Monday, December 16, 2013

Simply Thanking Each Other

Marriage is always in need of some service, because we need to keep it running smoothly. Just like we get our vehicles serviced regularly with oil changes and the like, we must put effort into our marriage.  When we don't do regular maintenance on our vehicles and marriages, they don't run well. Oh, it may seem like all is good, running on auto-pilot, but one day, it is bound to break down, and that can be COSTLY. I don't want to get too heavy here, I just want to make a simple suggestion, call it a "minor investment"  in your marriage, something you can do regularly. 

We all yearn to feel appreciated, and, let's face it, we don't get a whole lot of that "feeling" throughout our days. Encourage your spouse with words of thanks, DAILY. JUST grab their hand (we are big fans of hand holding), look them in the eye and say thank you for__________. 

Wait, you wouldn't know what in the world to say? Well, here's a few suggestions to get you started, and I promise, the more you practice, the easier it becomes:

-Thank you for making me proud to call you the mother/father of our children. 

-Thank you for being my best friend, my lover, my safe place. You are truly a blessing from God.

-Thank you for working so hard for our family and taking care of us.

-Thank you for the little things, fixing something around the house, making my coffee in the morning, letting me watch my favorite show, team, etc. (because the little things really are BIG things).

- Thank you for loving me and respecting me. 

- Thank you for wanting me.

- Thank you for dreaming with me.

Thank them, tell them what you love about them, encourage them. I could go on and on, but I won't. May I just encourage you to start today, START RIGHT NOW! If you can't grab their hand at this moment, call them, send them a text, FaceTime them. And then do it again tomorrow. 

"I thank my God upon every rememberance of you," Philippians 1:3

Now for the challenge:

Your mission, if you choose to accept it:

For the next week, DAILY find one thing to thank your spouse for.  It can be something small or big, but it doesn't have to be a deed, it can be an attribute.  It can be general or specific.  It can be anything.  

We'd love to hear what you are thankful about in regards to your spouse and we'd love to your what your spouse is thankful to you for.  Keep us posted!

Much Love and God Bless from Team Gage!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Asking Him to be Someone He's Not . . . .

Last night I re-posted my favorite movie quote of all time:  

"I can't ask him to be less than he is."

~ Maria von Trapp (Sound of Music)

I am sure most of you are familiar with the story line, and while we live in a different time and place, the premise of why it was said SHOULD still ring true in marriages today.

Years ago, when I first posted this movie quote (after only watching this movie a million times over the course of my life), I still did not fully appreciate the example of Maria von Trapp.  But I did admire the respect she showed for her husband in that pivotal moment in history.  Captain von Trapp was not willing to compromise his beliefs.  Maria was asked to convince her husband to "at least pretend to work with" the Nazi regime, something she knew her husband was against. And while he wasn't the only one who felt this way, he was one of the few who wouldn't bow down to it.  It may have made him unpopular in society's eyes, but in his wife's eyes, he was most popular (and truly that is what our husband's yearn for).  And in turn, her support encouraged him to LEAD his family to safety. They were a team.

You see, SOMETIMES we try and make our husbands into something, or rather someone, they are not.  SOMETIMES our husbands have to stand up against what may be popular, but not necessarily right.  SOMETIMES it's not pretty. SOMETIMES they don't act in a way that we would in the same situation, but ALWAYS we must still show them our support, which,  they in turn, see as respect.  In order to let our husbands develop into the men that God intends, we have to let them be who they are and nothing less.

I have learned many lessons in 21+ years of marriage, too many to mention here, but over time, God willing,  I can share more.  One thing I have realized: my husband  will be held accountable for his actions, what I will be held accountable for is whether or not I supported my husband, whether I truly let him lead Team Gage.  I  have to remind myself to let God lead my husband, so that he in turn can lead me.

A final thought: 

What if Maria, had not supported her husband, what if she had not given him the respect a husband so desperately needs and longs for? Would he have had the confidence to lead his family to safety and a better life?  I shudder to think back on all the blessings I may have held my family back from, because I refused to let my husband be who he is, to respect him and let him lead.

To those who understand this, thank you for your ensample (living example) . To those, who, like me, it took awhile, I ask you to give it a go, step out into what may be the unknown  with your husband and let him be all that he is . . . it's a happier life and a relief to not feel like you have to be the one in control. 

Today, what a wonderful time to start. May your marriage be blessed sooner than later as you, daily, let him lead.

Much Love.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I'm the Light of the World?

Let your light so shine! - Matthew 5:16 

I just saw a commercial on TV that was talking about how amazing the human eye is in that it can see a single candle at over 176 football fields away.  Think about that...If I light a candle and hold it in my hand, and you walk away to the distance of 176 football fields, then stop and catch your breath, get a glass of water and perhaps a snack, you could then turn around and see the light that I lit over 10 miles away!

The human eye is Amazing!  But let's not focus on that right now.  Think about how amazing it is that just a little light, a single candle can dispel darkness in such a way that it can be recognized so far away.

Now take that a step further.  Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world."  And usually at this point I look at myself, and sheepishly say, "Am I?" I can't possibly be the light to the entire world, can I?  I mean that is a lot of responsibility for a guy who can barely keep his shirt stain free during a meal.  The light of the world, me?  

The problem for most of us is this, we don't FEEL like the light of the world.  To which I say, "just because you don't feel it doesn't make it untrue."  Do you want to argue with Jesus?  He said it, not me.  So if I am the light of the world, then what does that mean?  What am I supposed to do?  That's easy...Just be that candle out there in the darkness.  The one that can be seen from miles away.  Let your light so shine!  In other words, be that ENSAMPLE that the world needs to see.  Try getting back to 'please' and 'thank you', try starting with a little smile for those around you, try finding the good in others, and looking for kind words to say, try making today a brighter place for those around you.  For how long you ask?  Try doing it today, just today.  We'll deal with tomorrow when it comes.  And remember, people from as far away as ten miles can see your light...further if you're on Facebook...

Join us today, as we let our light so shine.  And remember, "you can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth you!"

Saturday, November 30, 2013

What Are You Feeding Your Kids?

Big Thinking Precedes Great Achievement! - Wilferd Peterson

A few years ago, J. Scott, our oldest, had started playing football, and lifting weights when he came to me saying that he needed to get bigger.  He asked if I knew anything about putting on weight...I said, "Son, I have been putting on weight for the last 20 years...Do I know about putting on weight?" I told him putting on weight is the easy part.  You simply have to take in more calories than you burn, a technique that I have evidently been perfecting...

But seriously, getting big and strong in order to be the very best athlete that one can be is simple.  So for your young athlete, it's important that they eat right, get the right mix of proteins and carbohydrates, avoid sugary snacks, stay off of sodas completely, and stay hydrated during the day.  What they put in their body is an important determining factor in how they will perform and the results that they will achieve.

However, what they put in their body is but a small part of what will help them become all the God intends them to become.  What you feed them mentally, is perhaps, even more important as they seek to make their dreams become reality.  

We spent the last 10 years going to watch the world's greatest violist perform in places ranging from an elementary school cafetorium to The Bass Hall in Fort Worth.  We have watched the world's greatest tuba player amaze instructors and directors, as, according to one Band Director, "he does things on the tuba that I've never heard anyone his age do."  We have cheered on the world's strongest young man as he competes in, and medals in power-lifting meets.  We watch the world's fastest 15 year old steal bases standing up, while competing against the very best select baseball teams.  What I'm trying to say is that we feed our kids encouragement, and lots of it.  Now don't get me wrong, we are realistic as well.  One of the things that I have always told them is that there will always be people in life more talented than you...However, there will be no one who works harder than you do.  We have filled them with positive thoughts, instilled good work habits, and help them to set goals for what they want in life.  When you exit Braylen's room, you see the handwritten sign above his door that reads, "The greatest there is, the greatest there ever was, and the greatest there will ever be."  "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." - Proverbs 23:7

And finally, the most important ingredient on their way to success, the spiritual food.  We have been blessed to be part of an amazing church from the time the boys were babies until this day.  We took seriously as parents the charge that we were given to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." - Ephesians 6:4  When God entrusted us with these two amazing gifts, we took to heart his advice to "train up a child in the way he should go." - Proverbs 22:6  We strive every day to help both our boys in doing a daily devotion, read their bibles and be Godly examples to those around them.  And we give God the glory for all He has done!

Now with all of that said, let me say this, we are not done yet.  While we have two amazing boys, who are achieving great things, we still have a way to go.  We continually bathe them in prayer, remain ever available as we continue to train, drive, inspire, discipline and encourage them to be all that God has in store for them.

Big Thinking Precedes Great Achievement!  What are you feeding your kids?  

Join us today as we take a look at our kid's diets and begin to make the adjustments that we need to make in order to give our kids every opportunity to become all that God intends for them to become!  And don't forget "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." - Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Who Hasn't Enjoyed a Taco from Jack in the Box?

Throughout the years, Team Gage has been truly blessed!  And today is no exception.  Today, the day before Thanksgiving we were able to share in a day of new experiences with a couple of things that we take for granted.  And for these things, and much more, we are truly thankful.  Sometimes it's the little things that count the most.

Tonight we took a trip to the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine, Texas.  Tonight Team Gage consisted of Mom, Dad, the two boys AND their girlfriends.  Our purpose was to capture the Christmas Season in a couple, or a thousand pictures with the hope that one would be deemed good enough to make the Christmas Card...What we didn't know, and had taken for granted was that neither girl had ever been to the Gaylord at Christmas time.  Needless to say, we had a great time walking around, looking at the beautiful scenery, lights, huge Santa boots, colorful trees, and even hearing the occasional drumbeat from the "little" toy drummer.  It was a great way to start the Holiday Season and worth every minute to see the smiles on everyone's faces.  

The biggest shocker though was when we decided to get something to eat.  We decided to stop for tacos at Jack in the Box.  That is when we learned that one of the girls had never had a Jack in the Box taco...Needless to say, they were a hit!  

And that's when it hit me...Discovering new things, trying things for the first time brings anticipation, excitement, wonder, maybe a little nervous feeling, but many times we find out that it is worth all of that and more.  Now, maybe that overstates the taco experience, but think about it...

Take time this Thanksgiving to remember some firsts and then just say, "Thank You, God", for letting me experience these wonderful things...Here are a few suggestions...

Remember the first time you held your spouse's hand...Remember the first time you shared, "I Love You"...Remember that first date...Remember that first time you saw your wife as she walked down the aisle...Remember the first time you were announced as Mr. and Mrs...

If you've been blessed to have kids, remember the first time you ever laid eyes on that bundle of joy...Remember the first smile, the first giggle...Remember the first time you heard the word "Da Da" or "Ma Ma"...Remember the first time you sent them off to school and the tears that accompanied...Remember the first victory, the first triumph, the first school play, or first athletic game...

Remember the first time Dad showed you how to throw a ball, or ride a bike...Remember the first time Mom showed you how to color in the lines, or make cookies...Remember the first time you thought, "I sounded a bit like Mom or Dad", and then realized that wasn't a bad thing. 

And finally, remember the first time you realized that Jesus Christ paid a price we couldn't pay...Remember the peace that filled your soul as you called upon Him for salvation...

From our Team to yours...Take time this Thanksgiving to Thank God for some firsts in your life, to ask Him to bless you with many more...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Team Gage