Blog: Encouragement

STEALING LILACS-Creating Beauty

Posted: May 9, 2015

I was four the first time it happened. “Mommy why are we stealing these lilacs. Do they belong to us?” The snap of the branches and the sweet aroma of those vintage purple lilacs put such a radiant smile on my mother’s face that I must have been mistaken. My quiet and tender mother would never do anything wrong. As I clung to her hand I had a bounce in my step and felt secure as we headed back to our compact bungalow nestled in a small village in Germany. World War Two had left bomb shelters, broken dreams and poverty throughout Germany. Beauty and culture was beginning to emerge from all the rubble, but we still were still poor. We had no garden or flowerbeds to call our own, but there were misplaced lilac bushes and lonely fruit trees scattered throughout the countryside. My gentle mother was confined to…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, Beauty Unleashed, Encouragement, Legacy, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Pleasure, resilient

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THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – Negotiate Options

Posted: April 6, 2015

I attended a joyful celebration this past weekend, a wedding shower. The evening was electric with laughter, games and anticipation for a glorious marriage. I made a point of sitting with several “older” women who had been married for a long time and I wanted to hear why their marriages had been so successful over the years. Firstly, let me say that we all agreed it was more difficult to maintain a healthy marriage these days because of all the distractions, options, wants and yes…selfishness. But here are some of the things we discussed that helped to maintain the friendship, love and companionship in a marriage. Going into the marriage agreeing: “divorce is simply not an option.” There is no plan “B”, it only plan “A”. (There is a disclaimer for abusive marriages). Letting go of some selfish expectations. For example: One woman told me she had expectations of what…

Posted in: Balancing life, Commitment, Communication, companionship, Differences, Encouragement, Expectations, Friendship, fUN, Good Marriage, Harmony, Laughter, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Understanding each other, Valued, weddings

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A K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – Interruptions

Posted: March 3, 2015

There is one interruption that I know would put a huge smile on my face. Imagine this. It’s my birthday coming up and my husband gives me a simple card and an umbrella. Inside the card it says this. “I hear it rains in Paris at this time of the year.” It would take me but a minute to go down into the basement and get my suitcase. Most interruptions are not pleasant and come at inopportune times and have the possibility to wreck our ideal life. I’m not talking about the little annoyances like running out of gas in the middle of winter or spilling coffee all over your new white shirt. I’m talking about interruptions that change the course of our hopes and dreams. For Instance: One of your unemployed children is moving back home. You just discovered that your spouse is addicted to pornography. Your children are…

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty from the Inside Out, Commitment, Communication, companionship, Conflict, Encouragement, Finding Truth, Friendship, Good Marriage, Harmony, Intimacy, Laughter, Listening, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Peace, pornography, power of words

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A K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-“It’s About Time”

Posted: February 13, 2015

How can we bulletproof our marriages in a culture that is too busy to spend intimate time with the people we love? Rick Warren in his best selling book, “What on Earth Am I Here For?” says that the way to spell LOVE is T.I.M.E. I totally agree! Last weekend I had the privilege and JOY to speak to a group of families with young children about taking TIME to re-connect with our spouses and children. Let me share my points: T. TAKE TIME TO LOOK UP AND DIG DOWN It’s time to lay down our technology; look into each other’s eyes and engage in intimate, honest and meaningful conversation. We also need to dig down behind the words and our emotions to find out what the other person is really saying. For example, when a wife says: “Don’t touch me”, it could mean: “You said you would take out…

Posted in: Balancing life, Communication, companionship, Differences, Encouragement, Expectations, Faith, Finding Truth, Freedom, Freedom from Busyness, Friendship, fUN, God' Love, Good Marriage, Harmony, Intimacy, Kindness, Laughter, Life of Jesus, Listening, love, Making Wise Choices, Pain Pleasure, Patience, Peace, Pleasure, power of words, Resentment, self gratification

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THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-“Stuff Managers”

Posted: January 24, 2015

Let’s be honest, most of us are “stuff managers”. We go to work in the morning to make money to buy stuff. Then when we bring it home we have to find a place to put this stuff. When there is no more room, we put our stuff into plastic containers with labels on them and find room in the basement or the garage to store this stuff. Or, we might have to dig through our existing stuff so we can give it away to make room for more stuff. Or, we might have to rent a storage container or locker room to store our stuff. Often times we don’t even know what stuff to use; should we use our golf clubs, kayak, boat, swimming pool, bikes, motor home or just sit at home and linger on the deck? Or should we sit down with our day timers or phones…

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty from the Inside Out, Communication, Encouragement, Good Marriage, Intimacy, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Understanding each other

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THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – A Place of Refuge

Posted: December 20, 2014

The world can be a harsh place these days. Take a few minutes to browse the CNN news and I know when you walk away your heart will be wrecked and sad. There is so much anger and hatred in our world, yet I know that we all long for a place of beauty, safety and comfort.  Besides the local spa I am not sure how many other places you will find this refuge.  So it has to be our marriages and our homes. This last year has been an extremely challenging year in my workplace and grieving the loss of my mother. Not to mention the day to day struggles that all of us encounter.  Yet I am so blessed to be able to walk through our door each evening and run into my husband Jack’s arms. He is a safe place of refuge by listening to my rambling,…

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty Unleashed, Communication, companionship, Encouragement, Friendship, Good Marriage, Harmony, Kindness, love, Making Wise Choices, Pleasure, Uncategorized, Understanding each other, Valued

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UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE- FALLING OUT OF LOVE (Part 2)

Posted: August 15, 2014

I get all warm and tingly when I find a gorgeous pair of designer shoes at 70% off the last sale price.  Or, if I find out that one of my articles is being published and I’m actually going to get paid for it. But that glow quickly evaporates over the next couple of hours or days. I’m not “in love with the shoes or articles”; they just give me a lovely jolt of temporary bliss.  But I’m afraid we might expect that same kind of pleasure rush in our relationships and it may be our gauge for determining whether or not we are in love. We live in a very selfish and pleasure seeking world and I think we have confused the definition of love. “Love is directed outward toward others and not inward toward ourselves. It is not a feeling but a decision to meet others’ needs.” So if…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, Commitment, Communication, Conflict, Differences, Encouragement, Expectations, Faith, Finding Truth, Forgiveness, God' Love, Good Marriage, Intimacy, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Patience, Pleasure, Resentment, Uncategorized, Understanding each other

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UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE- PURSUING GREATNESS “FOR THE TEAMS SAKE”

Posted: July 12, 2014

A young man by the name of LeBron James is arguably the greatest basketball player of this generation. Over the past four years he has led his team, the “Miami Heat” to four National Basketball Association finals, winning two championships. Lebron has command of all the basic skills required for basketball including power, speed, shooting and defensive ability. There are other stars that possess equivalent individual skills. But the thing that sets LeBron apart is his ability to recognize and utilize the gifting and capabilities of his mates and deliver the ball to them when they are in the best position to succeed. For example: three point shots, a mid range jump shot or a drive to the basket. There is great blessing which flows through marriages when partners view each other as team mates rather than competitors. When there is a mutual willingness, a couple will recognize the respective…

Posted in: Commitment, Communication, companionship, Differences, Encouragement, Expectations, Friendship, fUN, Good Marriage, Harmony, Making Wise Choices, Patience, power of words, Understanding each other

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UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – My Husband Speaks Frankly about Honor

Posted: June 7, 2014

Conflict and crudeness seems to be the order of the day in our present throwaway generation.  Just spend some time watching sitcoms and real life T.V., and it will quickly become evident that the concept of “Honor” appears to be a quaint notion from somewhere in the past. Yet I would submit that “Honor” is a widely taught subject of the Holy Scriptures. A simple definition of the word is “a value or appreciation, esteem, favorable, regard, respect.” A better understanding of the word may help if we take a look at its counterpart: “dishonored”, which in its strongest form means to “treat shamefully and even humiliated.” Beginning with God, we are taught to “Honor” a wide range of individuals including authorities, civil, social and church leaders, and parents. In addition, “Honor” is an essential ingredient in the home to bring about harmony and free couples to be all that…

Posted in: 5 things, Beauty from the Inside Out, Communication, companionship, Encouragement, Freedom, Friendship, God' Love, Good Marriage, Harmony, Intimacy, love, Making Wise Choices, power of words, Respect, Understanding each other

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UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – A GOOD WIFE

Posted: May 11, 2014

In my first marriage I was more concerned about getting my own way, rather than focusing on being a good wife.  I thought if everything went my way, I would be happy and organically I would become that good wife. Selfishness is so blind and foolish. Let’s be very clear about something. Being a good wife does not mean being a door mat or a shrinking violet. For I am neither. I am still the student in my marriage, but there are a few things I have actually learned. Take today for example: Every spring when it’s time to clean up our yard I declare that “I am not going to pick pine needles out of the lava rocks this year.”  But I see how hard my dear Jack works in the yard doing all the trimming and clean up, and I know someone has to pick up all those…

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty from the Inside Out, Commitment, Communication, companionship, Encouragement, Expectations, Faith, God' Love, Good Marriage, Kindness, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Pleasure, Understanding each other

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