Monthly Archives: February 2016

Tips for a Lasting Marriage (Part 1)

This being my 20th Valentine’s Day with my husband, I want to share some of what I think makes a marriage last.

Work
Marriage takes effort, and it’s worth working and fighting for. Every situation is different, but in most cases, marriages can survive—and thrive—with real effort. As Philip Stanhope said “Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.” And as Colossians 3:23 (NIV) says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” If there was ever anything worth working at with all your heart, it’s marriage! I’ve seen couples come back from seemingly hopeless situations—through prayer, counseling, and WORK! You chose to be in love with your spouse in the first place—keep making that choice, even when it’s not easy.

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The Stupid Box

(Or How to Be Ready for Anything)

My boys have been involved in sports for about 11 years now. At our busiest: the youngest played recreational (think little league) soccer; the middle had travel soccer and middle  school cross country in the fall and middle school soccer and chess team in the spring; and the eldest had travel soccer in the fall and high school soccer in the spring. That was a crazy year, especially with none of them driving. Since then we’ve also had seasons in which the eldest two played on travel teams for clubs in two different counties and the youngest also played recreational soccer. And if that weren’t enough, they all three played indoor soccer this last winter (it was the eldest’s third season), thus insuring we never go more than 3 weeks without a soccer game. Oh, but don’t worry, the high schoolers are spending LOTS of time prepping for the spring season already! All of our events (games, meets, tournaments, etc.) are held in Tennessee and Georgia, two wonderful states where you never quite know what the weather is going to be. And soccer seasons usually start out in one weather season and end up in another. March 3 to the middle of May, or July to the middle of December, can run the gamut of temperatures. Not to mention how rain and snow can affect a season!

I give all that background to say: you name it, we’ve seen it! I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way, and since high school soccer starts in a few weeks, I’m sharing them with you—so you too can be prepared for anything.

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Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Not much can make teenage boys happier—especially after being at school and soccer practice for 11 hours—than coming home to a plate piled high with chocolate-chocolate chip cookies. I love surprising and spoiling them!

FullSizeRender

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Getting Schooled

My 9-year-old struggles. He’s a sweet, bright, funny, interesting, resilient little boy, but he struggles. He doesn’t necessarily intend to be disobedient, but staying on task, following directions, and accomplishing assignments do not come to him naturally. Every day on the way to school, I try to remind him of who he is and what he is capable of. It often sounds like, “You’re going to follow directions today, right? And not distract your classmates? And you’ll finish your assignments on time? You can do this!”

One morning recently, I reminded him of what I have been trying to teach him lately. When we do what we want instead of what we are supposed to and when we distract others, it is selfish.

It’s a hard concept to learn in today’s competitive world. Everyone is trying to succeed and be better than the people around them. This is not, however, the life Christ has called us to! Philippians 2:3 (NIV) very clearly explains, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Nor is it the life Christ was called to: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (vv. 6-8)

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