Tag Archives: relationships

we talked, we ate, we laughed

31 May

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Late in the afternoon, I got a call from my sweet hubby. We hadn’t gotten around to making plans for celebrating our anniversary. With birthday season, Memorial day celebrations, Mother’s day gatherings, and keeping track of a houseful of schedules, we hardly felt we needed one more event. Never-the-less, Mark was not about to let this day slip by!

So, dinner it was. We found a wonderful restaurant tucked just below street level in the historic part of town. We had the place to ourselves, or at least it felt like it. If others were there, we didn’t notice.

We talked. We ate. We laughed. We simply enjoyed each other’s company without any distractions. It was like cool refreshing water after a long run. And we had been running, not literally, but busy entertaining lots of people we love.

Life is so full, it is easy to let essential things get crowded out. I am thankful to my husband for setting the example for me – to not neglect the nurturing of our marriage.

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Anything worth doing…

23 May

I sat down on the plane next to a young man. With his laptop open, he was busy at work. We exchanged greetings. Not used to traveling alone, I had brought a needlework project to pass the time. It turned out to be much bigger and more detailed than I expected. I had been inspired by my mother-in-law who has a way of making gorgeous works of art with a needle and thread! Looking down at where to begin, I felt a bit overwhelmed. The young man with the laptop paused from his work and looked over at mine. He simply stated, “Anything worth doing takes time and hard work, but in the end it’s worth the effort.”

Looking back to that day, 22 years ago, being pregnant with our 5th daughter, I know he was right.

Marriage, raising children, supporting a family, nurturing relationships all take work, endless, tiring, draining work.

Was it worth it? Is it still worth the effort? Would I do it all over again? (Glad I don’t have to, but YES! YES! YES!

– Last night I had a date with just one of my daughters. (very precious time)

– Sunday we had all 14 of our children plus spouses and friends all together for a picnic. (a mom and dad’s heart doesn’t get much fuller than that!)

– I just got home from taking the younger half of the family fishing. ( 10 Blue Gills – and no, I don’t fish, I just detangle fishing line)

– I have a husband that is taking me out tonight because he loves me. (What to wear???)

Life isn’t perfect. Our relationships are not perfect, but they are always worth the work!
I am so glad I never gave up!

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By the way, after many years, I did finally finish the needlework project.

a contagious love for family

11 Oct

My daughter came home with an all too common description of an attitude about family life.  It wasn’t her view, rather it is one often heard at ones’ work place, waiting in the grocery line,  or talking with a friend.

“My kids are brats!”

“Unfortunately, I have to take care of my kid this weekend.”

“I can’t wait until they grow up and move out!”

Likely, if this is what is spoken of the children, what is said about the spouse is probably just as bad. This kind of comment comes near to guaranteeing an unhappy home!  They are a reflection of the parents bad attitudes and have life long affects on the children and marriage.  Word’s are powerful. They can be used to tear down or build up.Take time to reflect…

What do my words say to  those I love?

What have I said about my spouse to others?

What damage have I done to my family?

How can I begin to rebuild relationships?

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As the sun rises with each day, we are each given a new beginning, a choice.

Like Anne of Green Gables  says, “today is a new day without any mistakes in it!”

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 I choose to not only bear with each person’s  idiosyncrasies, but to take delight in them.

I will take time to whisper words of  appreciation into their ears.

I will let them know I believe in them and encourage them.

I will tell them of my unconditional love.

I will speak highly of them in the presence of others.

I will teach them to measure their own words…

How do they talk to each other?

How do they speak to us, as parents?

How do they portray their siblings to others?

How can they rebuild those fragile relationships they may have damaged?

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We highly value family life.  

Whether in the work place, in the grocery line,

or talking with a friend may our words portray a contagious love for our family.

Set Priorities for your Family and Stick to Them!

18 Aug

Living in such a fast paced society, if we are not careful our families will be swept into the current and pulled places we may not want to go.

“Are we asking questions that help evaluate the priorities of our lives?”

– What is most important in our lives? Are we living in such a way to preserve or enhance how we spend our days?

-How does our family spend time together and is there any way it could be improved on? What is stealing away our time?

-What are the most important things we want to teach our children? Are we  prioritizing the time to teach them in an effective way?

-What could we change to better serve each other and others, as a family?

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…just a few things to think about at the start of a new school year

My Lessons in Grace With “Great Aunt” (part 3)

3 May

Arriving home yesterday after being gone for several days, I had a bit of laundry to catch up on. (Let me clarify, this was not the children’s laundry! They had, of course, done theirs. ) I am speaking of Mark’s and my own.  After greeting the family with many hugs and kisses, I  began the washing process.  I am not sure at what point in life my love for laundry began, but I truly enjoy it! Years ago, I hung the cloth diapers out on the line and was impressed  at how the sun seemed to whiten them up.  As I was pinning up the clothes yesterday, my mind was drawn to fond memories with Great Aunt.

At the time she moved in with us, Great Aunt was able to get around pretty well.  Although she used a crutch, we weren’t sure if its purpose was to steady herself or a weapon of aggression! On  several occasions she would threateningly shake it at the children, while giving them a piece of her mind.  Sometimes it was well deserved and sometimes not.

Sharing the love of being outside, we were able to find enjoyable things to do together.  It was essential for her to be able to contribute in whatever way she could, so as I began to hang the laundry, Great Aunt naturally joined in.  Slowly, quietly hanging piece by piece, one clothes pin at a time.  All around us were the sweet sounds of children playing, birds chirping, and the wind softly blowing.  We chatted about life. She shared memories of her past. We dreamed of the future. They were precious times.

Although Great Aunt required much time and patience, she slowed me down in many positive ways.  Simple tasks that may have gone quickly on my own, were made more meaningful by methodically working together.  Being a person that loves lists, I can mistakingly take more joy in crossing out each item than fully embracing each task. Life isn’t about how much we’ve done or a long list of accomplishments.  It’s about relationships. Its about loving and serving. It’s about faith.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons I still love hanging laundry today.  It forces me to take time, breathe, think,  chat, and remember Great Aunt.

What is it about your spouse that bugs you?

14 Apr

The sun is coming up, the birds are chirping and the sound of little feet are beginning to be heard on the floor above me. In the next room my dear hubby is busily working, preparing for what is ahead in his day. I am so thankful for him and all he does for our family.  I can’t imagine life without him.

In the midst of all of the “love” it surprises me how fast the “feel” can dissipate! We all have our pet peeves. What is it about your spouse that bugs you? (Please don’t start making a list!)

The love of my life usually tosses his clothes on the floor next to the laundry basket. One more step and it could be in the laundry basket. This used to irritate me to no end! Why wouldn’t he change? Then one day I was challenged by something I read. What would happen if instead of wishing he would change, I gave thanks for him every time I picked up his clothes?

I found myself actually looking forward to seeing his clothes on the floor so I could try it! Rather than grumbling to myself, I thought about how grateful I was for him! Soon this became my habit. I was so pleased with the results, I started applying it in other areas! As the thoughts in my mind changed, the spoken words changed also.

Each of us set a tone in our home whether positive or negative.  Take time to guard your thoughts and words. Marriage is much to precious to be taken lightly.