Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘attraction’ Category

How Do You Love?

Last night Greg and I watched the movie “Three Men and a little Lady” – made some 20 years ago or so. In the last part of the movie – the leading man finally finds the courage to tell the leading woman how he feels about her. She wonders what took him so long (5 years later) in fact on her wedding day to another man – he finally confesses that he loves her, not just for her 5 year old daughter, but for himself alone. Complicated? Yes. Self serving? I’m not sure. Does he have the right to love for just how it makes him feel? With no regard to how anybody else does? Because it brings him happiness to love her?

This has always been a topic of conversation around our house. Greg has always claimed that love in its most stripped down mode – is selfish. I’m not sure I have always agreed. I’ve had my share of relationships (in the love department) gone sour and very bad. And though I agree with the premis – I have trouble coming to grips with loving someone just because it feels good or because they love me. Aren’t people worth loving even when they don’t love back? How about those who choose to walk away? Are we to stop loving them?

The Bible tells us that God loved us while we were still sinners – and far from Him – Christ died for us. That kind of love is far beyond our comprehension. We as human beings have trouble with it. Most people who hurt us, mistreat us, stop loving us, turn away, love someone else, stop speaking, etc. – we write off as being unlovable and unreachable. Even when we have had relationship with them that has been good at one time. How different we are from the heart of God. God loves even when it is not returned.

Marriage – especially a long-term one is a great example of unconditional love. You don’t always feel like loving all the time. There are disagreements and differences. There is not always romance. You don’t say: “I will love you as long as it feels good for me and as long as you love me back – otherwise all bets are OFF!” Love is so much more than that – it is a choice. 7 days a week, 12 months, 365 days a year. Every year. Through rain and shine – thick and thin – in sickness and in health. Even when the person does not love you back in the way you think they should. Even when they don’t always understand you. Even then.

How do you love? Does your love have conditions? Is your love a selfish love that says: I will love you only if you love me back? I will give of my time only if I get something back from it? Are people worth loving just simply because they are?

I think they are.

 

God Bless

He’s Got Bette Davis Eyes

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This morning I woke up and looked over at my sweet sleepy husband.  He looked like an angel – and I was just watching him – wondering when he would wake up – when he suddenly and slowly opened up his eyes.  They were so cute and puffy from lack of sleep after a very late (or early) work night.  As he looked at me trying to focus – I thought they looked very much like pictures I had seen of the sultry and sexy Bette Davis – (just the eyes) – and before I could retract it, I said “You’ve got Bette Davis Eyes

I’m sure he does not appreciate my humor at that time in the morning – but I really did mean it as a complement :)  He’s a pretty good sport – most of the time and usually laughs right out loud at my poking fun at him –  and it is easy and comfortable being with him – I love to hear him laugh like that.  And his eyes crinkle with humor and fun – much mischief and ‘little boy’ innocence – it is really nice.

Eyes are the ‘window to the soul‘ and many things can be revealed about a person when you look into them.  Fear, confidence, pain, hurt, frustration, peace, fun, mischief – yes it all revealed in a moment – through the eyes.

I LOVE brown eyes.  they are deep and expressive, mysterious and soft.

I also LOVE green eyes.  Whimsical and sparkling with fun.  Captivating and full of mischief.

But my favorite are Blue eyes.  My husband has blue eyes.  They are sweet and kind.  They hold me with just a glance and touch something deep within me.

My eyes are also blue – and they are my husband’s favorite thing about me.  He can read them very well – and understands what lies beneath the surface after all these years.  They are my ‘window’ to what is inside of me.  Sometimes shining with fun – sometimes brimming with tears and emotion – they are all a part of me – and he loves to drown in them.  I am very lucky.

Below is a song by Peter GabrielIn Your Eyes”  the lyrics perfectly express how I feel – and how my husband feels about me and my eyes.  Enjoy!

God Bless

I’m Not Short – I’m Empire Waisted

Joséphine de Beauharnais wearing a dress with ...

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Men are so funny.  Especially to us women.  Who else could get colors, fabrics and clothing lingo – so completely WRONG?

Greg likes to be ‘involved’ in my life – not be left out – even if it is about clothing, makeup and ‘girly things’.   I had my ‘colors’ done one year – and I think Greg felt left out.  For years he has insisted that he is NOT one particular ‘season’ – like so many women were holding firmly to – when the whole ‘color me beautiful’ thing was popular.  He would insist – he was ‘every season’ and couldn’t be pinned down.  I would tell him that I am a ‘summer’ – because those colors most complemented my skin tone.  If we were in a winter month – then Greg would miraculously be a ‘winter’ too.  When the season changed to ‘spring’ – then he was also a ‘spring’.  I think he just wanted to feel a part of things – and being ‘one’ with nature – proved that he was – or something like that.  He doesn’t want to be left out.

Now when I have an item of clothing – for example – an ‘empire waisted’ shirt he doesn’t want to be left out – and insists that he IS ‘empire waisted’ too.  I think that secretly he is just trying to hide the fact that he has rather short stocky legs :)

An empire waist is very flattering – hugs the smallest part of a woman’s body and doesn’t emphasize the curvier areas.  Those of us that have curves – love the empire waist :)  Men don’t really get that.  Who can blame them?

Men.  What to do with them.  Can’t live with them – Can’t live without them either.  So confusing.  Luckily my man isn’t too complicated – he’s simple really – and I don’t mean ‘simple minded’ – that’s another completely different subject.  Just simple. Not too hard to figure out – no drama or mystery.  That’s MY department – and he would totally agree!

I think we confuse the men.  But I think they rather like it.  They seem to always have that bemused and puzzled expression on their faces.  There are in a constant state of panic – wondering if they will be asked to ‘recall’ a question we have just asked them – or trying frantically to come up with the correct response to our incessant chatter.

Last night Greg and I were sitting in the ‘talking room’ – a room where we have spent many HUNDREDS of hours over the last couple of years.  I was happily chatting on and on about something really important to me – and I noticed that he was starting to ‘nod off’.  Oh – not blatantly – it was just a subtle flinch – eyes that blinked too many times – and a familiar twitch around his mouth.  All these things that I can read so well – and others would not be able to tell.  But I KNEW!!   It was irritating.  And I knew that instead of my conversation being really important – my voice was instead lulling him to sleep!  Good grief.

He’s pretty good – but most of the time has a hard time keeping up with me – after all – I am a handful – as all my friends know :)

Next time you see Greg – ask him if he’s got short legs – or is he really ‘empire waisted’ – you’ll get a good laugh from him – and it will make you smile – I promise ♥

God Bless

Living On The Edge

I recently ran across this article from my new blogging buddy  Elizabeth Esther.  She explains how her daughter wanted to jump into their pool with her dance recital outfit on – to know what it would feel like to ‘fly’ with it on.  It’s a sweet story complete with a picture of her ‘in flight’ after Elizabeth finally relented to letting her daughter ruin her outfit for that ‘thrill’ of flying through the air.

Absurd?  Impracticable?   Foolishly frivolous?   Yes.  All of these – and more.

A chance to ‘let go’ – to ‘run with reckless abandon’ and do something spontaneous – just because.

We lose this ability as we mature.  We become responsible and (gasp!) practical.  We think in terms of conserving and ‘pulling in’ – often times squelching any creativity or spontaneity.   Because we are grown up and have to act responsibly – I mean if we don’t – WHO WILL?  Right?

Do you remember a time when you ran through the sprinklers in your yard (or someone else’s) and got soaking wet?  Even your hair?  And it felt SO GOOD, didn’t it?  Just kicked off your shoes and ran through!

How about the time you risked your life swinging on a rope swing?  The kind that was on its last few precious strands of rope weeks before and everyone that was swinging on it – you just knew they were on borrowed time?

When was the last time you had a popsicle?  The kind you used to get when you heard the ice cream man coming?  My favorites were banana and root beer.  How about a slurpee?  When was the last time?  They’re not just for kids you know :)

We grow up and get ‘careful’.  And not just ‘careful’ – but ‘cautious’.  Life becomes so serious to us – and granted – there is much to be serious about.  There are bills to be paid – and family situations – but there is also a mind-set that creeps in – if we’re not careful.  The mind-set that fun is for the young – and life becomes very mundane and predictable.

Well – that may be okay for you – but NOT FOR ME!  I love excitement – I even have to have something exciting for breakfast!  No dull and dry cereal for me – NO SIR!  I need something – ANYTHING with a little pizzaz! A yummy bagel with flavored cream cheese – or a wonderful mouth-watering scone – or a Danish with a little something extra – you know. Greg likes the same thing for breakfast everyday. (Boring) He really likes it like that!  Amazing!

I like to ‘live on the edge’ – LOVE adventure, romance and just plain living! Greg likes consistency and routine.  That’s where he is comfortable and safe.

Greg knows that I just can’t ‘exist’ – but that I love to express myself – share love and friendship with those in my world and – love to explore new places and get to know new people – and love to encourage others to LIVE and LOVE life!!   And in this ‘new season’ that we find ourselves in – it is nice that we are both now self-employed and can do some of the things we’ve always wanted to do – it doesn’t always take money to do them – (we don’t have any – so that’s good!) and I’m thrilled for that!

We do something fun everyday. Each day is an adventure.  We had been married far too long – raised a couple of children before we realized that the ‘fun’ and ‘spontaneity’ had been robbed from us.  I blame so many things on that – the families we were both raised in (duty, work and responsibility) and the church we found ourselves in for years (appearances and being an example) – and yet I know that these only served as a guide – and did not mean to suck the joy out of our marriage – but somehow – they did.  Add to that the stresses of life, family situations and burdens from those in crisis close to us – and even some dysfunctional behavior from others and mix it all together and you can get a very dry and tired marriage. With no joy.  Safe, predictable, practical and boring. A slow death sentence for me.

Bringing ‘fun’ back into our marriage was a choice – but also a necessity. Without it – we would not have made it.  We took a step toward excitement – and I’m happy to report that keeping things ‘fresh’ and ‘new’ has become our theme song after 29 years of marriage.  We were both Christians since we were children – so our faith was never in question – just our ‘duty’ and commitment’ became old and stale and we needed a better reason than that to keep doing the same old things over and over and over again.  Like a worn out song that never ends – is how our marriage was becoming.  We were becoming that couple with an ‘arrangement’ but that really wasn’t very happy anymore.  And it scared us.  We refused to be that couple and live that way – with separate lives and interests – pulling further and further apart.

How did we turn it around?  We brought FUN back into our relationship.  We looked closely at us.  Not the ‘us’ as parents of our two wonderful children – not the ‘us’ as a ministry couple (as most people had known us) – not the ‘us’ as wonderful obedient children of our own parents – but we just stepped back and looked at us. And we had to go back and remember just what it was that sparked that interest and kept us - way back then.  The ‘little’ things that meant so much back then.  We started doing that again.  We started thinking of ways to be creative without much money – going and doing something interesting everyday together – being spontaneous and FUN!  Not holding back or squelching each others creativity – but allowing each other to be exactly who we are. And that included allowing each other to grow individually without feeling threatened by it.  I have a lot of friends and love each of them in their own special way.  Greg now understands how important that is to me and does not limit me – nor is he threatened by it.  I understand Greg’s need to feel ‘safe’ by routine and his work – and encourage him to do the things that make him most happy and fulfill him as a man.  It is a win/win – born out of necessity – and has grown into something secure and trusted – a mutual respect and understanding for each other – two completely different people who decided to grow old together and two people who chose each other.

Here’s wishing you and yours some fun and spontaneity – as you endeavor to ‘live on the edge’ in your marriage and in your own personal life.

God Bless

Laughter, Listening and Liking each other in Marriage

I posted something today on my facebook page about laughter and it got me thinking about marriage and laughter.  There are many reasons why a marriage fails – even those that start out with good intentions.  Oh sure, there are outside forces that hit you blindsided – we all know about those things – and finances (or lack of them) can also be a key contributor to failure.  But more than these I believe that at the very root of the issue is this:  Married couples forget to laugh. Now I’m not talking about the little chuckle you get from something funny one of your kids did today – or a funny email or status update on facebook from one of your friends – or even a great humorous story – I’m talking about laughing with each other – sharing a joke together – or a secret and poking fun at the other and finding it so funny!  When was the last time your spouse made you REALLY LAUGH? When was the last time – YOU were funny and not so serious?  Life is serious enough without adding to it – and sometimes you just need to take a ‘chill pill’ and just laugh.  Laugh at the absurd – laugh at the ridiculousness of your situation – laugh at the irony of life – enjoy your spouse and find something together to laugh at!  A healthy married couple smiles and laughs all the time.

Another reason marriages are in trouble is this: Married people forget how to listen. You’re so used to that person – after a while if they’re not saying anything worth listening to – we tune them out. It is an art form to learn how to listen well – but well worth it.  We were a marriage that had forgotten how to do this – I didn’t feel I had my husband’s full attention anymore – he had forgotten how to listen to me and meet my emotional needs.

Develop a healthy sense of humor with your spouse and listen to them – really listen. If you listen long enough – believe me – you will bond with them again – you’ll be able to share secrets and find that laughter too.  It will be there – decide that YOU will not wait for them – decide that you are going to turn your marriage around.  Get your ‘mischievousness’ on!  You will ignite something in your spouse – a passion that you forgot was ever there.

And finally – I think the reason that marriages are in trouble is this:  Somewhere along the way – you forgot to like your spouse. You say, “Oh – but you don’t understand – I wouldn’t ever think of leaving them” – You may even say that you ‘love’ them – in the traditional Christian way (of course) and if push comes to shove and they really tick you off and you’re at the end of your rope you might consider murder – but NOT divorce – NEVER!  You say, “Not me!   This would never happen to us!  But I don’t have to like them – I’m committed.” HOGWASH!!  You are setting yourself up for a failure with this attitude.  What if someone comes into your life that really likes you - admires you – and treats you like your spouse doesn’t? There’s a fine line between tolerance and indifference – don’t be foolish.  It happens all the time.

I like my husband.  I didn’t always feel this way.  Oh I suppose I got used to him – he is an excellent man in every way – good father – wonderful friend to many – but for me – I had forgotten to like him.  So like many of you out there – I had a choice to make.  Do I want to start over and learn how to like him again – find the laughter and the reason that I picked  him in the first place?  Can it be done?  We’re used to each other – but do I really like him?  It took many months of talking and really listening to each other to discover that we were solid as good friends – even if we hadn’t been married to each other.  We had to rediscover that again – we had to ‘date’ again to make that connection – and we DID!  And you can too.  I can honestly say now that I not only love Greg – and am committed – but I also like him.

I found this very cute and humorous video on marriage from the comedic and married team of Stiller and Meara – married over 50 years.  It’s adorable and has some great truths in it – they use laughter in their relationship and they have also found that they actually like one another after all the years together.

God Bless

A Kiss Is Just A Kiss…

Yesterday I was reading a very interesting article on kissing.  In this article written by a man happily married – he was explaining how a kiss is so important in a love relationship and especially in a married one.

I just had a few thoughts of my own on this.

First there are many types of kisses – and many cultures that express deep meaning in a kiss.  In some cultures a kiss in greeting is not unusual – on the lips sometimes but very often on each cheek as a way to say, “hello” – or “goodbye”.

We in America do not follow these rules – and in fact we seem to have our own ‘personal space’ rule.  We would think it funny – strange or even a little creepy if someone of the opposite sex (whom we are not married to) came up and greeted us with a kiss – unless it’s your Grandpa, Dad, Brother, or Uncle.  But anyone else – NO WAY!  It’s our ‘personal space’ again.

But a romantic kiss?  That’s entirely different.  A kiss from your husband is the best kind of kiss there is.  You really can tell so much from a kiss.  It’s intimate and warm and wonderful – when done right.  It keeps the romance alive and keeps you coming back.  As a woman – I would rather have a passionate kiss that hints of more wonderful things to come – then just about anything else he could do for me.  I love his back rubs too – for that reason.  Tenderness shared by two people – the human touch – so necessary!

There are many married couples that struggle in this area.  The passion and excitement have definitely gone out of the marriage and they have been reduced to an ‘arrangement’ of sorts – instead of a growing, healthy, passionate and intimate love affair – as is expressed rather graphically in the Bible – remember “Song of Solomon”?  I don’t think King Solomon could ever have been accused of not being passionate.  Or disinterested.  Was he ‘physical’ and proud of it?  You betcha!  This is what is missing today in most married couples that have been married for 20 years or more – it’s mundane, hard, tiring and not interesting anymore.

For you women out there in this situation, I say this to you – do something to turn that thing around!  We woman have so much ‘power’ in this department – and though the man is the pursuer and should be ultimately responsible when the ‘romance’ goes out – I say that the woman has so much to also take upon herself – if the romance is no longer there.  What are you doing to make yourself attractive to your husband?  Does he look at you anymore?  Why not?  Are you doing anything about it?  Do your eyes sparkle with fun and laughter when you’re with him”  Do you laugh together anymore?  Why not?  Do you admire him?  Hang on his every word?  Make him feel important?  Wear special outfits that you know he likes?  Be softer – more feminine?  How often do you kiss him?  Build him up?  Make yourself available for him?  Take his arm – cuddle up with him on the coach?  Men LOVE to be admired and to be touched. Often and by someone they love – it’s like a drug to them.  Touch him!  Often – even if he’s not used to it – he will get used to it with very little help – I guarantee it.  And you want him touching you and thinking about you, right?  Make sure you kiss him properly so that he does!

For you men out there – YOU are the pursuer – the one that presses in – the one that is all about the chase!  If you aren’t chasing anymore – you need to ask yourself a question:  Why not?  Women LOVE to be pursued – wanted and made to feel like a QUEEN!  Especially in the home – but it goes outside the home too.  Women love to be kissed - passionately. It lets them know that they are wanted and needed by you.  They love little ‘things’ – notes, gifts, actions and words that let them know you are thinking only of them. NOT just for physical love – although if you do this right – it will lead there – I promise.  Take care of her emotional need first – and then the physical can’t help but follow.  Don’t wait until she takes care of you – YOU take care of her first and see the rich payoff you will receive.  Woman love to be touched – especially by you – so TOUCH HER!  A smart man will touch often because he wants her to be thinking about him and not some other man, right?  So kiss her like you mean it – you want your kiss to be on her mind all day!

About a year ago I wrote on the subject “Men are Simple” and still believe that men have 3 basic needs – if you meet them you will have a happy man – eating out of your hands.  1) Admire them 2) Feed them 3) Physical love (sex) – nothing could be more simple!

But women are equally simple if you break it down – it is NO secret that women are relational in nature and much more emotional as a general rule.  They love the ‘little things’ – touches and kisses and words – actions that promote love and interest.  Make her your Queen - and she will be a happy woman – and a happy woman with her emotional needs met – will meet your emotional and physical needs.

I recently thumbed through some pages online of “The Sex Starved Marriage” by Michele Weiner-Davis.  I understand how important it is to have a happy, healthy marriage – so many do not.  By the title of this book alone – it says so much. We live in a society and culture that promotes passion and sex to the unmarried and even ‘affairs’ – NOT so much in a boring, long marriage.  But I want to challenge you today – do something more about your marriage – turn it around and have a wonderful, passionate, healthy and thriving marriage as an example for the world to see!  And like was stated in the article on ‘kissing’ – you can always tell a marriage that has gotten it right.  They touch and kiss - share secrets and smiles and have a certain glow.  Love makes woman beautiful – and men young-looking and sexy.  Try it out – you won’t be disappointed – I promise.

Is a kiss just a kiss?  I think not.

God Bless

Letters To Juliet

Last night Greg and I went to see “Letters to Juliet”.  I had heard great things about it – but Greg being a ‘guy’ was unsure about this highly acclaimed ‘girl movie’ and was skeptical to say the least.  But because he’s an unusual guy and we are ‘dating’ and having fun in everything that we do – and because he likes me to be happy – he decided he could endure it – for my sake.  But he changed his mind after we both read this review from widely respected movie critic, Roger Ebert.  If you had doubts about the movie – you most likely will not after reading his remarks and personal experiences from the film – including a glimpse into his personal romantic life.

Something that is noteworthy in this movie is that the two ‘leads’ are actually married in real life and have a similar story to the movie – met and fell in love when they were young and on the set of “Camelot” and then were separated until just a few years ago – when they decided to marry.  It’s very sweet – and below is a little bit more about the story from the stars themselves – Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero.

While sitting there watching it – we were caught up in the story – sure it was a bit predictable and a little ‘far fetched’ – but I also know of true stories that are maybe not so different from this story – and they say – “truth is stranger than fiction’ – and in many cases it is – some of the stories I’ve heard about involving time, love and restoration after many years is something out of a story book (or movie) and I’ve said many times, “you just can’t make this stuff up!” and meant it!

Enjoy the  video below and I hope that you will go and see this – it’s a very sweet love story – for all of you ‘true’ romantics ♥

Transforming The Beast

He was proud and arrogant

cocky and strong

born of privilege

he could do no wrong

A disguised person came to his door

to offer a great test

he outwardly scoffed

Compassion for a guest?

Thus began the curse

and he was also disguised

for showing no compassion

he became the despised

Then she entered his world

shaken but unmoved

he was undone

as his many emotions proved

By the love of another

was how the  curse could  be broken

his heart – entering hers

with words unspoken

Something was lifting

at first all seemed strange

but the darkness that bound him

slowly began to change

He, who was vulnerable underneath

watched as her love was guiding

the little child

he was desperately hiding

She silently willed him to be better

holding  him with such belief

that there would be no more sadness

no more grief

Could she love him?  He wondered.

A beast imprisoned by sin

there was no beautiful face to see

only someone hideous and grim

But something strange began to happen

as he changed deep inside

The curse was lifting

the selfishness and pride

And as he  felt something more

her love transformed him

made him whole again

filling his heart to the brim

Ah – this is what love does

transforms what must die

refreshes and renews

to find a real beauty deep inside

Today – look beneath the surface

you may find

a beauty waiting where the beast once was

clearly seeing where once you were blind

For love transforms

even the ugliest heart

into something rare and beautiful

lovely from the start

God Bless

The Great Gender Myth

We are all guilty of doing this. We assume. We tell bad jokes concerning it. We make judgment calls.  I call it – “The Great Gender Myth”

For example: Men do this regarding women all the time. Let’s face it – the only example that men have of woman – is their Mother – and/or their sister and most obviously – their wife. Not that there is anything wrong with these particular examples – but while it is maybe all that man has to base his opinion on – it may be WAY OFF!

My Father-in-law is a great example of this. His mother was Norwegian – thus devoid of most any emotion and was all about “duty” and “appearances”. She was a school teacher – ran a strict household with 3 sons – not “touchy feely” at all. Next – he married a voluptuous “blond” – who was the polar opposite of his mother. She was and is warm and caring – the off the charts “sanguine” personality.

Then came me. When I was introduced into this family some 30 years ago now, I don’t think my future Father-in-law knew what to do with me (still doesn’t). I did NOT fit into his “mold” for how woman should be or how they should act. I was raised to be very independent – not afraid to speak my mind – didn’t live in any man’s shadow. I was and still am – a deep soul who loves a “heavy debate” about life and spiritual issues and can hold my own against any man or woman for that matter!  Every time I would accomplish something difficult – whether it was learning a new computer program – or directing another theater production – he would always have that look on his face that I can read very well now – astonishment and pride, One time many years ago we were discussing something and he made some “crack” about how women are – and I looked right at him and said, ” well I’m a woman – and I’m not like that” or some such thing. It has become the joke in our family that I am most definitely NOT like most woman!  I LOVE a good book – can win at Chess against most any man – and love word games like Scrabble.  I’m also a good cook – love a good cry and I’m very “girly” so it seems I am a “mystery” to most men.

Woman do this about men too.  We only have our own father and brothers as an example growing up – and again most obviously our boyfriend or husband as we are older.  I would say that my father and husband are polar opposites as well.  My father the methodical music professor who believes that everything is better if you just “get your work done” – is a driven and passionate man – full of conviction and “duty” – it was the way he was raised – and there was not very much emotion from the family who raised him – or his biological parents.  My husband couldn’t be more opposite in terms of the family in which he was raised.  His mother just oozed of emotion and warmth and as a result Greg is VERY warm and friendly – not afraid to show emotion – and hugged and kissed our kids and me ALL THE TIME.  But I would say that Greg is much more patient and easy-going than my father is.  Greg doesn’t like to read – only when he HAS to.  He hates to “write” and put himself “out there”.  Too embarrassing.  He’s very private – does not like games or “deep” thinking and conversations – and it was always frustrating to have people “probe” into his inner most thoughts.  He’d rather keep it more surface and keep his feelings more to himself and be guarded.

I had these two examples – so I assumed all men either are very private and driven – or warm and more surface.  I have since found that was a myth.  I have a few guys friends that have blown that myth clear away!  I enjoy discussions with them about God and life in general – enjoy reading their writings and thoughts – and am encouraged, knowing that like-minded people are NOT just of a certain sex.

What myth do you have about men and woman?  Have you met people in your life that have “blown it away”?  Do you see uniqueness in every man and woman, knowing that God made them that way for a reason?  Do you value the people in your life that bring a different awareness that things like intelligence and passion are not gender limited?

Look around you – enjoy the people in your life that God has given you today.  And be encouraged!  God has a wonderful sense of humor and just when you thought you were absolutely right about your own “myth” – you’ll be surprised!  And they may be put in your path to challenge you and bless your life.

God Bless

Making Marriage Better

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; Philippians 2:3

Today Greg and I were having one of our “discussions” in the “talking room” over coffee. We were discussing a very heavy topic – “Christ and the Church” which led to the topic of how it says in the Bible that “marriage” is to be a model of that concept. However – it is a poor example – especially in light of all the bad marriages in our world today. It would be like trying to explain how God is like our “loving Father” to someone who has been abused by her earthly Dad.

But I believe this is a “picture” – just a glimpse, if you will – of how God intended for marriage to be – even though we are imperfect and fail at His model – over and over again. Why do we fail at it? Because we are flawed human beings – everyone of us at the core is selfish and wanting our own way. Our hearts are incredibly wicked – holding in them, secrets that pull us in directions that are in direct contradiction to what was intended for us. We are “prone to wander” – and we do.

Because of this selfish, willful nature – we become imperfect mates to our spouse and vise versa. It goes against our nature to “submit” – or put our own desires aside and prefer our mate’s desires and wishes – over our own.

We have all seen this happen – either in our own relationship – or in someone close to us. Feelings are marginalized. People are not validated. A marriage that may have started out full of life and passion – loses something over time – feelings change – life happens – people grow apart doomed to lead very separate lives. Lifeless, dry and empty. We have all heard the saying if we have been Christ followers all of our lives – “we don’t believe in divorce – MURDER yes!! But not DIVORCE!” And life continues on that “happy” note – lives of “quiet desperation” – seeking fulfillment and understanding from somewhere else – or from someone else – people of like minds – who validate us and encourage us in our daily journey to try and understand the life that has been “tossed” at us – and the “feeling” that may have changed for one reason or another.

But to “regard others as more important than yourselves” takes an act of my will. A daily discipline of my heart and mind. It means I still may want to have my own way – even hold things in my heart as a “secret” – but still – I will honor you – because I value you. I will even try to let go of those things that I want – and concentrate on loving you in the best way I can demonstrate it. And the “secret” things that I hold onto – the things I “stuff” so that you won’t see them – in time will not have as much of a hold on me anymore. And in time – by leading my heart – I will be able to let go of it entirely.

Ephesians 5:21,22

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

This is such a key scripture. We do it because we reverence Christ – not because we always feel like it. And in doing so – we become more like that model that He originally set up for us. Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her – how much more should we be willing to at least make an attempt at it?

Now do marriages fail in spite of this great principle? Yes. Usually because people lose sight of this model – are simply unwilling to submit to one another and give themselves – all of themselves – heart and mind in preference of the other. In those cases – there is usually no hope for that couple. And they usually live in a “cold war” situation – leading very separate lives – finding fulfillment elsewhere – or leaving the marriage entirely.

I want to challenge you today – just like you must be willing to be a friend in order to have friends – you must also be willing to prefer your mate over your own desires. It does not mean that you will hit the mark every time – that is impossible because we are human – but if our hearts are right – and we make the attempt to value that person in our lives – be the very best mate that we can be – then this is a start to making a better relationship – and a better marriage. Learn your mate’s “love language” and speak it to them every day. You will see a turn around very quickly in your own heart and attitude as you “serve” the other person in love – and you will find a sweet surprise of your own – that what you give away – will soon come back to you. And you will be blessed.

Have an AWESOME day – as you prefer one another.

God Bless

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