Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘communication’

How To React To The ‘Others’

Today I posted a status update that is a ‘take off’ of the Four Spiritual Laws as explained in this article – borrowed from Campus Crusade For Christ Ministries.  The first spiritual law is this:

“God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life”

Doesn’t that sound great?  When I seek Him and ask Him through prayer and constant open communication – He begins to reveal His plan for my life – gently probing into my inmost thoughts and bringing to mind a direction that I should take – sometimes a ‘stepping out’ beyond what I think I can do.  It’s called: faith. It’s also called discernment.

We have had wonderful people throughout our ministry life – and beyond speak over us – or call us to tell us something they feel God is saying to us.  One such trusted friend is a woman who has served as an elder at a church where Greg was a staff member for 13 years.  Her name is Lucille Johnson.  She would probably be embarrassed to know that I written anything about her – she is very modest and humble – always comes across in a positive and encouraging way – she is this way with everybody.  We respect her – and her ‘words’ of encouragement from the Lord – because she is always right on. A real prayer warrior – with no ulterior motives and no agenda.  She considers herself a vessel and lets God speak through her to encourage and lift up.  And you can always match what she says according to the Bible – the true test of whether someone is speaking from God – or from themselves.  I have also known a few others along the way who would pray over me or Greg and have a ‘word’ for us.  Same thing – always positive and encouraging.  This is how God speaks.  If it is negative or judgmental – it in NOT from God.  If it is contrary to scripture – again – NOT from God – no matter who is saying it.

But what happens when the first law looks like this:

“God loves you, and OTHER people have a wonderful plan for your life”

Those ‘other’ people can really mess us up.  And especially when it’s done under the ‘guise’ of spirituality – they tell you they have a ‘word’  from God Himself – the ultimate ‘trump card’ for any argument you could possibly offer.  By doing so you would appear ‘non-spiritual’ – ‘out of touch’ – and even ‘arrogant’. So you do what anyone in your position would do – you listen. But what if it makes you uncomfortable – is negative or judgmental – and you feel a personal agenda from the individual delivering the message to you?  Do you start to ‘bristle’ at the words?  Do you feel uneasy?  It is NOT from God.

I’ve had many such ‘other people’ in my life – throughout the years – trying to discern  ‘God’s will’ for my life.  Sometimes it was subtle – a glance or ‘meaningful few words’ – sometimes it was a ‘direct word’ – either through a ‘word of wisdom’ or ‘prophecy’ over me – or in some cases – (gasp!) even an email.  I am amazed at how ‘fear’ and ‘loss of control’ can be the instigator of such rubbish.  And even how Satan himself uses people to be a negative influence in my life.  Again – if it’s negative or judgmental – you detect  fear or loss of control from the individual delivering it – then just smile and walk away.  Wait to respond.  If you think it’s necessary to respond – and sometimes it is – make sure you wait and don’t respond out of defensiveness or anger.  If you wait a while – you will be able to rationally think it out and respond correctly if you even need to respond at all.

You wouldn’t believe the weird situations I have found myself in over the years – maybe you would.  I share the next two events with you – both of which happened MANY YEARS ago – to give you encouragement and hope when you go through a time in your life when things don’t make any sense to you and ‘others’ really try to mess with you.

I had a situation years ago – when Greg was earning his Master’s Degree.  We were involved in our local church and I was asked to be on a panel of judges because of my musical experience – to audition children for a musical – to be held at our church later that year.  I went into the situation completely unbiased – as I didn’t know any of the children personally.  The woman who asked me to be on the panel was the assistant director – and her son was auditioning for the lead role.  I did not know him personally.  I was unaware going in that the director DID NOT want me to judge – knowing I would pick the best kid for the lead role.  She had an agenda – another boy who was not as talented but that ‘deserved’ the part (and the Mom and Grandmother of the boy were highly influential in the church)  – it was purely ‘political’ – and I had walked into the situation COMPLETELY BLIND.  I was asked by the assistant director to be a judge – because she knew that I would choose based on ability – not popularity or politics.

Well as you can imagine – I chose the boy with the most ability for the role – both acting and singing  (he happened to be the son of the assistant director) – and was ‘out voted’ by the others on the panel.  It was strange to me and very upsetting – knowing I was just a pawn and not to be taken seriously – and the ‘other’ boy got the part.  The assistant director called me that evening wondering what had happened – and I told her.  I didn’t think it was a secret – BOY WAS I WRONG.  I was blasted by not only telling the truth – but the pastor’s wife called me to tell me how wrong I was in voting the way I did – and by defending my position.  She had been in the room for the judging (although she was not a judge) and told me I was wrong and had no business to have an opinion etc.  Her ‘word’ of correction for me was harsh – negative and carried a heaping spoon full of guilt and personal agenda (her son had been up for the lead as well – and got the second biggest part).  But if I had been more spiritual then I would have known all of this on the panel and would have gone along with the others – they were right – I was clearly WAY OFF.  It was ugly.  It was uncomfortable at church after that.  And although the pastor himself was very kind – to me and the assistant director – the damage had been done.  I remember calling the director on the phone after the pastor’s wife called me – and humbly asking her forgiveness for anything that was out of line on my part – and told her in my own words what had happened.  She admitted she never wanted me judging in the first place – they already had picked who they wanted in the lead roles – and my presence there was just a ‘complication’.

I would be lying to you if I said that all was forgiven and overlooked – and all was well after that – but it wasn’t.  We moved away soon after that – but the event has followed me and even hindered me from speaking my mind confidently for a long time.  And anytime I was asked to ‘judge’ anything after that – I would have to really think about it.  I always judge based on talent – not anything else.  I cannot be swayed politically.

Another example of a crazy thing that happened to me:  In the next church – when we were on staff – I was even accused of ‘having an affair’ with a man on our worship team – because – GET THIS – I sat next to him one time in Sunday School class – and when we were in a prayer circle in the back room before service – I once held his hand – because he happened to be standing next to me at the time.  You HAVE to hold hands if you’re in a prayer circle praying before service!  I know you think this is pretty silly – IT IS!  But his wife was deadly serious when she came up to me as I was starting to play for the service and said, “my husband will be available in a little while – we’re getting divorced so you’ll have your chance with him”  or something like that.  Well I was so rattled by this revelation – and right as I’m starting to play for song service too!  It was all I could do – to ‘hold it together’ until after song service – where I went to sit by Greg and wrote him a note.  He couldn’t believe it either!  Later it was discovered that the woman had serious disillusions and mental problems – I was relieved – but sad for her.  It was not the first time someone had been accused and would not be the last.  Again I didn’t seem to have any discernment in the situation and the pastor even tried to ‘down play’ it and in a weird way – because he would not stand with me – he acted like I was somehow to blame!  I don’t think he wanted to ‘rock the boat’ with that family.  It’s those kind of situations with ‘others’ that can truly make you feel as if you’re losing a grip on reality.  I wondered if the pastor actually believed her.  There was nothing done to ‘ratify’ me – or let me know that we were dealing with an unstable person – nothing.

And if you think these are the only two strange events that I have been involved in – think again!  I find that people are people – everywhere I go – their faces change but the situations are eerily the same – with a few things changed, of course.  And if I’m not careful – pretty soon I find myself being judged, misrepresented and being ‘corrected’ for things that are not my fault and that clearly involve ‘other’ people.
I tell you this because God is ultimately the only one who can judge and penetrate our hearts and souls – to find our real intent and motive for every ‘crisis’ in our lives.  “Others’ will be glad to give you their ‘knowledge’ and ‘expertise’ and even be quick to ‘judge’ without knowing all the facts and circumstances – but from my own experience – that ‘word’ or ‘advice’ from people can often times be self-serving and carry with it a hidden agenda based on ‘fear’ or ‘loss of control’.  We need to know and understand the difference.  We need to keep our heart right.  I cannot control what others think of me and that drives me crazy!!  But it is the truth. And I’ve had many more situations in my life since then – where well-meaning people have tried to ‘correct’ or ‘rebuke’ based on nothing but ‘hearsay’ and ‘fear‘.  So disheartening – it can cut me to the quick – if I let it.

My aim is to live with my own heart right. I don’t try to defend myself or my actions anymore to man – but talk it out with God – who is the only one who knows what the truth is – and He will liberate me in the end.  I am careful who I take ‘correction’ from – I shy away from those who do not believe that things can be forgiven and there can be a resolution to any problem.  Anyone that is human is capable of messing up – even pastor’s do.  They are NOT God.  And sometimes – hard as it is to believe – they can also be motivated by ‘fear’ and ‘loss of control’.  It is important to know and understand this – then you will not be disappointed when seeking godly council from a person in leadership – or what you consider to be a good strong Christian man or woman.  They can mess up – they don’t always get it right.  God is the only one we can trust – and we can take His word for us – TO THE BANK.

Who are you listening to today?  The ‘accuser’?  The person who is quick to blame without knowing all the facts?  The ‘judgmental one’ who knows more about what you should be thinking or doing than you do?  The one with the ‘hidden agenda’?  Those that have something personal riding on what you say, think or do?  A person who is fearful of losing control?

I suggest you listen to God alone – and rest in what He tells you through prayer and in His word.  His correction is always without ‘hidden motive’.  He loves with a pure agenda and gently advises.  His words will always be encouraging and lift you up – not tear you down to size.  He will always want the best things for your life – and work behind the scenes to bring those people and situations into your life to build you up – give you hope and a future!

And the ‘others’?  Pray for them.  Live by example.  The very best revenge for those people – is to NOT be angry but quick to forgive  – be encouraging and loving – accepting and gracious to them.  Be kind and considerate.  It will really irk them. ☺  And it will do you the world of good too!

God Bless

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Article Sharing – I’m FOR it!! (The Saturday Evening Blog Post)

I have been following a blog site for a few days – and have had the opportunity to participate in a ‘sharing’ of articles on her site. She calls it, “The Saturday Evening Blog Post” – where others just like you and I share our favorite blog article from the last month. It is a worth it to check her out and participate – great way to read what other ‘bloggers’ are doing and to get more publicity for your own site. Click here: Elizabeth Esther to post an article on her website.

I chose the article I wrote the other day on “What Scares You” a look into what things hold us back from being everything we need to be. I hope you will take the time to go to the website above and read some of Elizabeth’s great articles and other ‘fellow bloggers’ out there as well!

I hope you will also take the time to read some of the great articles that I read – included on my blogroll on the right side of this page – and further down you will see the ‘live feed’ from the ‘fellow bloggers’ that I read most often. They are extremely talented friends and colleagues and I hope you will take a minute and look them up – you won’t be disappointed!

God Bless!

What Scares You?

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I thought about this quote today and realize the importance of ‘stepping out’ of my own comfort zone to insure that I keep growing. How easy it is to stay where I’m comfortable – no pressure – no expectations – no work. But on the flip side – no lesson learned – no real positive change – no opportunity to influence others by being unafraid to face things head on.

Last week I was asked by friend, radio host and local pastor, Doug Bursch to be on his radio show – “Live from Seattle”. I hesitated. I made excuses. Finally I could see that none of my excuses (one of them was that I teach in the afternoon when the show airs) were going to be enough – especially when a time slot was found that could accommodate me. The subject he was going to interview me on: Blogging and what God was speaking to me. Now before you judge my hesitations – just remember that I am the girl that has no problem singing you a song – or playing the piano at a recital for my students – can teach music in a theater class – but usually I don’t have to ‘talk’ much. I’ve never considered myself a speaker and in fact have turned down speaking engagements when we were in ministry over the years – because I didn’t feel qualified – or had anything to say – and was just plain terrified! So when Doug asked me to do this – I was pretty nervous – and that’s the understatement!

But excuses aside – I did it anyway – knowing it was probably good for me to be forced out of my comfort zone of sitting behind my desk and typing – sharing things from my heart in written form only – and to be open to a new vehicle that God was gently nudging me in – with a little help from a friend. And I’m happy and relieved to tell you that it was not as bad as I thought – I actually could think on my feet and share what needed to be shared – was not ‘tongue tied’ or really dumb – and the nervous feeling left me almost as soon as the interview started. With a lot of help from Doug 🙂

I got to thinking – how many things scare us? Prevent us from a great blessing and possibility for growth – all because we’re terrified of stepping out? How many things have I missed out on – just because I refused to learn something new – and do something that really terrified me? Like…talking on the radio? Maybe talking to someone that could really use a friend? Doing something with children that I didn’t feel qualified for? Teaching a class? Volunteering my time to an organization? Giving of myself? Living by example? Being misunderstood?

As I thought of this – I am very aware in my own life – that I have been the reason – I’ve been the one that is afraid – afraid to tackle the strange unknown. Because of this I know that I have also held myself back from doing great things for people – for my family and friends and most of all – God’s kingdom – all because of fear. There are several ‘fear buttons’:

What if they don’t like me? They might not. Many that have known me through the years – don’t like me. I’ve managed to survive it and I’ve come to realize that not everyone will like me – and that has to be okay. But I won’t let that handicap me from being who I am – just because some don’t like me.

What if they reject me? Again – many have. Some of them that I considered good friends have rejected me – for whatever reasons of their own – walked away and have never spoken to me again. Rejection in the rawest form. But I’m still me – I’m still here – I didn’t die from the rejection. It hurt me – but I went on and found others who won’t play that game with me and don’t do that anymore. And I’m getting smarter – I’ve learned who they are – and those that are open to me and my influence are those that have won my friendship and trust.

What if I fail? Well – I’ve failed MANY times. I’m actually the ‘poster child’ for this. I can tell you how to do it and how to go down to that dark scary place – how to spiral out of control because of hurt, disappointed and frustration. But I also know that God is greater than any failure of mine – or any scrape I can get myself into – and that He is there – even in the deepest, darkest pit of self pity and pride. I know that it IS possible to dig yourself out – and begin again – because I have done it – not once – but many times. And what I find each time I fail is that His grace renews every morning – there’s enough to cover me and my mistakes. And the lessons learned from failing are invaluable and actually make me stronger and wiser. So failing doesn’t not scare me anymore. I can actually look failure in the face and say, ‘you don’t own me anymore’.

What if I can’t handle it? I’ve been there too. There are still days when I don’t feel as if I’m up to the task – and my daily schedule of teaching students can be a daunting task. There are days when I actually dread it. And I’ve had those bad teaching days where I don’t feel like I’ve connected with the student at all. I mean – a really bad day. The kind of day that makes me doubt my own education and experience – makes me want to give up entirely and ‘throw in the towel’. Then something will happen – an encouragement from a parent – an email and positive affirmation of some kind – and suddenly I remember why I do – what I do. And I know that I can handle it. And God has equipped me to handle it and to ‘bloom where I’m planted’.

Do those things above scare me? You bet. Everyday. More than once a day. But I also know that God will give me what I need for that day to accomplish what I’m supposed to. I can’t do it in my own strength – nor does He expect me to. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in Proverbs 3:5,6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

I want to challenge you today – do something that really scares you. It may be that very thing that propels you onto a new pathway of discovery and growth – a journey that embraces and influences others in ways you never dreamed of before. Do that one thing that has been holding you back – and keeping you from missing a blessing in your life. What is it? You are the only one that can answer that. Step out and do it – you won’t be alone – He will be by your side as your greatest source of strength and encouragement. Reach out and embrace that change in your life. That change may be the beginning of your finest hour. A scary step. The thing most feared – may be your biggest blessing.

God Bless

Laughter, Listening and Liking each other in Marriage

I posted something today on my facebook page about laughter and it got me thinking about marriage and laughter.  There are many reasons why a marriage fails – even those that start out with good intentions.  Oh sure, there are outside forces that hit you blindsided – we all know about those things – and finances (or lack of them) can also be a key contributor to failure.  But more than these I believe that at the very root of the issue is this:  Married couples forget to laugh. Now I’m not talking about the little chuckle you get from something funny one of your kids did today – or a funny email or status update on facebook from one of your friends – or even a great humorous story – I’m talking about laughing with each other – sharing a joke together – or a secret and poking fun at the other and finding it so funny!  When was the last time your spouse made you REALLY LAUGH? When was the last time – YOU were funny and not so serious?  Life is serious enough without adding to it – and sometimes you just need to take a ‘chill pill’ and just laugh.  Laugh at the absurd – laugh at the ridiculousness of your situation – laugh at the irony of life – enjoy your spouse and find something together to laugh at!  A healthy married couple smiles and laughs all the time.

Another reason marriages are in trouble is this: Married people forget how to listen. You’re so used to that person – after a while if they’re not saying anything worth listening to – we tune them out. It is an art form to learn how to listen well – but well worth it.  We were a marriage that had forgotten how to do this – I didn’t feel I had my husband’s full attention anymore – he had forgotten how to listen to me and meet my emotional needs.

Develop a healthy sense of humor with your spouse and listen to them – really listen. If you listen long enough – believe me – you will bond with them again – you’ll be able to share secrets and find that laughter too.  It will be there – decide that YOU will not wait for them – decide that you are going to turn your marriage around.  Get your ‘mischievousness’ on!  You will ignite something in your spouse – a passion that you forgot was ever there.

And finally – I think the reason that marriages are in trouble is this:  Somewhere along the way – you forgot to like your spouse. You say, “Oh – but you don’t understand – I wouldn’t ever think of leaving them” – You may even say that you ‘love’ them – in the traditional Christian way (of course) and if push comes to shove and they really tick you off and you’re at the end of your rope you might consider murder – but NOT divorce – NEVER!  You say, “Not me!   This would never happen to us!  But I don’t have to like them – I’m committed.” HOGWASH!!  You are setting yourself up for a failure with this attitude.  What if someone comes into your life that really likes you – admires you – and treats you like your spouse doesn’t? There’s a fine line between tolerance and indifference – don’t be foolish.  It happens all the time.

I like my husband.  I didn’t always feel this way.  Oh I suppose I got used to him – he is an excellent man in every way – good father – wonderful friend to many – but for me – I had forgotten to like him.  So like many of you out there – I had a choice to make.  Do I want to start over and learn how to like him again – find the laughter and the reason that I picked  him in the first place?  Can it be done?  We’re used to each other – but do I really like him?  It took many months of talking and really listening to each other to discover that we were solid as good friends – even if we hadn’t been married to each other.  We had to rediscover that again – we had to ‘date’ again to make that connection – and we DID!  And you can too.  I can honestly say now that I not only love Greg – and am committed – but I also like him.

I found this very cute and humorous video on marriage from the comedic and married team of Stiller and Meara – married over 50 years.  It’s adorable and has some great truths in it – they use laughter in their relationship and they have also found that they actually like one another after all the years together.

God Bless

Roots and Wings

Several years ago – after living in our present home for 2 years – we had a major problem with our sewage pipes.  And naturally, like most any disaster – if it’s going to happen – it will be when you have company.  Our daughter’s boyfriend was here from California where he was stationed as a United States Marine.  We were happy to meet Jack and were excited that he came up here to see her for a weekend.  As soon as we picked him up from the airport and dropped by quickly at our home – they were off to a mutual friend’s church party – and left Greg and me at home to do some last-minute chores.  It was a Saturday night and I was trying to finish up some laundry and was working in my office when all of a sudden I heard a peculiar gurgling sound coming from the guest bathroom just down the hall from my office.  I got up to investigate and the gurgling noise became louder until water bubbled up from the toilet and started spilling out ALL OVER THE FLOOR at a rapid pace.  I screamed for Greg who was upstairs and he sprang into action trying to ‘plunge’ whatever had backed up in the toilet.  We could both see that it was a far worse problem then just a simple clog – the water just kept coming – spilling over onto the floor – spilling out into the hallway and making a HUGE mess EVERYWHERE!!  I had every towel I owned in the hallway to mop up the water.  We called someone to help us and thankfully we knew someone in the plumbing business.  Because this was late at night (of course) the problem did indeed have to wait until the next day – so we mopped up the mess as best we could after the water slowed down to a stop and told everyone NOT to flush ANY toilet in the house.  This was not a good weekend to have a guest!  Luckily Jack had family in the area and was not staying at our house over night.

The next day our wonderful friend (John Beck) came over and donated his time and equipment – a hose with a camera on it – to dig up and diagnose the problem in our front yard.  It was temporarily ‘fixed’ – but a week later would you believe it – the same thing happened – and back John came only this time it was a water line with the same problem – ‘roots’.  This time the WHOLE YARD had to be dug up to run a new water line – And by ‘dig up’ – yeah – well you get the picture.  It was determined that because of all the trees in our yard (we love our shady trees in the summer) we had a ‘root’ problem.  Roots were growing in not so great places – like our sewage pipes and water line – thus creating a nasty back up for the sewage line anything thicker than water.  And for the water line – the same back up and mess all over the house.  Yuck.    Roots had to be cut and our pipes were FREED!!!  Yay!

Two years ago we had the same problem.  It was an emergency of the same magnitude and our friend no longer had the equipment or was in that line of business any more – so we needed to hire someone to come.   It was REALLY EXPENSIVE and we took every precaution since then to make sure it NEVER happened again – including pouring things into the drain to dissolve the nasty roots and to discourage them from growing back.  But those roots are persistent – and it seemed that no matter what we did – they kept coming back!

So today while getting ready to go to church – Greg heard the familiar ‘gurgling’ and ‘bubbling’ sound coming from the downstairs bathroom again – and he thought, “Oh oh” – I was happily taking a shower upstairs and was oblivious to his rushing around downstairs and out the front door – taking a look at the pipes to access the backup.  As soon as I was out of the shower he informed me that he was going to have to rent something – and soon or we were going to have the same problem.  Long story short – after church we rented a snake with cutters on it to insert in the pipe and ‘cut’ the roots and clear the clog.  It worked like a charm – and was ever so much cheaper than hiring someone – like we did 2 years ago.

Roots.  What to do – what to do??  They are with us – they attach themselves to us – we cut them down – they grow back.  They are persistent.  They follow us.  And if roots are grown in the wrong place – they cause damage and clogs – and need to be cut and re-directed.

Roots in human beings are similar to those in trees.  If they are well nourished and have the right ‘direction’ shown to them – then they grow straight and strong.  Roots are the things that grow beneath the surface – the things you can’t see.  You can tell a healthy tree by its roots.  It is not so easy to see this in a person – or is it?  Is there such a thing a ‘bad roots’?  Can they hinder our growth and development?  Can our past affect us?  Prevent us from getting everything we need in this life?  Sometimes because of the ‘voices’ from the past we do not continue to reach and grow – and explore things for ourselves.  The teachings of childhood are always in our heads – good or bad.  We can actually be ‘stunted’ instead of going our own natural way.  Those ‘voices’ can clog our minds until we are not sure what we believe anymore.  Is it because we are taught that?  Is it our belief?  Can we risk believing something different – or new?

Roots – are good things – If you had loving parents and leaders/mentors in your life that spoke great things into your life and instilled beliefs and teachings to help you grow – then you were blessed. But you may not have that legacy.  You may not have had good parents that spoke great things into your life – and your ‘roots’ may be broken and bent.  Regardless of which category you fall into – it is now your responsibility to nourish your own ‘roots’ and to help them grow in a healthy way – to ‘unclog’ the  voices in your head and to clear a path for your life that does not just include the past – but that opens up a way for you to be all you can be.   Ask God today to show you the special things He has in mind for your life – He will make your path clear – as you step out in His unconditional grace.  He will give you  ‘clear’ thinking – and  help you to ‘unclog’ the tangled mess in your mind and replace it with His own sweet presence and love – flowing freely through you and bursting forth with newness, strength and health.

I believe we need to take all we can from our good parents – things they taught us – things we learned in school and what our church taught us.  But I believe it is not enough.  We need to build on that – good past or bad past – it’s up to us – it is a choice.

Be someone today with healthy roots – choose to pass that on to your children and their children.  Allow them to be who they are supposed to be – give them roots – but also give them wings.

God Bless

A Kiss Is Just A Kiss…

Yesterday I was reading a very interesting article on kissing.  In this article written by a man happily married – he was explaining how a kiss is so important in a love relationship and especially in a married one.

I just had a few thoughts of my own on this.

First there are many types of kisses – and many cultures that express deep meaning in a kiss.  In some cultures a kiss in greeting is not unusual – on the lips sometimes but very often on each cheek as a way to say, “hello” – or “goodbye”.

We in America do not follow these rules – and in fact we seem to have our own ‘personal space’ rule.  We would think it funny – strange or even a little creepy if someone of the opposite sex (whom we are not married to) came up and greeted us with a kiss – unless it’s your Grandpa, Dad, Brother, or Uncle.  But anyone else – NO WAY!  It’s our ‘personal space’ again.

But a romantic kiss?  That’s entirely different.  A kiss from your husband is the best kind of kiss there is.  You really can tell so much from a kiss.  It’s intimate and warm and wonderful – when done right.  It keeps the romance alive and keeps you coming back.  As a woman – I would rather have a passionate kiss that hints of more wonderful things to come – then just about anything else he could do for me.  I love his back rubs too – for that reason.  Tenderness shared by two people – the human touch – so necessary!

There are many married couples that struggle in this area.  The passion and excitement have definitely gone out of the marriage and they have been reduced to an ‘arrangement’ of sorts – instead of a growing, healthy, passionate and intimate love affair – as is expressed rather graphically in the Bible – remember “Song of Solomon”?  I don’t think King Solomon could ever have been accused of not being passionate.  Or disinterested.  Was he ‘physical’ and proud of it?  You betcha!  This is what is missing today in most married couples that have been married for 20 years or more – it’s mundane, hard, tiring and not interesting anymore.

For you women out there in this situation, I say this to you – do something to turn that thing around!  We woman have so much ‘power’ in this department – and though the man is the pursuer and should be ultimately responsible when the ‘romance’ goes out – I say that the woman has so much to also take upon herself – if the romance is no longer there.  What are you doing to make yourself attractive to your husband?  Does he look at you anymore?  Why not?  Are you doing anything about it?  Do your eyes sparkle with fun and laughter when you’re with him”  Do you laugh together anymore?  Why not?  Do you admire him?  Hang on his every word?  Make him feel important?  Wear special outfits that you know he likes?  Be softer – more feminine?  How often do you kiss him?  Build him up?  Make yourself available for him?  Take his arm – cuddle up with him on the coach?  Men LOVE to be admired and to be touched. Often and by someone they love – it’s like a drug to them.  Touch him!  Often – even if he’s not used to it – he will get used to it with very little help – I guarantee it.  And you want him touching you and thinking about you, right?  Make sure you kiss him properly so that he does!

For you men out there – YOU are the pursuer – the one that presses in – the one that is all about the chase!  If you aren’t chasing anymore – you need to ask yourself a question:  Why not?  Women LOVE to be pursued – wanted and made to feel like a QUEEN!  Especially in the home – but it goes outside the home too.  Women love to be kissed – passionately. It lets them know that they are wanted and needed by you.  They love little ‘things’ – notes, gifts, actions and words that let them know you are thinking only of them. NOT just for physical love – although if you do this right – it will lead there – I promise.  Take care of her emotional need first – and then the physical can’t help but follow.  Don’t wait until she takes care of you – YOU take care of her first and see the rich payoff you will receive.  Woman love to be touched – especially by you – so TOUCH HER!  A smart man will touch often because he wants her to be thinking about him and not some other man, right?  So kiss her like you mean it – you want your kiss to be on her mind all day!

About a year ago I wrote on the subject “Men are Simple” and still believe that men have 3 basic needs – if you meet them you will have a happy man – eating out of your hands.  1) Admire them 2) Feed them 3) Physical love (sex) – nothing could be more simple!

But women are equally simple if you break it down – it is NO secret that women are relational in nature and much more emotional as a general rule.  They love the ‘little things’ – touches and kisses and words – actions that promote love and interest.  Make her your Queen – and she will be a happy woman – and a happy woman with her emotional needs met – will meet your emotional and physical needs.

I recently thumbed through some pages online of “The Sex Starved Marriage” by Michele Weiner-Davis.  I understand how important it is to have a happy, healthy marriage – so many do not.  By the title of this book alone – it says so much. We live in a society and culture that promotes passion and sex to the unmarried and even ‘affairs’ – NOT so much in a boring, long marriage.  But I want to challenge you today – do something more about your marriage – turn it around and have a wonderful, passionate, healthy and thriving marriage as an example for the world to see!  And like was stated in the article on ‘kissing’ – you can always tell a marriage that has gotten it right.  They touch and kiss – share secrets and smiles and have a certain glow.  Love makes woman beautiful – and men young-looking and sexy.  Try it out – you won’t be disappointed – I promise.

Is a kiss just a kiss?  I think not.

God Bless

9 Types of men you should never date (or marry) (via Eavesdropping in the Boys Club)

I recently ran across this article and have re-posted it so you can read it for yourself. This man’s blog is very interesting and he makes many good points about men and women. In this particular article he cites the 9 different types of men that women should never date – and  I added – never marry!  I really love articles from a man’s perspective – because no one knows men – and can get inside of their head – like another man!

There’s a reason why marriages last in a day and age when more than half do not. I have been married to my wonderful guy for 29 years in September. Why has it lasted? Are we just too stubborn to admit defeat?  Well we are stubborn – but not the kind you think.  Are we in “la la land’?  Sometimes.  Is it always blissful and happy?  Not always – but it’s always interesting. If it gets too dull and lacks spontaneity – we try to create some.

We believe that God blessed our marriage – but that it still is up to us to bring change and rejuvenation to our relationship. We don’t accept the ‘norm’ and the ‘contract’ of marriage – if that was all we had – I wouldn’t stay with him – ‘contract’ or not – and I was brought up in a Christian home where murder is okay – but not divorce. No – I stay with him because he is my best friend – the best husband and father in the world. He has proven his love for me many times – even when my own feelings changed.  Even when I wasn’t sure what I wanted.  And external circumstances blindsided me.  It was then that I truly had to evaluate for myself why I was staying with him.  What was marriage?  Do we just stay together even when we have changed?  Even when feelings for each other are altered by life and circumstance?  Because as a Christian I have always considered it wrong to leave?  All of these – and none of these.  I struggled to find the answers as we all do at some point in our lives – and there has to be something more that keeps people together than just a ‘commitment’ and a promise – which can be broken – and is broken everyday.  I had to have time to find the answers for myself of why I chose this incredible man.  And it took some time.  Life brings many changes to us – mid-life has its own set of issues and questions – and suddenly the mundane and ordinary did not look very appealing to me.  He stayed by me – listened to me – supported me – and tried to understand my tangled emotions. And we talked it out for months – me explaining – him listening – together we made a conscious effort to be new and improved partners in this thing called ‘marriage’.   He was willing to change – move forward in health – and be a better husband to me. And I observed how patient he was – his willingness to love me beyond my many questions.  I was not willing to settle for a ‘loveless’ or ‘passionless’ marriage.  Some are.  I’m not – plain and simple.  It’s easy for others to say, “it doesn’t matter how you feel – you made a promise and have a commitment”!  But for me – that’s not enough.  I will not settle for anything like that, ever.  It’s not in my nature to just ‘settle’ and resign myself that’s how it’s going to be.  I found that the change had to come from inside me. Happiness is a choice. And as we grasp a hold of that concept something takes over in our lives – joy!

Now I’m not going to tell you to get out of your miserable relationship that keeps you in bondage – if that’s the way you like it – or have resigned yourself to – but it’s not for me!  If people are miserable and not feeding good things into each other – or building each other up and bringing out the very best in each other – and are unwilling to make it work – or to keep it exciting and fresh – then you’d be better make a decision – and I hope it will be a decision to work on getting the ‘passion’ and ‘love’ back into the relationship – otherwise – get out.  Don’t stay in a ‘loveless’ relationship.  Do something about it!  Decide you’re going to find that joy deep within your self as you turn the thing around!  It’s there waiting for you.
I believe that there are men out there like my husband – kind and gentle – giving and gracious – but women settle every day for less.  Why do they do it?  For the excitement?  Maybe.  But excitement does not last.  But if that’s what she’s looking for – the signals to men will be very easy to read. I believe every woman needs to have very high standards and not compromise or try to ‘explain’ his bad behavior away. A man votes with his feet. You should be able to tell how he feels about you by what he is willing to do for you. You should be the most important person in his world – and he should desire to move heaven and earth to be with you – to protect you and hold on to you.
I want to encourage you today – don’t settle. Set your standards high!  Choose a man who will stand by you – not one who runs away at the first sign of conflict in the relationship – one that sticks in there for the long haul – no matter what.

God Bless!

Below is the article – enjoy!

9 Types of men you should never date I get really good letters from women from around the world and I do my best to answer them all. Sometimes I receive one and it inspires me to write a post on it. Last week I was written to by a 19-year-old girl from Russia whom asked me this question. “Are there certain types of men women should not date?” That was a very good question and after thinking about it for the last few days I decided to create a list for her. However, since I figured i … Read More

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