It's THAT week...the hyped-up pink and red one. My kitchen table is littered with class lists and construction paper. Victoria's Secret says there's a "countdown to sexy" this year and Kay Jewelers wants us to keep an "open heart". The folks over at Godiva are offering "tastes of love" in chocolate form. Hands down, Godiva, you win...
We're in the trenches sweet comrades; army crawling across champagne colored beaches, over chocolate mountains, and through store aisles lined with negligés. It's time to flip the switch to "romance"! Wait. Is anybody else missing the switch? Has anybody seen my switch? Am I the only one without a SWITCH, for the love of all things satin and candy-shelled?!?
Admission: My husband and I don't really "do" Valentine's Day. Of course, we help our kids to get ready for class parties and exchange the occasional card, but after seven years of marriage and a whole lot of mistakes, we understand that one day a year isn't going to lay an adequate foundation to sustain us the following 364. There's not a chocolate fountain big enough to sugar-coat the stress of the daily grind all those other days.
If you've been in any type of long-term relationship, you know that it can feel like tiny strings of legitimate battles. Only God, sheer grit, and a little creativity wins the war!! Maybe you're like us and don't get away "just the two of you" very often. Maybe you don't even know where to begin. We've been thankful to have wise friends share valuable nuggets of wisdom with us, so today, I will pass them along to you. Here are some ways to make mini-Valentine's moments each and every single day:
1. Create a tech-free haven. Whether it's protecting your bedroom (no cell phones past the threshold) or establishing internet, gaming, and texting parameters (example: none after 8pm), ridding yourself of distraction will leave you with more time, and will increase your interest in spending it with your spouse.
2. Get military about bedtime! Every family's schedule is certainly different, but it's incredibly freeing when the wee ones to go to their bedrooms at the same time each night. Our "Valentine's Day" happens between 8pm and 11pm.
3. Protect your bedroom: Knowing that your bedroom is a marriage sanctuary radically changes the way you think about your spouse once you spend time there. Instead of a laundry room, movie room, or pseudo-office, let it be the place you feel the most stress free. Don't believe me? Take Glenna's advice.
4. Get out of the house: This one really doesn't have to be a budget-buster, though hubby and I do prioritize funds to be set aside for the occasional date night out! We also know a number of couples who "time share" with other trusted friends to rotate childcare opportunities.
5. Play Together: Shut off the TV and play, do something you both love, create something, or just go to bed and see what happens!! We spend entirely too little time laughing and being silly as married people! Many of us are also starving for intimacy, but have become so malnourished that we don't even have the appetite for it. I sure do love my husband, but sometimes I need to be reminded why I "like" him, too! How about you?
6. Sex first, Housework later: You know what's sexy? Sexy is the woman who doesn't shy away from her partner's touch because it's inconvenient. She shows up. She doesn't have to worry about what she will wear or looking just perfect. The sexy woman focuses on her partner and doesn't put him at the end of a to-do list that's never ending. I bet you ten thousand dollars, if we make more effort to be "present", our guys won't notice what we're wearing anyway...now that's sexy!
It's true, there is absolutely no light switch for romance. Romance is the bed of coals hearthside, glowing steady in it's wait...ready to ignite as we remember to fan the flame. Praying protection over your marriages and a wonderfully romantic, intimate, and healthy 2015 for each and every one of you!!
1. Do you have Valentine's Day traditions?
2. What couple rituals keep you and your partner connected throughout the year?
3. On a scale of 1-10, how connected are you? What is going well? What needs to change?
4. Pray and Seek Counsel!!
Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth, but only the LORD can give an understanding wife. Proverbs 19:14
The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. Proverbs 14:1
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:11-12
Photo Credit: greyerbaby and Linzi of morgueFile
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.