💡Husband Hack #7 💡—💙Leave an unexpected note for your wife to cheer her up during a stressful week.
Example: I left a post-it note 📝 on the bedside dresser on my spouse’s phone. Included with the note was a small piece of chocolate 🍫.
🔷I have learned that showing simple and spontaneous gestures of love toward my wife go a long way.
🔷You don’t need to over complicate things when it comes to surprising your spouse. The key is following through on those random acts of kindness.
💡Husband Hack 19💡—💙Use your natural skills to show love towards your spouse. Do something creative and unique for them.
Example: I am a storyteller and writer. My wife is an avid reader—she loves fiction books and especially Harry Potter.
🔷 I started telling a whimsical take on the marker board in our kitchen. Real simple. A paragraph or two at a time. This unique gift is helpful in making the best of us working different schedules.
💡Husband Hack #58 💡—💙If your wife tells you not to play video games because it is the kids bedtime (she is out doing errands or having a girls’ night), keep in mind two things:
1️⃣ Listen to your wife. Happy wife= happy life! 😉
2️⃣ Be creative—you can still get the kids ready for bed while having fun! See example below 👇
Wife: Matt, remember the kids need to be in bed by 8:00 pm. You can’t play Mario Kart with them now.
Me: Okay! Got it. I won’t “play” video games. [I need kids their bedtime snack, brush their teeth, play a YouTube video of the Dr. Mario Championship match on the the background with subtitles and low volume to prevent kids from being distracted.]
✅ Kids in bedtime on time. 🙌
✅ Brushed up on my SNES Dr. Mario 💊skills and learned new strategies!
💊 I enjoy Dr.Mario because I am a puzzle nerd and I love Mario Kart because it is an easy game to play with my 8 year old!
🔷How do you surprise your spouse?
🔷 How have you utilized your natural talents or skills to strengthen your relationship with your spouse?
🔷 What kinds of games do you like playing with your kids (or your friends if you don’t have kids)? What makes them special?
🔥Catherine of Siena lived a profoundly holy life of faith. Her ability to correct clerical abuses with charity was second to none.
🔥According to St. Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Three Co-patronesses of Europe, “Catherine addressed churchmen of every rank, demanding of them the most exacting integrity in their personal lives and their pastoral ministry. The uninhibited, powerful and incisive tone in which she admonished priests, Bishops and Cardinals is quite striking.”
🔥Learning from this great Doctor of the Church not only deepened my knowledge about God, but strengthened my personal relationship with God.
Growing up, I enjoyed constructing blanket forts in the living room or playing under the deck with my siblings in our dirt-laden bunker. Something about forts invokes nostalgia. Security and strength also are words that immediately come to my mind when I think of fort [and fortresses].
Over the past few years, I have noticed an increased anxiety, not only from myself, but from society as a whole. Americans enjoy the pleasure of living in a wealthy and free society—privileges not afforded in other places and times.
My aim here in this post is not to analyze the causes for the increased angst. That I will leave to professionals in psychology, medicine, and psychiatry. Instead, I am going to share a couple reasons why retreating to my cerebral citadel as opposed to actively engaging the stress inducers has worked for me for the past month.
Note: Please be aware, that while this approach may work for me I am in no way endorsing a fortress mentality being a miracle-cure method to fending off fretfulness for everyone.
Defense beats offense
Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote,“Negativity can only feed on negativity.” From personal experience, I know that negativity only grows when you give attention to it, too much attention will lead to negativity consuming your life. Fighting negativity with an offensive attack does not work. I came across this anonymous quote that stuck a cord on this subject, “When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department generally uses water.”
Different approaches are necessary when battling stress and negativity in your life. An image of a faucet comes to mind when complaining controls my life. Last month, I allowed my emotions to get the better of me: both at home and work. Frustrations about unmet expectations caused grievances which poured out like water running from an open faucet.
To combat my weaknesses, I simply went to source—my words and shut off the valve of verbal complaints. This month instead of vocally sharing my grumbles aloud, I created a laconic lock for my tongue. According to James 3, the mouth and tongue act as a gateway for various despicable behaviors. Keeping our words bridled is key to stopping negativity. The Apostle writes in James 3:2-5,
If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also.a 3If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide their whole bodies. 4It is the same with ships: even though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination wishes. 5In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions.
Fortifying not fleeing
The brilliant Albert Einstein once declared, “Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.” Sometimes turning away from the stresses and negativity going on in life gets equated with running from your problems. Withstanding the temptations to give into the negativity that surrounds you displays strength.
Known as fortitude, courage is the foundation upon which virtue and the ability to withstand the assault of pessimism is built on. Author Maya Angelou succinctly states, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” Shifting my mindset toward stoicism and fortress-like greatly helped me weather the storms of stress.
Becoming more self-aware of my vocal complaints, grumbles, and murmurings prevented me from stumbling into the sea of stress. Distancing myself emotionally from the “bad” or “negative” experiences I faced in the workplace or at home helped me to move more quickly onto the next task or event of the day. The image of a fortress best represents for me the virtue of fortitude and ability to block negativity.
Questions for reflection
Are you currently in a negative environment?
What steps have you done to change your situation?
Think of three things you can do to take action in the next week to decrease negativity in your life.
Quotes for further reflection
“But you, O man of God, must flee from these things; and strive for uprightness, godliness, good faith, love, fortitude, and a forgiving temper.” –1 Timothy 6:11