Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

All googly-eyed and holding hands...

Early this morning while in the shower a thought came to me,
well many thoughts came to me...
that seems to be one of the few places that are quiet in my world....
anyway, one of the thoughts that came (very strongly I might add!) was to share a message that I had written quite a few years ago, and in addition to share the message my husband had also written.  

A little background...
these messages were shared by us to an audience of married couples,
the topic of the evening? ~ (drum roll, please)...
Marriage...

This was a beautiful evening, one I'm sure I will never forget.  It does something amazing within you to sit and prepare your thoughts and feelings on such a sacred subject and then I was blessed with a double-whammy...I was able to hear exactly what my husbands thoughts on this same subject were.  Oh, happy day! Okay, sorry I just had to reminisce for a moment...I'll now return to what I was trying to say before my mind went off on one of its tangents.

This topic, Marriage,  is on my mind a lot, not only because I am married, but because I treasure my marriage and the very ideal of marriage.  I am saddened when I see other marriages and relationships crumbling.  My husband shared something with me recently that was said to him.  We'd been with some other couples at the temple a few weeks ago...one of his friends commented later to him, "You and Stacey look like newlyweds...you hold hands and you are all googly-eyed at one another."

Okay, at first that was a tad bit embarrassing, UNTIL I thought about it...
WE REALLY are like Newlyweds...
the magic and the spark and the desire to be with one another as often as possible has never gone away...I adore him and I know that he feels the same for me.  I don't have to guess how he feels, I don't have to wonder, I don't have to assume that he still loves me after all of these years.

Maybe that's the key!!!

I have someone very close to me that once said her husband never tells her he loves her...
she made a comment to him about it and his reply was simply, 
"I told you I loved you once, if that ever changes I'll let you know."  
Well, honestly I laughed at first and then inside I cried.  

KNOWING
and HEARING 
and FEELING LOVE
 is imperative to ALL PEOPLE...
BIG PEOPLE, little PEOPLE...
we all NEED and CRAVE and SURVIVE because of LOVE!

So, here is the message that I shared many years ago.  For any of you who follow my crazy rambling thoughts on this blog, you will know that I am striving with all of my might to FOLLOW PROMPTINGS when they come and I do believe one came to me early this morning for a reason...so here goes!

Strengthening Marriage -- November 2002


            What is Love?  President Hinckley describes love in a wondrous way.  He said, “Love is of the very essence of life.  It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Yet it is more than the end of the rainbow.  Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arches across the sky on a stormy day.  Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death.  How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, church, and neighbors.    He goes on to say, “I am one who believes that love, like faith, is a gift of God.”

            Do we look at our spouses as a gift from God?  The love that they bring and share with us is truly a gift.  I do know with an assurity that my husband is a gift to me.  I waited a great deal of my life for something or someone as wonderful as he is.  When I met my husband, I had no confidence in myself, was afraid of saying what I may have thought or felt about anything, whether it was of importance or not.  I did not believe I had any self worth and actually questioned many times why he would even want to spend any amount of time with me.  What I have come to find after many wonderful years with him is that I am a worthwhile person, the things I have to say are important and he wants to hear what I think and feel.  He has brought me to a point in life where I can believe in myself, and I look at life in a new way.  The joy that he brings to me each and every day is immeasurable, and this is only because he tries, he encourages, he uplifts, he builds me, he cares for me and he truly loves me. 

            Do you do things for your husbands to let them know how special they are to you?  These can be, and usually are the simplest of things, but can be the most meaningful to your spouse, mostly because they will know these “little things” are meant just for them.  For instance, I know certain things that my husband likes and I try, although not often enough, to make these for him-he loves my chocolate chip cookies and each time I make them he just raves that they are the very best cookies ever.  Such a simple thing, but he loves them!  Another thing I occasionally do is stop by Lee’s Candies in Boise and pick up some of their dipping chocolate, this is also a nice little treat that lets him know I am thinking of him.  Chad and I attended a couples overnight retreat with our ward a couple of years ago and had the opportunity of listening to a speaker whose subject was also on Marriage.  She read a paper to the group that was written in the 1950’s and was published in a popular magazine.  (Regretfully, I could not find a copy of it.)  It addressed how a wife should prepare for her husband to return home from work.  As we listened, most of us were snickering and I’m sure all of us thought to ourselves that these were definitely things from the past, people just don’t do that now.  There were things on the list such as preparing your children by cleaning them up and having them sit quietly until their father arrived home, this way he could walk into a peaceful home.  (Unfortunately at my home, this is a very rare happening, when Dad walks in the door he is immediately attacked and there is no quiet…but I know he would much rather have it that way)  Other items on the list were as simple as cleaning up the house, making sure dinner was ready to be served or at least cooking, help him to relax when he arrives and be sure to wear a bow in your hair to assure that you will be looking your best.  Well, Chad and I talked about these little things and giggled over many of them, and even now when he calls me to let me know he’s on his way home, he’ll say, “Make sure you have a bow in your hair,” and we both laugh!  Some of these things may seem outrageous and a lot of pressure on a wife, but as I really put some thought into them, the entire message was to simply prepare a nice place for your husband to come home to, that he feels welcomed, loved and appreciated.  When Chad calls me to say he’s on his way home, our children and I all scatter through the different rooms in our home, each person taking a room and we try to tidy up those things that aren’t in order.  Lighting a candle or two is also a really nice touch – but far more important than all of these things – I can’t wait to see my husband, when I know he’ll be home shortly I’m excited to see him and he can sense this.  I’m sure that one of the highlights of his day is returning to a home full of children attacking him before he can even shut the door behind him and to a wife who is smiling and very happy to see him.  Please don’t think that everything is always tidy and perfect, because that is not the case, the point is just that I do try and he knows that.  The beauty of this is that he knows that I will have these things done if at all possible and I know he does appreciate it when this is the appearance of our home.  But when things are a disaster and things lay about in total disarray, he will just come in and help out with those things that remain unfinished.  (Team Work.)   

            Is your husband your best friend?  Your husband should be the person you desire to tell everything to, that you would want to spend all of your time with.  I think my husband and I could spend days on end together and never run out of things to talk about and to laugh about.  We can take a trip somewhere and regardless of the distance we never need to turn on a radio because we just enjoy talking and sharing things with one another.  I admire my husband and respect him.  I look to him for advice and guidance.  I count on him to be there at all times and he always has been and undoubtedly will always be.  It is truly a blessing to be married to your best friend, to share the same hopes and dreams.  It is so wonderful to look at the little people that together you bring into this world and work together to help them to become whatever their hearts desire.  If you do not have this kind of a relationship with your spouse, take the time to get to know them, take the time to do special things for them, spend time doing anything and everything together, not separately – this does not mean you have to be without your children, but there are definitely times when that is a necessity...Sometimes you need to just be husband and wife instead of mom and dad, this allows you to be silly, crazy, to laugh and enjoy just that special someone.  Be creative and have fun planning things for just you and your spouse, or for the whole family.  These are the times you make the most wonderful memories.  One of the very most important blessings of a happy marriage is what it does for your children.  They can see what life should really be like, they will desire to have the same kind of marriage.  Our oldest daughter Shealyn will say things to us like, “You guys are so weird, always kissing and hugging and laughing!”  She has also said that she is afraid to grow up because she knows she will never be able to find anyone who will be like Dad.  Isn’t that wonderful!!!  She will not settle for less than she deserves, she will also marry her best friend, because that is what she sees in us and wants to have the same happiness we enjoy.   When your husband is your best friend, life is so beautiful!

            Try to overlook little faults that you may find with one another.  A quote that I really treasure is, 
“Love is not blind – it sees more, not less.  
But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.”
If you will think about these lines, I think you will see their importance.  When we see our spouses in the whole, instead of breaking out little bits here and there, we can potentially see the wonderful person they truly are.  Too many couples feel discontent with their marriages, they find fault after fault in the person they are married to.  Try to look past these things and treasure all of the good that is in your spouse and you will find it difficult to name anything that really bothers you about your loved one.

            President Hinckley said in a regional conference in 1995, “Any man who will make his wife’s comfort his first concern will stay in love with her throughout their lives and through the eternity yet to come.”  He said this after discussing selfishness, anger, arguments, losing tempers, etc.  To have a successful marriage there cannot be selfishness, marriage works when both people would do anything to assure the happiness of the other. 

            Please cherish and value your spouse, always find the good in them, do all in your power to please and uplift them.  Spend as much time just being with and enjoying everything they bring into your life. 

And remember that special person is a gift…your gift from God.




Alrighty...NOW FOR MY HUBBY'S MESSAGE...


Little side note -- I just told him (that sweet man in my world!) that I was writing this blog and WHY I was writing it (the newlywed comment from our friend)  
Here is one more reason to love him...
He said, "Well in the grand scheme of things we are newlyweds...I've got eternity with you...we've only begun!  And I'm gonna do my best to keep us feeling like newlyweds!"



What Makes A Marriage Work By Chad Lytle  -  November 2002

            My wife is an amazing person.  She can do anything she sets her mind to and accomplish tasks quicker than most.  For instance, just yesterday, she informed me the speakers for this meeting could not make it and asked if I would be willing to fill in.  I said, “No way, I mean, I’m working late and have an event I am attending after that.  Then there is work tomorrow, when would I find time to write a talk unless I don’t sleep.”  She just looked at me and …well here I am, and I know what makes a marriage work, two little words.  When she asked again with that sad little look and said, “pleeeaase,” what could I do, but say, “Yes Dear”. 

            I have a copy of the Ten Virtues That Will Heal our Hearts and our Homes by Gordon B. Hinckley that I am going to go over and then expand a little on each point.
Love, Honesty, Morality, Civility, Learning, Forgiveness and Mercy,
Thrift and Industry, Gratitude, Optimism, and Faith.

Love: 
Do you love your wife or are you in love with your wife?
I have fourteen ways to show her that you are in love with her. 
  1. First thing in the morning start out with “Good morning and I love you.”
  2. When you leave for work, give her a real kiss goodbye.
  3. Think of her throughout the day, and call her to tell her that you love her.
  4. Make plans for a date.
  5. Buy her flowers for no reason what so ever.
  6. Come home with a loving embrace and tell her that you love her.
  7. Tell her how nice she looks.
  8. Acknowledge what she has accomplished in the house.
  9. Ask her how her day went, and then listen.
  10. Compliment dinner, be grateful you’re not eating at McDonalds again.
  11. Help out with household chores she may not have had time for.
  12. No T.V.  Participate in a conversation about anything.  (We load up our kids and go on drives anywhere or nowhere in particular and talk about everything or make plans to do other things.)
  13. At bedtime, tell her again how beautiful she is and that you love her.
  14. Make love to her like it was the first time again.

Honesty:
When the bishop interviews you, one of the biggest questions that he asks is if you are honest in all of your dealings.  There is a saying that is hard to cheat an honest man.  If you are not honest with others, then you cannot be trusted at home or worse yet away from home.  Mistrust in a marriage usually leads to divorce. 

Morality:
How many immoral people do you know who are happy?  Immorality leads directly to hell without pass and go.  It comes in many forms such as pornography, movies, music, and corrupts our minds with evil thoughts of discontent with whom we are and whom we are married to.  No one can be happy and immoral at the same time.

Civility:
Never belittle one another.  Don’t argue in front of your children.  Your idea is not the only way.  Speak kindly of one another, especially in front of others.  Build each other up. 

Learning:
Get to know each other by conversation.  People change so keep talking to one another.  Do you know her favorite food, color, activity?  Can you order for her at a restaurant? What are her views on things such as politics or discipline?  Do you really know or do you just think you know?

Forgiveness and Mercy:
Two words, You’re Wrong, no matter how right you think you are, you’re wrong!  Any man can be a stubborn jerk and say “my way or no way”.  A real man learns to swallow his pride and beg for forgiveness from the Angel in his life for being a stubborn jerk.  As well as being big enough to say, “It’s ok, I still love you anyway.”

Thrift and Industry:
Work, work, work.  Work as if your family depended on it (Because they do!) and then try to save some, so if there is no hay to make, at least you can still eat. 

Gratitude:
Are you thankful?  Thankful that you are loved by a beautiful woman? Thankful that she cooks for you, cleans for you, listens to you and cares for you as well as your children.  If you are grateful for all of these things, then let her know by thanking her everyday for all of her hard work and for her love. 

Optimism:
Always look for the good things in your life.  You are respected as the leader of your family.  You have a wife who will be there for you to help in anyway she can.  You and your wife have the gospel and are teaching your children to walk uprightly before God and with that what else matters?!

Faith:
Have faith in your life.  Faith in yourself, because confidence is appealing.  Have faith in your wife that she can do anything and she will.  Have faith in your children that they can choose the right and they will.  Have faith in your God and all things are possible. 

In closing, I would like to say that I am IN LOVE with my wife.  She is the light of my life, and the joy in my soul.  Remember to listen to her and tell her how beautiful she is.  Mean what you say when you say you love her so that she can respond, “I know.”  I truly believe that if you will put your wife on a pedestal and compliment her for all that she does for you then she will make room for you to stand beside her.