Live a Happy Life
Happy 80th birthday to my very special Dad, Don Wolf! We had a great surprise birthday party for him this month in Fort Wayne.
God has been blessing him with a wonderful life.
Even through starting with the very difficult early life of losing both of his parents in middle school to sickness (working full time through high school and eating mostly cheese sandwiches every day), then marrying my wonderful Mom and four children (I am youngest), working his way up to CEO of HWI/Do It Best Corp.
All his life and now even in his 80’s working hard for especially children’s charities (starting and continuing work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Fort Wayne and nationally, his church, and many programs in the school system there for underprivileged children).
A great Dad and example, and he now gives cards with the advice below to people because so many have asked him.
Four Keys to a Happy and Productive Life: (by Don Wolf)
- Treat Others as You Would Like to be Treated (he always told me to walk a mile in others shoes)
- Be Happy and Have and Optimistic Attitude
- Think for Yourself – Don’t be a Follower
- Finish the Job (and I would add to always look to God and the cross)
In this blog article I am excited to write a summary of a terrific Family Life marriage retreat my husband and I attended this month and a summary of a very good and insightful parenting book I have read for my woman’s bible study group.
For our readers this week, an article about cold and sinusitis treatment, and especially check out my great fitness and workout trainer Eric (and his Fitness Tips).
Eric Walden has been my personal trainer for the past 9 months. I had trained with a personal trainer for 2 years a decade ago, but since then weight lifted about twice weekly by myself. Last year I decided to hire Eric to train my son Brendan twice weekly for football. He has done a tremendous job with his strength and conditioning/speed. When Brendan had football practices every weekday last Fall, I decided to train with Eric because I was very impressed with Eric’s hard work and excellent results with Brendan. I wanted to challenge my body and muscles by varying my usual routine. Since working with Eric ½ hour twice weekly, my strength and tone all over have tremendously increased. I really enjoy being stronger for my posture, feeling about my body, and all my activities. Eric is so talented in utilizing varied methods of exercise to achieve results in overall strength, tone, core, and weight loss.
Eric is available to train clients in their homes (and can bring needed weights, exercise ball, bose ball, elastic bands) or in his gym at his home in the Fishers area. He has packages for 30 or 60 minute sessions, or 30 or 60 minute buddy sessions. Eric also will do an individual assessment and provide 4 days of written exercises for $75.00.
Please contact him by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (765-404-7343) to significantly improve your health!
Family and Faith
“A Weekend to Remember” Marriage Retreat (FamilyLife.com)
This is a marriage, life, and family changing terrific Christian marriage retreat. My husband Bruce and I so learned, discovered, enjoyed, and were renewed by attending this conference! It is tremendous and life/marriage changing to take the time to focus on each other and learn to love your spouse better the way they want to be loved.
I strongly encourage you to spend the time and effort on each your marriage and family legacy to attend this or a similar marriage enrichment conference. Your spouse is your gift from God!
The topics covered were
Why Marriages Fail
Due to difficult adjustments (differing backgrounds, motivations, expectations), culture’s pattern of 50/50 (vs God’s encouraging oneness, giving 100%, looking at self), inevitable difficulties (need plan so will not drive apart), extramarital “affairs” (work, kids, activities/business, materialism, fantasy/porn, infidelity, isolation), and selfishness
Can We Talk – helping communication with a project
How can we understand our spouse (and NOT how we can get them to dowhat we want), LISTEN/repeat back/ask more questions
Unlocking the Mystery of Marriage – Our spouse is our gift from God
God’s purpose for oneness — to mirror God’s image, mutually complete one another, multiply a Godly legacy with your children, keep away Satan (no secrets, work on yourself /strugglesand be willing to hear feedback about yourself, be more dependent upon God)
From How to Wow – God’s plan for oneness and a project (writing each other a love letter) — Leave (establish independence from parents), Cleave (establish commitment to one another), Become ond flesh (establish intimacy with one another) – this can be very difficult due to our differences, weaknesses, and self-centeredness
-we need to celebrate differences and help in each other’s weaknesses
What Every Marriage Needs – God’s power for oneness — establish a relationship with God, experience an ongoing relationship with God together (read bible, pray together and individually, church home, time w other Christians/small group)
We Fight Too – with a project — Conflict (and opportunity to know each other better) and to avoid conflict is to avoid reality
- Resolving conflict requires loving confrontation (slow down and check your role, motives and heart, and choose your words carefully)
- Resolving conflict requires choosing forgiveness (admit you are wrong, humbly seek forgiveness, release your spouse free from seeking revenge, build trust by consistent behavior over time)
- We minimize conflict when we choose to actively bless one another in marriage – refrain your tongue from speaking evil, turn away fro evil, do good, bee a peacemaker (anger shows that I care more about how we look than God)
- I love you and your are not my enemy!
Marriage After Dark (with a project) – sex was created by God and designed for our good (the freedom to enjoy each other’s body), sex is a thermomter that can measure your individual well-being, sex can be enhanced by understanding the differences between man and woman, and a great sex life is built on – Companionship (communication, tenderness, spending time together), Commitment (faithfulness, respect, forgiveness), Passion (planning and creativity), and Spiritual Intimacy (prayer and the Bible)
Woman to Woman
Priorities (#1 grow in her relationship w God, #2 respect and support her husband, #3 teach/train her children w wisdom from the Bible, #4 everything else ordered after the 1st 3!), God’s design (equals w different roles/responsibilities/purposes – husband as leader and each other complete through marriage and mutual submission/selflessness), Respect and support her husband (unconditional respect which empowers her husband, thankfulness, praise, listening, sexuality, encouraging words/attitude/actions, never criticize husband in public or in front of children), Depend on God
Man to Man
Follow and obey Christ and his leader, Role as leader in marriage – sacrificially loving his wife (cherishes, trustworthy, listening, helping, praying, putting her needs ahead of his own, nourishes her gifts/dreams/love/romance), courageously leading his wife (finances, 1st taking care if wife and children, protecting his family emotionally/spiritually/physically), Responsibility as father (each child a unique gift from God, loves and cares willingly/eagerly/consistently/not domineering, spends time listening/hugging/things they enjoy/praying, leads by example and with God/loves their mother/teaches biblical wisdom)
How Marriages Thrive for Oneness in Marriage and a revolutionary relationship
- The habit of extravagant love is a choice and leads to genuine intimacy (Exclusive- one person having your heart for a lifetime, Expressed by repeating often through words and actions, Extraordinary-placing spouse’s needs above your own)
- The habit of generous forgiveness leads to true security (with humility and without bitterness)
- The habit of enthusiastic encouragement leads to unity and team together for life (believe in and motivate your spouse, openly affirm/praise, maintain positive attitude, avoid critical words)
Leaving a Legacy – for our the next generations
By doing the constant work of strengthening our marriage and family and relationship with God, and always looking to serve God and others
Lisa’s things to remember from the conference
- Work hard to love God and Bruce – to mirror God and complete each other
- Work hard to avoid “extramarital affairs” such as work or business or selfishness
- Celebrate each other’s differences and help each other in our weaknesses
- Take the time to raise Godly children – teach, train, talk
Lisa’s top 3 priorities from the conference experience
- Be my husband Bruce’s cheerleader
- Listen, repeat back, ask more questions
- Work together to avoid “extramarital affairs” for each other and our family
“Shepherding A Child’s Heart”, by Tedd Trip
This is a terrific book and very insightful help to parenting that I have never really heard before. Most books on parenting give you advice on how to shape and constrain your child’s behavior. However this book gives you something very different – it teaches you how to engage your children about what really matters – how to address your child’s heart by your words and actions. It teaches you how communication and discipline work together when parents love wisely. To the extent that our focus is only on behavior, we miss the true heart and real life change
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
I will summarize this book and ideas in more detail later this week.