10 Valentines Day Ideas to Rock His World

IStock_000015212699XSmallLynn and I (Dineen) put our heads together and created a list of 10 ideas (you know how we love lists of 10!) to WOW your spouse on Sunday. Many of these turned out to really bless our hubbies and we hope they’ll be helpful to you. Have fun!

  1. Buy his favorite magazine or a book he’s been meaning to buy and put little love notes in between the pages.
  2. Order chocolate covered strawberries and have them delivered to his work. Makes him look really good to the other guys drooling over his special love treat.
  3. Surprise him with a complete evening designed to focus on him. If possible, have a friend or relative take the kids, make his favorite dinner and dessert, shower him with attention that takes the evening right into the bedroom.
  4. Write him a love letter. Tell him you’re still crazy about and for him.
  5. Buy his favorite treat and hide in a place for him to “discover” it. Hide multiple items or little gifts and tell him you’re saving the best surprise for later.
  6. Text him love messages throughout the day and tell him you have a surprise to model for him later.
  7. Buy him tickets to his favorite sporting event and tell him you’re going too so that he can watch the game uninterrupted while you run to the concessions to get his favorite drink and snack. The night’s about him!
  8. Take him bowling at midnight and act like teenagers!
  9. Surprise him with a long should rub or massage with no strings attached. He’s the one who gets spoiled this time.
  10. Give him a handmade coupon for a free day to do whatever he wants, guilt free.

Here’s an article packed with great ideas by Bill and Pam Farrell. Prepare to be inspired!

Love-Wise: Romance to the Rescue

Have Small Children?
Let me just add one more idea here. If you have small kids and no family to take them for an evening or not enough funds for a babysitter, consider planning a special evening WITH the kids there. Let them see you make a fuss over your spouse. What a wonderful way for them to see what love looks like in a marriage. Get them involved and help you decorate or set the table and plan a menu. Valentines Day can be a family event to celebrate the love you all share for each other. You can even turn it into a valuable lesson that will keep giving throughout the rest of the year. Have fun!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

Originally posted February, 2011.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


O Valentine’s Day – A post for us Men

 

ID-100276483When Lynn asked if I’d give a perspective on Valentine’s Day I readily said yes. I also wanted to continue our conversation on Lent, it starts Wednesday, and have included a few brief thoughts at the end of this post.

Valentine’s Day. I still remember an old boss of mine who I wouldn’t have thought to be overly romantic when asked what he did for his wife on V-Day, he said he picked up a bunch of grapes on his way home from work and gave them to her. At the time, those of us who listened to the conversation thought it a bit lame but now years later I’ve changed my mind. John knew his wife loved grapes and he intentionally stopped off on his way home to pick them up. Perhaps it was a small gesture but one, it was a surprise, and two, he demonstrated his love for her.

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. Shouldn’t every day be a day we seek to cherish our lover? Yes, it should. But like Mother’s and Father’s Day it is a day to stop and especially focus on each other.

Is it now overly commercial? Yes, it is. But that shouldn’t be a reason not to acknowledge it. Just like John did something sweet to acknowledge his love for Bev, his wife of thirty-plus years.

My first Valentine’s Day with my wife when we were dating was a really special night, one we both still cherish. We had some dinner and went to see a live production of “Beauty and the Beast”, one of the great Disney love stories. It was my girl’s first live musical and she so loved it she took her mom off to see it a few weeks later.

Cherish

It’s an important word for me. It’s a bit old-fashioned; you don’t hear it used much these days. But I especially like what it means.

“To feel or show great love; to keep and cultivate with great care.”

Jesus cherishes the church (Eph 5:29 ESV) and we know how much he does for what He did.

But when I think of cherishing it means I need to be intentional to show my love for my wife. It often involves a surprise or serving her in some way. Those to two “S” words usually require intentional thought. So a week or so ago knowing the day was approaching I deliberately made a plan. My wife knows some of the plan. We usually do that these days and this year she is interstate for some of the weekend so we needed to work on it together. The key for us is being together, just the two of us. Yes, a date night with a bit of a twist, I guess.

Training

We men are often not good at this stuff. I’m not going to make excuses, just put it down to the Mars and Venus paradigms, and I’ve always believed that some training is often involved. Lynn used a different term for it on her Sunday post: “hint dropping.” But it comes down to sharing little by little how you like to be cherished.

Guys, it’s okay to receive tips or training. I’m always seeking cooking tips from my wife as I know she knows more than I do.

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory?

Lent starts Wednesday

Thank you for sharing so openly last week. It was interesting how prominent fear and worry is for so many of us. Only this morning I had a moment of panic that had hit me by surprise. In that moment I struggled to grab a hold of God. Does anyone else find that? It’s like a barrier goes up, a door is shut or the lights are switched off.

That’s exactly what the enemy wants. But we need to turn the light on. Because it shines in the darkness. So this morning I found two really helpful things:

  • I relaxed my breathing which served to calm me.
  • I kept quoting Scripture

The lights went on. Yes, the dark was lingering but I was then able to stop, sit down and spend some time with God in silence. And I asked Him about the panic.

Silence.

A couple of things struck me this morning that I hope may be some help as we journey through Lent together. Renew (or start) a commitment to sit alone with God in silence during these forty days. Even for a few minutes. I know this can be hard with little kiddies but even if the only place is the bathroom then so be it.

Wait for Him. He’ll show up. It’s more about listening, not talking. He knows your heart. He knows your desire for Him. See what He says. Write down what happens. Perhaps nothing will happen on the first day, or even the tenth day, but keep at it. And know that God is always present.

Psalm 27 is fantastic – look at verse 5. “He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of his tent; He will lift me high upon a rock.”

What’s so amazing is He is the shelter, the tent and the rock. God. He is our hiding place.

Hold close to God. Remember Lent is less about religious self-denial and more about surrendering our hearts. He wants us to have more of Him and these next forty days are a great way to start out on increasing our hunger for Him and being satisfied in Him.

Note: Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles?FreeDigitalPhotos

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


O Valentines Day - A Post For Us Ladies

The History of Valentines Day: Valentine's Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14. It is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other; sending Valentine's cards, or offering candy. It is very common to present flowers on Valentine's Day. The holiday is named after two among the numerous Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

The day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of "valentines." Modern Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards. The mid-nineteenth century Valentine's Day trade was a harbinger of further commercialized holidays in the United States to follow. The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. The association estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.-- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

699d6valentine

Valentines Day is around the corner. This day is an opportunity to celebrate romantic love. It can also be a time of deep pain. This day brings with it the word “expectation.”

In the early years of our marriage, I would find myself disappointed because my husband did not meet my expectations of how I wanted Valentines Day to play out. It was difficult for me to receive “just a card” when I wanted a room filled with roses. Okay, I was young. Poor Guy!

I feel silly now that I was hurt because I “only” received a card. There are thousands of women who would give much to receive a card on V-day. As this day approaches let’s think about a couple of things to help us maintain our perspective.

First, it is okay to drop your guy a hint so that he remembers this day for you and for your children. I have found a couple of ways to do this without embarrassing my husband and without causing a confrontation. Always, give him a heads-up several days in advance. I have left a written note on his desk. I have sent him an email. I have forwarded an email from 1800-FLOWERS. I have also reminded him to purchase a valentine for his daughter (Little girls, need valentines from their Daddies).

Another way I always get my husband’s attention is to ask him if he would like me to buy new lingerie for Valentines Day and model it. This has proven highly motivating! *grin*

I know we want our man to want to remember us without our intervention. We want our spouse to be so “in love” with us that they are compelled to rush over to the florist with only his beautiful wife on his mind. It doesn’t play out like this. Some men need help to be prepared for these sentimental moments.

Secondly, have reasonable expectations.

Thirdly, seize the day. Don’t wait for you husband to make the day special. Some of the best Valentine’s Day memories I have are because I made the plans.

This March my husband and I will be married 24 years. He is a man after my own heart.65b02valentineHe always remembers Valentines Day, birthdays, anniversaries and will surprise me with flowers or cards for no reason at all. He honors our love and marriage.

I do the same but it took us a while to get to this place of mutual respect and love.

One more thing. If you do find yourself disappointed this year, remember our Lord is the lover of our soul.

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love;

I have drawn you with loving-kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 (New International Version)

Be blessed, Lynn

Originally published February, 2008.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Healing The Heart Of The Spiritually Mismatched

Over the past several weeks we have covered many topics about loneliness and suffering. We have looked at these through the lens of God’s Word and our unique marriage struggles.

I feel as though it’s time to wrap up this series. So, how do we find healing?  And how do we maintain our healing as our struggle continues in a marriage between a believer and unbeliever?

Well, way back in December many of you shared exactly what has brought healing to your life. I want to share them here today. I also want you to add to this discussion in the comments. What brings healing to our hearts?

Here are the thoughts SUMites left in the comments:

  • Focus on the good and not what I don’t have.
  • Look for ways to pour love into others.
  • Set with other “married, singles – misfits. (Bible study, time at a coffee shop, on the phone, etc.)
  • Start a small group. Share, pray, study.
  • Join a Bible study.
  • Have safe people in your life who understand and don’t judge.
  • PRAY
  • Focus on Jesus.
  • Trust God for family’s salvation.
  • Visit SUM – Read an email. Read a comment left by another SUMite. Comment back and forth and encourage another SUMite and be encouraged.
  • Consider how my loneliness is actually a blessing. I’m encouraged to see other couples at church. I am believing God desires this for me.
  • Seeing Jesus as my husband – My One true love!
  • Walk in the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Recognize lies of the enemy. Example: SUMites don’t fit in anywhere at our church.
  • Cling to the promise of 1 Peter 3:1.

These are amazing and all of them are true, powerful and WORK in our lives. Amen Jesus, AMEN

When you begin to walk in the truths and power of Jesus Christ this is where we live everyday: Peace, joy contentment, hopeful expectant.

I love all of you so very much. I’m deeply encouraged every day by your love, devotion and pursuit of the Kingdom of God and the love of Jesus Christ. You are MY FAMILY. I love and adore you forever. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Observing Lent

ID-100196169
Photo courtesy of dexchao/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’d never given Lent much thought. For some reason, I know not why, I’d thought it an outdated practice that Catholics observed. Typically, it appeared to be reduced to “what are you giving up for Lent?” In my overly judgemental moments I found it strange that apparently non-pious people chose to participate in such a “custom”.

Three years ago the Lord nudged me to consider it and with the Lenten season upon us once again, starting next Wednesday 10 February, I’ll be observing it again.

What is Lent?

Lent derives its structure and themes from Christ’s forty days’ in the wilderness, where He fasted and prayed and faced Satan’s temptations. As most of us know this period occurred before His public ministry began. It’s typically six weeks in duration (some denominations calculate it differently) and ends with Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.

I particularly love Ann Voskamp’s description in a post that I read a few years ago. Ann’s chatting to her brother on the phone answering his question:

“Okay … Lent. It’s the preparing the heart for Easter. Like going with Jesus into the wilderness for forty days, that we come face to ugly face with our enemy. Our sacrificing that we might become more like Christ in His sacrifice.”

So it’s the letting go of our stuff, whatever that may be, so we’ll be even more desperate for Jesus to fill us.

“’And yet even now,’ says the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart …’” (Joel 2:12)

“The purpose of Lent is not to force on us a few formal obligations, but to ‘soften’ our heart so that it may open itself to the realities of the spirit, to experience the hidden ‘ thirst and hunger’ for communion with God.”1

This is my desire: to experience that communion with God.

What now?

For the past three years I’ve joined Margaret Feinberg’s global readership on a new Bible adventure. The first one we read the entire Bible in 40 days. Wow, what an experience that was. This year we’re reading through the Books of Luke and Acts which in comparison should be a piece of cake. These are two books I love. Most biblical scholars believe they were both written by Luke and are good to read one after the other.

If it’s something that may appeal to you follow this link to Margaret’s website where you can grab a copy of the reading plan. Margaret is a mighty fine teacher of the Bible and she shares many of her insights along the way.

“So what are you giving up for Lent?”

As I mentioned at the outset often it’s this question that dominates discussions around the season of Lent. Yes, if the season involves “spring cleaning of the soul” then letting go of our junk makes sense.

As we know fasting is an important aspect of our walks allowing us to let go of our dependence on certain things (food, TV shows, internet, etc) so we can filled by the Lord whilst relying on Him.

I’m still seeking the Lord on what to fast but will report back. But I don't want to just give up confectionary. I want something more; to walk through these six weeks with more of Him, more of His presence, to experience a little of that "knowing" I mentioned last time. 

“He must increase, I must decrease.” (John 3:30).

John the Baptist spoke those words acknowledging that it was time for people to focus on Jesus who was now living and teaching amongst them. It’s a great verse to take with us into Lent. Letting go of ourselves to allow room for more of Jesus.

I’ll be posting each week over the next few weeks reflecting on my Lenten journey. I hope you’ll join me.

But tell me, do you have any plans for Lent?

Notes: 1. Great Lent, Alexander Schmemann, Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1974. Page 31.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith