It’s the same for prayer…

August 8, 2016

You can’t get much done in life, if you only work on the days you feel good.”  (Jerry West) Today’s little quote was one that I saw some time back on my favorite blog site – Jack’s Winning Words. It got me to thinking not only how true it is, but what a parallel there is to prayer in our lives. There is a similar quote about that – “If you only pray when you’re in trouble…you’re in trouble”.

So maybe that means that you won’t get much out of prayer if you only pray when youman praying need God’s help with something. Perhaps you should make a daily habit of prayer and use most of them to thank God for all that He has done for you already. Occasionally you may have to ask God for help with something; but by then you’ll also have a pretty good appreciation for all that He has already done for you and perhaps a stronger faith that your prayers will be answer this time, too.

I find myself, on occasion, coming to realize that some fortuitous thing that has just helping handshappened in my life is not happenstance, but the hand of God at work in my life. Many times it is something that didn’t happen, but could have, with either damaging or embarrassing consequences. I take a moment for a little prayer to thank Him for saving my bacon once again. There’s a common saying that people often use that “my guardian angel was looking out for me”; well that guardian angel was really the hand of God resting on your shoulder. So say a little prayer of thanks the next time you realize that you just dodged one of life’s little bullets because the hand of God nudged you out of harm’s way.praying

Most of us go to work every day whether we really feel good or not. Get in the habit of taking a little time for prayer every day too, whether you need something or not. Maybe you’ll find that you can start each day feeling good because you got off to a good start with a little prayer.

RESPECT…is that the secret to a good relationship/ marriage?

August 4, 2016

I deal with a good number of home sales that are precipitated by divorces; so, I get to hear about the issues that caused those failed marriages. One such conversation brought up the topic of respect for each other as a key (in that particular case probably THE key) to the success or failure of a relationship or marriage.

Leading up to that conclusion from my discussion partner, I had shared my observations Respect1that marriages, in order to be successful over time, had to be based upon things more substantial than the initial physical attraction that may have led to the marriage in the first place. I hadn’t really put a word to those things before, but respect seems to be an appropriate choice.

Couples who don’t respect each other end up in unbalanced relationships. One partner may come to think of their partner as somehow a junior partner intellectually or in terms of contribution to the marriage, because they don’t respect the thoughts, opinions or feelings of their mate or don’t put much value on the things that they are contributing to the marriage on a daily basis. This type of marriage usually results in one partner dominating the other in ways that eventually become so onerous that the marriage dissolves. It is not that hard to tell Respect3when one partner had no respect for the other; but it is hard to take over time. Marriages involving a so-called “throphy-wife” come to mind. There is often little respect involved in those unions.

So, instead of just tossing off a casual “I love you” from time to time; try saying “I respect you” and then stop to think about what saying that entails. You are saying, I value and respect your opinion on things and want to hear it before we make decisions about things that are important in our lives. You are admitting that the things that you do to make out home what it is and to raise our children are as important, maybe even more so, that the things that I may do at work each day to earn our income. In two-income families you’re really saying that I respect the job you have and the contributions that you make to our livelihood. You are also saying that I recognize and admire the things that you do every day for me and I hope I can do some things for you, too. Self-esteem is how you keep yourself together; respect is how you keep your relationship together. Both are essential to a happy married life.

Respect in the marriage also means that you must understand and appreciate that your partner needs to have their own time, their own interests and their own privacy, when they want it; that they have not given those things up entirely to enter into this relationship with you. You need to respect them as their own person just as you expect that respect for you. It’s not all aboutRespect2 me or even all about us as a couple; it’s really all about mutually respecting the two individuals who have chosen to go through life together. You both have feelings and thoughts and opinions that the other needs to respect, even if they can’t quite understand them. Accept them, respect them and move on together. Also remember that respect in a relationship is a 2-way street – you don’t earn it unless you give it.

So maybe Aretha Franklin had it right in her rendition of the song RESPECT – all you need is a little bit of RESPECT to make things work. Give some thought to the level of respect that you currently have for your life partner and make the effort to examine your own expectations, behavior and efforts in making things in your relationship work. If you can’t say that you respect your partner, perhaps you are in a union that will not work over the long run. If you can honestly say that you respect your partner, then you have a great chance of making the relationship work.

Have a great and respectful relationship!

Celebrating with my soulmate…

August 2, 2016

“True love is finding your soulmate in your best friend.”  (Faye Hall) 

“‘Soulmate’ is an overused term, but a true soul connection is very rare, and very real.” (Hilary Duff)

“A soulmate is someone to whom we feel profoundly connected, as though the communicating and communing that take place between us were not the product of intentional efforts, but rather a divine grace.”

—Thomas Moore

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”  (Emily Bronte)

I open with a bunch of quotes that help explain the depth of my personal joysoulmate3 of celebrating 50 years of marriage to my soulmate this month. Like most our relationship was born in the passionate heat of youthful physical attraction. For some that is all that there is in the relationship and when that cools a bit there is no substance left to hold things together. Others may also know the joy of finding the person that you had such physical passion for also turned out to be a soulmate, in the sense that Thomas Moore was describing.

My wife Carolyn is my best friend and my soulmate. We have been through too much together in 50 years of marriage to relate here; but, whatever we faced, soulmate1we faced together and I always knew that she had my back, just as I tried to have hers. As our relationship deepened and evolved it took on that somewhat weird characteristic in which we could somehow be having the same thoughts at about the same time, whether it was about where to go to eat on a weekend night or maybe what to do in certain life situations. Now, a case could be made that we just came to know each other’s tastes and tendencies so well that we are anticipating each other, but I’d submit that this is a part of being true soulmates – you just somehow know what the other person is thinking.

After 50 years of marriage, we are obviously entering the twilight of our lives and I can think of no one that I would rather watch life’s sunset with that her. Have we made each other mad on occasion? Have we disappointed each other from time to time? Have we ever been annoyed with each other? Sure to all of those; however, we always say “I love old cooupleyou” before we go to bed for the night. We get through life’s trials and tribulations. We go on and we find ways to be happy with what God has given us; instead of being envious or bitter about what we do not have. We have two wonderful children with great soulmates of their own and five fabulous grandchildren. We have a home we love in a super little Village and two great little furry companions to keep us smiling. We have a strong faith and a great church family and a circle of supportive friends. Life is good; but, best of all, we both have our soulmate and nothing could be better than that.

solmate2I sincerely hope that all of you who may read this have the great good fortune that I’ve had in my life and find (or have found) your soulmate. To steal a line from a popular commercial, “It doesn’t get any better than this!” May you find, or continue to be happy with, your soulmate. Like Emily Bronte I can truthfully say – Whatever our souls are made of, hers and mine are the same. I love you Carolyn. You are my best friend and my soulmate.