Saturday, January 27

Another "Thank You" to Brian and Jana

Thank you Brian and Jana for sharing your wisdom concerning effective communication. It is no secret, for a marriage to thrive, couples must be able to communicate in a positive manner. I like what Jana said, "Couples have the power of either building up their marriage or destroying it."

For the past two weeks, we have received motivating principles that we need to incorporate into our marriage in order experience a greater depth of love, respect and communication. Now, it is time to put these principles into action. How many times have you heard a message preached and believed it truly motivated you only to wake up the next morning and fail to practice what you endeavored to put to great use. These seminars are awesome, but unless you put it to use, then it's just airy words and gracious nods, when what you really need is a good dose of implementation.

Jana mentioned four matches that have the potential to create communication fire hazards: Threats, name calling, blame and exaggeration. Only you can decide the areas that are potential hazards in your marriage, but through effective implementation you can make these intense fires dissipate. One step of implementation is endeavoring to "speak in a positive manner versus a negative one". This is a sure way to quash any potential communication hazard.

As Brian mentioned, couples need to implement "good listening skills, acknowledge when you have made a mistake, and learn to forgive even when you think you are right." Most importantly, remember that your children do not want to always be around disgruntled parents. Every couple experiences moments of intense disagreements, but when your home is filled with constant bickering, it does affect your children. "Parents arguing in destructive ways (especially about child-related matters) cause children to feel less than emotionally secure...." If that statement will not motivate you, then you need help!

Here are Brian's four points of implementing loving ways to communicate: find the right time to communicate, make time to communicate, do not fly off the handle, and lift your spouse up. Take the challenge, starting implementing changes, and you and your spouse will reap the rewards!

Saturday, January 20

A New Appreciation

My appreciation monitor just went up a "gazillion" notches. In all sincerity, I honestly believe I have the utmost appreciation for my husband, but last week I realized I need to show more appreciation! Mark was out of town at Because of the Times, and Sheldon and I were at home missing him like crazy.

Monday started with Mark leaving. Sheldon and I slept in late. I then cleaned house, and Sheldon had friends come over. This was fun, and at the end of the day I was tired. To enlighten our evening, we had our first video chat with Mark. It was nice to be able to see and talk with him, but already we were missing him.

Tuesday morning I began to notice that something was amiss--my knight in shining armor, best friend, helper and right arm was not there. I made breakfast and rustled Sheldon out of bed. However, before I could even attempt to wake Sheldon up, and I had to ensure that I was already dressed and ready to go. That meant getting up earlier than normal, and I am not, I repeat, not an early riser. Once we were ready, I (not Mark) had to drive Sheldon to school and then drive to work. While driving to work, I had to listen to a CD rather than the calming voice of Mark. Also, instead of Mark driving to school to pick up Sheldon, Terri picked him up--notch on appreciation thermometer rising, rising, and still rising.

When evening came, the notch on my appreciation monitor had risen quite a few notches. Now it was time to coax Sheldon into completing his homework, make dinner and spend some quality time with him. Oh, and I had to wash a couple loads of laundry. My time to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or practice piano simply was not there. Blogging, out of the question. Bath time, appreciation thermometer still rising. Before we called it a night, we were able to have a video chat with Mark. I had to keep from crying because I was MISSING HIM LIKE CRAZY!

Wednesday, morning schedule still the same. By now, my house is looking quite lived in. Toys on the floor, clothes lying on the bed, clean clothes in the laundry basket waiting for someone to fold, trash needs to be taken out, floor needs to be vacuumed, and dishes in the sink. Appreciation notch still rising.

My day at work was utterly crazy, and I had no shoulder to cry on. Oh, ya, the appreciation thermometer is rising so quickly I wonder if it is going to burst. Thankfully, Sabrina and Frank are watching Sheldon. I come home in time to change, make a sandwich and head out the door for our church prayer meeting. Before I leave, I snatch all the bottled-filled bags lying on the patio, load them into the car, and give them to the Peavys. Why do I do this? Because by now I am realizing all the little things that Mark does for us, and I want to do something that he normally takes care of to let him know I appreciate him.

Thursday, we are counting down. Just one more day. Schedule is still the same. However, I'm trying to clean the kitchen only to make a bigger mess--I spill coffee grounds all over the floor. This minor fiasco sure was not on my to do list. Do I cry? No, I grab the vacuum, clean the smelly mess, head upstairs to finish getting Sheldon ready, and rush out the door. By now the notch has risen into the "gazillion" level. On the way to school, there is an accident. I whisper a prayer and thank God that I wasn't involved in it. Now, I wonder if Sheldon will be late for school?

It is now Friday, and the smile on my face is glowing. I know when the evening rolls around, Mark will be home. Notch on the appreciation monitor has now reached the I WILL NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED EVERYTHING THAT MARK DOES FOR US!!!!!

Yep, you guessed it. It is Saturday and all is well. I even have time to blog. My downtrodden week is a faded memory, with one exception: my newfound appreciation is shining ever so brightly. Babe, I love you, and I APPRECIATE you. Thank you for being such an exemplary husband and father.

P.S. Also, a big thank you to Sabrina, Marcela, and Terri. I appreciate your help. I am glad that I have friends I can count on.

Thursday, January 11

Thank You Brian and Jana

Just a quick note to thank Brian and Jana for coming and sharing their valuable words of wisdom concerning resolving conflicts within your marriage. I'll have to get out my trusty journal and blog about the points that captured my attention. Actually, I'll have to say I was completely engrossed on what was being taught. Jana and Brian are amazing speakers and have a wealth of information to share.

Also, last night was a two fold blessing for me. I heard life-changing teaching, and I was able to sit with my FRIEND and laugh. Laughter truly does lighten the cares that you carry. I felt like an eager child in a classroom; thankfully, neither of us were reprimanded for talking and laughing! Oh, the joys of friendship.

Monday, January 8


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Originally uploaded by pentecostalsofoc.
Wonderful gifts come in small packages. Marcela gave me a keychain with the following quote entitled Joy:

The more you give the more you get-
The more you laugh, the less you fret. (Helen Steiner Rice)

I love the last line that talks about laughing. I believe I'll put this concept to use and try laughing when troublesome situations come my way.

Thank you Marcela for this thoughtful gift. You are so sweet!

Here is a picture of beautiful Marcela and baby Naomi who is also very beautiful.

Saturday, January 6

Getting Ready for a Family Portrait

Originally uploaded by ja1vbn.
I am presently sitting her waiting for my hair to curl. Today, we are taking a family portrait. Imagine that! Our marvelous church family lovingly gave me a gift card to Picture People Photography. We have lots of great snapshots, but we have only taken two formal family portraits. So, I guess it is time for another portrait. (Mom and Dad, do I hear you shouting, "Amen!") Hopefully, by the end of the day I'll have a new picture to post. So stay tuned for more, and enjoy the following quote by Ben Stilliman:

American families have always shown remarkable resiliency, or flexible adjustment to natural, economic, and social challenges. Their strengths resemble the elasticity of a spider web, a gull's skillful flow with the wind, the regenerating power of perennial grasses, the cooperation of an ant colony, and the persistence of a stream carving canyon rocks. These are not the strengths of fixed monuments but living organisms. This resilience is not measured by wealth, muscle or efficiency but by creativity, unity, and hope. Cultivating these family strengths is critical to a thriving human community.
(Family Life Specialist with the University of Wyoming's Cooperative Extension Service)

Friday, January 5

Your Family is a Reflection of You

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Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Wednesday night was the beginning of our family crusade. While we listened, laughed, and pondered on the importance of family, I want to capitalize on one point: Your family is a reflection of you. As a child, I grew up in a less than perfect home environment; but at the tender age of 12, there was an intense desire in my heart to have a family that would be engulfed in love. I desired to have a home where Christ was the center. I also desired to have a loving husband who would be a pillar of strength to me and my family.

Psalms 145:19 reads, "He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them." Thankfully, the Lord fulfilled every earnest desire I tenderly and sincerely prayed about. We are not perfect, but I can honestly say that our home is a haven. We are a family dedicated to pursuing the perfect will of God. Sheldon has two GREAT parents who love and adore him. Our love for one another is expressed on a daily basis! Mark is not only a pillar of strength, but he is a faith-filled preacher with an unrelenting desire to see revival in Orange County. He loves his family and church family.

What do you desire for your family? I challenge you to pray about your dreams and desires for your family because if you will delight thyself also in the LORD . . . He shall give you the desires of your heart. (Psa. 37:4)

Tuesday, January 2

Coincidence or Blessing -- You Decide

Last Thursday my AWESOME husband stopped by and hand-delivered what is currently my favorite coffee drink--Pumpkin Spice Latte. He also told me that my drink was free of charge. The story goes like this:

Mark was waiting for his coffee when the barista said, "Would you like this pumpkin latte?" Of course, he gladly accepted the coffee, drove to my job and gave me this wonderful latte. For me, coffee is always a welcome treat. So, with a kiss and a smile I happily returned to work.

The question to you is, was this act of kindness a coincidence or a blessing? It all depends on how you look at it. Some readers would say, it is a coincidence. Mark just happened to be at Diedrich's at the right time. However, what are the odds that the free latte would be his wife's favorite? Furthermore, on this day, I was extremely busy as we were preparing to file an appellate brief, and this special treat was delivered at just the right time. Yes, I choose to say it was a blessing! Even though I cannot physically see God, in my mind, I can visualize Him up in Heaven smiling as I smiled because He was able to give me a special treat that enlightened my day!

P.S. The pumpkin spice latte was also a medium which is what I usually order! :-)

Monday, January 1

Happy New Year

Photo Booth 16
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Happy New Year!

Just a quick note concerning our New Year celebration: We ushered the new year in with a fun game of scrabble. We had a great time, and enjoyed spending an evening with the C2C group. All of you are AWESOME!!