Friday, January 24, 2014

Valentine's Day Challenge Week 2 {Words of Love}

Good morning, friends! Have you been drinking your water this past week? It's not so hard if you're intentional about it, but if you're not, it's surprising how little you can drink in a day. Keep working on that this week!

Today, I am going to share a relationship challenge with you. I believe that one of the most important things you can do to improve your feelings of affection towards your spouse is to commit to thinking positive thoughts about them, focusing intentionally on their good qualities, and not allowing yourself to dwell on things that bother you or annoy you. But then, it's even better to take that a step further and share those thoughts with your spouse!

But what if words are hard for you?? It can be intimidating to share specific and intimate words of affection with someone, even your own husband. This tip today will help you share those positive thoughts you're focusing on.

Last Valentine's Day, I made one of those frames you've probably seen on Pinterest that says "I love you because..." I put it in our bathroom, and got a dry erase marker. I began to use it, and lucky for me, Zack did too. ;-) But after a little while, he revealed that he didn't really like it. He said, "I don't love you because anything, I just love you." Well, ok, that's a good point. :-) So I replaced the little printable with a blank colored paper, which has been a lot more fun. (All these pictures are notes he has written, not me, because I don't save the ones I write of course)

Funny side note, that little rubber ducky was at the hotel in Orlando where we went for our honeymoon. So we swiped it for a keepsake and somehow have never lost it!

I would encourage you to get a simple little frame like this and challenge yourself to express appreciation to your husband through your words. For some couples, it will mean a lot to the husband, especially if his love language is words of affirmation. Let me tell you, I am a words person, and when Zack writes something on our little board, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy for a week! Seriously. It's even better than flowers. It makes me feel how some of you probably feel when your husband does the dishes. :-) I even have an album on my phone where I have saved pictures of all the notes he's written me over the past year! But even if your husband isn't as responsive to words, he will still appreciate it, and your relationship will benefit greatly from the exercise of focusing on his positive qualities.

I have so many notes like this saved on my phone! I love being able to look back at them any time I want to.

A word of advice -- don't give yourself a schedule like, "I will write something every Monday." First of all, this sets up an expectation from both you and your husband, which may become burdensome to meet. And secondly, you want to be able to write notes spontaneously as they come to your mind. But do commit to sharing your admiration and appreciation regularly. Or else you might see what I saw one time. Ha!!

If you find yourself having a hard time thinking of new things to write, focus on spending more time during your day intentionally being thankful for your husband, and you will be surprised at how much appreciation begins to flow in your mind and heart!

On our 10th anniversary. See why I save them? And why they make me feel warm and fuzzy?? :-)

If you will start to do this, just wait and see how much your feelings of love and affection towards your husband will begin to transform by Valentine's Day. And then your actions will naturally follow -- you will be happier to see him, you will miss him when he's gone, you will be pleasant company, and all of those things will make you and your husband feel more romantic and in love than ever.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8

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