Thursday, June 30, 2011

Out Of Her Comfort Zone

She had lots of friends who weren’t from my crowd. To look at us you’d never believe we were compatible. She smoked in the school bathroom; I was scared to go in there most the time. Her crowd was the cool, tough bunch while mine was the mediocre athletic, nerdy types.

I can’t remember our first words to each other but we clicked and that was the start of a lifelong friendship. Crys introduced me to her brother, a popular tough guy. We went on a double date and another lifelong relationship was made that night. I met the guy of my dreams and married him 2
years later. Thanks for that.

You’d have to know Crys to understand that she’s never really been the emotional kind, not lovey dovey, or huggy. I on the other hand cry at the drop of a hat, love anything sentimental and hug a lot. So you’ll understand when I found the letter why it made me cry all over again thinking
of her.

My dad passed away 11 years ago. It was one of saddest, most unbelievable times of my life. I have written several posts about him and if you’ve read any of them you know he was my hero and I was his princess. Crys doesn’t like to show emotion and she’s not big on funerals so she stayed at my
mom’s house the day of the funeral and cleaned and prepared for visitors. This meant more than she’ll ever know.  We never really took the time to talk about his death because I knew and I think
she knew we’d just end up in a bawling session. That day she did her thing and I did mine, and we hugged good bye when it was all over.

A few weeks later I received a letter in the mail from her. She expressed how sorry she was that I had lost my dad. The letter was about a page long and her words touched me so.  I can’t explain how much it helped me at that time. Crys showed my family love by all the things she had “done” because that’s her way of giving love. The special thing about it is that Crys knew I needed a different kind of love, a letter of love. Even though it took her out of her comfort zone she
went there, she did it for me and I will never forget it. As I write this post now big tears well up in my eyes because I am reminded of this thoughtful loving thing Crys did just for me.

I ran across that letter just the other day and as I read it again the memories flooded back to all the times we’ve been there for each other. I write this to tell Crys “I love you. You are never forgotten. You are my sister. You are beautiful inside and out and I’m thankful to God for putting
you in my life.”

The letter is neatly folded and remains in the box with what I have left of my dad's belongings.

I am thankful to The Red Dress Club  for this prompt.  It is a post that needed to be written a long time ago. Here's the prompt:

You or your character find a forgotten letter or card from someone important in
your life--whether good or bad.  What does it say?  How does it affect you or
your character?  What is done with it?

10 Ways To Respect Your Man

[caption id="attachment_1417" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Aug. 1, 1981"][/caption]

Webster’s defines respect as high or special regard, or the state or quality of being esteemed. If we take this definition literally and apply it to how we treat each other, we’d have some pretty awesome relationships going on out there huh? Marriages would last longer, be revived
or renewed. Families could quite possibly stay together and children would witness what a true marriage should look like.

Respect could revolutionize relationships. So what does it look like? I'm going to list 10 ways a woman can respect her man or vice versa. These 10 have been tested and tried by me in my own marriage and I can testify that respect can change mediocre to marvelous. Along with our willingness to change and God's love, miracles happened in our relationship. Give it a try you might find a priceless treasure where you thought there was only some trash.

1-    When he comes home from a long day at work give him a few minutes to wind down. I know you gals who have been home all day with the kids just want to pass them off to him as soon as he walks through the door but trust me, it’s not a good idea. Usually. Believe me when my kids were young my first instinct was to hand him those precious little ones and run for my life.

2-    Listen to his ideas. I realize you might not agree with these ideas. They may even sound crazy sometimes but just listen. There will be another, more appropriate opportunity to tell him that maybe he needs to rethink these ideas, ideas that will blow your whole savings account. But
for now just listen and let him share his dreams or plans or whatever it is he needs to share with you.

3-    When you feel it's time to talk to him about such things as mentioned in No. 3 do it in a gentle way. There’s nothing worse than making your man feel like his ideas are dumb. Put yourself in his place, do you want him to suggest to you that your ideas are dumb?

4-    Thank him for working hard to provide for you and your family. A man’s identity is often wrapped up in his job and it helps his self-esteem to know you think he is doing well at it.

5-    Put your relationship with him above all other human relationships. Yes even above your children. It took me a long time to learn that this was a wonderful way to show him how much I respected and loved him. Take time away with him every day, even if it’s just a few minutes. Let
him know that being alone with him is important to you.

6-    When you give him what is important to him this shows him respect. It might be “intimacy”, it might be fried pork chops, or it could be providing him with a few minutes of relaxation before he has to be daddy or hubby after work.

7-    Do not degrade him especially in public. If you are with friends playing a game and he doesn’t get a question right don’t make hubby feel like an idiot. He already feels embarrassed because he didn’t get it right. Don’t make it worse. It’s better to say,”That’s ok honey you’ll get it
next time.” Well my husband would rather I didn’t say anything about it at all. Leave it at that and move on with the game.

8-    Don’t make a habit of correcting him in front of others. Maybe he’s telling a story and exaggerates a bit or remembers it different than you, is it really worth it to correct him in the presence of his friends?

9-    Do something to let him know he is appreciated and not just on Father’s Day. One night B got home late from work and I had made steak. After heating it up I cut the steak up for him before I gave him his plate. He said, “Wow, why did you cut it up?!” “Cause I love you.” Sickening
right? Well I thought he’d like it. He did.

10-  This is the most important concept of all. Do unto him as you would have him do unto
you. We all want to be treated with respect. Most of us don’t believe we are respected as much as we would like. One solution may be to teach others how we want to be respected by respecting them that way.

What’s your take on this? I’d love to hear if you have any more suggestions to add.

Don't forget to check out my latest on Grace Full Women, "Can My Behavior Change My Heart?"