- Consistent action.
- Determined decision.
- Dependable behavior.
Several of you have asked me to post the lyrics to the song, I Choose You, that we played at my book launch by artist Sara Bareilles. I’ve done one better – here is the YouTube link with the music and the lyrics. It’s the perfect theme for my book. Enjoy – I think you’ll love it as much as I do! (If you are the home page, click the title above and the screen will appear to connect you!)
Did you realize there are three different levels of commitment in marriage? And only one of them helps secure the happily-ever-after you dream of. Are you choosing it? Take a look and discover the choice you can make, beginning today! Fine it here: Commitment
When was the last time you heard a discussion about honoring your spouse? It’s not common, but it’s a connector, creating trust, patience and intimacy in your relationship. Take a look at the list of ideas to help you honor the object of your affection here: Week 5
Have you thought about blessing your spouse today? What would be a good way to do that? I’d love to hear your ideas!
And while you’re thinking about it, take a look at today’s Week 4 Challenge! Find it Here!
Love is a six letter word! E-F-F-O-R-T. It’s not a one and done kind of deal. Take a look at our Week 3 challenge – and download the free journal to track your progress. Find it here: Week 3
With the release of a new book, authors typically follow the reviews closely to get a “read” on the response to their work. I’m one of those authors. Several times a day, I login and take a look. It’s kind of like showing up at work with your new baby and having the group give it the once over. You labored painfully, birthed it, and now it’s on display for everyone to see. And comment on. I recall my always-appropriate mother once step back from a wrinkly squawking bundle of joy and say, “Wow! Now that’s a baby!” It was the kindest remark she could muster in the moment.
That’s typical of the information you receive on your book baby. Some days you feel pretty good about the data. Other days, not as much. And the perfectionist in me can fixate on the few that are not so good.
I’ve been blessed not to have anyone take to my bundle with a hatchet or an ax to grind, but on a five-point rating scale, you pray for reviews in the four or five star category. But today, I’ve got a new favorite. A three-star favorite.
The review caught me off-guard, as three stars is not a predictor for great news. She had received the book free of charge through an Amazon program, and often folks get books they’d never have purchased on their own. So as a faith-based author, you occasionally get some folks unhappy that you reminded them about God.
But this reader titled her review as “Helped Me Realize a Thing or Two.” That created real curiosity on my part. Here’s what she said:
“I’m not usually into self-help relationship books that are based on religion but this one seemed like a good fit for my situation. I picked this up weeks before my husband plopped down divorce papers on the counter so… yeah. There’s that.
There is a lot of helpful advice here to take – religious or not. The religion base didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. The thing that stuck with me the most was the fact of “I choose you.” and being married or even being with someone for over a decade, sometimes you forget why you’re there. Sometimes life sweeps you up and drops you both on your butt and all you can think about is all the stressful parts of life. You lose sight of the fact that this person is here because they decided to dedicate their life to helping you. To being there for you. Yet it’s so easy to push them away. To say we’re fine when we’re not. Then get angry that “no one was there for us.”
I still choose my husband today and he still chooses me. Beyond that, we’ll have to figure it out. But I am thankful I decided to pick up this book.”
And so, she helped me realize a thing or two . . .
God is at work in my work. When I’m sitting at the computer, I’ve got the Christ-following reader in my head. I thought I was writing for them. God’s got the bigger plan in mind and my hands on the keyboard belong to Him and His purposes. He sees every reader as a candidate for kingdom principles. I need to understand that.
5-Star reviews are great, but ministry is the point. Whether the reader’s a believer or not, I write to point others to Him and His love for us. Period. Not to entertain or amuse, (but maybe to challenge) and to draw them closer to an intimate connection with God.
Since ministry is the point, God holds me accountable for that privilege. There are days when getting the words on the page is demanding and difficult. Getting the right words on the page must always be my standard; can’t settle for anything less.
So thank you three-star lady. Today – and maybe for a lot of days still to come – you are my favorite.
Week 2 of our challenge is about pursuing your mate. How long has it been since you’ve had a “Hubba bubba hey baby!” moment? You’ll find some tips to telegraph that message this week. Here’s the link: Week 2 ICYT Hope you’ll take a moment to leave a comment – fill us in on the steps YOU took to let your loved one know you are still on the chase!
Deb recently guested at My Faith Radio with host Susie Larson. If you missed the broadcast, you can listen to the podcast here: MyFaithRadio
Divided loyalties, inside jokes, new traditions… entering marriage can bring a host of emotions and tensions between a spouse and his or her new family. Fortunately, it is possible to enjoy the process. Listen as Deb DeArmond returns to talk about how to establish healthy in-law relationships.
Susie and Deb explore:
• Common stereotypes of difficult mothers-in-law (Marie Barone of Everybody Loves Raymond,for example).
• How mothers can train and raise their children, specifically their sons, to leave.
• How a daughter-in-law can “turn the mirror” back toward herself and look at her own heart and posture first.
• How to respond prayerfully to a distant or hostile in-law.
• The right way for a man to honor his mother while cleaving to his wife.
Do you know the story of “Just 18 Summers?” If you are a parent or planning to become one, you need to know about this great resource. In a nutshell, here’s their story in founder Michelle Cox’s words:
During a Sunday church service, my pastor prayed with a couple who were dedicating their infant son to God. As they turned to walk off the platform, Rev. Sexton said these words, “Don’t forget—you have just 18 summers. Take time to make some memories.”
Moms and dads, you have just 18 summers with your child. Please don’t miss the moments! Take it from a mom who would give a million dollars if she could walk down the hall and tuck her little boys into bed just one more time.
How many summers do YOU have left? What you do with your children now will determine whether you look back someday with regrets or sweet memories.
That chance encounter at Sunday service has become a novel, a movie, and a wonderful resource for parents: Just18Summers.com
Michelle recently invited me to guest on the site in honor of Valentine’s Day and my three sons. Find it here: Deb@18Summers
I hope you’ll take a moment to read the article, but don’t stop there. Look around at the great resources and be sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!