7 Simple Ways You Can Improve Your Marriage

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I love my husband like CRAZY!  It gets better every year.  But, all relationships have their ups and downs.  Sometimes it feels like a full on roller coaster.  As I begin to get ticked off with the little things in marriage, small infractions get larger than life.  That is when I have to catch myself, and make the choice to help diminish the problem instead of watch it escalate.  Sometimes these things are harder to do than give birth, but I notice as I humble myself and TRY,  my marriage thrives.

1.   Wear toe nail polish, or at least change the shirt you wore to bed last night.  It is so easy to be totally secure with the one you love.  We are our total selves.  They see our best and our worst.  It is important to not get so comfortable that we neglect trying to be a fox occasionally.

2.   Focus on the good.  Instead of letting any negative attributes hold you down, think about the qualities that attracted you to him.

3.    Connect with him on his level.  What is his favorite thing to talk about?  What is his passion?  What is his favorite past time or sports team.  Learn about his interests and be able to carry on a conversation with him about it.  (Woo Pig Sooie!)

4.    Extend grace.  Everyone has those days.  We can’t be 100% all of the time.  So, he left his shoes out again-pick them up for him.

5.     Have his coffee and paper ready for him in the morning.  I know.  I know.  It sounds a little June Cleverish.  That might not be his thing, but consistently do things that show him you thought about him.

6.     Initiate you know what.  I don’t think I need to expand on this one.

7.     Always build him up privately and publicly.  Talk about his awesomeness to him, your family and friends.

Puppy Love

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We wanted our daughter to switch schools, and that is the last thing in the world she wanted to do.  So, with a little prodding and a new puppy, we are finally convincing her. (Oh, just call it what it is – bribery.)  None of the two practical, experienced, or wise people in our home wanted a dog because they were in fact aware of what would happen approximately three hours after the precious puppy’s arrival.    About 2 hours after our blessed new arrival, everything unravelled.  There was poop!  There was pee!  It looked like the toy department at Petland had thrown up in our family room.

Gone were the days when I was trying to stuff toddler toys in a bin in the corner of the family room, but here were the days I was stuffing dog toys in a bin in the corner of the family room.  THIS IS LIKE HAVING A NEWBORN.  There is no rest or peace.  I am waiting for nap time and tip toeing around when it happens.  I took her for her first walk.  Please note that I took her and not one of the three kids that begged to have her.  She nipped and bit at my neon shoe strings.  She would stop and try to eat those dead dried up worms that couldn’t quite make it across that black hot pavement,  she would pull at the leash and try to wander away.

The next morning when I was running alone (ALL ALONE), the song, “I Can Only Imagine”, came on.  I usually skip this song because I have heard it 7 million times, but it hit me in a fresh way.  The first  line is, “I can only imagine what it will be like when I walk by your side.”  And, it hit me.  Sometimes, I am like my puppy when it comes to walking with Jesus.  I will nip and bite at Him with my worries and concerns.  I get distracted with with things that have absolutely no eternal value.  He will try to draw me in and pull me away to walk with Him, but I will tug at that leash and attempt to go a different direction.

He continues to invest in me and shower me with grace.  I look forward to that day where I can finally meet Him face to face and walk with Him.  But, I want to do that before I’m dead.  I want to be able to walk with Him now.  I want to follow His lead without the questions, doubt, and stopping for things that just don’t count.  I want to walk beside Him like the beautiful, loyal and trusting daughter He created me to be.  It is a continuous journey and process that I wouldn’t want to miss for the world. One day my puppy will walk by my side like the beautiful, regal, and  strong German Shepherd she was born to be.

I wrote this in August.  It is now January, and I’m not exactly where I want to be with our walks, but it’s way better.  I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Lucy has happily and successfully completed her first semester.  Queens the puppy helped her all the way.

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