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{Love} Day

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the LORD.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.

Song of Solomon 8

It doesn’t take a lot of money to show love to your husband. In fact, it doesn’t have to cost anything at all. Sure, it’s an over-rated commercial holiday… but what a perfect excuse to put on some real clothes and a little lip gloss, feed the kids an early dinner, and serve your hubby a private, candlelit meal while the kids are otherwise entertained (Toy Story, anyone?).

Stare into each other’s eyes and talk about anything or nothing.  Put the kids to bed a little early, make some coffee and snuggle up for a favorite movie. Make out like you’re seventeen again.  Take a bubble bath together.  Have dessert on the porch and look for stars. Read Song of Solomon out loud together and giggle immaturely.

Rekindle the romance. (You won’t regret it.)

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Quick Tip: Love Notes

In the age of technology, the art of a good love note is dying.  If your marriage needs a little spark, however, I urge you to start penning!

Telling your spouse you love them vocally is oh-so-important, but there is just something special (and keepsake-y) about writing out your feelings for your husband.

My husband and I have a journal where we can write love notes to one another.  I was inspired by our journals to our children, and we started one together.  We don’t write often, but a few times a year we write down our thoughts about our marriage and our feelings for each other.  We’ve had it since the spring of 2009, and I had a great time re-reading our letters to each other one day last week.

Every “love note” doesn’t have to be pages of ooshy-gooshy words to your spouse, try some of these ways to express your written love to your mate:

  • After a shower, write a brief message on the fogged up mirror.  When your husband gets out of the shower, hopefully he’ll see your note!
  • Use your child’s bath alphabet toys, or magnetic letters on the fridge to spell out some sweet words for your hubby!
  • If you pack your husband’s lunch, pen him a little note and stick it in… or slide a note into his bag or briefcase for him to find during the day.
  • If your husband has email access during the work day, send him an email declaring your love!
  • Text your hubby at random times during the day to let him know you love him and are thinking about him.  You might find yourself in a lovey-dovey texting volley.


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Weekend Links

Home Making

Discipline (from the difficult words series) {@ raising arrows}

Making a Household Notebook Work for You {@ life as mom}

Individual Mac n Cheese {@ once a month mom}

So How Busy Are You Anyway? {@ scribbit}

Parenting

Motherhood and Identity: Comparison {@ inspired to action}

Nurturing the Mother Son Relationship {@ raising arrows}

The Importance of a Summer Schedule {@ homeschool classroom}

Chore Chart System and Printables {@ homeschool creations}

Meds and PPD {@ omyfamily}

Post Racial Barbie {@ rage against the minivan}

Online Symptom Checker {@ healthychildren.org}

Marriage Building

18 Lessons from 18 Years of Marriage {@ Mark Driscoll}

Pastor Mark’s Date Night Tips {@ Mark Driscoll}

Are You Guilty of These Marriage Mistakes? {@ simple marriage}

Homeschooling

Are You a Good Enough Teacher? {@ simple homeschool}

Free Printables {@Mama Jenn}

Homeschool Links {@ saved, southern and sassy}

Planning for the New School Year (free e-book) {@ examiner.com}

Learning Through a Co-Op {@ simple homeschool}


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Shrub vs. Tree

5 Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.

Photo by Jeremy Walker

7Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose trust is the LORD.
8 He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17

It kind of seems like an unfair comparison– a shrub in a desert or a tree planted by water. Well, which would you rather be? Of course I want to be the tree, but often times I admit that my full trust is not in the Lord, which according to Jeremiah 17 makes me a shrub in the desert wilderness.

You see, God gave me this really amazing man to call husband. He’s young and healthy and handsome and smart and can fix anything from hurt feelings to hang nails to broken furniture. It’s not hard to let my trust be in him. It’s very easy to let him be my strength.  But he’s not always going to be young and healthy and dependable.  (I’m sure he’ll always be handsome though!)

So often when I have a problem or a question, I find myself in front of Hubby asking for help. Not necessarily a bad thing since God did bless me with a godly husband, but God didn’t give me a godly husband to replace Him in my life. God doesn’t give us any of the good gifts He gives us with the intent to have Himself replaced in our hearts. Nice houses, good jobs, stable families, godly husbands, adorable children, bible-teaching churches– none of these are supposed to hold our trust or be our strength.

The only way I can flourish like an awesome tree, have deep roots that stay well-fed, not fear when it’s hot and dry (how appropriate in the heat of summer!), keep my leaves green, not be anxious for hard times, and continuously bear fruit is to have my trust in the Lord.


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Dating Your Spouse

Photo by Becca Fowler

I think date nights are so important.

My love language is quality time, so I desire quality time alone with my husband.  Really, it doesn’t matter to me what we are doing, I just want to be around him and have his attention– I have found that just watching TV together on the couch doesn’t fill up my love tank, since we’re not truly “being together”, we’re just sitting beside each other.

My husband and I have struggled in this area because date nights are so important to me, and although he says he desires to take me out, it hasn’t happened regularly.  He either doesn’t have the time and energy to plan nights out with me (I like when he plans the dates) , or we’re simply short on cash for the month.  (Since we’ve moved overseas we’ve also had the issue of a finding a babysitter.  We didn’t want to leave the kids with a stranger who didn’t even speak English, thereby eliminating most of our options!)

We are working on this aspect of our relationship.  It all began with me telling Hubby about my need for quality time alone with him.  (I might have mentioned it once or twice or seven hundred and twenty times…) and he has worked to make sure our budget allows for the cash we need to go out and hire a sitter.  We had a date night last weekend, and I feel so much healthier as a married couple just from getting away together for two and a half hours!

When’s the last time you dated your husband?

In the current common economic situation, I was trying to think of things we could do on our date nights that wouldn’t require a lot of money.  Here’s what I have so far:

  • Go for a long walk near a body of water. We live on a bay and it’s so pretty by the water– during the day there’s sun and boats, and in the evening you have the glittery city lights
  • Go out for dessert and coffee. Even if you get an expensive dessert, you’re still saving by not eating dinner out.
  • Go for a long drive in the country. We spent hours driving when we were waiting for Ladybug to be born.  We had such good conversations, listened to our favorite music, and saw lots of wildlife.
  • Have a date when the kids are in bed. Put the kids to bed, and then have a nice candlelit dinner at home.
  • Go out for lunch or breakfast. Who says dates have to be at night?

What do you suggest for great dates without great price?