Dear M.A.W., The Master Bedroom is most certainly the most private and intimate room in the house. It is the room that represents the special bond between a husband and wife. It also holds the many exciting dynamics of simply living with another human being. What an adventure!
Books We Love to Recommend for Your Marriage ~ click here!
Here is a simple acrostic tool with scripture references my husband and I compiled for a marriage retreat talk. We passed out padlocks and 2 keys for each couple as visual reminders of the importance of Guarding Your Heart and Marriage.
With all the stresses the holidays bring, I thought this could be a useful discussion tool for us to share with our spouses. How do YOU G.U.A.R.D. your heart and marriage?
Blessings to you this November!!!
Five ways to G.U.A.R.D. Your Heart and Marriage
1. Get close to God Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. ~ James 4:8 NKJV
2. Use the marriage tools you already have from books, counseling and marriage conferences you have accumulated. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. ~ James 1:22-25
3. Avoid temptations If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
4. Remember why you chose each other and Realize your spouse is God’s perfect gift for you May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife/husband of your youth. ~ Proverbs 5:18
5. Don’t do it alone – find healthy support and build accountability with other couples. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:10 NLT
Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. ~Proverbs 4:23
The Secret Hand Squeeze ~ Colleen Marquez
I’ve been looking for a jewelry manufacturer for a new literary art concept I’m working on, and I stumbled on a wonderful story that touched my heart and has stuck with me for a week already. I asked Marc Stiglitz, owner & head designer of HAND in HAND custom jewelry design in San Francisco for his permission to share this story with Club M.A.W., and he kindly responded,
“It’s really humbling every time someone responds to this profound story of love, commitment and devotion that my grandparents worked very hard over a lifetime to enjoy. It obviously inspires me each & every day in my business, in my marriage, in everything I do and has inspired many of my clients to start their own “HAND squeeze” communication together.”
“I would be completely honored for my grandparents’ spirit to live on and positively impact as many people as possible. That’s why I founded my business in their honor to continue to spread their amazing story.”
So with his permission, here is the story of HAND in HAND custom jewelry design in San Francisco’s owner, Marc Stiglitz and his grandparents, who inspired him to start his custom fine jewelry company (as quoted on their webpage: www.handsinhandsf.com/about.htm)
“Story of Love: HAND in HAND was founded in honor of my grandparents, who were married for 56 and 67 years respectively. They were happily married and constantly expressed their eternal love, commitment and devotion for one another, their entire family and their close friends, which today leaves my family with the warmest memories and a strong legacy to follow.
My Nani Faye and Popsie Maury, who were married for 67 years, had a secret, silent way of telling each other how much they loved one another, regardless of where they were or who might be around. This became known as their “secret hand squeeze communication.” My Popsie would squeeze 4 times representing, "Do you love me?" My Nani would then answer, "Yes I do" with three squeezes in reply. My Popsie would then ask with 2 squeezes, "How much?" And my Nani would then emphatically end the conversation with the single BIGGEST, HAND-BREAKING squeeze she could in exclamation of their love for each other! This is where the name HAND in HAND comes from and was one of the key inspirations in founding our business.”
This story made me reflect on the legacies we all will leave to future generations. The little hand squeezing tradition was a private communication of intimacy between Marc’s grandparents, but they weren’t the only ones watching their communications of love. Their children and grandchildren had the opportunity to witness and be strengthened by the intimacy in their marriage. And the power of inspiration was so strong it continues to impact Marc, his entire family, his business and everyone who hears this truly special story.
After reading this, I felt moved with fresh opportunity in my own marriage. We’ll all leave a story for future generations. What will our children and grandchildren say about our marriages when we are gone? Thank you, Marc! I’m inspired.
So come on in ladies ... we're talking about inspiring marriage stories! ~ ColleenMeet Our MAWderator... Colleen Marquez
~ ~ Hello From Colleen ~
Welcome to Your Master Bedroom -- fully equipped with refreshment, reflection, and resources to help make your marriage simply MAWvelous!I don’t claim to be a marriage expert, but I do know marital struggles and survival firsthand. My passion is to bring hope, joy, and intentional love to other Christian marriages and help them to not just survive, but to Strive & Thrive.
I look forward to getting to know you and hearing what topics and concerns you’d like to discuss on our message board. I look forward to connecting! Warmly, Colleen
Colleen has personal and professional experience helping women plan their careers and improve their personal lives, by striving to live intentionally with God’s Word as their guide.She is an occasional guest speaker to groups dealing with infertility, adoption, betrayal, forgiveness, and couple restoration.Colleen and her husband renewed their vows after sixteen years of marriage in 2005, and have two children they adopted at birth:a daughter, eleven, and a son, three.They make their home in the San Francisco Bay Area.
My husband and I had the most wonderful date not too long ago. We were on vacation in Florida visiting his parents when they said, "We'll watch the kids ... you two go out!" Yahooo!
We sat outside under twinkling lights at a little Irish Pub in downtown Naples. We laughed and we talked and enjoyed 'taking it all in.' It was the warmest it had been in Florida, for that time of year, in 35 years. Lovely. We had tickets to the theater, a short walking distance away.
The show was called Mixed Emotions. It was a play about a widow and a widower who had both lost their spouses within the past three years. As couples, they had been long time friends, but now, life took on a new turn.
I laughed and I cried and often peeked over to my husband to see his reactions. How odd to sit in a room that held mostly retired folk, who many themselves were now widowed. I thought of the stories that many of them held ... stories of courtship, war, working, and raising kids. I thought of the memories and the love, the sweat, and the tears, that go into the making of a family. I suddenly saw my life fast forward twenty or thirty years ... hopefully forty. Without saying anything, my husband reached over, looked me in the eyes and squeezed my hand. I squeezed back. Emotions, indeed. Wherever you are in your marriage, be encouraged. There have been women who have gone before you, and women who will come after you who have and will walk a similar path ~ no matter what it is. There are the highs ~ like better paying jobs, great kids, exciting moves, good neighbors, fun BBQ's with friends and romantic dinners alone. And there are lows ~ loss of jobs, illnesses, unwanted moves and sometimes no babies. And if, for some reason, infidelity or abuse finds it's way into a crack, it's easy to see how the honor and dignity would be lost -- any restoration often seems impossible, but I do know couples that have done it successfully. We can laugh, we can cry, and then we can go back and be the best we can be.
Marriage, truly is, a MAWvelous adventure in becoming the women God created us to be. With warm thoughts for healthy and happy one ~