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5 Ways to Exit our Comfort Zone

Posted: October 27, 2016

We love the comfort zone of habits. Sitting in our usual church pews, visiting with the same friends, eating at our favourite restaurant and travelling the same route to work each morning take the guesswork out of our complicated life. It’s easier to stay home and watch Netflix series, lounge around in our P.J’s and converse through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Staying within our comfort zone is like a security blanket that keeps us from worrying or looking stupid. But it can also make us predictable and boring. We need to know when it’s time to let go and move into a new season. Yesterday on my walk I came across a pear orchard, splendid in its brilliant harvest colours. I was busy clicking pictures when I noticed a single pear hanging on for dear life. I could almost hear it saying: “I like it here. Leave me alone, I’m…

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty Unleashed, Boring marriage, comfort zones, Encouragement, Freedom, Friendship, fulfillment, Good Marriage, happiness, joy, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, patterns, weeping

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De-Clutter Your Marriage-9 Simple Ways

Posted: October 3, 2016

One of these days I will de-clutter and re-organize my walk in closet. “One of those days” came on January 3 of this year when a portion of the closet broke away from the wall and dumped itself in the middle of the floor. As I sneezed through the attempt to rescue the drywall-covered mess, I came up with a plan. This was my time to rid the closet of all unnecessary clutter. I threw the rest of the clothes on the floor and added to that pile all the “stuff” out of my bins. Then began the ruthless process of de-cluttering and disposing. If I hadn’t worn it in the last 2 years or didn’t like it, it went into the “giveaway” pile. I was shocked to realize how much “stuff” was lurking and cluttering up my life. We Accumulate Unhealthy Habits There are times we need to STOP…

Posted in: Balancing life, Communication, de-clutter, Expectations, finances, frustrations, good conversation, Good Marriage, happiness, Intimacy, messes, Simple, Understanding each other

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Winning at All Costs: Can you Afford it?

Posted: September 6, 2016

Today I have invited my friend Deb DeArmond as my guest blogger. Deb and her husband Ron are authors, teach at marriage conferences and have written a brilliant book called DON’T GO TO BE ANGRY: Stay up and Fight. I highly recommend this book for its wisdom and practical tools for a Godly and healthy marriage. Below is just a snippet of what you will find in their authentic teaching. DEB’S STORY: “You process faster than I do. You talk faster than I do. And if you want to “win”—you’re on a roll. But if you want the best solution Deb, one we can both fully support, we need to slow this conversation down and really listen to one another.” It was a moment. Do I want to win? Or do I want the best solution? My solution IS the best one, therefore, I win! Good thing my husband, Ron,…

Posted in: angry, Communication, companionship, Conflict, Differences, fighting, Finding Truth, good conversation, Good Marriage, honesty, Listening, Making Wise Choices, wining, winning

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Respect: 12 Examples for Happiness

Posted: August 13, 2016

After 30 years of being married I finally learned that respect is a husband’s greatest need.  Finally, I found the perfect formula for a marriage and of course, it’s in the Bible: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy…” (Ephesians 5:25). It goes on to say: “…and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). If this simple but challenging principle is lived out, especially during difficult seasons, it is a sound solution for a happy marriage. It saddens me to see marriages breaking up because of selfishness and a sense of entitlement that says: “He/she is not making me happy and meeting my needs, and I don’t want to be married anymore.” First of all, we are the only one responsible for our happiness. It  will astound us that when we show respect to our husbands the…

Posted in: communicate, companionship, decisions, Expectations, Friendship, fulfillment, Good Marriage, happiness, Harmony, Making Wise Choices, power of words, Respect, Understanding each other

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RESTLESS-Surviving Overabundance

Posted: July 25, 2016

  Lately I spent a lot of time with “little people” who love a packed fun filled day. Halfway through a swim, card game or mini golf expedition they become restless and the question of the hour is always, “So nana, what are we going to do next?” Grownups are not much different. We’re always talking about the “next best golf game, next vacation, next big pay cheque” and on and on. We are living in an era of over-abundance and it is hurting us. When we allow over-abundance for little people, we instil selfishness, narcissism and an attitude of entitlement. Who wants to be around that type of whiney, unhappy children? Unfortunately as grown-ups we continue to have that restless nature. Sadly, those character traits don’t bode well in a marriage relationship. Our wedding vows did not say, “Love, cherish and honour until we become restless and look for…

Posted in: Christ, Commitment, companionship, Control, Expectations, Friendship, fulfillment, Good Marriage, happiness, Kindness, Life of Jesus, marriagechallenge, narcissistic, restless, selfish, true love

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Overcoming Resentment

Posted: June 14, 2016

Statistics explain that resentment is the number one killer of marriages. That may seem shocking or surprising but think about it this way. Two people come into an intimate relationship with different personalities, unspoken expectations, various cultural backgrounds and wanting the other person to make them blissfully happy. The silent, toxic killer is the “unspoken expectation.” For example: You’ve had a crushing day at work, gritted your teeth through the traffic jams, picked up groceries on your way and now it’s time to make a healthy family meal. Your husband picked up the children and by the time you arrive home everyone is hungry, tired and crabby.   While you are trying to cook a meal, empty the dishwasher and keep the children happy, your husband is laying back on the recliner checking CNN news and Sports Illustrated. Every time you look over your feel taken for granted, frustrated and angry….

Posted in: communicate, Expectations, Friendship, good conversation, Good Marriage, Harmony, honesty, Intimacy, Listening, Resentment, SEX, true love, Understanding each other

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Our Homes, Our Havens

Posted: May 7, 2016

When life gets tough we need to know there is an escape hatch. We all need a safe place where we kick off our shoes, stop the pretend and rummage through the fridge for some comfort food. We long for someone to look us in the eyes and ask, “Honey, did you have a hard day?” “Tell me what happened today.” It’s important for us that the other person puts down their hand held device, pours us a favourite drink and then listens. Our souls crave to be accepted for who we are. We don’t need more judgment or further expectations. Our homes need to be that safe haven where we find acceptance, beauty, understanding and love. It’s the place where face-to-face communication matters more than keeping up with social media. It doesn’t matter if you life in a 800 square foot condo, a mobile home, a fixer upper or…

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty Unleashed, blessing, Communication, companionship, Encouragement, entertainment, Expectations, Freedom, Friendship, happiness, happy, havens, heart of God, homes, hospitality, Life of Jesus, Listening

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MY TOP 3 NEEDS

Posted: March 16, 2016

We have needs. We need food to stay alive. Sleep to stay healthy, focused and refreshed. Money to buy necessities. But we also have deep emotional needs that must be met. This is more than our “love languages”; this digs below the surface to see how our needs and love languages marry up. For example, I know my three love languages are: Acts of service, words of affirmation and physical touch. But here is an example of how those are connected with my needs: Acts of Service turn into – “When I ask for help I really need it!” I love it when Jack washes my car or picks up some groceries. Those beautiful, loving gestures respond to my love language. But my NEED is somewhat different. I am a very independent woman and don’t need help very often but when I do ask for it, I really NEED you…

Posted in: Acts of Service, Beauty from the Inside Out, Communication, companionship, Encouragement, Expectations, Friendship, Good Marriage, Harmony, Intimacy, Listening, love, needs, true love, Valued

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A Valentine Grinch or True Love?

Posted: February 12, 2016

This may shatter your illusion of what I stand for, but I am the “Valentine Grinch”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to steal the love out of Valentines Day, in fact I’m trying to bring it in and set it right. Did you notice? As soon as the Christmas decorations are put away, the stores are covered in red and white. Valentine decorations, cards, trinkets, chocolates and every kind of knicky-knack under the sun cover the shelves of almost every store you walk into. This has nothing to do with love. I’m against the deceptive lure of feeling guilt if I don’t buy into this lavish, expensive and slick marketing ploy. I rebel against paying double the price for flowers and sitting in overcrowded expensive restaurants. Instead, I am all for buying into loving my husband every day of the year. Not out of guilt, but out of…

Posted in: companionship, Expectations, Friendship, gifts, Good Marriage, happiness, Harmony, Listening, love, meaningful, time, true love, valentines

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Our Search for Happiness

Posted: January 8, 2016

More than anything we want someone, something that makes us happy. If we did a survey of what people wanted most for 2016 their answers would probably be: “I just want happiness.” What in fact we are looking for is a quick injection of serotonin and oxytocin. These are our favourite brain chemicals because they release pleasure, a feeling of well being, accomplishment and happiness. Our bodies and brains are designed to receive this wonderful feeling of pleasure. We look for it in our circumstances, to our husbands, our jobs and too often from our social media posts. We love the sound of the ping on our phones, the number of likes on our Facebook posts, the flash of a new text or the swoosh of our inbox telling us we have new mail. Those circumstances make us feel good and serotonin is released. When we begin a new relationship,…

Posted in: community, fulfillment, happiness, isolated, joy, Pleasure, search, serotonin

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