A SUMMER OF PSALMS

The “T” is allowed in the word COMMIT.  The “T” is allowed in the word TRUST.  The “T” is most definitely not allowed on the end of the word CAN.

We need to remember that there’s a right way and a wrong way to proceed.  When we charge off and try to be successful on our own without God’s help, that’s the wrong way to get where we’re going.  Giving the plan to God is key and makes everything so much easier for us.  We are nothing without Him and we can do nothing without His help.  In all our ways we are to acknowledge Him – only then will He work on our behalf, making our path straight and opening doors that would otherwise stay shut.

We know that it takes just a little faith to get going.  We’re told that it takes faith the size of a mustard seed.  When I was a teenager, I wore a necklace that had a mustard seed inside a glass case.  It was so tiny and lightweight, most of the time I forgot I was wearing it.

Isn’t sign language beautiful?  The main point of this Psalm is that God wants the very best for us, but He wants us to keep Him in the loop, so to speak.  He wants to be a part of our decision-making process every step of the way.  Anything we do that is not within His will and His word – it’s not good and it’s not right.  We need to do things His way according to His will.

Do we always do that?  No – speaking for myself, I’ve not.  Those are painful lessons in life – but we learn the lesson (hopefully just once), and we ask the Lord’s forgiveness and then we get up and try again and with His help, we do better.  Grab on to your mustard seed-size faith and try again!  The second part of this passage says HE WILL HELP YOU.  Will you trust God to help you find victory in your life?

Is there a lasting victory for you?  Sure there is!  Our Lord is loving and merciful and kind and strong!  He wants the very best for you and wants to help you in every aspect of your life.  You CAN because He’s going to help you!  Just share everything you do, or plan to do, with Him!  Always give HIM the glory for the successes in your life!  

Remember to pray before you plan.  Make sure what you plan to do is God’s best for you, and His will for your life (as far as you can tell).  Keep reading your Bible and pray because you want to do things God’s way.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”   – Mark 2:27

God is pleased that man works Monday through Friday.  But on the Sabbath – which may be Saturday for you – or Sunday…  He’s pleased if you are in His house, giving Him your undivided attention – your praises – your thanksgiving.  God is a jealous God and will not have any other gods before Him.

Why do we need to be in church?  Why can’t we go out on the fishin’ bank, or climb a mountain, or watch Dr. Stanley on television and call it good?

Being off somewhere alone and keeping your focus on the Lord is not a bad idea – but there’s something about being with others who believe the same way you do… it’s a sense of community and support of sorts, you might say.  If you’re a lone ranger, with whom do you take communion?  Who is around to challenge your spiritual backbone?  With whom do you pray?  Who prays for you and for whom do you pray?

If I didn’t visit the gym and use the machines, I’d soon gain my weight back and be out of shape.  The church family, ideally, plays a similar role with each member.  I was reminded recently however, that we mustn’t focus on the horizontal view – as much as we focus on the vertical view – we have to keep our eyes on Christ – because people are so – well – human and will fail us at one time or the other.  And guess what?  We will fail them too.  We have to remember that Christ is our example and the one with whom we measure our own standard.  When we do that, it makes all the difference in how we relate to others.

The church family is there to encourage when needed.  It’s there to challenge when needed.  We help each other grow because growth and change are signs of maturity in faith.  There’s nothing worse than stunted growth.  It’s a bit like having cut flowers in a vase too long.  If you wait too long to toss those flowers – it can be a very smelly job.

I don’t want to be a stinky child of God.  I want to grow in my faith, in love, in joy, in peace that passes all understanding.  It’s God’s will for my life – and it’s what I want for my life.

Sometimes a church family is not found at a brick and mortar.  Sometimes it is found in the most unusual and creative way – and God is leading toward an exciting adventure in ministry.  If we don’t put Him in a box, He will make everything work for good.  We just have to place our trust completely in His plan.

What do you do on the Sabbath?  It was established for you, you know.  It’s for your own good – from a God who thinks you are pretty special.  🙂

 

 

IRON SHARPENS IRON – FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  – Proverbs 27:17

IRON SHARPENS IRON

Yesterday I told you what I do not want to be – a stumbling block.  Today I’m going to focus on what I do want to be – an iron sharpener!  This year my goal is to bring out the best in everyone – including myself!  You’ve heard of friendships where the two or three just keep “feeding” off each other and getting funnier and funnier, right?  I love it when that happens – even if it’s off the wall and silly.  If I can be the friend who makes others laugh and spew diet Dr. Pepper out of their nose…  what can I say?  It’s my mission in life and when that happens, I can say mission accomplished!  My work here is done.  You’re welcome!

Real life is stressful and often awkward and uncomfortable.  Should friendships be the same way?  I really don’t think so.  There’s nothing worse than spending time with someone you want to escape from – and you spend the whole time hunting for the nearest exit and plan the escape in your head.  Let’s face it…  those are the friendships you have to re-think.  You just do – and yes, it’s sad.  Some people are not meant to be in our lives for the rest of our life.15822977_1868319833412478_4287722067523972073_n

Thank you, Lucinda – for keeping me polished!  I’m so glad that God allowed our paths to cross!

For those friendships that seem destined to be, how can we be an iron sharpening friend?  I’m glad you asked.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Pray for your friend – and for your friendship.  If your friendship is covered in prayer everyday, it will be strong and won’t crumble over petty things.  I tend to be upfront and honest in friendships because I appreciate those qualities in my friends.  One day I was feeling especially envious and a bit jealous of a friend’s success when I did not seem to be gaining ground with my project.  I told her about it, knowing that she would appreciate my honesty and candor.  She helped me by first of all praying for me – and secondly, she started pointing out some positives that I had missed somehow.  She knows if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have done the same for her.
  2. Cherish the friendship because God designed it.  Review the start of your friendship once in a while.  Let your friend know that you appreciate what she brings to the friendship and how much better your life is now because of it.  Praise God for the way ministry grows and matures when Christian friends work together.  Ask God to impress on you and guide you to the next project.  It’s amazing and wonderful how God brings your separate work together as one very large witnessing tool.  Be thankful when others are helped by your ministry – thankful of course to God, but also to each other.  Don’t take friendship for granted.  Friends don’t grow on trees.  Most of my friends would think that visual was hilarious.  I also imagine they’d imagine me hanging by my tail like a monkey, with a banana in my mouth (I have to be eating – well DUH!)
  3. Communicate as clearly as possible.  A friend and I were chatting on facebook not long ago about this.  We agreed that messaging on facebook is more challenging than talking face to face because there’s a lack of facial expression in the communication.  Then we joked about using emojis – or really over-using them – in an attempt to let others know that we’re smiling 🙂 or 😀  or that we’re loving what they’re saying <3.  Of course, when I’m talking there’s always the popular – I’M CONFUSED.  :-/  Yeah – I really use that one frequently.
  4. Don’t try to fake it.  God knows everything about everything, so it makes no sense to keep anything from your friend in the Lord.  It’s a temptation to keep the “downer” stuff to yourself so you don’t bring her down too – but if you do, you are robbing her of the opportunity to lift you to God in prayer.  Maybe you’re going through something that you don’t even feel like you can pray about yourself.  I’ve been there and I’m sure you have too.  Let your friend know what’s up so she can pray for you.  It is a privilege and an honor to pray for a friend.  Don’t let silly pride keep you from asking your friend to whisper a prayer for you.

iron-sharpening-sheep

We eventually get where we’re goin’ – together.  I want to be an iron-sharpening friend.  I hope you do too.  Let’s all work together to sharpen some iron in 2017!  🙂

ECCLESIASTES 11:6 ON 11/6

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Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.  – Ecclesiastes 11:6

As tempting as it is to snuggle under the comforter and sleep until spring…  we can’t do that.  We have seed to sow and work for our hands to do.  As Solomon says, we don’t know if the seed will grow or die – and we don’t know if the work our hands find to do will prove to be successful – but we do know if we give up…  nothing will be accomplished.  That’s not good and God’s not pleased.bless-others

http://keepfaithrunning.com/ Check it out!

Some commentaries associate the morning to youth and the evening to older folks.  The same rule of thumb applies – we work ’til Jesus comes!  We don’t do the same type of ministry in our 50’s that we did in our 20’s – that’s just the way it is.  There are more challenges as we age, but it’s not an excuse to quit.  Regardless of your age, you can ask the Lord to open doors of opportunity for you.  There’s work to be done, and maybe you’re the one for the job.

I’ve had such fun trying new ways to minister to others.  I like to write and help other writers by making designs, guest writing and ghost writing.  BOO!  😀

So even though the days are shorter and darkness falls so much earlier now, pray for ministry opportunities.  God will give your hands work to do for Him.today-is-tomorrow

A ministry doesn’t have to be large, it just has to be sincere.  Serving others for Christ is all that matters.  If you’re singing at a nursing home or helping in a homeless shelter or whatever your hands find to do…  do your best!  Trust that God will provide the increase through your efforts.dowhat-you-can

I have friends who have gone overseas to do mission work.  Sometimes I think, “Wow…  that is really putting feet to your faith!”  But do I know how much many seeds I sow decide to grow?  NO!  I write what I’m led to write and leave the rest up to God.  Isn’t that what a ministry or a mission does, whether it’s in the U.S. or abroad?  I’m so much more contented and focused in my ministry when I stop comparing the importance of my ministry to that of others.14962614_1839527242958404_872399760063475835_n

Be open to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit…  and you will be amazed (and a little surprised) at what may happen next.  It may become the great adventure of your life!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (28)Garage sales are EXHAUSTING!!!  We’re in the midst of a community-wide sale right now.  My husband and I are just ready for it to be over…  we’re so tired.  I think the part I hate the most is digging around in the recesses of my closets for items that I wasn’t aware I owned because they’ve never been used or worn or whatever.  Have you ever seen a bamboo pole with a back scratcher on one end and a shoe horn on the other end?  Well, me neither…  but I apparently had one!  I say I HAD one because I sold it today – I no longer have it.  It can go live in the recesses of someone else’s closet for a while.

It’s a lot of work, but at the same time it’s a bit like taking a deep cleansing breath of cool mountain air.  After being surrounded by what can only be categorized as JUNK for over ten years, I’m now free to buy new STUFF to replace the old JUNK.  Of course, in another ten years that STUFF I buy now will be considered JUNK.  And so the cycle continues…

It’s fun and keeps us out of prison.

I’ll be honest, along with the work of gathering the junk, tagging the junk and organizing the junk – there is a huge sigh of relief when you have finally SOLD the junk.  When we counted up our earnings today, I looked at my husband and said, “It would have taken me two weeks working full time to make this much!”  It’s a sort of high when you see how quickly the pile of dough stacks up.

Of course, the other side of that high is the trip back to reality – when you realize you sold two recliners and now must replace them with two others – from somewhere.  It’s fun to sit on an orange crate to watch TV – for about a day.  The novelty has worn off and I really need to get myself in gear and get a new chair.

Here’s a chair similar to the one I want:

_35It’s selling on eBay for $300.  I can probably do that.  I’m not sure.  Has anyone heard of the brand POUNDEX?  See…  sometimes if I don’t recognize the brand name, I’m like…  um…  but the price is definitely not bad.  I don’t know – I’ll keep lookin’.  I like to actually sit in a recliner before I buy it – I’m funny that way.

Garage sales are exhausting – but there are rewards to follow.  We just think about the rewards.  Alrighty then…  I’m gonna go soak my feet.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Formula for success…  rise early, work hard and strike oil!  – Unknown

At 7:00 pm, the Wichita Heights High School commencement ceremony will be held at Koch Arena on the Wichita State University Campus.  While I doubt if anyone from the 2016 graduating class reads this blog (I’d be very surprised), I want to wish graduates everywhere the very best wishes and say God bless you as you move on with your life.  🙂

Here are just a few positive affirmations and blessings to take with you as you go out into the world to make your way.

There is a good reason they call these ceremonies “commencement exercises.”  Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.  – Orrin Hatch

I PRAYED FOR YOUR FUTURE

 

Don’t live down to expectations.  Go out there and do something remarkable.  – Wendy Wasserstein

I was a Falcon at Heights – class of ’79!  I know…  I know – that’s a really LOOOOONG time ago.  But some things never change.  When I graduated it was so amazing because it felt like I had accomplished something important.  So many people don’t get to finish school – I feel blessed to have that diploma (yes, it is discolored a bit now – LOL!) 

Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.  – Art Linkletter

One thing I will tell you is that you are not finished learning yet.  You will never be finished learning, so keep an open mind when you enter the workplace.  Even if you took every class in high school to prepare yourself for your chosen field, always respect and listen carefully to the folks who have worked in the field for years.  No amount of classroom exposure can prepare you for the real life experience you will gain in the workplace.

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.  – Judy Garland

God made you an individual, unlike anyone else.  Take your unique version of shine into the workplace with you.  Others will appreciate your contribution and your good attitude.  Don’t be the one who drags yourself in to work and starts complaining about everything from the moment you walk in the door.  Nobody really wants to be there, but everyone wants to gravitate toward the person with the most shine in their aura, so to speak.  Be the shiny one with the bright attitude and quick wit.

Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You have been given one life by your Creator.  Make the most of it whether it seems you are a success or a failure.  It’s not easy to fail, but most of us have to learn lessons the hard way.  It’s not getting knocked down that matters, but it’s not getting back up that matters.  Don’t let life keep you down for long.

It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.  – Edmond Hillary

Once you have learned the basics of your chosen field, look for ways to improve or enhance it.  I’m not necessarily suggesting that you find shortcuts, but if there is a better way to do something, speak up and let your ideas be heard.  Just because doing things one way has been the status quo doesn’t mean it’s the only way to do it.

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.  – Beverly Sills

You are the key to the future.  The class of ’79 is starting to retire now.  We have worked hard and are ready to enjoy life and sleep in – lol.  It’s your turn now.  It’s time for you to find your wings and follow your dreams.

High expectations are the key to everything.  – Sam Walton

I pray for you as you go out into the world to serve others.  May God richly bless your life from this moment on.  🙂

FREELANCE WRITERS APPRECIATION WEEK

TL 2-7 FREELANCE WRITERS APPRECIATION WEEK

In addition to writing this blog, I write an occasional article for Ezine Articles to gain more exposure, because let’s face it – if I write and nobody reads it, is inspired by it and ultimately takes action because of it – then the time I spend writing has been wasted.  I mean, it’s time I could have spent doing laundry – LOL!  NOT!

Please LIKE them on facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/EZINEARTICLES/

Their blog has been so helpful to me.  http://blog.ezinearticles.com/

The folks at Ezine Articles made it simple to express my thoughts about many subjects through the years, all winding right back here and increasing the number of followers on this blog.  It’s my hope that the articles I’ve written have been helpful and thought-provoking to the readers.

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. Good writer sees five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.   – Orson Scott

They allow you to include all of the links where you share your writing, so I not only share the main article, but at the same time they can see my pages on facebook, twitter, pinterest, linkedin and google +, as well as the link to my website.

Have you connected with me yet?  Here’s where you can find me:

facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/linda.palmer.399041

twitter:  https://twitter.com/makemelaughnow1

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/dyslexiclinda/christianity-in-america/

linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/

google +:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/115872569071554741671/posts

website:  http://americablessgodtoday.webs.com/

If you’re interested in reading my articles on Ezine Articles, my pen name is (take a deep breath)…  Linda Lou Turner Palmer.  I’m not sure how my middle name got in there, but it did.  I think if you google Ezine Articles with my pen name, the articles should come up.  Frankly, I’ve not tried to look them up – I don’t tend to go backwards and review – I am a move ahead kind of writer – on to the next challenge.  🙂

I hope all of my writer friends will take advantage of this free tool.  It’s one of many ways to sharpen iron for others by offering insight and hopefully some helpful advice, as you let them know about your product, or in my case – my blog. 

blackboard-620314_1920The folks in charge of the Ezine Articles facebook page are so friendly and willing to message back and forth with you if you have any questions.  They also offer some awesome incentives once you begin writing, such as badges for every accomplishment.  I’m very proud to say that I am a Diamond Expert Author, which means that I can now submit an unlimited number of articles.  Now, that’s not to say that they will automatically be accepted – they still have to go through the process and if I’m not careful, they can deny the submission.

I have written 27 articles on subjects ranging from Around the House to Health and Fitness.  We’ve all heard the age-old saying – write about what you know.  Well, brothers and sisters – I know about being around the house and I sure do know about more than a few health challenges.EZINE ARTICLES

My single wish is that my parents could read my work.  I remember a nightly battle as I sat at the kitchen table – most nights I went to bed crying myself to sleep and feeling so stupid because I just could not grasp the concept – what concept?  ANY concept…  you name it.  The dyslexia got in the way with spelling, sentence structure, mathematics, science – even music!  Everything got jumbled up.  It still does to this day.  Now I notice that I skip lines when I’m reading, so it’s best if I can follow along with a cursor on the computer or my finger when reading a book.  And yes, I still have to read things twice – sometimes three times before it sinks in.

God knows the desires of our hearts – He GETS us when nobody else does.  People can’t understand why I chose to write when it’s such a struggle.  God knows my motives and reasons.  He understands and helps me to write every day.  I praise Him for guidance and direction.

God makes a way where we don’t see one – He gives us what we need when we need it – never ahead of time – but always right on time.  If I didn’t need His help, would I appreciate Him as much?  Probably not.  There’s a reason for everything – even dyslexia.  I really believe that to be true.

I’ll be sure to let you know when I finish my novel about rocket science – LOL.  Yeah – don’t hold your breath!   Wink!  😉

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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How important is TRUTH to you?  Is there such a thing as a little white lie?  Well, what does God’s Word say about building a house on sand?

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  – Matthew 7:24-27

NO EVIL

One cannot build a lasting house of TRUTH using cement made with lies. We all have history but we cannot be captives of our history – for if we become slaves of our past due to simple things in life, we are destined to lose it all at the end. Whatever you build on a lie, you shall lose – for it lacks the blessing of GOD. We believe in the working God who never gives greatness to lazy and myopic multitudes, but to those few disciples who are willing to sacrifice present goodness, feel the pain and are willing to work hard for His blessings. Using the words of Martin Luther, “You cannot steal second base with your foot on first.” Today, decide to move forward; to accept to work hard for what you want; to sacrifice and sometimes feel the pain for what you love: desist from easy life and having free things – or else fulfill the saying that, “today’s easy gain is tomorrow’s hard loss.” My brothers and sisters, do not worry how long it is taking you to get to the promised land, simply walk and stay on track and one day, you shall realize that those who looked powerful before your eyes were the most weak in the eyes of God – for they were never truthful. Build your life; your business; your relationships; your marriage and your future on TRUTH no matter how hard, tempting and painful it can be – for you cannot build a life on lies because a time comes and the truth manifests itself before the eyes of men.  – Mark Farouk

 There are rewards for an honest life filled with hard work and good clean livin’…  may we embrace God’s way and be a good witness to the world around us.  🙂

NOVEMBER 18-24 IS NATIONAL FARM-CITY WEEK

TL 11-18 THRU 24 IS NATIONAL FARM-CITY WEEK

Kansas is rich in agricultural traditions.  As you drive along our state’s highways you can’t help but notice the lovely quilt of farmland with the occasional horse, herds of cattle or sheep, and of course the state flower, the sunflower.

The farmers of Kansas provide food and other resources for the rest of the country.  It’s a proud heritage to be a farmer, but it certainly won’t make you rich.  Maybe it does make you rich, it’s just not from monetary gain.  There is a rich satisfaction in farming… knowing that you’ve done a good day’s work for your fellow-man is worth more than money.

You know when I think of a Kansas farm, I think of the Peterson Farm.  Those guys are crazy…  yep – they’re Kansans alright!

https://youtu.be/hSp9mGcaESc

When I think of Thanksgiving, it’s natural to think of harvest.  I can’t imagine living in a big city where harvest is just a concept and not a reality.  Something about having harvest as a way of life just makes me more thankful than I would be otherwise.

A WORKING FARM

It’s a silly memory, I know…  but I remember taking field trips to my 5th grade teacher’s farm around this time of year.  Maybe it had to do with this holiday – who knows?

It’s important for children to be exposed to farm life once in a while.  They need to know that they’re milk comes from a cow and eggs come from chickens.  Some of those city kids might decide they want to move to a farm one day and enjoy a slower, more structured, simple life.

The only downside to farming is the butchering of livestock.  I know some don’t have a problem with it, but I’m just a bit of a squeamish soul, I suppose.  I thought it would be fun to have a herd of sheep and sell wool.  There is a new kind of farm emerging on the horizon that sounds interesting – Alpaca farms!  Alpaca fleece is softer than cashmere and is in demand.  As an alpaca farmer you can raise the animals and not have to butcher them – just shear them.  I think I could handle that!

FARM COMFORT

One more video from the Peterson farm.  https://youtu.be/toyN81wZzLw

I hope sometime this week you will take a city kid to visit a working farm – maybe even the Peterson farm!   The only way we can encourage kids to appreciate the food they eat is to show them where it comes from – and all the work involved in making it happen.  Have a great week!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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My husband and I are celebrating 29 years of marriage today!

You would think that I’d be a wellspring of wisdom and filled with great advice for those younger than me.  The fact is, we are still learning as we go along.  There are a few things I have learned through the years.  I can say without hesitation:

  1. Listen more than you speak because that’s how you learn.
  2. Adopt an attitude of serendipity every day.  Every day will not be filled with excitement and fireworks!  Embrace the quiet, boring moments and appreciate what you have – on purpose.
  3. Don’t let the enemy talk you into the notion that living your life with someone else would have been better.  It probably would not.
  4. There’s not a problem in marriage that cannot be fixed.  Pray separately and together for solutions.  God wants to help.
  5. Don’t even say the word divorce.  We decided from the get-go that we would not say the “D” word to each other.
  6. Perfection is a myth in marriage.  He’s a human being and so am I.  Imperfection is our specialty and forgiveness is the key to dealing with it.
  7. You won’t change him.  Stop thinking you can change him.  Accept whatever it is that you think you can change, because it’s not going to change.
  8. We get older.  We gain new interests and grow intellectually.  We have each other for moral support through all the changes that inevitably happen in life.
  9. No matter how difficult or time-consuming your occupation is, I guarantee that the time you need to dedicate to keeping your marriage great will take much more effort and take even more time.
  10. I don’t have to be right all the time.  I’m not always wrong either.  I admit it when I’m wrong and don’t rub it in when I’m right.
  11. There are quirky behaviors that will make your mate crazy.  If it’s your goal to make him / her crazy, keep it up.  If it’s not your goal to make your significant other crazy, work on your quirky self.
  12. If you find that you are unhappy in your marriage, don’t automatically blame the marriage.  Maybe you don’t feel fulfilled within.  Take a class or join a book club.  Expand your own horizons and find your inner shine.
  13. Marriage does not come with instructions.  It is on the job training, so cut your spouse some slack and allow for learning curves.
  14. My husband and I survived having a house built.  It’s my opinion that if a couple can come through that, they can come through just about anything.
  15. Be willing to open and sort through each other’s baggage from time to time.  We all have baggage, and when you find a person who is willing to help you work on the stuff in your bag, you have really found a great treasure in that person.
  16. Take care of yourself for your spouse.  The greatest anniversary gift you can give him / her is the gift of your good health.
  17. When you are facing challenges, try to remember some happier memories.  I grab a scrapbook at times like that to jog my memory.  The photos make me smile.
  18. Infidelity is the only deal breaker!  Nobody deserves to be cheated on.  If you want out, walk out.  Everything else is negotiable and there are always concessions being made to make the other happy.  It’s not always about me.
  19. Frustration happens.  Don’t shut each other out when it does.  Talk it out.  Hug it out.
  20. Remember the vows you took.  Make them matter, no matter what.  You will work on the things that matter most.  How much does your marriage mean to you?
  21. I learned a long time ago that we have a choice to be bitter or better.  I find that better makes me and my spouse better.  Bitterness just puts a frown on my face and creates wrinkles.  Who needs that?
  22. Please and thank you are magic words and should be used liberally in a marriage and in a family.  If you request change instead of criticize or complain you will get more promising results.
  23. Silence in a marriage is not always a bad thing.  When a couple falls silent for a few miles along the way, that’s not a sign that the marriage is not good.  There are times when my husband and I will be thinking the same thing and one of us will speak – and the other will say, “How did you know what I was just thinking about?”  I love it when that happens!
  24. Find constructive ways to fight.  Bad language and yelling accomplish nothing.  Resolve conflict with logic and wisdom.  Being childish does not earn points from your spouse.
  25. Forgive…  forgive…  and keep forgiving.  Your marriage is worth it.
  26. Apply Christian love like a Band-Aid bandage!  See your spouse as Christ sees him / her.  He / she is a soul in need of a Savior.  Instead of expecting so much, give the gift of prayer.  God is in the business of healing marriages.
  27. Be comfortable with your own company.  There are times when you will be left alone.  If you are the type of person who is not comfortable being alone, work on that.  Marriage provides companionship, but it’s important to know how to be left alone as well.
  28. Routine can become a rut.  Change it up because you do not have to fix a roast every single Sunday of the year.
  29. Money matters can tear a marriage to pieces.  Keep it fair by putting both your names on everything.  Share the checkbook and limit the number of credit cards you use.  Make sure you discuss major purchases before buying.
  30. Don’t let the sun set on your anger.  That’s the best biblical advice ever!  Talk it out and stay up all night if you have to.  No slamming doors and no yelling.  Sit down and respectfully discuss it like adults.
  31. When your spouse begins to be critical, it’s never about that.  There’s usually something deeper causing the criticism.  Don’t take it personally because eventually the real issue will probably come to the surface.
  32. This house is just a house.  It’s up to the two of us to make it into a home.  The goal is not to be happily married, but to live happily ever after.  We’re not happy every single moment of every single day.  After all, this isn’t a fairytale!
  33. Sometimes there’s a split second during a disagreement when that little voice inside says, “I probably should not say that”, please, for Pete’s sake, listen to that little voice!  You can never take it back…  never.
  34. Anticipate screw ups!  It’s called life – and it happens!
  35. Keep God in the middle of your marriage.  GOD IS LOVE…  and what does any marriage need more than LOVE???
  36. Sickness, health, rich, poor…  are you in it for the long haul, no matter what?  It’s as simple as being determined to hold on and ride it out.
  37. Don’t expect your spouse to make you happy.  That’s not his / her job.
  38. Do something new.  We took some cooking classes together and it was so much fun.
  39. Share a joke with your spouse.  You may get a laugh or an eye roll – but you’ll probably get some response.
  40. Pray God’s blessings over your union.  Remember that He’s the One who brought you together.

Marriage is not easy, and it’s not for wimps or those who are squeamish.  It takes two people who are willing to hang in there and work at it, keeping God in the center.  ❤