Marriage help

Words We Cannot Speak


Oh, the irony of opposites!

I had a single friend tell me the other day how she had been to a meeting and she was sure the men in the room were speaking a different language. How true that is!

All of us are getting a lot of experience learning to communicate with those guys from Mars, aren’t we? (Maybe you have read, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus?  If you haven’t, I’d encourage you to find the audio version and listen to it with your spouse! We heard it about 20 years ago and it was enjoyable and very instructive!)

Come to think of it, we have had quite a few opportunities to learn communication skills and have had some relationship coaching through the years.  For which we have been very grateful.

But if you’re like me, sometimes, we don’t even know ourselves what it is we want to say, let alone figure out how to say it so that our spouse will hear and understand.  We may pull out every skill we know, and try in a hundred ways to get a need across and still feel that we aren’t communicating well enough to ensure understanding.

Add to that, the fact that oftentimes I don’t understand myself or a situation I am facing, and it can feel as if there is no win in sight!

So, when I come to the end of what I know, I ask God to say the words I cannot say. And the double blessing is that I don’t even have to understand all of the complexities that are in play, I just have to ask and have faith and be open to seeing His hand in our family’s dynamics.

And He does work miracles.

I think He is so willing to help because we are His children, and His whole heart is involved in loving us and wanting us to be happy.  And because we are striving for success, we love each other and we are committed to our marriage and to our family.

Is there something you long to express, but don’t quite know how?  Is there some part of your marriage relationship or family life that could use a helping, heavenly hand?

I pray that you will keep your hope alive and continue to walk on in all of the efforts you are making to help your spouse and children to live a happy life.  But I’m also hoping that you will invite God to step in to orchestrate and choreograph the situations, conversations and experiences you need that will say what your heart really wants and needs to say.

I pray for your success and happiness!





Years ago, I went to a week long educational event, where you could choose from an array of classes on everything from parenting to the Middle East, and attend as many as you could squeeze in from 8:00-7:00.  I loved it! And I went for several years each summer, hungry to learn more.

After a few years, I would come home and type up my notes and do my best to apply what I had learned.  It was a great experience for me and I believe my home was greatly benefited by that opportunity.

One of the classes I attended on several occasions was a parenting class taught by a man named James Jones.  As I listened to him, I heard him call me out on the ways that my thinking was unclear, the ways that I was confused in knowing what was good parenting and what behavior of mine was an attempt to quench the guilt I felt for my parenting mistakes and the cover-up of my own disconnectedness.

He corrected me as I sat in a group of sometimes hundreds of people (probably all getting a clue like I felt I was) and yet I never felt put down or discouraged.  I think that maybe that is because Dr. Jones tells you about his own journey in parenting that led him through a maze of frustrations, of hitting brick walls, of having his confidence shattered and of the great ah ha’s he had that were humbling and extremely valuable.

Then, several years ago I ran into him.  I was grateful for the opportunity to thank him for the profound ways that he had helped me and my family.  And I asked him how I could get my hands on some of his books that had gone out of print, to share with my clients!

I was amazed when he told me that he had decided that he would like to put all of his work, that is multiple books and audio recordings of books and classes that he has taught, online somehow and grant them to the public domain so that anyone could download them and have them for free!

He said that I could call him in a few months and see how things were going with that project, and so I did.  I think we talked every six months or so for a couple of years.  And then this week, after someone asked me a question that I thought his work could answer, I tried to call him again to see what had happened thus far with his idea.  And all four numbers that I could find for him said they were disconnected.

Then almost at the same moment, I saw the post of a friend who had tagged a parenting blog with a note to herself to read it later…and as I looked at it I saw that it was labeled James Jones parenting!

I am so happy to report that when you visit, you will find an invaluable resource for your family!  I am in amazement at the generosity of the Jones family and of their efforts to make a lifetime of work and learning available to anyone and everyone! For free!  At the touch of a button!

So to Dr. Jones and his family, I say a very big and heartfelt THANK YOU!  And to you readers I say, if you are a parent, I encourage you not to delay!  Check out the site and download these books and audio classes and books.  They will be a blessing to you and to your children.  They may even change the course of  eternity.

Blessings to you and your family.


P.S. Thank you Bree for your timely post!  xo

Fight Smarter!


I’ve been thinking a lot about yesterday’s post and the idea that it may not be enough to speak our declarations each day.  According to Mr. Peale, we have to take them to another level, like 10 notches up if we want to gain the self-mastery, confidence, health and the “creative faith” we desire.

So what does that look like?  What does it mean?

I’m thinking that it means that I am posting my declarations in multiple locations.  It means that I will go back to using grand music in the background as I say them.  It means I will begin again to carry them on my person, probably on a note card in my pocket.  (That is a powerful habit, not sure why, but it really does well to remind you many times through the day, what you have chosen as your focus.)

It means that I’ll give myself permission to obsess about the positives!  To sound like a nut, contradicting the odds, seemingly denying the present state of affairs and keeping my gaze on only the present positives and the future I want to create.

It means rolling up our sleeves and getting seriously settled in the driver’s seat.  It means getting a little feisty about what conversations we intentionally have and recognizing how we feel more often. It means kicking up our self-care even higher and gratefully accepting more help when we need it.

Too often, we make minuscule efforts to guard our minds and hearts and then wonder at the unfairness when we get solidly knocked to the ground by a difficult challenge or even by a fleeting negative thought!

More ammunition!  More energy in preparation!  More “creative faith!”  More determination!  This is where we put our “stubborn!”  We plant our feet and say to the powers that be: This is where I stand, and I will not be moved from my chosen path.

God bless us each to catch the vision of our personal power and then to use that power to move heaven and earth to fulfill our personal missions here.  If it is right, God will grant our desires if we ask in faith.

You’re amazing!!  And I send your my love and confidence.

Be well!





What is your favorite flower?

Think for a moment until you decide.  Then for a few moments, close your eyes and imagine watching that flower unfold, from a bud to becoming it’s most open, reaching, beautiful self!

Isn’t it glorious?  It just knows what to do and it’s blooming is accomplished almost as effortlessly and lazily turning over in bed or running your hands through your hair.  It naturally expands to it’s full blown beauty and just “is.”  It is naturally lovely it doesn’t have to try.  And so often, when I see a bush full of blossoms or a beautiful flower bed bursting with life and color, I imagine that all of nature is glorifying God and shouting Hosanna!

Now for a wild question:

Do you ever feel like a flower that is stuck closed, like you’re trying so hard to do everything right, but your petals won’t budge?

Like you don’t know how to push yourself out? (And are you ever afraid or anxious about actually beaming so much beauty around?)

Today, I challenge you to take 60 seconds to close your eyes and envision yourself while, breathing slowly and deeply, actually being your favorite flower.  Inhaling, envision yourself relaxing your petals, softening your face, then exhaling, see yourself begin to unfold.  You are colorful.  You are fresh.  You are alive.  You are doing what God made you to do; you are standing tall, fully extended, fully aware, with only peace and confidence to be what you already are.

Let peace come out of your smiling eyes and fall upon your children.  Let joy and radiance and adoration beam upon your husband.  In the vortex of your happiness, let the small daily tasks feel rewarding.  Feel the success of simply and naturally being who you were born to be.

Whether you are lily or iris, rose or peony, daffodil or tulip, be.

Effortlessly, be yourself.

Fill your home with color and fragrance and light and YOU.

Lots of love!


In The Gap


You know that moment when you really want to do something that you know isn’t good for you, and you feel yourself slipping into that semi-conscious state of not caring and then of not being fully awake in the moment you begin to indulge?

Like when sugar is calling… (Sorry, I realize that this may be a sensitive day for this post!)

But you know it could be one of a hundred things calling.  It could be indulging in despair or self-criticism or chocolate or sadness or *false guilt or narcotics or whatever vice rings especially “helpful” in the moment.

What is a girl to do?  Depending on your chemistry and your thinking habits, spending time in any one of these “pseudo coping options” could mean a loss of precious time and potentially loss of precious health or a loss of trust and intimacy in a relationship.

May I recommend making a list of diversions for such moments?  And when you feel the sliding begin, you know, just an inkling that the quick sand is close by, you can refer to your list and launch yourself out of harms way!  Fast!

It seems that often times, the need to be filled is simply dealing with some kind of boredom.  So giving yourself some productive task or permission to take a break, like a chance to take a walk and breathe fresh air or some other activity you enjoy, really fills in the gap nicely and can make a big difference at the end of the day.

Say the Easter candy is calling to you, (hopefully you didn’t buy a month’s supply and if so, hopefully you really won’t keep it in the house that long) but you realize that what you really need is a big drink of water and a diversion!  You need to put your headphones on and listen to your favorite movie soundtrack while you make dinner.

Or maybe, what you really need to do is tackle some small job that has been hanging over your head and causing you to feel undone in some way.  And just by tackling that you have the liberating feeling you need so that you can move on to something you really want to do!

What about getting that book you’ve been excited to read and giving yourself half an hour to read a bit?  Or what about giving your body a nutrient dense snack that helps you feel satiated and well-fed? (I’ve seen some pretty darn good recipes for peanut butter cups that you freeze! There is a recipe on this site for a whole food version that is very nutritious, but there are some out there with fewer ingredients and therefore easier to whip up!)

Which brings me to the last point which is: have healthy alternatives prepared for yourself and for your family!  Hey, if you have a choice between junk and food and they both are tasty, you can go for the good stuff and not have to chastise yourself later! And oh the joy of self-mastery!

By implementing some of these ideas, you will be creating an environment that supports your best interests, and that supportive environment can be a massively, powerful influence.

I pray for your health and well-being!



P. S. What is *false guilt?  It is feeling guilty for not being perfect.  Not even close to Godly sorrow when you have really done something wrong, but just a time-wasting, miserable funk to jump into that is neither productive nor real.

P. P. S. If you have some luck with creating diversions, please share!

P. P. P. S My favorite diversion lately is a video I took of Garth dancing with and singing to one of our little granddaughters.  I find that I can’t help but smile at that!

P. P. P. P. S “He must reign until he hath put all enemies under His feet.”  He can enable our success.  Ask for His help! Happy Easter!