Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Marriage You've Always Wanted {and a GIVEAWAY!}

Marriages go through ups and downs. There are cycles to every marriage. Sometimes you stay in a bad cycle for a long time. Sometimes the good stays around for a while. Marriage can be a wonderful blessing as long as you put effort into it. It requires work, prayer, and communication. Just in time for Valentine's Day Gary Chapman (author of The Five Love Languages) has released his newest book The Marriage You've Always Wanted. I have the great opportunity to read and review it and GIVE one AWAY!

"You can picture the perfect marriage in your mind, but re-creating it in reality doesn’t come easy. Trusted counselor and relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman reasons that the most sought-after ingredient in any marriage is true oneness. In The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, he presents expert wisdom and common sense methods to establishing that true unity on emotional and practical levels. Discover the wit and insight that makes his worldwide presentations and marriage conferences so popular. Are you trying to change your spouse? Do you know what it means to really love someone? Do you feel ignored or even alone in your effort to improve your marriage? Dr. Chapman has answers and action steps on topics from expressing your emotions to managing your money, all in a format that will have you and your spouse talking and learning with every page."

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. At the end of each chapter there is a section called "Your Turn". Dr. Chapman gives you questions and application tasks. These are great because it helps you to think about what you've just read and apply it to your marriage. There are 9 chapters: 

1. Why Do People Marry?
2. "Why Won't They Change?"
3. What Love Really Means
4. "Listen To Me!"
5. Who Takes Care Of What?
6. Decisions, Decisions
7. "You Mean We Have To Work At Sex?"
8. Leaving And Honoring Parents
9. Love And Money

As you can see Dr. Chapman covers everything from the reasons people get married to arguments to sex and money. I recommend this book to newlyweds, engaged couples, as well as those who've been married for 50 years. No matter your situation he has it all in this little gem of a book. Here is a little background on Gary Chapman:

As anyone who has attended one of his marriage conferences knows, Dr. Gary Chapman’s expertise in marriage begins with the success and failures he and his wife Karolyn have experienced in their marriage for more than 45 years. He is just the man to turn to for help on improving or healing our most important relationships. His own life experiences, plus over thirty-five years of pastoring and marriage counseling, led him to publish his first book in the Love Language series, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Many of the millions of readers credit this continual New York Times bestseller with saving their marriages by showing them simple and practical ways to communicate love.

Since the success of his first book, Dr. Chapman has expanded his Five Love Languages series with special editions that reach out specifically to singles, men, and parents of teens and young children.
He is the author of numerous other books published by Moody Publishers/Northfield Publishing, including Anger, The Family You’ve Always Wanted, The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, Desperate Marriages, God Speaks Your Love Language, How to Really Love Your Adult Child, and Hope for the Separated. With Dr. Jennifer Thomas, he co-authored The Five Languages of Apology.

Dr. Chapman speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, both airing on more than 400 stations. Dr. Chapman and his wife have two grown children and currently live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he serves as senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church.

Dr. Chapman holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University.

Please feel free to enter to win this book. To enter just leave a blog post comment telling me what you love about your husband/wife. If you are not married, leave a comment telling me the number one thing you would look for in a future spouse. I will end this giveaway on Friday, February 21st. 



"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Monday, February 10, 2014

Love Is In The Air {Valentine's Day Ideas}

Hearts, Cupid, ribbons, chocolates, flowers, fancy dinners, over-priced Hallmark cards. It's on the TV, it's in the stores, it's everywhere you look. Valentine's Day is upon us. I love this holiday. I love that I get to spend the day with my husband and 3 boys. I know many people don't like it, but I think you should do what you want. I am happily married to the man of my dreams and I have 3 little boys that bring constant joy to my heart. I am looking forward to having a day set aside just to love on my family.

Today I am going to share some tips on things to do with your family on Valentine's Day. Some of them are for the whole family and some of them are just for 2 ;-)

1. Take your little ones (and big ones) to Dunkin Donuts for heart shaped donuts for breakfast. I do this every year and the boys love it. We never buy donuts for them so this is a very special treat.

2. Make a special meal at home. Ask each person what their favorite thing is and try to make some rendition of it to go with your meal.

3. Make a yummy dessert. I go on Pinterest and look up desserts all the time. Chocolate is a family favorite here so I will be making brownies with chocolate chips and chocolate frosting. I will serve them with vanilla ice cream. I am also going to make chocolate covered strawberries for when the kiddos go to bed...

4. Rent a family friendly movie to watch with the whole family before bedtime. Rent a second movie (or watch Netflix) for when the kiddos go to bed.

5. Take your hubby lunch at work or have him meet you somewhere (like Chic-fil-a). It's just nice to give him a kiss in the middle of the day. Give him a card just from you with a little "love note" inside.

6. Get the kids to make cards for their daddy, grandparents, neighbors, etc. My kids love to do this. It is also a lesson in serving others. While you're at it make some heart shaped cookies and decorate them with pink and red sprinkles. Give those out to loved ones as well.

7. Talk to the kids about God's love for them. While everyone is eating dinner read a Bible verse about God's love for us. Talk about that and then have everyone go around the table and say what they love about each person in the family.

These are just a few ideas to make the day special for the whole family. No matter what you end up doing just make sure you keep it fun and light hearted. Make sure to express your love for your family every single day.

Blessings, and Happy Valentine's Day,