Thursday, September 30, 2010

Love and Respect for a Lifetime

It is with great pleasure that I am reviewing Love and Respect for a Lifetime by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs through the Book Sneeze program. I am literally book sneezing today, as I am suffering from a late summer chest cold and am a-chooing as I type. I don't think that's what the lovely folks at Thomas Nelson had in mind when they set up this opportunity to read and share about what you've read through the blogging community. In case you are not familiar with how it does work, you select from a list of available works and are sent a free copy. You then write a review of 200 words or more, both on your own blog and on a public site. Your opinions and words are to be your own, and you may express positive or negative views as freely as you see fit.

I selected the gift book version of Love and Respect for a Lifetime. I was intrigued, because this is a meaty topic for a gift book. Yet, I found that this format is actually a great one for reinforcing the author's central topic: for men, respect is the doorway to feeling loved and for women, love (and romance) is the doorway to feeling cherished and respected. Men and women need both love and respect. However, men have a special craving for respect and women have a special craving for love.

This central point is expanded by sub-topics, written illustrations, memorable sayings, and practical tips. The material is driven home by attractive photographs and graphics. The result is a book that is somewhat deeper than the usual gift book, yet not quite as complex as a longer book might be.

I know many couples who suffer in their marriages because they fail to understand that there are basic differences in how most men and most women think and communicate. This book can help you and your spouse explore these general differences to see how they might apply to you. It can also help you determine how the two of you, in particular, think and comminicate.

This book can be used in many ways. It can be given to engaged couples, to newlyweds, as anniversary gifts. I suspect that more women than men will be excited about reading it. However, a man might enjoy thumbing through it if he is visiting in a home in which it is left on the coffee table.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Let's Get Organized....

When was the last time you....

emptied your medicine cabinet of out of date medicines, vitamins, and over the counter remedies?

stocked up on new medical supplies, such as cold remedies; allergy medicines; gauze; rubbing alcohol, tissues, remedies for digestive ailments, suntan lotion, etc.? (Fall is a good time to prepare for potential colds and the like, while spring is a good time to update sunscreen and things to take care of bites and scrapes.)

put a magnetic strip on the inside of your medicine cabinet to hold tweezers, clippers, etc.?

caught a sale to stock up on toiletry items such as soap, paper, etc.?

inventoried your medicines and toiletries?

had a physical, visited your dentist, visited an eye specialist?

Tip: Do you have chronic health problems that are either hard to diagnose or require regular monitoring? If so, start a journal to keep track of symptoms or use a second calendar totally for jotting down how you feel on a particular day. Take note of when you are feeling especially well in addition to when your symptoms are flaring. Note any trends that may be clues to when you do and don't feel better, such as things you eat or how much activity you've had or what season it is. Keeping a journal not only helps you keep track of your condition, but it also frees your mind from the burden that illness can be. Rather than stressing about not feeling well, write down how you feel and pray about it. Then, turn your mind to other things and make the best of your day that you can.

A health journal can also be handy for those who are healthy, but who want to improve their fitness level or sense of physical well-being.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let's Get Organized!

"Many people I've worked with say that they don't have the energy to get organized. That is because clutter steals our energy....Eliminating and organizing your life will give you more energy, lift your spirits, and make room for better things and experiences to come into your life. It's a tremendously freeing and liberating experience. You will be able to find everything you need when you need it and finish projects and tasks on schedule. As with everything, practice makes perfect, so the more you practice organizing, the easier it becomes."

Excerpt from Organize Now! by Jennifer Ford Berry

If you are one to whom organization comes easily, you have internalized powerful motivators that help you stay on track. You may or may not think about these motivators consciously. But, they are in your psyche nonetheless.

Others of us may have to put some more time thinking about our reasons for ordering our surroundings and our internal lives. If we understand the benefits, we will be more motivated to act.

What are your top five reasons for bringing order into your life?

Today's challenge: The closet -- specifically shoes, hangers that aren't straight, etc.

Do you live in an area where cooler weather is on the way? Do you need to take any items, such as winter coats, to the cleaners for a freshening before the season changes?

Do you store seasonal items in a place other than your closet? I live in an area with long, hot summers and comparatively mild winters. During the winter, we have warm spells alternating with really cold ones. (Well, they seem really cold to us, anyway!) So, I usually store away only my most summery things in the winter and my heaviest winter gear during the summer. Other than to stop wearing summer whites after Labor Day, I haven't switched clothing for a new season yet. But, I have been thinking about what I have on hand and what I will need for cooler weather. If you live in an area with seasons, have you prepared for the next one yet? It may not quite be time for the weather change, yet, but it's on its way!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Let's get organized - Day four

Challenge: Organize books, DVDs, CDs, and magazines.

Pare down to what you really want to keep. This can be a difficult choice today, as we can afford and have access to many books, yet we also can find information about anything and even many novels on line and in public libraries. If you are a book lover, as I am, you may have a particularly tough time tossing out any form of the written word. Yet, the very books and magazines that bring us so much joy can become a source of stress if we let them get out of order. Save only those reading materials that you treasure, and don't be afraid to pass along the rest to new homes.

Some ideas of books that you might want to keep:

current personal journal
Bible reference books
Good book about marriage
Good book about parenting
One good cookbook (Remember, we can get a lot of recipes on-line today, so keep a cookbook only if a) you really use it b) it has sentimental value to your or to your family or c) it is a manual for how to cook, how to keep a kitchen, etc., rather than just a collection of recipes. Some people use one cookbook as a personal journal by jotting down when they first try a recipe, what they might alter when making it the next time, who ate the meal, a little bit about the time together, etc. If you are going to keep a cookbook, consider turning it into a personal heirloom in this way.)
any book that you particularly enjoy and turn to time and time again, whether it be a book with lovely photographs in it, a reference book, a novel, or any other type.

If you are a book lover as I am, your reading areas may get out of shape easily and frequently. Make appointments on your calendar to periodically re-organize these areas.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Let's get organized:

Day 3

Organize your Mind:

Some goals for this week: 1) Keep your thoughts on things above; things that draw you higher in your walk with God -- Philippians 4:4-8

2) Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. If you have a new baby or some other circumstance which interferes with a normal sleep routine, work out a plan to get extra rest when you can. You will be more productive, happier, and more focused if you take care of your need for sleep.

3) Somewhere near the beginning of your day, set specific goals for that day. If you have already set daily schedules, weekly schedules, and monthly schedules in place, you shouldn't have to spend a lot of time thinking about what needs doing with regard to the daily running of your life. However, it is still wise to spend a minute or two tailoring your schedules to fit the uniqueness of each day.

4) Don't become frustrated with interruptions. Look at them as unforeseen opportunities. Take care of them and get back, as best as you can, to the schedules you have set in place.

5) If an extra opportunity to spend time with husband, children, extended family, people to whom you are reaching out presents itself, consider grabbing that chance -- even if it means delaying the next thing on your to do list. You don't want to be so happy-go-lucky that you never accomplish anything on your agenda; yet, you don't want your agenda to become an inflexible idol. Consider what's eternally important in your thinking.

6) Say a quick prayer and think for a moment before saying yes or no to something that arises.

7) Limit the amount of television you watch. Think to yourself, "Do I really want to watch this program, or have I turned on the TV out of habit or as a mindless escape?" If the show will add concrete enjoyment to your life or enrich your life in some way, it might be worth watching. If, however, you're merely going to "veg" in front of the T.V. without really enjoying it, you might find that something else will be more satisfying.

8) Eliminate energy drainers from your life. Are you depressed by the sight of clutter? An overwhelming stack of unfinished projects? A to do list that seems to go on and on and on? One way to take care of these things is to allot 15 minutes here or an hour there to work on the extras in your schedule. When the time comes to work on a project or whip out two or three items on your overall to do list or de-clutter a particular space, focus on that with full attention. Otherwise, pray about these energy drainers and give them to the Lord. Let the worry go.

9) So often, it's not our to-do list that gets us down, but our attitude toward it. We may not trust that the Lord will help us accomplish His purposes for our lives, and we may fret needlessly about getting everything done that we need to get done. Or, we might -- with or without good reason -- resent some of our responsibilities. We may divide our mind so that when we are doing one thing, we worry about something else that needs to be done, and when we do that something else, we worry about even something else that needs doing. Surrendering our life and time to the Lord and focusing on what He has put in our path at the moment eliminates a lot of joy-sapping, energy-draining fretting.

10) Learn from others, but don't feel defeated if you can't do all that they do. Some women have a great gift for organization and productivity. Others have a high physical energy level. Some are in stages of life where they can accomplish a wider variety of tasks than women in other stages of life can. Whenever we see a faithful, energetic, vigorous, and fruitful woman, we learn much. We are inspired, convicted, and invigorated by her example. We make changes in our own lives based on what we learn from her. However, at the same time, we must realize that the schedule of a woman with several young women at home won't look exactly like that of a woman who is an empty nester or who has never had children. Nor, will the woman with physical challenges do in her day exactly everything that a vitally healthy woman will. We must learn the secret of learning from others without becoming discontented with our own present circumstances.

Today's task: Go through your email and sort ones you want to keep into files. Eliminate old files that you no longer need. Eliminate emails that you no longer need. Unsubscribe from any mailing lists that you no longer wish to hear from.