Excuses

Does anyone else get tired of excuses? You know those times when you are dealing with a certain, let’s call it a roadblock, in your relationship and instead of making progress, you get an excuse.  For example, all of us ladies like romance right?  I know I do.  Sometimes when it seems like we aren’t getting enough and we bring it up, we get a response like, “You know I’m not a romantic guy, I never was, never will be.”  I like the one about when we feel we are not communicating effectively and we approach that topic. “I’m just not a talker.  I’m introverted.”  Ladies, how about when our husband’s need some affection and intimacy in the bedroom….  “Not tonight dear, I have a headache.”  If we really want to make our marriage amazing, it’s time to drop the excuses and embrace the fact that we all need to be willing to….. shall I even say it? ….. deep breath now….. be willing to GROW.   That wasn’t so bad now was it?

The interesting thing about growth is that we can’t change our spouse.  Sure would be easier and less painful on our part.  No one really likes to admit that we are flawed.  We all like to think it’s our spouses fault our marriage is at a stalemate.  It’s easier on our conscience that way.  However, you can go to a million marriage counselors and they will tell you the same thing…. you can only work on you.  How does this help us though, since none of our marriage problems are our fault.  He won’t go to church with the family, He watches too much ESPN, She/he is too tired, She/he doesn’t pick up their stuff around the house, the faucet STILL leaks, he hasn’t expressed a real emotion for the past 10 years.  Remember, if you want change, start to do something different!  You will never get the results you want if you keep doing the things that are not working.  Step out and make it happen!  You can do it!!!

In all our marriage groups and in all the people we have mentored in their marriage, I can tell you that successful change happens when ONE person is willing to take the first step and start to live the marriage they feel is right.  What does that look like?  I think it looks like praising and respecting our husband, even when we feel they don’t deserve it.  Husband’s CRAVE and NEED our respect and adoration.  Find ways to praise him in public.  Husbands, find ways to honor and serve your wife.  LOVE her, TALK to her, DO THE DISHES without being asked.

I remember when Scott and I were first married and we struggled with communication.  He’s an introvert and I’m an extrovert.  He had to learn to take his “filters” down and he made a conscious effort to talk to me when we were either on a date or at the end of the day.  This is not something that came natural to him, but he decided our relationship was more important than his comfort zone.  After 16 years of marriage, we are getting the hang of this communication thing.

You can only change yourself.  Treat your spouse like you want them to treat you.  On a scale of 1 to 10, even though you may think your spouse is a 4, treat them like a 10.  If you are consistent in your actions, change will happen.  No more excuses!  Let the amazing marriage begin!  Thanks for listening, Kirsten

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Inspirations

It’s been a while since my last blog.  Sorry about that.  We are in the process of moving and you all know how crazy that can be!  Anyway, I’m going through my journals and my books to decide what to keep and what to purge when I came across a entry about things and ways to inspire your spouse.  I thought I’d send it out there because sometimes we need to be reminded of fun ways we can support and ravish love on our spouse.  I always love to find new ways to show Scott how much I adore and love him.  I think showing love to our spouse is the cornerstone of a good marriage.  We have been married for 16 years and showing love to one another is one thing we never let slide by.  It’s just too important.  So, here are a few little ideas to make your marriage amazing.  Since this is written by me, I’m using it as ways to make my husband feel special.  To all the guys out there that are reading this blog, just interchange the him for her.

1.  Initiate great sex.

2.  Send him or her an email. Example: “Praying for you today. Thanks for being so courageous in [insert specific area].”

3.  Give him one night on a regular basis to do something he loves.

4.  Consistently mention ways you see him growing to be more like Christ.

5.  Ask him about his “bucket list.”

6.  Give him a book, audio CD, or ticket to learn about something he loves doing.

7.  Ask him about some dreams he has — and pray about them together, evaluating them. Then ask how you can help him go after them.

8.  Text him. Example: “REMINDER: I BELIEVE IN U.”

9. Make sure he feels respected by you.

10.  Leave sticky notes in his lunch, on his steering wheel, in his briefcase, etc. “So proud of all you’ve been doing with ___.” “You are so great with our kids.” “You are my dream come true.” “You are an incredible lover.”

11.  Suggest that he take some time to go pursue a hobby.

12.  Leave a message on his voicemail: “Thanks for going to work every day to take care of our family. You are so good at what you do.”

13. Ask him how you can pray for him at work. Later on in the week, ask about his prayer requests again.

14. Be proactive about doing something together that he really enjoys: make a date, get him excited, and share his enthusiasm!

15.  Tell him areas he’s gifted in. Don’t stretch the truth; be honest so he can trust you.

16. Pray for him.

17. Initiate great sex.

18.  Start and keep a “Dreams” binder with him. Include some travel brochures or whatever gets you excited. In the back, make sure you have a “Dreams turned reality!” file.

19.  Talk with him about setting aside a small part of the budget to pursue the ways God has created him — through education or through sheer enjoyment.

20.  Post on his Facebook wall: “I love being your wife! See me tonight regarding this.”

21.  Send your wife flowers at work just because it’s a Tuesday.  Send your husband a cookie bouquet to work because men love cookies (at least my husband does).

What else can you add to your list?  Let us know what you have done that has made your spouse feel special.  I love new ideas!!!  Thanks for reading!  Kirsten

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Going through the hard times…

James 1:2-4 “consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (message version)

Scott and I are coming up on 16 years of marriage and in those 16 years, we have gone through a few times that have been emotionally challenging and tough.  Life is not an easy road sometimes.  As for our marriage, through those tough times, we have always remained a team.  A strong team.  A united team.  The Dynamic Duo so to speak.  It is because of our strong bond that I know whatever we face, whatever challenges that come our way, we will remain united and we will overcome them.

Whatever you may be facing, I hope that your relationship remains strong.  Be on the same team, support one another, build up your spouse, pray for one another because life can be hard and we need one another.

Challenging times will come, I can guarantee that, but if we rely upon God and stick to one another, we can get through those times and come out on top.  I believe in you!

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Stuff we gave up for Lent…

Scott had an idea that this year for Lent, we would give up something each week up until Easter.  This week we gave up TV and movies.  No more Project Runway – All Stars, Modern Family, the Middle, and New Girl, at least this week anyway.  Can I say that I’m enjoying this “sacrifice”?  Last night, Scott and I went for a long walk, holding hands, and just talking about future plans and current realities.  It was a beautiful evening and we both really enjoyed the time together.  It was pretty interesting that I don’t miss watching TV.  The peace and quiet is very refreshing and instead of just zoning out at the end of the day, we are finding ourselves connecting with one another again. If you can’t find the time to connect with your spouse, try turing off the TV.  It’s a pretty easy way to find extra time.   Once this Lent week is over, I may have to insist we “sacrifice” the TV more often.  Thanks for listening, Kirsten

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It’s the little things…

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything.  Anyone else crazy busy out there?  Valentines Day is coming up and I thought I’d write a quick something since this is a blog about marriage and relationships.  Makes sense right?  I have been mulling over a few things recently and thought I’d share it with you dear readers. 

Our life since Christmas has been going non-stop.  It’s been hard to find the time to get together for our usual date night.  I know some of you can relate.  I was talking to my sister-in-law who has a baby and a toddler.  Date Night?  By the time the kids are fed, laundry folded, vomit wiped up, kitchen cleaned from food being thrown around, they are exhausted!  Can I say that I am so glad to be done with that stage of life?! 

I remember when I was in grad school, working full-time, co-leading a marriage group at our church, getting boys to baseball practice and then doing housework; being exhausted was a constant thing.  Date Night?  Those nights were hard to schedule.  Sleep seemed more important. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan of date nights!  I think finding time to spend with the love of your life is vital to the health of your marriage.  I am saying that sometimes there are seasons in our life where it is harder to find the time or money to get out with your spouse.  What then?  I think ultimately it’s the little things we do for our spouse that make our marriage amazing, not the occasional, big gestures. I posted a blog a few months ago entitled, “Love is a verb” go back and reread it.  Lots of good suggestions on little things you can do to show your spouse you love them. 

What about those of you who do all those little things, but when it comes to intimacy have “lost it” or the spark just isn’t there?  That’s a hard one.  I”m not a marriage counselor, but I can say that when Scott and I were doing the 25 day challenge (see previous blog on that one), there were days when we didn’t feel like being intimate or we were so tired.  However, we were committed to the process and to the growth of our relationship.  So my advice is this.  Just do it. Do it.  Do it more than once a week.  It may be awkward at first, but commit to the process and to the growth of your relationship.  Talking to a marriage counselor is always a good idea if you feel you are really stuck. 

Anyway, this Valentines Day, husbands – buy your wife a lovely bouquet of flowers or something sparkly.  Wives – wear that uncomfortable sexy underwear for your man.  Put each other first and make your marriage amazing.  Thanks for listening!  Kirsten

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Kirsten:

This blog really challenged me and I found it amazing. Read and enjoy!

Originally posted on Tope Rants:

Pineapples are divine. I can just imagine sinking my teeth into freshly cut pineapples, as the juice trickles in between my fingers. Another bite and I just don’t want to stop. Have you ever been in love?  To me, it is just like eating delicious pineapples. I bet you all want to hear my story, so here goes nothing.

Yup yup, I was a believer in ‘happily ever after‘, but boy was I wrong. As I sit here reminiscing about my past relationship (at least it felt that way to me), I cannot for the life of me place my fingers on what happened. All I know is that we drifted apart. I tried numerous times to resolve it, but all I got was silence. I became accustomed to the silence and I did nothing about it. Little did I know that the silence was poisoning my…

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A new path

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,
but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
-Maria Robinson

Can we all agree that our life is a journey and one that necessarily isn’t always smooth?  Wouldn’t it be nice though if we never had arguements with our spouse, friends, or co-workers?  What if we always had enough money to do all the projects we wanted to do or if we could pay our bills on time?  What if communication or sex wasn’t an issue in our marriage?  What if friends always stayed friends?   But, as we all know, life isn’t always smooth sailing.  Sometimes we hit a pothole or sometimes we take a detour.  What do we do at times like these?  How do we bounce back and get our relationships and maybe even ourselves back on course? 

I think there are several different options we can explore as we try to figure out how to start a new path.  I love counseling.  I have been to counseling several times to navigate through difficult issues and situations in my own life.  I find it really helpful to talk to someone neutral about problems and get some wisdom on how to deal with them.  I can’t stress the importance of prayer and fasting.  God has shown up more times in my life when I was at a low point and crying out to Him.  I have found prayer seriously helpful.  If you need to go to a doctor to become more emotionally stable, then do it.  If it can help keep you calm while you work things out, then it’s worth it.   Talk through the problem,in a  calm manner and with the intent to understand,  not thinking of comebacks or comments.  Just listen, repeat what they’ve said to clarify understanding, and then continue the conversation. 

We can’t change what has happened in the past, but we can set our mind on taking a new path.  Determine to let the past be the past.  Forgive and move forward.  Learn from mistakes and set your mind to new things, to new adventures, to growing.  We can’t change the past, but we can set our mind toward the future and change our ending.  Is it easy?  No.  Does it take time to unlearn behaviors or habits?  Yes.  Is it worth it?  Yes.  Commit to the process and determine to make your marriage amazing. 

Proverbs 3:6  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”   Thanks for listening to my thoughts.  Kirsten

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