A marriage relationship is important and tough (probably tougher than any other relationship ever in the whole world, in my opinion) and worth the work.
I’m always looking for simple ways to help relationships be as close and as healthy as they can be. My husband and I have just started doing a few new things for our marriage and we’re noticing this one could be helpful in possibly any relationship.
Here is one experiment we’ve just started a couple weeks ago (and we both like it.)
Every morning we have decided to say (out loud to each other) something good we have noticed or something good that we like about each other.
“One thing I like about you is _____________.”
We get too busy in life sometimes, ya know? With work, school, church, kids, housework, bills, finances, volunteering, rough times, health problems, and a billion more things we can forget to nurture important foundations and critical relationships. It’s not that we mean to; but it’s just that life happens and sometimes we let moments go by that need attentionThis is proving to be a great idea.
One thing it does is it helps us THINK about the positive things during each day (and night) because we know we need to tell each other something we like about each other every day.
(And the negative stuff seems to constantly already be lurking around and threatens to remind us of things we DON’T like about each other… Not sure about you but I’ve had ENOUGH of that.)
Another important result of this experiment is that we’re both getting to hear some positive words in the morning. (Yes, it must be genuine and yes it can be something from the past or present. Actually, it could even be something positive we see in the future.) Getting to hear blessings spoken over you is powerful.
Our kids just told us they’d like to be included in this in the evenings. Good stuff can be contagious.
We ALL probably hear WAY too much negative stuff about ourselves (even from our own thoughts) and this is damaging to our brains, hearts, self esteem, and probably in a hundred other ways I’m not thinking to mention.
If you have a great marriage, that’s wonderful! Maybe this can just be icing. (And maybe you’re already doing this.) But many of us have a tougher time in marriage and I know this can help lots of people and wanted to share this idea.
I believe absolutely EVERY person could benefit from hearing something good every day that someone notices about him or her.
Here’s one from me to you today: One thing I like about you (yes, you, the person reading this) is that you’re beginning to realize your value; you’re a very worthwhile person and you matter.
A) hear all the good things everyone thinks about you?
B) hear all the negative things everyone thinks about you?
C) hear both the positive and negative stuff people think about you?
D) not hear anything people think about you?
You know, I used to feel strongly that I’d want B- hear all the negative things everyone thinks about me because then I could decide where to spend my time trying to clear up misunderstandings. That would take a long time. And the truth is that nobody is going to like me all the time or even understand where I’m coming from because nobody has walked the life I’m walking.
Then later in life I decided that C- hear both positive and negative stuff would be best because some negative (spoken in love) would be good to help me know what I needed to change about me – and there are certainly things I work on every day to be a better mommy, wife, friend, and leader. And I’d also get to hear the positive things because sadly most of the time we ALL (and I rarely use the word ALL but in this case I believe it fits) don’t speak blessings over each other often enough.
For a little while I thought strongly about A- hear all the good things everyone thinks because possibly that would help with how I think of myself. – Or would it make me conceited? Don’t know but I don’t think so.
Someone shared a story about being deaf and not hearing what people say about you and that maybe not knowing would be best because you don’t hear the “noise” and the haters. – I believe deaf people do hear clearly some things that “hearing” people do not.
I think I will choose D and not hear what people (who do not know me) think of me. I will concentrate on what my Jesus thinks of me above anything else.
Just stuff I like to think about.
And I haven’t told you today that I’m glad you’re here in this place with me so I will now. I’m glad you’re here. You matter. I pray blessings over your life so big that you can’t help but see Him.
I know you are sick and tired of hearing how awesome you are. People on the streets shouting all day long, “Hey, YOU! Yes, awesome, beautiful YOU! You are so great and we can’t wait to see what incredible things you’re going to do next.”
All your supporters. Crazy guys. They just follow you around and love you and serve others right along with you and support your dreams. I mean, COME ON, give you some room, am I right?!
You can’t even turn on your computer and check your email without hearing something great about you! Dude. Enough already. Try to look through your texts… Even more love pouring out of your phone! What are you to do?
You think you’re ALL THAT?! Trust me. YOU ARE. You ARE “ALL THAT” and God gave you breath for a reason. The world tells you you are not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not fast enough, ENOUGH. ENOUGH. ENOUGH!!!!
Let me tell you who you are.
You ARE good. You ARE pretty. You ARE smart. You are JUST RIGHT.
YOU are a child of the One True King. You are not forgotten.
You ARE on purpose. You are HERE on purpose and FOR a purpose.
Get that through your head. You were created with all the details of your personality and your body and your mind JUST this way. You are amazing and never, EVER let anyone else make you believe anything less about yourself.
The bank account is negative. For the first time in my life, I have peace anyway (both are rare; the peace I have and the negative account. Though there’s not always much in there when it’s positive…)
I used to lie in bed in the morning and worry. I’d worry over money. I’d cry over money. I’d try to figure out how we can make enough to pay everything AND stay home with our kids because for us, that’s a ministry in itself. We both knew when we got married that we’d give up some stuff and I’d stay home with our kids. For OUR family that is the way it is.
It’s not wrong or right.
Just the way it is for us.
So I’ve worked some years by keeping other people’s kids and several years as a crossing guard for the school district and now also for our photography company God’s allowed us to start.
But every single day I’d worry over money. It never occurred to me HOW much it was a worry until we started to give 10% of our income. And we did that PURELY on faith. We do NOT have EXTRA and honestly it’s not supposed to come from EXTRA anyway. It’s supposed to be your FIRST money. We’ve made a commitment to do this now and though we mess up sometimes, we’re sticking to it for the rest of our lives. Period.
I challenge you to try it for one month. With happiness and obedience. Just TRY it. There is NOTHING like it I’ve ever known. The peace that your heart and mind have. The unexplainable peace. It’s not of this world. You may never go back. This is the beginning of the best times in my whole life, Jack! I can already tell you this and we’ve only done it for a few months.
NOW instead of lying in bed worrying about money every morning, I have changed my habit. Before my feet hit the floor I ask God to show me what He wants me to do today.
Get it? Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Ask God what He wants you to do every day -AND GO DO IT- and everything else will be taken care of.
My friend pointed out something about me not worrying over money anymore. She said that satan tries to hurt us by using stuff he knows will get to us and now he’s not happy that he can’t get to us by using money this way.
If I’m so worried over money, he’s got my attention and I’m not able to focus on the important stuff God is putting in front of me today.
The enemy wants to WASTE your TIME. Because that’s all you have. Time. And the moments of your life are numbered. If satan can waste your time, ESPECIALLY when you don’t even realize he’s stealing from you, he’s done what he set out to do today.
THAT is the secret of the enemy. Now you know. Whatever you’re worrying over today, I’m praying for peace and focus for you right now. You have really important stuff to do. Ask God what that He wants you to do today and then go and do it.
I walked my daughter to school an hour early today on accident. Well I didn’t walk with her on accident. We were an hour early on accident.
Our car is broken. The wheel cylinder is broken. So today my daughter and I walked to school. AN HOUR EARLY. What a funny thing that may have been to some! Well, we could have walked back home then back to school again with the hour we had. She asked if she could just stay there so I was going to sit with her. The woman at the front desk said she can stay. So I kissed my daughter goodbye and told her to read a book, which is probably what she’d choose to do anyway, and walked back home.
As I walked I could feel the cold dew on the toes of my shoes. I didn’t mind. I thought of two videos I’ve just seen about faith.
I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be funny if $1,000 just showed up somehow? Well for that matter, how about $100,000? That would take care of lots of worries, all the bills, move us to Alaska and help buy a house if the book trade thing doesn’t go as we hope it will.”
(The book trade we are doing is like the One Red Paperclip trade thing Kyle MacDonald did. We are currently on our 5th trade. Got something you want to trade? It is like this story. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE8b02EdZvw ) [Note: I do not own or have rights to this video in any way.]
“You just gotta have faith. There‘s no other way to live.” I said to myself, completely content, even though the car is broken and the bank account is negative, and then I looked down in front of my feet and there was $20 on the ground. “Thank you, Jesus!” That was pretty neat. Here I am walking beside the road where almost nobody ever walks and there is $20 and I have no way of returning it to the owner or finding out who the owner is. Wow. Cool.
Ten more steps. Another $20. Praise God! How cool is THAT?!
If the car hadn’t been broken down, we would not have walked. If we hadn’t walked an hour early, which was an understandable mistake because my daughter USED to go in earlier because of a club she was in, then maybe the cold dew on the ground would have dried up and the money would have blown away or someone would have mowed. I do not know. I DO know we have a broken car, a negative bank account, peace in our hearts, and a whole lotta faith. Talk about walking on the road less traveled!
My God is so big, so strong and SO mighty. There is NOTHING my God cannot do.