Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Valentine Your Husband Won't Throw Away

I know this an odd way to start a post on Valentine's Day, but let me just say that I am so thankful for the women in my life.  I have great friends that are in the trenches of toddler-hood right along with me and some amazing women that have been there, done that and are enjoying their grandchildren, and of course a great many that are somewhere in between.  I appreciate the perspective and encouragement these women bring to my life. 

I need mom friends that have grown children and can encourage me to enjoy each day and assure me that I will miss all the craziness of today. I also need mommies to share potty training horror stories with and to call for prayer when I have locked myself in the bathroom for a "mommy time out".  And sometimes, the friends I need the most are the ones that aren't quite finished with raising their little ones, but are just far enough down the road to convince me to keep going. Amen?

Ok, that being said, the following post is an outline given to me by an older, wiser woman a year or so ago about how to really write a love letter to your husband. It has been a blessing to me and I hope it helps you, too!

The Valentine Your Husband Won't Throw Away

Our goal today is to write a letter to our husbands that will communicate to him our love in a way that touches his heart.  We want to use words that speak love to him.

Take a minute and write down several things you respect about your husband.  It's not easy, because we don't think like they do.  We need to look at our basic differences so we can understand what respect really means and apply it to our lives.  

This is an important concept.  When we show our husbands respect, it motivates him to love us God's way!  It draws him to us!! Did you hear that?  Read it again. When we show our husbands respect, it motivates him to love us God's way and it draws him to us.

Our husbands need to hear how we respect him, expressed as just that.  Make a list, "I respect you for...."  Keep in mind his masculine characteristics.

Are you READY?  Write him a LOVE LETTER and use the word Respect.  Tell him in words he will understand.  When you touch his heart, he will bend over backwards to show his love to you!
You could say something like, "I really respect you for ________", "I admire you for ___________", "Signed respectfully, ______________", "The one who admires you, ________________".

A big word of caution.  You are going to get a very positive reaction if you choose to speak his language to him so it needs to be from your heart and not just a one time thing.  Trust me, if you pray about it and continue to grow in this area, your marriage will be so richly blessed! It may feel like you are manipulating him, but if you are honest in what you write, and your only intention is to have a better marriage, I assure you that you are not.  You are learning to speak his language. Your words will touch his heart, just as his "sweet nothings" can touch yours.

I admittedly only wrote one love letter like this to my husband, however; I have let this advice change the way I communicate with my husband on a daily basis. This small piece of advice has enriched our marriage in so many ways.  I have been blessed to learn how to better communicate with Eric, and learned to avoid many arguments that had centered around him feeling disrespected at times because of my approach to certain things.  I love my husband. He makes me feel safe, secure, loved and cherished. Why wouldn't I want him to feel the same?

So, if you have waited until the last minute to think about Valentine's Day (or not), why not take a few minutes and write him a love letter now? I promise you will not be disappointed, and neither will he!

Today's post is linked up with Time-Warp Wife

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Year of the Surgery

It started with Logan in April, then Max in August and now my sweet little Maggie in February. What a long 12 months this has been. 
I vividly remember the exhaustion of all those trips to Doernbecher.  I spent the better part of the month of April between pre & post operation appointments, way too many hours in the car, and trying to simultaneously comfort an unsure 2.5 year old boy with one arm while nursing my barely 2 week old baby with the other. 

Max's surgery to remove his tonsils was much less tiring in many ways, but I was not at all prepared for the recovery time and process. There was very little sleep for either of us the first week after the procedure.

Now, here we are 10 months later and I can't sleep the night before Maggie's surgery.  She is (finally) getting tubes in her ears after 4 months and 12+ ear infections. My poor girl needs relief, and so do I! 

I am so thankful for all the ways the Lord has provided for us this year and given us more grace for one another as we have been stretched to our limits & navigated these trials.  I praise God daily that my children are (for the most part) healthy and we do not have to wake up everyday and face losing one of them to a disease.  I know all too many mommas that do, or have. 
That being said, I am more than ready to say good-bye to "The Year of the Surgery" and (hopefully) hello to "The Year of Great Sleep".  Hey! A momma can dream, right!?!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bleary Eyed & Battle Weary

The last 3 weeks or so of this momma's life have been full and long.  I have been to at least a dozen doctor's appointments, comforted my sweet baby girl through 4 ear infections, made 3 visits to an ENT, 2 visits to Urgent Care, collected one "sample" (yuk), had to cancel a much needed date night, spent hours in prayer and had way too many nights with little to no sleep.  I am battle weary. I am tired. 

I have missed out on the quiet of nap time, since Maggie has been too fussy most of the time to really rest. I have missed blogging, having coffee with friends, talking on the phone with my mom, sewing, spending alone time with my husband and the list goes on.  I have sacrificed and I have cried out in frustration. But I have realized something.  As much as I try, I can't have it all.  At least not all in the same season.

  To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8~

What a comfort this passage has been to me. I almost always hear it at funerals.  When time is gone and we are searching for comfort to see us through the days ahead. But only recently have I considered the application of these verses to my everyday life.  What about the days we only feel dead, but our hearts are still beating? The days that seem so dark and long and full that we aren't sure we will live to see the sun rise?  Don't we need these verses then, too?  I do. Maybe even more. 

I can't have Spring flowers in the dead of winter any more than I can have an immaculate house with kids at home.  I can try my best, count my blessings and enjoy the season I am in now...whether the brightest Summer day or the darkest Winter night. Someday I will be able to write in peace, use the bathroom alone or have an uninterrupted phone call and I am certain that I will wish for just one more day of craziness.  A too-loud house full of wrestling boys and up all night snuggling with my sick baby girl.

The days are still long and full. I am still bleary eyed & battle weary, but I am renewed at this thought. My heart is a little lighter as I head into tomorrow. I will enjoy this season and the next....and the next.  I will praise God for every one He gives and every way He uses them to minister and teach me more about who He is.  God is good.

This post is linked up at