5 Phrases Your Child Says & What They Mean

If you didn’t already know, I have two daughters; one who will be three in April and the other who turned one last year in October. Lately, I’ve been thinking about Words and the importance of them.

As a parent, we could either use our words wisely or foolishly.

“Our words can be helpful or hurtful.”

I have been observing my first-born and have noticed several phrases that she says and if I’m not careful, they’re just sounds rather than words with meaning.

If you can relate to me, I’d appreciate it if you would share this post to remind other moms & dads the importance of our words.

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“MOMMY / DADDY, LOOK AT ME!”

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They need AND want your attention. Children need AND want to know that they are being noticed; that someone is watching them and realizing their accomplishments or milestones in life. I am so guilty of being on my phone, sometimes around my children; (whether it be for work or to be on social media). While those aren’t necessarily bad, I wonder what my toddler thinks when I’m on my phone rather than pay attention to her? Moms, let’s do better and be better for them. The phone can wait… but the time with your child cannot be taken back.

“I DID IT, MOMMY / DADDY!”

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I didn’t have my mom around, growing up. I left the Philippines to come to the US, along with my dad & older sibling when I was 5 and we left my mom and two younger siblings. I didn’t get to say the words, “I did it, Mommy” when I got an award or won something at school. My dad was in the Military and most of my elementary to Jr. high years, my dad wasn’t around either.  So I didn’t get the “Praise” or “Congratulations” that I longed for…

Now, that I have my own family and am raising my two wonderful daughters with my amazing husband, I am careful to constantly give praise, encouragement, or congratulations when I hear the words, “I did it, Mommy!” However, I know that there is always room for improvement.

Children long for you to praise them; to let them know that YOU SAW the great deed that they did. Whether it be obeying you, helping you do chores around the house, or sharing with others, children want to hear something from you when they do or say something right. They want affirmation. I read online recently that “the lack of both parents’ affirmation leaves some children emotionally crippled.”

While I was emotionally effected that I didn’t have both of parents’ affirmation, I am so thankful that my Almighty God did not forsake me. (Psalm 27:10) And it is only by God’s grace that I am what I am today.

Not only do children want you to praise them, but they want you to sincerely mean what you say. They`want to see on your face that whatever comes out of your mouth is genuine, not two-faced or double-standard, which leads us to our next phrase…

“THAT’S BAD-BAD, MOMMY/ DADDY!”

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           Whether you like it or not or whether you believe it or not, you are your child’s role model. They look up to you for most, if not everything. Whatever you say, whatever you like, whatever you listen to or watch, they want to have a part in that. They truly believe in their heart that their mom and dad are the best people in the world (unless of course, they are hypocrites – they say one thing but do the exact opposite). In the case of hypocrisy… well, that’s for another blog post!

Children are smarter than we think. They catch on to the littlest things we do or say. Not only do you make it difficult for your child to respect you, but it becomes difficult on the family as a whole when the parents act differently from what they say.

We are not against Technology. In fact, my husband and I love it and are so appreciative of it! My daughter uses our iPad to watch videos on Youtube. If there is a certain song or type of song or video that comes on and Mommy & Daddy don’t approve of it, she knows to change it… Sometimes, she needs to be reminded but if you start training your children early enough, they’ll catch on. If you have children that are already in school and you feel like it’s too late to start training them, then friend, let me tell you that it’s not. There’s always hope. It probably won’t be as easy as if you had done it sooner but it’s NEVER too late to start. AND DON’T FORGET TO BE CONSISTENT and don’t let them get away with anything!

“I’M SORRY, MOMMY/ DADDY.”

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       Kids will be kids. They do foolish things at times but that isn’t a reason for us parents to love them less. In fact, it’s for us to show them more love. When a child says, “I’m sorry,” they are demonstrating humility. They understand that what they did wasn’t acceptable. However, it should’t stop there. As parents, we should ask them (don’t tell them, unless they really, absolutely do not know why) if they know what they did wrong. After asking them, we should tell them that when they do something wrong, it doesn’t just affect them. It hurts Mommy, Daddy, Jesus, and whomever they hurt or offended.

Remember, no one is perfect. You and I both make mistakes. So let’s stop expecting our children to be something they aren’t. They are still learning just as we are as parents. No one has this “Parenting Thing” down and neither is any child an expert at being a child. In addition, each child is different. God made each person unique. Some learn quicker, others slower; Some need more attention than others. So let’s not expect or treat them like they’re perfect, because that will only make things worse.

“MOMMY / DADDY, PLEASE HELP ME.”

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One thing I love and sometimes “dislike” (just because I don’t want use the word, hate) about children is their dependency on us as parents. When I first became a mom in 2014, I loved that my child depended on me to carry her, comfort her, and adore her but there were times when I was so tired that all I wanted to do was sleep but she wanted to eat, play, get her diaper changed, or be carried.

As the years went by, my first-born learned to be a little less dependent on me and a little more dependent on herself. Now, she can feed herself, go to the potty (still with a little assistance getting onto the toilet), and play house with her toys. All this self-dependency comes in handy when I want to take a nap or get some chores done.

But when I hear those words, “Please help me,” my child is trying to get her message across to me that she needs assistance or maybe just a little boost (physically or mentally) to accomplish something. What I love about doing this is hearing her next words, “Thank you, Mommy!” They are dependent on you for some things but when you assist them, they learn how to appreciate you and the help you give them. You don’t have to always tell them,“When someone helps you or does something nice for you, say ‘Thank you’,  you can just show them in your everyday life and they will catch on and remember that.

There will be times when they ask for your help when you are busy; you either have to tell them to be patient and wait till Mommy /Daddy is done or stop whatever you are doing and help them. I am guilty of sometimes getting frustrated when my LG asks for help during the “wrong times” (at least in my book), but she sees that and she remembers it. It may even cause her to think that asking for help is a bad thing when it really isn’t. Then, when we ask them, “Why didn’t you ask for my help?” They are thinking to themselves, “Well, when I asked you for help last time, you were too busy” or “I thought it was wrong to ask you for help.”

So, the next time your child asks for your help, do it lovingly and joyfully.

In conclusion,

  • Our words can either HELP or HURT others.
  • Your children WANT and NEED your attention; make sure you are watching them and realizing their accomplishments and milestones in life.
  • A word of encouragement can go a long way; Build your children up; don’t tear them down.
  • Children are smarter than we think or care to admit. They learn a lot more by what they SEE, rather than what they HEAR. Be an example that they would be proud to follow.
  • Kids will be kids. They will do foolish things which is why God has placed PARENTS in their lives – to teach and train them.
  • The days may seem long at times but the years are short. Cherish the moments with your children. Don’t get frustrated when your children depend on you. You have the opportunity to show them the Greatest love of all, Christ’s love and how we also depend on Him as our Heavenly father.

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***Don’t forget to share this post on Facebook and Pinterest if you found it to be helpful.

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***Featured photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash!

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Moms & Dads, This is Your MOST IMPORTANT REMINDER

My first daughter, who will be three in April recently started calling me “MOM.”

When she was still a baby, my husband and I would compete and try to get her to say, “Mama” or “Dada” first. (I mean which first-time parents don’t do that, right?)

We have two daughters now and none of them had “Mama” as their first word. LG’s first word was “Dada” and AJ’s first word was “juice.” How, you may ask? I HAVE NO IDEA! Lol!

After the “Mama” stage, you anticipate when they’ll say, “Mommy” and get excited about it, but when LG started calling me, “MOM” (consistently) a few days ago, it was a different kind of feeling. I felt “sad” to witness my first-born growing up so fast right before my eyes. It wasn’t like an “unhappy-sad,” it was more like a “happy-sad/don’t-leave-me-ever” kind of feeling.

A quote I came up with last year was:

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As a mom or dad, we need to keep in mind that our children don’t belong to us.

YES, you might have given birth to them;

YES, you provide for them financially;

YES, you send them to school and help them with homework or projects;

YES, you provide shelter for them;

YES, you feed them multiple times a day;

YES, you teach them how to drive and maybe even buy their first car;

YES, you might have helped a little financially for their wedding;

YES, you are the one that is there during their sad times and happy times, during their victories and losses, during their special moments…and not-so-special moments.

YES, you are their MOM OR DAD…

YES, you do the “work” of raising them…

But before you even became their mom or dad, your child(ren) were already on God’s mind.

HE is the Giver of Life.

HE is the Giver of Strength.

HE is the Giver of Finances.

HE is the Giver of Wisdom.

HE is the Giver of Children… yes, YOUR CHILDREN!

So why do we as parents hold on to our children as if they are ours?

If we just remember that we are only BORROWING them from the LORD, we might be BETTER STEWARDS OF PARENTING THEM.

Generally, parents think that they have 18 years, at least, to be with their children. After that, it’s college life and possibly meeting their future spouse and spending the rest of their lives with that spouse.

18 years. You have: 

216 Months or

939 Weeks or

6570 Days or

157680 Hours or

9,460,800 Minutes or

567,648,000 Seconds

Possibly left with your child(ren).

“The days are long but the years are short!”

So why not spend those years…

INVESTING on,

IMPACTING, and

INFLUENCING

your child(ren);

rather than

DISCOURAGING and

 DESIGNING THEM?

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As parents, we only desire the best for our children; but which best? “Our” best or “God’s” Best? Because God’s Best is so much more and better than ours. So let’s stop thinking that it is our job, duty, or responsibility to MAKE  our children what they need to be.

You see, we make that mistake. We think that God gave our children to us so we can make them into the “masterpiece” that maybe, we failed to be or our parents failed to raise us in becoming.

God gave us our children so that we can “train” and “teach” them the way that they should go…(Proverbs 22:6) not the way that we want them to go.

So remember,

  • Children are a gift FROM GOD. (Psalm 127:3)
  • We are only borrowing our children; They are not ours for keeps. (Psalm 127:4)
  • We have a limited time with them. Make the most of it! (Deuteronomy 6:7; 11:19)

I love what Jack Wellman says about this verse here.

  • Raise the children God has given you in the nurture and admonition of the LORD. (Ephesians 6:4b)
  • Our job is not to MAKE our children what we want them to be but what God has already planned for them to be. (Joshua 24:15; Genesis 18:19; Malachi 2:15; Romans 12:2; Matthew 6:33)

 

***Featured photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash!

10 Ways to be a Help Meet

I am so excited for this coming March, not because we’ll have a crazy work schedule but because my husband and I will be celebrating 4 years of marriage!!! Crazy, right?!? We were just these little high schoolers who dated each other and caused a lot of drama and then ended up going to college & graduating together! Time flies too fast, especially when you’re having fun!

I decided to jot down 10 ways that I am still trying to “master” and I put that in quotes because marriage is not something you master; marriage is something that you continually work at and eventually reap the benefits of.

Now, take note that not every marriage is the same… there will be similarities but don’t assume that because these things work for me, they will for you too. I am merely just sharing from MY MARRIAGE & hope that you can find at least ONE thing you can implement or continue to do in yours.

Without further ado,

1) Tell your spouse VERBALLY how much you love him. How many times do we get so caught up with “LIFE” that we sometimes forget to say those three words – “I.LOVE.YOU”? My husband is better at reminding me that he loves me than I am of reminding him.  I am so horrible at this. At times, my husband would say those three special words but crazy me, my mind or attention would be somewhere else and I easily forget how special those words are and just for the sake of getting it done, I say them… blatantly & with little sincerity. David usually likes for me to look into his eyes and say those words. I am so guilty and my prayer is to improve in this area.Well, it’s a New Year and you and I can do new things, starting with our marriages.

2) Pray for him DAILY. If you didn’t already know, marriages are under attack. The devil would love to see God’s meaning of Marriage become twisted, perverted, & unappreciated. As a wife, it is my duty and privilege to pray for my husband, especially since God has made him the Head of our home. If the head of the household is not in lined with God’s Word, it’s harder for the rest of the family to follow him. So pray for him, earnestly, faithfully, and sincerely. Here are a few ways I found on Pinterest:

a) From Head to Toe 

b) 1-Week Prayer Guide

c) 5 Prayers to Daily Pray

3) Praise him in front of your children as often as possible. Your children need to see that their “Daddy” isn’t just a man, he’s thee man! He should be the handsomest, most hardworking, most amazing man they will ever come into contact with. They should (when the right time comes) desire to marry someone like Daddy.

4) Praise him in front of others. With all the technology we have now, it’s so easy to let the “whole world” know anything and everything! If we have that capability, why not let the “whole world” know that you married the most incredible guy on planet earth (even though they may not think so). I mean, when was the last time you PRAISED your spouse on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter?

“Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.” (Prov. 31:23)

Here is a 1-week Praise Guide from Rachel Wojo.

5) Admire him like you used to during your “dating” years. Of course, dating each other shouldn’t end after marriage. Rather, it should continue. But what I mean is, “look” at him, “treat” him, and “adore” him like you did BEFORE you got married. Admiration for your spouse shouldn’t stop at the beginning of your marriage but should continue AND continue to grow as the years go.

6)“Criticize” him. It’s often that those closest to us can become our biggest critics. Criticism isn’t always bad. There’s a right WAY and as I’ve learned the hard way, a RIGHT TIME to criticize. Before you say something to your husband, practice saying it to yourself in a discrete and sweet way. For the longest time, my husband did not take my criticisms so well and mainly due to HOW I said them rather than WHAT I said. For example:

Instead of, “Wow, I can’t believe you didn’t understand what I meant when I said….”

Rather say, “Honey/Baby/Sweetheart, was I clear when I said… or was I hard to understand?

Instead of directing it right to him, indirectly direct it to him by directing it to you? (Does that even make sense?) Well, pretty much, have tact and grace.

7) Compliment him. How often do we give compliments to those that aren’t our loved ones? I’ll be honest to admit that I’ve done that more times than I can count. And how sad is it for our spouse to hear more compliments from another co-worker than from his own wife? Be careful! Make sure this isn’t happening in your family.  I have known people, even preachers to fall into sin of this sort and end up leaving a family they “supposedly” loved. Compliment him about everything that you notice. Some may be:

  a) You smell really good right now! I love it when your wear that deodorant.

    b) Thank you for putting gas in the van. I appreciate how thoughtful you were in doing that.

    c) You did a super job taking care of that problem!

    d) You encourage me to reach out and love people more.

You should be a critic to your spouse but more so, his #1 cheerleader! (compliment/or isn’t really a word so cheerleader should suffice) 🙂

8) Elevate his talents. Find something that he’s good at – just one thing. Don’t tell me that he isn’t good at anything because if he wasn’t, why would you have married him in the first place? My husband is very artistic. If he really wanted to, he could’ve been a voice actor, cartoonist, comic book artist, a HOLLYWOOD star but eh… no thanks, I’m keeping this guy all to myself (haha). Your spouse may be a good cook, great gardener, a sports guy, a singer, whatever… JUST FIND SOMETHING & elevate it,  meaning, let him use it in ways that are within your means & calling. Don’t let him lose it… remember, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

9) Do what he “enjoys” once in a while. As humans, it’s quite easy and convenient to do what WE want. We are selfish people by nature. But if you really want to be a help-meet to your spouse, make time for what’s “important” to him. If your spouse enjoys something, then that means it has some level of importance. So go out & fish with him, play some ball, go for a drive, whatever… just do something YOU KNOW he enjoys and don’t wait for him to mention it. Be the one to initiate so he knows that you are actually making an effort.

10) Make him FEEL like he’s the most special person in the world. Apart from Christ, your spouse should be your very best friend. I grew up having best friends, mostly in Grade School to Junior High. During high school, I kind of drifted away from that mentality. However, I do have a few very close friends, whom I am very grateful for. So please don’t get me wrong, if you have girl or guy best friend who is not your spouse, awesome (so long as your friendship is not as intimate as with your spouse). For me, there’s only ONE human person that I would share anything and everything with and that is my husband, who is my best friend. A best friend should feel more special than any regular friend that you have and that is how you should make your spouse feel. Feelings aren’t everything, I know, but there is a reason why God made us with emotions. So with 2017, make him FEEL like he’s beyond special!

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Gen. 2:18)

You can either be a help-meet to your spouse or a help, meet for him. Either way, God created you so that your husband wouldn’t be alone. 🙂

Just as you joined hands on your Big Day, may you join hands in this journey we call marriage. 

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By God’s Grace,

judylynn

Stop Being a Continual Dropping!

Repetition is the key to learning, right?… or wrong?

I have found this to be a little controversial in marriage with one specific area…(at least in MY marriage). I’m sure most, if not all wives have “NAGGED” their husbands at one time or another during their marriage. I, for sure am guilty of it.

Nagging has a ripple affect just as raindrops do. You start and then you just go on and on and on… even about the really minute things!

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Whether it be my husband leaving clothes on the floor, leaving a light on, forgetting to hang something up, so on and so forth; I have nagged him and I’m actually surprised he hasn’t said anything back in our almost 4 years of marriage; at least nothing that would be considered as “biting back.”  (He knows better.. Just kidding!)

He has graciously accepted my nagging.

Now, before you judge my husband, I encourage you to read this article I found recently about not being a “Butthole Wife.” The Title may sound a little funny but it was such a great reminder to me, as I am sure it will be to you.

As a former Elementary teacher, Repetition was a key method to use for a lot of things… However, we can’t treat our spouses like our Elementary students (even when they act like it).

At this moment, you may be wondering what a “CONTINUAL DROPPING” is.

No, it’s not when a bird poos continuously, or when your newborn baby has non-stop diaper changes… or when you have diarrhea! Haha!

I looked up the phrase, “Continual Dropping” in the Bible and found it twice in the Book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 27:15 -“A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.”

It’s been raining a lot here at our place and I actually have enjoyed it (mainly because the sun still manages to come out). Now, if it rained here for a whole week straight… I may not enjoy it as much.

If you think about it, if you’re the type of wife, fiance, or girlfriend that is constantly nagging your other half, I’m sure that relationship will be full of strife. Just as a continuous rainy day may not be as enjoyable, a contentious woman is the same – she’s not really an easy one to live or deal with.

Proverbs 19:13b – “…the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.”

I can’t even remember how many times I’ve nagged my husband, and caused contention between us… mainly for me because I set certain expectations that my husband doesn’t really obtain; not because he doesn’t want to but because our priorities for certain things may not be on the same level. For example, after coming home from a long day’s work, my husband may just want to change into comfortable clothes right away to spend time with our girls…Now, I, on the other hand, may want him to help me clean up around the house. (Of course, some of you may be thinking that we just need to communicate that to each other) But that’s not my point… my point is… his higher priority coming home from work is to spend time with our two daughters whom he hasn’t seen all day… And honestly, I would rather prefer that than arguing with him about his leaving clothes on the floor.

Lately, I’ve been thinking… how can I NOT BE a continual dropping as a wife and as a mother?

So, here are 3 ways that I have been “trying.”

  1. Thank God for giving you another day to live. I am positive those that passed away at the airport shooting in Florida weren’t anticipating it to be their last day. It really breaks my heart that someone would do something like that, with no thought of the sanctity of human life. I pray for their families. Each day that is granted to us is a blessing from God and this is a blessing that sadly, many of us forget to thank God for. But how different would our days go if we started with a grateful heart? I’m sure they wouldn’t be perfect all the time but we get to choose how we react to the tasks that we are given or the obstacles that come our way.

828dc91d8dafae6d9eb5d22ecdeb2dad2. Treat every day with your spouse and your children as if it was your last day with them…  I have been saddened to hear news of people passing away because of illnesses or dying due to car accidents, weather accidents, etc. If we just thought about each day as it were our last with those that mean the most to us, I am POSITIVE that we would live it differently and treat “THEM” differently AND better!

3. Train yourself to walk in someone else’s shoes for  “a mile.” Ok, I don’t mean that “mile” part literally but I won’t stop you if you choose to. But really, before we judge someone or treat someone a certain way, think about how their day went (at work, at school, at home…) or what trials they may be going through. How sad would it be for a husband or wife to be treated better at their workplace than at home, right? But sadly, it happens EVERY DAY! A home should be a place that people should look forward to, not dread! The next time you feel frustrated because of your spouse’s lack of _____________ (you fill in the blank)… think about how their day was at work (it may not have gone as well as you think). Or the next time you get angry at your children for doing _____________ or not doing ___________(you fill in the blanks), think about how they feel when both of their parents work… or when they’ve been cooped up in the house “ALL DAY.”

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So, if you’re a wife or mother, (especially) I encourage you to

Stop Being a Continual Dropping!

 

BECAUSE IN THE END, You’ll realize that it was just a waste of your time.

Time that you could’ve used to enjoy picking up those clothes on the floor.

Time that you could’ve used to just “see the need, take the lead” and turn off the unused lights or hang something up.

Time that you could’ve used teaching and forgiving rather than being angry and regretting what you said later on to your little child who was innocent and just needed a little encouragement or push to do the right thing.

TIME…. that unfortunately, you cannot take back. You have already lost it and there is no re-do button.

Instead, you can just press forward with the REMINDER that

TIME IS VALUABLE AND MUST BE SPENT WISELY.

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***Featured Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash!

8 Okays in Marriage

This coming March 2017, my husband and I will be celebrating our 4th year anniversary!!! It’s been a crazy/fun/amazing rollercoaster! In the past 3 1/2 years, I’ve been tested in my love, commitment, forgiveness, faith, and joy.

Marriage is that “thing” that almost everyone looks forward to. (Or is that the wedding?) Well, I remember 4 1/2 years ago when David proposed to me…it seems as if it was just yesterday!

AND NOW…we have two little female humans living with us, who can sometimes be very demanding BUT… have given us more joy than we could ever imagine.

As I look back on this year, I can honestly say that I haven’t been the best wife to my husband… just speaking honestly. I know that I could’ve done more… FOR HIM.

I could’ve prayed for him more (a lot more), dated him more,  wrote more notes to him, encouraged him more, helped lessen his load more, and the list could go on and on but you get the point. 

It’s so easy when you’re in the “dating” stage to overlook or “not” look at the faults of the person you’re dating…OH but when you get married, EVERYTHING GETS MAGNIFIED!

BUT TODAY, in spite of my shortcomings or the shortcomings of my husband, I wanted to share 8 things that I absolutely love about OUR marriage:

  • It’s ok to be down-to-earth, especially with each other. It’s way better than being uptight and the couple who doesn’t have friends. We like to be with friends but we also like to have our us-time. We still hang out with our friends, even if they’re not married.
  • It’s ok to be comfortable with each other. – We can say things to each other that only we  would understand; we call each other in public by “clucking” (especially when our phones are dead or not in our possession). Tell him anything and everything. After all, you did commit to being with him til death do you part. Don’t be afraid to also tell him when you’re UNCOMFORTABLE with something. 
  • It’s ok if you don’t like the same things. We love a few of the same things but dislike a lot of things – Believe it or not, I was one of those kids that didn’t grow up watching the cartoon channel on Saturday mornings. Now, I still don’t watch the cartoon channel on Saturday mornings. BUT…. I have watched some cartoon movies (thanks to my husband) and he also got me into watching some of the DC shows (which he doesn’t even watch anymore). HOWEVER, I do not like his comic books nor his toy figurines/collection and believe me, if he were to die first, I’m selling those… I’m pretty sure I could survive with whatever amount I make… haha! No, but really, he’s the one that told me I could sell his collection if he died first. Moving on – He has a sweet tooth; I don’t. He likes flat pillows, I like the hard, fluffy ones. 
  •  It’s ok to work together and serve together. –  We are both Bible College Graduates and are now in full-time Christian ministry. The past few days have reminded me “why” I love serving with him. We get to meet people and minister to them, pray with and for them, and we both get to have fun while we try to “work” our crazy schedules, which are always not “FINAL.” Serve others together. There’s something about serving others and doing so with your spouse! It’s AWESOME!
  • It’s ok to understand & know how each other is feeling. –  He knows when I’m sad, mad, hungry, frustrated, disappointed, discouraged, excited, etc. He’s definitely my soul-mate! He knows me all too well, sometimes more than I know myself. I know when he’s discouraged, disappointed, or happy. But I’ll be honest, I believe He gets me more than I get him, which is why this point is specifically geared towards him. 
  • It’s ok to have fun & make fun (of each other). – “Fun” in our language can mean different things… sometimes, it’s just going out, like to the mall or the park; other times, it’s eating out! Ok, a lot of our fun does involve eating… but what can we say, WE LOVE FOOD! Sometimes, we like to mock each other… but definitely to the point when we know to stop… 
  • It’s ok to be honest with each other. – We compliment each other and we also give criticism. If I make food that he isn’t too fond of (but I am), he will graciously tell me. But he also still tells me I’m Beautiful (even when I really don’t feel or look like it). I usually compliment him when I smell his deodorant or body wash… and I “try” to kindly criticize him when he doesn’t smell too good. I say “try” because I can be a very blunt, straightforward person. 
  • It’s ok to need a break from the kids. As working parents, especially since both of us are in Christian Ministry, a lot of days can be tiring just like any other job… but being in Ministry can sometimes go beyond the 8-5 or 9-6 work hours. There are days when my schedule is more packed than my husbands’ and vice versa and David is very good about letting me get my rest. He also knows when to just let the kids get their energy out, outside, after being cooped up in the house for hours. Other times, we divide & conquer! He gets one girl & I get the other… (Not sure how that’ll work out once we have our next one(s)! (Wink, Wink)

This list is one that will be on the “to be continued…” category because I know that TRUE LOVE is love that is CONTINUALLY GROWING and so will the lists…. so until next time!

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***Featured Photo by Wu Jianxiong on Unsplash!

Why Communication is Important in a Marriage

COMMUNICATION

Websters 1828 Dictionary defines COMMUNICATION as 1. The act of imparting, conferring, or delivering, from one to another; as the communication of knowledge, opinions or facts. 2. Intercourse by words, letters or messages; interchange of thoughts or opinions, by conference or other means.

I am 26 years old and in the last 8 years, I have found COMMUNICATION to be VITAL. I understand and am continuing to understand how important it is in every aspect of life.  One of the most important areas is in MARRIAGE.

A couple doesn’t need to be married for long to realize that COMMUNICATION is a key aspect to an effective and continuing relationship.  J.Cabal

COMMUNICATION can come in different forms. I am currently re-reading the book, “The Five Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman. Since I started, I have discovered that what I thought was my husband’s main love language wasn’t actually his main love language!

You see, different people communicate in different ways.

(Taken from “The Five Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman)

1) Some communicate through time spent together

2) Some through giving gifts

3) Some through touch

4) Some through words of affirmation/encouraging words

5) Some through acts of service.  

“Failing to know how your spouse communicates best is failing to understand what your spouse is communicating!”  J. Cabal

If I am the type of person that communicates best by wanting to spend time with my husband and my husband communicates best by words of affirmation, He should not be communicating to me with words of affirmation, simply because I won’t understand what he wants me to understand.  It’s like trying to speak Chinese to someone who is American. It’s just not the same…

“Speaking to your spouse in YOUR BEST WAY of communication will not necessarily guarantee joyful acceptance of it because it may not be his/her BEST FORM of communication. J.Cabal

There were several times in my marriage when I “expected” my husband to do or say something, but I had failed to communicate that to him…so when that time came when I wanted or expected something to be done (and it wasn’t), I was already frustrated and angry that it had not been done, or sometimes, not done the way I wanted.

So, you may be at the point in your life where you’ve been wondering why your spouse CANNOT get your hints, CANNOT understand you (no matter how S L OOOOOOOO W you say something or how many times you repeat it), and you are about fed-up with your relationship. Nothing seems to work.

FRIEND, TRY THIS:

  1. Set aside a time daily or weekly for you and your spouse to tell each other what you would like for them to do this week. (See what we use below!)
  2. If last minute things come up and “ruin” the plans you had already set, it’s a-ok! Don’t let it ruin the rest of the week.
  3. Once something you wanted to get accomplished gets accomplished, thank and praise your spouse. (Give him a kiss, even!)
  4. At the end of the week, look back on what could’ve been better communicated or worked on from both sides.

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“A marriage that is to continue growing in love, grace, and forgiveness must involve faithful and effective communication from both parties.” – JudyLynn Cabal

 Please let me know in the comments if you’ve read the book, “The Five Love Languages” and what your love language is. 

 

PRELUDE

LIFE. IT CONSISTS OF A BEGINNING, MIDDLE, AND END.  The only two that are evident are the beginning (birth) and the end (death).  We don’t really know when the middle of our life is, simply because we don’t know when the end of our life is. In addition, BEFORE YOU WERE EVEN BORN, YOU WERE ALREADY THOUGHT OF AND ON SOMEONE’S MIND.

WEBSTER’S 1828 DICTIONARY DEFINES “PRELUDE” as Something introductory or that shows what is to follow; something preceding which bears some relation or resemblance to that which is to follow.

Can you believe that your whole life is already planned out by an ALMIGHTY, ALL-POWERFUL, ALL-KNOWING GOD? The sad thing is that PLANS DON’T ALWAYS WORK OUT, do they? Especially, when we choose to do things for our own selfish pride or selfish ambitions.

You see, there are two perspectives in life – the world’s & God’s.

The World’s perspective says, “Do whatever pleases, satisfies, or benefits you.”

I’m not against doing things to please yourself. Hey, sometimes you have to have your “ME” time to stay sane. What is meant by world’s perspective is when EVERYTHING that you do is centered around pleasing , satisfying, or benefiting you.

On the contrary, God’s perspective is, “Do what pleases or satisfies Him and benefits the Kingdom of Heaven.”  If you really think about it, God doesn’t owe us anything. We owe Him everything. He sacrificed ALL HE HAD just so we could have what we need, and that “need” is a Saviour. God paid a debt He didn’t owe and we had a debt we couldn’t pay. All the things that we have are from God, especially LIFE.

Births and Deaths can have one thing in common – the celebrating of a life.

April 20, 2014 – BabyGirl LG is Born

When a baby is born, joy is experienced, no matter how much pain was involved. I remember giving birth to my first-born daughter. Those contractions were killer! (Can I get a witness?!?) I was already in so much pain at 3cm. I can still remember my husband telling me that HE NEVER WANTED ME TO GO THROUGH THAT AGAIN. Well, unfortunately for him,  9 months after LG was born, we found out we were expecting our second child! (Hallelujah for me & fear for my husband… haha! JK!)  Don’t worry, he regrets saying that and is VERY GRATEFUL FOR OUR SECOND DAUGHTER, AJ. Only a mother who has given birth can testify that the pain felt before giving birth was nothing compared to the joy when that baby came out and was placed in her arms, as she cried tears of joy – simply because a NEW LIFE was being celebrated.

October 22, 2015 – BabyGirl AJ is Born

When someone dies, a memorial service is usually held. Why? To remember the life that they lived. Sure, it may not have been a “PERFECT” life (which does not even exist) and sure, the person that died may have been a criminal but to some, they were loved, especially by family members and close friends. (Please don’t misunderstand me for thinking that it’s OK to be a criminal – OBVIOUSLY, it’s not!)  But can you see where I’m going with this?

When someone is born or dies, something is celebrated.

Now, there is only one person that knows when someone will be born and when someone will die. Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21 KJV).  Just as God spoke the world into existence, God decides when and how a person is born and when and how a person dies.

If we just engraved into our hearts and minds that OUR LIVES have a specific BLUEPRINT and that blueprint was designed by the Almighty Creator and that EACH LIFE was made for a SPECIFIC PURPOSE, then maybe we would choose to be WISER in how we lived our lives.

Instead of living for ourselves, we would live for God and others. After all, the two greatest commandments are to love God with all our hearts, soul, and mind and to love our neighbours (others) as ourselves. (Matthew 22:37-39 KJV)

If you are reading this, you may be at a point in your life where YOUR LIFE seems like it has no meaning; FRIEND, God made you for a purpose but it is up to you to find that purpose. (Stick around as we will be talking about PURPOSE in the next few weeks) But DON’T GIVE UP! Life may be difficult right now but that is what life is made up of. Without the difficulties of life, you wouldn’t be the strong person that you are or could be.

You may be reading this and thinking that you’ve been doing a good job with how you’ve lived your life and I would like to commend you! I’m sure it wasn’t easy to get to where you are right now but you have made good and wise decisions and you are reaping the benefits of that so KEEP IT UP but REMEMBER, don’t settle for where you are now – STRIVE TO BE BETTER AND DO BETTER!

Remember, The Best View Comes After the Hardest Climb!

You may be reading this and may not be either of two people that were described but rather someone who DOESN’T EVEN BELIEVE IN GOD. Many come to that point where they question God’s existence or goodness because of a tragedy that has occurred in their life. You have grown to be bitter towards God and life. But FRIEND, YOU CANNOT BE MAD AT SOMEONE THAT YOU BELIEVE DOES NOT EXIST. Remember that no matter how you feel about God, He still loves you. He loved you so much that HE SACRIFICED AND ALLOWED HIS ONLY SON to die for you… Yes, you! There is nothing that you could do or say that would change His love for you.

Collagetrio.com defined PRELUDE as the following:

“Think of it as “welcoming music.”  By no means bland, this is harmonious music with a calm, often pastoral air to it, designed to set a tone of relaxed composure, alleviate the stresses of traveling, and – added bonus! – it lets the guests know by ear where the ceremony will be located.  It usually starts between 15 and 30 minutes before the ceremony begins.”

No doubt, when you were born, there was some kind of celebration. But before anyone on this earth saw you, SOMEONE ALREADY KNEW YOU (Jeremiah 1:5 KJV). The last 15-30 minutes before you were born, God already had some music playing as if to prepare for your GRAND ENTRANCE.

So, if He knew you before you were even born, don’t you think it would be wise to keep your life in His Hands? After all, he knows what’s best for you!

 

LG @ 2 and 1/2 years young!

AJ @ 1 Year Young!

“We are designed by God for accomplishment, engineered for success, 

and endowed with seeds of greatness.”

– Christine Caine

I can’t see all that my two girls will accomplish, succeed, & be great in, but GOD DOES!

I would rather have Him steer the wheel for their lives than I do so and mess it up by my versions of ACCOMPLISHMENT, SUCCESS, and GREATNESS. They may not be bad, but for sure, they won’t be what God purposed for their lives.

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***Featured Photo by Jordan Mcqueen on Unsplash!