The Power to Say “No”!

The Power of NoWhy do people find it so hard to say “No”?  It is as if we will receive severe consequences for stating a simple two letter word.  However, stating “no” to someone, is the start of setting boundaries of what is acceptable for you.

Setting boundaries is important to protect ourselves, including those closest to us.  If you were to constantly say “yes” to requests that you find impractical, unreasonable or unmanageable, you will wear yourself thin.  How would you be available to help those that you have said “yes” to, if you are thinned out?

You are important and boundaries (and limitations) are important.  Find out how much you’re able to have on your plate before considering a “yes” to someone’s request.  If you feel that you are depleted, say “NO”.  The most important thing to remember is this: When you are saying “no”, you are actually saying “yes” to yourself.  Be kind to yourself.

Ashamed of MY ANGER

Ashamed of MY ANGER

Are you struggling with speaking out in anger when it comes to your children? I want to help you stop this because responding in anger has painful consequences for your child. We all get angry at our children, but it is important to learn how to control the expression of anger. When you feel your anger building up please remove yourself from your child. You can go to your bedroom and take a time out for yourself. One great thing you can do is to make a list of acceptable ways to handle ager. This can help guide you when you need to calm down.

Remind yourself that you will not allow your child’s behavior to have that much power over you. I have a code word I will speak if I ever find myself getting upset with my child’s behavior. I will say “Evangelist” under my breath. That reminds me that this is a child that God has blessed me with. He is an anointed young little man, and God has created him with a plan and a purpose. I will take a break and go into my room if I feel that my anger is rising.

Once in my room I start to pray. The power of prayer is extraordinary. Every time I have taken this path I find that God gives me the strength and wisdom to handle that situation correctly. Always wait before disciplining. Never do it while angry. f you feel that your anger is hard to control please give us a call. We are here to help you and your family.

Building Blocks Towards an Intimate Relationship

Building Blocks Towards an Intimate Relationship

Have you ever put together furniture from IKEA?  Their furniture is fantastic and upholds for many, many years.  However, the beginning pieces of the furniture assembly is the toughest.  IKEA offers furniture at a reasonable price, because they do not have employees that go out and assemble the furniture for you.  Instead, you receive a box full of multiple boards, screws, nails and instructions only in picture format.  Your goal: duplicate the amazing item that you saw on display via following the pictures.  Back in 2012, that was definitely the litmus test for my husband (fiance back then) and I and our relationship.

The assembly process took a good 3 hours to complete.  During that time, we had our fair share of frustrations, soreness and accomplishments.  The accomplishments outweighed the other two for sure, because we worked as a team and envisioned the same end product.  The same goes for developing an intimate relationship.  Gottman, a well noted researcher on marital stability, discovered that building an intimate foundation with a relationship includes three components: love maps, fondness and admiration, and turning towards.

Do you know your partner’s likes/dislikes, aspirations and/or stressors?  If so, you are in tune with knowing your partner’s love map.  Gottman noted that in the beginning of the relationship, couples are highly aware of each others love map.  However, over time love maps may be neglected.  Be aware when you need to update your partner’s love map by acknowledging their growth and changes.

Fondness and admiration can take you a long way in an intimate relationship.  This too can decrease with time if  you are not careful.  Praise and appreciate your loved one by expressing your love periodically and spontaneously.  Make sure the praise is specific, timely and recent.  For example, if your significant other received a new hair do today, compliment them the moment you notice them and their new hair style!

Do you and your significant other fill each others “emotional bank account”?  You can start filling up your partner’s “emotional bank account” by turning towards him/her.  Turning towards means paying attention to your partner and their words, actions and desires.  Being there for them and listening to their needs will help your relationship connection.

Keep the love alive in your relationship today by applying these three simple components!  If you are in need of assistance in accomplishing these building blocks, contact Family First Counseling.  We are here to help you and your significant other in discovering ways to improve your relationship!

I Love You, I Hate You

I Love You, I Hate You

Proverbs 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. What does this mean? It means that the words we speak over ourselves and others have a huge impact. When you call your child and spouse stupid you start to believe those words. You also plant those negative toxic words in them leading them to believe that they are stupid. The same goes when you tell your child or spouse that they are a great parent or child. You start to value them because you believe what you are saying. You also plant life in them by making them feel that they are valued and loved. What kind of impact are you leaving on your spouse or your children or even yourself? Even during an argument you have control. Just because your spouse or someone else is picking a fight with you doesn’t mean you have to respond by striking back. In this situation the power rests with the responder. Proverbs 15:1 states that a gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger. I challenge you to reframe the way you communicate with your spouse, children, and others. Reframe the way you think or even speak about yourself. Research has also confirmed that negative or positive thoughts and words have a huge impact. Please watch the short 4 minute video on this amazing experiment.


Love Keeps NO Score

Love Keeps NO Score

As Valentines Day approaches I am reminded of how God blessed me with such an amazing husband. As a wife I could easily nit pick all the things my husband does wrong, but how can God bless me if that is where my focus is? Instead I pray to God to show me all of my husband’s strengths and to look at him with honor for all the things he is doing right. I honestly feel that by doing that my marriage has been transformed. How would you feel if someone kept pointing out all of your wrongs? If you could do nothing right, what would motivate you to change?

Reflecting back in my early years of school I remembered all of the teachers that made a positive impact in my life. All of those teachers had something in common. They praised all of my hard work. They pointed out my qualities. Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18) Never do I remember them pointing out my faults. Wives and husbands I encourage you to take your marriage and your spouse to the Lord. Pray that God will show you what it truly means to love your spouse. The bible says “Love is not self seeking, it’s not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong.” (1 Corinthians 13:5 ) If you are overwhelmed and do not even know where to start to repair your marriage give us a call. We are here to help.

What is Your Love Language?

What is your love language

Words of Affirmation

I can’t tell you how many men and women have sat in my office and said to me, “I work my tail off every day, yet my spouse acts like I haven’t done a thing. I never get a single word of appreciation.”

If your spouse’s primary love language is words of affirmation, your spoken praise and appreciation will fall like rain on parched soil. Before long, you will see new life sprouting in your marriage as your spouse responds to your words of love.

Acts of Service

Do you remember the old saying, “Actions speak louder than words”? For some people, that is particularly true of love. If acts of service is your spouse’s primary love language, nothing will speak more deeply to him or her emotionally than simple acts of service.

Maxine, who had been married for 15 years, came to my office one day because she was frustrated with her marriage. Listen to what she said: “I don’t understand David. Every day he tells me that he loves me, but he never does anything to help me. He just sits on the couch watching TV while I wash the dishes, and the thought never crosses his mind to help me. I’m sick of hearing ‘I love you.’ If he loved me, he would do something to help me.”

Maxine’s primary love language is acts of service (not words of affirmation), and even though her husband, David, loved her, he had never learned to express his love in a way that made her feel loved. However, after David and I talked and he read The Five Love Languages, he got the picture and started speaking Maxine’s love language. In less than a month, her love tank was beginning to fill up, and their marriage moved from winter to spring.

The next time I talked to Maxine, she said, “It’s wonderful. I wish we had come for counseling 10 years ago. I never knew about the love languages. I just knew I didn’t feel loved.”

Receiving Gifts

In every society throughout human history, gift giving has been perceived as an expression of love. Giving gifts is universal, because there is something inside the human psyche that says if you love someone, you will give to him or her.

What many people do not understand is that for some people, receiving gifts is their primary love language. It’s the thing that makes them feel loved most deeply. If you’re married to someone whose primary love language is gift giving, you will make your spouse feel loved and treasured by giving gifts on birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and “no occasion” days.

The gifts need not be expensive or elaborate; it’s the thought that counts. Even something as simple as a homemade card or a few cheerful flowers will communicate your love to your spouse. Little things mean a lot to a person whose primary love language is receiving gifts.

Quality Time

If your spouse’s love language is quality time, giving him or her your undivided attention is one of the best ways you can show your love. Some men pride themselves on being able to watch television, read a magazine, and listen to their wives, all at the same time. That is an admirable trait, but it is not speaking the love language of quality time.

Instead, you must turn off the TV, lay the magazine down, look into your mate’s eyes, and listen and interact. To your spouse, 20 minutes of your undivided attention – listening and conversing – is like a 20-minute refill of his or her love tank.

Men, if you really want to impress your wife, the next time she walks into the room while you are watching a sporting event, put the television on mute and don’t take your eyes off her as long as she’s in the room. If she engages you in conversation, turn the TV off and give her your undivided attention. You will score a thousand points and her love tank will be overflowing.

Physical Touch

We have long known the emotional power of physical touch. That’s why we pick up babies and touch them tenderly. Long before an infant understands the meaning of the word love, he or she feels loved by physical touch.

In marriage, the love language of physical touch includes everything from putting a hand on your mate’s shoulder as you walk by, touching his or her leg as you’re driving together, and holding hands while you’re walking to kissing, embracing and sexual intercourse.

If physical touch is your spouse’s primary love language, nothing communicates love more clearly than for you to take the initiative to reach out and touch your mate.

Retrieved from Focus on the Family