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Love Challenge Day 6 – Most important day yet! This is good stuff. Take the time to read this. Love is not Cantankerous – Love Seeks Understanding

Be a blessing not a brat. Be a joy not a jerk. Be a listener not a loud mouth. Be a peacemaker not a pain in the rear. Be safe not stubborn.

Let’s go straight to the Kendricks brothers (Love Dare):

“When under pressure love doesn’t turn sour. Minor problems don’t yield major reactions. A loving man will remain calm and patient, showing mercy and restraining his temper. A loving woman is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercises emotional self-control. She chooses to be a flower among the prickly thorns. Ask yourself, ‘Am I a calming breeze or a storm waiting to happen?'”

“Why do people become irritable? There are two key reasons:

1. Stress – weighs you down, drains your energy, weakens your health, and invites you to be cranky.

Life is a marathon not a sprint. We must pace ourselves.”

Colossians 3:12-14 is a guide to helping one love through stress:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts,kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

2. Selfishness – This is the deeper underlying issue that causes irritability.

“When you are irritable the heart of the problem is a problem of the heart. Jesus said ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks'” (Matt. 12:34).

If you don’t want your words to negatively imprint on someone’s heart, or cause them confusion, then don’t say them because you are mad. They may forgive you, but hateful words may change their ability to feel you love them. It also may cause them to feel they are not the right person for you, or perhaps you don’t care enough to listen.

“Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule. Bitterness takes root when you respond in a judgmental way and refuse to work through your anger. A bitter person’s unresolved anger leaks out when he is provoked. Pride leads you to act harshly in order to protect your ego and reputation. But when love enters your heart, it calms you down and inspires you to quit focusing on yourself. It then sets up your heart to respond to your spouse with patience and encouragement rather than anger and exasperation.” Kendricks

Challenge:

Choose to react to difficult situations with your partner with love rather than irritation.

When have you recently overreacted?

What was your real motivation behind your reaction?

What specific thing is your partner needing? What was their message?

Know that you aren’t perfect. And that is okay. Make a list of all the perfect people you know.

There aren’t any, and you are one of the imperfect ones, so know that your partner may need to tell you something, and it isn’t to break you down, but because you are 2 different people you are going to need different things and be hurt by different things.

Don’t take everything so personally.

Consider there may be truth in what they are saying, or at least it may be true to them. Instead of being irritated, be kind, humble, meek, compassionate…(Col. above)

“Some people are willing to put their life on the line and injure another person physically or emotionally to protect their ego and restore their injured self-esteem. Inflated egos are most vulnerable to the slightest pokes and scratches, which is a common infliction of defensive and confrontational people” Nadia Pershun, PhD

Let’s go to Dr. Barbara DeAngelis (marriage counselor) for some help on being too irritable with our partners. She says:

Marriage is ultimately the commitment to loving your partner and doing everything you can to make the relationship work.

If one partner refuses to face or discuss problems, and will not agree to any outside help in solving conflicts, they break the commitment in your relationship as much as if they had an affair. (Let that soak in a moment.) Yes, if you refuse to work through conflicts then you are damaging the intimacy as much as an affair does.

Perhaps they are scared; abused in childhood or previous relationship; they may have a wonderful, loving heart somewhere inside though. The fact remains that , unless he/she is willing to be an active participant in your partnership, there is no partnership. And you can’t make a relationship work alone.

I believe there are five commitments every relationship needs to survive and grow. These are commitments both partners should make:

  1. I am committed to learning everything I can about being a better person and a better mate, and I will do whatever it takes to make the relationship work.
  2. I am committed to being emotionally open to and with my partner by sharing my feelings.
  3. I am committed to being emotionally generous with my partner, not emotionally stingy, and will express my love and affection.
  4. I am committed to being honest with my partner and myself.
  5. I am committed to learning how to love my partner as much as he or she truly deserves to be loved. (And not be irritable and hurtful when they need me.)

Frankly, I don’t know how any relationship can be truly healthy without these commitments. Take Commitment #1, for instance, the one you and your partner are struggling with right now. If a partner isn’t committed to doing whatever it takes to make the relationship work, what’s the point of being in a relationship at all? Being committed to merely living in the same house with you and calling you a wife does not qualify as being a good husband. A good husband, or wife, fights for the marriage, and will try everything before giving up.

If you see issues as frustrations, and react angrily or with irritation, you may bleed your relationship to death. If your dog is hit by a car you will rush him to help to stop the bleeding. If your partner has a problem, rush to see what the issue is and strive to fix it.

More than anything, ask yourself…will my partner really want to be with me and feel loved if I act irritable every time they need me?

Kim Crawford

07.05.14

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Love Challenge Day 5 “There is Never a Reason for Anyone to be Rude” Love IS NOT RUDE…

A good friend once told me “There is never a reason for anyone to be rude to you, Kim.” Wow, if only he would tell that to the rude people. I say Amen!

Rudeness is disrespectful and demeaning.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.” 1 Cor 13:4

Someone said the other day regarding opening doors for women: “A great woman may be capable of doing a certain thing for sure, but a great man will not let her.” Many accomplished, intelligent, talented women still love a gentleman who opens doors, walks them to the door, holds their hand when stepping off something, and never lets them lift heavy objects. It is respectful and thoughtful.

IT IS RUDE TO ALLOW A DOOR TO SLAM IN ANYONE’S FACE AND MEN, REALLY, DON’T WALK IN FRONT AND ALLOW A DOOR TO SLAM IN A WOMAN’S FACE.

Ladies, don’t belittle your man in front of others or talk to him like he is your child.

Neither gender should ever make fun of, or argue with the other, in front of people. It’s beyond rude. It’s hurtful and abusive. Being rude can actually be a control tactic. Control is abusive.

Rudeness can be about what you say, and what you don’t say also. Shutting someone out, or ghosting them, is also rude and controlling. Jesus said come unto me. He wasn’t rude, didn’t tease in a cruel way, didn’t belittle, and didn’t refuse to speak. He invited others to come to him for love and comfort.

Kendricks from “The Love Dare” states, “When a man is driven by love, he intentionally behaves in a way that’s more pleasant for his wife to be around. If a woman desires to love her husband, she purposefully avoids things that frustrate him or cause him discomfort. The bottom line is genuine love minds its manners. Good manners express to your wife or husband, ‘I value you enough to exercise self-control around you. I want to be a person who’s a pleasure to be with. The more respectful and honorable your behavior, the more attractive and romantically appealing you become to your spouse.”

“There are two reasons why people are rude: ignorance and self-centerdness.”

Kendricks Three Guiding Rules for Etiquette in Relationships:

1.The Golden Rule – treat them the way you want to be treated. Luke 6:31

2.No double standards – Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to coworkers, your boss, your minister, etc. (or more)

3.Honor Requests – Think about what your spouse has asked you to do or not do. If you don’t know…ask.

Challenge: What has your spouse said would make them feel loved? Do that. What has your spouse said irritates or hurts them? Don’t do that.

Just Be Nice…Why wouldn’t you?

Kim Crawford

2.5.18 Revised

07.04.14

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Love Challenge Day 4- Be thoughtful

You are the answer to every prayer I’ve offered. You are a song, a dream, a whisper, and I don’t know how I could have lived without you for as long as I have.”
― Nicholas Sparks

Young Noah: So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.  – The Notebook

When people first fall in love they can’t stop thinking about one another. Can’t stop thinking what to do to impress this incredible person? After a while, life sets in and routines happen and comfortable becomes more comfortable. “A woman deeply longs for a man to be thoughtful. It is key to making her feel loved. When she speaks, a WISE man will listen like a detective to discover the unspoken needs and desires her words imply (or she says clearly). If however, she always has to put the pieces together for him, it steals the opportunity for him to demonstrate that he loves her.” (Kendricks, The  Love Dare)

Ladies, men need thoughtfulness too! They may not need it to feel as secure as women, but they need it too. You shouldn’t be the only giver. You shouldn’t be the only receiver. It takes two. If both people are thinking of the other, treating their relationship like a ministry, how may I serve this person…win/win.

Thoughtfulness thinks before speaking. “The thoughtful nature of love teaches you to engage your mind before engaging your lips. It filters words through a grid of truth and kindness.” (Kendricks)

The challenge today is simply to be thoughtful:

Ask your loved one if there is anything you can do for them today. Call or text them throughout the day to let them know they are on your mind. If you live with them, actually go to the room they are in and ask if you can do anything for them, tell them you miss them, or hey, just wanted to be near you.

My cousin’s husband is the most thoughtful person I’ve ever known. He has written her a love note every single day of their entire marriage. Yes. Every single day. He had to buy her a trunk to keep them in. He is thoughtful in making sure she has something in her hand every day saying he loves her. Maybe your loved one wouldn’t appreciate a note. What is their love language? What makes them feel loved by you? Do that. You did it yesterday? Whatever you said and did yesterday is great for yesterday, but what did you do today? Be thoughtful today. We don’t know if we have tomorrow. Carpe diem.

Men, if all else fails and you can’t think of anything to say or do, then hey, borrow one of the amazing things Noah said to Allie in the Notebook. You can google it on that computer you have in your hand at all times. She won’t care that you stole it from Noah. It will be considered thoughtful that you thought to google it and say it to her because you were looking for romantic words. You will get a gold star for knowing Noah (Nicholas Sparks) is the expert on romantic words to go to for advice.

Thoughtfully,

Kim

2.4.18 revised

07.01.14

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Love Challenge Day 3 – Giving Love

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ― Charles Dickens

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ― Winston S. Churchill

Hopefully, everyone continued with the 2 tips from the last 2 days: Don’t say anything negative and an unexpected gesture/act of kindness…

Day 3 – LOVE IS NOT SELFISH

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” Romans 12:10

Love is not selfish. Should we write this 100 times? Love is not selfish.

I don’t think I believe true love is possible if it is in the midst of selfishness. “Selfishness is like a disease that suffocates our capacity to love…Love beautifully finds its satisfaction in the welfare of others. Loving couples are bent on humbling themselves and taking good care of the other flawed human with whom they have chosen to share their lives. They understand that by getting married, they are giving themselves away and releasing the right to live the rest of their lives for themselves. It’s putting the happiness of their partner before their own.” (Kendrick, The Love Dare)

“Unselfish people are a perpetual delight. They make amazing friends and spouses. They are willing to set their own demands aside and lose themselves in the joy of loving, serving, and giving to another…Determine to be the first to demonstrate real love to them, with your eyes wide open.” (Kendrick)

Today’s Challenge:

Continue avoiding negative statements. Kendrick suggests buying something today that says “I was thinking about you today.” I add that it doesn’t have to be expensive. That’s right! A single flower speaks “I was thinking of you today” as much as a dozen. Another unselfish act…offer to watch a movie you know your loved one enjoys. Do a chore for them before they ask…clean out their car or unload the dishwasher perhaps. Little presents have grand messages of love. “It’s the thought that counts” is so true. Presents of the heart…words, gifts, listening to a song they enjoy, cuddling when you aren’t a cuddler, writing a love poem when you aren’t a poet, offering a massage, write a post about how awesome they are on FB, giving to them…unselfishness.

Givers love giving and will do it usually whether the other party gives or not. Isn’t that unfortunate though? Who deserves unselfish love more than an unselfish person? We are all selfish in our own ways, but there are certainly the givers and the takers of the world. Givers may be glad to give for quite some time, but often they empty so much love that their own love bank never receives deposits. They find one day they are not able to believe in the love of the taker any longer. Giving and love…the 2 cannot be torn apart.

Go…what are you waiting on? Go give!

Kim Crawford

02.02.18 revised

06.30.14

 

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Love Challenge Day 2 – Active Love, Do something that will be written on the tablet of your hearts.

“If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize  a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. Patience avoids a problem. Kindness creates a blessing. Kindness thinks ahead then takes the FIRST step. When operating from kindness you are careful how you treat your spouse (loved one)…even if you need to say hard things. Helpfulness means you meet the needs of the moment. Willingness – kindness inspires you to be agreeable.” (Kendrick, The Love Dare)

Active Love Today –

Continue from yesterday in making sure you say nothing negative. Add to that the action of doing one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness. pg. 7

Let’s go beyond an act of kindness that is EASY. Do something grand. Make a memory with your loved one today. Do something he/she will never forget, something they might write on a note and stick in their Bible, will tell the grandkids, will tell everyone about you when you pass away someday. Make today the day you take the first step of being extraordinary…loving like Christ. Dying to self. Why not fill the heart of another person with amazing love? God filled yours, let it pour into them.

If you haven’t read Redeeming Love, a fictional story based on Hosea and Gomer in the Bible, then read it. Men, you too! I know a doctor that said it changed his life. This book…based on Biblical example…is the kind of love men are to have for women. Men, women are a gift for you from God. After God made Adam, He said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone, therefore He created Eve for Adam. Think about that. When you have something you treasure, how do you treat it? You take extra special care to preserve it for your whole life and to leave it to your kids. The greatest gift you will leave for your children is to teach them God’s love, and the best way you do that is by showing them how to love your spouse the way God loves you. It is possible to have enduring, lasting, beautiful love. You just have to accept the gift and cherish it. From Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers:

 

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32)

“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).

Take the first step today. Do something kind. Do something kind and amazing! Do something today that will be written on the tablet of your hearts!

Go love!

Kim Crawford

revised 2.2.18

6.29.14

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Love Challenge Day 1 – Patient Love

I do highly recommend you buy a copy of the Love Dare and do it 1 month every single year. The greatest gift God gives you is the heart of another to blend with your own and love the way He does. The Bible teaches that our children must grow up and leave and cleave to their own spouses, but we are to join our hearts wholly with another in covenant relationship. Love needs continual maintenance and care to grow. We do more maintenance and spend more time on our cars, air conditioning units, hobbies, etc., than we do our love relationships. If you have a romantic love in your life, cherish that person! You have a treasure.

“Love is built on 2 pillars that define what it is. Those pillars are patience and kindness. And that’s where your dare will begin. With patience. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your loved one at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It’s better to hold your tongue than to say something you will regret.” (Kendrick, The Love Dare)

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient,bearing one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2)

Whoever said “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” does not have the same processor in his/her heart and brain that I do. Words hurt worse. Words stay imprinted far longer than a bruise or scrape. What a gift we have to offer in knowing a simple word of love and encouragement can bring such joy to another! If only we would practice this one act of love, hold our tongues and ask for understanding rather than offer accusation, give a compliment rather than a criticism, and tell a loved one “tell me more” “I’m so sorry” “I love you” and “may I hold you” when they are hurting rather than offer judgment over their feelings…what a difference we would see in our relationships. Remember, people will feel, what they feel, when they feel it. You can tell them not to tell YOU how they feel, and they may tell someone else, but that doesn’t make them stop feeling. It is normal to have emotions. We all do. God does. We are made in His image. Jesus is love. Love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-13

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

So, love dare no. 1…don’t say anything negative. Hey, take another step and say something amazing.

Loving to love,

Kim

1.31.18 revised

6.28.14

1 Comment

New Year, New Hope

We rise this morning with the sun into a new day of a new year.

Stepping out of a year that was full of surprises, change, emotion, and fear.

Yet, we see the sun shining.

With each step, we journey into new mercy and grace.

We know there are always unknowns to face.

Yet, we see the sun shining and we have strength.

We speak good tidings to those we meet and greet.

Knowing there is unfinished business to complete.

Yet, we see the sun shining and we have wisdom.

We breathe in crisp air in the cool winter morning.

Breathing this year brought new fears, rules, and warnings.

Yet, we see the sun shining and we breathe more deeply.

We hear the noise of the world beginning again.

Traffic, the news, and voices, can cause emotions to blend.

Yet, we see the sun shining and have peace.

We look at the numbers, stats, and grieve with heavy souls.

We know there are those with such suffering that no words can console.

Yet, we see the sun shining and we reach out

For hope.

We see the sun shining and we step into hope.

Kim Crawford-Meeks 1.4.2021

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Security & Communication in a Relationship

Unveiled & Untangled

1) Safe communication.
The first step to security in relationship is to build healthy and safe communication. Both you and your partner must feel safe to tell each other what you feel and think in your relationship. You must also be able to listen to, understand and affirm what your partner is feeling and vice-versa. This means that you and your partner must learn how to identify, label and communicate your feelings effectively across to each other.
2) Refrain from Pre-Judgment
In the course of your relationship, there will be times when you do not understand your partner, why he/she acted the way they did and/or why he/she feels a certain way that you cannot comprehend. It is important that you stay calm as such feeling is completely normal in a relationship. However when such things happen, you must refrain yourself from pre-judging the event by calling your partner crazy…

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The Light

The Light

God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3)

He spoke the light into being to awaken life. Each morning we have new mercies as the sun rises to bring light to the world.

There may be darkness, but there is always light somewhere in the darkness. Sometimes a small flicker, and sometimes a brilliant beam of light. There is always light. We must live for the light.

God’s Word is a “lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

God lights the next step we need to take, when we need it, and wants us to rest on the step we are on.

There may be darkness, but there is always light somewhere in the darkness. Sometimes a small flicker, and sometimes a brilliant beam of light. There is always light. We must live for the light.

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.” (Matthew 2:9-11)

Wise men from the east followed a bright star to find the new born King. Imagine the brilliance, wonder, and awe as they followed the bright star. A Savior was born into the world so that we would have life. Life here on Earth, life in Heaven, life!

There may be darkness, but there is always light somewhere in the darkness. Sometimes a small flicker, and sometimes a brilliant beam of light. There is always light. We must live for the light.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Oh, but we know this can be a very dark world. We hear and witness stories of people hating other people because they are not the same, or just because they want to hate. Communication seems to be a very difficult concept for people. Talking and listening to reach a mutual understanding doesn’t seem to be a shared concept. Relationships are damaged or dissolved due to habits of fight, flight, or freeze, rather than commit, endure, and be kind. Empathy is so often missing. We grieve the loss of compassion.

There may be darkness, but there is always light somewhere in the darkness. Sometimes a small flicker, and sometimes a brilliant beam of light. There is always light. We must live for the light.

“Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” Psalm 139:12

I was at a campground earlier this year. It was in middle of a forest and didn’t have the playgrounds, activities, and such that many playgrounds have for families. We parked our tiny camper and the sun went down. Darkness rested upon the day and it became night. I couldn’t hear other campers or see them. I heard quiet. I heard crickets and frogs. Even though darkness was a blanket on the forest, what I saw was not the darkness at all. I saw light. There in the middle of the forest were thousands of fireflies, and they were twinkling, shining, sparkling and glowing. It was as if they were shining their tiny lights to the rhythm of the chirping and croaking. A natural symphony of light and sound.

There may be darkness, but there is always light somewhere in the darkness. Sometimes a small flicker, and sometimes a brilliant beam of light. There is always light. We must live for the light.

“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5

I walked into a hospital room one evening. In the corner of the room was a 4 ft. tall plastic vintage Santa Claus shining brightly. I asked if it belonged to the patient. The family proceeded to tell me that Grandma had that Santa for 40 years. They celebrated their mother/grandmother/great grandmother with many stories, laughter, and devoted love. Santa was doing his job as he has for this family for 40 years as he stood there offering joy in their hearts. The light shining through the plastic was a simple bulb, and yet so much more. It illuminated their hearts full of memories as they became children of joy. It was as if the light shone brighter with each word they spoke in adoration of their beloved Grandma as she passed to her eternal light.

There may be darkness, but there is always light somewhere in the darkness. Sometimes a small flicker, and sometimes a brilliant beam of light. There is always light. We must live for the light.

Find your light. Follow your light.

Be the light this Christmas.

Be the light each day.

Know that your light matters. Shine brightly!

Kim Crawford Meeks

12.10.2019

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Agape Weddings, Blessings, & Ceremonies

Agape Weddings, Blessings, & Ceremonies