Thanksgiving and Prayer
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you,remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:15-23)
We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father,who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9b-14)
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:5-6, 13)
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13)
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
To all my readers including your family and loved ones…
I just prayed for all of you….
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I’m getting used to reading digital magazines, and I feel good that I’m saving trees. Plus, I don’t have to wait for the magazines to come in the mail. I do, however, miss the print editions because I like to run my fingers through the glossy pages and cut out my favorite recipes.
I also have a digital edition of the Bible on my reading device. But I still have my favorite printed Bible—the one I have underlined and read many times. We don’t know the future of the printed page, but one thing we do know: The best place for God’s Word is not on our cell phones, electronic reading devices, or bedside table.
In Psalm 119 we read about treasuring the Scriptures in our hearts: “I have hidden your word in my heart” (v. 11). Nothing compares to pondering God’s Word, learning more of Him, and putting it into practice in our daily lives. The best place for His Word lies deep in our souls.
We may have many excuses for not reading, meditating, or memorizing, but we need God’s Word. I pray that God will help us store His Word in the best place possible—our hearts.
Lord, give me the desire to read Your Word.
Then implant it in my heart and thoughts and help me live it out.
The best place for God’s Word is our hearts.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, celebrating God’s law and its importance. Today’s passage is one of the most well known in Scripture. Verse 11 is often quoted and memorized and spells out the outcome of knowing the Bible: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Having knowledge about God is not enough. Knowing and meditating on God’s law is what leads to changed behavior. J.R. Hudberg
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“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.”
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Top 10 Frugal Questions
Are you buying store brand or generic items at the store?
Many people simply associate their purchases with the name brand version of that item. A recloseable sandwich bag must be a Ziploc or a bag of flour must be King Arthur. Step back from this and try the store brand. Quite often, they work just as well as the name brand except they cost substantially less. If you’re bothered (for some reason) by the generic packaging, save your old name brand package and fill it with the generic contents when you get home.
For that matter, are you paying for television programming at all? Netflix costs $9 a month and it’s got more interesting content than I’ll ever have time to watch. If we hooked up a digital converter box and stuck a small antenna on our roof, we could get about 20 channels – including at least two all-weather channels and an all-children’s channel – for free over the air.
Are you running your thermostat carefully in relation to the season?
If you leave it at the same number year round, you’re burning money. Turn it up a few degrees in the warm season and down a few degrees in the cool season and you’ll barely notice the change. Of course, you’ll notice the substantial change on your next energy bill.
People will pay for unlimited texting and use only a few dozen texts a month. They’ll pay for unlimited data and use only a few dozen megabytes a month. They’ll get charged for things like call waiting that they never, ever use. Check your bill and see what services you’re paying for that you don’t use, then axe those unused services to make your bill smaller.
It’s easy to pull out a $20 bill and give it to your child or to a spouse without thinking about it. Turn those $20 bills into $10 bills and you’ll save quite a lot. The only change you’ll notice is that the people figure out how to spend a little bit less when they’re out and about.
Are you a consumer of alcohol, tobacco, soda, energy drinks, or drugs?
All of these things are needless money drains. They’re ingested, forgotten about, and then contribute a long-term negative to your health. They cost substantial money, too.
Are your light bulbs efficient? Are you leaving electrical items on when you go to work or to sleep?
Stop by a hardware store the next time they have a demonstration of LED bulbs and take a look for yourself as to how efficient they are and how good the light is. Swapping all the lights in your home for LED bulbs can save you a ton on your monthly energy bill. Another way to cut that bill is to just make sure your lights and electronic devices around the house are all off before you go to work or go to bed.
Are you aware of all of the foods in your pantry or cupboards?
So often, people have food sitting in the back of their pantry that they’ve forgotten about. Empty it out and use it for meals before it goes bad. You likely have several meals’ worth of food just sitting there, as well as the backbone of a lot of additional meals over the coming weeks and months.
Do you eat out with coworkers as a matter of course?
Start a “brown bag” club at work so that everyone saves some cash. Bring in leftovers or a simple meal from home each day and find a quiet place to sit with that same group of coworkers. You have all of the camaraderie with a significant lowering of expenses.
Do you drive places where public transportation will work just fine?
Ideally, public transportation can replace a car. Even when it can’t, a trip on the metro is often far less expensive than getting your car out onto the street, particularly if you’re going places where parking may be a hassle.
These all seem so simple, but so often, it’s a simple thing that we have a blind spot for. If we figure out that blind spot and get around it, we’ll often find ourselves with more money than we expected.
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Imagine there is a bank which credits your account each morning with
$86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep
no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount
you had failed to use during the day.
What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course! Well, everyone
has Such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with
86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you
have failed to invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balance.
It allows no overdraft.
Each day it opens a new account for you.
Each night it burns the remains of the day.
If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.
There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow”. You
must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from
it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
The clock is running. Make the most of today.
To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who has failed a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE DAY, ask a daily wage laborer who has kids to
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who has missed the train.
THE GIFT OF TIME
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who has avoided an
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who has won a
silver medal in the Olympics.
Treasure every moment that you have! And treasure it more because you
shared it with someone special, special enough to have your time . . .
And remember time waits for no one . . .
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That’s why it’s called the present!
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“The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them.”
Asking directions is not my favorite thing to do. I always feel that if I stay at it long enough I’ll eventually find my way. My wife, Martie, on the other hand, is always quick to ask directions and incredulous about my unwillingness to admit that I don’t have a clue about where I’m going. In the end, she is the wiser one. She gets to her destination quickly and without angst while I end up getting lost.
Thinking that we are smart enough to navigate life on our own goes contrary to the warning of Scripture that tells us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 16:25). When we are at a fork in the road, we need to stop and consult the ways of the Lord, “for the ways of the Lord are right” (Hos. 14:9).
Life is a directional enterprise. It’s vitally important to know how to successfully direct our lives toward blessed and peaceful relationships, meaningful acts of love and service, a fulfilling experience with God, and a host of other vitally important destinations.
Asking God for directions isn’t just a good idea—it’s critical. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart . . . and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).
Lord, I surrender my stubborn tendency to do life on
my own terms. Teach me that my “want to’s” lead to
dead-end streets and that Your wisdom will keep me
on the road to all that is good and fruitful. Amen.
Ask God for directions because He knows the way.
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KEEP YOUR LOVE ALIVE BY PRACTICING DEMONSTRATIONS OF LOVE EVERYDAY! CHOOSE AT LEAST ONE TIP EVERYDAY. (THE MORE THE BETTER)!
You knew that she was special the moment you first laid eyes on her. It was a dream come true the day she said, “Yes!” Now that she belongs to you, it’s easy to let your love life play second fiddle to your responsibilities. Not that you want it that way, it’s just that life is so demanding. There is great news. By just taking a few moments of each day to fulfil the needs of your marriage, you and your wife can feel like newlyweds for life!
- LEAVE CANDY FOR HER TO FIND And I’m not talking about a 3 Musketeers bar. (Unless that’s what she likes). Buy a pretty box of chocolates. Leave them in her car or some other place that she’s sure to find them. Tuck a little “I love you” note inside to increase the effect.
- DON’T TEASE HER FOR PRIMPING She wants to look nice for you! If you constantly go on about how much time she spends on her hair or manicures, she may take it that you don’t appreciate her femininity or her effort to look pretty. Let her know she’s beautiful when she fixes herself up.
- KISS HER FOR AT LEAST 6 SECONDS Forget the little peck on your way out the door in the morning. Give her a kiss that will stay with her all day! Kissing for at least six seconds doesn’t take that long but it makes for a much more meaningful kiss.
- HOLD HANDS Wives feel special when their husbands reach over and take their hand. It’s just a simple gesture, but it goes a long way.
- MAIL HER A LETTER E-mail has its place, but for a woman, getting a letter in the mailbox addressed to her from her hubby…well now, that’s just too romantic!
- SHOW HER APPRECIATION FOR EVERYDAY THINGS You’ll leave the waitress a tip, but what about the lady who is there to wait on you 24/7? Surprise her as she clears the supper table by thanking her and genuinely complimenting the meal. Praise her when the house looks and smells nice or just for the things that she does everyday. It will mean the world to her to hear your appreciation and make her want to do more!
- REENACT YOUR FIRST DATE Tell your wife that you’re taking her out. Tell her that you think it would be fun to do everything just like you did on your first date then try to reenact it! The bonus is that you won’t have to take her home to her father, you can take her home with you!
- DEDICATE A SONG TO HER Call your local radio station and have them to play a song for your sweetie! Tell them why you love her and her name, and have them to repeat it over the air!
- COMMUNICATE WITH HER Your wife wants in on your life. Tell her about your day or even your hopes and dreams for the future. Talk about the kids, or whatever happens to come to mind. Just communicate!
- WHISPER IN HER EAR Get close to your wife and whisper those sweet words of love in her ear. Try whispering something about your private love life in the middle of a public place and watch her blush!
- HAVE FLOWERS DELIVERED TO HER Take some time out of your lunch break to swing by the flower shop. Have the florist deliver her flowers to your home or at her place of work, or deliver them yourself!
- PUT YOUR ARM AROUND HER Put your arm around your wife while she’s sitting next to you or while walking side by side.
- CARESS HER Gently caress your wife’s hair with your hand or her face with your lips. She loves to feel your touch.
- PRIASE HER IN FRONT OF OTHERS Let your wife hear you brag on her while you’re talking to others. She may blush or say something back, but secretly she’s feeling proud that you’re her man.
- PRAISE HER TO HER FACE Tell your wife that you appreciate all that she does and the love that she shows to you.
- TAKE HER ON A SURPRISE DATE Secretly arrange for someone to watch your children, if you have them, then surprise your wife by taking her out for a night that she’ll not soon forget!
- SAY YOU’RE SORRY You’re not too macho to say, “I’m sorry” if you’re in the wrong. In fact you’ll be a much bigger man if you do.
- LEAVE THE STRESS OF WORK AT WORK I’m not saying that you can’t talk to your wife about your job or the things that bother you. I’m saying that if you’ve had a bad day, don’t take it out on your wife and family. It’s easy to be grumpy after a long day of work. Don’t snap at the people who love you. If you need to vent your frustrations, talk them out with your wife. She’ll be glad to lend an ear if you need to talk.
- DON’T HIDE ANYTHING FROM YOUR WIFE Be open and honest with your wife about everything. Keep an open line of communication between the two of you at all times. Keeping things from her, even small things, can hurt a relationship. If she should find out from another source, she would feel hurt and disappointed that you didn’t feel like you could share with her. This could ultimately damage her trust in you as well.
- TAKE CARE OF THE CARS Make sure that your vehicles are in tip top shape at all times so your wife isn’t left stranded. Don’t expect her to go to the dirty garages to get the oil changed and repairs done, do them yourself, or take them in for her.
- COMPLIMENT HER Everyone needs a compliment now and then, but many wives need a little extra reassurance to make sure that she’s still special in your eyes. A compliment won’t cost you anything, but for your wife, it could be priceless!
- BUY HER A FEMININE GIFT Buy your wife a gift that will make her feel feminine, like her favorite perfume, or a pretty night gown.
- DON’T FORGET SPECIAL OCCASIONS Put it on your phone schedule, hang a calendar in your vehicle, do what you must, but DON’T forget your anniversary, her birthday, or Valentine’s Day!
- ALWAYS KISS HER GOODNIGHT Never even close your eyes at night until you’ve kissed your wife goodnight. (For at least 6 seconds).
- FINISH HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS Too many times husbands work so hard all week that they don’t feel like keeping up the repairs at home. This is understandable, but remember, it often makes your wife’s work harder too. If you could work on things for just awhile, and aim to finish at least one project per month, it could make your whole household run smoother.
- DON’T BE NEGATIVE Don’t go around griping or nitpicking the things your wife does or don’t do. Try to be more pleasant. Look on the positive side of things. When your negative, it makes everything look worse than it really is.
- TAKE A SHOWER TOGETHER Here’s a way to get clean and have fun at the same time! Jump in the shower, mesh together, and do a lot of kissing! Be sensitive if your wife feels insecure, and make sure that you reassure her often.
- SHOW PATIENCE DURING HORMONAL TIMES If your wife gets a little hard to live with during certain times of the month, be patient. This is especially important too if she’s pregnant or a new mother. She can’t control her emotions very well during these times, and will need your support.
- ADMIT IT WHEN YOU’RE WRONG If you are in the wrong, admit it. Don’t pass it off like it’s no big deal, or make excuses for yourself.
- LOOK INTO HER EYES While talking to or hugging your wife, look her straight in the eyes while cupping her face in your hand. She may feel shy and try to look away, but don’t confuse this in thinking she don’t like it. Gently insist she look at you, then slowly lean down and kiss her. (For at least 6 seconds).
- SACRIFICE FOR HER Put aside something that you want so that you can give to your wife. Usually, this is what wives do. They’ll put aside their own needs to make sure their family gets everything they need first. Make sure your wife is taking good care of herself too.
- WRITE HER A LOVE POEM Put your romantic thoughts into a rhyme that your wife will cherish forever! Not a poet? Just write down your feelings the best you can, she’ll love it!
- GIVE HER A MASSAGE Grab the oil and lotion, then grab your wife! Give her a full body massage and help her relax. (Try to at least get past her shoulders before moving on to “other things).”
- PLAY A GAME TOGETHER Bring out the board games or play a game of tennis. Playing a game together can help keep the two of you close. If she beats you, admit it. Don’t say, “Oh, I just let you win.”
- CALL IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE LATE Don’t make your wife worry about you, or let dinner get cold. Take out 5 minutes to phone her if you see you’re going to be late.
- WASH THE DISHES FOR HER You don’t have to clean the whole house, but just doing one chore such as the dishes once in a while, or at least cleaning up after yourself, will help her out a lot.
- PICK HER FLOWERS OK, you’ve sent her flowers, but why not pick some wildflowers yourself? Stop the car and pick some by the roadside, then gently tuck one behind your wife’s ear and kiss her neck.
- TAKE HER TO A ROMANTIC PLAY Skip the movie and head out to a theatrical play. If there’s not a good romantic one showing, find one with some good, clean humor.
- PLAY A KISSING GAME Lock lips and see who can hold out the longest!
- GIVE HER A NIGHT OFF Watch the kids while she heads out to shop for awhile. Throw in a few extra bucks so that she can buy herself something special.
- DON’T MENTION HER WEIGHT No matter what size your wife may be, bringing up her weight is definitely a no no.
- DONT ARGUE OVER FINANCES If money gets tight, be very careful not to argue or shift blame. Together, and in a business-like fashion, explore ways that you can pay off your debts. If things spin out of control, consider financial counseling. Your marriage is worth more than money.
- LEAVE LOVE NOTES IN UNEXPECTED PLACES Try leaving love notes in odd places that she’ll be sure to see, such as under windshield wipers, inside the refrigerator, inside a CD case or even on toilet paper! A good example would be to put one on the light switch that says, “You turn me on.”
- BE HONEST NEVER EVER lie to your wife, even if it seems harmless. Trust is one of the most important factors in a marriage – don’t break it!
- RENEW YOUR WEDDING VOWSAlthough we know that the first vows are good for life, still, taking your wife to a chapel on your anniversary, or any day, and renewing your vows will let her know that you’d marry her all over again.
- WORSHIP TOGETHER Find time to worship and pray with your wife. Our lives our made up of three parts. Body, mind, and spirit. You need to connect in all three ways to really be close.
- RESPECT HER Showing respect is another important factor in a marriage. Don’t degrade her, yell at her, or misuse her.
- PROVIDE FOR HER Do your best to provide for your wife and family. You don’t have to buy a castle, just make sure it’s nice and comfortable and there’s food on the table. If your wife chooses to help out that’s OK, but it is your place to provide, so don’t expect her to fill that role.
- TELL HER YOU NEED HER Let her know that your life just wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t have her. Tell her that you not only want her in your life, but that you need her.
- LET HER CRY Every woman needs a good cry now and then; sometimes she can tell you why, and sometimes she can’t. Just make sure you don’t get irritated at her or make fun of her. This will just make everything worse. Take her in your arms and hold her until everything is better. This may be the very thing she needed anyway.
- DON’T TEASE HER TOO MUCH It’s OK to tease now and then, but try to keep it at a minimum. Don’t excessively tease her in front of others, and never tease in a degrading fashion.
- DON’T CORRECT HER IN FRONT OF OTHERS If you feel that your wife has got a little out of line or has done something that you disapprove of, it’s OK to talk it over with her in private, but never jump her in front of others; especially your children. Make sure that even if you’re firm, that you’re loving.
- BE FAITHFUL Always make sure that you’re faithful to your wife in every angle. Keep your body, your eyes, and your thoughts only for her. If you are facing any temptation, remove yourself from the source. Be open with your wife about your needs so that she can be the one to fill them.
- GIVE HER LOTS OF CUDDLE TIME Wives like to be cuddled and kissed without sex sometimes. Try sitting in front of a campfire or lay under the stars and just take your time.
- LISTEN Sometimes wives just need to talk – about anything. Show interest and listen to her when she talks. If she’s upset, show concern. If she’s happy, laugh with her. Try to pick up on clues that she may be dropping in her conversation to let you know her needs.
- BE FORGIVING If your wife should do something that offends you, be quick to forgive. Holding hard feelings can ruin a marriage. Let her know in a heartfelt way how she made you feel, then let it go.
- BE THE LEADER OF YOUR HOME Many wives don’t want their husbands to be the leader because they dominate. But if you’re a good leader, you will also serve. Home leadership is meant to be the husbands role, and if you do it right, it will take an unnecessary load off of your wife. Set reasonable guidelines and goals for your household. Ask your wife for advice too. Sometimes a woman can see things not only in the practical sense, like most men do, but she also uses her heart to even things out.
- BE CLEAN AND NEAT Keep yourself groomed, clean, and smelling nice.
- PROVIDE SECURITY Let your wife feel secure in your love without worrying if you will still love her from day to day.
- FIND OUT WHAT HER NEEDS ARE SEXUALLY Your wife’s sexual needs sometimes vary a great deal from yours. Find out how and where she likes to be touched, and what she expects from sex, and try to fill her needs.
- HELP OUT WHEN SHE DOESN’T FEEL WELL If your wife is sick or has just had a bad day, try helping with her household duties and with the kids. Make sure she can get plenty of rest.
- DON’T COMPARE HER IN A NEGATIVE WAY Don’t say things like, “You gripe just like your Aunt Thelma.” Comparison often hurts self esteem.
- TAKE HER ON WEEKEND TRIPSTake your wife to a romantic resort for the weekend. If your budget’s a little tight, consider checking into a hotel, even if it’s local, so the two of you can get away from the familiar and just enjoy each other.
- BE VERBAL WHEN MAKING LOVE When making love, describe aloud and in detail each thing that you do and how it makes you feel. This will greatly arouse your wife, as well as let her know that she’s meeting your needs.
- SHOP FOR A GIFT TO SHARE Go shopping for something that you’ll both enjoy together. Get a great CD, massage oils, or anything that you’ll both like.
- ENCOURAGE HER TO FOLLOW HER DREAMS If your wife has dreams and goals that she would like to accomplish, be her best cheer leader. Support her as she endeavors to reach them.
- BE KIND AND COURTEOUS Treat your wife as you would expect her to treat you. Treat her with dignity and be courteous at all times.
- PASS GAS IN THE BATHROOM If you must pass gas, go to the bathroom. Don’t do it to annoy her, or burp at the table. It’s not as funny as you think it is – as a matter of fact, it’s not funny at all.
- FLIRT WITH YOUR WIFE Don’t stop flirting with her just because you’re married. Do it now more than ever to keep that spark! Wink at her from across the room, whistle at her, or give her “that look.” Watch her cheeks turn rosy.
- TAKE A JACUZZI BATH TOGETHER Jacuzzis are one of the world’s most romantic inventions! Some use it for stress, some use it for… If you don’t have a jacuzzi tub, check into a hotel that has a tub for two, and spend the night.
- TAKE A WALK Go for a long walk through a park or take a moonlight stroll. Hold hands while you walk.
- LOOK OUT FOR THE FUTURE You plan on being together for life, right? Make sure that your future will be secure. Set up a retirement fund. Also, although no one wants to think about it, we all will die one day. Take out a life insurance policy to make sure that if the worst should happen, your family will be cared for.
- SET UP A SLIDE SHOW Pick out special photo memories from the time that you were dating to the present. Create a slide show with music. This is something that you can do together and can help keep you close.
- DON’T RUSH SEX While the two of you are in the middle of the wonderful marital gift of sex, be careful not to rush it. Let your wife know that you’re loving her, not just the moment.
- DON’T BELITTLE HER OPINIONS If your wife has an opinion or an idea, thank her, and let her know that her thoughts are valuable. Don’t act like her ideas are unintelligent or crazy.
- CHERISH HER DIFFERENCES Your wife has a lot different make up than you and it shows in more ways than one. Not only in her body, but the way she thinks, or even the way she receives love are naturally just “different.” Cherish these differences and don’t try to change her.
- BE DEVOTED TO HER HAPPINESSDo what you can to make your wife happy. You don’t have to buy her the most expensive things or “spoil” her rotten, (though that’s OK too). Usually a little goes a long way for most wives, and just giving a little attention now and then will make her feel loved and appreciated. You will find that if she’s happy, she’ll respond better to your needs as well.
- REMINISCE YOUR WEDDING NIGHT Women like to remember special times. Bring up your wedding night and how it felt to have sex for the first time. Talk about your high school graduations or the day your kids were born.
- MAKE HER LATE FOR BREAKFAST Wake her up by kissing her! Not only will this be a pleasant way to wake up, but she just might keep you there through breakfast!
- MAKE A JOURNAL Start on her birthday or Christmas and write a love note or something special to your wife everyday for a year. At the end of the year, present it to her as a gift.
- GIVE HER A NICKNAME Give her your own special name, like “Beautiful” or “Angel.”
- HAVE YOUR PHOTO MADE WITH HER Go have a professional, up-to-date photo done of the two of you. Try romantic scenes such as a park or waterfall.
- GO ON A SECOND HONEYMOON Remember how special your honeymoon was? Take another one, and try to make it better than the first.
- START A HOBBY TOGETHER Find a hobby that you both enjoy, such as horse back riding or tennis. Do it together as often as you can to help stay close.
- HELP HER UNDRESS Help your wife with the buttons or snaps. Caress her gently as you help remove her clothing. Do it slowly, piece by piece.
- SHOW HUMILITY Don’t get a big head and think that you can’t be touched with a ten foot pole. You wife wants you to be confident, but don’t think that you’re the master of all.
- PROTECT HER Look after your wife making sure that she’s not in any situations where she could be harmed physically or emotionally. This even includes verbal abuse from cantankerous family members. Always be quick to stand up for her in any given situation.
- DON’T PUSH SEX Be considerate in the fact that sometimes your wife just won’t feel like having sex. Remember, she’s not rejecting you as a person if she turns you down. However, if she says no too often, try talking to her and making sure that she’s not feeling insecure.
- BE HER BEST FRIEND Be there for your wife at all times and in every situation. Let her feel confident enough to share anything with you.
- BE THE CHEF Cook up a romantic meal for your wife. Even if you’re not a cook, you can find something that you can make. Just follow the box or cookbook directions. Macaroni and cheese can be romantic if it comes from your heart. Just set the table with some candles and turn out the lights. What could be more romantic than eating macaroni and cheese in candlelight with an adoring husband who’s tried so hard to please you?
- GET RID OF IRRITATING HABITS Do you have a habit that bugs your wife?Try to take the necessary measures to stop it.
- PLANT A GARDEN TOGETHER Whether it’s a flower garden or a vegetable garden, growing things takes lots of work. Why not do it together? This will cut the work in half, and will be a great way to enjoy each other’s company. Then when it’s all said and done, enjoy the fruits of your labor by picking and eating the veggies, or decorating the table with the lovely flowers.
- BUY A SEASON PASS Buy season passes to the zoo or a museum. The cost will only come once a year, so if you’re a little tight on money at some point, you will always have a place to go that is fun and paid for.
- DON’T BE A WORKAHOLIC!(Or any other kind of “holic” for that matter). Make sure there is always time to spend with your wife and family. In a few years, the money won’t matter anyway, and you just have one chance at life. Make the most of it with the ones you love; don’t live with regrets.
- SLOW DANCE IN YOUR BEDROOM Turn on some romantic music, hold your wife close, and slow dance right in your own bedroom. Suggest lighting candles and dancing in the nude.
- MAKE A LIST OF LOVE Make a list of every reason that you can think of that you love your wife and post it on the refrigerator.
- SPEAK IN YOUR OWN CODE Create a secret code word for something that only the two of you know, and say it openly in public! It’s like having your own secret language!
- NIBBLE Pull your wife close and nibble her ear or lips. This will give her cold chills!
- GRAB A KISS WHILE WAITING If you’re at a stop light or in a long line at the drive-through, pull your wife close and grab a kiss. (Remember, at least six seconds, although you may want to go longer)!
- TELL THE WORLD HOW MUCH YOU LOVE HER Put a bumper sticker on your vehicle that says, “I Love My Wife,” or put up a sign in your yard that says, “The Prettiest Lady In the World Lives Here.”
- JUST SAY THE WORDS Tell your wife everyday, several times a day, that you love her.
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Pick 5 A Day And Watch Your Relationship Blossom!
As we enter into marriage, we may wonder how we ever lived life without our mate. We’re focused on each other, and that makes us close. However, the longer we’re married, our focus tends to turn to jobs, bills, or children and less on each other. Unfortunately, this causes many marriages to turn cold and some eventually die. Have you ever wondered how people stay married for 30, 40, or more years? Do you want your marriage to last a lifetime? The key is to stay focused on your mate. Here are some ways for you to show your husband your love. Choose at least five every day and watch your marriage blossom into a wonderful relationship!
- TEXT HIM A LOVE MESSAGE Send him a romantic text message on his cell. Make sure it’s sweet but spicy!
- DO ONE OF HIS CHORES FOR HIM Pick a chore that he dreads, such as mowing the lawn, and do it for him. Watch him as he sighs with relief.
- START A HOBBY TOGETHER Sharing a hobby together such as horse back riding, completing a home improvement project, or selling on eBay can help keep you close.
- PLAY A GAME TOGETHER Have fun doing things together such as playing board games, riding bumper boats, or playing miniature golf. Just remember, if he should get the best of you, don’t tackle him unless you’re laughing!
- SHOW APPRECIATION When your husband works hard, or does something for you, let him know you appreciate him.
- MAKE YOUR HOME HIS REFUGE Let your home be a haven were your husband can retreat from the stresses of life. Do your best to make it a pleasant environment.
- LAUGH AT HIS ANTICS Don’t let the little things that your husband does get on your nerves. If you think about it, some of these things may have been what attracted you to him! He just wouldn’t be the same if he didn’t do these things.
- PRAY FOR HIM Ask God to give him that extra boost to make everything OK. Let your husband hear you pray too. This will let him know that when you can’t make it right, you’ll ask someone who can.
- CHECK BEFORE THROWING THINGS AWAY If your husband has some things that seem useless to you, don’t trash them until you’ve made sure he doesn’t need them.
- CHECK BEFORE REARRANGING Ask your husband if it’s OK before you move or straighten things on his desk or work area. If he has things where it’s easy to find, it might make it chaotic if it’s moved.
- TAKE A WALK OR A HIKE TOGETHER Let nature set the mood for romance! Talk, listen, and hold hands.
- DON’T EXPECT HIM TO READ YOUR MIND If there is something you want your husband to know about you, tell him. Don’t expect him to just know what you’re thinking or what you need.
- LAUGH TOGETHER Forget your adults for awhile, and just act silly together. Also, if something should go awry, try to find some humor in it somewhere. This will also reduce the stress of the situation.
- RESIST THE URGE TO SNOOP Don’t sneak around and check up on your husband, if you want to know something, ask him to his face.
- GIVE HIM A ROMANTIC CARDDon’t wait for a special occasion to give him a card. Find the most romantic card you can find and leave it in his car. Don’t forget to add your own personal message! Maybe you’ll even make him nervous, wondering if he forgot an anniversary!
- PACK HIS FAVORITE TREAT Buy his favorite candy bar or other treat, and pack it in his lunch with a love note.
- TAKE A BUBBLE BATH TOGETHER This is self-explanatory.
- E-MAIL HIM AN INVITATION FOR ROMANCE Invite him on a rendezvous with you! Build his anticipation, then tell him to RSVP!
- TAKE HIM TO TEST DRIVE HIS DREAM CAR Drive him to a car lot some Saturday, and let him test drive the car of his dreams – even though you probably won’t buy it.
- LET HIM BUY THAT TOY Permit him to buy that toy he’s been wanting so badly. Better yet, put some of your own things off, save the money and buy it for him yourself!
- TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE The future isn’t as far away as it seems sometimes. Talk about where you’d like to be when you’re married 50 years, and work on making those dreams happen.
- GIVE HIM THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT Don’t jump to conclusions if your husband has said or done something questionable. Give him the chance to explain before you pass judgement.
- LET HIM BE THE MAN OF THE HOUSE Although this is growing increasingly unpopular, it does still work. Just because your husband is in charge of the household doesn’t mean that you can’t share your opinions, it just means he’s captain of the team.
- SAY, “I’M SORRY” Although you may not want to admit it, there will be times when you’re in the wrong. Maybe you’ve said something hurtful or done something insensitive. Never have too much pride to tell him you’re sorry.
- KEEP YOUR PROMISES If you told your husband you’d do something, make sure that you follow through.
- RUB HIS FEET Steer him to the recliner and pull off his shoes. Rub his feet for at least 20 minutes. It has been told that this may even improve his health!
- MAKE YOUR BEDROOM A LOVER’S PARADISE Turn your ordinary bedroom into any lover’s dream without a lot of expense. Remove clutter and anything that doesn’t belong, and replace it with scented candles and fresh flowers. Hang pretty curtains and find some comfy bedding. Place mirrors to reflect candlelight, and misting fountains for a romantic effect.
- WRITE A NOTE ON THE STEAMED-UP BATHROOM MIRROR While your husband is showering, sneak in and write, “I love you” on the steamed-up bathroom mirror. This will steam him up as well, especially if you seal it with your lip prints!
- PUT LOVE IN HIS SUDS I’m talking about a bar of soap! Scratch “I love you” into his soap so he’ll find it the next time he showers. (You may not want to seal this note with your lip prints, though).
- GIVE HIM A MASSAGE Go buy some sweet smelling oils and turn your bedroom into a spa! Give your husband a full body massage and work out those aching muscles.
- PLAY ROMANTIC MUSIC Keep a good deal of romantic music on hand in your bedroom to help set the mood for romance.
- PUT A SIGN IN YOUR YARDPlace a sign in your yard such as, “THE WORLD’S GREATEST HUSBAND LIVES HERE.” Let everyone know how special your husband is to you.
- LET BYGONES BE BYGONES If your husband has done or said something to hurt you, forgive him. Don’t keep bringing up the past every time you get into a disagreement, especially if he has shown remorse.
- BE HONEST Don’t hide things from your husband. Be open and transparent. This will help him trust you more.
- BRAG ON HIM IN FRONT OF HIS FRIENDS Men naturally rely on boost in their ego now and then in order to stay confident. Let him hear you tell others about the great things he says and does.
- CLEAN HIS CAR FOR HIM Surprise him by giving his car a good detailed cleaning. If you don’t want to tackle it yourself, have it professionally done.
- PUT HIS PICTURE IN WALLPAPER Let him know that you still think he’s a gorgeous hunk by putting his picture on your computer desktop!
- BUY A BUMPER STICKER Put a “I Love My Husband” bumper sticker on your car.
- WORSHIP TOGETHER The couple who prays together, stays together. These will be very tender and special moments shared between the two of you, as well as important.
- EAT BY CANDLELIGHT Cook his favorite meal and light the candles. Take time to focus on each other, and to look into each others eyes.
- BE DEVOTED TO HIM One of the greatest gifts that you could ever give your husband is your true faithfulness. This includes physically, emotionally, and in your thoughts. If you’re struggling with temptation, nip it in the bud. Tell him your feelings in a sensitive and loving way. Don’t bottle anything up, this is asking for disaster.
- RUN YOUR FINGERS THROUGH HIS HAIR Or massage his temples if he doesn’t have any. Do this while he relaxes. Remember, your touch is important to him.
- DON’T CONTRADICT HIM IN FRONT OF OTHERS This will only embarrass him and cause people to lose respect. This is especially important if you have children.
- DON’T CRITICIZE HIM IN FRONT OF OTHERS If you feel that your husband needs a bit of constructive criticism, make sure it’s just that – constructive. Don’t offer it at all unless it’s in a loving way, and in private. Being criticized in front of others lowers self esteem and causes hurt feelings.
- DEFEND HIM Don’t let others disrespect your husband. Even just a snide comment can hurt. Stick up for him. Don’t let someone drive into the ground the most important person in your life.
- LOVE YOURSELF Many times we as women hold back on our husbands because of our own insecurities. Learn to let it go. The things that we’re so worried about, usually don’t even bother him. What bothers him is when we hold back. Remember, although this may sound strange, you can’t really love someone until you love yourself.
- PAMPER HIM WHEN HE’S SICK Men love to be pampered, especially when they’re sick. Make sure everything is comfortable and that he has his “special soup.”
- LOOK HIM IN THE EYES Look your husband straight in the eyes when he talks to you. Not only will this show that you’re interested in what he has to say, but there is something about looking straight into his eyes that will give you butterflies.
- DISPLAY YOUR WEDDING PHOTOS Don’t tuck away your wedding photos after you’ve been married awhile, keep them on display. This will be a great reminder of how your love was at the beginning, and how much it has grown.
- DISPLAY YOUR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE Frame the sacred document of your marriage. This will be a wonderful and constant reminder that your love is sealed, and you really do belong to each other.
- TRUST HIM Too many times wives just sit around and wait for their husbands to do something wrong. Cut him some slack and dare to believe in him.
- HAVE YOUR PHOTO MADE TOGETHER You may have done this when you were dating, but why not now? Get a current shot to place on the bedroom dresser or the desk at work.
- LET HIM WIN It is inevitable, even in healthy marriages, to argue occasionally. What would it really hurt to just let him win? At least you wouldn’t be arguing.
- DON’T GO TO BED MAD Although you’ve probably heard this one for years, and it may have been your grandmother’s first marriage advice to you, it is still true. Going to bed hurt or angry keeps feelings under the surface. When you wake up you don’t want to continue the argument, so you you hold in your frustrations and they begin to mount. It’s best to talk everything out, and fall asleep in each other’s arms.
- DON’T COMPARE HIM Don’t EVER, EVER compare your husband to another man – not even your father. Your husband is his own person and unique in his own ways. Love him for it.
- GREET HIM AT THE DOOR Don’t wait for your husband to say, “Honey, I’m home!” Watch for him, and greet him at the door with a hug and kiss.
- MEND HIS CLOTHES Buy a sewing kit and repair those sock holes! Break down and sew on his popped-off buttons. This may increase his wardrobe by 20%!
- TALK IN CODE Pick a code word for something that only the two of you know the meaning for and say it openly in public. You’ll have your own inside joke. This will help keep you close.
- HAVE A WRESTLING MATCH This will get you both laughing, and the closeness will be fun!
- WAKE HIM UP WITH KISSES Make his whole day go better by waking him up with kisses. He may even keep you there through breakfast!
- HELP HIM SHAVE This is a fun way to be close and to get you both laughing! (As long as your careful, that is).
- DEDICATE A SONG TO HIM Did you have a song that was “your song” while you were dating? Call up your local radio station and request it, and have them to dedicate it to your hubby!
- MAKE HIM A HEART-SHAPED BREAKFAST Make heart-shaped pancakes and heart-shaped toast! Trim little pads of butter into heart shapes as well.
- DON’T TRY TO BE HIS MOM Remember you are his wife, not his mother. Don’t jump him every time he leaves something on the floor or his clothes don’t match. It’s OK to lovingly remind him, occasionally, but don’t nag him.
- GRAB A KISS WHILE YOU WAIT Kiss your husband while you’re waiting at the stoplight or in the food drive-through. Your wait won’t seem near as long, and you may wish it could last a littler longer!
- FLIRT WITH HIM Just because you’ve snagged him, don’t stop flirting! Wink at him, squeeze his muscles and, WHOOOO, or now that your married, it’s not at all out of line to be a little bolder in your purpose.
- GO ON A LONG DRIVE Go for a long drive and sight see. This is an excellent chance to talk or just be in each other’s company. The way gas prices are, you’d almost have to love someone in order to take a long drive. If you don’t want to spend the gas, drive to a pretty park or lake and just stop and soak up the scenery while you talk and hold hands.
- BE HIS BEST FRIEND Let him feel confident that you’ll always be there when needs to talk, to laugh, or even cry. Let him be free to be himself at all times and stick with him through the thick and thin.
- EAT AN ICE CREAM CONE TOGETHER Buy one, large cone, and eat it together at the same time. You may miss the cone, and touch his lips, which will even be sweeter!
- CHERISH THE SMALL THINGS Concentrate on the way he walks, the way he talks, his smile, or the way he says your name. These are really more important than you think, and no one can do it quite like him.
- HELP HIM WITH HIS CLOTHES Ask him to let you help with the buttoning or unbuttoning of his clothes as he’s dressing or undressing. Caress him gently as you’re doing it.
- KEEP YOURSELF ATTRACTIVE It’s easy to fall into a “house wife” mode and just walk around in “cleaning clothes” with your hair twisted into a mess. That’s OK while your actually cleaning, but try to be more presentable by the time your husband sees you. Bathe, put on clean clothes and a dab of perfume, and set your hair nice.
- DON’T PUSH THE BUDGET It is important to learn to live within your means. If you can’t afford certain things, don’t buy them. Financial stress is very hard on marriages.
- DON’T COMPLAIN Don’t complain about your standard of living or whine about the things that you don’t have. If your husband is doing his best to provide for you, make the best with what you have. If you complain, this makes him feel that he is not a good provider, and this is a great blow to his self esteem.
- HAVE A PILLOW FIGHT If you must fight with your husband, do it with pillows! Make sure nothing is around that can break, then go into battle! See how long you can go without laughing.
- LOOK OUT FOR HIS HEALTH Encourage your husband to get plenty of sleep and exercise. Try to get him to keep medical and dental appointments. Cook healthy meals, and give him nutritional supplements.
- BUY HIM SOME SEXY BOXERS Buy several pairs of sexy shorts for him! Try silky, colorful, and glow in the dark! Make sure you tell him what a hunk he is while he’s wearing them!
- WEAR THE LINGERIE HE LOVES Some wives love it, some dread it, but just make sure you wear it!
- DARE TO BE BOLD Too often, wives wait for their husbands to make the first move in the bedroom. Try showing little aggression yourself once in awhile. This will majorly ignite your husband’s passion, and the fireworks will begin!
- DON’T DEPRIVE HIM Husbands need sex probably more than wives need hugs and compliments. This is one of the main ways he feels loved. Naturally, there will be sometimes you don’t feel like it. But even then, if you just give in, you will before it’s over.
- SPLURGE OCCASIONALLY Although money is a precious commodity to many couples, try to find a way to splurge on something now and then. If you have children, find someone to care for them and get away for the weekend. If you can’t afford a trip, find a hotel in or near your hometown with a jacuzzi. If it’s still too costly, buy something that you both would enjoy, like a new CD.
- WORK ON YOUR WAYS It’s easy to see and point out flaws in your husband, but if you’re honest, you’ll realize that you haven’t earned a halo yet. Try to work on your own shortcomings and make yourself a better person.
- DON’T BE A PESSIMIST Try not to focus too much on the negative. Keep a positive outlook in your marriage.
- DON’T RUB IT IN IF YOU’RE RIGHT If you’ve disagreed on something and it turns out that you were right, don’t gloat about it and throw it in his face.
- WASH EACH OTHERS HAIR Jump in the shower and suds up! Watch the water and soap trickle down his face as you wash his hair.
- EXAMINE HIS FEATURES Take a moment to delight in your husband’s features. The shape of his nose, the set of his eyes. If he catches you staring, wink at him.
- SEEK HIS ADVICE Ask for your husband’s input and advice on anything from children to what he might like to eat. This will let him know he’s needed and that his thoughts are important.
- KEEP TIDY Keep things neat and tidy around the house. Decorate and make things look comfortable and welcoming.
- TALK ABOUT HIS INTERESTS Bring up a subject that interests him and listen to him talk. Even if the subject doesn’t interest you, enjoy watching him as he gets stirred up over the topic.
- SHOP FOR HIM When you run to the store, see if there is something that you should pick up for him. This could save him a lot of time or keep him from missing a lunch break.
- KIDNAP HIM Plan a special evening, make all the arrangements, then show up at his job just as he gets off work. Tell him to get in the car and no questions. (Make sure you smile, so he don’t get alarmed). Whisk him away for a fun-filled evening, then return to get his car later.
- RAKE LEAVES TOGETHER Go to your back yard and rake up a pile of leaves. Before you bag them up, play in them together.
- DON’T LIVE IN A FANTASY WORLD If you can’t read a novel without getting depressed over your love life, throw them away. Many books or movies can portray romance in very unrealistic ways. True love and romance is what he is already doing -providing for you and loving you unconditionally.
- GO CAMPING TOGETHER Find a good camp site and pitch a tent! Buy a two person sleeping bag.
- DON’T TALK HIS LEG OFF IF HE’S TIRED If your husband is tired and you need to talk to him, go straight to the bottom line and spare the details.
- SLOW DANCE IN YOUR BEDROOM Plug in some flashing lights and turn on some romantic music and start slow dancing. (Clothes optional).
- PLAY HIDE AND GO SEEK IN YOUR NIGHTIES Put on your sexiest negligee and challenge him to a game of hide and go seek. He’ll say, “Ready or not, here I come!”
- MAKE LOVE UNDER THE STARS Find a secluded place and throw out a sleeping bag. Make love by the moonlight as you gaze at the stars.
- SIT IN FRONT OF A FIRE TOGETHER Snuggle up together in front of the fireplace and make out. If you don’t have a fire place, consider buying an electric one, these look realistic, and are still romantic.
- DOTE ON HIM Pick a night and wait on him hand and foot. Draw him a bath, fix his plate for him, and anything else that you can dream up!
- JUST SAY IT Make it a point to say the words I love you every single day, and mean it.
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LIFE is BEAUTIFUL….
LIFE is a GIFT…
I pray that we all see and cherish this blessing from our Heavenly Father
today and every morning that we wake up. May we all be good stewards
of all that the Lord has entrusted to our care…
FAMILY is a TREASURE…
FAMILY is FUN…
I pray that we all appreciate and value the family and wonderful people
that God has surrounded us with, and may we all be able to express
our love for each other in our own special way as we journey together
sharing laughters and making fun memories in this beautiful
adventure called LIFE…
LOVE is BOUNDLESS…
LOVE is ETERNAL…
True love knows no bound and transverse miles and distance and
crosses the oceans…I pray that we all be filled with the love of God that
is pure and selfless, and experience His powerful Presence and the comfort
of His Peace that transcends all understanding to guard our hearts and
minds in Christ Jesus our Lord…
“The Lord bless you and keep you
the Lord make His face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you
and give you peace.”
To all my readers including your family and loved ones…
I just prayed for all of you….
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Sudden changes in our lives can open up periods of free time that we didn’t have previously. Lots of free time might come about through change of lifestyle, retirement, career changes (getting laid off, etc.), having your kids leave home, or graduating from school or college. Or, it may be that you’ve decided to take out time to find yourself amid the constant structure and hubbub of daily life and you’re purposefully making more free time available. Or, as is the case with many people, you may simply be seeking a way to make better use of the free time that you do have, in between everything else you do in your busy life.
However much free time you have and whatever the reason behind it, filling your free time with useful pursuits is a way of increasing your creativity, energy, enthusiasm, and sense of fulfillment from life. Using free time productively can help you to overcome the inability to relax because you’re scared of “just doing nothing”. And ultimately, using free time in a way that feels beneficial to you will ensure that you feel well-rounded, engaged fully in life, and very much a productive human being. In this article, you’ll have the chance to explore various ways of filling your free time with useful and fulfilling activities.
Make a plan for your free time. Free time will only become useful to you if you’ve focused on it and how you’d like to use it. Simply expecting free time to turn productive, creative, or fulfilling won’t bring it about because you haven’t thought about the process needed to fill that time effectively. Your first realization should be that it is up to you to “do something” about making your free time work better for you; it isn’t going to come from somewhere or someone else, only from your choice to make it useful time. Your second realization is to make up your own mind as to what you define as “useful”. Relaxing, doing nothing, rejuvenating, and thinking are all “useful” activities if they lead to a better, more fulfilled life. Don’t couch your “usefulness” in terms of what you think you ought to be doing but what you know will make you feel more productive, engaged and contented in life. Here are some possible planning ways for you:
- Write down a list of the things you’d like to be doing in your free time. You can rank it any way you like, or treat everything as equally important on it; that’s up to you.
- Keep a journal about your life and include how you’d like your life to be. Be sure to describe the activities you’re trying out in your free time so that you can evaluate whether or not they are worth continuing to do.
- Create a visualization board that sets out the ways in which you’d like to spend future free time
Leave certain things out of your free time. If you want your free time to be truly useful, don’t allow non-free time things to bleed into it. The reason for this is that your free time is needed to refresh you and improve your energy, your creativity, and your sense of self. If you let the usual mundane activities of everyday life creep into your free time under the pretense of being “useful”, you won’t gain anything from your free time and you will have very loose boundaries between free time and the rest of your time, thereby devaluing your free time. Some of the things that it is suggested you don’t do during free time include your usual work or chores, answering emails and voice messages, watching TV, constant action (free time needs to include some spaces for daydreaming and reflection), and playing with electronics if you tend to lose your sense of time with “gamer brain”. Instead, set aside “catching up on work time”, “internet time”, and “responding to emails time” as distinct and separate activities from your free time.
Expand your comfort zone. One of the great ways to use free time usefully is to discover new things and to find out that you have dimensions to yourself that you weren’t even aware of before. By stepping beyond your usual comfort zone, your free time becomes a useful journey of self-discovery and helps you to grow. Moreover, it helps you to stay interested by sparking your curiosity and broadening your awareness. Some of the things you might consider doing to expand your comfort zone include:
- Trying new things that you’ve always wanted to try but make excuses for not doing, including by saying you haven’t “got the time” – use your free time!
- Doing things you loved doing 10 years ago but have let go by the wayside since. Pick them up again and see where they take you this time. It will probably feel odd getting used to something you haven’t tried for ages and possibly time has caused things to change considerably but enjoy the challenge involved in renewing your interest.
- Write down the things that excite and energize you. Look for activities and experiences that will bring this about for you.
Change your approach to media usage. Turn off the TV and leave it out of your free time. Think about creative ways to use media in your free time instead. The internet allows us to be in charge of the input that is circulated through media, providing you with ample opportunities for turning your free time into a useful means for getting out creative, practical, or informative messages that you’d like to share with the world. How about creating a video that highlights something you’re passionate or concerned about and then setting it free on YouTube? Or perhaps you can write some poems or short stories and add them to a blog. Maybe music is more your thing and you’d like to compose a song and share it with people online. These useful uses of your free time will tap into your creativity and give other people something they can cherish, enjoy, or learn from as a result – a win all around!
Try volunteering. If you’ve already volunteered, you’ll be aware of the benefits it can bring. If you have enough free time to give of your time to others in need, this can be a very fulfilling way to give back to your community or society. And even better – you get to choose what to volunteer in according to what you believe in, and what you think is most important. Search for volunteer opportunities through asking people you know who already volunteer, by searching online or in the volunteer pages, or asking people who work in places you’d like to volunteer for. Whatever your level of experience, there is likely to be a volunteer opportunity for you and with time, you can build knowledge, expertise, and reputation through volunteering and find it becomes an incredibly fulfilling experience that helps many others.
- Some ideas for volunteering include web work/newsletters/wikis for charities, thrift store helper, fundraising, soup kitchens or cooking/catering, animal work (wildlife reserves, zoos, animal rescue or training, etc.), joining a conservationcrew, volunteering overseas, making things for people in need, running a club’s museum/display/tour activities, etc.
- Volunteer as much or as little as you like; even consider volunteering in different places at different times, to give yourself some variety in both experience and the people you meet.
Consider downsizing and reorienting your lifestyle. If you find your free time has been hampered by having to deal with a large house and all its maintenance and cleaning, gain more free time by removing the clutter and even consider purchasing a smaller residence. Perhaps move closer to a place where there are plenty of activities that you’d rather be doing and that are not on offer where you currently live to make up for a smaller residence.
- It can take months to clear long-accumulated clutterfrom your life. Give yourself the time but also set a deadline by which everything is to be sorted and out of your life for good.
- Hold garage and yard salesto get rid of things you no longer need to keep. The money can go toward your free time activities.
- Avoid seeing downsizing as depriving yourself of a certain standard of living. Once you’ve freed yourself of high maintenance requirements, you’ll soon learn that the additional free time you’ve earned is worth a great deal more.
Learn for the sake of learning. School, college, university, and continued learning on the job are usually focused on getting us into gainful employment. Sometimes learning for the sake of learning is lost underneath all the deadlines, necessities for grades, and fears of keeping jobs. Learning within free time can be free of these constrictions and can be completely left field from our chosen professional path in life, free from the usual reason of honing skills to a specific job or promotion. Always fancied yourself getting involved in archaeology, ballroom dancing, jewelry making, wilderness first aid, or hang-gliding? Use free time to immerse yourself into learning these things for the sake of learning them, without having the pressure to achieve beyond the goals you’ve set for yourself.
- Even consider going back to college to broaden your knowledge.
- Ironically, even though this type of learning may seem unrelated to what you do in the rest of your life, it will still be beneficial because it increases your ability to understand the world better, provides you with new ways of seeing things, and equips you with new skills that may well be applicable laterally, allowing you to “think outside the box” and come up with new, creative solutions to your everyday activities.
Indulge your hobby or pastime. Free time is an excuse to get fully involved in doing something that you consider to be a hobby or pastime. Hobbies are useful because they give you the opportunity to expand knowledge, improve skills, and to be focused, diligent, and switched on. Moreover, a hobby allows you to enjoy yourself as you immerse yourself in the intricacies of it. Be sure to reach out to others in the same hobby so that you can connect, share ideas, and brag. This is one area where showing off now and then does no harm provided it’s all in good fun and you return the favor by complimentingthe efforts of others in your hobby too.
- Even within one hobby there are many roads to take to keep yourself occupied. For example, art and craft is a filled with ideas for possible hobby angles; within painting alone you could investigate acrylics, enamel, encaustic (wax), frescos, gouache, inks, oils, heat-set oils, water miscible oils, pastels and dry pastels, oil pastels, pastel pencils, spray paint (graffiti), tempera, watercolor, sketching.
Turn cooking and gardening into joys instead of chores. These two activities can be a burden or a major source of therapeutic unwinding and inner joy; it really depends on how you approach them and giving yourself free time to explore them will open up the possibilities for seeing them as useful and enjoyable things to do in place of a chore.
- Pull out a cookbook and try some new recipes. Or look in your fridge and cupboards, then search online for a recipe that uses those very ingredients (for example, search for “broccoli pineapple jalapeño recipes”). Spend an afternoon bakingand learning how to use new techniques you’ve never tried before. Throw a casual dinner party for people you really care about.
- Redesign your garden or change your approach to what you grow in it. Cacti are amazing plants that grow gorgeous flowers, and they’re almost impossible to kill. Or you could try herbs which are easy to grow, fun to use (in cooking or in crafts), and keep coming back year after year. Or how about creating a meditation garden or a Persian garden?
Spend more time with your pets. If you haven’t already got a pet, now might be a good time to get one. Pets require regular care and can help you to create free time simply because of their need and that can only be good for you, especially if you have workaholictendencies! Look for a pet from a local animal shelter and you’ll save the pet’s life and become the center of each other’s world.
Focus on your spirituality. Free time is the perfect time for all things spiritual because you give yourself the space to unwind, reflect, and think about the bigger picture and life’s purpose. Whether or not you’re religious, spiritual time is an essential part of being human and tending to this side of yourself is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. There are many paths to learn about and acknowledge your spiritual self and you can begin by reading and learning all you can. Other things you might like to consider doing with your free time to increase your spirituality include:
- Learn to meditate. Sit quietly for 20 minutes and breathe naturally. Count your breaths, up to 10, then start over again. The idea is to have something on which to focus, so that you stay holistically present and don’t drift off mentally (which you will do, by the way!). Centering prayer uses similar methods in a Christian context. After several weeks of daily prayer or prayer, you may begin to notice positive results in your life: more calmness, better concentration, more focus, more understanding of how negative the usual mental chatter can be.
- Join (or return to) a church, synagogue, mosque, or temple. This is a safe way to meet interesting people and to get involved in your community. (You don’t even have to be all that religious if you aren’t already – Unitarian Universalists, while coming from Christian roots, are known for welcoming and including people of other beliefs, including agnostics, atheists, pagans, free-thinkers, secular humanists, and liberals of all types.)
Get friendly. Finally, but most importantly, don’t hide yourself away all the time when it comes to free time. Reach out to others and spend time with people you care about. Make regular get-togethers with friends, hang out spontaneously now and then, and catch up with family members you haven’t seen for awhile to see how they’re doing. Even if you’re not keen on spending a lot of time socializing, build at least a small amount of it into your week to ensure that you’re connecting with others in ways that are free of the constraints of time, obligations, and work/self-imposed deadlines, so that you have a chance to share ideas, have fun, and be re-energized through your connections.
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