well unless you get one that bites. It’s a cute little dog. In fact, it's the breed that won Best in Show this week at the Westminster Dog Show.

Everyone wants a little dog like "Banana Joe". He is pretty cute. He’s perfect little nose and with a perfect curved tail. If I didn’t have 3 kids to run after, I might want to add him to the mix too. Although, I don’t think I’d want a Banana Joe. I think I'd want one that is not perfect. Maybe I'd want one with a crooked tail, maybe one that was discarded, that needs love. 

There's beauty in imperfection. When we expose our own imperfections, and stop trying to be perfect, that's when we allow others around out to see what real GRACE is all about. 


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Feb 15 2013

The Secrets To Successful Relationships

 

When I see those couples that seems to have life all figured out, I want to know what their secret is.  I want to know how they do it, so I can do the same for my life and my family. 

All week you’ve asked you to share your "Keys to Stengthening your Marriage." In exchange, we give away the 5 Love Languages Book and a grand prize trip to a marriage retreat in Maui.  

Whether married, divorced, single, this is GREAT advice.  I wanted to share with you some of my favorites, so you can use them in your relationships – regardless of your status.

Forgive: 

When he hurts my feelings. I forgive. When he is too busy for me. I forgive. When he isn't romantic. I forgive. When he overlooks a kind gesture I do for him. I forgive. I let him off the hook for not being God. Like me, he is human. He is sometimes selfish and unable to meet my deepest needs. I run to God and pour out my heart and then am grateful for anything I may get from my mate otherwise Satan plants a seed of bitterness. - Renee Bush 

Share in their Interests:

After arguing over whether or not my husband should own a motorcycle for most of our marriage, in 2011 I finally gave him and he purchased a Harley Davidson. Up to that point, I had never driven a bike; but I decided to connect with him on something he loves so much. I learned to drive a bike. Now when we want to reconnect, we get on our bikes and ride. It allows us to leave the worries of the day behind. God works in many ways. This motorcycle and our friends that ride have led my husband to Christ, true story. -Edith Ward (Black Creek, NC)

Serve Each Other:

My husband and I will have been married 10 years in September. Things have not always been wonderful and we were close to separating about 4 years ago. We realized we had stopped respecting each other and were putting ourselves before our spouse. We started respecting each other again! We have read Gary Chapman's book on the 5 love languages and honestly we try and live by this every day. My husband's love language is acts of kindness so I will try and do something everyday that fulfills this...like picking up the dog poop! :)  -Tarah Greenfield; Hickman, NE

Play: 

My wife's work requires her to travel frequently. When loading the car for her trips; I load a small combination locking file box; within this box I have placed love letters, notes of encouragement, flowers or a small gift. If the travel involves flying, we will choose a character from a movie; our texts will spoof that movie throughout the day. Our playful marriage shows; my smiles and laughter often have people asking questions. "I'm playing with my wife." I will answer. - Robert

Make Time:

My husband works 7 days a week and has 2 jobs and I also have 2 jobs. We look forward to having a date night on Thursday when he only works one of his jobs. We have different tastes in movies so we trade off seeing what the other one likes and then get some dinner out. When there is not a good movie we order out and play Wii bowling in our PJ's or Monopoly. People always ask how we get any time together and we say we just MAKE TIME. -Cindy

 Pray for Each Other:

Every day I pray for my husband and tell him I love him. I send him a tex with a good bible verse that could help him through his day. I also write what I call power notes to him and leave them on his mirror and in his car daily. He is a coach. I am always going to his games in support for him and the team. Win or Loose, he knows I'm there and that I love him. One game, I wore a shirt just for him and made a sign in support of him. -Alice Elkins

 Choose Love

To strengthen a marriage, remember that love is a choice. When the "feeling" of love may disappear, we have to consciously make the choice to love. If we depend on the "feeling", we often find ourselves retaliating or being harsh to each other. If we act like we love each other, even when we don't feel like it, we can work through even the hardest struggle -Robin

 Keep it Fun:

One year my husband Reid gave me a chainsaw bear for our anniversary. This year I gave him a unicycle for his birthday. If we are getting too serious, we will come up and poke the other like a little kid to remind us to chill out. When things get heavy, remembering we are blessed with this life and that our children are going to grow up and be what they see more than what we say helps tons.  Andrea Fisher

 Lead and Follow

Laura and I met ballroom dancing. To successfully dance you have to learn how to lead and follow, we have taken that lesson into our marriage. We have taken several church classes together. By exploring the Word we have become closer because we get a chance to hear each other talk about being Christian and what God means to us personally. We have seen our talents being used by God as we give and get ministry from others and each other. Indeed, Laura has brought out in me the best version of a man I could ever be. -Timothy

 Face the Truth:

As I started thinking about this I realized since we had kids we haven’t done anything to strengthen our marriage and we have drifted further and further apart. This is something we desperately need to work on otherwise our marriage won't last. Regardless of the possibility of winning this contest we are so blessed that I came across this because it has made me realize how much we have neglected our marriage. We both need to work on our relationship with God & put Him first in our marriage.

 Thank you for this contest, I love how God works. -Jennifer

 

Jennifer's advice and honesty is the most impressive nugget we can glean from.  She and her husband are not only now receiving the book "5 Love Languages", they are now packing for Maui. 

They won the marriage retreat, and I'm sure they would appreciate your prayers for their marriage.  

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