”Where Did that Come From?”

Have you ever said something then said to yourself, “Where did that come from?”  It may have not been nice, it may have been in anger.  It may have not been considerate.  I hate to say that I have asked myself that question. Especially these last few years.  

For me, I needed to step back and see what was creating the words and thoughts that were being said.  When I feed my mind and heart with negativity, it reflects on what comes out.  There is so much of this in our culture.  I remember hearing a radio talk show host (A Doctor) talk about how our minds are like a recorder.  Everything we put into our minds is permanently there.  Yes, forever.  It may be in our subconscious, but it is always there.  So day after day, we put things in our minds that we shouldn’t.  Is it Covid hopelessness, violence, immorality, or division?   The phrase garbage in- garbage out comes to mind. 

When we read the paper or watch the news, it can get us in a bad mood.  Dan and I took a recent 10-day vacation.  I unplugged for the whole time.  No watching news or reading the paper.  I guess you could say, World War 3 could have started and I wouldn’t have known about it.  (That would be a good thing) But it was so refreshing.  I felt renewed health.  It could have been we were in the mountains, but it was wonderful. 

We can offset the negative by putting in the positive.  Positive shows, music, books, and people.  Take time to unplug yourself and see what that does.  

Reading God’s Word gives us hope!  Something hard to find in our society right now.  

Each day I have to make the decision on what goes in-hopefully a positive reflection on what comes out. 

God’s Word-Proverbs 4:23 NIV

Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do, flows from it.

The Perfect Dancer?

I think how funny it is- how quickly we are to point out the mistakes our dance partner makes.  But we think we look pretty amazing.  

I say this because I was there.  I could see all of the mistakes Dan was making while learning Ballroom dance.  It was easy for me to point them out and sometimes I would make sure he would know about them.  

That all changed when I watched a video recording of myself dancing with Dan.  You see, when we take a dance lesson, we sometimes record ourselves doing a step that was taught to us.  I was watching and said to myself, “ I look terrible.”  I could see all the mistakes I was making.  Right there in front of my eyes.  I gasped.  I thought to myself, just because it is easier to see his mistakes, don’t be critical.  We are both learning.  We will both make mistakes.  A little grace goes a long way. 

Encouragement goes a long way in dancing.  Encouragement goes a long way in your marriage. 

Video-tape yourself.  This will keep you humble.

God’s Word-Matthew 7: 3-5 NIV “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

It is Hard to be Thankful in America…

It is hard to be thankful in America… because we have so much.  We are so fortunate with what we have, we can easily take it for granted.  Most of us Americans live without need.  Covid gave everyone a scare.  What would we do without toilet paper?  Oh my!  Or food in the grocery store?  We all panicked thinking there might be a supply shortage of something we seem to not be able to live without.  

I am thinking of that first Thanksgiving and how the pilgrims did not know where their next meal was coming from.   They did not have a warm cozy house that regulated their heat.  They did not have assurance they would make it through the winter.  They did not have medicine to help with their sickness.  They did not have a recliner to sit in and watch their favorite football team.  They didn’t even have an Insta-pot to help make that first Thanksgiving meal. 

But yet they were thankful for what they had.  They thanked and prayed to the Creator, who they knew would help them make it to the next day.  They were thankful, because they now lived in a country where they had the freedom to worship. 

It is hard to be thankful in America… because we live in a very materialistic country.  Always wanting more.  Not being happy with what you have been blessed with.  I realized how much we Americans are bombarded with commercial ads each day to help us see all those things we are in want of.   I can’t even look up a recipe online without seeing 10 ads.  I realized after watching HGTV, that I was now in need of an Airfryer Toaster Oven.  “Where have you been all my life?”  With us Americans seeing at least 100 commercial ads a day, no wonder we want so much. 

It is hard to be thankful in America… because we want what everyone else has.  We compare ourselves to others.  We saturate ourselves with social media to remind us what we don’t have and how everyone else in the world does.  

It is hard to be thankful in America… because we have lost sight of our Creator.  Who or what are we thankful to?  Amazon?  Walmart?  Our local grocery store?  

It is only because of our Creator, our God in Heaven, and His given Son, that we live the next day.  He is in charge of the Heavens and the Earth. He gives us everything we need!!!

For that…  I am very thankful.

God’s Word-Psalm 107:21

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.”

100% Divorce Rate

Dan and I have had many couples for dinner over our 38 years of marriage.  It has been a big part of getting to know others better.  

One dinner sticks out to me on the power of our words.  One night, we had a couple over for dinner.  They were the parents of our daughter’s school friend.  

During our dinner together, the wife begins to speak very critical words over her husband.  He did nothing right.  She began to pick apart everything he did.  No kind words came out of her mouth.  Dan and I began to squirm in our seats.  It became very uncomfortable.  What do you say back to such venom?

It was not long after, the couple divorced.  

Then months later, we ran into the wife at our kids’ sporting event.  She could not believe why her husband would leave her.  She was crying and continued on with a very sorry story. 

We walked away thinking, we know exactly why he left. 

We have found that the divorce rate in marriage is 100% when hateful or critical words are spoken by a spouse.  Especially in front of others.   

We have yet to meet a couple that this was not the case. 

God’s Word-The Message. Proverbs 18:21

Word’s kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit- you choose. 

Waltz song for you!

Two broken hearts lonely looking houses
Where nobody lives
Two people each having so much pride inside
Neither side forgives

Angry words spoken in haste
Such a waste of two lives
Its my belief
Pride is the chief cause in the decline
In the number of husbands and wives

Be a Cheerleader

We all have good days and bad days.  When we have a bad day it affects our emotional well being. We can become stressed out.  

Dancing is a physical and mental activity.  Emotion plays a big factor in how well we dance.  When we are mentally tired it is hard to concentrate on the dance floor.  

One way to ruin the atmosphere is to criticize your dance partner either on the dance floor or in practice.  

When Dan and I began Ballroom, we had our challenges.  We stepped on each other’s toes.  We both were trying to learn new dance moves.  Frustration set in. Then add to the equation, a bad day.   I had to be careful of not being critical and to choose my words wisely.   To speak critically would destroy his desire to learn.   The dance would be over. 

We have to be patient.  We have to be positive and encouraging!  I need to be his cheerleader!  He will want to dance!!!

God’s Word-Proverbs 12:18 Rash language cuts and maims, but there is healing in the words of the wise. (The Message)

The Slight Edge

There is so much grabbing for our time.  How can we fit ballroom dance practice in our schedule?  When Dan and I first started dancing, we knew nothing.  It seemed overwhelming.  We soon realized how much practice it was going to take to become better dancers.   

What would happen if we practiced a little bit each day?  

A friend of ours introduced us to the book ‘The Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olson.  He shares in his book on how our actions, each day, add up.  If we really want to achieve something and we set our mind to it, it can happen.   

If you did something for 10 minutes each day (like ballroom dancing) it would add up to 3650 minutes in a year.  You bet you would get better.  More time = successful results. 

We waste so much time doing nothing each day. 

Make a plan, do it and see your life change. 

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.” Jeff Olson

Barn Dance

  • Delicious Food
  • Wonderful Friends
  • Barn Venue
  • Harvest Moon
  • Camp Fire
  • Date Night
  • Romantic Music

What’s there not to like about a night out dancing with our spouse at a beautiful barn venue? Then you have sweet friends to share it with over delicious homemade food.  How about a fun night out?  

With Covid we have become more homebodies.  Less social than ever. We have forgotten how important an in person social event is for our health.   Get out, have fun and do it for your well-being. 

We need each other!

God’s Word- Hebrews 10:24-25   24 and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, 25 not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

The Grass is always Greener…

The Grass is always Greener… 

‘Where You Water It’

Dan and I have a brand new yard this year.  We went from full shade to full sun.  No we did not move, it was because of a land hurricane or Derecho.   In August of 2020, we lost between 50-60 trees in our yard.  

We soon realized with full sun, your yard dries out much faster.  You need lots of water to make your grass, vegetables and flowers look good.  Mother Nature did not help us much with rain this summer.  We spent lots of our time watering our yard.  If we did not take care and water our new sun loving plants, everything would have died. 

Our city is currently in a severe drought.  

This reminded me of what a marriage looks like without watering it.  If we don’t take care of our marriage it will eventually dry out and die.   A good marriage doesn’t happen on it’s own.  It takes work and action. 

Are you in a drought?  

God’s Word-Ephesians 4:2-3 NIV   Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Is The Honeymoon Over?

What are the 3 stages of “practice” in a marriage?

Stage One: The Excitement Stage-This is the beginning of being together.  It is the honeymoon stage.  You dream about your future and all the wonderful times you will have together.  

You make the commitment to be together forever.  You want to spend the rest of your life with each other.  

Stage Two: Work Stage

After the honeymoon is over real life sets in.  Children, employment, busyness, and stresses of life are part of this stage. 

Marriage Books, Conferences, and God’s Word can help with how to keep closeness in marriage.  We have done them all.  But it is up to the two of us to put it into action.  Dan and I both need to work on striving to keep our marriage close and healthy.  

The more effort we put into our marriage, the healthier it will be. 

It can be very hard.  Many don’t make it. : (

Stage Three:  Reward Stage:  After you have put in a lot of time and effort in improving your marriage, it does become more fun.   

You never stop finding ways to make your marriage better.  It is constant but the reward is great.  

BFF

God’s Word-Proverbs 18:15

Wise men and women are always learning , always listening to fresh insights. The Message

Ballroom Dance Practice

We like to say there are three stages to ballroom dance practice.

Stage One: Excitement stage: 

This is where it begins.  You may be dreaming about being a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars”.    For Dan and I, our daughter was getting married soon, so we, or should I say, “I”  thought it would be nice to learn Ballroom Dance.  So I had to get Dan onboard.   We took our first dance lessons with friends, which helped. 

With Ballroom Dancing it takes two people. So the commitment to learn a new skill has to be from the two of you.  You both have to want to dance and practice.  It is new and exciting!

Stage Two: Work Stage:  

This is where the action begins.  You have to work together.  You can’t learn Ballroom by  watching others, YouTube or reading a book. 

Dan and I have taken dance lessons, watched YouTube and videos, but then we have to practice what we learn.  This takes time.  We look at this as our togetherness time.  

We have to practice steps over and over again.  Stepping on toes, frustration, mistakes, and forgiveness are a part of this stage.  When you begin, you will most likely not look smooth.  It looks mechanical.  Most people give up. 

Stage Three-Reward Stage:

After lots of practice your dancing looks and becomes more natural.  You will not have to think so hard. The muscle memory sets in. You will have confidence on the dance floor.

It becomes more fun. 

Dan and I do not stop practicing at this stage, but we continue to build on the skills we have.  If we want to continue dancing, we keep practicing.  

We are rewarded with dancing together!