I love the clarity in this quote:
‘All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’
This month in seminar we’re doing three assignments to train ourselves to manage the conversation in our heads and also to decide and then focus on what we want. It’s exciting stuff!
If you think about it, everything in life is a mind game isn’t it? What we believe always comes out in our behavior! What we think about becomes the words we speak. The opinion we have of ourselves and our circumstances determines our choices. So it certainly makes sense that we would spend a good amount of time and resources on learning to win at this game more often!
This morning I heard a song I haven’t heard in a very long time. It is one that my son used to listen to when he was a young basketball loving boy who dreamed of playing in the big leagues. He loved this song, and I loved observing his determination and grit!
How does an athlete manage to push hard enough and long enough to become great? How does a pianist stay on the bench long enough to become accomplished? It certainly isn’t by being lazy in their thoughts! It isn’t by entertaining thoughts of defeat and impatience and fear. It isn’t by thinking of other things and being distracted and discouraged and desperate!
So why do we think sometimes that we can let in whatever voices happen to pop into our minds and berate ourselves and dwell on how hard things are or how put upon we feel? That is not the path to success or greatness and we know it!
What are you doing every day that is stellar? C’mon! Taking care of little people can be intense to say the least! Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and socially DEMANDING. Good grief, we ought to be high-fiving each other and pumping the air with our fists every day we keep order reigning and everyone alive and relatively happy!
What do you want?
What do you want to accomplish and what do you want to learn and how do you want your relationships to be like?
Let’s get our mental game on and figure it out! Then make a visual representation of it and SEE it coming to pass with your spiritual eyes.
Then when you have identified and visualized your aim, get mentally tough and push through the difficulties and set backs and make headway!!!
No sitting on the proverbial bench whining about how hard it is to reach our goals. Ha! I’ve tried it and it just doesn’t help!
There are so many battles we are fighting in our minds every day. I hope we can get a lot better at seeing this role we have for what it is….you know what they say about the hand that rocks the cradle? It is true. You rule the world. You are the glue that is holding your family together. You can’t afford to lose time and momentum by losing focus.
Go ahead. Be great! Whatever you want to be will require becoming great at being the Lioness at the Door of your mind. If you will, 9/10’s of the battle will be won.
You’re amazing and you were born to win!
Can you imagine having grandchildren? Well, depending on where you are in the grand scheme of things, it may be years away or right around the corner. But let me just say that being a grandparent is an absolute joy! And what do you want to pass on to those beautiful, shining souls that will be part of your life someday? I know that I want to give them a legacy of family love beginning with the relationship I have with their Grandpa! And that means that years and years of work have been done long before those little cherubs make their entrance into the story!
So about that love story; Do you ever wonder if you are having to work harder at your marriage relationship than other people do in their relationships? And does it ever seem that the equation that pops into your head is: a relationship that requires hard work = incompatibility?
Do you find that you have opposing opinions and preferences to those of your spouse, and are you frustrated by that?
Well, I’d like to say, congratulations! And, guess what? You aren’t different than the rest of us!
If you see someone that has what appears to be a stellar marriage relationship, I’ll bet it’s because they have worked at cultivating it! (And I say appears, because none of us knows what is really happening in anyone else’s relationship! Which makes the comparison game even more ridiculous!!!)
Along the lines of what makes a marriage great, I’ll tell you what we’re going for:
1 Openness and honesty. When one of us is confused or upset by something the other person has said or done, we want to talk about it quickly, openly and honestly and be done with it before misunderstandings make things more complicated and messy.
2 Show courtesy. I know the things that drive my spouse crazy, so I do my best not to do them! Little things like, starting a conversation when he is trying to get out the door or waiting too long to get myself ready to walk out the door when we have an important set time to be somewhere, or any number of things I have learned are stressful to him. And that goes two ways. He makes great efforts to keep his things put away or to thank me for a meal or to ask me what he can do to help when I have a lot going on at home.
3 Show affection, often! When he walks in the door, my goal is to stop what I am doing and greet him with a kiss. When we leave each other we hug and give a goodbye kiss, and just when we are passing by we may grasp hands or offer an encouraging pat on the back or just sit close to each other in the evening and hold hands every opportunity we get. You really can’t be miffed at someone and be affectionate can you? Touching keeps you real and well-fed emotionally.
4 Be complimentary. I have learned that men enjoy compliments as much as women do. We strive to say kind and encouraging things to one another as often as we can. “You look nice today.” “I love your smile.” “Thank you for remembering that.” “You are really good at that.” “I really like you.”
5 Pray for each other. This year has been challenging and I have felt the power of the prayers of my husband for me. He has told me on several occasions that he has petitioned God to allow him to take my pain. Writing this brings me to tears again, because I don’t think love gets richer than that. Praying for your spouse changes things, mostly I think it changes you. It is hard for me to pray for my husband without getting teary eyed because the words bring my love to the surface and I feel God’s love for him too.
6 Stay committed. When difficulties arise, we restate our commitment to working things out. That means not bolting out the door when there is a difficult problem to solve, or talking to someone else about the problem. Little by little, the time it takes to put things right gets shorter and shorter. And boy, progress feels wonderful doesn’t it?
I encourage you to keep trying and keep loving! Keep on letting go of pride and stubbornness. Don’t stop learning and taking responsibility for your own problems and issues.
With practice and work and patience we will have a beautiful love story to pass on to our posterity.
Love is a beautiful thing!
I wish you the best!
Do you have guidelines for yourself as far as ordering your day goes?
It always seems that my day comes unraveled pretty quickly if I get things out of turn. I mean, when I read and pray and shower and dress first thing, everything else goes much better. I’m not running around trying to play catch up and feeling out of sorts.
Self-care, and then home care, seem to set a foundation for the rest of the day that you can then build upon and feel that you are making progress, that you are gaining traction with the things you want to accomplish.
It seems that society is becoming more and more lax as to personal care and in general, we seem to be making everything more casual. Of course I’m happy not to be expected to wear heels all day while I clean my house, but there is a lot of personal respect and confidence that comes from daily personal care, especially first thing in the morning.
It’s like setting a stage for the rest of your activities. A centered mind and spirit and a clean and groomed body sets you up for engaging in life, welcoming in guests, working with others and contributing to your friends and family and community.
Little people also need this care! They need to be dressed and clean and cared for and ready to go to work, helping to take care of their own spaces as they are able and contributing to the family in simple ways. It is amazing what little ones can do to be helpful and how much they gain from being needed!
Of course our days vary and sometimes we are rocking a sick child or dealing with unforeseen problems. But for those regular, every days, I hope you will have the joy of meeting your days head on.
Much love to you,
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!