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

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · Passion8Freedom

 

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 

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · Passion8Freedom

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

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · Passion8Freedom

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

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · Passion8Freedom

5 Ways to Restore & Rejuvenate Your Mind, Body, Heart and Soul

5 ways to restore and rejuvenate

When was the last time you rested and were still before the Lord? Last night my best friend reminded me of the importance of resting in God’s peace and love. It becomes very easy at times to get down on myself for not accomplishing more during my busy days. Lately life has felt non-stop and the honest truth is as life goes by, I know it is only going to get busier. The “to-do lists” will continue to add up and the perfectionist within me will always want to do them all to the best of my ability, knowing that it is not possible to do “everything“.  I need to choose the better over the good! Choosing the Better over the Good is not easy, but it is important, especially looking at it in a daily perspective.

As Mothers, Wives and Women of God we are being pulled in a many different directions. Everyone’s direction is going to look different, but as I was so wonderfully reminded last night, we need to take the time to restore our mind, body, heart and soul. Ladies, if we do not take time out of the day or week for ourselves we will not have anything to give to those of importance in our lives. Our husbands, children, family, friends and work are being impacted by our “to-lists”.

Taking time to rejuvenate your mind, body, heart and soul allows you to give more to those you love and to what you do every day.

Here are 5 Ways I Believe Can Restore and Rejuvenate Your Mind, Body, Heart and Soul: 

#1 – Reading the Word of God & Journaling
– Take 10 minutes in the morning to read the Word of God! Starting out our day in the truth is a beautiful covering of love and protection. If we keep our mind and heart on the Lord and His truth, we will be less likely affected by the little distractions and interferences during the day. (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young is a powerful devotional that I highly recommend).
– Spend another 5 minutes and write down two things that you are thankful for! Starting your day in thanks will change your heart and attitude towards the rest of your day and your attitude towards others. Give thanks to God for anything from the cup of coffee in front of you or the beautiful sunrise you witnessed through your kitchen window. Bending our hearts in praise and thanks changes our perspective for the day.

#2 – Time of Worship
– One of the first things I do in the morning is turn on worship music. I love filling my house with words of praise, worship and thanks to God. Whether you are making food in the kitchen, driving the kids to school, running errands, working at your desk, turn on some worship music and allow your heart to surrender to the greatness of our God!
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” – Psalm 95:6

#3 – Be Still, Listen & Take Deep Breaths
– “He says, Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10
We are constantly connected with technology, distracted and reminded that there is always something to be done. Stop, Take a Deep Breath and Be Still before the Lord! Close your eyes and just for a minute be silent. We need to take these minutes out of the day, they will clear our mind and help us reevaluate where we are, what we are doing and what needs to be done.

#4 – Get Out of the House By Yourself Once a Week
– Ladies, this might not be the easiest thing to do, especially with a family, work and everything that needs to be done at home, but I can not stress the importance of trying to find that  30-60 minutes of alone time for yourself(If you can get away for more, that is wonderful, do it!). When you get out of the house it is to be a time just for yourself! That means… no errands or work, this is time for you to be filled up! Go for a massage, a walk alone or with a friend, to a movie, to a coffee shop and read a book, or to exercise! Whatever it is that fills you up and makes you feel rejuvenated I encourage you try to get out of the house once a week alone and do it!

#5 – Exercise!
– Exercise is an incredible benefit to our body, mind, heart and soul! Exercise increases your libido, prevents muscle loss, reduces stress, enhances your brain function, reduces anxiety and stress, improves your skin among other things. Whether you go on a walk, run, fun bicycle ride or to the gym get out and exercise! I promise you will feel great afterwards!

I hope you are encouraged and inspired to try some or all of these if you are not already doing them. Ladies, we need to intentionally choose to make time for ourselves so that we can be rejuvenated and restored, which in turn gives us more to pour into those in our lives!

Be Blesses this Week!

Catherine

  Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · Passion8Freedom

 

 

Let’s Look Up!

Our world today is very different from what it was 10, 20, 30 years ago. Entertainment, work, information and media sit at our finger tips on a daily basis. All through the form of a “smart phone” that sits in our grasp. They have changed our world, the way we interact and communicate with others, the way we work and the way we play. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. I am not here to put it down, but I believe we need to find a balance and a very healthy one at that. We are looking down a lot more then looking up and straight ahead these days and our personal connections are getting lost. This is effecting marriages, families, friends and many other areas of our lives.

I will be the first to admit that I struggle with finding the balance sometimes, because everything is at my finger tips on my “smart phone” whenever I want it. I use my phone for work, emails, taking pictures and videos of my kids, notes, listening to music, reading books and playing games.  There are so many great benefits to technology and how it is advancing and aiding us and for that I know we must be grateful. However, today I want to focus just on the “smart phone” alone. See for the majority of us when we leave the house today, we will check our pockets for our keys, purse/wallet, and our phone! It has become one of the essential items we can not leave the house without and if and when we do, we feel lost, disconnected and sometimes useless.

This week I want to encourage you to do more “Let’s Look Up” time! Let’s look up and straight ahead at each other! Lets choose each other over that form of entertainment and work. When you walk into your home, put the phone down, away and on silent and designate time for your husband, your family and friends! Choose to spend time with them and connect with them on a more personal level.

Remember this…

Work emails will still be there tomorrow!

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates can wait!

They can and will leave a message if it is important!

There are plenty of fun games to play as a couple and as a family! (Here are some Pinterest Ideas)

This week sit down with your husband or family and decide what works for you, even if it is just an hour of “Let’s Look Up” time! Make that time count!

 Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · Passion8Freedom

Photo Credit: © Cuptakes

Celebrations!

I hope and pray you have had a wonderful week and Blessed Mothers Day last weekend! Our house has been in full celebration mode, so I took the week off to celebrate with my family. We have been celebrating Mothers Day and two birthdays, one being our sons 3rd Birthday! Time flies way too fast!

Please stay tuned for new exciting Tenacious Tips and Date Ideas coming next week!

Hope you have a lovely rest of the week and weekend!

Blessings,

Catherine

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Proverbs 3:3