Monday, January 23, 2012

Have a HEART For Your Kids - Enrich Your Marriage

"Success in marriage does not come merely in finding the right mate, 
but through being the right mate." Barnett R. Brickner

We may be a scruffy, beachy mess in this picture- but we are a happy mess! 
In almost 12 years of marriage, we've experienced it all- 
the good times, and also the bad. 

There are times when it is easy to be the mate I'm supposed to be 
and also times when it takes REAL WORK. 

It takes work to build up your spouse when you want to take them down instead. 
There was a time in my marriage when that was the case for me. 
I was angry because I didn't like the way some things in our life had been handled.
I was hurt, and I was scared for our future. That made me angry. 
So, I was NOT the most pleasant woman to be around.

 I let it fester to the point
where my poor hubs couldn't do anything "right" in my eyes.
I finally gave in and laid it all down at the feet of Jesus.
I asked God to help me let go of the anger and hurt feelings so that I could
begin to be the spouse I am supposed to be.

It didn't happen overnight- but God began to heal my heart.
I started with one thing each day that I could be thankful for - I've shared in another
post that it started out pretty pitifully with something like
"Thank you Lord that he doesn't beat me"
(sad, but true- I was that far gone that I had a very difficult time seeing the good)

It got easier as I repeated my "gratitude mantra" throughout each day.
"Thank you Lord that Mark is such a hard worker"
"Thank you that he gives everything to his family - all he has- all he is - for us"
"Thank you God that my husband truly loves me"

God healed my heart to the point that I find it difficult to even remember what was so
wrong in the first place. He took my lousy attitude and covered it with grace!

How to Have a HEART for Your Kids

What does this all have to do with the book club and having a heart for your kids?


As a matter of fact it has
to do with it

Kids learn to model behavior they see. They need to know that even though
life isn't always perfect - their parents and their family unit is in it together.

We are a team, and we aren't just managing to "make it through" each day -
we care enough to put effort into enriching our marriage. 

 Our marriage is our foundation. 

Ways to "enrich" your marriage:
Bring back the romance! Put the kiddos to bed early or have older ones keep them
in an upstairs play room or a bed room playing board games, and have a candle light dinner.
One of our favorite things to do is to take a walk on the beach together. Even with the kids in tow,
they can run up ahead while we hang back and hold hands and stroll!

Talk to each other! With three little boys, it can be difficult to have a full conversation with my
husband. Both of us are busy, he works long hours, it's not easy to find the time. Yet, at least
a few times each week we will make sure the kids know not to interrupt us, we close the door,
and just hang out and talk! Schedule it if you have to. Communication matters.

Date Night! As much as I love this idea, I am guilty of not doing it right. You don't have to spend
money on a sitter if you don't have it. Once the kiddos go to bed or are otherwise occupied,
take a walk, play a card game, read together, or have a picnic in the living room! We got pregnant on
our honeymoon, so even on our first year anniversary we had a three month old in tow. Even on a
tight budget, you can find creative ways to enjoy time together. 

Physical expressions of love! It's good for your children to see you hug,
or hold hands during family movie night. They may make choking noises or gag when they see you
kiss each other in the kitchen, but make no mistake- it warms their heart and gives them
security in a world where that is greatly lacking.

*Flirt! It's simple but true, you were attracted to each other for a reason. You may not feel, look,
or even be young anymore - but you need to get your groove back once in awhile! Put on a
bit of lipstick, take time to run a brush through your hair before your husband gets home.
Even if you are exhausted after a long day with kids, it will make you feel better to
pull yourself together and bat those eyelashes just a tad.
I struggle with the pain of RA every day of my life, so it's all that more important for me to
combat my chronic illness and pull myself together instead of throwing in the towel. 

Silly as it may sound- Lipstick is my secret weapon!
It's amazing what taking a few minutes to do the hair and makeup can do for you.
It also shows your husband and children that you care to try to look and feel your best for them!

If you want to Have a HEART For Your Kids  . . . . .
Enrich your marriage! 

(these are just a few of my thoughts on the matter- you can benefit greatly by
reading the book written by Rachael Carman - click the link under the picture of the book
above to get your own copy and join me on a journey to Have a HEART For Your Kids)

*If you are struggling in your marriage
- check out our 30 Days To Build A Better Spouse ebook
If there are big problems or abuse of any kind - please don't hesitate to get help from
a professional counselor. A pro can help you form a safe plan of action to walk your family
through any given situation. God gives us people with special gifts and information to help us. 


1TootieFoodie said...

I love your posts and its honesty. I think you have such a beautiful family, and it really is encouraging to read this.

Meredith said...

This is wonderful!

I had no idea that you struggled/ battled with RA. A friend of ours has it. It is hardcore. I am grateful to know, so I can be more specific in prayers for you!

Thank you for your beautiful heart, Kelli!
You are such an encouragement!

Aurie{OurGoodLife} said...

Wonderful tips!! It's so easy to let other things consume our attention, and then we wonder what happened?!

We struggle to have date nights, but we are working on them, even if it's just quiet time on the porch after the girls are in bed :)

MomLaur said...

This is AWESOME Kelli! Thanks for spurring me on in loving my husband by your honesty here. Those are some great ideas for how to keep the romance alive! We try to do a lot of those (ahem, except that I am the one prettying up my face ;D) but it's definitely hard when everyone is so busy! I keep thinking it is just a season of life, but I don't think that is the case. So I am trying to be content, and to make the most of what we have for sure!

MJ said...

Lots of lovely suggestions here Kelli :). I will have to second date night, flirting, and physical expressions of love :).
We ran into some really big kinks in the beginning of our relationship. As a result we went through much counseling and it changed how we were with each other ever since. We learned how to communicate, respect, and lay down our pride and egos early on. Of course we slip, but we never forget how far we've come and what it took to get here. Congratulations on your own successful marriage and your love, 12 years ( us too!) is wonderful.

michelle said...

You have a beautiful family--your three boys look like they fill your life with wonderful noise and laughter! What wonderful memories your children will have of your family strolls on the beach--a relaxed time. I laughed when I read the part about them making gagging noises when you hold hands or kiss--just like boys! I didn't know you struggled with RA--I will pray for you. Love ya!