Will Your Marriage Last?

Marriage1If there’s one thing I know about, it is marriage. If there’s one thing I am passionate about, it is marriage. If there is one thing I would give each person in the world, it would be a happy and successful marriage that lasts forever.

What does that look like? It is two people who still light up when they see the other person.

It is two magnets attracted to each other years after that first attraction.

It is going through things and talking through things and knowing that you are going to talk through things and go through things.

It is not using the d-i-v-o-r-c-e word because you know that is not a path you want to consider ever.

It is knowing that love is a choice and love is more than a choice. Love is. Love is a gift given from God and given to each other.

It is knowing that you will be there for each other.

It is being patient while adjustments are made. It is giving grace when adjustments are not made.

Marriage is two people hand in hand walking life’s road together. It is two people that are unselfish at least part of the time, and realize that the more unselfish they are, the happier they are.

Marriage is a covenant and a commitment made before God to join lives and become one as God intended. Marriage is an earth picture of what God intends for Jesus, His Son and His body, the church.

Marriage involves leadership and submission, giving and sharing and being better because you are together.

And when you are at this point that I am today, marriage is the adventure of how we can make it even better. It is about how I can be kinder, and more patient, and make and take time to do his favorite things like rubbing his feet and watching science fiction movies. It is about discovering if I can listen more, and talk less, and it is about finding things to make him laugh every day. It is about finding out who he is again and what he is thinking about today. It is about exploring ways I can give more and care more, encourage more, and pray more. And so the adventure never ends.

Will your marriage last? Only you can say. Please share your thoughts on marriage with us in the comments, and let the adventure begin!

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Additional Reading:

Marriage Isn’t For You

Can We Get Together, Tuesday?

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Five Minute Friday Topic: Visit

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker’s blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
3. Comment on the person who linked up before you. (Very important, must do!) Please join us!

When the word for this week’s Five Minute Friday was unveiled as “visit,” my first thought was of a visit from the Lord. True, He lives in us and is with us all of the time, but there are times when there is a tangible sense of His Presence, we might refer to as a Visitation from the Lord. Many of my friends and family members, as well as I, hold the possibility of such Visitation as the greatest desire of our heart. Nothing is more humbling and life-changing than time spent in the Presence of the Lord. This is true whether it be mere moments, hours, or days. Let it not be said that He visited and we were too busy doing other things to realize it. Increasing expectation for His Visits is my goal.

“Visit” is also one of my A to Z goals for the year. Paying someone a visit at their home is almost a lost art here in America. I am an avid reader of Christian fiction, and I often notice all of the visiting that goes on there. We just don’t seem to do that in real life. The last time I invited someone over to our house, and I am woefully ashamed to admit it, was for Jay’s birthday in July. It was so wonderful to have dear friends over, but we haven’t done it again and it has been six months.

As I set my goal for the year to “visit,” I had in mind a particular lady that I admire. I have a goal to invite her to lunch early in the year, and Larry and I have set a goal to have a meal with another couple that we love. Why is this so difficult? I do not have the answers, yet although I suspect it has to do with time, energy, and motivation. Time slips away so quickly and our intentions to “visit” could pass just as quickly into another year. We miss so much, so many opportunities, to deepen relationships when we do not make time to visit. Are we being robbed of the Jesus in others, and are we missing opportunities to let Him visit others through us. We need to come together and get with others as often as possible. It may be uncomfortable, and in may be inconvenient, but it will no doubt be invaluable in becoming the person God wants us to be.

When was the last time you invited someone to your home, or were invited to another home? Please share in the comments. Happy visiting!

Today’s Verse:   Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6 NIV

Try This: 1. Meditate on how you would prepare for a Visit from the Lord. Get ready.

2. Call someone, plan a visit.

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A Conversation with God

Presence4There is nothing in the world more precious than your Presence. Let’s say that I am in your Presence right now. I am aware that You are here on the sofa with me. You are willing to listen and talk about anything I want. Just being with You brings me peace and joy. I feel calmer now. I can see the love in Your eyes. I can sense the wisdom that You have. You are totally unruffled. I just sense that You are not the least bit concerned about any of the things we are, though you patiently listen and smile. They just aren’t that important in the scheme of things. I am looking into Your eyes and knowing suddenly that none of this matters. You have much bigger plans and ideas. You can see it all fitting together.Presence3

Would You be able to impart that wisdom to me? Can You impart that sense of knowing that everything is okay? Do I have some power to affect things for the better here? If I could, I would put love in the hearts of everyone I know. I would give peace to everyone I know. I would provide the finances that each one needs and some more for fun, but wisdom would come with it. Confidence love, joy, and peace would be the norm. Could we make this world better?  Can You give me a vision of what you want to happen? Can I do something today to help bring it to pass? What do You have in mind for tomorrow if it all went Your way? Just let me know what You want me to do, and then if You will help me, I will do it! Let’s go!Presence5

Footprint of a Friend

On Wednesday night of last week a most incredible thing happened to me. I received an award that was totally unexpected. Very few things in life catch me off guard. I am the last person you could plan a surprise party for because I pick up on tiny little clues. I read body language. I catch nuances of expressions. I “overhear” things.  I would do better at surprising myself because sometimes I never know what I am going to do from moment to moment. I don’t think you could surprise me, but you are welcome to try.

AwardsBut tonight I was at an awards banquet for my company. It was an incredible meal, maybe the best we have had as a collective group of employees. I was sitting with some of my favorite people. It had been a pleasant day off and everything was perfect. Along with several other coworkers, I appreciated receiving recognition for outstanding performance last year. There were door prizes, speeches, and a slideshow.

It was nearing the end of the evening when they let us know that they were giving a special award. I had no time to ponder who would receive such an award. This award was to honor one of our supervisors who had recently passed away in a sudden bout with cancer. He was gone within 30 days of the diagnosis, and we were all devastated at the news. I have written about my friend, Maury here. It was said well that “he lived a life that mattered.” This tribute written by my friend and coworker, James Cole, says it best:

“Though I knew Maury as a coworker and member of management, I think it was my greatest privilege to call him friend.  Earnest in all endeavors, concise in thought, yet gentle in spirit.  Above all Maury was genuine. He believed every word of every ‘morning meeting pep talk’ that he gave.  They say that your legacy is your life’s footprint, and Maury touched so many lives that his life’s footprint won’t soon be erased.  One of my favorite sayings is ‘Friends are the family you choose.’  I’m glad he chose me. He was a natural leader, and a better friend.”

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All of us who knew him had been affected by his life in a positive way. When I was announced as the first recipient of the Maury Smeyne award, I received the greatest treasure, I have yet been given or could ever imagine being given. It was such an honor and a mandate to touch lives in some way as Maury had. I will be praying and meditating on a daily basis on how I can be more positive, encouraging, and uplifting to my fellow workers and others that I share the world with.

God is such a big God, and I know he needs all of us to spread His love, His joy, and His faith as Maury did to everyone we can every day. I am so thankful if, in some small way, I have touched a few so far. I am wide open for God to pour love and encouragement through me. I want to reach out to the world in a greater way than ever for God, and for Maury.

Please feel free to list your prayer requests in the comments or tell us  in what areas you would like to be encouraged today. The “Dare to Be Happy” crowd will be happy to pray and encourage you.SharySignature

Five Minute Friday: Encouragement

Click the button below to go to the Five Minute Friday instructions for joining. It’s so much fun to be given a topic to write on for five minutes each week ( I rarely get Friday’s topic written on Friday), then we link up over at Lisa Jo’s site and read as many as we can, leaving comments and making friends! Come join us. The topic for this week was a real surprise, and surprisingly a challenge. Enjoy!
Five Minute Fridayencourage2So she wants me to write on encouragement, and I’m at a loss for words? Oh no, it has happened again the plumber needs his drains cleaned, the roofer needs his shingles replaced, and the encourager needs encouragement. Yes, I fancy myself an encourager. I feel like I’m repeating myself on my blog so often: “Think about what you want, be grateful, smile, lift up others, trust God, meditate scripture. You can do it!” Blah, blah, blah!

But it’s true, and you and I both know it, but sometimes I hear that little voice, “You are not going to be able to do this, what if this happens or that happens or nothing happens.” I need to be encouraged, too. Then again, there’s another of my favorite sayings, “Give what you need.” And we keep encouraging others, I keep leaving comments on blogs I read, taking time to lift up others, and help them see the best of themselves! You can do it, and you will do it. You are not alone. God is with you. God is helping you. You are someone very special to the Lord. What would you do, if you knew you could not fail? There are so many life-filled encouraging scriptures. Just take one today. I will, if you will. Let’s say it out loud or in our mind 100, 200, maybe 300 times today. I know it will make a difference. We will build ourselves up in the Lord. I know we will. What scripture will you take today? Mine is, “All things are possible to him who believes!” Mark 9:23 Have a great day!

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Believe

 believe

 

All you have to do is Believe.

 It doesn’t matter how God does it or

when He does it.

All you have to do is see it done.

Call it done. See it done and rest in it.

Don’t struggle.

believe4It doesn’t even matter how things look right now.

All you have to do is believe.

Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

Just Believe!

5 Ways to Get Out of the Doldrums

pathwayWe can control our feelings by the thoughts we think. Sounds great! Sounds easy! The fact is:  it is very difficult to change our thinking once it has started down a negative pathway. Here are  5 ways to get out of the doldrums and get onto the path that moves you toward your dreams.

1. Allow a positive thought to float through your mind. Just think, “There is hope. Things will get better.”

2. Say a prayer. Ask God to help you. Ask him specifically for what you want.

3. Allow a picture to form of something positive you want in your life.

pathway34.  Give thanks. Look around you and list some things you are thankful for. Even ordinary things like kittens or daisies.

5. Pray for others who may have much worse problems than you do. I think you will find that you are feeling better, and things will look completely different for you.

Do these things over again and  you will spiral upward until you are once again on top, seeing clearly the way things really are. You will once again be able to evaluate things from God’s perspective.

Today’s Verse: Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 16:11

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A Note to the Reader

Dear Readers, (I’ll call you Milly, Sam, Jim, and Cecelia) and Hello Norway, Philippines, Turkey, Germany, Canada, and Australia! So glad you dropped by!

My statistics for this site show that over the last year my 62 articles have been read over 3000 times by people representing 64 countries. There is really no way to tell how many different people have become new friends of mine this year, but I can tell you that I am thankful for every one of you. I am hoping that at least one sentence gave you something to think about, or at least something made you smile.

dare to be happy1If you have kept up with what I’m doing here on “Dare to Be Happy, ” you know that I have a passion for encouraging people. I will remind you that:

1. God has great and wonderful plans for you.

2. You can access His best for your life by thinking about what you want. He guides you in the desires of our hearts.

3.  You are a unique individual with treasures inside of you. No one else can do what you can do.

4.  You attract what you think about. This is the essence of faith, and faith pleases God.

As you know, I firmly believe that a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, is the way to have a happy and successful life. The happiness and success we seek pleases Him because it is actually His desire for us. He is the One who places these desires in our heart, and He is the One who partners with us. He is the One who provides all of the resources, the training and the motivation to accomplish our dreams if we trust Him. He is the One who makes what we do meaningful and gives purpose to our lives.

Milly, Sam, Jim, Clarissa, and all of you from countries around the world, you are amazing creations that God gave as gifts to the world, each with your unique gifts and talents. I would love to know you, and learn what treasures He has placed within you. Sometimes, you have one sentence or one word, or that pleasant smile to share that changes a person’s life. I might meet you on the street or in a shop tomorrow, and you might smile and say, “hello” and it could bring me closer to God. Think of this as you meet people tomorrow. I’ll be looking for you. Have a great day, and come back by “Dare to Be Happy” to see what we’re talking about next. Blessings to you, my friends!SharySignature

Up for a Fight

“It’s Five Minute Friday where I join Lisa-Jo Baker and the #FMFParty girls to write flat out for five minutes. No editing, no polishing, and then link up together. Come join the fun!” This week’s topic is “Fight.” This is only my second time connecting with this crowd, so yes, I edited some and polished some, trying to make a good impression. Don’t worry, I’ll get over it. Great topic, and I love reading what others wrote about the subject so here goes for my Five Minute Friday friends. I missed you in December. I hope your holidays were amazing.

As I think about the new year and I think about “fight,” I have to say that I am ready for a fight. I fully expect this to be the greatest year we have ever had so far, yet I do not expect a “walk in the park,” though I will surely take one or two. And I don’t expect a bed of roses, though I fully anticipate a vase or two of long-stem red roses to grace my dining room table on occasion. I am up for a fight, but it is a fight that has already been won. About a week before Christmas, I was in the kitchen and the Spirit of the Lord came upon me. As I prayed, I spoke to the enemy saying, “No, you can not mess with my family. We will walk in victory, health, and prosperity, peace and joy in the coming year.” I was reminded that the authority has been given to us, and we can declare the works of the Lord in 2014. Jesus has already won the fight, and we walk in victory.

risk3As we were praying tonight, I could see, in my imagination,the game of Risk that I had played with Rocky, Nick, and Jay over the Christmas holidays. I saw each territory as ground that the Lord wants us to take. He reenforces our armies every day, and we can confront any area with faith. We can win and take ground every day. Victory is ours, saith the Lord of hosts.

Risk1Today’s Verse: When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. And he shall say to them, “Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” Deuteronomy 20:1-4

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“My Word for the Year” by the Ranger Dog

Hi! I’m Ranger!

Ranger1My GrandMom, Sharon, asked me to fill in for her tonight. She’s read a couple of blogs by “animals” lately so she had this bright idea. I thought it was kind of silly. What human really wants to hear what a dog has to say, especially a Brittany Spaniel like myself?

I’m sure it’s not that they don’t care what we think, it’s just that they don’t really believe we do think. Humans would really be surprised if they only knew what we think about. I’m going to go ahead and use this opportunity to tell you a little bit about what I think, and then give you my word for the year which is what GrandMom asked me to do.

First, in case you don’t know anything about my breed, here’s an excerpt from an article about Brittany Spaniels:

The Brittany is intelligent and easy to handle. It is a loving and gentle animal; obedient and always eager to please. Happy and alert, this vigorous breed is a very active and enthusiastic hunter. Affectionate, yet independent; it is a free-thinker. Good-natured and easy to care for.

Ranger3You can clearly see that I am intelligent enough to handle writing this article, and you get the idea of how loving, gentle, and obedient I am. No wonder I am so loved by DadNick and MomTaylor. I think about this a lot.  I think about where is DadNick and MomTaylor when they are not here. I think about why “E” is so little, and why she sneaks up on me and grabs my hair. I think about how life changed since she came to the house. I’m not sure where they got her. It sure wasn’t the place they got me. She looks a lot different than my other brothers and sisters.

Ranger2Life is good here with DadNick and MomTaylor. I know they love me. They take great care of me and little “E” is so cute. I think about her a lot. I have to really watch out for her. You never know what she’s going to do.  I think about that a lot, but mostly I think about chasing things. I’ll chase about anything. I chase butterflies, balls, not cars. Mostly balls.

Ranger4This all brings me to my word for the year. It is “energy.” I have a lot of energy. I know it looks like I relax a lot. I can be calm. I can put my head on DadNick and MomTaylor’s lap and rest quite peacefully, but most of all I want to go out and run and run and run and use up some of my energy.

I chose that word because I want to have energy. Without energy, I would just lie around and never accomplish anything. I would pretty much be good-for-nothing, and I don’t want anyone saying that about me. I want to use my energy and catch as many balls as I can. I want to jump up and lick as many people and things as I can. I want to have a life full of jumping, licking, and chasing. I want the same thing for you, and that is what GrandMom wanted me to tell you.

So now you know a little bit about me and how I think. You know I’m smart, obedient, happy and healthy, and I have a great family! And you know my word for the year is “energy.”

Here’s the message:

Relax, love your family, be kind to babies and all animals and chase your dream with energy.

That’s right go after it, just like I go after my dream, a ball. When DadNick throws it, I run and run till I get it, and then I bring it back to him. I think humans are supposed to go after the dream they have in their hearts, and then bring it back to God because that is exactly what He wants them to do. I know you didn’t expect me to get all philosophical on you, but when you have all this time to think and no one is thinking you’re thinking, you can really get philosophical.

Now it’s your turn to think about what I said, and go out and chase your dream.  GrandMom is collecting comments here, so let us know what your word is for the year or what your dream for your life is. Or just say hello, and maybe she’ll let me come back again.

Uh, am I supposed to put a scripture verse here? Okay, just a minute, let me think. Here’s one:

Today’s Verse: Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastics 9:10

Do this: Remember my word “Energy.” Use it to chase your dream.Ranger

Yours truly,

Ranger