National Marriage Week

This week, many people and organizations are celebrating National Marriage Week.  It is a week to recognize married couples and the institution of marriage.

I have been hearing podcasts and seeing blog posts about marriage, including this one by my friend Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.  The blog and social media posts I have seen have been very encouraging and they have also served as reminders that, though marriage is work, it can also be a tremendous blessing.

DevShay

One reminder that has come to me this week is one of the best gifts we can give our children is to love our spouse well.  Just setting that example is something that our children will remember much longer than any gifts that we will buy or any experiences that we can give them such as trips or vacations.

 

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Try Something Different for Valentine’s Day

Every year, Valentine's day happens as surely as your birthday, anniversary, or other special days.

It shouldn't really be a surprise, but it tends to catch lots of guys off guard and left without a plan for the day (if the day is that special for you).

Since our birthdays, Christmas, and anniversary are all within two months of each other, we generally don't do anything huge, but I try to make some effort to show my wife that I care about her.

candlehearts

A few days ago, a friend of mine mentioned that he had developed a simple app for his wife last year.  Maybe that's the kind of thing that your wife would appreciate and, if so, you can check him out to get one for your significant other.

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The Red Plate and Bowl

Sometimes you have original ideas for family traditions and then other times you notice a tradition that someone else is doing and then add it to your family's culture.

I'm not sure where my wife saw the idea (I guess I could ask her, but she's not with me while writing), but we began a "red plate" and "red bowl" family tradition.

Knowing her, she probably got the idea from one of her two favorite online hotpsots, a "mommy" blog or from a posting on Pinterest.

If you're not familiar with how this tradition works, here's my simple explanation.

redplatebowl

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Ladies, This Could Save Your Life

So, you're probably thinking "What does this guy know that could save a lady's life?"

I'm glad you asked.  I know this post may seem weird coming from a guy, but I do have a wife and three daughters and since it is October, the month recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I figured that I would share something that I learned.

This morning while browsing through articles in an effort to develop blog topics, I read something that bothered me a lot.  

blkwomanonphone

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Youth Coaches, Is It Really That Serious?

I went to my nephew’s game the other night for a youth football league and most of the players were in their upper-elementary school years.  My wife and I had been to games before for young kids, but being that “everything is bigger in Texas”, we didn’t know exactly what to expect with this game.

We got there and discovered that the junior high field that they were playing on looked a lot better than many I’ve seen at the high school level.  I was thinking, “man these kids have it made to be able to play on such a beautiful field”.

Anyway, after we got settled in, we looked around and spotted our nephew decked out in a uniform that closely resembled the uniforms of the professional team of the same name.  Once play started, I was eager to see what they would do.

Of course, the level of play was not what you see when you watch NFL, college, or even high school football games, but the kids were doing a good job…at least to me.  The kids had some of the fundamentals down and I was impressed with the potential that I saw as I watched them rush, pass, and pull off double-reverse plays.

What stood out to me while I was there was the level of intensity of some of the coaches.  It reminded me of times when I didn’t feel like playing little league sports because I didn’t want to deal with hollering or the pressure or intensity that was often used when all I wanted to do was have fun.

A New Family Routine

A couple of weeks ago, our church put on a family conference that challenged us in our role as parents. We were encouraged and inspired by the things that we shared, but most importantly, we were challenged.

Over the years, I have inconsistently incorporated reading a devotional or bible story to the kids at night just before bed. After those readings, we would pray and then they would go to sleep.

Somewhere along the line, I got off track and the routine was broken.

My wife on the other hand, was more consistent in having a devotional time that included singing, prayer, and sharing the word of God.

During the family conference at church, I was ignited once again to take the lead in the discipling of my children through scripture.

longstoryshort

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10 Lessons I Learned from my Dad

During my morning commute on the bus the other day, I decided to tune in to the Focus on the Family podcast (you should check it out sometime!) The guest on this particular show was pastor, author, and entrepreneur, John Maxwell.

Since it was an episode in the week leading up to Father's Day, the topic was geared toward parenting and John Maxwell was sharing about lessons he learned from his dad.

It got me to thinking and I realized that there are many lessons that I too learned from my dad and I wanted to share.

dab_dad

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Copycat Kids

In case you are a parent and you haven't realized it yet, your children will imitate you.  Depending on the level of influence you have with them, they will speak like you, they will eat like you, they will think like you, and even react to situations like you.

This can be a good thing if we exhibit good behavior in front of our kids, but of course the opposite is true as well.  If we lose our temper, overreact in situations, or give inappropriate responses, our children are sure to mimic that behavior at some point.

Father-Son

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3 Things Every Dad Wants for Father’s Day

Nearly a month ago, millions of women across the country, including my gorgeous wife, were honored for their role as mothers and caregivers.  Many greeting cards were mailed, bouquets of flowers were sent, and gifts of all sorts were given.  In addition to these celebratory actions, I am sure some people even cooked for their mother, grandmother, or wife or possibly shared some sort of special meal at a restaurant.

This month, the time is approaching when the contributions big and small of dads will be celebrated, but not with nearly as much fanfare.  It is a shame that these days so many people have such negative and painful thoughts when it comes to their dads (if they even know who he is).  Despite the negative situations that exist, I feel that more focus should be placed on dads who are actually involved in the lives of their children and who are giving it their best effort.  They should be acknowledged and given the opportunity to get the three things every dad wants for Father's Day.

neckties

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