Please hold my hand

In marriage, I believe women are more positively affected by hand-holding. What do you think? I admire couples who are in the habit of holding each others’ hands, whether it is just for a moment or during a long walk. For a woman holding her hand communicates that her husband desires to connect with her, feel her, remind her that she belongs to him and that he is willing to protect her. Holding hands with your woman in public says that you are proud to call her yours.

In some marriages, such physical contact between a husband and his wife is not common and there can be many reasons for that. Some possible reasons are;

  • Because of childhood experiences that led one partner to develop a discomfort with hand-holding.
  • Because of an experience in the marriage that created a distance between the husband and the wife. Maybe its an experience that led to broken trust, unwillingness to forgive or to admit to one’s wrong.
  • Because of a poor self image.
  • Because you are not happily married and in love with your spouse. Maybe you got married for the wrong reasons.

That last point is a big one. If you got married to someone because of their popularity, fear of not finding someone, to please your parents or your church, it is sad. That’s the truth. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it don’t. Once you are in love with your man or your woman however, nothing should be allowed to come between. Healing is available to all, no matter what you have been through as a couple. I feel excited just thinking about the power of love and the Power of God when he is allowed to work. Some of the greatest love stories are those that have survived the storms. What is complicated to us, is an opportunity for God to break, melt and mold us into beautiful vessels. However, it requires us to be obedient to his bidding, patient and humble.

So, no matter how you feel, reach out and hold her hand or reach out and hold his hand. Touch is powerful, it helps you to reconnect and communicate many positive feelings of hope.

Touch her, touch him. Keep doing it no matter what you’ve been through and you would see how physical touch helps you to bond, dissolve walls and appreciate each other more.

Happy hand-holding!

Love your children equally; jealousy is dangerous.

In the Bible, Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than all his sons. He had twelve sons under his care and he openly demonstrated that he loved Joseph more. Genesis 37:4 says “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

This special love for Joseph over his other brothers, in addition to Joseph’s dreams which he shared with them, created a serious problem; jealousy and hate. Joseph’s brothers sold him to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver. This is how destructive Jealousy was for Jacob’s Family.

This old story that has been told endless times, still has lessons for parents today. We must be guarded against making the same mistake; loving one child more than the other. Here are some tips we can all practice at home to ensure Jealousy is not encouraged.

  1. Ensure the needs of each child are being met.
  2. In meeting the needs of your children, sometimes it is necessary to prioritize. It may be necessary for one child to have a particular need met before the other. For eg: Sammy needs a new lunch bag because the zipper no longer works but Sarah needs a bigger lunch bag allowing her to pack her water as well. With limited finances, Sammy’s need would come before Sarah’s. In such instances, parents should communicate clearly to both children giving them the opportunity to learn how to prioritize and to put the needs of others first.
  3. Avoid showing more physical affection towards one child over the other. Of course we expect that a baby would receive constant hand-holding while a teenager would receive hugs; the physical affection must be appropriate for the age. We need to be also careful with the gifts. Avoid the “coat of many colours”, those extraordinary gifts given to only one child.
  4. Do things together, avoid singling out one child to spend time with over the other(s) unless there is a special need you are trying to address and special attention is needed. For eg: Have a movie evening when every child can be present or visit the Ice Cream Shop when every child will be able to enjoy an ice cream.
  5. Do not compare your children, especially in their presence. For eg: Marcel is very good at math but Michael is not. That’s completely o.k. The mistake we sometimes make is tell to Michael, “you need to do better in Math, Marcel never gets less that 75%”. Sometimes we even ask “Why can’t you do better in Math, like Marcel?”. Dangerous territory.
  6. Verbally express your love for your children when they are together, emphasizing that they are all special to you.
  7. Finally, when solving conflicts, be objective always looking at what was done wrong and not who did the wrong.

I am amazed by how much we can learn from these old true stories of the Bible. There is so much to apply to our lives as we seek to do better every day.

Hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. Please do not leave before sending us feedback on how this or any other article has inspired you.

Your kids deserve more than “Because I say so”.

I really don’t think the words “Because I say so” works. Not from what I have experienced. Maybe years ago, but, children these days? They require more from us, explanations, answers and reasons why they should obey or choose wisely. In fact, they need to be able to define what is “wise” as well.

Some of us may think that there are times when those words do apply, as the required explanations are too complexed for our child’s consumption. I get that feeling, I totally do. In those times I have found it better so say why I cannot explain, rather than “Because I say so”. You see there is merit in acting real as parents, there is merit in acting human. Sometimes, we do not have the answers and that’s okay.

I am not a bully mom, neither are my children growing to be kids; they are growing to be adults who can think and make sound decisions, communicate effectively and demonstrate other necessary skills and the intelligence to be successful in all spheres.

My role therefore is to speak to my kids in a manner that would educate them and build their confidence in facing life’s touch questions. “Because I say so” may be seen as an escape for parents who are too busy to sit and explain or too scared to touch the unpleasant. Parenting is about toughening up and facing our responsibilities head on. If we don’t know what to say, seek guidance first, pray, prepare thoroughly, but don’t take the escape route. It would not hurt to say to your child, “I cannot explain to you now, but I promise to do so before the day ends; I need you to trust me on this”.

Children accept our sincere attempts to respect them, value them and to teach them and they connect much better with us when they are able to perceive us as normal humans with lacks and weaknesses but also with experience and wisdom, seeking to lead them the best way we know how.

Here is a bonus tip. The more you spend quality time with your kids, the easier it becomes to discuss uncomfortable topics with them.

7 Lessons Learnt from my Daddy.

Photo from Google images…

Today, the world celebrates “Fathers’ Day”. While, I love the idea of the special attention being given to Fathers, I think “Real Dads” should be appreciated every day.

It is a blessing to still have my dad today. He is 83 years and counting. I am thankful to God for my sound biblical upbringing and for my Dad who played a significant role in my development. I am forever grateful.

It is my honour to share with you some of the Lessons learnt from my Dad.

Lesson no. 1
A relationship with God changes you for the better
Dad often spoke of his spiritual transformation when we were kids. He talked about life before when he found pleasure in the things of this world. He was only 24 and was already negatively influenced by the dangerous practices the world had to offer. He told the story of being invited to church and not recalling how he left his seat and found himself at the Alter. He told the story of the prayer of faith that changed his life forever. Since his encounter with God, he has been different. He experienced the power of God and that, he couldn’t fully explain.

As children we witnessed that change, we lived within the moment of the testimony he told. He preached and counseled others within the context of change. He preached from a place of experience. Dad was transformed from a young man who was interested in pleasure and living selfishly to a young man who wanted absolutely nothing to do with his past. He now wanted to learn more about God’s plan for his life.

Lesson no. 2
A Dad must faithfully provide for his Family

I grew up physically poor but spiritually loaded. Despite the fact that we had limited cash circulating, we always had food to eat. My Dad did lots of gardening and still does to an extent. He planted corn, sweet potatoes, yams, string beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, eggplants, cabbages, carrots, bell peppers, seasoning peppers, sugar cane and the list goes on. Our garden and the many fruit trees around our home, were the main source of food for our family. My Dad worked hard to make that possible. Not only did he plant but he maintained the fruit trees. We enjoyed fruits all year round, from mangoes (a wide variety of them), to cherries, guavas, sugar apples, plums, sour sops and more.

We enjoyed modest homes but we were proud of the place we called home. We moved at least four times during my childhood but Dad and Mom did a great job with the selections. It was not enough for Dad to be renting and even though it was late in his life, he built us a home that we were finally able to call ours. Dad did not experience the burden of a home mortgage as many experience today. The building of our home explained grace, kindness, faith and perseverance. Dad lead the way on this Project when it seemed crazy and crazy became our cherished home.

Lesson no. 3
A Dad must be faithful to his wife
I grew up with five brothers. Dad had two sons before marrying mom. We loved them and looked forward to the time when they visited; they lived in St. Vincent. Sometimes we visited them as well. Dad’s two sons from his past life, was all we had to remind us of his past. There was no other woman in his life, he was committed to our Mother. He gave us no reason to wonder or to be fearful of the threat of another woman. Our family felt safe and solid.

Lesson no. 4
A Dad must be a Cheer Leader for his Children

As we grew, we pursued our individual paths, not always a path that Dad would approved of, but we new then, and now that he always wanted the very best for us and believed in our potential. As kids he would often show his disapproval in silence and firm stares, he did not talk a lot. We knew however, when he was proud of us, whether it was our grades at school, performance at sports, our singing or presentations at church, we knew! He expressed it in words and pleasant expressions. He was our cheer leader in a reserved but evident manner and that was powerful. We were always motivated to achieve. Thoughts of not being able to make it or accomplish our dreams were never because of what dad said or did. He showed us how to achieve by pursuing his dreams until they became a reality and we knew we possessed the same tenacity for success.

Lesson no. 5
Discipline and love goes hand in hand

We grew up at a time when parents whipped, used the belt, ruler, and other helps to instil discipline. Dad seemed to have known a little more or maybe it was his spiritual transformation that made the difference. We got “licks” as well but it was not freely given, it was reserved for those times when our disobedience crossed the line. It was reserved for those times when harsher methods were appropriate and a lesson had to be urgently taught. “Licks” and love often went hand in hand. I remember getting “licks” once and I felt so sorry for what I did but yet I was thankful. Strange right? Well, not really, because it was done in Love. “Licks” and Love!

Lesson no. 6
Trust & Space

As we grew older, we enjoyed more freedom. We had received Godly instructions from church, from school and more so from home and then we were trusted to make our own decisions. We were equipped, our life-banks were adequately stocked for good success and then we were expected to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves”.

I never felt as if I was in bondage or under pressure to do the right thing. We were educated about right and wrong. We knew the difference between wholesome fun and dangerous fun and it came mainly from our parents, what they taught us and how they lived. We had other great examples around us as well. It was then up to us to choose. We were told how to choose and about consequences. As teenagers we were never forced to make choices to please our parents but rather to please God.

Lesson no. 7
Spend valuable time with your family – establish healthy memories

We played quite a bit of table games as a family, Ludo, Life, Checkers, and there was a game that dad invented with various families and we had to exchange cards to complete each family. I loved that game! My favourite family was the “Sharers”.

Dad loved table-tennis and most of us learned the basic idea of the sport. We visited the beach often on Saturdays, something I miss dearly. We had drive-outs and pick-nicks, as well as camp trips. We would help out sometimes roasting breadfruit, corn and potatoes and would often enjoy roasted breadfruit and salt-fish for supper, many times out on the porch under the moonlight. Many of our family meals were enjoyed together around the table, filled with chatter and laughter.

Church life was great as kids. My Dad was a Pastor and we enjoyed the activities of the church, the daily vacation bible schools, special crusades, lovely singing, great Christmas Programmes, Camps and more. We loved Church and our Church family. Things were so different then.

Our primary school education was from the Berean Christian Academy. My elder brother and sister were members of the school band. My sister played the flute and my brother, the trombone. I believe he was introduced to the saxophone at school as well. We enjoyed a number of school concerts as a family. Uplifting music saturated our family, at home, at school and at church. As I think about Dad, I think about the happy home environment he and mom created for us and the many musical records we enjoyed. One of my favourite memories is “Jump back little frog, Jump back”. I searched YouTube hoping to find a recording of that little nursery rhyme but to know avail. Dad bout me my first guitar and I am so happy he did.

Family devotions was led by Dad. They were those times when we were encouraged to reflect on our thoughts and our actions. They were sobering moments of introspection as we were reminded to live in line with God’s principles.

I am writing this article, and I am reminded to keep my articles short and captivating. I think I have already written too much. There is so much I want to share.

To all the Dads out there, please know that your little girls and little boys as well as the big girls and big boys need your attention, your love and your discipline.

We love you. Happy Fathers’ Day!

Barriers to effective communication in Marriage.

A few days ago, I was thinking of “barriers to effective communication within marriages. I started brainstorming, looking at my marriage and thinking of the experience of others. I must say my biblical knowledge quickly influenced the direction of my thoughts. I decided to introduce the discussion on my Facebook page and the responses sent me to a deeper place and I had to put put letters to screen :).

As a result of my deep thinking and some of my friends on Facebook sharing their heart on the matter, I decided to share four possible barriers to communication within the Marriage Relationship.

  • Pride – Pride literally cripples you. It has nothing good to offer. I am speaking of the pride that hinders us from doing what is right. The Pride that is more concerned about how we look on the outside and how people perceive us. The Pride that distorts reality trapping us in a world where our identity is defined by how we dress, the type of vehicle we drive, who our friends are, where we work and our achievements. We are therefore seeking to keep up appearances. We may get away with keeping up appearances on the outside but at home it can really hurt us and destroy the relationships that really matter to us. May I suggest that instead of keeping up appearances at home, we seek to practice accepting accountability for our wrongs, even those that make us ashamed and disappointed in ourselves. Accept that you have flaws, weaknesses and nasty habits to work on. Do not pretend to be who you are not, do not be afraid to face your sins head-on. Many times our Spouses are a blessing to us because they are one of the few persons who would tell us the truth about ourselves. I suggest you listen! Don’t let pride rob you from building a closer relationship with your spouse.
  • Distractions – Mobile phones and all it affords – We are in an age of technology at our finger tips. It is like an itch that we think we need to keep scratching. It is a well established and accepted distraction and I believe many couples are struggling with it. Let each man examine himself and pursue change where applicable. Avoid using your phones when your spouse is around and available to chat or to be engaged in doing something with you. Whether it is an opportunity to eat together, or watch the news together or just to be silly together, grab that opportunity to engage each other.
  • Passing judgement before hearing the story – Oh how we love to jump to conclusions before hearing the whole story. “He is always coming home late because he doesn’t like being around me!” So you responded to what you think is the reason for him arriving home late, by keeping to yourself and being extra quiet. He is trying to speak to you and you have gone ice cold. Here is another scenario; “She ended the call because I came into the room.” On that evening you had planned together to work on a family project but instead you started to lecture your wife about “Trust”, she get’s upset as she feels judged and storms out the room. One more scenario, “He told his mom what I told him last night, that is why she did not call me today.” We often act on these hunches, assumptions and wrong perceptions. It is important that we act on facts, ask questions if you need to know what really transpired, but don’t draw conclusions from what seems to be the truth.
  • This is the final one and it is a big one; failure to forgive. One’s failure to forgive their spouse would certainly be a barrier. Failure to forgive means one spouse is holding something against the other, something they did or did not do, that the husband or wife really disapproved of. Unforgiveness leads one to hate and playing the blame game. It is like a big wall that hinders your relationship from blossoming, from prospering, from moving on. It can lead to behaviours that can cause the relationship to deteriorate further, all because he/she chooses not to let go. Communication between both parties becomes complicated and painful. Solution? Get on your knees and ask God to help you to forgive your spouse. Seek help. Be vulnerable enough to tell your spouse how you feel, let them know that you want to but it is proving difficult. Act against your feelings, love your spouse even when it is hard to forgive and try not to allow your past experiences to negatively influence your communication with your spouse.

The 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians is a lovely chapter to read and reflect on as couples. Read verses 4 to 7. Love is patient, kind, does not envy, is not proud, avoids questionable behaviours, does not think evil of others and more.

I am often amazed how we communicate to our loved ones with such disrespect at times and we make such effort to communicate respectfully to strangers. May you be inspired today to love your spouse enough to take the time to practice the behaviours that would enrich the quality of your communication daily.

Start off by greeting your spouse in the kindest, sweetest way and mean it from the heart. Don’t send mixed messages, don’t be silent when you should be speaking and please be careful what comes out of your mouth. Let your words uplift and inspire your spouse.

A safe place for children

I am often saddened when I hear stories of dysfunctional homes, abandoned children, children who are neglected and exposed to danger by their parents and children who are simply lost all because they have not known unconditional love and acceptance.

You see, as parents our role is to provide a safe place for our children to exist, to discover themselves and to develop into independent, sober adults who can make sound decisions that would lead to great quality lives.

What is a “safe place”?

That safe place I am referring to is the HOME. Most children return to a home and the ideal scenario is that they should be very happy to return home.

As a parent myself, I often have to remind myself that I cannot control what takes place outside of our home, whether it is unfair teachers, unreasonable adults who judge all children the same, immature Christians who play holy but take pleasure in destroying the character of others, men and women who prey on innocent children, or advertisements and activities that encourage the use of alcohol, nakedness and irresponsible behaviour.

I have come to terms with the reality of this life. I have also recognised that I have the power to influence my kids positively and I must use the advantage of the Home, the fact that we all live in the same space.

I feel it for parents who are struggling. There are those of us who may not describe ourselves as struggling but our experiences can be described more as challenges. Everyone has to face the struggle/challenge of creating that “safe place” and keeping it safe. There are many negative influences out there, seeking to snatch the opportunity for greatness from our children. I wish to share a few tips with us on how we can create that “safe place” at home so that our children can pursue a meaningful life now and in the future.

  1. As a parent, be present at home as much as possible. Try to cut down the unsupervised times spent at home by your children, even as teenagers. When it is totally necessary for you to be out, provide a structure for them while they are at home, give them tasks to accomplish. It is also necessary to follow-up and monitor them with a phone call or two.
  2. Know your children’s friends. You can get to know them by visiting their school, attending school activities, sending little goodies for them at school, and inviting them out with your children.
  3. Practice self-control as a parent, avoid shouting, yelling, the cold treatment and other immature behaviours. In other words grow up, get help if you need it. These kind of behaviours push children away, creating a dangerous distance. If your children are not ready to chat with you everyday about their experiences at school, check yourself first. Maybe you are to harsh, jumping to conclusions before listening. Remember you were once young and they are not yet grown.
  4. Work-out any problems you may have with your spouse privately, do not allow your children to be negatively affected by any disagreements between yourself and your spouse (for those who are married of course).
  5. Do not leave your children home with strangers or anyone you are uncomfortable with, they are better of home alone, if it is really necessary.
  6. Try as much as possible to serve home-cooked meals. Give them the experience of good, tasty food that is safe and healthy to eat.
  7. Speak only words that are uplifting to your children. Be their biggest Cheer-Leader! Even when they need to be disciplined, let them know that you love them deeply and desire the best for them, that is why discipline is necessary.
  8. Give them a sound spiritual education. Point them to the Scriptures and to beginning a relationship with God, not to religion and a life of pretense and religious formalities. Let them know that there are standards for right and wrong and God is the absolute authority. Introduce them to a God of love who can be trusted with their future because he knows all things. Talk about the Word of God at home and apply it to daily living.
  9. As parents, seek to be good examples, so that your children would not suffer the consequences of your sins. Give them that chance to start life without baggage, they would create their own anyhow.
  10. Finally, build great memories at home, have fun! plan lots of family activities and get the children to contribute their ideas as well.

There is so much more that can be said but, I prefer to keep it short. As short as it may be, let it inspire you to grow as a parent and work towards building a safer place for your children.

Happy New Year!

My new year started off with me chilling with family, Mom, Dad, one of my brothers, my dear husband and my kids. I am amazed how the company of my family can give me so much energy, so much comfort, so much refreshing. Happy New Year to my family!

I slept in late and probably awoke some time after 8:00 a.m.; two hours after I was in the kitchen cooking up a storm. I am always excited about cooking for family; there is nothing so fulfilling as when food is served and there are rich discussions, and hearty laughter all fitting together perfectly with the choice dishes of the day. You later glance at their plates and you are pleased to see that the food you prepared, with such passion, was devoured. Good food, good times.

I love cooking for my family! 🙂

Among the many dishes I prepared, with the help of my kids, was a Lasagna dish. This time I did a few things differently and I really loved the outcome. Usually, I would place a layer of shells first before adding a layer of meat, then cheese. This time, I placed minced meat with the sauce at the bottom, as the first layer. I then applied the first layer of shells followed by a second layer of meat & sauce and another layer of cheese. Another thing I did differently, was to mix chopped celery leaves with the cheese. In all I had three layers of cheese and 4 layers of meat with sauce.

My family really enjoyed my Lasagne!

Later in the evening, I was sitting on my porch in the company of my family and I started to think of how important food is to a family affair. The reality is the big family moments were big because good food was a part of the occasion; it is important that we understand the connection between food and great family moments. Food can make or break the occasion; food makes it better. Or let me correct this statement by saying tasty, attractive, well prepared food, makes it better.

I am sure many of you are right this moment cherishing great moments enjoyed during the Christmas Season and on New Years Day. Cherish those memories and treasure family and friends.

The next time you are having guests over, plan your menu well, cook with heart, passion and love. Be sure to prepare more than enough, honour your guest with good food.

As the New Year unfolds, go all out and do your best for the upcoming birthdays, anniversaries and all those special occasions to come.

My wish for you is that “2019” will be a year when you would invest more into seeing great family moments happen. It may require you to up your game or improve your cooking skills. My desire for you is that you would cherish your family and your friends even more in “2019”.

Happy New Year All!

Work towards creating fulfillment in your marriage! Believe it can happen and it will!

When you believe that your marriage could be better, you are willing to exercise patience with your spouse and you are willing to invest time and money towards seeing your faith come to life.

In my own experience, I have been the victim of boring cycles which are created by life’s rat race; sleep, wake, prepare for work and school, go to work and school, return home and if there is any energy left, prepare for the next day.   If no energy left , well…….we’ll figure it out right?  Something or someone is neglected.

However, the sad truth is that we do get comfortable with those cycles and getting comfortable is not really good or healthy for our marriage or our family.    But the glowing truth is that, deep down, we never stop loving each other and we really desire more.  What happens is that many of us don’t try hard enough or make the effort to ensure that the quality of our marriage improves. We succumb to the pressures of life and rather than see it as an opportunity to become more disciplined, we throw our hands up thinking “I can’t do any better”. “I am so beat”, “He/She understands”.

In this article my aim is to encourage you to constantly work towards a richer, fuller marriage, amidst the rat race.    Take control of your day, your activities and your time and don’t forget that it is ok to have limits.   Decide, when you have put in enough extra hours at work and it is time to head home. Constantly keep in mind, the need for balance and the need to give attention to your spouse. Yes, your spouse needs attention to.

Let’s look at a few practical ways to enrich our marriage even when there are crazy schedules coming at us:

  1. Regularly update your spouse: Every moment, whether you are just calling to say hi or to remind your spouse of an errand, or you are at home in the kitchen fixing something  to eat, update. Maybe the gardener had to postpone his appointment to clean the yard this week-end, update.  Maybe, your sister said she would pass by tomorrow, update.   Maybe your Pastor invited you to attend a meeting at the church on short notice, update.  If you both have a habit of updating each other or mentioning “stuff” through-out the day, you would most likely know the same thing, most times, and it is less likely that either of you would feel left out, or get upset as a result of not being in the know.   This can avoid conflict and clashes of events and activities.   If you practice updating regularly you are actually helping to strengthen bonds and trust between you and your spouse.   Tell him what’s on, all the time; tell her what’s on, all the time. Leave no room for your spouse to wonder “What is she not telling me?” Do you remember when we were younger and we were excited about sharing everything with our best friend? It’s the same thing actually!
  2. Do not alienate your spouse; make him or her part of your work-life as much as possible.    For example, if your Employer is having a staff party and you are allowed to invite your spouse, do not hesitate to do so.   Many employers today are beginning to understand the value of recognising  and showing an interest in the families of their employees.  This would allow you and your spouse to share work-related experiences together, while he or she is allowed to get to meet your co-workers and build an appreciation for the caliber of persons you work with.
  3. You must sacrifice your own personal time for time together.  Put off the beauty regime or the lime with the guys, ignore the phone, the television, the personal projects and just do nothing but chill with your spouse.   If he or she is eating, chill on the chair close by, if he or she is enjoying their favourite TV show, get comfy next to them and enjoy it too.   If he or she decides to read, grab a book and read too.  :).   It does make sense, try it.   Just being in each other’s company is enriching and provides companionship. Companionship in Marriage is always a need to be filled.
  4. Create life and memories around your spouse’s favourite things and people; for example, if your husband loves barbecue, plan a barbecue and invite a few of his close friends, if you wife loves popcorn and movies, select a good movie and get that corn popping. Maybe your husband enjoys walking the dog, join him. There is so much we can do to enrich our lives and our marriage; many of them are also simple activities that cost nothing or very little. Each one of us have the responsibility of creating life, fun, happiness and adventure. Here are some other ideas: prepare a tania-log pot under the moonlight, play table games, go bowling together, go driving, or on a road trip and visit family and shared friends, go to the grocery together, attend events together, yes, get all dressed up and go out. Volunteer to manage the Sunday School Ministry together, or the outreach programme, or the Youth Ministry. The list is endless; I am sure you may have ideas of your own.
  5. Finally, seek to understand where you spouse is at in their development and support efforts to grow, develop or rise to a higher level. The worse thing we could do as married individuals is to discourage our spouses from starting that new project, whether it is to pursue higher education or to learn a new sport or to start a bible study group or reach out to someone in need; whatever it is, if it is pure and healthy, support, support, support.

I hope these few thoughts encourage you to take steps to ensure your marriage exerts life, energy and a healthy positive spirit that would be contagious, giving hope to other married couples, who are desperately in need of it. It takes commitment, discipline and sacrifice but it is doable. Aim for better, richer and for greater. Don’t settle for mediocrity and boredom in your marriage! Be honest and admit that your marriage is not at its best and desire better always.

I love aiming for better, I love aiming for “best”. It is also part of God’s purpose for our lives; he wants us to reflect his character in how we live with our spouse daily. God is an awesome God of life, beauty and joy!

Featured picture taken from Google images.

My son inspires me to exercise.

I think it is really, really important, the way two pieces of bread is necessary for a sandwich, the way two hands must come together to make a clapping sound, the way the wind is needed to disperse the cotton seeds; I think in the same way, family success can only happen if every member of the family sees himself as a key component to making it happen.

I have been struggling to exercise consistently, I would start then stop, start then pause, start then……nothing……:).    But the lovely and interesting fact is, I really love to exercise.  Once I get started, I feel alive, renewed and invincible.  Interestingly, I always feel like the Holy Spirit is nudging me to exercise.  Is he trying to show me that I need to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle?  But he does not have to keep reminding me right?  It just makes sense to exercise; results of research bombards us of that fact.  But still…..I struggle.

Well, I publicly confess, I need to be motivated from time to time to keep doing it.

Today, I am motivated. How come? Why?  Jonathan.    His passion to work out has finally rubbed of on me and when he invited me again to work out with him this week, I finally caved in.

I really appreciate his interest in getting him mama “moving”.  I allowed him to instruct me through the warm up routines, watched him select a suitable work-out set for me and listened to his wise instructions.   God is using my son to get me moving :).

The end result was good!   I did the routine again for a second time this week without him nudging me, and I feel really accomplished.

We really need each other as family. 

As our children grow older, we need not to resist the fact that they are growing very knowledgeable and eager to teach us a thing or two or even three.   They exhibit responsible behaviours that sometimes leaves us as parents with mental confusion :);  “Where did my baby go?”.

Well my babies are still with me, but they no longer need my wet kisses, they need me to respect the fact that they can teach me a thing or two or even three.

So I have decided I would stick with my son as my Keep-fit trainer, at least for now.

Treasure each member of your family as that second hand that is needed to produce the beautiful clapping sound.