Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Make A Difference graphicTalkingTuesdayShare your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

I’ll get us started …

It’s always tough just picking one because this time of year is rich with traditions and memories attached to those traditions. Plus there’s the fact that there are traditions from growing up with each of our families as well as my husband’s and my own traditions. I think I’ll choose a tradition Steve and I have created together.

Since we are the ones traveling each year to see our families, we never get to be at our home for Christmas. Because we’re usually in the air or on the road, we decided not to tote our Christmas gifts for each other along for the ride. Instead, we started doing our own Christmas night before we take off each year. We make dinner, sip on cups of hot cider and cocoa, get our Christmas jammies on, and open up gifts side by side. It’s a sweet little night that we look forward to each year. Hopefully at some point we’ll get to enjoy Christmas in our own home, but for now, we enjoy this pre-Christmas night together.

Okay, it’s your turn!

Talking Tuesday Weekly Announcement REVISEDIf you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

Which do you prefer when it comes to someone’s expression of love for you, and why?

1. A thoughtful gift

2. An act of love (massage, cleaning up, dinner made, etc.)

3. A planned outing (picnic, date night, etc.)

4. Quality time spent together

I’ll get us started …

It’s safe to say that I would relish any of the above expressions of love, but quality time is definitely my go to. One of the times I feel most loved by my husband is on our weekly lunch dates. For that hour I have his undivided attention meaning lots of eye contact, listening, and great conversation. I literally look forward to our lunch dates all week long because I know I will leave with my love tank on full.

Okay, it’s your turn!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Ready for More

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pride and excitement that I announce the debuting of none other than (drum roll please) … my best friend, better half, Prince Charming, partner in crime, hero, and love of my life … Steve McIlwain, in our new monthly feature: Hubs Corner!

Hubs Corner will provide a guy’s perspective to marriage, relationships, and life. After announcing the upcoming arrival of Hubs Corner in the December e-newsletter, many of you emailed me with your excitement, interest, and anticipation, and I know you will not be disappointed. Without further ado … the debut of my husband, Mr. Steve McIlwain and Hubs Corner!!!

Hubs here. 

“That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? That’s what it’s always been about. Gifts, gifts… gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts.”  The Grinch always has profound meaning this time of year.  Another December is upon us, and the snow-filled season is in full gear.  Christmas lists, shopping, baking, parties, wrapping gifts, giving gifts, receiving gifts…yep, Christmastime is here.  We’ve been blessed with so many gifts already, and there’s plenty more to come with the big day still being five days away.  Yet, with all the gifts we’ve already received, I’m always ready for more … many, many more 😉  The excitement that comes with an unopened gift and the meaning of someone taking the time to think about and buy something for you…it’s somewhat addicting, and I must say I love getting (and giving) gifts. 

It is for this reason that I find it incredibly interesting that I often miss out receiving the best gifts in life.  It’s so easy to receive tangible gifts that come nicely wrapped yet I kick and scream when given one of an intangible nature that may require some work. Is a gift-wrapped DVD really better than a deeper, richer relationship with my wife?  Is a new pair of shorts really better than finding true contentment?  I believe that the best gifts and blessings in life are the ones that are the hardest to come by.  They are the lessons we learn through hardship and the growth we experience through trial.  But who wants to go through that?  Who actually wants to experience frustration, pain, anxiety and disappointment?  Who wants to stand back and openly look at the shortcomings and flaws of yourself?  And yet, when I look back at the best gifts I have received, they are the ones that have come after enduring such trials.  

I find this concept incredibly true and powerful in relationships.  Going through times of frustration is difficult.  Enduring times of disagreement can be agonizing.  Working, fighting, striving, and struggling to understand and accept the other person’s point of view can be a flat-out horrible process.  In our marriage we have dealt with some frustrating and difficult situations where we both had to dig deep to get on the same page and reach a resolution.  It was not fun, easy, or quick, but the result was the amazing gift of experiencing a deeper relationship with my wife.  When I allow myself to pull back the curtain, truly look at myself and the situation for what it is, communicate honestly about how I feel and listen to Ashley’s point of view, I receive an invaluable gift.  It is one of love, trust, understanding, and support.  It goes beyond any package I could ever receive. 

You might be thinking, “That kind of stuff is very different than a gift.”  You have a point; hardships and presents hardly seem comparable.  Nevertheless that is the way the world works.  Situations that are frustrating and difficult are actually the best kind of presents you can be given, but you have to be willing to open and embrace them.  When a tough situation comes your way, life is handing you a gift with patience, knowledge, love, understanding and/or wisdom tucked inside. 

I encourage you to take time this Christmas season to see the situations in your life where you might be resisting receiving this different type of gift.  What areas of your life and relationships have you been ignoring or avoiding because you don’t want to feel pain or contend with the work involved?  I’m not encouraging you to go out looking for pain, but I am encouraging you to embrace difficult situations you may be evading. While difficult, facing these scenarios head on just might prove to be the best gift you could possibly receive.   After all, you cannot receive a gift without first opening it.  Some gifts come through enduring struggle, frustration, pain, and fatigue…but those are the ones that will truly change your life and help you appreciate the pretty packaged ones even more.

“It came without ribbons!  It came without tags!  It came without packages, boxes, or bags.  And he puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.  Maybe Christmas…he thought…doesn’t come from a store.  Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more.” 

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.