Build Your Marriage, Build Your Home By Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Build Your Marriage, Build Your Home

By Cindy Rushton

http://www.CindyRushton.com/FlightPlans.html

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1

Building your marriage? Is it on the back-burner? Busy with the children and the house and homeschooling and working in your business? Just dropping at the end of the day with nothing left over?

I am not trying to give you another thing to do with your busy day. Rather, we need to get back to God’s design for the godly home. Take a peek at this passage from 1 Corinthians 11: 7-9

“The woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” 1 Corinthians 11: 7-9

Our number one priority after our relationship with God is our marriage. We are created to be a helpmeet. Not a small thing! Not an extra thing. It is absolutely essential.

I have gone through entire years of focusing on different roles that I must fulfill to the detriment of my main calling—to be a wife. My husband is just so easy to please. He doesn’t demand or push me to take care of him. Rather, he is like me. We just stay busy on all we have going on. We mean well. But, if you are not building your marriage–intentionally building your marriage–even a godly marriage begins to fall to pieces over time just due to neglect. The entire home begins to crumble around us.

I remember the first year of homeschooling my children. As the last days of the school-year rolled around I realized that in my enthusiasm of turning my heart back home toward my children and really enjoying motherhood to the fullest, I had not nurtured my marriage as I should have! Days had gone by where both of us were so busy with our other roles that we had very little time, much less energy, to connect. The year just flew by with very little focus on building our marriage. Ever found yourself like this?

There are so many different facets of womanhood. We constantly juggle so many roles. It is so easy to get so wrapped up in one area that we lose sight of all of the others!

Our main calling, first and foremost, as women is to the awesome role as a helpmeet for our husbands. We are to bring glory to our husbands so they may in turn bring glory to God.

Isn’t this beautiful? We are those hidden women who reflect all of the glory back to our husbands…who build up our husbands and promote THEM…who do all that we do to help them subdue and have dominion over the world!

Where there is a beautiful marriage, all else falls into place. Two become one. There is security, stability, and a good model of biblical priorities in the lives of the children. There is a ministry to the world. This is the means that there is glory reflected from the family and the marriage. In turn, this glory magnifies God to our culture. Others see God’s perfect plan for man and woman! There is hope. There is abundant life.

The catch here is that beautiful marriages do not just happen. It takes work. Hard work. It takes commitment. Years of commitment. It takes priority. Intentional priorities.

Want a great marriage? Build your home! Build your marriage. Have no idea where to begin? Let me help. Have a good marriage? A good carpenter always looks for new tools. A good carpenter never thinks he is done. He keeps on building. Marriage is the same way! Let me share a few tools that will make your good marriage even better–or, prayerfully the very best. Ready? Dig in with me…

–> Always build! We don’t have an option. We must intentionally build our marriages or they will fall apart around us. We must be intentional about what we do. Our marriages need to be on our calendar. Our marriages need to be on our daily to-do list. Don’t shove them to the back of everything. The benefits flow to everything and everyone else. So, build your marriage.

–> Don’t hold anything back! Give your all–all your gifts, talents, bents, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom! Be a real helper to your husband! Give him assistance during the tough times. Protect his heart and his name. Step in the gap and pray hedges of protection around him in all that he sets forth to do. Adapt yourself and your whole life to him—to God’s plan for him. Wrap your life around his with the intention to make him great. To bless him. to bring him glory. After all, as you bring him glory, he reflects glory to Jesus, Who reflects glory to our Heavenly Father. It all beings with you. Don’t hold anything back. Pour it all out!

–> Be his best friend!
Do the little things to build your friendship. Take time to just enjoy him. Take time to LISTEN. Take time to enjoy the things that he enjoys. Look for ways to pal around. Develop a close, intimate friendship with your very best friend!

–> When in doubt, die to your ways and your ideas and your plans! OUCH! Decide now that you will live your whole life as your husband’s chief support. Only when we die to SELF can we really have an abundant, lavish life. Be the one who gives him that respect that he needs. Be the one who knows all that he is and yet still admires him more than even his little 2-year-old boy! Be the one who loves him unconditionally, enough to give up all life could possibly offer you to build him up! Die to all you had in mind for your life and commit to promote him. Watch what God does when you take that first step!

–> Contribute to his growth, his enlargement, his excellence! Patiently nurture him and encourage him to develop interests (Bible Study, SWAT team, metal detecting, sailing, email–He needs down time too!) that will help him to re-fuel, re-charge, and become strong. Beautiful, forever marriages all have several key elements. One of the most important is embracing change and growth, encouraging each other to expand, keep learning, keep growing, and helping each other press on toward big dreams together. It knits you together in a forever love story!

–> Affirm your man and his manhood—get excited about his leadership, his masculinity, his sexuality, his work! Reassure any insecurities! Enjoy his masculinity. God created him to fill your gaps. ENJOY that rather than despising it. Yes, so often we get frustrated, exasperated, and despise the differences between man and woman. Such a contrast to God’s plan. God wants for us to enjoy our differences. He wants for us to affirm one another. Ask God to help you enjoy your husband and all of the blessings that he brings into your life. Why not begin a list of things that your husband does to provide, protect, and lead you? Keep that list going. When you find yourself struggling with the differences, take time to dwell on your list. It will change your perspective and help you to build your marriage.

–> Be the one person who always believes in him.
Be the one person who always has total confidence in him. Inspire him to greatness! Encourage him dream big and go for his dreams. Have vision for all God wants to do in his life. Encourage him. Be his teammate as he works toward that calling. Relieve him where he needs relief—where can you come alongside to help him??

–> See a weakness? Of course, you will. That is part of becoming intimate and real with one another. The question is what do we do when we see a weakness? Do we point it out? Nag them about it? Ask our friends to PRAY for him? Worry? Fret? Fear the future? OR…Do we come alongside of them and offer them strength, back-up, support? Do we take it all to God in intercession with prayer and fasting? Do we jump in and give them inspiration and encourage them. How do we respond when we see their struggles? It makes a world of difference! One choice builds our homes. Another choice destroys our home. Cry out to God on their behalf. Find ways to make it easier for them, any way you can. Help them succeed! Love them in their weaknesses and struggles. Be joyful and positive, always uplifting and encouraging! Let God supply your needs, not your husband, things will relax…you may change your heart! At minimum, you will be building your home instead of tearing it down with your own hands.

Sweet friend, what is your choice today? Will you build? When you build your home, you build your marriage. When you build your marriage, you build your home. Sweet friend, let’s commit to build! Decide now to pour yourself into your husband! Build your marriage! Let the little things go so that you have time to get to know your husband, so you will have time to minister to him in little ways. Take that time for the relationship and you will find that all else will fall into place! Invest your best into your home. You are building a home, a marriage, a godly legacy! Oh, wise woman,  BUILD your marriage, BUILD your home!

W-3189

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It Might Only Take a Notebook… by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015

It was a normal day, just like so many others, but my life was changed. In fact, it was a conversation similar to so many throughout my life…just girl talk in the kitchen over meal preparation. Who would imagine that it would change my life and lead me toward my life call? Who would imagine that it would put together all of the pieces to my jumbled-up life?

Mamaw Alma Lee Rushton was my ex-husband’s grandmother. I remember the first day I met her. We had an instant bond. It was amazing.

When Mamaw spoke, she spoke vision… instruction… inspiration… and a deep passion for Godly womanhood. Her opinions meant so much to me. Her insight was always biblical. Her instruction was patient and kind. I clung to her words. They were steeped in a love for God, a love for family, and a deep love for me.

So, imagine the day that my life changed. We were busy in the kitchen preparing one of those good old summer meals. Family meals in our families meant that all of the family favorites were part of the menu. The funny thing, this day had ALL of the favorites. Looking back, the entire time was so special that it was beyond a regular day. This day would go down in our family history as pivotal. It changed my life and in turn changed our whole family.

Being a godly woman is so important. Sure, we are born to be women. But, godliness is a choice. The choices are made in little things and big things all along the way. Those things influence not just our own lives, but those around us, those we all touch, and those in generations yet to come. We are women with great influence. Our greatest influence cannot be planned. Our greatest influence will happen when we least expect it.

Going back to that special day…

The kitchen was bustling and yummy smelling. Mamaw was her usual sweet, rosy-cheeked, and upbeat self. I was a bit weary. We were back home in our home-town because his dad was having a triple by-pass. Mamaw was in deep prayer for her son, but you saw only her intense faith in God and not even one moment of fear, worry, or doubt. The kids were tickled to be running around Mamaw’s yard playing and chasing her “critters” outside. He was enjoying time with his grandfather. It was the typical picture of what things were like when we went “home” to see our family.

I was soooo excited, in spite of my concern for my father-in-law. I had just received a nice package filled with beautiful slick copies of the magazine which was featuring one of my articles for the first time in a magazine. In spite of the difficult circumstances, I was elated to get to give Mamaw her own copy of my first article in a magazine. It was my treat to give her that day. I was hoping it would brighten her day. I had NO idea that it would lead to a pivotal moment in my life.

She was in awe! She stood there with big alligator tears in her eyes as she beheld the magazine. Seeing my name there on the glossy page was a total delight to her. Just months before we had stood in that kitchen having a very interesting conversation that was the “back story” for what was going on that day. Actually, so many of those special days in that kitchen were the catalysts behind that very special day.

I remember time-after-time sitting there or helping her with her chores while she just poured forth into my life. She would talk about little things like tips for sewing or cooking or homemaking. She would talk about even more challenging things like disciplining the children and being a godly wife. She would also talk about life-changing things like my relationship with God and how to live an authentic and intentional Christian life. While the conversations were never planned, they were milestones in my life–big and small. I don’t know how many of you just crave for a Titus Two mentor, but as a young woman I just wished that God would send someone to be a Titus Two mentor into my life. Little did I know that it was through those God put in my life to influence me. There could never be anyone who could teach me to love my husband and children like their very own grandmother. No one else could teach me to love my home and the ministry within my home like the grandmother who’s home called us “home” from so many miles away. Her influence was perfect training. Isn’t that how God does it?

I loved time with her. Every time I was around Mamaw, I came away with so much wisdom. Many times, I took a notebook and jotted down tips and ideas while we talked. They were GOODIES! GEMS!

It was not long until I became the secretary for our local smocking guild (heirloom sewing group). I was responsible for producing the newsletter for our members. For those who know me, you would not be surprised that I simply COULD NOT stand to have the page only include the details for the meeting. There was SO MUCH WHITE SPACE! I thought that sewing tips were an adorable embellishment for our newsletter. I loved tips so much that I thought it would be fun to include them each month in my newsletter. They made it all fun. Of course, most of my tips came from learning at Mamaw’s side. I got so many great ideas from her that I decided to pay for her membership to the guild so she could get the newsletter. She LOVED it! Actually, she loved it so much she passed it around to all of her friends.

I had no idea until one day I went to see her and she asked me to go by the local paper to ask our editor to put the tips in the paper. My response was probably the very same response you might would have, “Mamaw, BUT I AM NOT A WRITER.” She gave me a quick list of reasons why the newspaper “needed” my tips. All I can say is that I knew not to mess with her! ha! I went to the paper to just ask. I was completely convinced that they would laugh me out the door and that THEY would silence Mamaw’s crazy idea once and for all. Well, it didn’t go that way. Mamaw was right. They not only wanted my tips, but they wanted for me to begin my own column. Every week after that I had a column. I always tell everyone that I fell into it backwards. I think Mamaw shoved me! ha! Either way, God used her belief in me to give that nudge in a direction that would have NEVER been one I would have even thought to pursue.

Now, fast forward with me. I had moved away. My column had grown. I loved it. But, I still did not have a vision for what God was about to do. In fact, I had no idea what God wanted for me to do with my life. I knew He wanted for me to be a godly wife and mother. But, I wondered what He had meant by calling me into ministry. He had been so specific at several times of my life. I could not put the pieces together. I had kept right on moving forward, being faithful in all that I KNEW I was to be doing each and every day. But, I just could not see how all of the pieces came together. It was really unsettling. Well, that is where this story gets good! I have told you already about my first magazine article and how I was about to surprise Mamaw with her own copy of it. But there was more to the back story.

One of the reasons Mamaw had wanted the tips put in the paper was that she was keeping a notebook filled with my goodies and did not want to miss even one. Her notebook was filled with all of those articles, my recipes that I would copy and share with her, all of my letters sent from Alabama, all of the cards I sent her, pictures of our family, etc. It was her “Cindy” notebook. Now, I do want for you to know that I was married to her grandson. I was an “inlaw.” He was not even her only grandchild. She had a beautiful family filled with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But, she valued my writing and I was just a Dental Hygienist–NOT A WRITER!! She valued my writing so much that she KEPT it all. What is even more touching was that she had set up a PLACE to keep everything. That takes great effort. She not only kept it, but she invested in a nice, big notebook and sheet protectors to guard every piece like it was a great treasure. She kept things that would have been long forgotten, long lost. But, she kept them because they were dear to her. They were dear to her because I was dear to her. Do you think she ever knew how that one commitment would change my life?

Well, now let’s go on to that precious day. I had been writing my heart out for my sweet little column. I fell in love with writing. It was like having a nice afternoon tea with friends. I could pull back as my little ones played or slept in and pour myself a cup of tea and just share my heart. Sometimes it was tips. Other times it was my excitement for being a wife and mother. Every article was a piece of my heart. I simply loved writing! It became my favorite hobby. Who would have figured it? Mamaw???

That day was very special. As we look back, it was the last day I would see her and spend time with her. Only one short week later, she passed away. Her death was a sweet, yet very difficult time for us. Never before had I seen a true Proverbs 31 woman pass away. Yet, in her death every word spoken about her was declaring Proverbs 31 over and over. She was the one! Well, one of that beautiful crowd!

To me, looking back, I know that day was a gift from God. It was to go down in my story as a pivotal moment. I have never been the same since.

Remember I mentioned going through those years enjoying my calling as a wife and mother, yet having a void there in my life. I was a Christian. I was a committed Christian. I loved womanhood. But, there was a void. It just was not coming together. I wondered many times if I had somehow missed my calling along the way. Very often, I would get a bit frustrated that I did not use my single years to pursue ministry and missions. I could not figure out how I would use my gifts and talents to pursue my purpose. I was just confused.

That last day with Mamaw was precious. I was so excited to give her that beautiful copy of my article in a REAL magazine. I knew it would be a delight to her. But, I had no idea exactly how much of a delight. I don’t know, maybe things don’t always “click” with me. I had heard her talk about her “Cindy” notebook. I had even started writing for the newspaper because she wanted to be sure that no one kept HER COPY of my articles. But, until I gave her that gorgeous magazine, I had not SEEN the “Cindy” notebook. WOW! She pulled it out. It was a treasure to her. I could tell. I stood there with big tears in my eyes. Her commitment to protect my work as a treasure to her was overwhelming. She really LOVED my writing. She really TREASURED my writing. It was more than important. It was a treasure! You don’t just “keep” things like this. It was intentional. It was a priority. It spoke volumes to me.

No one, not even myself, had kept EVERYTHING with such a passionate love for me. Sure, my mom kept so many things. But, I don’t think she had even kept those articles. In fact, *I* had not even kept them all! UGH! Mamaw did not miss even one of them. They were all there. Kept for future generations. Precious. Guarded. An investment into ME and those who will come after me.

I stood there looking at the notebook. I was overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness, but there was more. You could see it in Mamaw’s eyes. She truly LOVED and ADORED my writing. It meant so much to her. I had never thought about my words being valuable, much less loved or needed. They never seemed to be too great in school. Well, in school, actually I always felt that my words and my ideas did not measure up. They never seemed good enough. My teachers never really gave me outright encouragement in those areas. Sure, they made me editor of the school paper. Of course, I thought that was to torment me! (ha!) They were very hard on my writing. I could not understand it. The last thing I wanted when I came out of school was to write anything for the rest of my life. Funny how God changes things, huh?

There was something that was rising up in my heart as I stood there looking at that notebook and Mamaw’s excitement over the magazine. I could feel all of the pieces in my life coming together as I stood in that room with her. It was more than pivotal. It was life-changing.

She took a few moments to read the article. She was “buzzing” as she did. She LOVED it! I felt a pride inside that was just precious! I respected her sooo much that I wanted to please her. This was a beautiful gift for her that day.

As she finished reading the article, she said something that would point the way for the next thing AND would change my life entirely. She, very matter of factly, said, “Cindy! You HAVE GOT TO write a book!” My immediate response was almost exactly the same as my response in that room to her challenge to write for the newspaper, “Mamaw, BUT I AM NOT A WRITER.” Can you imagine her sweet face in heaven as she looks down upon me today after I have written almost 150 books, thousands of articles, and taught thousands of workshops in the last 25 years? Just funny!

The most precious part of that afternoon in that sweet Southern kitchen was what followed. She told me that I could easily take my articles and put them together into a book. She was not a writer. How did she have SUCH vision? She continued to talk to me about sticking to my priorities. She told me that I was a good wife and mom. She told me how proud she was of our family life and our family. She shared with me her one prayer request that God had answered for her–that all of her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren would be saved and serve God all of their lives (all of us were saved and serving God in ministry!). She literally passed the torch to me that day. It was a spiritual mantle that she placed upon me in that sweet Southern kitchen. I wear it today. It is my passion. It is the call. It is my life purpose–to help those in our culture get back to God’s design for true, authentic godliness and the godly home. The pieces all came together that day.

We had our biggest dinner ever that day with Mamaw. It was her last one to cook. But, I was full before the blessing was ever asked and one bite was taken. She had poured forth more that day through her spirit than she had cooked up in that kitchen in all of the years of her marriage!

She believed in me. She had faith that I would pick up the torch and carry on the legacy for generations yet to come. She saw something in me that I did not even see in myself. She delighted in something in me that I did not even know was there.

I wonder today who WE could touch like this? Is there someone we could just believe in? Is there someone we could just enjoy and delight in? Is there someone who’s life just might be different if we would invest in them? I am talking about the little things and the big things. I am talking about the moments we least expect. I am talking about being ALL THERE even in the kitchen LIKE we would be in a pulpit! That is where the legacy is built. That is where the legacy is passed on to future generations. And, it might only take a notebook!

Cindy2015About Cindy Rushton…

Cindy Rushton is the mother of Matthew (28) and Elisabeth (25). She is Mimi to Joshua, Achilles, and Oliver. Cindy lives in Middle Tennessee. Cindy is the author of almost 150 books, Bible studies and homeschool resources. She has become a beloved and favored speaker for churches, special events, conferences, homeschool conventions and retreats across our country. You may contact her through email: cindyrushton@gmail.com. See her online at:

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101+ HOT Ideas for Romancing Your Sweetheart! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015How are you doing in your marriage? I remember when we began homeschooling. For the first time in my life, I had finally found the fulfillment that God had planned for me from the foundations of the earth. The only problem was that I found myself either entirely too child-centered, talking about the children and homeschooling with every breath OR simply too exhausted from the pull on my time and energy as I balanced homeschooling, homemaking, and motherhood! I found myself in awe of this good-looking man I had forgotten along the way. How are your home-fires? Are you finding that good-looking love-bug to be a stranger and you don’t know where to begin romancing him? Want some fun ideas??? Here are 101+ ideas that are SURE to make your (AND HIS) heart patter with that same passion from your honeymoon days! Have fun!

Plan a daily Pow-wow time! Whether it is coffee in the morning…coke over a mid-morning break…afternoon tea (coffee!)…or bedtime cuddles, set aside a time for the two of you to keep up with one another! Share your plans, dreams, vision, struggles, concerns, ideas. Get to REALLY know one another! Be sure that your children learn to respect this time. They will LOVE to watch their Mommy and Daddy as they deepen the romantic love for one another!

Make him a “CD” of “your” love songs from your dating years! [Read more…]

Build Your Marriage by Cindy Rushton

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1

Building your marriage? Is it on the back-burner? Busy with the children and the house and homeschooling and working in your business? Just dropping at the end of the day with nothing left over?

I am not trying to give you another thing to do with your busy day. Rather, we need to get back to God’s design for the godly home. Take a peek at this passage from 1 Corinthians 11: 7-9

“The woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” 1 Corinthians 11: 7-9

Our number one priority after our relationship with God is our marriage. We are created to be a helpmeet. Not a small thing! Not an extra thing. It is absolutely essential.

I have gone through entire years of focusing on different roles that I must fulfill to the detriment of my main calling—to be a wife.

I remember the first year of homeschooling my children. As the last days of the school-year rolled around I realized that in my enthusiasm of turning my heart back home toward my children and really enjoying motherhood to the fullest, I had not nurtured my marriage as I should have! Days had gone by where both of us were so busy with our other roles that we had very little time, much less energy, to connect. The year just flew by with very little focus on building our marriage. Ever found yourself like this?

There are so many different facets of womanhood. We constantly juggle so many roles. It is so easy to get so wrapped up in one area that we lose sight of all of the others!

Our main calling, first and foremost, as women is to the awesome role as a helpmeet for our husbands. We are to bring glory to our husbands so they may in turn bring glory to God.

Isn’t this beautiful? We are those hidden women who reflect all of the glory back to our husbands…who build up our husbands and promote THEM…who do all that we do to help them subdue and have dominion over the world!

Where there is a beautiful marriage, all else falls into place. Two become one. There is security, stability, and a good model of biblical priorities in the lives of the children. There is a ministry to the world. This is the means that there is glory reflected from the family and the marriage. In turn, this glory magnifies God to our culture. Others see God’s perfect plan for man and woman! There is hope. There is abundant life.

The catch here is that beautiful marriages do not just happen. It takes work. Hard work. It takes commitment. Years of commitment. It takes priority. Intentional priorities.

Want a great marriage? Build your home! Build your marriage. Have no idea where to begin? Let me help. Have a good marriage? A good carpenter always looks for new tools. A good carpenter never thinks he is done. He keeps on building. Marriage is teh same way! Let me share a few tools that will make your good marriage even better–or, prayerfully the very best. Ready? Dig in with me…

–> Always build! We don’t have an option. We must intentionally build our marriages or they will fall apart around us. We must be intentional about what we do. Our marriages need to be on our calendar. Our marriages need to be on our daily to-do list. Don’t shove them to the back of everything. The benefits flow to everything and everyone else. So, build your marriage.

–> Don’t hold anything back! Give your all–all your gifts, talents, bents, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom! Be a real helper to your husband! Give him assistance during the tough times. Protect his heart and his name. Step in the gap and pray hedges of protection around him in all that he sets forth to do. Adapt yourself and your whole life to him—to God’s plan for him. Wrap your life around his with the intention to make him great. To bless him. to bring him glory. After all, as you bring him glory, he reflects glory to Jesus, Who reflects glory to our Heavenly Father. It all beings with you. Don’t hold anything back. Pour it all out!

–> Be his best friend! Do the little things to build your friendship. Take time to just enjoy him. Take time to LISTEN. Take time to enjoy the things that he enjoys. Look for ways to pal around. Develop a close, intimate friendship with your very best friend!

–> When in doubt, die to your ways and your ideas and your plans! OUCH! Decide now that you will live your whole life as your husband’s chief support. Only when we die to SELF can we really have an abundant, lavish life. Be the one who gives him that respect that he needs. Be the one who knows all that he is and yet still admires him more than even his little 2-year-old boy! Be the one who loves him unconditionally, enough to give up all life could possibly offer you to build him up! Die to all you had in mind for your life and commit to promote him. Watch what God does when you take that first step!

–> Contribute to his growth, his enlargement, his excellence! Patiently nurture him and encourage him to develop interests (Bible Study, SWAT team, metal detecting, sailing, email–He needs down time too!) that will help him to re-fuel, re-charge, and become strong. Beautiful, forever marriages all have several key elements. One of the most important is embracing change and growth, encouraging each other to expand, keep learning, keep growing, and helping each other press on toward big dreams together. It knits you together in a forever love story!

–> Affirm your man and his manhood—get excited about his leadership, his masculinity, his sexuality, his work! Reassure any insecurities! Enjoy his masculinity. God created him to fill your gaps. ENJOY that rather than despising it. Yes, so often we get frustrated, exasperated, and despise the differences between man and woman. Such a contrast to God’s plan. God wants for us to enjoy our differences. He wants for us to affirm one another. Ask God to help you enjoy your husband and all of the blessings that he brings into your life. Why not begin a list of things that your husband does to provide, protect, and lead you? Keep that list going. When you find yourself struggling with the differences, take time to dwell on your list. It will change your perspective and help you to build your marriage.

–> Be the one person who always believes in him. Be the one person who always has total confidence in him. Inspire him to greatness! Encourage him dream big and go for his dreams. Have vision for all God wants to do in his life. Encourage him. Be his teammate as he works toward that calling. Relieve him where he needs relief—where can you come alongside to help him??

–> See a weakness? Of course, you will. That is part of becoming intimate and real with one another. The question is what do we do when we see a weakness? Do we point it out? Nag them about it? Ask our friends to PRAY for him? Worry? Fret? Fear the future? OR…Do we come alongside of them and offer them strength, back-up, support? Do we take it all to got in intercession with prayer and fasting? Do we jump in and give them inspiration and encourage them. How do we respond when we see their struggles? It makes a world of difference! One choice builds our homes. Another choice destroys our home. Cry out to God on their behalf. Find ways to make it easier for them, any way you can. Help them succeed! Love them in their weaknesses and struggles. Be joyful and positive, always uplifting and encouraging! Let God supply your needs, not your husband, things will relax…you may change your heart! At minimum, you will be building your home instead of tearing it down with your own hands.

Sweet friend, will you build? Will you build a godly, forever marriage?

Decide now to pour yourself into your husband! Build your marriage! Let the little things go so that you have time to get to know your husband, so you will have time to minister to him in little ways. Take that time for the relationship and you will find that all else will fall into place! Invest your best into your home. You are building a home, a marriage, a godly legacy!

Oh, wise woman, BUILD your home!

Take Time to Write EVERYTHING Down!

What do you want for this year? Think for a moment with me… Next year, this time, what do you want to see different in your life? What would you like to see finished? What would you like to see accomplished this year?

Dear friend, this year is the year of fullness. I have committed to make this year a year of commitment, accomplishment, and productivity. Want to make this year the very best ever too? Let’s find some keys to productivity. Let’s dig in and get moving strong. Ready? Well, today let’s look at one of my biggest keys to productivity…

Take time to write EVERYTHING down!

Talk about a key to productivity! If there were one thing that I really believe makes the difference in my own productivity, it is this one discipline. I know, I know what you may be thinking…

“But, Cindy, I write things down and that is as far as they go.”

or

“I write things down, but then I can’t find it again.”

or

“I get too overwhelmed when I see ALL that needs to be done.”

Oh! You are going to love this, beloved! Let me take you by the hand and show you how to make this work for you. It is soooo important. You see there are some secrets that productive people have. Want a few?

1. They have ONE PLACE to write things down. Now, this does not mean that it you will have only one place forever and ever. Let me give you an example from how this looks for me. I always have my “Little Black Book” in my purse. No, not for phone numbers of old beaus–I am married to the ULTIMATE beau! 🙂  Rather, I invest in one small notebook that is small enough to carry everywhere I go, yet big enough to hold my goals, lists of steps to reach those goals, brainstorms, etc. This is SO IMPORTANT! Invest in ONE notebook as YOUR “brain” for this year.

2. They take time to pull aside and “brain-dump.” Yes, you read correctly. Want a secret to productivity? This one will make sense as you pull it all together. Yes, dump your brain regularly. Actually, take some time to dump out everything in your brain now–all of those things that need to be done, all of those things you wish for, all of those things that you want to do, but cannot find time to do. Dump it all into your “little black book.” As little things come across your mind, dump them. That will be your “place” for every idea, hope, dream, goal, to-do, and wish to all be dumped off of your brain and “kept” for you. Wondering why this is a secret to productivity? Glad you asked! The leading hindrance for most people is the stress of having to remember or not forget details. This distracts. This takes the focus from what you need to be doing. Actually, this contributes to forgetting what needs to be done in the task you are doing at the moment, causing things to take longer than they should. Not to mention, we are much, much less likely to ever do things that float in our head as well-wishes. Instead, dump it all in a safe place–your very own “Little Black Book.”

3. They plan. They plan yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily. You probably know this. However, do you know how to make it work? This is an essential!  Here is how I do it.

Every year, I plan a nice Mommy Getaway to really evaluate and plan out the next year. I cannot express how much of a difference this makes for me. I am not talking about putting every day on the calendar. I am talking about sketching out the events of the year and planning my projects for my home, business, family, and myself. I PENCIL in my yearly plans. I also spend time brain-dumping anything that may be floating in my brain. I love this time. It helps to give me a grasp on my year and get in gear.

Of course, this is not enough. Each month, I pull back for an afternoon or weekend to plan out my month. I go back to my yearly plan and pray over what REALLY needs to be on my calendar. Once the final projects and events are chosen, I brainstorm all that needs to be done (all of the things to do) for that project to be completed. Now, do note that because I have “my place” for brainstorming, my little black book, I can brainstorm as things come to mind all along the way. This makes that monthly planning very easy.

Another thing that helps me along the way are my checklists for common projects–like all of the things to do to finish a book or an audio set or prepare a seminar. I have done those things so many times that I have developed checklists so I remember each step that needs to be done to get everything ready. Same thing for my holiday meals or other home projects. Talk about a time saver. Well, wondering what you do with those? I take those and put them on my monthly calendar at a good pace to get things done incrementally.

Each week I make sure that everything is done for the week before and take a good look at what will be done the following week. If I need any supplies, I pick them up over the weekend so I am ready to go each day-nothing can mess up your schedule like missing what you really need to get things done.

Finally, every day, I plan the night before. I end each day going over my daily list of things to do. Any of the the tasks that did not get done for the day are moved to the following day’s list. I also plan in the next steps and make sure that everything is ready to go when I wake up. I get SO much more done when I have a clear picture of all that needs to be done before the day begins. Want a key to productivity? PLAN!

4. Work your plan! Finally, want to know the difference between writing things down, having the perfect plans, and getting things done? This is it! Productive people work their plans! This means that we don’t just write things down. But, we also have a plan for working the plan. This is the bottom line that determines whether we are productive or not. So, how on earth do you do this one? A few quick tips:

–>  Keep your planner WITH YOU! Keep it out and keep it with you. I have a small daytimer that I can carry with me all of the time. All of my important information is WITH ME all the time.

–>  Set up your planner to work with YOUR LIFE. My daily things to do probably look very, very different from yours. What I need in my binder is different today than last year. One key that really made a big difference for me was when I finally set up my binder with forms that *I* needed. In fact, that is the story behind our Make Your Own Brain-in-a-Binder that I developed for my own planner. I always buy a nice binder and throw out anything that does not work with my life. Then, I print out pages that help me to put all of the things I need in one place. I use my planner all day long every single day. It goes everywhere with me. The key was in setting up my planner to work with MY life and all of the things that I do each and every day.

–>  USE IT! Nothing helps me more than having my binder out first thing in the morning over my Quiet Time (to pray over my day)…sitting out in the family room all day…going back over all of the things to do all throughout the day (after each task)…going back over my day as I wrap up the evening…AND most of all, planning the next day right before I go to bed so everything is ready to get going the next day. USE that planner. Watch to see the difference!

Yes! Write things down. Make that time. It will make a HUGE difference in your productivity. It will help you to get a plan for reaching for those dreams.

So, what do you think?

Ready to make this year the very best ever? Want to make this year the most productive year ever? Why not take time today to write everything down? Why not begin today to put those dreams on your to-do list, bit-by-bit, day-by-day?

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Need help organizing?? Let us help! Grab Cindy’s Make Your Own Brain-in-a-Binder today. She will walk you step by step through the process toward getting organized! You will love it!