Lifemates

The following is part of a research article in ‘Emerging Minds’ on the effects of drought on families, but it can equally apply to families affected by other disasters like fires.
“There can be great variability in the impact of drought on relationships. Families may be the first line of defence against the hardship of drought, but can also be the site that takes the force of the blow. Despite this, numerous Australian reports of stronger friendships, marriages, and ties to community have emerged from families in drought, showing that it is also a time when friends, families, and communities cope as a collective.”
Spending that time in building a strong marriage with open communication between all family members is very important. Other friendships that strengthen your marriage are also important.

Grief

Although grief is unique to each individual, there are similarities in our journey. William Worden’s grief model describes four stages. These are:
Firstly accepting that a loss has taken place.
Secondly, we have to work through a myriad of emotions. These can include shock, numbness, anger, sadness, feeling overwhelmed, guilt, depression, hopelessness, confusion, loneliness and so much more.
Thirdly, we have to adjust to a new lifestyle without the thing or person we have lost. ….so don’t be afraid to ask for help from those who are there for you. Fourthly, being able to move on in life with a new ‘normal’.
What is the desired result from our grief journeys? To come through with a sweet (not bitter) spirit, with much experience under our emotional belt, with wisdom to impart to others, with a strengthened character and the ability to create a new ‘normal’ which brings us hope for the future. Grief is one of the toughest journeys in life….but look around you, there are multitudes of heroes who have survived their own nightmare journeys and come through well. You can too. ~ Pastor Anne Iuliano

Tips

“Marriage should be a refuge from real life, in which you love and encourage your spouse, not hassle them.” ~ Krista, Wichita, KS
The main point isn’t what the house looks like physically. It’s what’s happening on the inside. If love and kindness isn’t lived within it, it isn’t a healthy one. ~ Cindy and Steve Wright
‘What kinds of things did you do for fun? Spend some time reminiscing and enjoying the memories, then pick out your top three activities. Spend the next few weekends recreating them as closely as possible.’ ~ Dr Lewandowski

Thought

By Ronnie Koenig
This past fall, my husband gave me something that would have even longer lasting positive effects on our relationship than a dozen long-stemmed red roses. In fact, our bedroom makeover was one of the most loving, thoughtful things he’s done not just for me, but for us as a couple.
“The bedroom is a place where the most vulnerable moments in a relationship happen — you get naked, both physically and emotionally. So, it’s important that it remain a safe space,” conscious relationship coach Danielle Robin told me. “If the bedroom feels cluttered or cold, so can all the interactions that take place inside of it.”
We started with a color change.
We both agreed that we wanted to lighten up the room. And even though he had never heard the term “accent wall” before, hubs was game to go all-in with the royal navy blue color I had my eye on for the wall behind our bed.
I knew that painting the bedroom would make the room more cheerful. What I did not expect when I stood in the store looking at paint chips was that it could also change our relationship for the better.
“I can’t recommend enough creating a technology-free bedroom,” Robin said. “One option is to agree to no laptops or cell phones in the bedroom while you sleep. The more advanced version of this is to make the bedroom laptop and cell phone-free at all times!”
I also tried to remember that compromise was an important part of the design process.
Robin reminded me that just like relationships, the bedroom should remain a work-in-progress.
The big win was that we created a space that makes us feel calm and happy — and that we want to spend time in together.

Thought for parents

School may done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblence to anything in real life. ~ Bill Gates

Facing Problems Together

‘Did you know that facing those problems together builds intimacy in your marriage? As crazy as that sounds it’s true. Let me take it out of the context of marriage for a moment. Soldiers who go to war together form extremely strong lifelong friendships. Even if they have nothing else in common, coming from different socio-economic, ethnic and cultural groups, they share the problem they’ve faced together. From then on, they’re friends for life.
That’s a key word, “together.” When we face problems together, it brings us closer together. We won’t see that in the midst of the problem, but we will see it afterwards. The simple fact that we’ve faced the giant together and defeated it together draws us closer.
When they come, face them together, holding each other up. That simple act will strengthen your marriage, bringing you closer together.’ ~ Maranatha Life International

Parenting

Parenting is only a temporary job. That should drive the way we do things. Only eighteen years in which to bring up our children in the way they should go. Days just fly past, and before you know it your parenting days are done. So how are you doing as a parent. How does/do your child/ children see you. What do they want from you.
Do you listen to them, share their excitements, their concerns their dreams.
Do you help them enjoy their childhood, or is it your idea of a childhood you press them into.
Do they really need that extra activity or is it more of you they need – your attention, that playful romp, hugs and correction.
The investment you make in their childhood will flow on to future generations. ~ Unknown

Laughter

The little boy opened the big, old family Bible with fascination and looked at the old pages as he turned them. Suddenly something fell out of the Bible. He picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf that had been pressed between the pages. “Momma, look what I found.” the boy called out.
“What have you got there dear?” his mother asked.
With astonishment in the young boy’s voice, he answered: “I think it’s Adam’s suit!”

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