10 Ways to to Tell Your Husband “I Love You”

10 ways

I have a problem. I’m not very good at writing meaningful words to the ones I love.

My husband is especially talented at this. I save all the cards that he gives me, because even after decades of marriage, he is able to make my heart melt with his words.

Even though I write lots of words every day–in my books, on my blog–I feel like my words in cards fall flat.

But I agree with Victor Hugo,

love's greatest happiness

I want to give that happiness to my husband, especially since he always does that for me.

So what helps me is to start with a quote about love as inspiration. Ithen make it personal to him. For instance, if I chose the Victor Hugo quote, I would tell him that I already possess life’s greatest joy because I know without a doubt that he loves me. I would tell him how much I appreciate his loving words.

In case you need a little inspiration for your own Valentine’s Day cards, here are ten more quotes about love:

  • For you see, each day I love you more, today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow. ~ Rosemonde Gerard
  • For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. ~ Judy Garland
  • Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart. ~ Author Unknown
  • Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so. ~ David Grayson
  • Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. ~ Franklin P. Jones
  • One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love. ~ Sophocles
  • I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • Every moment I spend with you becomes a beautiful memory.
  • Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.  ~ Barbara de Angelis
  • Faith makes all things possible… love makes all things easy. ~ Dwight L. Moody

Question: Which is your favorite quote?

 

Six Ways to Wrap Up the Gift of Your Words

 

 Are you having trouble finding the right gifts this Christmas?

 Usually there is one person on the gift list who is impossible to buy for. For me it was my father. One Christmas I asked my mother what Dad might like for Christmas. She thought a minute and replied that he could probably use some new flannel shirts–the ones that he was wearing around the house were really old and ratty. So I headed down to Sears bought a couple of warm, cozy flannel shirts and wrapped them up. When Christmas Eve arrived, I handed him the box. He opened it and said, “Why do I need these? I have a whole drawer of new flannel shirts at home!”

So the next Christmas I asked my dad what he would like for a gift. He replied, “All I want is a nice card.”

I thought: How boring!

But I decided to honor his wishes and (among a couple of other small gifts) I made sure that I gave my dad a card that expressed my thankfulness for his support through the years. On the front of the card I included a picture of the two of us from years ago. He loved it.

As I thought about that present I was reminded that our words can be a meaningful gift at Christmas.

“But,” you say, “I want to give a gift that they can open on Christmas morning.”

I did a little brain-storming and web-research and came up with some ideas for creating meaningful gifts with your words.

Give a Journal

Buy a beautiful journal. Inside the first few pages write a letter to the recipient describing what he means to you.

Present a Bowl

Buy a lovely bowl. Fill it with slips of paper that each tell why you think that person is awesome. Tell them to read one each day for the next month.

Give a Jar of Encouragement

Perhaps you know someone who is going through a tough time. Look up encouraging quotes and Bible verses and print or write them on small pieces of paper. Put the papers in the jar. Label the jar: Take one when you need a lift.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Make a little video telling the other person why he or she is so special. Put it on a DVD or email it to them.

Ribbon and Scroll

Write your letter of appreciation on a scroll. Tie it up with a pretty ribbon and wrap it in a beautiful box.

Word Cloud

Make a word cloud on WordItOut or Wordle using the name of the person you want to honor and adjectives that describe them. Here’s one I created for my son, Nathaniel. This word cloud could then be printed on paper and framed or put on a mug or t-shirt.

 

 

Our words can be a creative and meaningful gift. All those years ago, my father loved the simple card I made much more than any flannel shirt. Give the gift of appreciation. A gift that will be cherished for years to come.

 Question: How have you given the gift of your words?

10 Ways to Tell Your Husband You Love Him

Life’s greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved. ~ Victor Hugo

I have a problem. I’m not very good at writing meaningful words to the ones I love.

My husband is especially talented at this. I save all the cards that he gives me, because even after decades of marriage, he is able to make my heart melt with his words.

Even though I write lots of words every day–in my books, on my blog–I feel like my words in cards fall flat.

But I agree with Victor Hugo, “Life’s greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved. ” I want to give that happiness to my husband, especially since he always does that for me.

So I’m trying something new this year. I’m going to start with a quote about love as inspiration and then make it personal to him. For instance, if I chose the Victor Hugo quote, I would tell him that I already possess life’s greatest joy because I know without a doubt that he loves me. I would tell him how much I appreciate his loving words.

In case you need a little inspiration for your own Valentine’s Day cards, here are ten more quotes about love:

  • For you see, each day I love you more, today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow. ~ Rosemonde Gerard
  • For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. ~ Judy Garland
  • Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart. ~ Author Unknown
  • Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so. ~ David Grayson
  • Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. ~ Franklin P. Jones
  • One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love. ~ Sophocles
  • I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • Every moment I spend with you becomes a beautiful memory.
  • Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.  ~ Barbara de Angelis
  • Faith makes all things possible… love makes all things easy. ~ Dwight L. Moody

Question: Which is your favorite quote?

Six Ways to Wrap up the Gift of Your Words

Are you having trouble finding the right gifts this Christmas?

Usually there is one person on the gift list who is impossible to buy for. For me it was my father. One Christmas I asked my mother what Dad might like for Christmas. She thought a minute and replied that he could probably use some new flannel shirts–the ones that he was wearing around the house were really old and ratty. So I headed down to Sears bought a couple of warm, cozy flannel shirts and wrapped them up. When Christmas Eve arrived, I handed him the box. He opened it and said, “Why do I need these? I have a whole drawer of new flannel shirts at home!”

So the next Christmas I asked my dad what he would like for a gift. He replied, “All I want is a nice card.”

I thought: How boring!

But I decided to honor his wishes and (among a couple of other small gifts) I made sure that I gave my dad a card that expressed my thankfulness for his support through the years. On the front of the card I included a picture of the two of us from years ago. He loved it.

As I thought about that present I was reminded that our words can be a meaningful gift at Christmas.

“But,” you say, “I want to give a gift that they can open on Christmas morning.”

I did a little brain-storming and web-research and came up with some ideas for creating meaningful gifts with your words.

Give a Journal

Buy a beautiful journal. Inside the first few pages write a letter to the recipient describing what he means to you.

Present a Bowl

Buy a lovely bowl. Fill it with slips of paper that each tell why you think that person is awesome. Tell them to read one each day for the next month.

Give a Jar of Encouragement

Perhaps you know someone who is going through a tough time. Look up encouraging quotes and Bible verses and print or write them on small pieces of paper. Put the papers in the jar. Label the jar: Take one when you need a lift.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Make a little video telling the other person why he or she is so special. Put it on a DVD or email it to them.

Ribbon and Scroll

Write your letter of appreciation on a scroll. Tie it up with a pretty ribbon and wrap it in a beautiful box.

Word Cloud

Make a word cloud on WordItOut or Wordle using the name of the person you want to honor and adjectives that describe them. Here’s one I created for my son, Nathaniel. This word cloud could then be printed on paper and framed or put on a mug or t-shirt.

 

Our words can be a creative and meaningful gift. All those years ago, my father loved the simple card I made much more than any flannel shirt. Give the gift of appreciation. A gift that will be cherished for years to come.

Question: How have you given the gift of your words?

 

Four Excellent Gifts and One to Leave in the Box

Christmas presents under the tree

I just got home from shopping. Shopping for presents for friends. Shopping for presents for family.

I drove to several different stores and still didn’t find what I wanted. I stood in long lines. I spent more money than I anticipated.

Sometimes in the midst of all this shopping  I forget that the one of the best gifts I can give doesn’t require standing in lines or emptying my wallet.

One of the best gifts we can give is the gift of our words.

Here a four gifts that everyone would enjoy receiving and one gift better left in the box.

Give the Gift of Encouragement

Don’t forget to build up the people in your life. Give a sincere compliment. Tell someone how they have touched your life. Notice those who need a word of comfort.

Give the Gift of Thanksgiving

Words of appreciation mean so much. Recognize the efforts of store clerks and restaurant servers. Express gratitude to your friends for the difference they make in your life. Thank your family for making your life richer and sweeter. Offer the gift of a heartfelt thank you.

Give the Gift of Grace

Is there someone you need to forgive? Celebrate the gift of Jesus, God’s Son and the redemption He gave by offering forgiveness to someone who has hurt you. Not only will they appreciate this gift, you will experience a lighter heart.

Give the Gift of Listening

During this busy holiday season, it’s easy to rush from one activity to another without fully engaging in the moment. Give the gift of your undivided attention. Look your child in the eyes.  Shut off the television while your husband is talking. Call a friend and don’t multi-task.

Leave Negative Words in the Box

Often I have stretched myself too thin, attempted too many holiday projects, put too much pressure on myself to have the “perfect” Christmas. What resulted was an exhausted and cranky wife and mother. Words that I would normally not speak flew out of my mouth. The cookies may have been perfect and the decorations beautiful, but hearts were hurt. More important than wrapping perfect presents and packing boxes of delicious cookies is to leave the negative and painful words in the box.  So take time to rest. Simplify your Christmas if necessary.

This Christmas give the gift of meaningful words. Words that build up the people in your life. Words that express your love and appreciation. Words that speak grace.

Question: What gift of words would you most like to receive this year?

If you are looking for information on how to use your words to influence your world, check out my new Bible study: Bless These Lips.

 

 

Make Over My Mouth Project 2012: A Bucketful of Grace

Bucket 

This is the last day of our month of Mouth Makeover Tips. But I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you the most important component of a Mouth Makeover. Would you believe that even though I focused on transforming my words throughout 2011, I didn’t realize what I was missing until October?

Grace. My mouth makeover was missing grace.

When I read this verse in Colossians, it was if I read it for the first time:


 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6

I realized that my words are not always full of grace. I was approaching this Mouth Makeover as if it simply consisted of following a bunch of rules: Be polite. Don”t swear. Say one nice thing to my hubby today. (That’s it–just one–he better not expect any more!)

I have not been approaching this mouth makeover as an opportunity to dispense God’s grace.

One reason this has happened is because I tend to live my life in a way that doesn’t require much grace. I try to be a good girl, follow the rules, obey the commandments so that I won’t have to bother God too much by asking for a lot of grace. “God I don’t want to appear too messy or too needy or too desperate. I just need a little cup of grace today to clean up the little mess I made.”

But the truth is that no matter how good or bad I’ve been, I still need an industrial-sized bucket of grace. And God has an endless-ocean supply of it. He is not one bit perturbed that He has to give me more than a cupful. He’s just waiting for me to bring a bigger container.

Here’s the connection I realized between my mouth makeover and grace. When I only accept that cupful of grace, I don’t have a lot of the stuff to share. I get a little stingy.

But if I come to God with my industrial-sized bucket ready to be flooded with His grace, I have more to share. When I get a glimpse of how much grace I really need, then I am more likely to be generous in giving forgiveness, love and mercy to the people in my life.

A Mouth Makeover is not simply following a list of rules and guidelines–it is a way to dispense God’s grace.

May God bless you as you speak His grace!

photo credit

Make Over My Mouth Project 2012: 5 Ways to Squash the Seeds of Gossip

Whispers

OK. You’re determined not to spread secrets about your friends. You’ve decided that you are going to be a trustworthy person. But you still find yourself in situations where others are not so discreet or honorable. How do you nip gossip in the bud?

Here are 5 ways to squash gossip before it grows:
  1. Plan ahead with safe topics of conversation when attending social functions.
  2. Change the subject. Before the speaker has a chance to get the gossip out, interrupt with a question or perhaps a compliment on what the speaker is wearing.
  3. When your conversation partner is about to share a juicy tidbit about “Shari,” ask, “Did Shari ask you to share this information with me?”
  4. If your group begins chatting about someone who isn’t present, smile sweetly and say, “You know, this is making me uncomfortable.”
  5. Let your friends know you are trying to observe a gossip “fast”—trying to avoid all gossipy conversations.
It’s true that initially you might make someone uncomfortable, but they will also know that they can trust you with their secrets. Perhaps you will start a trend of gossip fasts!

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Make Over My Mouth Project 2012: Delicious Gossip?

those are strong words for such a weak person
“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” 
~Alice Roosevelt Longworth
“The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
   they go down into the inner parts of the body.”
Proverbs 18:8 ESV
Gossip is sometimes described as America’s pastime. Looking at the number of celebrity gossip shows and magazines, I am inclined to agree.
Why do we like to gossip?
Sometimes gossip has a positive motive:
  • I an interested in people. I want to know what is happening in their lives.
But usually gossip has negative motives.
  • Spreading news about someone else makes me feel important. I know something you don’t.
  • Finding out something sordid or embarrassing about someone else can make me feel superior to them.
The dictionary defines gossip as, “to spread rumors or tell people the personal details of others’ lives, especially maliciously.” Our motives in sharing details about our friends are usually not very pure. And the results are usually not positive either! Friends are hurt, relationships are damaged, our reputations for trustworthiness are sullied.
In the end, gossiping doesn’t benefit anyone. Look at Proverbs 18:8 in the paraphrase of The Message:
“Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
   do you really want junk like that in your belly?”
Today make it your goal not to listen to or share any gossip.

Make Over My Mouth Project 2012: The Door to My Lips

Colorful Door

Set a guard over my mouth, LORD;

keep watch over the door of my lips.
Psalm 141:3
How can we guard our mouths? How can we only let good words pass through our lips? How can we keep the not-so-good ones locked behind the door?

It isn’t easy. Evidently even the eloquent psalmist David had trouble with this. Psalm 141:3 is his prayer for a mouth guard! 

We can also pray David’s prayer. In addition, let’s try using a mental checklist to help us know when to open the door of our lips and when to keep it shut. 

Before you speak ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. Is what I am about to say necessary? Or am I just trying to fill the silence?
  2. Is it kind? Sometimes hard words are necessary, but perhaps there is a kinder way to day them.
  3. Is it something I would say if Jesus were sitting next to me? If I were more aware of Jesus’ presence, perhaps I would be more careful with my speech.

Let’s try using this checklist as we learn to use discretion in our speech.

Make Over My Mouth Project 2012: Quick to Listen

Fluid Forms Streets Earrings Left
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
James 1:19
One of my problems in speaking is that when there is a lull in conversation I feel like I need to fill it and so I start to talk about myself. Or I complain about the weather. Or I choose to prattle on about something insignificant.
James tells us we are to be slow to speak and quick to listen. His formula for a pleasant talk might look something like this:
Slow to Speak + Quick to Listen = A Good Conversation

What if I followed that formula? What if instead of talking about myself, I asked the other person a question? What if I used the pause in conversation as a time to listen and learn something new?
Here are 5 intriguing questions to get others talking:
  • If You could replay any moment in your life, what would it be?
  • What is your favorite holiday (or season)? Why?
  • What’s the best surprise you’ve ever received?
  • What word would you say describes you best? Why?
  • If you could meet any one person, whom would you choose?

Today let’s use one of these questions and be quick to listen and slow to speak.

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