Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cheap Date Night Ideas

Date night doesn't have to be expensive or even at night!

Consider things like:

* breakfast in bed

* taking a drive and talking

* taking a walk for ice-cream

* walking through the mall and window shopping

* putting on music and just holding each other on the couch

* riding bikes

* playing a board game

* watching a sunset and eating take-out

The important thing is taking time away from the other people and responsibilities in your world to focus on each other. If you find yourself being irritable at each other, it may just be that you have not had a lot of one-on-one time together in a relaxed atmosphere.

What are your ways of spending time with your mate?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

5 Tips for Mommy to Make Time for Daddy

1)Put the Kids in Bed at least an hour before you and your   spouse will turn in.  Even with 1/2 hour to prepare lunches for the next day, fold laundry, or put away dishes, you still end up with 1/2 hour just to yourselves.  Better yet, let the laundry wait, and take the whole hour together.  If you are too tired to do anything but hold each other on the couch and fall asleep together, so be it.  Just intentionally carve out "no kids allowed" time for the two of you.  If you feel mommy-guilt over this, don't.... just remember that a strong relationship with "Daddy" is a gift to your children.  A broken home due to neglect of couple-time would be much worse for your children to deal with than an earlier bedtime each night.

2) Before leaving each other for the day, carve out two minutes to pray (see last week's 5 Tips for More Time with God post below), and one minute to simply hug and hold each other.  Feeling the physical connection between the two of you each morning can build couple intimacy, even when time together will often involve family life.

3) Slip a love note into your husband's lunch, briefcase, or wallet.  Just thinking about him enough to write a little something will be a blessing to him, and taking the time to think of what to write will help you to grow in feelings of love and appreciation for him.

4) Pop In a DVD for the Kids.  You may feel "touched out" by the end of the day, and with children demanding all of your physical energy, it is no wonder that you may feel drained.  However, the marriage relationship grows in pleasure and intimacy when the sexual continues to be nourished between husband and wife.  So, to do this, pop in a DVD the kids will be engrossed in watching, and slink off to your bedroom, send the kids to grandmas or to bed extra early on purpose, or set the alarm earlier in the morning, and don't forget to "sleep-in" if you get the chance on a day you are both home from work.  This is important time for you both to recharge and grow together.

5)  Go to Church at a place where the children have their own service, and spend time worshiping and hearing God's Word with your spouse.  I used to feel guilty and scared to send the kiddos off with "strangers," but when you know that the church has done background clearance checks, the kids are being taught at an age-appropriate level and enjoying themselves, and you and your husband get an hour or so to breathe, hold hands, and worship together to God, well....the benefits are huge.  Your children will see that you put a priority on your own relationship with God and with each other, they will learn to grow in the Lord and have their lives poured into by other Christians, and you and your husband can regroup for the week ahead, knowing that if you Seek First the Kingdom of God, all these things shall be added unto you!

Friday, August 17, 2012

5 Tips for Mommy to Make More Room for God

There is something so amazing when we women become "Mommy."  It is as Heaven touches Earth, and we fall in love again, with a perfect little creature who needs us, steals our heart, and brings us such joy...joy like we never imagined!

Motherhood is a blessing.  In spite of the extra laundry, dirty diapers, car pools, boo-boos, sibling rivalry, and exhaustion of every day in the mothering trenches, most of us are likely to feel that there are extremely few things more rewarding than being "Mom." Daughter of God and Wife are the only two roles that I can personally think of that out-rank Mommy in my list of titles.

It's no wonder, though, that at the end of each day, the time young moms have available for God and husband is scrunched.  After all, an infant has to be fed, a toddler has to be potty-trained, a school-age child has to get homework done and have clean clothes and food in the house for a lunch to be ready for the next day.  When is a mom able to re-group and just "be?"  Usually about the time that hubby is feeling amorous, and "mommy" is feeling anything but.

If your relationship with God and your Husband has fallen to the wayside due to mommy-hood, don't get down on yourself; there are seasons to everything, and you are in a season of young motherhood.

However, God is the one who gave you your blessing of a husband and children, and He is the one who can give you strength for the daily grind.  He has a great plan for each of you, and through spending time with Him each day, you are building your family on a solid foundation.  Tomorrow, I will share Five Tips for Connecting with Your Husband during Young Mommy-hood, so check back then!

Today, though, are Five Tips to Make God Time Easier to Fit Into Your Busy Day:

1) Place a Bible in several rooms of your home.  A Bible on the Kitchen counter top, in each Bathroom, on the Entryway table, coffee table, and dining room table, on your nightstand, and on the passenger seat of your car can make His Word more accessible, and thus, more likely to be quickly grabbed and read for a few moments.

2) Program your IPOD or Radio to Christian Music, and let it play while you do household chores, tuck the kiddos in for a nap, or get ready for the day.

3) Take a few moments, and write out a new Scripture or a favorite Bible promise or two on index cards or stickies.  Place one above the kitchen sink, one on each bathroom mirror, one on your mini-van's dashboard, and one on the kitchen table.

4) Commit to two minutes of prayer each morning with your spouse.  Before you part ways for the day, pray for him, and ask him to pray for you and the kids.  Say prayers of thankfulness to God for your family and blessings, and ask for wisdom and strength.  Start the day with the main thing the main thing "GOD," and you are already off to a great start!

5) Recognize that you can communicate with and learn from God in the everyday moments.  Changing the diaper of the beautiful miracle He placed in your care is an act of service, and therefore, an act of worship.  Caring for the least of these....is really one of the greatest things you will ever do.  Whisper a quick prayer over your sleeping baby.  Tell your toddler a Bible story during nap or bedtime tuck in.  Hug your husband tight, and tell him how glad you are that God gave him to you!  Through thankfulness in the everyday moments, service, love, and intentional seeking of the Lord, your passion for Him and relationship with Him will reignite.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Everyday Choices Matter
Great marriages are a lot of good, hard work. This is not because love isn't powerful enough to overcome bad odds, but because Love IS WORTH the effort! Diligent care in the everyday matters and personal choices that we live out will ultimately make the difference between success and failure in a marriage. The good news: each seemingly insignificant day of new, healthy choices and actions can turn into a very significant turn-around for your marriage.....your marriage can go from mediocrity or headed to divorce to the most wonderful intimacy you have ever known with another person......all by the choices that you and your husband or wife make each day as to how you will treat each other. So many people "keep a record of the wrongs" that their spouse has done to them. The Bible says that that is not what LOVE does. 1 Corinthians 13, aka..."The Love Chapter," says that "Love keeps no record of wrongs." This doesn't mean that we are to just forgive and forget. Forgiving is necessary, but "forgetting" is not really helpful to a marriage if the matter at hand has not been resolved between the husband and wife. When appropriate skills are not employed and appropriate actions/repentance are not a part of the equation, it is often just a matter of time before the same "root" issue is displayed again in the marriage. Pulling out the roots of the bad things growing in your marriage bed, (no pun intended....I was seriously thinking gardening-type flower bed!) must take place before the choice to "forget" is the most beneficial for each spouse and the marriage.
Jot us a quick e-mail at marriagegalmichelle@gmail.com for help on how to work this concept (or many other helpful tools) into Your Marriage...we offer a free virtual session, or become our blog follower by entering your e-mail over there on the right column :-). You might want to learn more about us and the marriage enrichment services we offer, too. Simply go to www.marriageguyandgal.com.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

5 Reasons Forgiveness is Good for You

5 Reasons Forgiving Is Good for YOU If you are a Christian, you probably already know the importance of Jesus dying on the cross and raising from the dead as the only perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sin. *If you are not familiar with Christian doctrine, please see the * below for more information. However, in imperfect human relationships many people think that forgiveness is only good for the one receiving the forgiveness. This is missing an important piece of the equation. Forgiveness is also a gift to YOU: When you forgive someone (or yourself): 1) You open up your heart to release bitterness. 2) You can move on. 3) You are not mentally or emotionally tied into spending your energy focusing on the person who hurt you. 4) You are taking action in line with God's desire for you and others....to be released from further pains caused by sin. 5) You can be sure that the next time you need someone's forgiveness, you are not being hypocritical.
God designed forgiveness for our own benefit as well as that of others. What are you holding onto that is producing the fruits of bitterness, anger, revenge, hatred, and mental and emotional anguish in you? May you offer that person, that situation, that comment, that action, that WHATEVER, to God to find your own sense of peace and release from personal bondage to past baggage * The importance of Jesus dying on the cross and raising from the dead is the only perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins.and atonement for the forgiveness of our sins.....in other words, His sacrifice enables each of us to gain HIS forgiveness and sin covering so that when a person will confess with his or her mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in his/her heart hat God raised Jesus from the dead, we can each be saved. If you aren't sure you are forgiven by Christ, confess your sins to Him and ask Him to cleanse you from them, invite Him into your life, and live for Him.....you will never be the same! Contact me at: marriagegalmichelle@gmail.com if you would like help in understanding this further or for us to pray for you; we would be honored to do so.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Taking Out the Trash Talk

Friendships between women can be powerful and positive influences, and I certainly can relate to times when we wives and moms need such relationships...they can help us grow, provide support, and offer encouragement. However, I often notice that there are women who seek out other women in what appears to be a gab fest, where husbands and kids are free to be dragged through the mud verbally. I can hear it now, "Why can't he just get off of the couch and do something useful for once?" "All they do is cause me heart-ache, messes, and trouble." "Never send a man to do what only a woman can." Okay, I can't really hear those comments, but you get the point. Any words that come out of your mouth that complain, tear-down, and hinder direct and positive solutions in a marriage or parenting relationship are not helpful. A quick read through of Phillipians Chapter 4 can be very helpful! Instead of complaining "about," why not take the initiative and calmly address the issues that are causing you such stress and the need to "trash talk?" It is much more beneficial to say, "Honey, I am really feeling like you would rather sit in front of that video game than pay attention to me," than to grab the controller, smash it on the floor, and call your gal friend to malign the dude. It is more beneficial to think on what is good, pure, lovely, and true, and recognize that your husband worked hard all day and can use some "down-time" to de-stress. It is more beneficial to teach your children how to study and clean-up well, find them a tutor, or set-up a positive-reinforcement system than to complain about their grades, bad behavior, or sloppiness. Your attitude about your family is either a witness that builds up or tears down, a witness to the world of how you feel about those closest to you. If you treat your friends and strangers at the grocery store better than you are speaking of and treating your mate or children, maybe it is time for a re-boot, and take out the trash. Blessings to you and yours, Marriage Gal Michelle

Friday, August 3, 2012

Becoming The Right Person for Marriage

Marriage is not something to be entered into lightly. It is the beginning of a new family, but many people never stop to consider that fact. Marriage "snippets" like a 72 day long commitment, or lack there of, as in the Kardashian marriage have become so common that the true essence of life-long commitment gets lost in the process. However, part of the issue is as much about becoming the type of person that can sustain marriage, whether the going gets rough or not, than only in finding "Mr. or Miss Right." The type of marriage that grows strong and lasts is the type that has both individuals fully committed due to an inherent character trait that has been developed over time. You do not have to be perfectly polished to be married, or there would be no marriages, but you do have to have the basics in line....what type of person do you want to be? What type of person you must be, to be a great husband or wife that commits for life-long love, AND what type of person your potential spouse must be, depends much on the internal character traits you both possess as you venture to start a "new family unit."