Don't Give Up

A fellow blogger recently put this video up on his blog and I thought I'd share it with you. First of all, I love the song which most of you will probably recognize but the video, though primitive compared to today's standards, is quite....gripping; in a sighing romantic sort of way (ladies, you'll know what I mean. guys....well, I hope you get it).

Anyway, enjoy and when you've got a spare moment hop on over to The Marry Blogger and check out his blog ~ it's pretty darn good!


Does Your Husband Love You?...What Would Her Answer Be?

"Does your husband love you?"

What would your wife's answer be? If her best friend asked her in strict confidence while they were out shopping and she felt truly safe, my guess is that ~ if you're not being the husband that God's called you to be ~ it would be a completely different answer than if she were fielding the same question from you, your pastor or one of your mutual close friends.

When Michael used to ask me this question in our bad days, I felt obligated to give an answer that he wanted to hear; one that I knew wouldn't end up causing an argument or a sleepless night. My answer wasn't truthful, of course, not like it would be if I'd been giving it to my best friend. With Michael, I knew my heart wasn't safe; with my best friend...I knew I could talk about anything.

Today, we share how a husband needs to be with his wife when she gives him her honest answer. This way, she can give a glowing report when she's asked this soul-searching question.

Don't forget...if we can do it ~ You Can Do It Too!

For more help to get you both on the path of an Outrageously Happy Marriage today, visit our resource site.


Slow Down...Get More

Editor's note: This is a guest post written by Corey Allan of Simple Marriage

So the week is rocking along and you are full blown into the week's schedule. You find yourself running from one activity to the next, lost in the world of routine. Added to this is the fact the world seems to be moving at a faster and faster pace.

While technology and invention have brought a tremendous amount of improvement to our lives, at what cost? What price do our relationships pay for the pace at which we live life?
If you're like me and my wife, it is sometimes difficult to make time for each other throughout the week. We do see each other every night and rarely schedule things outside of time together with the kids in the evening, but days can go by before one of us will realize that we haven't connected on a deeper level.

We have a goal of simplifying everything we can in order to experience more. It's one of the main premises behind Simple Marriage. If we can slow down and keep things simple, everything gets better!

If you agree with this idea (even if you don't) here's a few ideas that help us keep life and marriage simple:

1. Block out time for each other. While this may seem like a no-brainer, many times it goes undone. It is too easy to get caught up in the routine of the week and only see each other in passing. No relationship worth having can survive for long without time dedicated to its development. Go to dinner together, shop for groceries, go for a walk. Whatever, just do it together.

2. Plan the week together ahead of time. Each Sunday my wife and I have a quick discussion regarding the coming week and each other’s schedule. That way, if there is anything to be reminded of or worked around, there is time to adjust.

3. Email your spouse throughout the week. Anytime we can make contact with the people important in our lives, the relationships are better. Due to the busy nature of people and their unavailability at times during the day, send a quick email. Seeing a note from my wife in the inbox brightens the moment.

4. Keep a clean and organized bedroom. When your surroundings are chaotic and cluttered, your life is as well. It is inevitable that we will be impacted by our surroundings. If you want to experience a romantic and passionate marriage, create the environment for it. Nothing can spoil the beginnings of a spark like clutter and messiness. Put everything in its place in the bedroom, clear off the dressers and nightstands. Clean the floor. Make the bed each morning. It will be much more inviting to go in to later in the day.

5. Turn off all phones. At some point each evening, turn off your phones, or at the very least don’t answer them for a while and spend that time with your spouse and family. Play games, read together, talk.

6. Go on a media fast. We’ve been on a news fast for almost a year. I absolutely love it! Most everything reported today is negative, so why get caught up in it each evening? Don’t worry, with Google and Yahoo, you’ll still know the major things happening in the world.

7. Get rid of your TV. In August my family is doing away with the TV. We are planning to go the entire month, perhaps longer, without watching TV at all. While this will really be no problem for my wife, who watches little TV, it will be a little more difficult for me. I occasionally enjoy the vegetative state TV provides. The biggest hurdle we are facing with this plan is our kids. They are used to cartoons in the mornings - but I imagine after a couple of days of whining and complaining, they'll adjust. (Incidentally, if you are interested in joining us in giving up TV, hop over to Simple Marriage and track our experience as well as share yours.)


I Wanna Grow Old With You!

My sister-in-law says that everyone always loves the music of their youth. Having grown up in the '70's & '80's and loving just about all of the music from those eras (especially the '80's), I always enjoying watching The Wedding Singer whenever it comes on ~ mostly for the music and because Michael and I like to sing the snippets of the songs together!

So, while this post isn't really about marriage or our story, I wanted to share the lyrics of the song that Robbie (Adam Sandler's character) sings to Julie (Drew Barrymore's character) on the plane at the end of the movie. They're sweet and endearing and what every guy should feel for his gal! Enjoy!

I wanna make you smile whenever you're sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I wanna do is grow old with you.

I'll get your medicine when your tummy aches
build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh it could be so nice, growin old with you.

I'll miss you, kiss you, give you my coat when you are cold.
Need you, feed you, I'll even let you hold the remote control.
So let me do the dishes in the kitchen sink
Put you to bed when you've had too much to drink.
Oh I could be the man to grow old with you.
I wanna grow old with you.


Did We Ever Feel Like Quitting?

You may already know that there were times in our bad days that we felt like quitting; during our third seperation I filed for divorce and during that time Michael was already going on the computer to online dating sites and looking for women to meet.

Since then and since our journey towards a restored marriage, there were times in the beginning that we both still felt this way. Michael would backslide and I'd freak out and wonder if calling off the divorce was the right decision and he would get frustrated when I didn't respond positively to him laying his life down for me when he wanted me to.
In this week's Testimoney Tuesday video we share what this looked like for us and how we overcame it. You can overcome it too because remember,

If we can do it...You Can Do It!


From A Wife's Perspective Please

Come, let's talk together, just us wives. Grab your favorite cup (I know you have one) and fill it with some hot coffee fixed just how you like it, pull up a chair and turn on those speakers. Here's a video where I speak from a wife's perspective on the process of being a helpmeet and responding positively to your husband as he begins listening to your heart and laying down his life for you.

Hope you like James Taylor!


The Woman God Gave You

Then the man said, "The woman you put here with me ~ she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." (Gen 3:12) I think one could safely say that this was the first statement of defense ever spoken in biblical history and it was uttered by a husband.

In our bad days, Michael required that everything originate with him; his ways of expressing love, his needs, his thoughts, etc. Since those ways didn't consider me I would sometimes pull back which would touch Michael's insecurities and he would then go in to accusing me of not being committed to the relationship and of being unfaithful.

When Michael began to understand that everything in me is designed by God to work toward a bonded relationship with him, he discovered that he did indeed have the perfect wife for him. He does most of the sharing this week and has a lot of valuable information on the subject. So sit back, relax, turn up those speakers and remember....

If Michael and Annlaea can do it...You Can Do It Too!

And don't forget to join us tonight and every Tuesday for our free marriage ministry call which begins at 7pm (pst). 512-716-6531 access code is 981128#


Shakin' Up

Would you live in a shack with your husband? I would with mine if I had to. Wanna know why? Because Michael is treating me like a queen. Here's a short video explaining how far a wife will will go with her husband when her heart is being listened to.


Puppy Love

I recently heard a story about a little boy who had a dog. Now he’d wanted a dog for a loooonnng time; had begged and pleaded with his parents to get him one and made all kinds of promises to secure his request. One day, they relented.

Now, this boy LOVED his dog. They played together; slept together, romped around together….shared food, dreams and secrets. The two were inseparable.

After a while, though, things began to change. The little boy started to moan and complain whenever he was told to take care of the dogs needs. Everything he used to do for it became drudgery to him and he started to resent this creature that had once given him so much joy. Now, when he came home from school he walked right by the dog; didn’t pet it, play with it, kiss or walk it. He began to only do just what was needed to keep the dog alive and to keep his parents from scolding him.

Still, the dog waited patiently each day by the gate, eager for the sound of the boy’s footsteps. It wagged its tail and gave happy barks whenever it saw the boy, always ready for a romp and a tummy rub. Oh, there were times here and there when the boy decided to get the dog out and play with it and it would be just like the old days. Mostly though, the dog ended up just curling up in its bed and going to sleep.

To most of us, especially us animal lovers, this story is heart wrenching. You can just picture it, can’t you? This cute little boy and his cute little dog and all of the fun and love they shared just dying off and the dog being left alone and the boy barely giving it the time of day.

This very thing happens in so many marriages. A man meets a woman and decides he must have her. He pursues and courts her, spends countless hours thinking of her and talking with her; they share secrets and dreams…she feels loved and desired ~ he feels on top of the world. The two are inseparable. They get married and everything is wonderful.

After a short time however, the needs of his wife ~ that before he couldn’t take care of fast enough ~ become drudgery to fulfill. He begins to moan and complain. He starts to resent this woman that had once given him so much joy. He spends more and more time away from her and from their home. When she suggests they go out he says he’s too busy. When she asks what time he’ll be home from work he tells her to stop questioning him. Oh…he still wants a hot meal when he gets home, and a clean house, clean clothes, the remote control and sex…lots of sex. And she does it all because she loves him and wants to be a good and submissive wife who is what the church has told her to be if she wants to keep her marriage together which she does because her parents got divorced (which she doesn’t want) and doesn’t God hate divorce? Her husband keeps telling her that He does.


The Dream

At one point, all of us had a dream of what our marriages were going to be like. We grew up, fell in love and got married. In a relatively short time, the reality of our married life hit us and we became painfully aware that it didn't match our cherished dream.

How did it get to be like this? How did the dream of your husband loving, helping and blessing you get so skewed? How did the dream of you being a prince to your princess die a sudden death shortly after the vows were said?

You can have a dream-come-true marriage. It doesn't matter if you currently have an average or above average marriage. It doesn't matter if you have a bad marriage or one that's in serious crisis like ours was.

Remember, if Michael and Annalea can do it...You Can Do It Too!


Some Days Are Easier Than Others

Today, not so much about marriage, more…reflection and an acknowledging of the heartache that is a part of life.

I’ve recently spoken with two friends of mine who have each lost a child within the last few years, both quite suddenly and at different ages. I lost my first husband almost eight years ago. I can’t even imagine losing a child and I never would have imagined losing my husband yet this loss has become part of our story, a part of who we are and how we look at life now; how we get up each morning and put one foot on the floor, then the other, tuck our sorrow into a corner of our heart and manage to get through the day. Some days are easier than others.

I think that as a wife and a mother, we don’t always allow ourselves the luxury and release that mourning can bring. There’s always too much to do; others to take care of, groceries to by, love to make, laundry to fold….you get the picture; it's inconvenient. I also know that the more I don’t give in to the sorrow that still comes up from time to time the more I become just a bit more hardened; less inclined to presence myself with those around me who are still here.

It’s a vicious circle really and one that, for me anyway, keeps me just under the radar of really living and enjoying all of the blessings that God has given me…even the blessing of loss.

Like I said, some days are easier than others.