Week 2 of Marriage Series

Welcome!  We’re in week 2 of our marriage series about love and respect.  In learning how to communicate the language our spouse needs to hear, we’ve talked about the book called Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs.  I recommend reading the book from cover to cover.  It will transform your marriage.

BETTER MARRIAGE SERIES

Even if you have a great marriage, even if you have built your relationship on love and respect, it is very easy to get “out of the habit” of purposely speaking your spouse’s language.

For women, speaking respectfully doesn’t come naturally.  We don’t intend to show disrespect, but we do it without realizing it.  Personally, I’ve gotten lazy with this and need to re-train myself on how to speak respectfully.  It has to be intentional for us to do this and to not fall back into old (bad!) habits.

Last week, I began the first of three videos, interviews of Dr. Eggerichs with a television couple, that were published on YouTube.

He has a powerful message, and to really ingest the full detail of what Dr. Eggerichs is saying, I had to view the video twice.  Yes, I’m a little dense!  I don’t know, but possibly I had trouble focusing on what he is saying because the female is a tish overpowering in the conversation.  Don’t get me wrong, she would be loads of fun in a room full of women at a game of Bunco!

I encourage you to watch the video as many times as necessary to grasp what Dr. Eggerichs is saying.  He’s soft-spoken, but he teaches great stuff!

If you would like more information, please visit the Love and Respect Ministries web site.

I hope you have a Spectacular Sunday – because it is another spectacular day, y’all!

View the other videos here:  Week 1 of Marriage Series and Week 3 of Marriage Series.

Week 1 of Marriage Series

Does your marriage need a little TLC?  How about a little boost with a DIY video?

Two weeks ago, in my Spectacular Sunday post called Love + Respect= Repaired Marriage, I shared a book with you that I read a long time ago.  For HH and I, it deepened our marriage relationship.  It’s called Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs, and it is life-changing for couples.

BETTER MARRIAGE SERIES

Perhaps you visited their website.  If not, you still can do that HERE.

Since my post, I have discovered two things:

  1. The reason God led me to that topic that day is because He knows I need a reminder of what I’m supposed to be doing in my marriage.  Don’t we all get a little lazy with that sometimes, especially when life gets hectic?
  2. There are You-Tube videos that provide a better description of the concept than I can try to summarize in a blog post.

So, today, for the benefit of all of us (me included, y’all) in our many different marriage situations, I’m beginning a three-week series on Love and Respect.  Each Sunday for three Spectacular Sundays, beginning today, I will post a You-Tube video for all of us to watch.  We will learn (or review) together, straight from the author.

Let’s see and hear how we can “DIY” our marriage relationship.

I pray you have a blessed and Spectacular Sunday!

View the other videos here:  Week 2 of Marriage Series and Week 3 of Marriage Series.

A Spectacular Father’s Day Gift

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads reading this post!  I’m sorry, Dads, but this post is mostly for the women in your life.  It’s written for you…but not to you.  Although, you are most certainly welcome to read it if you wish.

I’ve struggled with what to write on this Father’s Day.  My Bible reading this week didn’t take me in directions of specifics about fatherhood.   Sorry, dads, I’ve been led elsewhere.  This morning, when I woke up, God nudged me to write about a personal experience…something that helped the dad in our home…something he needed badly…a gift he never requested from me…something he never knew I did…something he’ll never know I did…until the day he reads this post.

We women are all about friends.  We keep a collection of friends.  We shop together, we attend social events together, we talk on the phone together, we visit one another, and well, we just like to be together.  It’s natural for us to develop close relationships with other women.

But for men, it’s different.  In the South, it’s very common for men to have hunting buddies, or fishing buddies, but they don’t just “visit” for the sake of being together.

And, if your husband isn’t a hunter or a fishing fanatic, the opportunities for friendships are lessened a good deal.  Oh, but I forgot about ball games.  They will occasionally meet to attend one of those.  They sit side-by-side, watching the game, analyzing the game, discussing everything about the sport, and that’s the way they get to know one another.  Huh?

Anyway, back to my story.  As you may know, we moved to The Land of Making Do from a large city, a suburb of Atlanta, called Marietta.  HH went to work each day and spent time with other men while they “slayed the dragons”.  But those were not his friends.  Trust me, in the corporate world, no one is your friend.  Even if someone acts like your friend for a while, if they feel threatened in any way, they’ll turn on you.  Survival of the fittest, as they say.

It was surprising to me to hear HH make the statement one day that he didn’t feel he had many real friends.  Yes, a couple of long-time real friends from high school and college were in the background.  He talked to them occasionally (when their team was needing discussing, y’all), but he didn’t see them often.  Our families all lived in different states, and still do.

His comment stayed on my mind.  With a need to “fix it”, I thought of ways we could spend time with more couples.  But, with small children, and friends with small children, how could the guys develop lasting friendships?  It needed to happen naturally and not be directed in any way by me.

It occurred to me that I couldn’t “fix it” and that I should pray for his friendships.  I started praying for God to provide him with truly meaningful male friendships – men with Christian principles, men that shared a basic commonality with my husband, men that knew how to be a real friend.

Did I get an immediate response?  No, because God does things on His time frame.  But, it wasn’t too much longer…about three years.  HH received a call from someone at church.  They were asking him to become part of a group of men, a group that serves the church, a group that works together to serve the church, a group that prays together before everything they do, a group that is bonded together in God’s call for real, honest men to serve His church.  HH was humbled to be included among such men.  As it turned out, God provided through this group 150 new Christian friends for my husband.  Yes, 150!

What an awesome gift!  God does answer prayer, y’all.  He tells us if we pray in His will, He will answer.  I knew it was God’s will that HH have strong Christian friendships, so that’s how I prayed for it – in God’s will.  Even today, ten years later, I have tears flowing when I remember how God gave my husband that gift – and gave it lavishly.

I later found a book that helped me pray for my husband in many ways.  I struggle with spoken words, y’all.  The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian gave me the words to pray.

I have since added to my collection her book The Power of a Praying Woman and another for praying for our children.  I encourage you to use the tools the Lord provides to enable you to pray.  The words don’t come naturally for me, but Stormie Omartian gives me some good words – words that somehow fit every situation, descriptive, meaningful every-day words. When I read her words, it’s like they are my own.  So, I borrow them and use them in my own prayers.

HH and I have a verse that we share as a favorite for our marriage and our lives.

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” 

Psalm 37:4

That’s how we wound up living in The Land of Making Do.  It was the desire of our hearts to have a little breathing room, to leave the hustle and bustle and the busyness of “city” life.  We craved a little solitude.  Again, God answered in a big way.  He led us to solitude.  Not alone-ness, just room to stretch without bumping into people.  We love people, y’all, don’t get me wrong.  God simply gave us a refuge to strengthen us and restore us, a safe haven that comforts us.  It’s not a mansion, because He knows I couldn’t keep it clean.  But it is more than we deserve.  That’s what God’s gifts always are – more than we deserve.

On this Father’s Day, let’s give the men in our lives, Dads or not, the best gift they may never know we gave them.  Lifting them up in prayer is a spectacular gift – one we’ll see given through many days ahead, not just for today.

A spectacular gift.

Love + Respect = Repaired Marriage

Hi, everyone.  It is another Spectacular Sunday!

We had two weddings to attend yesterday.  Last night, after going separate ways so that one of us could attend each wedding, we agreed that it didn’t feel right.  Each of us sitting in a church pew alone while watching a young couple commit vows to each other, just didn’t feel right. We agreed that, from now forward, we will choose one wedding and both attend together.  It’s our statement of commitment to our marriage, as well as to the marriage of the couple at the altar.

The Bible is our instruction book, and I have found it to be the number one resource for a great marriage.

Don’t get me wrong.  I fail often in actually doing what I know I should do.  But, if we can instill much of what God reveals to us, we’re definitely ahead.

Years ago, I read a book called “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.   (It quickly became my number two resource for marriage.)  HH and I had been married about 13 years, and our pastor had preached a sermon about marriage and brought our attention to this verse.

“So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself,

and the wife must respect her husband.”

Ephesians 5:33

I remember discussing the sermon on the way home from church that day.  Since I had shown my husband no disrespect, I thought I was doing OK.  Later, when reading the Love and Respect book, I discovered I was maybe not doing so good.

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OK, so I’m to respect my husband.  Women need love, and we’re good at loving.  It comes naturally to us.  That’s why men are given the mandate to love us.  Because God knows how important it is to us.

God also knows how important it is for a man to feel respected.  Of course He knows these things, y’all, because that’s the way He wired us.  (You may think, at times, “What was He thinking?”)

I began to ask myself what I could do to show HH respect, since it doesn’t come naturally.  All I could think of was how I had shown my father respect while growing up.  OK, so maybe I didn’t do so well there, either.

Do you want to know what I did to find out?  This is huge, y’all.  Are you ready for it?

I asked him.  Yep.  Just that simple, I sat down with him and asked him what I could do that would show him respect.  It may be different for every man, so we need to find out about our particular man.  How else will we know, if we don’t ask?

After committing to memory the things HH told me, I started doing those things.  Also, I prayed for God to show me other ways I could show HH respect.  I wanted to be good at it, y’all.

It really is transforming.  In the book, you’ll discover that possibly you and your husband are trapped in a negative cycle.

You’ll read about why we should begin our part, whether or not he deserves respect, shows love to us, or does anything on his part to begin the proper cycle of love and respect.  Also, the partner that begins the cycle is the partner that commits to it even when they don’t feel like it.  Force yourself.

HH hates it when I say this, but it’s really the way I look at it.  When I need to show him respect and I just simply don’t feel like it, I have to make a choice to show love.  Sometimes love is a verb.  You choose to love your mate, at times, because the feelings are not there at that moment.  I know when you were first married, you had those ooshy-gooshy feelings of love.  Through the troubles in marriage that Paul speaks of in I Corinthians 7:28, the ooshy-gooshy love feelings fade.

“…those who marry will face many troubles in this life…”

(I Corinthians 7:28b NIV)

Don’t get your feathers ruffled.  They may fade, but it’s not permanent.  Ooshy-gooshy love goes in cycles.  To stand the test of time, we have to rely on something other than our feelings.  Commitment.  Making proper choices.  Choosing to show love.

Sometimes our head has to over-rule the heart.  When our heart is lacking the feelings, our head has to be rational and prompt us to show love to our spouse by respecting him.  In turn, that brings about the response of him showing love to us (now, that speaks our language!).  See how it’s a cycle?  Then, when he shows love, we see more in him that deserves respect.  It becomes easier to show him respect.  Wow, God is smart.  Men, love your wives.  Wives, respect your husbands.  Not necessarily in that order.

When the ooshy-gooshy feelings have faded, pray for God to revive them.  He will!  Continuing to show respect towards our mate keeps us in the proper cycle.   Our marriage will be blessed, richer for it.  You may have already discovered the treasures of love and respect.  If so, I’d love for you to share through a comment.

I encourage you to check out the Love and Respect website HERE.  Also, they have a blog that features personal stories that are not only enjoyable to read, but possibly a story that is similar to your situation.  HERE is the link to their blog.

Happy Spectacular Sunday, y’all!

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Full Circle

It was one of those weeks, y’all.  Every day was packed to the gills, leaving rushed blog tasks for early mornings and late nights.  There was little time for blogging, but all week I basked in the blessings that came along.  And, there were many.

After two days last weekend of special time with our kids, HH and I took off Monday morning on his motorcycle.  A day trip for just the two of us, so our destination was not very far away.

We had planned to see the homes featured in the movie “The Help”, and Monday was a day of perfect weather for the trip.  We are not the typical barbeque-ers on Memorial Day, and motorcycle riding is a wonderful time for reflection, thankfulness, and just taking in all God’s creation.

Inhale deeply, breathe, and say “Thank you, Lord, for all this wonder.”

We made our way through Carrollton, Mississippi, by “Celia Foote’s house” in North Carroll County, a huge home on a beautiful, sprawling spread of gently rolling hills.

houses from The Help

The closed gate in the driveway provided a “private residence” sign, and the house view was mostly blocked by kudzu-covered trees along the roadside.  I’m certain the owners have had their fill of wanderers intruding on their privacy since the movie came to be.

Greenwood was our next stop, only 20 minutes down the road, to lay eyes on more homes featured in the movie.

Minnie’s house was boarded up, and Aibeleen’s house looked empty.  We wondered if they were prepped for the movie and then left abandoned.  The neighborhood was very small and not as active with people milling around as in the movie.

We traveled across town to the home of Hilly Holbrook , which you may remember as the place where the “terrible-aweful” happened.

The Help Holbrook house

You know, the “revenge pie” scene where two-slice Hilly got her due.  By the way, I love Sissy Spacek in this movie.  Probably her best performance yet, in my view.  She was a hoot and a half!

A few blocks over was Elizabeth’s house, where Aibileen cared for “sweet baby girl” and taught her that she is kind, she is smart, and she is important.

"The Help" movie house

It was interesting to see the homes, positioned differently than expected.  It’s amazing how different impressions are given due to camera angle.  Homes next door can be newer than the era, but you never see that because it’s avoided in all views.

We then rode out of town towards farm country to see the grand plantation used as Skeeter’s house.  Not as far from town as you might imagine, on out Money Avenue (fitting name) turned county road something or other, the estate was surrounded by crusty-dry cropland lined with young, thirsty corn.  Greenwood needs rain.

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At home late that afternoon, we settled in for our evening watching “The Help” to review what we’d seen personally that day.

Full circle.

Follow this link HERE to see more pictures (and of inside the homes) and addresses for your own drive-by tour.

I cried again, just like I do every time I watch “The Help”, which has become a favorite.  There is so much to it, so many layers, and it makes me sad and happy all at the same time.  Tragedy throughout, but such victory in the end!  I love happy endings!

How blessed we are to have men fighting so we can continue to enjoy freedom.  Freedom from oppression.  Freedom for opportunity.  Freedom to be helpful to others without being “the help”, unless we choose it.

Monday was an emotion-filled start to the week.  For the sake of time, I won’t go into detail about each day this week.

Fast forward to this morning.  We began with a ladies breakfast event before Sunday School at our church.  Up early to prepare, there was no time for writing a blog (again for the third day in a row!),  but so, so blessed to be a part of a group of Christian women who love the Lord and love being together in fellowship.

Four young women are headed to Uganda on a mission trip next week, and they were our focus during our time together this morning.  Time to pray for them, their safety, and the lives to be impacted through them for Christ.  They grew up in this church and were taught and cared for by many of the women who gathered.  The next generation beginning to reach out to others.  Full circle.

Later, as our preacher began his sermon, I noticed our scripture source was none other than one I’d read this morning before beginning the hustle and bustle of the day, Mark 8:34-38.  What a blessing, that God would give me a preview to ponder on these verses before further study during our sermon.

Full circle.

Does God do that with you?  HH and I quietly chuckle at times during sermons when the preacher brings up a point that we’d discussed that morning in Sunday School.  These things aren’t planned.  They just happen because God does it.  He gives us repetition to help us learn.  Repetition like we see with TV commercials.  I’d bet you didn’t know God is in the advertising business.  I think He does it to remind us He’s the one in control.

I also think He has a sense of humor and He’s checking to see if we’re paying attention.  I love how He does stuff just to tell us He loves us, and to impress upon us that He’s orchestrating everything.  Because He is, we’re just not always paying attention to it.

Oh, yes, there is one additional point.  I finally got back to some blog business late this afternoon and noticed I’d been featured over at Debbiedoo’s .  There were five features from her Dollar Tree Link Party, and the final feature listed was a set of mouse traps made into hooks (by Bohemian Junktion).

The trap on the left – words spoken many times in the movie – the movie on my mind all week, since our touring day on Monday.

mousetrapfinal (1)

Full circle.

Words from “The Help”.  Words that make me cry to remember Aibileen speaking them and baby girl Mae Mobley repeating them.  And all that these words mean, and the hope they can bring to a little girl starving for love from her mother but getting it from her caretaker who loves her almost like her own.

You is kind.

You is smart.

You is important.

Words that give life.  Words spoken to a broken soul.  Words we can hear if we listen.  It’s the way God feels about us.

And we can hear Him tell us these same words.  If we listen.

Full circle.

I hope you had a Spectacular Sunday.  I know I did!

Thank you for visiting! ~ Just a note to remind you to follow me through email, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ or Hometalk.  Also, I’d love it if you shared Curtain Queen with all your sweet friends.  Thanks, y’all.

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