Monday, March 27, 2017

10 Things Men Can Do to Make Their Wives Happy

 Mark Gungor (Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage) talks about the difference in keeping score between men and women.  Just for getting out of bed in the morning to go to work, a man may believe he earns 100 brownie points.  Giving his wife a dozen roses should easily earn him 500 points and hold him over for a few months without any other attempts to make points. (So he thinks.) Points equal doing your job as a husband. The more points accumulated account for a happier wife – and more sex.

From a woman’s perspective, though, a dozen roses will earn him one point as would a single rose or even a new car.  Men can  make their wives the happiest by taking the time to figure out exactly what makes her feel the most intimate towards him.  (Sorry guys.  It’s probably not anything from Frederick’s of Hollywood.  That’s your idea of intimacy.) It’s usually the simple acts, not the fancy cars or vacations, that will make us feel the closest to our man. 

Since numbered lists of “to dos” seem very popular these days, I’ve come up with “10 Things Men Can Do to Make Their Wives Happy.”    Look at them and discuss them with your spouse.

1.    Speak positively to her.  Only say words that will edify her and build her up.  Compliment her often.  Never, never, speak obscenities to her or call her names.  That will cause scar tissue that remains for a long, long time (She will stop saying nasty things to you, too, once you master this.)

2.     Help with the kids without her asking you to help.  Raising children is exhausting whether you are a stay-at-home mom or work full-time outside of the house.  Even though the majority of women have jobs these days, they still do most of the work around the house and with the kids.  Nothing made me feel closer to my husband than having him help me in the mundane chores of dinner, baths and bedtime.

3.     Help around the house without her asking you to help.  Pick up after yourself.  Offer to fold the laundry.  Folding laundry does not require a lot of brain cell usage so you should be able to do it while still watching football.  If not, wait until the commercials. With all the commercials, you could probably empty the dishwasher, too. 

4.     Entertain the kids for an hour or so and give her some time alone.  Kids need time with their fathers.  They thrive on it and so will you.  You don’t have to do anything mind shattering.  Tell them a story or help them with their homework.  Play a game or go outside and catch a ball.  There is nothing more important that you could be doing with your children than spending quality time with them. They will cherish every undivided moment you give them.

5.     Spend time alone with her.  She will cherish every undivided moment you give to her (and give you mega brownie points!). Spend 15 – 30 minutes a day just talking to her.  Make sure neither of you have cell phones, Ipads, laptops or anything else that plugs into a wall to distract you.  The electronic age is ruining relationships.  Don’t allow it to ruin yours.  Even better, take her out on a date once a week.

 6.  Give her a pleasurable sex life.  A large percentage of women do not have a fulfilling sex life (they don’t have orgasms.)  If your sex life is one-sided most of the time, figure out what you need to do to change it.  Don’t be afraid to talk about it to each other.  Doing so will only make you feel intimately closer to each other (even MORE brownie points – which equals MORE sex!).

7.    Send her flirty little text messages throughout the day.  Every time you think of her during the day, send her a text message to let her know.  “I love you” will warm the cockles of her heart in the middle of a crazy, harried day.

8.     Find out what makes her feel the most intimate with you and do that all the time.  We all have certain intimacy needs that bring us closer to our spouse when they are met.  Many women just want undivided attention and conversation.  Again, helping around the house and with the kids can be an enormous intimacy builder. Whenever my husband would do the dishes I would tell him that was much sexier than having him bring me roses or turning on Barry White music.  Find out what makes her feel intimate towards you. (Women usually don’t desire sex until they feel intimate towards their partner.)

9.    Tell her you love her every day – and show it.  Actions still speak louder than words.  If you are saying those words without putting them to action, the message will be lost.  Prove it to her.  Hold her in your arms and kiss her without expecting to jump in the sack.

10.  Pray with her every day.  Prayer between a husband and wife can be very powerful!  It is a deep form of intimacy.  Make it a habit.  Keep God in the center of your marriage.  The couple that prays together stays together!  (On an Oprah Winfrey show a number of years ago, there was a study done that showed couples that pray together have a better sex life.)

It seems only fair that I also come up with a list for women to earn brownie points.  As I thought about it, though, I realized that we really don’t need to do a whole lot to earn them.  Men are pretty simple to deal with as long as we give them these three things - the remote, food, and sex.  

I Peter 3:8, “All of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

Monday, February 20, 2017

Get Out of the Funk!

Okay, so I haven’t posted an article in a while.  I have been busy, though, combining my seven years of blog writing into a year-long devotional for married couples.  I am in the process of publishing it as an Ebook so please stay tuned for further details!

I also plan to take a different direction with my blog.  Since I’ve written almost everything I know about marriage, I want to start doing webinars/video blogs.  I will have a live webinar once a week (on marriage and women) which will be open to questions from you that we will discuss.  I will record those sessions and use them as a video blog.  Please keep your eyes open for those details coming soon!

I do have one more article that has been on my heart.  (There may be more down the road.)  I know I promised to not get too preachy about nutrition and what you eat, but I have to share this new revelation with you. (A not so wonderful revelation at that.)

I have discussed, numerous times, the effect that sugar has on my mind.  It depresses me, so much that I struggle with functioning in life.  I stopped eating sugar a few years ago but would occasionally let it slip into my diet.  One or two mistakes was no big deal, but that once or twice often turned into more – and then depression.  Truly an addiction, sugar is a poison to our system and more difficult to overcome than a dependence on cocaine. 

And then I discovered maple syrup - the ever glorious, gold from a tree that quickly became my favorite flavor in the world.  Maple syrup offers numerous nutritional benefits without all the bad effects of sugar.  Yes, it has calories and can increase blood sugar, but it seemed like the ultimate sugar replacement.  Besides, I didn’t have blood sugar issues.  I used it for everything that needed sugar – and then some.

I rarely touched refined sugar this past year, but found I still struggled with depression.  In fact, it seemed to worsen.   I had a list of possible causes, never dreaming it could be maple syrup.  I thought it must have been the challenges we faced with Rick’s health or even more obvious, the loss of another grandbaby we hadn’t gotten to meet.  I thought I was in grief that I hadn’t been dealing with very well. 

I would wake in the morning with a weight on my heart.  I didn’t label it depression but a “funk”.  I couldn’t hold a positive thought.  I only dwelt on the negative.  I couldn’t find my joy.  I wanted to retreat to my room and talk to no one. 

When in this funk I did nothing but whine and complain to God and my husband.  I bombarded God with questions of “Why?” and constantly told him “I don’t understand!” When in this funk, I begged God to free me from this pit of despair. I

I didn’t want to go anywhere much less be around people.  I dwelt on the things God hasn’t done for me instead of what He may be preparing for me.  I dwelt on the things other people have that I don’t.  I had great difficulty working on my ministry, feeling it may be a waste of time.  I didn’t know if God was listening anyway.  I couldn’t hear His voice.

I struggled with this funk for a good part of my adult life.  I blamed it on PMS.  How many amazing opportunities did I miss out on because of my pity party I wallowed in? 

As I read back on this pathetic state of mind, I don’t understand how I could get that far into a pit and not be able to get out, even when I know the answers to help me.  Nothing seemed to work.  I could read my Bible and pray, but my heart was not in it.  I became wrapped in this vicious cycle of self-pity that only wanted to remind me why I felt so badly.  The only thing I could look forward to was waking up the next day with, hopefully, no funk over me.  I would get through the day as painlessly as possible until the fog lifted.

Now I don’t know about you, but I refuse to live my life like that anymore.  I sought out the help of a natural doctor, thinking it may be my crazy hormones.  Sure enough, it was, BUT she also told me I eat too much sugar.

WHAT!  I EAT TOO MUCH SUGAR??  What in the world was she talking about??  My self-righteous attitude about eating had refused to look at the problem of over-indulging in something as sanctimonious as maple syrup.  Along with the maple syrup, I ate too many bananas and berries, too.

How did I miss that?  I suppose I added more and more to my daily eating, as time passed, to the point that I was gluttonous with it.  Gluttony is eating or drinking in excess of what you need.  I certainly had begun to push the limits with my all-so-glorious maple syrup.

My heart ached when I realized that I may have been missing some of God’s blessings during my “funk” times.  How could He talk to me, or answer my prayers, or further my ministry when I chose to focus on my fleshly desires of sweetness instead of the sweetness and mercy of Him? 

How often do we run to the altar in tears begging God to heal us of this illness or that disease when we secretly indulge in fleshly desires that are nothing more than sin to Him?  Yes, we need to eat, but we also need to treat our bodies as temples and not coddle our cravings and desires to the point of excess.  We block our chances of God working in our lives when we do so.  Sin is sin.  God will not work with it.

Needless to say, I have stopped the maple syrup and have cut back on the fruits.  I feel amazing!  For two weeks I have been completely FUNK FREE!  In the prior six months, I normally had four or five days in the week that I remained in a funk.  It turns out that my hormones don’t affect my mood so much.

If you relate to any part of this article, I urge you to look at your sugar intake and make some changes!  Don’t request a drug from your doctor when you can possibly fix it on your own without the chemicals and added side effects of medication.  Not to mention how healthier you would be!

I feel like God is finally opening the doors for us to step forward into our ministry in just these past two weeks.  How long did I delay this because I didn’t want to give up maple syrup?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Thoughts

‘Tis the season to be jolly’.   Hmmm.  The older I get, the less jolly I feel at Christmas time.  It seems the real reason for the season, the birth of Jesus, is slowly being pushed aside to make room for all the commercialism that now dominates this holiday.  I don’t like it.

There has also been a lot of skepticism over the past few years about the roots of the celebration of Christmas, and so I decided to investigate it myself.  It seems that Christmas, initially called the Saturnalia Festival, started as a pagan holiday.  Romans adopted it with hopes of turning people to Christianity.

From “Christmas, the Real Story”

          In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it.  Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.
          The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.

     For the complete article, go to:

I know there are numerous Christians who have chosen to forego Christmas because of these origins.  I have thought long and hard about this scandalous past and have decided that I don’t want to give up the celebration of the birth of our Savior because of its shady beginnings almost 2000 years ago.  If we give up on Christmas, we will lose the most valuable opportunity of the year to reach out to others to share the gospel story.  As rapidly as Christian rights are being removed, we must keep Jesus’ birthday alive for as long as we can.  It doesn’t matter when it happened; the story needs to be told.

Besides, I don’t think Jesus would have overlooked an opportunity to tell the good news, especially to a group of worldly people who didn’t follow Him.  He would have been the first to invite the pagan celebrators of Saturnalia to His house for a birthday party.

There are many, now, in our society, who live these holidays far from the truth, as the pagans did, but we can’t allow that to blemish what we know to be the reason for the season.

Sure, we can become overwhelmed at the worldly celebration, but we have the right to decide how we spend our time during this season.  We can choose to not get caught up in the excessive spending and busyness that easily engulfs us and distracts us from the birth of Jesus. 

What a wonderful time to reach out to the needy or to share the good news with those who have discounted it.  We are all in a giving and receiving mood this time of year, so let’s not discard these golden opportunities to share the story of Jesus.  Besides, it’s much easier to spot the naysayers, during the holidays, who want to take away our rights to display a nativity scene or sing Christmas carols.   Those are the people we need to reach out to the most.

What’s important is that we continue to observe this momentous occasion.  The world will always add their own spin to what we do as Christians.  We can’t allow that to interfere with the truth of why we celebrate Christmas.  If we do, then the enemy has won.  He doesn’t want the story of Jesus known.  He will always try to make us doubt what we know to be the truth.  He will keep us busy following the customs of the world and miss the importance of this day.  Choosing to give up Christmas because of its origins is succumbing to the legalism of religion that Jesus detested.

I visited my mother’s church this week, and they showed a video of a flash-mob at a crowded mall breaking out in Christmas carols.  It was awesome!  People stopped everything they were doing and joined in.  Two actors dressed as Mary and Joseph walked out carrying an infant during Silent Night, and everyone in that mall got down on their knees.  It still brings tears to my eyes as I write about it.  The traditions and music we have passed down for generations are a powerful force behind the importance of this holiday.  We can’t ever forget that. 

Christmas is not about celebrating on the exact date that Jesus was born; it’s about telling the miraculous story about the birth of our Savior who was sent to save the world..  

 Matthew 1:23, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel—which means, ‘God with us’.”