True Love, Marriage Advice and Wisdom of the Years

My nephew and niece's daughter (does that make her my grand niece?) is getting married this month and I was asked to provide some marriage advice for the newlyweds.

In my years as a counselor, teacher and married woman myself, I thought this would be good to pass on:

To The Groom: Remember to step up and speak up; it's important to say what's on your mind, whether that's how much you love her or how much something is bothering you. Both pay off in the long run! It's also important to keep doing the things which made her fall in love with you, so if you need to set a reminder on your calendar for 6 months or 6 years from now, you'll still be planning special occasions, or sending flowers or whatever it is you do!

To The Bride: For most women, we have to remember to shut up! Because of the way we're wired, we tend to look for what's wrong and what needs to be fixed and point that out -- and keep pointing it out! But men will begin to shut down and not talk about real things if they feel whatever they say will be criticized or whatever they do is never enough.

Here's wishing you will both experience many years of love, happiness, respect and honor.

#truelove #marriageadvice #wisdomofmanyyears

Because I decided......

butterflies on weed     Because of a decision I made years ago, I enjoyed watching these butterflies today, so intent on their nectar-gathering I was able to capture a close-up picture.   Because I decided to stop. Think about those two words, "I decided...."  A short declarative sentence with big potential for impact!  Here's some examples of the power I discovered because I used those two small words: 

I walk without a limp because I decided.....

     I went back to school because I decided....- well actually my husband kind of pushed me ..... but that's another story!  :)

    My biggest choice perhaps was when I decided..... to live when I felt like dying. 

     At another time, I'll share the "rest of the story" about living and not dying, about returning to school and about walking without a limp.  Those were all decisions that I am thankful I made for sure!  Today I want to talk a bit about the decision which turned my life onto a different path.

     My decision to start a gratitude journal led to this day; a special moment of butterflies on flowers, a "little" pause in life I previously would have missed.

I'm sure you, like me, have often heard the phrase "take time to smell the roses," but truthfully, how many of us actually do just that?  We're usually too busy making money, keeping a household, and a myriad of other activities to take the time to see butterflies and smell roses!

     The discipline of maintaining that gratitude journal led to some remarkably positive changes in my life!  My focus changed.  I'd think, "What three new things am I going to write about today in my gratitude journal?"   Being mindful of gratitude and reflecting on my day actually began to influence what I noticed, and that noticing attracted more happiness, more excitement, more passion into my life.   

The above "major" examples were certainly landmarks in my life, but the fact that I took time to "smell the roses" on a walk is just as significant!   So today I decided to share with you the simple beauty of nature, of butterflies on flowers.  And because I decided to stop and watch the butterflies, I enjoyed a small piece of heaven right here on earth.

What are some decisions you've made that have impacted your life?