The Radical Dance of Celebration and the Sacred

I was a guest at Girlfriends in God and wanted to share it with you today!

For years, I’ve heard the same message in sermons, Bible studies, magazine articles, and on social media: Christmas is not about the gifts, decorating, how the Christmas ham is prepared, parties or even Christmas cookies. We are all supposed to stop doing All. The. Things. and simply reflect in the glow of our Charlie Brown Christmas tree and spend the entire month rereading the story of Christ’s birth from Luke.

And for all those years, I’ve felt guilty about being madly in love with the “stuff” of Christmas. I love having friends and family over to eat, drink (hot chocolate) and be merry. I enjoy filling our grown kids’ stockings with care. I adore planning for our family’s Christmas Eve dinner. I even get a thrill from sending out (and receiving) Christmas cards.

While the world may go overboard when it comes to “celebrating” the season (just watch any video of a Wal-Mart opening on Black Friday to see what I’m talking about . . .), in many ways, I’ve felt guilty for finding happiness in any other way than attending church and singing Christmas carols. I know we are to have joy at Christmastime, but does God also care about our happiness?

Read more at Girlfriends in God!

Enlarging Your Faith: Never Say Never

Enlarging Your Faith: Never Say Never

enlarging your faith

Shortly after getting married, in fact it was on our honeymoon, when I slipped into my flirty pajamas, jumped into bed next to my husband and exclaimed, “OK, I’m ready!” and he asked, “For what?”

I replied with the obvious response, “To pray together … you know, a couple that prays together, stays together? That is what my mom always says.” To which he replied, “I will NEVER pray with you, that just isn’t something I do. It’s personal and between me and God.”

To be fair, maybe my timing was a little off. But I absolutely deflated. My spirit was crushed. Not only did I feel deprived of the coveted marriage ideal that couples are supposed to pray together, it was worse than that. I felt totally duped by my new husband. After all, we prayed together during our courtship.

I was devastated. Something so clearly beneficial to our marriage was rejected. My parents prayed together! And I was certain I fell in love with someone who was going to pray with me. It didn’t seem right!  I knew God and I knew He loved me. I knew this was the man He meant for me to marry. He moved mountains to bring us together.

I come from a long line of prayer warriors. I like to think my sweet grandma lived to 103 because she had prayers God still wanted her to be praying. Growing up, when situations arose, my parents always told me to “just pray about it.”

The fact my husband and I didn’t pray together other than to bless our meals unsettled me and rocked my faith. I didn’t want anyone to know because I was certain every other Christian couple prayed together. It was like a cardinal rule for a good Christian marriage.

I loved my husband and I wanted to stay together. But I didn’t like the situation. Honestly, the only thing I could do was “just pray about it.” Instead of “Run Forrest, Run!” It became, “Pray Julie, Pray!” Originally, my prayers were that my husband would pray with me because I knew better and you NEVER say never, especially to God.

I truly believed Matthew 21:22.

You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”

What I received by praying was far different than what I thought I wanted.

Through the process of praying without ceasing, God changed my heart and He changed my prayers. My heart turned from criticizing my husband, to seeking to understand my husband. My prideful prayers of me telling God how my husband needed to change eventually evolved into prayers of loving my husband for who he has been created to be.

Through the years, my prayers became more powerful. My husband witnessed first-hand how God faithfully answers even my smallest requests.

A few seasons back, I went through some personal challenges. I was really struggling, and I needed help. I asked my husband to pray for me and he did, without hesitation. He also prayed for me without my asking, just because he sensed I needed him to pray.

I cherish those moments when he pulled me close and prayed over me the most beautiful, loving prayers. Those times assured me how much God loves me and how my faithfulness and prayers honored Him and the man He gave me.

In the past, my husband and I have had this running joke that the first thing out of my husband’s mouth is “no.” This may have been what plagued him on our honeymoon, but I always say, “never say never” because he is definitely not the same man I am married to now.

He has since challenged himself to say “yes” more often. In fact, he took his “yes” a step further and ordered “promise cards” printed with the words: “because I said I would.” He hands these out at random times to people. This year for my birthday my husband gave me a promise card. It was the best gift a wife like me could ever receive. The words on the card said “I will pray with my wife. Because I said I would.”

enlarging your faith

Over twelve years ago my prayers stemmed from my own selfish motivation to change my husband, but God used them to change me. My consistent and persistent prayers changed the trajectory of our marriage for the better. I never know how or when God will answer my prayers.

But as my faith has grown, so has my trust in God and “knowing” no longer matters. I only do what I am called, which is to obediently seek Him. Today I teach other women how to pray for their husbands as this has simply become an act of obedience in response to an ever-loving God.

enlarging your faithJulie Landreth has a passion for healthy and thriving relationships–especially in marriage and friendship. She is a speaker and a “wife coach” who loves sharing with women her passion for prayer and ways to actively cultivate a thriving marriage.  She leads a growing number of women in San Jose, CA through her curriculum: Consistency and Persistency: The Art of Praying for your Husband. Having been married 12 years, she and her husband have cultivated a marriage filled with intentional love, effective communication, sustainable fun, and a date night every Friday night for the last 9 years. She also finds deliberate ways to spend quality time with her 9-year-old son who shares many of her artistic talents. In addition, she is a freelance photographer and designer. 

If you would like to hear more from Julie and receive 5 Days of Prayers to get you started praying for your husband, please visit her and sign up at
http://eepurl.com/cmn9CX.


Now available! 

In this six-week Bible Study you will, possibly for the first time, truly understand how God wants you to be free. Free from clutter so you can be free to change your world. We have an online version as well as a traditional workbook with DVD option.

Find out more: http://www.kathilipp.com/clutter-free-bible-study/

 

5 Tips for Becoming a Morning Person

5 Tips for Becoming a Morning Person

becoming a morning person

I would have never in a million years have thought I would be writing a post about becoming a morning person. Because I never would have thought I would actually be a morning person.

Friends, I like to sleep. I just do, I love my warm bed, and I love my husband who sleeps in it with me. As I struggle with chronic pain and fatigue, sleep is important for my health. I never dreamed it possible for ME to become an early riser.

However, by God’s grace for the last month or so, I’ve officially become a “morning person.” I wake up at 5am every morning (except weekends) to have time for prayer, Bible study and reading. And it grants me little extra time for work before the kids get up.

 

How did I become a morning person?

 

Honestly, I’m not naturally a morning person. At least I wouldn’t describe myself as one. BUT, I am definitely NOT a night owl.

I’ve tried putting off projects with the excuse that I’ll work on them later, after the kids go to sleep, but the reality is that come 9pm I’m tired and my brain is not functioning productively. All I want to do is lie on the couch and watch a show. While I can do some work in the evenings, I have found my most productive hours are the morning hours.

Even though I might feel tired in the morning, once I get going, those early hours are when I come up with my best ideas and when I’m most focused.

So, when I found myself struggling with more projects than I had time for and frustrated that my “quiet time” for prayer and Bible study always felt rushed. I felt like the Lord wanted me to change some things around.

I desperately wanted to be a good steward of my time and my responsibilities, so I started to pray for “extra time” somewhere. As a wife and mom of four, I desperately needed quiet time before heading into my busy daily schedule.

Then a friend shared with me how she had started waking up early. It was such a blessing for her and asked if I would be interested in trying it?

Um, OK, God, thanks I get it. (Sometimes He’s so direct in answering prayers, right?)

It took me a few days to get on board, but I knew early mornings were the answer to my prayer. I was apprehensive at first as I had tried waking up early before but couldn’t do it consistently. Initially I started with a five-day time commitment. I would wake up at 5am for five days and if I didn’t want to continue I’d go back to my usual wake-up time.

I was sold after day two. My time with the Lord was so sweet.

There was no going back.

 

5 tips to becoming a morning person

 

A few tips that helped me develop a consistent early morning routine:

#1 Pray about it: If you’re feeling like your “quiet time” lacks, or you feel rushed during the day and want to rethink your morning routine, bring it to the Lord. There is nothing in my own strength to make me think I was capable of being an early riser. I needed Jesus to make this happen.

Consider the season you’re in. I had tried to be a morning person before, but it wasn’t the right time. In this life season, I don’t have little ones. My youngest kiddo is six. They all sleep through the night and don’t wake until 7am. My days are not as physically exhausting as they were when I had babies and toddlers.

Becoming a morning person may not be feasible during certain seasons of life. Pray about it. If you feel God speak to your heart that early mornings should be a time to spend together then He will be your strength, but if not, feel free to put it off for another season.

#2 Accountability: Find a friend or group of friends to wake up with you (ideally in the same time zone you are in). Accountability is literally what wakes me up in the morning. I’m part of a group of women who checks in by text every morning.

I know I’m accountable to this group, so I want make sure I get up and send my text to encourage my friends. It helps to know I’m not alone in spending early morning time with the Lord. We share our plans and just have a simple check in every morning.

#3 Set yourself up for success: Waking up early can be hard, but there are things you can do to prepare and make your morning routine go a little more smoothly.

  • Make sure you set your alarm (use a tune to wake you up rather than lull you back to sleep).
  • Set the timer on your coffee pot so the coffee is ready and waiting when you wake up.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Take care of your health. I personally feel more sluggish and struggle waking up when I’m overdoing it with sugar. Consider what your body needs to feel energized.

#4 Focus on what you get not what you’re giving up: Waking up early is hard. Sometimes I just don’t feel like it. But I’ve found it’s more helpful to focus on what I’m saying yes to. Waking up early for me means saying yes to my time with the Lord, and it’s totally worth it.

#5 Save a seat for Jesus: A friend of mine once shared with me how she asked her mom how she maintained such a consistent quiet time. Her mom confessed she saved a seat for Jesus, where she imagined meeting Him every day. She never wanted to keep Jesus waiting.

I love that and totally borrowed it, now Jesus has a seat at my table where I know He’ll meet me every morning at 5am.

If you are considering becoming an early riser trust that the Lord will honor your sacrifice. Like the loaves and fishes I have watched the Lord take my small offering of the first fruits of my time and multiply it. My days feel more meaningful, and I accomplish so much more by offering Him my time before anyone else. I firmly believe God will honor your sacrifice as well.

Are you considering becoming a morning person? Or are you one already? We’d love to hear any tips you have below in the comments.

becoming a morning person Zohary Ross is a life coach, speaker and author of the Aligned Parenting Workbook. Zohary is passionate about encouraging and equipping women to have clearly defined “most importants” and live out their values and priorities. Connect with Zohary at http://zoharyross.com/.

 

Who Owns Who? The Battle With Possession Obsession

Who Owns Who? The Battle With Possession Obsession

possession obsession

When my students and I read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, one line—spoken by the murderous creature to Victor Frankenstein—always gives me a cold chill:

“Slave … You are my creator, but I am your master; obey!”

Each year, I tell my class, “This is such an apt personification of addiction. What starts as a small habit, seemingly under our control, quickly morphs into a monster that takes complete control of our lives.”

I speak from very painful, very personal experience.

Decades ago, when my clutter collecting craze was in full swing, I exhibited many classic signs of addiction.
  1. Inability to Stop. I made up elaborate budgeting spreadsheets. I put cash in envelopes. But every single time I promised myself, “I’m done buying so much stuff!” I’d see something else and make an exception, “Just this once.”
  1. Withdrawal Symptoms. I cut up and canceled credit cards. Then, as my anxiety level would rise and I couldn’t calm myself by running out for a quick shopping spree, I’d open new accounts.
  1. Social Sacrifices. The more stuff took over our home, the less space there was for people. We quit inviting friends and family over because there was no room for them to stay. Or, eventually, even sit.
  1. Solitude. I never shopped with friends. Going on a buying binge had one purpose: to give me my fix, for which I wanted no witnesses.
  1. Secrecy. I hid my purchases from my husband, and he had no idea how many credit cards “we” had. He was clueless to the extent of my possession obsession.
  1. Supply Maintenance. I stockpiled food, toiletries, gifts for upcoming holidays. I started numerous businesses and ordered tons of inventory. Buying these things gave me a thrill. So did storing and counting it all.
  1. Increasingly High Doses. Just as a drug addict needs larger and larger amounts to experience the “high,” I needed to spend more and more, purchasing bigger and better things, to feel the buying buzz.
  1. Risky Behavior. I “stole from Peter to pay Paul” regularly, paying bills just in the nick of time to avoid being charged late fees, having utilities shut off, defaulting on loans.
  1. Financial Difficulties. Our checking account balance was typically so low, I had to call the bank each day to find out how much (if anything) was available for groceries. We ultimately ended up in bankruptcy court.
  1. Relational Difficulties. When my husband discovered how bad things had gotten, he felt completely betrayed. The bankruptcy process was deeply humiliating for him.
If some of these sound scarily familiar, here are four things I want anyone wrestling with possession obsession to know:

 1 — It’s not your fault. 

Slinging blame and wallowing in guilt serve no constructive purpose. Facing the facts and taking personal responsibility do. And the most responsible thing you can do is ask for help. Starting now.

2 — You’re not alone. 

Shame depends on secrecy; addiction thrives in isolation. When you reach out to those who can help and support you, shame’s power breaks and addiction’s grip loosens. You need accountability, both for individual recovery and for financial recovery.

3 — It’s not too late. 

The enemy of your soul says, “You’re beyond all hope!” It’s a lie.

In Romans 7:19-25, the apostle Paul chronicles this vivid description of addiction: “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

And reminds you of the hope that is always available to you:

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

4 — Yes, you can. 

You can address the core issues that trigger your spending sprees and clutter collections. For me, it came down to a combination of “buying to become” and “never enough” syndrome. Over time, I retrained my brain to disconnect my identity from my possessions, and to revel in gratitude for what I already have.

You can find healthy ways to settle the everyday ordinary problems that a possession obsession promises—but utterly fails—to solve. I’d turned pretty much any “negative” emotion into an excuse to spend: sadness, anger, loneliness, and boredom all lifted (albeit temporarily) with a bit of “retail therapy.”

It took time to develop new self-soothing strategies. Over several months, I built a list of my Favorite Free Ways to Feel Better Fast (which you can download at the end of this article!)

You can develop safe systems for making necessary purchases. I always take a list when heading to Safeway or Target. My husband and I pre-plan major purchases. Whenever something catches my eye, I have a pre-decided wait time (yes, even if it’s on sale.)

I write it on my wish list and set a calendar reminder for a week away. Nine times out of ten, when the alert pops up, I think to myself, “I was going to spend how much for that?!?”

If you feel trapped in possession obsession right now, please know that I understand.

And please hear the truth: Your stuff doesn’t have to morph into a monster that enslaves you.

You can do the brave work to break free. You can learn to master your spending and storing habits so that your stuff serves you, not the other way around.

Sign up to receive updates from Cheri, and receive her FREE “15 Favorite Free Ways to Feel Better Fast” PDF.

possession obsessionCheri Gregory is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the Perfect Life and the upcoming Overwhelmed. Her goal is to equip women to relate and create with less drama, more delight. Connect with Cheri on Facebook and at www.CheriGregory.com.

What to do in the Waiting

What to do in the Waiting

what to do in the waiting

by guest blogger, Rachel Lewis

“Today, I am trying to cling to the hope in the midst of an unknown future that lay ahead of me. At times, I just want to fast forward a year, till I know how everything has turned out . . .”  And I pondered, what to do in the waiting.

Facebook reminded me of this post I made a year ago. We had just found out we were pregnant. After 4 consecutive losses. I didn’t know if I should prepare my heart for a loss, or for the possibility of a live baby to bring home.

We were also fostering a baby boy at the time. We’d had him since he was 5 months old, and had just passed the one-year mark of him in our home. Reunification with his birth family seemed imminent. But I didn’t know how, or when, I would have to let go of this baby. And I certainly didn’t know how our family would survive the good-bye.

Our adoptive daughter’s birth mom had also recently contacted me. She wanted back into our daughter’s life. Again. After failing to follow through so many times.

All of this – at the same time. I suppose you can’t blame me for wanting to fast forward. I felt like if I only knew WHAT I was dealing with, I could face it, make a plan, and work through whatever was coming my way. But at the time, our futures remained unknown – at least, to me. And I had little control over any of the outcomes.

All I could do was wait.

Many of you won’t be able to relate to foster parenting, or struggling with fertility. But I guarantee that you have experienced a time when you wanted to hit “fast forward” on life.

Maybe you are waiting for something good to come – a baby, job, degree, promotion, or retirement. Perhaps you are waiting for answers – a diagnosis, resolution to a conflict, or a restoration of a relationship. Then again, maybe you are waiting for something hard – the passing of a loved one, the closing of a business, or the progression of a disease.

None of us loves waiting. Not for our drink at Starbucks. And certainly not for life’s big events.

But as I discovered over the last year, no matter what we are waiting for, our season of surrender is not a passive one. We can make intentional decisions, right in the midst of our unknown, in order to grow stronger in faith, perseverance and character.

Here are some key actions you can take today in your season of what to do in the waiting:

PRAY
Besides praying for only the outcome we want, there are a few key things we can pray for during a time of waiting.

– Pray for God’s will. This is the hardest prayer, because we know our will is often not God’s. It’s a prayer of submission, of laying down the very depths of ourselves to His perfect wisdom.
– Pray for peace. God promises a peace that surpasses all understanding. Pray specifically for a peaceful heart, free of worry and fear.
– Pray for salvation. God is not only concerned about the here and now – he is concerned about eternity. As we faced reunification for our foster son, I began praying that God would bring people into his life who would share the gospel with him when I no longer could. Who do you need to pray for salvation for?
– Pray for growth. In every season of waiting, there is refinement in our faith and character that needs to happen, if we would be open to it. Pray that your eyes are open, and your spirit is willing to grow.

WRESTLE
Just as muscles require being broken down through exercise in order to grow, so does our faith. Our seasons of waiting give us an opportunity to question our beliefs, expand our understanding of God’s character and his role in our lives, and more solidly define what we believe and why.

PREPARE
In the Bible, you will find that God often had his people wait. But they were not to be idle in the process. Instead, they were to prepare for what God ultimately was calling them to. Now is not the time to sit by passively. It is a time to prepare your heart, your home, your skill set, and your faith so that you can be ready when your season of waiting is finally over. Ask yourself, “What is the next right thing I can do?” Then go do it.

PRACTICE GOOD SELF-CARE
In a season of waiting, it is crucial to take stock in your spiritual, emotional, and physical needs, and then invest in meeting those needs. As much as you are able, exercise and eat healthy. Talk with a trusted friend, pastor or therapist. Journal or blog. Find what feeds your soul And take the necessary steps to make it a practice.

Give yourself grace. Waiting is hard. One day, you might feel as though you have got this. The next, you are all tears, anxiety and regret. Give yourself the grace to take your fears and emotions day by day, even moment by moment. Waiting is a marathon – not a sprint.

FIND COMMUNITY
Seek out others who have survived a season of waiting like you are currently in. Be vulnerable about where you are, and allow them to speak the lessons they have learned into your life.

BE PRESENT
We are never guaranteed tomorrow. Either for us, or for our loved ones. It is so tempting to want to live for the futures we are waiting for, and miss out on the gift of today. Be present with your loved ones. And choose to be grateful for every single thing you can. Because tomorrow, they might be gone.

It is now a year later from the day I posted on Facebook. As much as I longed for answers, I now realize I would not have been able to handle all the answers at once. The unknown, while scary, actually served to protect my heart. Had I known what I know now, I would not have had the courage to follow through with God’s call.

Ironically, that season of waiting just gave way to a new season of unknowns.

Our foster son did return home 9 months ago – and we are now waiting to see if his mom will allow us back into his life at all. Our daughter’s birth mom never followed through, though we are open to her in case she is ready to make contact. And the baby we were pregnant with went to be with Jesus shortly after my post on Facebook. But God blessed us with another pregnancy after 5 consecutive losses, and we are only weeks away from holding our new daughter in our arms.

For now, in all these things, we hold onto hope.

And we wait.

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14


Rachel Lewis
Rachel Lewis is a foster, adoptive and birth mom. When she’s not chauffeuring her kids around, you can find her shopping at Trader Joes, drinking coffee, or writing at The Lewis Note.

The 5 Day Love Challenge: Day 5 Love Him with Scripture

The 5 Day Love Challenge: Day 5 Love Him with Scripture

copy_of_love_him_with_prayer_2

Love him with scripture.

Today is the final day of our love challenge, but the reality is, we can keep up these simple habits every day. For our Day 5 challenge to love on your man, I want you to love him with scripture.

I know it comes as no surprise to you that I believe one of the most powerful ways for a woman to love and support her husband is to pray for him. So that is what I’m asking you to do today! Putting some power behind those prayers by putting some scripture into it.

Here are some of my favorite scriptures to pray for Roger:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

What is your husband going through right now? Is he feeling overwhelmed or in a season of life where he feels depressed? Is work stressful or does he just feel a little bored with life? Search out scripture to pray for him for his specific season in life. Envelope him in the love of his Heavenly Father and YOU!


focusonthefamilyWant more? I am over at Focus on the Family radio broadcast today where I share “Simple Ways to Help Your Husband Feel Loved”.  

Listen In and leave a comment about your favorite tip! 

 


101-Simple-Ways-to-Show-Your-Husband-You-Love-Him300 Today is the Last Day to Win!

Answer the Question of the Day on Kathi’s Facebook page for your chance to win a copy of 101 Ways to Tell Your Husband You Love Him!

Today’s question: What Scripture will you prayer over your husband this week?

The 5 Day Love Challenge – Day 4 Love Him with SEX

The 5 Day Love Challenge – Day 4 Love Him with SEX

love_him_with_sex

We’ve made it to Day 4 of our 5 Day Love Challenge, and it’s time to talk about sex, ladies. Let’s love him with sex. It is an important to marriage and feeling connected.

Your man needs and wants sex, probably more than you do.

If a man feels like he’s desirable to you, the love of his life, the other areas he may be struggling in (work, parenting, etc.) somehow seem more manageable.

One time this week, it’s your job to initiate sex. For some of you, this is going to be way beyond your comfort zone. Do what you can – if it means snuggling, do that. The idea here is to take the first step and be open and tender.

In my experience, it’s better to shoot for earlier in the week to “make your move,” so that if things come up (he has to work late, sick kids, etc.) you still have some time to check this off your list. If you love him with sex, you will make your man’s week! Because we all want to be desired.

In preparation for your romantic evening, I encourage you to pick up a book on the subject. Let it be your inspiration in case things have become a little predictable (or downright non-existent). I particularly like these two books by Dr. Kevin Lehman: Sex Begins in the Kitchen and Sheet Music”.

Want more?

I was thrilled to be asked by Focus on the Family to write an article about Positively Supporting Your Husband’s Happiness. That article can be found here. I hope it encourages you to continue the good work of building up your man!


101-Simple-Ways-to-Show-Your-Husband-You-Love-Him300
Win! Day 4!

Answer the Question of the Day on Kathi’s Facebook page for your chance to win a copy of 101 Ways to Tell Your Husband You Love Him!

Today’s question: What is one way you can let your husband know you still find him sexy?

The 5 Day Love Challenge: Day 3 41 Ways to Love Your Man with Actions!

The 5 Day Love Challenge: Day 3 41 Ways to Love Your Man with Actions!

love_him_with_actions
For today’s challenge, we are talking about how to love your man with actions. I hit the streets … OK, I asked my Facebook peeps to write the blog post for me. How do you love your man with actions?!?

Here are 41 Ways that you said you love your man with actions

  1. Naomi Williams – Mine aren’t appropriate to post openly in the comments section.
  2. Heather Harbeke Prouty – Change the sheets regularly! Nothing like having amazing smelling sheets when it’s time to go to bed!
  3. Angela Springer Hood – I mailed him a thank you card full (front and back) with things I was thankful for that he does for our family.
  4. Olivia Myers – Clear the driveway of a million feet of snow (slight exaggeration?) before he’s home. This avoids tire marks … something he despises!
  5. Shirley Devuono Rempe – l making sure my kids are calm, the house is tidy (maybe not perfect but toys away, etc), and supper ready to eat when he gets home! Not always easy when i run a home day care, but I try daily to do it
  6. Vicki Limes One thing I do is have someone take my phone number to him. It might say something like this “You’re HOT! Call me 214-555-5555!” (My real number of course) I usually ask an older teen or young adult because it also reinforces to them the value of flirting with your husband!
  7. Nancy Whiting My husband gets up very early, so to make it easier for him, I have his work clothes put together in a ‘clothes package’ for him, and set on the table by the wood stove the night before so he doesn’t have to take the time to even have to think about it in the morning.
  8. Laurie Batdorff Hays Asking what would help him most at home. He may not care about something you think he does! Cooking his favorite meal. Time and space to collect his thoughts after work so he can switch gears.
  9. Melanie Barnard Witkovskie – I try to make his favorite meals and cook for him in general. I also try to make sure I don’t look like I just rolled out of bed when he gets home. Being a stay-at-home mom with a baby, it’s sometimes difficult, but I try to at least put on a little makeup and fix my hair! I want to look nice for him!
  10. Dana DeVries – I text him love notes while he’s at work. I became interested in football and basketball to cheer his teams with him. I ask him how I can pray for him and follow up on those things. I make sure to look him in the eyes and smile when he comes home.
  11. Traci Sheldon – I help him find reasons, resources and opportunities to do his hobbies. I also supported the remodeling of the “man cave” and did not complain about the cost or time it took to accomplish for him to have a space for himself.
  12. Sue Hall Walsh – I put sticky notes in his work bag, lunch bag or car to let him know I’m thinking of him during the day. It gives me the chance to let him know how much I appreciate him. Something I often think of after he’s left the house for the day.
  13. Lisa Evans Fulton – Last night my husband was snowblowing the driveway in the dark so I wouldn’t get stuck this morning, and he slipped and fell on his back. He insisted on finishing the job, so I passed some Advil out the window to him and then had a heating pad ready when he came inside and rubbed his sore spots. He insists on taking care of me .. .a few Advil and a heating pad hardly seemed like adequate thanks, but he was grateful.
  14. Karey Lehrman Spidell – Keeping his favorite snacks stocked. Making sure the lunch stuff is stocked. And easy to grab!
  15. Simone Dankenbring – My husband enjoys watching sports, especially the Blazers and Seahawks. I acknowledge and show how much I’m interested in something that he enjoys. I also keep him company and snuggle next to him during the games. When they win, I cheer along with him and when they lose, I always remind him that there’s “next time.”
  16. SueAnn Kavanagh I set the timer on the coffee maker, so when he gets up the coffee is all made! I know it is a little thing, but it makes his heart smile every time I do it!
  17. Susy Flory – Buying his favorite red licorice from the gourmet chocolate shop!
  18. Lisa Johnson Blose – Sleep on the couch because he works so hard during the week I don have the heart to wake him when he’s snoring. (He also will do the same for me.) Love my man!
  19. Bonnie Wild – Cleaning his trophy BBQ smoker so it’s ready for the next wonderful meal by the Bobby Flay wannabe (I say that lovingly).
  20. Tonya Walter – Make his lunch every day. Even when the kids are off school.
  21. Carole Landrith Hanna – Ironing his work shirts … without whining
  22. Anna McCullough – Ditto Olivia’s post about clearing the snow from the driveway before it’s driven on! Also giving him time to decompress when he comes home from work.
  23. Jeannette Shields I would eat a piece of fish for him … I hate fish but if he likes it, this is what I’d do, but definitely not all the time!!!
  24. Robin Lord Dilallo – I stop what I’m doing, if I can, and help him with whatever is stressing him out at the moment. Wallet? Keys? Need to talk after a tough day?
  25. Chris Moss – Today I had the emissions test done on my husband’s car and registered it at the MVD. Then I had it washed, buffed and hand-waxed.
  26. Michelle Brown – I like to leave frequent voice mails for him to thank him for providing for our family and wishing him a great day! Once in awhile I will deliver a milkshake or smoothie to him in the middle of the work day.
  27. Melissa D. Gillispie – My husband and I are a team. I cleaned the kitchen while he helped our daughter with her homework. He always has a clean bathroom.
  28. Angie Bell – He likes when I go outside and shoot hoops with him. He loves basketball and he loves me. Double bonus.
  29. Cathy Lo Davis – He loves freshly brewed ice tea, so I make sure to have the pitcher full when he comes from from work.
  30. Tanya Aitken – I have his favorite drink in the freezer so it’s nice & cold (usually tea) waiting for him. I set a pair of his comfiest lounge clothes on the bed and when he walks in, I don’t say anything. He gets dressed and walks out with a smile, as I hold out his drink for him. He smiles and says, you did it again.
  31. Heidi Bonner – Actually doing those small jobs he asks me to do.
  32. Heather K Seay – Feed our animals (3 outside dogs and 1 cat). A chore he despises.
  33. Jamie Jerome – I stock up on his favorite cut of meat in advance, when on sale, make beer bread in advance and freeze it, and make sure that his favorite brew is on hand. (Plus, it’s fun to be preggers and at the liquor store. People are hilarious.) This keeps us ready for a “stay home date” any night for 30 minutes or less. He also won’t go to bed until things are picked up and tidy and the dishes are done even if he is coming off an 18 hour shift. So on nights I know he won’t have energy left, I do it, no matter how exhausted I am from my day.
  34. Sara Graham – I baked brownies filled with Reeces Peanut Butter cups and Reeces Pieces. I also made fancy sandwiches for his lunches and had coffee ready in a travel mug. Also I cleaned up some of the things around the house that drive him crazy
  35. Jo Leneb – Make sure there is always something in the fridge for lunches and snacks.
  36. Renee Simpson Holden – Taking out the trash, instead of asking him to do it.
  37. Pam Wood Humphrey – Polish his shoes.
  38. Amber Schumacher – Picking up dog poo before he gets home! Making his coffee and setting the timer so he wakes up to fresh brewing coffee. Making his lunch for the next day (something out of the norm).
  39. Christie Terry McKay – Buying his favorite snacks and candy and giving him time to decompress every day when he comes home from work.
  40. Emily Wilkerson Wilson – Take out the trash so he can sleep 10 more minutes.
  41. Lindsey Cuartilon – This is good stuff! All I can come up with is that I don’t run away and leave him with all these kids! Lol.

So, there you have it — 41 ways to love your man with actions. Tell us in the comments below how your love your man with actions.


WIN! Day 3101-Simple-Ways-to-Show-Your-Husband-You-Love-Him300

Answer the Question of the Day on Kathi’s Facebook page for your chance to win a copy of 101 Ways to Tell Your Husband You Love Him!

Question of the Day: What is one thing you can do for your man this week that tells him how much you love him?

The 4 Day Love Challenge – Day 2: Love Him with Stuff

The 4 Day Love Challenge – Day 2: Love Him with Stuff

love_him_with_stuff

I get frustrated at times with the idea we all get to determine how much our partner loves us by the size of the gift and whether the gesture of love went viral on YouTube. Yuck. We don’t need over the top. I think we just need a little something special for our men, presented in a slightly special way. Let’s learn how to love him with stuff in Day 2!

I wrote about this in my book The Marriage Project:

A tree ran into my car.

Yes, you read that sentence correctly.

I am blessed to live in Northern California where we bundle up in our winter woolens if there is a slight chill in the air, and the only snow we see is when someone forgets to use their Head & Shoulders shampoo.

So it was out of the ordinary when the storm rolled through town. Power outages were reported all over the city, fender benders littered the highways, and the Starbucks on our corner was closed.

Obviously, this was a desperate situation.

When I got home from my morning speaking engagement, I parked my van and ran inside, desperate to warm up and dry out.

I went upstairs to our bedroom, where my husband was working at his desk. Not five minutes after I got changed into dry clothes, Roger and I heard a big crack and looked out in horror and amazement as our giant oak tree decided to take up residence on top of my car.

All we could do was watch, laugh, and thank God that no one was in the car at the time.

Since then, I’ve been cruising around town in a series of rental cars until my van is fully functioning again. I’ve tried out hybrids and subcompacts, 4-runners and sedans.

Until yesterday. Yesterday, the rental agency ran out of the teeny-tiny cars I was renting to save money. They asked me if, for a few dollars more, I would like an upgrade to a nicer car that was available right away…a current model black Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Um…OK.

I knew, being in possession of that car, I had to turn our ho-hum, stay-at-home night into an out-on-the-town date night. You wouldn’t want an automobile like that going to waste, now would you?

Roger and I used a gift card to get a couple of lattes at a Starbucks drive-thru, and then took a drive into the mountains, sipping our drinks and enjoying the scenery and the company. A perfect date—all for the small price of an upgraded rental car.

There was just something so fun and adventurous about that car that it turned that silly little latte into a memory that will last us a lifetime.

So this week, I want you to get him a little something, but give it to him in a special way.

Here are some ideas for a little something to love him with stuff (all of these can be had for under $5):
  • His favorite candy bar (that he doesn’t have to share with you).
  • A magazine that he loves but is too cheap to subscribe to.
  • His favorite sports drink.
  • 5 packs of his favorite gum.
  • His favorite Starbucks drink delivered to work.
  • A frozen yogurt.
  • A guy-flick movie rental.
  • Baking him his favorite chocolate chip cookies.
  • A small bottle of manly scented lotion with the promise of a back rub.
  • $5 iTunes gift card (or Google Play for our Windows guys.)
  • A video game rental.
  • $5 in quarters for the local arcade.
  • A new ringtone.

OK – now to give it to him in a special way. You could…

  • Leave it on the dashboard of his truck.
  • Hide it in his computer bag.
  • Tie it to the dog (as long as it’s not edible…)
  • Have one of your kids deliver it.
  • Put it on his pillow.
  • Have Amazon send it to his office.

What are you going to get him to love him with stuff – and how are you going to give it to him? Share your ideas in the comments below so we can all learn from each other!

GO…



101-Simple-Ways-to-Show-Your-Husband-You-Love-Him300

Win! 

Answer the Question of the Day on Kathi’s Facebook page for your chance to win a copy of 101 Ways to Tell Your Husband You Love Him!

Today’s question: What small ways do you make your husband feel loved?

5 Day Love Challenge – Day 1 Love Him with WORDS

5 Day Love Challenge – Day 1 Love Him with WORDS

love_him_with_words

Your first challenge is simple. All I want you to do is say something nice to your husband. That’s it. Really. Let’s just love him with words.

Because the truth is: often we wives have the power to change the way our husbands walk through the world by choosing the words we speak to them.

How you do it is up to you.

Here are a few ideas for ways to love him with words:

  • Say it to him
  • Text it to him
  • Put it on a Post-it Note in his truck
  • Call him
  • Whisper it to him
  • Put it in a card in his computer case
  • Write it in lipstick on the bathroom mirror

Have you got your great idea of how you’re going to say it? Great. Now what to say … maybe a simple “I love you” or “I appreciate how you _______ .” Maybe you want to tell him he is sexy or handsome.

But don’t worry if you’re having a hard time coming up with something. I have you covered! Here are some additional ideas for how to love him with words. Something to get the creative juices flowing. These are from The Husband Project: 21 Post-it Note Sized Encouragements.

And remember, tell me in the comments what you did (or are planning to do) to love him with words. (And post a picture to my Facebook Page so I can share your love with the world!)


101-Simple-Ways-to-Show-Your-Husband-You-Love-Him300
Win! 

Answer the Question of the Day on Kathi’s Facebook page for your chance to win a copy of 101 Ways to Tell Your Husband You Love Him!

Today’s question: What words most encourage your husband? Scripture, I love you’s, or I appreciate you’s?