Marriage help



As an addition to yesterday’s post on validation skills, I offer a few more thoughts:

Sometimes I think it is hard for us to determine what “loving” behavior is exactly. {Isn’t that why we are tempted to enable others, when we are trying to be “loving” but we end up actually doing for them what they can and need to do themselves?}

Is loving behavior then, the things we do that help us and others to grow? That helps us and others to take responsibility for our own behavior and decisions?

I think so. And I think that is the point of learning to validate, not attempt to control or coerce or emotionally blackmail the people we love, but to support them in solving their own problems by letting the problem stay with them.  It’s really a fast track to growing relationships and people!

Add to that the quote I came across yesterday:

“Unloving behavior is reactive. Loving behavior is creative.” Virginia Satir

Now there’s a little food for thought!

Sounds like, you throw a fit, I throw a fit. Or you get defensive, so I get defensive. You start yelling, so I start yelling. {And then we are tempted to believe that the person who started this scenario is the one responsible, right?}

Being reactionary can also be unloving to ourselves. Because when we automatically react, it puts us in the victim role in a sense, simply responding without really thinking or deciding what our behaviors will be, independent of what others say or do.

I hope we can keep learning and progressing in our skills so that our families will continue to progress.

We’re all in a learning process. And in family life, we have all the situations and dilemmas and challenges we need to put what we learn into practice! And then practice some more!

I wish you patience and endurance while the growth is happening!

Be well. Have faith. Our family ties are worth every effort we dare to make.


Care For Her


Who do you love most in the world? Your spouse? Your children? Your parents and siblings? Your friends?

Then be kind to them and care for the person they love most in the world!  {And the girl who, for a time, is their world!}

Yes, I mean you. Care for yourself and you will be better able to care for and about them.

Here are a few thoughts:
~ask for and receive the knowledge of who you are and what you mean to God
~figure out how to take breaks!!!
~remember, or find out, what you love to do
~create something {to renew yourself}
~eat well
~ask for help
~develop a talent
~talk to God
~write your thoughts in a journal
~strive for enough sleep! {don’t give it up for FB}
~sit in the sun
~think about your life
~date your spouse
~listen to the birds
~pray to feel love
~forgive yourself
~forgive everyone else too
~slow down to the speed of life
~put yourself on the priority list
~cultivate a voice of kindness towards yourself
~be done with shame and negativity
~write positive declarations on your mirror!
~memorize them and repeat them many times a day
~get outside, breathe the air and move your body!

I pray that every mother who reads this blog will make the shift {if you haven’t already}, to the mindset of deliberate and consistent self-care.

That shift will serve your family better than most anything else, because you will be better able to stay well and to serve in your capacity as the caring spouse and mother that you are! God bless you to know how valuable you are and how much your efforts are needed and appreciated!

Sending you my love today,


Speed of Life


Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time to live?

Ha! I know that sounds funny, but I was just having a conversation with myself about living at the speed of life, meaning, getting my mind to slow down so that I can take a minute to look through a cookbook or to write a note to a friend or to read a chapter in my book club book, or work on the little hand made Christmas gifts for my grandchildren- without feeling pushed to get on to the next thing!

And I am having this conversation because sometimes if feels that if I’m not running and doing “out there” then I’m not “getting things done!” Can you relate to this feeling?

When really, cooking takes time and shopping takes time and writing in a journal takes time and reading your religious text (books) takes time and pondering and meditating takes time and growing a garden takes time and cutting flowers takes time and going for a walk takes time and reading stories takes time and cleaning off the table takes time and sorting the mail takes time…..

Whatever tasks you may be doing today, I hope you can breathe and take the time to be present. Even if you’re doing the simple, living things that make a rich life for you and your family. {Which I might note, are not the things we see blasted at us through the media of our culture!}

Sometimes we have to consciously remind ourselves that building families and relationships takes even more than our time and energy; it requires our presence.

So when that hurry, hurry, hurry feeling grabs you, maybe you can smile, pat it on the head and tell it that you’re living at the speed of life and no faster.

Love you!


P.S. And may I say that when I am not present while I’m working on the tasks of living, when I am doing something to cross if off a list, it turns out that I’m not really living at all! Where we are in our minds is where we are living. Can you read a book to a child and be a million miles away? Yes! But when you come to yourself, and think about and enjoy what you are doing and the person who is with you, everything is so much more full and rich and alive! We must be very cautious about keeping ourselves here and now, not allowing our minds to be one place and our bodies in another, thus separated from the present moment.

I challenge you to take a little data sampling of where you really are at different points in your day. If you’re spending a lot of time away from yourself, something needs to change!

Kind, Gentle, Respectful, Firm


Part of self-care is taking care of yourself with other people.

Sometimes a gut-wrenching experience….for me, maybe it’s not for you.

When you are honest with yourself, do you see that you being treated poorly on a regular basis? Maybe not being treated with the respect you deserve?

Or do you quickly speak up to let others know how you expect to be treated?

Now, thinking back, can you say that when you are communicating these expectations that you are kind, gentle, respectful and firm?

It has been a long journey for me to get to where I know what my voice sounds like when I am using all of those attributes together.

Maybe you have practiced and have a solid grasp on the art of this, and if so, I’m glad! The world certainly needs, desperately needs, people who can work through differences with civility; who can cultivate a team mentality when working with complex issues and mulitple perspectives; who can lead with decisive action while keeping relationships strong and loving; who can set an example of offering clarity while showing extra love.

In my view, these abilities are the epitome of principle centered leadership, the attainment of which is a worthy, life-long pursuit.

Practice, practice, practice. Ask for forgiveness when we get it wrong. Move forward. Practice, practice, practice.

I wish you great success!



P.S. There is no justification for yelling, threatening, name-calling, withholding love, hitting, belittling, or any other bad behavior.  These behaviors are simply a red flag flying to tell you that boundaries need to be set, or that a boundary has been crossed by one or both parties. Consider how you can correct that situation using kindness, respect, gentleness, all while being firm.