Archive for the ‘Living Love’ Category


(Living Love) Parenting Affirmation

When we interact closely with our children, we can often overlook a special way that our children look at or respond to us. You know, those moments that tell us we are doing something right. Parenting is hard and we get relatively little feedback, so somebody pointing out one of those moments can be really encouraging.

Watch for those little moments to come up when your spouse is interacting with your children. Make note of it and point it out to him later when you the two of you alone. Tell him how you saw the child’s face light up when your spouse complimented them on the way they completed a task or how you noticed their mood completely change after your spouse took a moment to ask them why they seemed to be having a hard day. These little moments in the life of our children are so significant, but we often don’t give them enough credit. Just a little bit of affirmation on our parenting efforts can really lighten our step and make a difference in our energy and motivation to push forward. It is a little, but great gift that you can give to both your spouse and to your children.


(Living Love) Winter Warmth

coffee1Warm up your spouse inside and out by surprising him with a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Drop it off to him at work or pick up a cup for him on your way home from the store.

Large tokens of affection make for lifelong memories, but those little tokens of affection breathe life into our relationships during the day-to-day.


(Living Love) Childhood Traditions

Traditions are important to a child and the warmth of those memories carries far into adulthood. A sound, a taste, a smell…it can take us back in an instant.

Ask your spouse what some of their favorite holiday traditions were as a child. What are the details of that tradition that made it so memorable? Then find a way to work at least one of those treasured traditions into your own family’s holiday activities. It is a unique gift that you can give to both your spouse and your children. The best traditions are those with a story behind them, because it makes us all realize that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Creating new family traditions is an adventure. Carrying on old traditions is enrichment.


(Living Love) Towel Hand-off

towelLiving love is all about finding little opportunities in your day to serve your spouse. Small gestures aren’t always so small to the recipient.

The next time your spouse is taking a shower, meet them stepping out of the shower with their towel. It is a small act of service, but is a physical way of showing them that you love living the every day with them.


(Living Love) Patterns of Relating

Patterns of relating are developed, learned, and created. As much as we sometimes wish that we could simply will healthy patterns of relating into existence, it takes time, love, and repetition.

We could all pretty easily come up with a lengthy list of improvements we would like to see in our spouse and ways we wish that they would show us love more often. Yet sometimes the things that we wish they would do for us the most, we ourselves withhold from our spouse. Maybe it feels as if the wishes we hold closest to our hearts are threatened if we release them or admit them?

In all relationships, patterns of relating become habit. They are repeated and, when we do not oppose them, we in fact affirm them. Do not sit and simply wish that you spouse was more physically affectionate or complimentary.  Most likely, you have been a part of the cycle. If you want to see a change, you reach out to your spouse. Touch them, compliment them, pursue them. The desires in your own heart can be a reflection of relational shortcomings in your relationship.

Break the cycle. You can be the one to start the learning and development process of integrating new patterns of relating into your relationship.


(Living Love) Saturday Solitude

Moments of solitude become rare once you enter parenthood. We adore our children, but those quiet mornings of sleeping in and waking up slowly while sipping coffee are often missed. Sometimes as we wish for a few quiet minutes to ourselves, we can forget that giving some time of solitude to our spouse just might be the breath of fresh air that they need.

Arrange to give your spouse a Saturday morning of solitude. Get up with the kids, close the door, and let your spouse catch up on some much needed sleep. And then take it a step further. After letting them get some extra sleep, sneak in with breakfast, coffee, and the newspaper and create an atmosphere for them where they can relax and have an easy morning away from demands and expectations. By allowing them some extra time tucked into the sanctuary of your room, you will breath a little bit of life into them, and certainly a little bit of love.


(Living Love) Dry Erase Love

Love notes are a powerful way to express love. They are usually unexpected and affirming in word and action.

One of my favorite forms of love notes are ones that are written with a dry erase marker on the bathroom mirror or shower door. They make you smile as you brush your teeth or remind you that you are loved as you begin your day. And if you leave a dry erase marker in a bathroom drawer, it is token of affection that can be done spontaneously and easily.

A few loving words and the effort spent to show affection can make all the difference in your relationship and in the day of your loved one.


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(Living Love) Gift Budget

 Gifts don’t have to be expensive to be significant. Small token gifts can hold so much value. It is all about the presentation and the thought that is put into the gift. However, making these types of purchases for our spouse is usually not a part of our routine.

When you are planning your budget, give yourself (or both of you) a small cash budget for these gift purchases. This provides you with the opportunity, and even the challenge, to show love to your spouse in these little, yet significant, ways.


*Tip – Keeping this money in cash will help prevent it from being spent on something else and will be a physical reminder to buy the gift.


(Living Love) Kicking off the season

The college football season officially kicks off this week. For many men, this is a much anticipated event.

Whether or not you also get into the game, dare to be a companion for this season’s first event. Break out the burgers, chips, snacks, and drinks, and join your husband in front of the TV to cheer on his favorite team. Catch him by surprise and make an event of it. The important thing is to recognize what he loves and take part in it. The double-take that he will give you will be worth it.


(Living Love) Two Things

Even when we are not consciously thinking about it, we are growing, changing and modifying our behavior based on experiences, consequences, and feedback (subtle or clear) that we get from those around us. We frequently see things in our spouse that we want them to change or to do more often. But when they do something that does make you feel loved, considered, or taken care of, do you take a moment to affirm or thank them?

Look back on the last week and find two things that your spouse did that made you feel loved or that was important to you. Maybe it was an unexpected hug, them filling up your car with gas or doing a simple chore for you, tucking the kids into bed so that you could have a break, or a compliment that they gave you. In a quiet way, just thank them for it and maybe add on a brief comment about how it impacted your day.

Most changes in people don’t happen overnight. Just as you want people to be patient with your gradual growth, do the same for your spouse. It is so easy to give negative feedback, but I challenge you this week to find two places to give them positive feedback.