Thankfulness November: Week Three

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Week Three of Thankfulness through “Quality Time”
(There are many different ways you can express your thankfulness and love through quality time! Get creative when thinking of ways your husband would feel loved through quality time. Each day I have provided an idea of how you can show you thankfulness and love through quality time).

November 15th: Show your thankfulness and love by going for a walk together!

November 16th: Show your thankfulness and love by playing a board game together!

November 17th: Show your thankfulness and love by making your husband breakfast in bed!

November 18th: Show your thankfulness and love by playing his favorite game with him!

November 19th: Show your thankfulness and love by reading a book together!

November 20th: Show your thankfulness and love by taking him on a surprise coffee date!

November 21st:  Show your thankfulness and love by watching a sports game with him!

Ladies, prayerfully seek the Lord if there is any specific way your husband likes or loves quality time! Remember this is all about giving your husband undivided attention. While you are showing him your thankfulness and love through quality time, remember to add some words of affirmation while you are loving on him. I will be praying with you and for all of you as we show our love through quality time this week.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-39

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Thankfulness November: Week Two

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Week Two of Thankfulness using “Physical Touch”
(There are many different ways you can express your thankfulness and love through physical touch! Have fun thinking of ways your husband likes or loves to be touched. Each day I have provided an idea of how you can show love through physical touch).

November 8th: Show your thankfulness and love by giving your husband a back massage!

November 9th: Show your thankfulness and love by holding your husband’s hand!

November 10th: Show your thankfulness and love by giving your husband a hug!

November 11th: Show your thankfulness and love by giving your husband a physical intimacy!

November 12th: Show your thankfulness and love by giving your husband a head scratch and face massage!

November 13th: Show your thankfulness and love by giving your husband a foot massage!

November 14th:  Show your thankfulness and love by giving your husband a full body massage! Maybe with a happy ending! (Here are some tips for giving a blow job).

Ladies, prayerfully seek the Lord if there is any specific way your husband likes or loves to be touched! While you are showing him your thankfulness and love through physical touch, maybe add some words of affirmation while you are loving on him. I will be praying with you and for all of you as we show our love through physical touch this week.

“The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” – 1 Corinthians 7:4

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Thankfulness November!

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November has arrived, its raining today and holiday season is upon us! I absolutely love the holidays! Coming originally from South Africa, my family and I never naturally celebrated the Thanksgiving Holiday, but throughout the years of living in the United States I have been blessed to share in the special day and month with my closest friends and in-laws. One of my favorite traditions that we started is that on Thanksgiving Day when everyone gets together for the big family meal, we each write something that we are thankful for from the year on a paper leaf. We then display them on the Thankful Tree for everyone to see during that day! I feel one of the most important things we as believers must do daily is Thank our Heavenly Father! We will all go through different seasons in our lives, but continually Thanking the Lord for his Goodness is the right place for our hearts to be. This year I wanted to start a new tradition for myself and anyone who wants to join me on this journey. I personally want to spend the month of November showing my husband through The 5 Love Languages how thankful I am for him. It is very easy for us to forget to show our thankfulness and appreciation, so I wanted to dedicate this month up until Thanksgiving to say thank you. If you want to join me I will be breaking up some ideas for you per week through out the month. I am praying you will join me on this journey and prayerfully seeking the Lord for direction on how to best show your husband thankfulness and love.

Week One of Thankfulness using “Words of Affirmation”
(You can express these in many different ways! Here are some different ideas: Sticky Notes, Message on Bathroom Mirror, Text, Calling, Message on a Picture Frame…Have fun with it!)

November 1st: Thank your husband for all of his hard work!

November 2nd: Thank your husband for his character!

November 3rd: Thank your husband for his love!

November 4th: Thank your husband for kind words!

November 5th: Thank your husband for the time he spends with the kids/family!

November 6th: Thank your husband for something he helps out with around the house!

November 7th:  Thank your husband for a gift he has given you!

Ladies, prayerfully seek the Lord if there is anything specific that your husband needs to hear. I will be praying with you and for all of you as we show our love through words of affirmation this month.

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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Selfless Expectations!

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Merriam-Websters Dictionary defines…

Selfless : having or showing great concern for other people and little or no concern for yourself

Expectation : a belief that something will happen or is likely to happen

We all have expectations when it comes to relationships, they will all vary from person to person, but expectations are there. The problem is that we allow our expectations, especially in regards to sex in our marriage to create wedges and cause arguments. This reminds me of one very popular analogy that women are like slow cookers and men are like microwaves when it comes to sex. The idea that the majority of the time women need to be slowly warmed up and men are ready within minutes or seconds. Now I fully agree that in regards to how we were made this analogy is right on target, which we will talk more in-depth about another day. Today I want to focus on the Selfless Expectations we have and how they apply to intimacy and sex in our daily lives.

Have you ever done something for your spouse and expected sex in return? It can be as simple as giving them a massage at night, cleaning the kitchen, buying a gift or showering them with words of encouragement. We need to be careful what we might call selfless acts that truly have  hidden expectations of intimacy behind them. This is not healthy for anyone, let alone any marriage. In my eyes it can almost be called manipulation, that might a bit extreme, but when it comes to intimacy and sex this should not be something that is taken lightly. We need to be truthful when it comes to communicating about sex! If you want sex, express how you are feeling(remember just because you express it, does not mean you will have sex every time, but expressing it is healthy). We can not read each others minds and communicating healthily with each other will only benefit your marriage.

The truth is Christ has called us to love, because He loved! To love selflessly means to love with no expectations and to expect nothing in return, but to love that person because you love them!

So let me ask you…
Is that how you love your spouse?

When was the last time you made out with them without expecting the end result to be sex?
What was the last selfless act you did for your spouse?

We can easily turn our actions into manipulation, we might not want to see that, but it is true and I want to challenge you to check yourself and your heart to see if your actions are true? We are not perfect and I think it is only healthy to evaluate our hearts and our motives sometimes, because we might not even recognize that we are doing it. Our selfless love, whether through acts of service, words of affirmation, touch, time, or gift giving need to be done with nothing other than selfless love!  

When we choose to love selflessly with no expectations we change and our spouse changes! Try it out tonight! Love them selflessly!

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” – Colossians 3:14

 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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Freedom & Fireworks

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I am thrilled to be able to have my hubby home this year for the 4th of July! It is the first time that he has had the holiday off in over 6 years! I have been so excited I have not been able to stop thinking about all of the fun things we can do to celebrate the spectacular holiday. The 4th of July is one of the biggest and most important holidays celebrated in the USA, after all it is Americas Independence Day. We celebrate the Freedom of the country through fun, family filled celebration and Fireworks! Roughly $600 million are spent every year on the magnificent fireworks display, it is quite something to see. The more excited I got at the thought of having my hubby home, the more I thought about those two words that are so dear to the 4th of July…Freedom and Fireworks and how they fit so beautifully in marriage! 

Freedom in Marriage!

Is Freedom a word that comes to your mind when you think of marriage? You might say that freedom is a strange word to be attached to marriage. Usually it is the opposite right? When people talk about marriage a lot of the time it has a negative connotation with phrases and words such as, “ball and chain”, “boring” and “duty”!
Here are three reasons why and where I see “Freedom” in Marriage: 

1. Freedom to Love Each Other as ONE! 
“And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” – Mark 10:8
When you get married you become one flesh with your husband. This is one of the most precious days of your life, husband and wife come together as one. As one you are able to freely express, experience and share greater intimacy with each other. This part of marriage is only shared between you and your husband and should be celebrated, explored, sought after and treasured! Sexual intimacy is vitally important in marriage and having the freedom to express and communicate that towards your husband is something that should be celebrated and enjoyed every day!
2. Freedom to Love Your Spouse Greater than Yourself!
Marriage brings two imperfect people together and allows for the opportunity to work on loving the other greater than themselves. You have to put your own selfishness aside and put the other person first. The marriage relationship should be selfless on both sides. Think of the dance the Tango, it takes two people, but you create one fluid movement. It might take hard work, sacrifice, some humble pie, laughter and maybe some pain, but it creates something beautiful through hard work and time. There is freedom and beauty in loving your spouse greater than yourself! 
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above ourselves.” – Philippians 2:3
3. Freedom for Greater Intimacy! 
Marriage allows for greater emotional intimacy with your husband. As you go through life together the decisions and prayers become of greater value. Intimacy takes hard work from both people and it is a daily choice.

Fireworks in Marriage!

The common phrase…”keeping the fire alive” or “keeping the spark alive” is often used when referring to marriage and sexual intimacy. This is often one of the first things to be neglected in a marriage and I believe so vitally important for both yourself and your husband. When you go watch the fireworks show, do you want to see something that is fizzling out? God designed sex between a husband and a wife to be Sizzling, Spectacular, Beautiful, Awe Inspiring and Treasured!  
Here are three reasons why and where I see “Fireworks” in Marriage:

1. Fireworks Need Communication
Ok, silly example. but it rings true…Just as the men and women spend time planning and communicating about the fireworks set up, order and display; so should the communication between you and your husband remain constant, vibrant and true. Most of us dreamed of the idea of marrying our best friend, right? Why does that change for so many? Your husband knows you better than anyone else and vis versa, but this also takes work. Daily you need to choose to communicate, open your heart, truly listen, be honest and loving to your husband. Keep the Fireworks alive by keeping the communication alive! 
Gentlemen, a little tip for you… The biggest turn on for a woman is her mind! Talk to her through out the day. Never stop showering your wife with loving compliments and gratitude! My dove in the clefts of the rock,in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face,let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet,and your face is lovely.Catch for us the foxes,the little foxes that ruin the vineyards,our vineyards that are in bloom.” – Song of Solomon 2:14-15
2. Fireworks on Dates
Timing is not always everything and we are not always going to want to get dressed up, make the effort to leave the house or even just choosing to have a date night at home. “Date Nights” are important for your marriage! Going on consistent “Date Nights” with your husband keeps the fireworks alive and sparkling. It really isn’t about what you are doing together, but that you are choosing to make each other a priority alone together with no other distractions. The fun things just help to bring the laughter, communication and spark between the two of you. There will always be an excuse, please please I implore you, make time to have “Date Nights” together. “You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes,with one jewel of your necklace.How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!” – Song of Solomon 4:9-10
3. Fireworks in the Bedroom
Sex is vitally important to the health of your marriage and should not be neglected in your marriage. Sexual intimacy connects you and your husband in a way that nothing else will. No, it is not just for your husband! Sex connects you to him and emotionally effects you. Keep the fireworks spectacular and exciting in your marriage! Be adventurous! Always Communicate and Pray Together! Remember this again is a choice! Choose to make this a priority in your marriage! “Your breasts are like two fawns,like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense.You are altogether beautiful, my darling;there is no flaw in you.” – Song of Solomon 4:5-7

See Freedom and Fireworks in your marriage might come easily and naturally in the beginning, but it will continue too and always take effort and hard work for both yourself and your husband! When you choose to find Freedom and Fireworks together it will be Spectacular, Treasured, Beautiful and worth Celebrating every day! 

Hope you all have a fantastic 4th of July! 

Lots of Love, 

Catherine 

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Thirty Minutes Can Change Your Marriage

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Everyone gives and receives love differently and one of those ways is through Quality Time. Whether or not you receive love this way, quality time with your husband should be a priority in your marriage. There are so many distractions that surround us that it is so very easy to put our husband on the back burner. Not intentionally, but the majority of the time we choose the distractions over our husband and this week I want to encourage you to take a step to change this in your marriage.

Start by choosing at least one day a week to sit down when the house is peaceful and calm. Spend at least thirty minutes talking and listening to each other. Taking this time to connect without the TV on, reading a book/magazine, checking Facebook or the internet allows for both of you to feel more connected to each other and get on the same page. Here are some key points to remember:

Eye contact makes the other person feel heard and loved.

Share a high and a low from your day or week.

Truly listen! Ladies, do not interrupt and gentlemen do not try to fix anything, just listen!

Finish by praying together! Cover your marriage in Jesus name!

Ladies, the enemy does not want marriages to survive and he definitely does not want them to be healthy and flourishing.  An integral part of that is keeping the doors of communication open and healthy between you and your husband. So this week, wait to pick up that book or turn on that TV show, the dishes or that email can wait, sit down together, rub each others feet and connect with each other.

Praying for you!

Blessings,

Catherine

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Family Date: Movie in the Park!

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Summer is right around the corner as schools are getting out for break and the weather is getting warmer every day. I think a wonderful, free and fun family date night is going to a movie in the park! Did you know that a lot of cities and towns try to put together events for families and date nights? Fun, free and exciting concerts, movies and entertainment are planned for the summer months in a lot of local parks and town centers! The movie nights are my favorite!

The movies usually start a little bit later in the evening, so they may be difficult for younger kids to stay up that late, but its worth a try! Take a blanket or two, some snacks or lawn chairs and cozy up for a fun evening under the stars watching a fun family movie!

Here is my family challenge for you this summer…
Choose at least one summer event a month to go to with your family!

Enjoy your family and make them a priority!

If you live in the Orange County Area of California, I have provided a wonderful link for you to find these Free and Fun Summer Events! Have a great time with your family!

Orange County Summer Events
Have a Lovely Weekend!

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13:7

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