Marriage

Marriage help

Make Pudding Not Proof

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Kind of like saying, make love not war!

Only, we don’t really plan to create war when we think we have to prove ourselves to others. But that thinking does create contention, by inevitably, creating competitive situations with everyone around us.

Today though, I’d like to challenge you to stop competing with your spouse.


Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Think about it for a minute. Are there ways that you have set yourself up to prove to him that you are smarter or more frugal or savvy….or, uh hem, righteous than he is?

Guess what?

Competition kills when it comes to creating a loving relationship.

Instead of trying to see who’s best, be on the look out for ways that you can compliment his efforts with yours; ways you can genuinely build him and stabilize his world.

You want an equal partner? Treat him like gold, be yourself, do your best to hold up your side of the partnership and he will do all he can to support you too.

Why do I say this with confidence?

Because men aren’t as complicated as we are! They want to be needed and appreciated and loved (kind of like what we want, right?) and they respond to sincerity and loving behavior quickly and happily.

Don’t make this anymore complex than it needs to be.

Drop the proving and competing and, well, make some pudding instead.

Seriously! Here’s a little recipe I use.


Photo by Karly Gomez on Unsplash

It is my mother-in-law’s pie filling, and it is lovely.

I tweaked it just a little substituting sugar for a natural sweetener.

2 cups milk (I use all kinds, mostly rice and coconut, but of course whole dairy is lovely if you can handle it!)
2 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4-1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan, heat milk until it is warm. In a mixing bowl, mix honey, starch and salt with the eggs and then add egg mixture to warmed milk in the saucepan. Cook and stir until thick. Makes one pie or about 5 small dishes of pudding.
I often add 1 Tbs cocoa to the egg mixture, and garnish with shaved dark chocolate and or freshly whipped cream.

Get creative– and whether you make vanilla or chocolate pudding, see what variations you can create! Strawberries with maple syrup, blueberries with coconut, peaches and nutmeg, chocolate pudding with slivered almonds or peanut butter or bananas whatever you can dream up!

Be well!

Love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”

Nurturing Civility

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Civility: politeness, courtesy, respect, mannerliness, graciousness, consideration, gentility.

Think of what can be lost when a family doesn’t practice civility at home –opportunities to connect; to work as a team; to support one another; to learn patience and self-control.

As our culture declines in it’s expectation of and commitment to civility, it becomes even more crucial that as family leaders, we expect and commit to teaching our children civility.


Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

And we do that best with our example.

When and where do we have opportunity to shine in this regard?

All the time. And everywhere.

When we are driving.

When we are having a conversation.

When we are learning or teaching something new.

When we are shopping.

When we are cooking.

When we are cleaning.

When we make mistakes.

Parents who behave in civil ways will be teaching their children without words. {The. Best. Teaching. Ever.} Children who practice being civil to their family members and friends will become anchors of strength in society.

What ways are you teaching this important principle at your house?

Could it be part of our validating mantra of kind, gentle, respectful and FIRM? I think so!

I hope you are well! Keep moving forward, I know you’re making progress!

Love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”

Perspective

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I’m excited to share an article with you that a dear friend recently shared with me. {Thank you Ann!} She reports that it was written at least 40 years ago and has no byline except, Anonymous.

Knowing that this was written before many of you were born, I offer a few notes about the author’s perspective. When she was writing, “the common denominators of women’s days,” it was simply accurate. However, in today’s world, it may sound like inequality talking.

She says they listened to a record, which you may or may not have experienced {think big, vinyl CD that plays audio recordings by spinning around on a gramophone or record player}, and yes, people used to chat with their backyard neighbors a lot more!


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Now for you, thoughtful reader, who will hear and understand the profound point the author is making, here it is. I hope you are as moved and blessed by her words, as I have been!

Let Me Hold You While I May

“The day is over; now I will sleep.

It had been a normal sort of day, common like a rock along the path. Nothing about it would make one stop suddenly, pick it up and exclaim over it, as one might do with a shell, or a glistening piece of quartz. It was just a rock, lying there along my way. But now, knowing that it is about to go from me forever, I hold it in my hand curiously, turning it this way and that, marking its shape and texture, weighing it on my palm. What was it really, this normal day?

It was routine, mostly—washing, ironing, a trip to the store, meals, dishes, the common denominators of women’s days.

It was pleasant here and there—a letter from an old friend, my husband’s telephone call for no reason, a back fence chat with my neighbor, half an hour with a good book, some loud laughs with the children at dinner time.

It was irritating now and then—a sticky ocean of spilled maple syrup, mealtime with one greedy child and one finicky one, the arrival of a bill unexpectedly high, a persistent salesman’s theft of fifteen beautiful minutes.

It was deeply joyous at times—the whole house glorified with the strains of the new “Greensleeves” record; our unliterary twelve-year-old’s first book (begun today, to be finished tomorrow) with its dedication to–wonder of wonders–his parents; our eight-year-old and her friend playing dress-up, painted and perfumed, scarved and veiled, clattering through the kitchen in spike heels and innocence.

It was sobering and frightening in some ways—Mom’s waning health and increasing discouragement; the big blow-up after dinner about homework and learning to accept responsibility, and the guilt that followed my hasty words; the vague, huge uncertainties that draped themselves over us, cobweb-like, with the ten o’clock news from a tense and shadowed world.

It was blessed with love throughout—in a pig-shaped bead board made, and presented to me by my son; in the wave of feeling as I watched our little daughter sleeping in soft moonlight, her long lashes shadowing her cheek; in an hour alone with my husband at the end of the day.

Just a normal day. A normal day! It is a jewel! In time of war, in peril of death, people have dug their hands and faces into the earth and remembered this. In time of sickness and pain, people have stretched themselves taut and waited for this. In time of loneliness and separation, people have buried their faces in pillows and wept for this. In times of hunger, homelessness and separation, people have raised bony hands to the skies and stayed alive for this.

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. One day, I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want more than all the world your return.”

Be well my friend.

Love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”

Small Means

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It never ceases to amaze me how misaligned our beliefs can become.

Do we sometimes think that our life won’t really have meaning until we accomplish some big and public thing?

Or that what we do in family life each day somehow pales in comparison to what we or others are doing out there?

That we can’t really feel good about our day if it only amounted to rocking a sick baby or serving the people we love? That caring for ourselves must take a backseat…

Well, in reality, those thoughts are backward.

It is actually the very small acts of living and giving that amount to the most meaningful and productive events in our lives!

Learning to be present in the moments we have with our loved ones, however insignificant those moments may seem, can create profound and lasting ties.

Those lasting ties can become connecting points and those connections are the number one anti-drug! In studies on the effects of something as simple as families eating dinner together, we can see that kids are less apt to use alcohol or participate in other risky behaviors when they eat evening meals with their family. Granted, planning, preparing and serving an evening meal on a regular basis is no little thing! But for many, dinner isn’t usually up there on the important-enough-for-giving-it-our-best-intentional-efforts-most-evenings scale.

So I’ll ask you, using the perspective of “the small things are really the big things,” what big, important things did you do today?

Let’s see, among other things, today I got to hold my infant granddaughter.

I got to spend time with two other grand kids and my daughter this morning for breakfast.

I got to pray with my spouse before he went to work and hear him tell God that he loves me. I got to pack his lunch, and, I got to call him just as he pulled out of the driveway and offer to run out and meet him, if he’d like to turn around and get his forgotten vitamin.

I got to go to a short, morning gathering with my parents and my brother to talk about things we’re learning.

I got to watch a short, funny cartoon with my son.

I got to write out a list of things for him to do today so that he can be busy and productive.

I got to do housework today so that I’ll be freed-up tomorrow to go the funeral of a friend.

I got to work on my brain, meaning anytime I started to default to some negative thought, I corrected myself, and brought my thoughts back to those that would benefit me.

I got to meet with my website guru and work on a new and improved site for Lioness!

And I got to write this small blog post.

All of these things were rather small.

But each of them, even though they may seem mundane or trivial have meaning to me and hopefully they’ll be meaningful to others too.

I challenge you to consider looking at your life with this life-of-meaning equation: the small things = the big things.

My love and wishes for a happy week ahead!

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”

Expectations Be Banished!

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Do you ever ride the roller coaster of “failed” expectations?

Such as when a holiday comes and you have some special hopes in mind, things that your spouse might do to celebrate an occasion or to show you that they care?

And then maybe that day comes and those hopes, that may have morphed into big expectations, may not be realized?


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Seems as though this has happened to every one at least once!

I really believe this is most likely another case for beefing up self-care!

We need to show ourselves that we care, and not depend solely on someone else to give us that cared for and nurtured feeling.

We need to celebrate our lives and not give so much of our power to others. Particularly if we are expecting that someone will have the ability to read our minds to divine what it is we want!

If you need something, I hope you’ll find a way to provide that for yourself.

If you want something, I hope you’ll speak up and let those important people in your life know all about it!

And, I hope you will take a moment to feel your blessings today!

Love,

“The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.”