Today’s guest post comes from Minding the Kings.
Find the original post here.
You know, sometimes Mr. King and I just need a date night. A time to ourselves where we can set our responsibilities aside and enjoy each other’s company. It’s so important to spend that time together and cultivate a strong relationship. A strong marriage relationship sets the foundation for a strong family! But after a while it can be hard to come up with date ideas. We want to mix it up! We want to try something new! Going to the same couple restaurants every time gets boring, and when we just go to a movie we aren’t really engaging with each other. So I sat down and came up with a list of ideas we could try. Then I thought, we can’t be the only ones looking for new ideas! So, I’m sharing the magic with all of you!
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50 Magical Date Night Ideas
- Go for a bike ride
- Create sidewalk chalk murals all over town
- Take selfies together with random strangers, then create a photo book of your adventure
- Go out and do random acts of kindness together
- Go Fishing
- Look up workout videos from the 80’s and have fun working out and making fun of them together!
- Taste test candy or snacks from other countries
- Put together a 1000+ piece puzzle
- Visit an art museum, take notepads and pens in with you, and pretend to be art critics!
- Build sandcastles and look for shells at the beach
- Go canoeing
- Do an escape room
- Go ice skating or roller skating
- Go shopping together and pick out clothes for each other to try on
- Make music videos by recording yourselves singing and dancing to your favorite songs
- Do a craft together, like making a tie blanket, a stepping stone for your garden, or painting flower pots
- Rent a movie that’s in a foreign language, then make up the dialogue for it while you watch
- Have a water balloon fight, then relax together in a kiddie pool
- Do a color run or mud run together
- Go Bowling
- Take a class together (painting, cooking, etc)
- Explore a nearby town you’ve never been to before
- Go Horseback Riding
- Play Frisbee and have a picnic at the park
- Do a progressive dinner restaurant tour: Have an appetizer at one restaurant, split an entree at 2 other places, and finish with dessert somewhere else!
- Read together
- Go Geocaching, or play similar types of games, like Pokemon Go, Draconius Go, or Zombies, Run!
- Go riding quads, dirt bikes, a side-by-side, or other recreational vehicles together
- Volunteer together
- Look up a new recipe, go shopping for the ingredients, and make it together (maybe try this one!)
- Go Swimming
- Create a vision board together
- Look up massage techniques and try them out on each other
- Taste test and rate different brands of cola, different flavors of M&M’s, or other foods and drinks!
- Play strip poker
- Set up hammocks, then watch the sun set and stargaze together
- Do a couple’s photo shoot
- Go camping. REAL camping!
- Play video games together. Multiplayer ones, so you are both playing!
- Get to know each other even better by doing a questionnaire or asking “would you rather” questions
- Go on a scavenger hunt
- Work together on a scrap book of your favorite memories
- Borrow I Spy or Where’s Waldo books from the library and spend time together doing them
- Have a Nerf war or a Nerf sharpshooter competition
- Stay in a hotel room with a Jacuzzi and pamper yourselves
- Have a game night playing your favorite board, dice and card games
- Do a fast food taste test: Gather 1 each of the same item from different fast food restaurants (chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, etc). Then one person wears a blindfold while the other feeds them the foods from each place one at a time. The blindfolded one has to guess where each item they try is from!
- Build something together. Doesn’t matter if its from IKEA or made from scratch.
- Go out and play Pool together
- Do a $10 date: Each person gets $10 to shop with. The objective is to find 2 things to buy for your other half, 1 thing they would like and 1 gag gift!
For 15 more fun ideas, head over to My Cup Runs Overand check out her list!
As rare as our date nights are, this list will last my husband and I a LONG time! I hope you find some ideas you can use to make your next date night magical! Let me know in the comments what your favorite ideas are!
Today’s guest post comes from Tosin of My Beautiful Ugly.
Find the original post here!
9 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU’RE SINGLE
More and more I’m realizing how much I love my single years. I wish I didn’t waste 3 years of it on “randoms” as Heather Lindsey calls them. Unfortunately, the church and the world both wrongfully place a taboo on those that are single. I fell for the pressure to be married by a certain age and now not having that pressure is really relaxing. I’m back on my grind and focused on what is most important: Me!!!
Well for starters, it’s cheaper to travel as a single than a family of 4. And now is the best time to explore the world. When I was younger my goal was to visit each country in the world. That, of course, was before I understood how much money it took to travel. So you may not be able to visit every country but try to travel to a continent you’ve never been before. Asia is at the top of my list! Even if you don’t have the funds or ability to travel outside of your country find places within your state that you’ve never visited and explore! There’s always something to do. Traveling is a great way to open up your mind to new things and meet new people.
You would be surprised how many married women I’ve spoken to who said they didn’t know who they were when they got married. That is such a dangerous place to be because they now have no identity outside of their husband. Even though marriage makes you one you still need to be an individual. If you don’t know who you are you shouldn’t even be considering marriage or even a relationship. You need to have a strong understand of self. Know who you are, what you like and what you dislike. Being strong in who you are also helps you know what you will and will not accept in a relationship. There’s a saying that says if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.
Is there something that you’ve always wanted to try? Now is the time! Over the summer I realized that I enjoy golf! Crazy right? Who would’ve known. Now is the time to try new things. It’s all a part of finding yourself. Now when my future kids drive me crazy at least I know I can head to the golf course for some “me time”. Lol! Find something that is just for you. Something that you enjoy. All of this helps you have an identity outside of your spouse.
Married people always love to tell single folks that “God will bring your spouse when you’re focused on His work”. While this may or may not be true, that’s no reason to focus on ministry. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard singles say “But I’m in ministry, why isn’t my husband finding me”. I know I’ve been guilty of saying that too. That is definitely the wrong motivation for ministry. Dive into ministry because you have the time and the desire to please God–not because you are hoping for a return on your investment. Even Paul said the best time to serve God is when you’re single. Take advantage of this time.
The Bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. There’s a good feeling that comes from giving. As singles, we should have a bit more time and resources that giving should be a primary focus for us. And I’m not just talking about money. Give of your time. Give of your knowledge. Give of yourself. Bless those around you anyway you can and God in turn will take care of you.
This is a big one. One thing I know is that when my husband finds me I want him to find me in Christ. I want him to see that my relationship with God is my number one priority and that if he wants me he needs to follow suit. The only way to be in Christ is to develop a strong relationship with Him. Stay in your word. Pray without ceasing. Surround yourself with like-minded believers. Worship always. Make God your priority and #1 desire. If we ran after God the way we ran after marriage, we probably wouldn’t even want marriage anymore. LOL! Seriously, God is just that good. If a relationship with him is not your priority right now it’s time to change that.
Okay, so God and I have already had a talk about my husband being a finance guru because I’m really terrible with money. No really, I’m terrible. I know what to do and I’ve helped many friends with their budget but when it comes to my own finances I just can’t get it together. I’ll get there in Jesus name :). Bringing debt into marriage is not a healthy start. Unfortunately money is one of the top reasons for divorce. Yes, many of us have college loans that we couldn’t avoid but what about those credit card debts that accumulated because you just needed the latest designer bag? Get rid of those. Pay those off as quickly as possible. I’d say outside of student loans (which I see more as an investment), try the best you can not to start your marriage with debt.
Ladies, please do yourself a favor and learn how to take care of the home. Please!!! I know so many woman who don’t know how to cook and clean and they think it’s okay because that’s not what their man is looking for. Yes, granted many men these days say that they aren’t looking for that–they prefer the career woman over the home maker. But don’t be fooled, at the core of every man is still the desire to be taken care of. Get on youtube. Learn from your mother or other women around you. Keep your room clean (I’m talking to myself now lol). Create a clean lifestyle that you will bring into your home. It’s important.
You need married men and women in your life. If you’re only hanging out with singles who is going to teach you about marriage? Surround yourself with newlyweds and women who have been married for many years. They have wisdom that you can glean from. One thing I will say is that while it’s important to surround yourself with married men (they can see things in your potential spouse that a woman might not see), it is imperative to also befriend his wife. Just use wisdom and protect yourself. Bottom Line: Make sure you have both singles and married individuals in your circle of influence.
Well that’s my list! What do you think I should add? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you.
Today’s guest post comes from Amy at Forever Beloved.
Find the original post here!
I am no stranger to storybook romance. Marrying at twenty to the sweetest man, I am blessed to be familiar with love – love as a falling and a pursuit and a passion. We were introduced for the first time on a cold February evening, bundled up as we stood outside while snow gently fell around us. We stood there with our cherry-red noses, enamored with each other.
I am also no stranger to going against the grain and doing life differently than others. One month later we were engaged. We were married three months after that, with vows breathed in the little country church I was born into.
We both entered marriage in love with being in love. I adored the romance, comfort and support a spouse offered. I loved waking up beside him each morning and laying down beside him each night. I loved that he was my best friend and knew me better than anyone. We had our own unwritten language and could share a look or a word that no one else would understand but WE knew what it meant. I loved how he could make me laugh more than anyone else.
Falling in love is the most blissful feeling. With each new discovery in your relationship, you feel yourself falling more and more in love. You just know, in your heart of hearts, that you’ve found the right person to spend the rest of your life with. Your days are filled with dreams of getting married, writing their last name after your first name, having a family and sitting on the porch swing holding hands while watching your grandkids play in the yard. You are certain these feelings will last forever. But they didn’t.
Eventually the laundry piles up, the kids are hanging on your leg screaming, you’re both sleep deprived from the new baby, the house looks like a tornado went through and the bills are more than your income. In that moment you feel your happily ever after wearing off.
You begin to wonder if you even married the right person. It seems everything he does gets on your nerves, from the way he leaves his socks on the stairs to the way he chews his food. The person you are married to isn’t the same person you fell in love with. You begin to doubt your choice. You look at other couples around you, so happily in love, and you wonder why you don’t have that. You feel life isn’t fair, at least yours isn’t. Before long, you can feel your heart slowly drifting away from his.
Throughout the years, I’ve collected every card and love letter my husband has written me. I have them all safely tucked away but on occasion will pull an old one out and pour over the words. It’s in that moment, between the lines, I can see this love of ours has, without a doubt, changed over time.
It isn’t because it’s any less. It isn’t because we’re walking through a valley. It isn’t because the laundry is piled sky high and the bills are mounting. It is something different.
Love is more of a choice than a feeling.
Throughout the past twenty-one years we’ve made a conscious choice to daily say that we still do, even now. Especially now.
He has continued to choose me, even on days I wear sweat pants and a messy bun. He has continued to choose me, throughout every sickness and surgery. He has continued to choose me, even when I’m undeserving.
And I’ve chosen him.
Love is strung together choices. The feelings, undoubtedly, will rise and fall. Being in love with love will fade as the toughness of life becomes a reality. As life goes on we all change, we grow, we mature, and life changes us. But marriage is not meant to be a lifetime commitment to fairy tale love alone. Marriage is designed to be a repetitive I do, a daily commitment of choosing us over me. You choose to love who they are at each point in life, not only who they used to be.
Marriage was designed specifically by God to mirror the relationship between Christ and His church. In marriage, we are acting out a living parable to help our children and others around us grasp what God is like in a more concrete way.
Over the years God has softened and shaped my heart. He has shown me that I need to love my husband without unreal, fairy tale expectations. He has shown me that marriage means intentionally looking for love. It’s in those moments I am flooded with displays of love right in front of me. Love is the endless miles he’s driven me to doctor appointments. Love is the hug, kiss and butt slap I get when he walks in the door. Love is the laundry he does. Love is his understanding that somehow 8 backyard chickens suddenly became 50. Love is his support of all my crazy Pinterest ideas. It’s in these ways and thousands of others that he shows me, he tells me, he loves me.
I am so thankful our love story has so many chapters left to be written in it. As your love story is written by the ultimate Author of love, you might just be surprised at the romance you find. And just how much your husband does, in fact, resemble prince charming. No matter what the situation, or what mess it may hold, he’s still my hero and I’m still his girl.
Today’s guest blogger is Sarah from Pretty Simple Ideas – Live Simply.
Find the original post here!
Fight for your husband on your knees.
Be the wife of noble character.
It’s okay to have bad days, but don’t stay there.
Beware of the “nice guy.”
Learn to embrace rejection.
“It’s not rejection; it’s protection.”
And above all, seek Him first!
Today’s guest blogger is Samantha Moss from My Medical Musings. This post struck a particular chord with me because I have someone very near and dear to me that suffers from chronic illness and she depends on her husband greatly. This could bring great stress upon a marriage; or, you can go through it all with God and your marriage can be stronger than ever. #testimony
Find the original Post here!
Behind every great man is a great woman, or so the saying goes.
Let’s flip that on it’s head a little. Behind this chronically ill wife is an amazing husband. A husband who has become a full-time carer. A husband who has gone beyond the call of duty. A husband who has become my legs, my cleaner, my cook, my shopper, my gardener, my driver, my nurse.
A husband who holds my hand when I’m writhing in pain. A husband who heats wheat packs in the middle of the night or makes me a cup of tea in the early hours of the morning, when sleep is completely disturbed by pain.
My husband is nothing short of amazing and I don’t know how, I don’t even want to think about how, my life would be without him by my side.
We share this chronic illness journey, warts and all. He knows me better than anyone else. He can tell when I’m exhausted even before I can. He never complains at this life that has been landed in his lap.
He never gets annoyed at me for my limitations. If anything he gets annoyed at me when I try to do things beyond my limitations. That’s when I frustrate him.
It’s a frustration born out of love though. It’s because he knows how much pain I will endure for stretching my limits. He speaks to me of hating what my body is doing to me and how he feels so helpless. That breaks my heart to hear him say that 😢
A World Of Our Own
Somehow we have managed to create a world of our own that works for us. While it is an extremely limited life, it is also a full and an ever expanding life. Most of it is spent in the four walls of our home but we are together and we create our own adventures on a daily basis.
We laugh and cry together, we read together, we pray together, we watch our favourite TV shows, we sit in our garden and chat as if on a beautiful date. We share the jobs around the house and keep our environment a place where we want to be.
We also have our alone time during the day. I have my online support forum and writing commitments and my husband always has a project on the go that he potters with in his “man cave”.
Although we usually only spend 2 or 3 hours apart each day that time is precious and important, particularly for a carer.
Where Would I Be Without Him?
I was recently asked to write on the topic of “Partners – Where would we be without our partners?”
I have a very simple answer to that question. Lost, lonely and in a permanent residential care facility.
Thank you Sweetheart, for all you do, your devotion, care, acceptance of our situation and your unfailing love.
Words really can’t express my love for you but I hope this blog post will always remind you that I think you are amazing and I love you so much ❤️❤️
Thank you Sweetheart
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
This has been a…hard year.
A year of a lot of loss but also a lot of prayers answered.
We’ve lost loved ones.
We’ve lost dreams. I lost a very personal dream but also was delivered from cancer, pain, and gained…a lot of weight 🥴 from that lost dream.
Milestones were not forgotten but … prioritized, often not in the order we wished but in the order which was right.
A dear friend found she had cancer….but God and she fight.
She still fights today.
We celebrated 50 years of God-focused marriage between my parents.
We finally found our Church home after nearly a decade of praying and seeking, going through different seasons, and being used at various places.
So, while we have seen loss and experienced hurt…we rejoice – I rejoice – because though we prayed and often felt like He didn’t hear us, He knew what was down the road and where our specific brand of love and talents were needed most. He saw us through fear. He delivered us from slings and arrows.
While my flesh wants to cling to the loss, the hysterectomy, the pain, the fear, the weight gain, the heartbreak… my spirit cries out in joy and appreciation for the hope of Heaven, no cancer, loving and being loved again in a Church family, and my family’s every need being met.
What do YOU choose to thank Christ for, today?
Tonight, I am emotionally exhausted. I am not emotionally exhausted in a conversational way. I am emotionally exhausted in the clinical way. As I had that thought on the forefront of my mind, I ran across this picture posted here.
I thought to myself how true it is… but God. You see, if you look up all of the signs of emotional exhaustion you will find that I actually only meet maybe one or two of the criteria. That is not because I’m not experiencing emotional exhaustion. That is because…
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Psalm 55:22)
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. (Proverbs 12:25)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:6-8)
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (Psalm 56:3)
And, I could go on because His Word goes on. I’m not going to worry tonight. I might worry on another day… when I’m stronger of body yet not being diligent about being spiritually focused on God‘s promises that day.
Tonight, though, I’m not going to worry about losing another loved one. I’m not going to worry about having enough money for repairs and gifts. I am not going to worry about whether I am the best mother or not, the best daughter or not, the best sister or not, the best friend or not.
I’m not going to worry because I have given my exhaustion to the Lord and He has turned it into peace. He is Jehovah Jireh. He is the provider of promises, needs, and even emotional balance and health. I could focus on my exhaustion and say that it is there because of all of the turbulence around me; but, instead, I am recognizing that God is using it to force me into a state of awareness of the peace that is simply waiting for me to fall back into. And… I choose to fall back into His peace and His promises tonight.