Are You Nice to Your Spouse???

Whereas you love your spouse deeply;

Whereas your spouse deeply loves you;

Whereas your happiness is increased when your marriage is of high quality;

Whereas the quality of your marriage is highly influenced by how you treat one another;

Whereas how you treat your spouse is a daily decision;

Then…

Shouldn’t you be nicer to your spouse than anyone else?

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What Makes a Good Day for You?

It’s easy to fall into a daily routine that we don’t particularly like.  We end up doing the same thing over and over, day after day.  We get up after not getting enough sleep, hurry ourselves and our kids while getting ready for work and school, run out the door to a job which we may or may not enjoy all that much, get through a mundane work day, sit in traffic on the way back home, walk in the door exhausted from our crazy day, make and eat a dinner that probably could be more healthful, turn on the t.v. and watch a show we hope will take our minds off of real life for an hour, go back to bed a bit later than we should only to get up and do it all over again the next day.  Weekends seem like mini vacations compared to our hectic weeks.  We live for Saturdays and dread Mondays.  Are you familiar with this?

We THINK that this is the way it HAS to be.  It was the way we grew up.  It’s the way all of our friends do it.  It’s the way everyone with whom we work does it.  But, that’s not true.  If you’re not happy with your routine, it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can change it.  It can be different.  It can be better.  But, it takes effort.  It takes effort to analyze your day to discover what you can cut out to make more quality time with your family.  It takes effort to look at how you can use your time at work more effectively so that you’re able to actually get your work done and leave the office on time.  It takes effort to get to bed a little earlier so that you get more sleep and feel better the next day.  It takes effort to talk to your kids about what’s going on in their lives.   It takes effort to find quiet time to renew your mind, listen to your thoughts and pray.  It takes effort to tune out the noise and find true voices of value that add to your life experience.   After you expend a little effort to begin doing these things, you gain momentum and change comes more naturally.  It gets easier.  The hardest part about starting something new is just starting.  Once you’ve spent a few days trying new things, finding a routine that you like better, examining your life to find what brings you true joy, it becomes something you’ll want to do.  It’s a great feeling to experience change for the better.  It’s great realizing that life can be different from the same old routine.  People are changing every day.  They’re finding a new path that takes them where they want to go.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve done it.  It’s fun.  And a great way to start your life change is to simply ask this question:  What makes a good day for me?  Once you answer that, your goal should be to do what you can each day to make that happen.  A little effort, a change here and there, some thought, some planning, some action and before you know it, you’ve created a life in which your good days happen more and more.  You CAN do it.  Just give it a try… 

 

What’s REALLY Bothering You?

This is a lesson that took me a long time to learn. Some people get it right away – I didn’t. Here’s the lesson: When you are at odds with someone and their response to you seems way out of proportion to the situation, there’s generally something else going on. If you’re not mindful of this, you can get into arguments that you shouldn’t be in. For instance…

Snow in Middle Tennessee is a rare treat so when it’s in the forecast, lots of people wait with bated breath for the first few snowflakes to fall. A few years ago, a forecast for snow didn’t pan out and I received several e-mails from disappointed viewers. But one was particularly harsh and personal. I was the worst meteorologist she had ever watched and she was never watching again! As I read, it made me angry. I started to fire back an e-mail in response but then I stopped… I tried something different. This woman was way too upset at me for what actually happened. So, I wrote back a note and told her that I, too, was disappointed with the missed forecast. I remembered how let down I felt as a youngster waiting all night for a snow that didn’t happen. Finally, I told her I appreciated her taking the time to write, whether good or bad, and that I hoped she would again one day give my forecasts a try.

Later that day, I received a note back. It was a note of apology. She thanked me for responding and went on to explain she was sorry for what she had written. She wrote a story of some very tough times she had seen over the last few days and that she was just taking out her frustations on me. Last, she told me that she would certainly watch again…

I learned a big lesson that day. What if I had fired back an angry response to her? Where would that have gotten me? I could have made the situation even worse. This is the way a lot of arguments with spouses start. Someone has a short fuse because of a bad day but the other doesn’t give a little grace. An argument escalates and by the end of it, you don’t even remember what you started arguing about in the first place. Sometimes it just takes stepping back and asking, “Is what we’re talking about the REAL problem here?”

So, watch out for those times when the response seems totally out of proportion to the situation. There’s generally something else at work here. Try to remain calm and show a little grace. This could save you, especially in your close relationships, from some very hurtful and unnecessary arguments…

You’re Worried About What???

There was a day I used to stress and worry about much more than I do now.  It took a
lot of life experience to teach me that not everything in life deserves the same
amount of my attention and energy.  We only have so many hours in a day – we all
know that.  But what we sometimes forget is that when we waste our thoughts, time
and energy on something insignificant, it means we’re not spending that time on the
things that REALLY matter in life.

Author John R. Noe, among others, wrote that out of everthing we worry about, only
eight percent is real and legitimate.  The rest either won’t happen, happened in the
past or is out of our control.  That means 92 percent of our time spent worrying is
wasted.  Considering that most of the 60,000 thoughts we have each day are repeats
from the day before, that’s a tremendous amout of time we just throw away.  Almost
shocking…

So, the next time you catch yourself worrying about something, ask yourself, “Does
this really deserve all of this attention from me?”  Because we can only have one
thought at a time, redirect your mind to something positive and constructive.
Become a master crafter when it comes to using your time.  Think more about your
goals and passions, how to serve your spouse, kids, family and community and about
all you have for which to be thankful.

Just remember, God gives us a limited amount of time here on earth and you have a choice each day about how you spend your time.  Make it count…