Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Fun New Adventure

K and I aren't very adventurous. We are creatures of habit; change doesn't sit very well with us. These last few weeks have been full of change. K has had to work long hours and we haven't seen much of each other lately, plus we are preparing for my grandma to stay with us while she recovers from surgery.

So I wanted to spend Memorial weekend with K since he didn't have to work, and I tried to think of a fun date. Something different, but that we would both enjoy. When we get away, we always go to Baton Rouge to shop at the Mall of Louisiana. I started looking on Pinterest for ideas for dates and came across an idea for a bookstore scavenger hunt. Of course, I was beyond interested. I love books; reading is one of my favorite hobbies. Libraries and bookstores are my safe haven. I came up with 20 ideas and a point system in order to convince K this would be fun. We can be quite competitive. The ideas included: a book you loved in high school, a book made into a movie you have not seen, a book with your birth year, a book with a recipe you want to try, etc. As I kept writing down the ideas, the more excited I was getting. This was going to be fun! I just had to convince K.

At first, he wasn't thrilled, but he was willing to give it a try and wanted to get away as much as I did. We traveled to Baton Rouge and ate at Walk Ons; a wonderful restaurant with great American food with shopping after.

The shopping was fun, but I was looking forward to the scavenger hunt. We split up when we got there and had an hour to find all the books on the list. We had to take pics of the books to prove we found them.

A book from my all time favorites list

A recipe that I would love to try from Hungry Girl

Two favorite books from my childhood

A book made into a movie that I haven't seen

After we found our books, we found a quiet little table to share our pictures and some delicious cheesecake. I found out a few new things about K...he thinks that a book everyone should read is the bible and a book he liked in high school was the Hobbit. He beat me in points, but it definitely was a lot of fun roaming around Barnes and Nobles taking selfies with books and sharing them with K. It may not sound very adventurous, but for us that is as adventurous as we get. What can I say? We are total nerds.

My advice for today is not to be afraid to try something new together. It could be lots of fun and a great way to reconnect!

Until next time, have a great day!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What happened to romance??

Before I get into the topic of this post...I know I better post a disclaimer. This post will contain adult content. I was apprehensive about writing about this...but I can't have a marriage blog without talking about it. And I just want to warn you that if you don't want to read words that have to do with may want to stop reading this post. I will be talking about sex. I don't want to offend goal is always to help. But I may say some things you don't agree with...and that's ok if you disagree. I hope you continue reading :)

I want to start this by saying that sex (let's call it...making love. That sounds so much better.) confuses me. I will also say I am not going to post details about K and I...some things I have to keep private for us. But I will say it confuses me. I follow Sheila Wray Gregoire, who is a brilliant Christian blogger, not afraid to talk about making love. She travels all over speaking and helping women with their marriages. I have gotten ideas for initiating, ways to flirt, what men want all posted from her...all things I struggle with. I want you to know I don't have all the answers. I struggle with what I should do, how often, if I am in the mood...the works. But there is hope for us and that's my goal with this study.

I started studying Song of Songs. We can't talk about couples of the bible and not talk about King Solomon. He wrote Song of Songs, which is a collection of poetry and romantic writing about him and his beloved; it celebrates human intimacy shared between a man and woman. I have only studied the first chapter and it is some of the best romantic words I have read. And I have read some good romances. According to the notes in my bible, Solomon was visiting vineyards as he often did and he came across a peasant woman who was working there. They scared her, causing her to run off. But Solomon could not forget her. He disguised himself as a shepherd and won her heart. He revealed his true identity and they were married. This collection of poetry follows their engagement, wedding, wedding night, and the growth of their marriage.

I love the opening line spoken from the woman; she describes how badly she can't wait to kiss her beloved again. This whole chapter describes the waiting and desire of these two lovers. What we can take away from their words is that God created passion and desire. He wants us to love our spouses physically and emotionally.I think that is the first thing to die when a couple gets comfortable and settle into routines. And I hear it's tested even more with kids, right?

How can we rekindle romance?  How can we be passionate with housework, bills piling up, jobs that make us tired, and countless commitments.  Well, you know how I feel about dating. That is so important for couples. I know it is important to me. But here are some other ideas to work on romance and capture what the young woman is talking about in Song of Songs...

  1. Kiss...Sheila Wray Gregoire suggests to kiss for 15 seconds at least once a day. Trust me...when put to practice, it works and leads to longer kisses :)
  2. Hold Hands...this may sound simple, but affection is crucial for us. I am blessed that K is very affectionate. He loves to hug and hold hands, which I love also. Try to make it a point to hold hands when you are walking together and hug daily! 
  3. Appreciate how your spouse looks...One thing that the young woman is not afraid to talk about is how she desires her beloved and how attracted she is to him. Look at your spouse and remember what attracted you to them. For me, it was K's eyes. I love his eyes...they are so warm and I can get lost in them. And his smile...ok I'll stop. I'll start gushing :) While you look at your spouse, think about what you desire about them.
  4. Schedule that date!...I sound like a broken record, but make time for each other and only the two of you. If you have children, put them to bed early or hire a babysitter. 
  5. Let him appreciate your body...I read something that said our bodies are the only ones that our husbands get to let them enjoy it. If you struggle with your body image like I do, accept that he chose you.  He loves you for who you are and he thinks you are beautiful. Embrace it! I finally have :)
  6. Alone time...If your schedules are really hectic, schedule some alone time together where you can be intimate. Think about it all day...prepare for it. Send each other cute texts to let them know you are thinking about them and can't wait to have them home. 
Romance may be different may see it as candles lit and a romantic dinner followed by a night alone. Or you may see it as a cheap date at home with Netflix movie and popcorn followed by time together on the couch. Whatever your definition of romance is, find what works for your marriage and romance your spouse. It is never too late.

Until next time...have a great day!

Monday, May 11, 2015

I am a member...are you?

This afternoon was my perfect kind of evening. I felt accomplished; my house was clean so I planned to spend the evening doing what I loved: reading. I fixed a mug of hot tea and finished a delightful book.

I don't know if you have noticed the new badge on my's on the top right side. It states that I am a proud member of the Happy Wives Club. Not only have I joined the site, but this is the book I just finished. I couldn't wait to share it with you. I am rating it into one of my all time favorite non-fiction books. It was that good.

Her mission was similar to mine and I think that is why I loved this book so much: Fawn Weaver wanted to prove happy marriages do exist. After becoming disgusted with how the media, television, and Hollywood portrays marriage, Fawn Weaver sets out on a journey to find happy marriages around the world and what makes them happy and successful. It took 12 countries and 6 continents before she was satisfied with her research. She sacrificed time in her own marriage and career to achieve this mission.

I can't express enough how refreshing this book was to read. So many times I felt I knew this author; I felt as if she were talking directly to me. She not only informs you of her findings and what makes each interview special, but I felt like I was traveling with her to each country. She describes in detail what makes each stop unique and what sets their culture apart from ours. The kindness and love from each couple was felt through these pages. I loved learning about each couple and what made them happy.

A few points that stood out to me that she learned was laughter is the key to a happy marriage. She came across several couples to make this statement. It has been the rock to K and I's marriage as well. She states that "laughter has been a universal constant on their lists of keys to a good marriage. A well timed quip can take the edge off of a difficult argument that neither of you want to have. (48)." K makes it his mission during an argument to make me laugh. It has stopped some serious fussing between the two of us. I hate arguing and am very thankful to smile at his goofiness.

One thing I have come to learn in marriage is that it is in need of constant attention. Another couple she interviewed shared a similar concern when they had observed many marriages end in divorce because of the lack of effort. They stated that "People think that once you get married, it's all done; you don't have to do anything. No! Love isn't like that. Love is a daily problem; you have to look for daily solutions.(73)" They weren't saying that marriage was a problem; they were saying we needed to continue to find things to make it work. Like dating, for example. Just because you are married doesn't mean the dating should stop.

She expressed her concern and fears about having children. That really resonated with me because of my own fears of having children. Reading it from someone else helped me realize I wasn't alone.

I am not going to reveal all of her research and secrets from the couples she interviewed but of her 13 secrets to a happy marriage, I can say K and I have a very happy marriage. There is always room for improvement, but I can honestly say I am a happy wife. And you know why? Because like Fawn stated, happiness is a choice. (246) I choose to be happy and make our marriage happy.

Until next time...have a great day!

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Good Romance-Ruth and Boaz

I am sad to say that I haven't studied a lot out of the Old Testament of the bible. So when I was doing my list of couples, I came across many couples in the Old Testament. I didn't know anything about Ruth and Boaz. The book of Ruth is a short one, but very interesting story. And that is where we will be for our couple's bible study today.

There are so many lessons that we can learn from this couple. There isn't much that is said about their marriage; it is their journey and who they are that is so important. But first, let's learn about who they are. Ruth is Naomi's daughter-in-law. Ruth was married to Mahlon, but he died within 10 years of marriage. Naomi gave Ruth and her other daughter-in-law permission to leave and be remarried, but Ruth refused. She felt she should stay with Naomi. It was dark times for Israel with famine and Ruth and Naomi were loyal to each other and God. I read in the commentary that Ruth was a Moabitess, but I am not sure what their faith or religion was. I do know that Ruth was faithful to God and loved him and followed him.

Ruth was not wealthy, in fact from what I gathered, she and Naomi were poor. In order to get food for them, Ruth started working in a harvest field to pick up left behind grain. That is where we meet Boaz. He is older than Ruth, influential, and wealthy (he owned the field that Ruth was working in). He takes notice of Ruth and because of what she has done for Naomi, he generously takes care of her, providing plenty of food and making sure no one ridicules her. (2:8-9) One of the things that impressed me about Boaz was the way he spoke to Ruth:
"But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done" (2:11-12)
When Naomi hears of what Ruth has been doing and where she was working, she instructs Ruth to follow custom and law and sleep by Boaz's feet in order for him to know that he had permission to marry her because he was the closest relative. After doing some research, I learned there was nothing sexual or seductive about this ritual and it was strictly a protocol for Ruth to follow for Boaz to take her as his wife. Ruth was a servant, and servants slept at their masters' feet. As the Life Application Bible put it; it was family business, nothing romantic.
Boaz's reaction is what struck me:
"The Lord bless you, my daughter!"...Now don't worry about a thing, my daughter. I will do what is necessary, for everyone in town knows you are a virtuous woman"  (3:10-13)
As we read further, I can hear the affection and admiration that Boaz had for Ruth. He wanted to marry her, but he had learned she did have another relative he had to address first (3:13); he was not the closest relative. He wanted to do it the right way.

We learn that Ruth slept by his feet all night, and Boaz could have taken advantage of the situation, but he didn't. As the story concludes, we learn that Boaz handled the legal aspects of marrying Ruth, the relative gave permission to Boaz because of reputation and they were able to be married. 

Ruth is said to be the picture of the Proverbs 31 wife and what we should strive to be. 

There is so much more to this passage that speaks to being a Christian wife, but there are 5 things we can take away from Ruth's character:
  1. The way she speaks (2:10, 13)
  2. The way she takes joy in her work and works hard (2:2)
  3. She takes care of her family 
  4. She is dependent on God and her faith in him (2:12)
  5. Her modesty and how she acts around men (3:3, 3:6-13)
I read some interesting articles about advice to young women and waiting for a modern day Boaz. I think they are on to something. I think if I could tell young women in the dating age anything, it would be to look for a man with these characteristics:
  1. He was devoted to God
  2. He was respectful in the way he talked to Ruth and his employees
  3. He provided for Ruth
  4. He protected Ruth
I will end with this very interesting fact about Ruth: she did not know that by following God's plan that she would lay foundation to the way of the Savior. Her son was Obed, who was the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David. We never realize how important our roles are in this life. God has a plan for everything. Until next time, have a great day!