Ephesians 5:33b: And the wife should respect her husband.
Respect is his primary need, his deepest desire.

I Put My Followers First

Friday, December 24, 2010

Appreciation Is Essential

It has been a tough economic year in the Cohen household.  I was laid off in April and Bruce's hours were cut from 40 to 3 per week.   Meager would define Christmas 2010.   

But, we are both "grownups" and able to handle those little disappointments.   We could live without all the ribbons, without all the tags.  We could live without packages, boxes or bags.

Okay, the truth.   I was depressed.  Terribly. 

I avoided decorating for Christmas until I just couldn't take it any more.  

Little by little I brought things out of storage.  But I would not put up the 7-foot artificial tree this year. 

"Too much trouble," I told my husband. 

Silently, though, I had already decided.  "Such a big tree should not overshadow the limited number of presents to lay beneath it."   And the darker thought, farther back in the dark recesses of my mind, was whether there would be anything at all to open on Christmas morning. 

But then a few small gifts began to arrive from our family and friends out of town.  My spirits were brightened but I did not believe I needed a tree.  I justified myself.  My mother has had Christmas for decades without a tree and she enjoys her holidays quite fine.  I decided that I had reached "that age".

And then, God inspired some very special people and we were blessed by their generosity. 

With the cash we had received, Bruce set out on his own to buy his wife a Christmas present.   He left the house for the 9:30am bus on Christmas Eve Eve.  Two days to go and he was going to shop.

Please, let it suffice to tell you that this is new for him.  He is a convert from Judaism, suffering from a communication disorder post-stroke.  Shopping for presents is not something he does without great stress and fear.  He has gone out each Christmas since our marriage in 2005 with his mother-in-law or another friend in tow.  It has been a "huge dot deal" to overcome his fears about the whole ordeal.  And it is so touching to watch him try.

Yet, this year he decided to tackle the task alone.  Whether that was truly a free choice or a circumstance, I do not know.  But he left early and shopped.  He came home hours later with a large plastic bag from Pier One Imports (good sign) and stood staring at the empty space where the Christmas tree should be.

"I don't know what to do."  His face was so forlorn.  He had learned that presents go under the tree but where do they go when there is no tree?

"You can hide them."  I suggested a few hiding places but he was not convinced that hiding them was the right idea.   

He finally agreed, trying to hide the disappointment on his face.  I could put them in the steamer trunk with the other packages we'd received from out of town.  He was satisfied with the solution but he was not pleased.

When I got into the trunk this morning to hide the gifts I had purchased for him, I could not help but notice that the Pier One Imports bag held gift-bagged-and-tissue-concealed presents.   

Wrapped?   For me!

He had handled the wrapping and presentation himself.  This was bigger than big.  It was grander than grand.  This was every wife's Christmas dream wrapped up and handed to little old me.   

This was the kind of moment that deserved a monumental display of appreciation.   My one-handed-man had conquered gift-wrapping!    

It almost made me cry.  

Well, I did cry.

He had conquered wrapping and I had hidden his efforts away in the trunk.   

I devised a plan.

When Bruce left again this morning to meet his new "sponsee" at an AA meeting, I went immediately to work.   Three hours later I had finished.

I think his gifts deserve to be showcased beneath the Christmas tree.  

Don't you think?




Merry Christmas everyone! 

I testify that Jesus lives and loves each of us.   He is aware of every circumstance and mindful of every need.   I have been poignantly reminded of that fact - once again. 


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Whose Birthday Is It Anyway?



I shared a Christmas message on my other blogs and hope you don't mind me posting it here as well. I believe the message bears repeating.

I heard the retelling of a significant story while I was at a meeting last night. I will try to do it justice here.


The woman tells a story of a wonderful family event that occurred this past year. Her father turned 80 years old and the family gathered to celebrate.

My grandfather was also honored in similar fashion many years ago. I was unable to attend, being so many miles away. But I was included in the planning and outpouring of love.

It is wonderful to honor the life and contribution of people we love late in their lives.  But I digress.  Let's return to the story being told at the meeting last night.

The teller of the tale then asked the audience to imagine the preparations for her Grandfather's birthday.  It was shaping up to be quite a celebration.

She spoke of the preparations and the planning, the assignments and the purchasing, the scrubbing, the cleaning and the polishing.  The flurry and the frenzy of frantic activity continued for weeks.

And then, the big day came.  All was ready.  The decorations were spectacular.  Incredible smells from an elaborate feast wafted from the kitchen.

The guests poured through the doors and the gifts piled higher and higher at the front of the room.  What an incredible celebration!

But then, the teller of the tale added a twist.  She paused, looking slowly around the faces in the room and asked . . .

What if the guests began to pass the gifts around amongst themselves?

What if they brought presents for everyone except Grandfather?

And, what if Grandfather wasn't even in the room?

What if no one remembered to invite him?

What if everyone had lost sight of him?  

Christmas commemorates Christ's birth. 
Has He received His invitation to your celebration?

Have you decided on your gift for Him?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Reemergence

I am so grateful to return.   Did you miss me?

I have spent the month of November (all of it) writing the first draft of a promised manuscript.  It is tentatively titled "Made Perfect In Weakness".  It is the story (fictionalized) of my husband's and my "courtship".  

During the process, I enjoyed recalling the tender mercies of God in the miracle that is our relationship.  I have spent one month trying to recapture and then convey each precious moment in words.

While writing the book I relied heavily on the audio files that my husband created when he communicated via email.  (If you're late coming into our story - my husband lost the ability to read and write due to a massive stroke he suffered before we met.)

One of the MP3 files that took my breath away made its way into the book in a prominent place.

The recording was made in response to gospel principle questions asked by a teacher from church, named "Chris".   My husband was to ponder each question and respond in a voice recording that he would then send via email.  (What a wonderful tool that was for him!)

I share this recording with you today as a way of honoring my husband and our Savior.  It is a reminder to me of the calling I have received to be a help meet to my husband, to be his companion and to stand proudly at his right hand.



When I listen to that testimony, I am amazed.  Why?  Because it represents an incredible miracle.

My husband was born into a Jewish household, raised without knowledge of his Savior.  He wandered far from all things right and good until he had damaged his soul so terribly that he nearly died from the effects of his addictions.

He knows and declares that the massive stroke was a gift from God.  The stroke brought him to his knees and humbled him.  

And in his coma and after, Christ came to him and loved him and taught him until one day, one incredibly special day, the Lord asked me to help in His efforts.  All He asked of me is that I honor and respect this broken man.

Jesus knew that with the companionship of a woman willing to honor him, my husband could thrive and grow to be more like his Savior.  

Our relationship - our marriage - is not different than any other marriage.

God has asked that the wife honor her husband (Ephesians 5:33).

I suggest (based on experience) that a husband who is honored, will give glory to God.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Life, Lemons and Giving Thanks

I would suppose that you've heard the phrase, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade".

I would rather say, "When life gives you lemons, give thanks."

The Lord is doing a mighty work with my life.  When I received a layoff notice last February, I was frightened out of my wits.   It took a few days to recover my sensibilities.  And then, after allowing myself to suffer, I chose to thank God.

Silly me, at first I thought that He had forsaken me.  But I know that I know better.

I know that all things work for the good of those who believe in Him.  Call it finding the silver lining, call it mixed blessings, call it making lemonade from lemons - it all means the same.  God is orchestrating the events of life so that each individual is afforded their greatest chance for happiness.

The individual is me.  The individual is you.  God is in control and He desires our individual happiness. Not at the expense of others or in spite of others.  Moreover, God is able to provide the best route to happiness for each individual.  To think otherwise would be to deny that our God is a loving god.  It would also mean denying the scope, power and ability of God.

Ponder the idea: God wants me to be happy.  The world and all that happens within it is designed to bring me pure joy.  Why then do I revolt against the growing pains?   Why do I cry out in terror or anger?  Why am I so ungrateful when I am chastised or tried?

When I have been grateful for the trials and tribulations of life in the past year, I have been abundantly blessed.  God's love is immeasurable and incomprehensible.  Remember the poem "Footprints in the Sand" poem by Mary Stevenson?  I can retrace my past footprints and see how He has strengthened me, carried me and blessed me.

I have spent only a few moments browsing the postings and messages in my archives for the year.  I am so humbled by the vision afforded in hindsight.

Before Thanksgiving, I highly recommend that you do the same.  I challenge you to look back and trace your own footprints of this past year.   Browse the emails you've sent and received, the year of activity on your Facebook wall or the archived messages.  Review the year in whatever tangible way is available to you.  This year has been God's gift for you.  Turn around for a moment, retrace your steps and unwrap your gift.

As I write this I could not help but think of the dozens and dozens of people who have shared their lives with me this year.  I have been so blessed by your efforts.   There have been hundreds of people who have come into my life - many have stayed to enrich my days.   You have given me opportunities I would never have had in the workplace; chances to give and receive, to love and to laugh, to falter, to achieve.

I could not have done any of it without you.

You have been the hands, the heart, and the soothing whispers of God in my life this year.  I wish for you a season of gratitude and joy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Life, Lemons and Giving Thanks

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

As I've mentioned (didn't I?), I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year.  I am finally writing the book that so many people have encouraged me to write.  I have titled it, "Made Perfect In Weakness".

The printed and ebook editions will more than likely contain a disclaimer to this effect:
"Though based on a real life story, this is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, organizations or companies, living or dead, is purely coincidental."
Many details have to be fabricated because, in many regards, I really do not know the "real story".  In most cases I don't even know the real people, the real places, and the real history of events leading up the time period in which the story takes place.  I am fabricating the details that I do not know.

I am, however, attempting to portray the very real emotions and events that unfolded as my husband and I dated, fell in love and married.  That very real part of the story transpired over the course of sixty four days.

Fortunately for me, the necessary fabrications and filling in of the blanks renders "Made Perfect In Weakness" a work of fiction, which is good, because these are the rules to "win" NaNoWriMo:
The rules state that, to be an official NaNoWriMo winner, you must…
  • Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
  • Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people's works).
  • Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you're writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
  • Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
  • Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
  • Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.
If you are interested in following my progress, feel free to check my NaNoWriMo profile.  Here are the stats for this stage of the project:





To pique the interest of my readers, here is an exclusive first draft of the first page!

"No Public Restrooms!  It couldn't be more obvious if I lit it up in neon."  

The restaurant owner mumbled under his breath as he wiped down the counter and straightened the toothpick dispenser.  

George Levine was rushing past him to the bus stop and barely paused to say goodbye to the man at the cash register.   It might have escaped his throat as little more than a grunt but he thought it had been a sufficient acknowledgement.  He surely didn't notice when the man shook his head at George's departing backside.

The bells jangled, the glass shook and the hand painted sign wobbled as the door closed behind the man clumsily staggering as he made his way out the second door.   

The owner wasn't truly angry.  Every so often the man rushing out the door would stay and buy breakfast.  "Even then, he's a lousy tipper."  The owner muttered to himself as he headed back to the kitchen.   Once again, he had avoided confronting the man about using the restroom without buying something from the menu.

George Levine was the disappearing figure of a man determined.  His awkward gait as he hurried to catch the next bus caused him to weave from side to side across the parking lot.  In his rush, he began to topple into a sharp turn at the end of the drive.  Somehow remaining upright he rushed along the edge of the sidewalk to the intersection.  He was oblivious to the traffic rushing by, mere inches from his left hand that he swung at his side in a wide arch, as if propelling himself forward.   With his head bowed to the ground he appeared be travelling headlong into the light pole and the crosswalk request button.   He stopped just short of disaster and looked up, a little.

His right hand was drawn up to his chest in a fist, as if ready to throw a punch.  He muttered to himself and began smacking the crosswalk request button with his left hand.  Palm flat and fingers straight out, he pounded the button, demanding an immediate response.  He breathed rapidly and deeply as if he had sprinted to the corner.

Traffic finally stopped and the walk sign began to blink and chirp like a bird.  George started forward, nearly stumbling over his own feet, into the crosswalk.  His attempt to move quickly accentuated the disability in his right leg.   The red hand lit up, rapidly blinking and then stopped before George ever reached the centerline. 

An anxious driver began to inch forward for a right hand turn across George's path.   It only served to stop George dead in his tracks.  He stared straight at the driver and began to raise his right fist while his left hand shot forward as if he had the strength of a super hero to stop the oncoming car.  

"What are you doing?"  He yelled at the driver who mouthed an apology through the windshield.  Infuriated and sent off balance, George continued across the street.  

Monday, November 01, 2010

Every Time I Think Of You

One year for my birthday, when I was far away from family and very despondent, my mother sent a card with a scripture that I have never forgotten - the card or the scripture.

I know that what the card said, what the scripture said, is exactly what my mother thinks of me.  It meant more to me than I ever let on.  I've kept it all these years.  I hope my children will keep it, along with a copy of this post, so my grandchildren will know how important is to tell people that they matter.  It is especially important to thank God for the people in our lives.  That lesson was the gift that I received from that card.

In honor of that card, I created the first of this year's Thanksgiving Cards for husbands.

When I count blessings, at Thanksgiving and always, I count relationships first.  So, first off, I am grateful for my relationship with my Savior.  I remember what life is like without Him.  I am very grateful that He would rescue "a soul so rebellious and proud as mine".

Then I count, as my second great blessing, the relationship with my husband.  I also know what life is like without him.  I am grateful for the happiness he has brought into my world.  It is for him that I created this card.  Feel free to share it with your beloved husband as well.



Philippians 1:3


My plans for November?
50,000 words in 30 days!
November 1 - November 30










Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm Thinking Thanksgiving

I have a very full November ahead of me.  I've entered the NaNoWriMo project.

I've committed to writing a 50,000 word novel in one month beginning Monday. I suspect that the project will inhibit my participation in the blogosphere.

I am not making apologies for my anticipated absence - because this is the book I've known I would write since the day my husband first gave me his phone number and asked me to call him.

It will be a fictionalized account of our romance. Why fictionalize it? Because his stroke damaged his short term memory.  I cannot trust the accuracy of his details. The only way I can share the story is to fabricate the details from his life.

Before I go -

I wanted to add a few Thanksgiving Cards to the store at Your Husband's Deepest Desire.

I'm really excited about this new collection.  These new cards can be customized.  If you've wanted to add your husband's name or if you need to remove the "Happy Thanksgiving" reference, you are free to do that.  The basic sentiment is locked in.  So, if you need a special request, don't hesitate to let me know.  Your requests are more important than the book.

Enjoy this preview of the New Thanksgiving Cards:





Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Equally Yoked

Sutter's Fort, Sacramento, CA
1 Peter 3

 Likewise, ye wives,
be in subjection to your own husbands;
that, if any obey not the word,
they also may without the word
be won by the conversation of the wives;

 While they behold your chaste conversation
coupled with fear.
 Whose adorning let it not be
that outward adorning of plaiting the hair,
and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

 But let it be the hidden man of the heart,
in that which is not corruptible,
even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,
which is in the sight of God of great price.

 For after this manner in the old time
the holy women also, who trusted in God,
adorned themselves,
being in subjection unto their own husbands:

 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham,
calling him lord:
whose daughters ye are,
as long as ye do well,
and are not afraid with any amazement.

~ ~ ~

Linked with


Internet Cafe Devotions
There are very few rules, in fact the beauty of this ministry is the creative expression that God reveals Himself thorough.  We marvel at the creativity that participants post with this meme. We encourage the ” post behind the picture,” or the reflections that many of the participants share. We ask that  non-biblical resources not be used.

WFW is not about books, authors, artists.. it’s about God and HIS WORD ONLY. WFW is about celebrating the gift of creativity through God’s Word.





Monday, October 25, 2010

Time for Tender Moments

I've changed this title a few times now.  "Taking Time for Tender Moments" or "Making Time for Tender Moments".  It is more than a simple exchange of the first character.  It is determined by a change in circumstance.

When the nest is full and activities fill the calendar, families must take time for tender moments.

Like my little family back home, in Indiana.  From chores to camping, the tender moments are taken and memories are made.

Leaf raking, Christmas tree farming, hiking, camping and all the activity that four small bodies can handle!



When the nest is empty and we have options about how we fill the void, we can choose to make time for tender moments.

Tonight is Family Night in my house.  Where two people define the family.

Bruce and I will prepare dinner - together.

Send Celia on her nightly hunt and give her a bone (to brush her teeth) while we enjoy our meal.

Then, tonight, we'll make some time for his studies.

My husband started school last week.  He is anxious to relearn reading and writing (lost due to stroke).  This is his umpteenth attempt.  He has aphasia.

But, he wants to do what "they" say he cannot do.  He has Thank You notes to write.

There is nothing more tender than setting aside the hustle, the bustle, the tensions and the demands of a day to encourage my husband.

These are tender and trusting moments that are difficult to articulate, even for me.

I'm linking up with Courtney and others, at Women Living Well.  We're rising to a challenge to Make Our Homes a Haven.



P.S.  I just have to tell you how incredible the baking gingerbread cookies smell right now.  Simply heavenly.



Thank God for Icky Stuff




The challenge, issued by Branch of Wisdom, is to spend one month counting blessings.

This was to begin yesterday, the 24th of October, and will end on "Thanksgiving Eve", the 24th of November.  Participants are challenged to write Thanksgiving posts at least 15 times during that period.

This is my first post for this challenge and it is a doozy!

I take a big breath and let it out slowly before beginning this task because I challenge you to read with an open mind and willing heart.


I was introduced to a new form of thanks giving a few years ago.  In a nutshell, I was challenged to give thanks and praise God for the trials in my life.

That's right.

I was challenged to thank God for the blessing of trials, struggles, grief, pain, difficulties, or "the icky stuff".


Follow me to my other blog, Hearten Soul, and continue reading!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Back in Time

I went to an estate sale yesterday; my first estate sale.  There is much to tell of the experience.  I am forced to share in small chunks.

And TIme Is 
The house sits at the end of our street on about one acre of land.  That is serious real estate for a major city.  The house is a huge rambling ranch made of adobe.

I knew nothing of the former owners until stepping through the Time Tunnel at the door.

The owners of the home had obviously lived and loved in the house from the beginning of marriage until her death later in life.  The husband continued to live there until his recent death.

The house was then occupied by their son, surrounded by the original furnishings and all of the "stuff" that his parents had cherished.

I learned much from the items for sale.  He was in the medical or science field.    A skeleton hung in the corner and anatomy books filled a bookcase.

After retirement he decided to be a writer.  He wanted to write about American hotels in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Boxes and boxes of postcards attested to extensive research on the subject.

The wife kept collections of books as well but not a romance novel in the bunch.  She had an incredible library of gardening books, decorating books, cooking books, home repairs and improvement books and homemaking books.

(I've never seen so many books in one home since leaving my father's home many years ago.)

The wife also cherished collections.  There were beautiful antique doll collections displayed in various rooms. What impressed me was the fact that she collected antique dolls.  They were antiques when she was alive.

In the kitchen, still in use, stands an aged gas stove piped through the wall and up through the roof.  I cannot remember when I last saw one of those up close.  All of her linens were set in one room.  There was nothing in the collection newer than the early 70s.  I recognized most patterns as from my own childhood.

As I said, I saw much to write about.  But, for the purpose of this blog about respecting our husbands I should tell you of the purchase that I did make.  I must mention that I did not plan on buying anything.  I'm unemployed and my checks stop this week.  This is not a good time to buy anything non-essential.

But I could not resist a booklet titled "Happy Marriage" from the "Amy Vanderbilt Success Program for Women" copyright 1965.  The older guy at the register cracked up  when he saw it.

"Happy Marriage? Is there such a thing?"  He was not joking.

I laughed and said that it was a goal of mine to improve the possibilities of happiness in marriage and I had started a new home business to that end.  One of the estate sales employees asked, "What business?".

"Its called Your Husband's Deepest Desire,"  

That brought a guffaw from two of them.  But the woman behind me asked the obvious question.

"SO? What is a husband's deepest desire?"

"He desires respect," I answered.  She appeared puzzled.

"So?  How do you do that?  Respect them, I mean?  Like what if they're yelling at you about something?"

I told her that if that were the case she should not respond.  I gestured the "zipping of my lips".

"Ah, if I don't talk, he can't win!"  She was serious.

I had to choose my words carefully. Mr. Guffaw was still seated behind me and Ms. Young Impressionable was sitting behind the register.

"Marriage isn't a game.  Nobody wins unless both win.  Nobody loses unless both lose.  To play at marriage as if it were a competitive sport is not a marriage at all.  It is a losing proposition."

I gave her a business card and headed home to enjoy my new book!
From Amy Vanderbilt in 1965:
It is a difficult, demanding world in which we live, and more is expected of wives than ever before - domesticity of course, intelligence, grace, charm, perspicacity, understanding, empathy, control, imagination, realism and practicality.
And yet the goal of a happy marriage for a woman differs little form that out-lined in the Book of Proverbs beginning, "A virtuous woman who can find?  Her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband trusteth in her . . . she doeth him good and not evil . . . She looketh well to the ways of her household, kneadeth not the bread of idleness . . . Her children  rise up, and call her blessed, her husband also  . . . "
My scanner is not working so I was not able to obtain an image of the booklet cover, but, the covers of the other books in the series are too charming not to share.  Check them out on this Flickr slideshow from Charm and Poise.

~

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

When We First Began

Can he see how much I adore him?

I can see how much he adores me!
We Crack Each Other Up.

Happiness Is Armloads of Grandchildren!


 

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Monday, October 18, 2010

While He's Away

My husband goes to work and school today!  

I'm unemployed and attempting to work from home.  When this stint first started (last April) my husband's work hours increased to forty per week.  That lasted a few months and then - they reduced his hours to three per week.  Not three per day - three hours per week.

That means that he is underfoot a lot.  I don't know about you but I have a difficult time cleaning when he is home.  I especially struggle with de-cluttering when he is home.  


We accumulate stuff and it gets put on the dining room table, the first flat surface inside our front door.  It only takes two days of mail delivery for the piles to start: catalogs, neighborhood newspapers, invitations, receipts, shopping bags, and all other things that aren't taken to the computer room to be dealt with immediately - like bills or pictures from my grandchildren.  


When I attempt to toss any of it in the trash, he's right there to oversee the project.  


"What's that?  Why are you throwing that away?  Don't we need to keep that?"


What perfect timing is this day?  He is at work and Courtney, at Women Living Well, has issued the third weekly challenge in the "Making Your Home a Haven" blog hop.

1. Pick an area of your home where clutter collects and put something there to contain it. 
Done! 


I already keep an antique steamer trunk handy; right beside the dining room table.  


That's where everything goes that I'm not ready to deal with!  Inside is a treasure trove of junk - including paint brushes, books, Christmas lights, unused binders, fabric samples, paint swatches, menus from our favorite delivery restaurant, the Schwan's catalog, a spring table scarf, pens, a bag of balloons, and even a twig of an artificial Christmas tree.  


You see, I have a pretty good idea of what's in there in spite of the fact that it is full to the brim.  The trunk has a camel's back top so there's room to go if I need it.


Then, when "the spirit moves me" or Courtney issues a challenge, I can deal with it.  I like her challenge today.  

2. Set a timer for 20 minutes, grab a trash bag and walk through your house throwing stuff away! 

I don't even have to "walk" through my house. I can pull up a chair and sit right down.

Hey!

Check it OUT!

Right on top is the Hickory Farms box I saved last Christmas.

I wanted to decoupage the top and create another catch-all box for somewhere in the house.

Now, where did I put those old magazines?  The ones I was going to use to cover the box top?

I know they're in here somewhere?





Dear Readers - 

I am competing against other bloggers to win a job - blogging.   I've been unemployed for six months and the checks are running out.  By winning I would receive a lap top and a substantial salary for writing five blog posts a week for six months.  It would mean having another job without transportation costs!  Since I don't drive anymore - this is the ideal arrangement for me.    

Everyone is permitted to vote once a day.  Without your help - as often as you can - I will not get the job.  The purpose in this type of recruitment is to prove that I can reach a large audience and keep it growing.  You are the audience.  Will you help the numbers grow?

To Vote
Then click the blue VOTE button
No registration required.
No forms to fill out.

I truly appreciate your help,

And now, on with the hop!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Beautifully Imperfect


How precious are the imperfections in your husband?
Do his bad habits reassure you or annoy you?
Would you miss his flaws and failures if he were gone tomorrow?


I pray that we may cherish and praise God for every detail of our husbands today.


Thanks Sho. 



His European Shoulder Bag

"They say" there is no better way to teach a lesson than by example.  What does this example teach about this wife's respect for her husband?



I know.  Not my usual type of post but that's been bugging me since the first time it aired.  I am more and more distressed by television depiction of marriage and the roles of husbands and wives.  Does anyone else feel as I do?

On another note:  Please remember to vote for me today!  I do appreciate everyone's help.  I can't do this without you.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Slept On The Chair

I Emerson Eggerichs' book "Love and Respect" the teaching for the wife is given the acronym "CHAIRS".

 The "S" in that acronym stands for respecting our husband's desire for "shoulder to shoulder" time.  I think of it as time spent "side by side".

I could not help but think of that chapter when I saw this video morning.



It's the weekend.  How will you spend shoulder to shoulder time with your husband?  Promise me you'll look for laughter.

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Thank you SO MUCH!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Break The Spell

Have I mentioned that I have a vivid imagination?  I grew up in the 60's and 70's when movies and television depicted some of the greatest love stories ever told.  They had an influence on me.  I was also enamored of fairy tales, not the Grimm kind but the story of a beautiful princess and a prince who rushed in on his sturdy white steed and pulled his lady fair into his musky embrace.

I never abandoned those love stories.  Now I create them myself.  No, no.  Not on paper or between the covers of a book.  I do, on occasion, create a fairy tale in our castle - with my best preparations.

I received a bottle of bubble bath last night.  I'm making preparations.  A simple yet delicious meal, a tidy home and - I'm going to enjoy that bottle of bubble bath.  He can fill in the missing details when he returns.




Just wonderin' - - What are you doing for your Friday Date Night?
Share your ideas in the comment section.

If you need some inspiration, why not pop over to "The Dating Divas" for some help.  
Their blog is all about ideas for dating your husband.

Please take a moment to vote for me today.  No registration required Click HERE.  Thanks!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tell Him, Tell Him, Tell Him Right Now




I had this song stuck in my head when I woke this morning.  I'd gone to bed last night knowing that I owed my husband a HUGE Thank You.  I promised myself I'd remember when I woke.  But - I didn't.


All I could remember was "Tell Him RIGHT NOW!"  


I finally remembered and not only will I tell him, I am going to demonstrate by investing my time in his "best interests".  I'm going to cut a few things short today to tell him that I love him.  


I need to tell him that I appreciate him - for waiting patiently while I take "one more second to do this" (whatever this is or was).  I was wrapped up in the Good Mood Blog Job contest most of yesterday and my husband was shoved aside.  I think I did it just a few to many times.


I need to tell him that I admire him - for his perseverance and tenacity.  In spite of the after effects of his stroke, he keeps pushing to learn how to read.  He took off yesterday to walk down the street and enroll in adult reading classes.  This is the umpteenth time he's gone to school to relearn reading.   He came home because he didn't have the $35 fee.  I think I'll help him find it.


I need to tell him that I accept him - with all his flaws and failures.  I notice he's been concerned about his inabilities lately.  That happens sometimes.  He needs to know that I am not repulsed by him, not turned-off by his stilted  speech or inability to read and write.  He's kinda down himself about that right now.  I need to tell him that I love him just the way he is.


I need to tell him right now.


How about you?  Is there something you could say or do that would boost your husband's sense of self-worth?  Your husband may not be noticeably disabled (like mine) but believe me, he is human and he needs to know that you admire, accept and appreciate him - just as he is.


Why not tell him - right now?



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Good Mood Gig - Job Search

Vote for Me
Good Mood Gig from SAM-e

I started designing greeting cards and blogging last February when I learned that I would be laid off from my full-time job.  My last day of work was April 19th, 2010.    The high rate of unemployment in my city, combined with lack of transportation (my husband and I are both stroke survivors) have hampered my efforts to find traditional employment.


I am not unwilling to work for a living but am limited to working from home for the time being.  Today this opportunity arose.

If I promise not to stop blogging about marriage and respect for husbands - would you vote for me?  Once a day?  Every day?  Until November 10th! 

All I have to offer in return is my gratitude.

I KNOW I can do this job

"For six months, you’ll be responsible for writing 5 blog articles a week about your good mood and the things in your life that bring a smile to your face. It’s a great chance for you to express yourself to the world and tell everyone why being in a good mood is so important. 




Of course, a job wouldn’t be a job unless you get paid to do it. If you’re our new Good Mood Blogger, you’ll actually be working as an independent contractor with Ignite Social Media, writing for Nature Made SAM-e Complete®. For your efforts, you’ll be compensated with:

• $5,000 a month for six months = $30,000!
• A brand new laptop so you can work from virtually anywhere.





Monday, October 11, 2010

Respect & Cordiality - Your Best Self

I am sharing a video today that was posted by a fellow blogger.  She shared the version as modified by Mystery Science Theater.   I am not without a sense of humor and I recognize how obvious and simple it is to poke fun at the content.  The era and the behaviors in this 1950s home are foreign, uncomfortable and archaic to this generation.

But I was not amused.  I am focussed on making my home a haven this month.  What fascinated me was the original message.  I see a value in what was being taught here.  I found myself wishing for a restoration of the spirit of that message in my 21st Century home.

First I need to strip away the rude remarks of the Mystery Science Theater.  Without any difficulty whatsoever - I found this unmodified version - without the irreverence.



It was so easy to see that the video challenge is much like the "Women Living Well" Making Your Home a Haven Challenge and blog hop this week.  Along with a challenge to play peaceful music in the home was this more constant challenge:
Focus on using peaceful words and maintaining peaceful relationships.Remind your family to avoid seething anger, tattling, criticism or back talk. Role model gentleness this week. 
When I measure where my home ranks in comparison to the video and where my tone ranks in comparison to challenge, I have some work to do.

My favorite challenge from the video was this:
Treat the other members of your family with the same respect and cordiality you would show your most treasured friend outside the family circle.  
How about you?  Was there something in the film that resounded for you?



Marriage Mondays: See Dick, See Jane (from Come Have A Peace) is on the same theme! "I grew up reading "Dick and Jane" books that made it seem like Dick and Jane were perfect children who would grow up to be perfect grown ups - "Mother" and "Father" never looked like they were down in the dumps! Even Spot the dog was always perky! . . . Dick has to see Jane through God's eyes, and Jane has to see Dick through God's eyes, too."



Saturday, October 09, 2010

Respect Cards in a Giveaway

Caring for Our Blessings
Tempting, isn't it?

This is my first button trade!  I have to say that it is almost as exciting as trading marbles when I was young.  Big difference, though.  Someone else will wind up with the prize.  I traded buttons with Krista Schnee from "Caring for Our Blessings" blog.  She's offering some of the respect cards in a giveaway on her site.  Click on the apple for details (I'll be guest posting for her next month.)

I remember another game I played as a young child.  It was called "Button, Button.  Who's got the button?".  It was one of those games we'd play on a rainy autumn day.  Ready to play?

I have the button!
Humor me, please. - I conquered HTML!


I hope you all have a wonderful day!
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Can I get an Amen?