Embracing the Early Bird

I am attempting to reset my internal clock. Emphasis on attempting. This battle of early birds versus night owls has been active in our home for years. Articles on the needs and the benefits of following your natural sleep rhythm are all wonderful and lovely. Finally! Justified in our need to sleep in and stay up late! Well, unless you live in the real world.

The real world where husbands have to leave for work at 5:30 am, where toddlers and preschoolers love nothing more than early morning cuddles, and where colleges have classes before lunch. So I am trying to embrace the realities of life instead of fighting them to the death.

It is going really well. This morning when I heard my husband getting ready for work, I jumped out of bed and rushed to the kitchen to pack his lunch for him and chat a few minutes before he left. Fabulous, yes? Wife of the Year? Oh, I think so.

It was a dream. No. joke. I heard  his alarm. I heard him walk out of the bedroom. Then the wonders of the human brain and the sleep cycle decided to have a little fun. When I finally was awake enough to have a coherent thought, it dawned on me that it was all a dream. An hour to two had passed since he left. So much for that Wife of the Year award.

Realizing my missed opportunity I naturally jumped out of bed and charged into the morning. Or not. I might have cuddled under the blankets with a really cute toddler and an adorable, cuddly preschooler and did a bit of Bible reading. Then a couple more kiddos might have come to share the covers and slowly acknowledge the beginning of a new day.  Motivation to exercise had to be uncovered. A chat here and there with an older kiddo or two.

So the battle continues. Tomorrow.

Sincerely,

The Night Owl who is trying really hard to reform and become an Early Bird.

My Beloved and My Friend ~ Review

It was not that long ago that I enjoyed reading Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young. As a mom of two boys, the practical, real-life experiences and advice shared by the Youngs was a great encouragement. When I was offered the opportunity to read a pre-publication copy of the Youngs’ newest book, My Beloved and My Friend – How to be Married to your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses I did not hesitate. You can stop by My Beloved and My Friend.com to learn more.

The Authors

Hal and Melanie Young have been married for over thirty years. Through those years they have experienced major moves, job loss, high-risk pregnancies, life-threatening illnesses and the list could go on. Hal Young’s battle with stage IV cancer caused them to reflect on thoughts of marriage that they desired to share with their children. The result was My Beloved and My Friend. Not only do they share the struggles and hard times, but the resulting beauty and joy of a marriage to your dearest friend.

The Book

My Beloved and My Friend, unlike other books on marriage I have read, do not divide the married couple into man vs. woman. There isn’t any chapter on what the woman needs and what the man needs. There is no list of the Top 25 Things to Say to Make Your Man Feel Appreciated or a section devoted to understanding Why Your Wife Needs to Cry. While these may be valid points to discuss, they often hinder the true discussion that needs to happen.

Hal and Melanie Young begin by building a foundation of oneness. The first section is on Leaving and Cleaving; that beautiful but sometimes challenging transition from two separate people into one flesh. That state of being one flesh is the foundation for a biblical outlook on marriage. If you are one flesh, how does that play out when someone is sick, when your spouse really loves football, or the dishes are overflowing in the sink?

The Youngs do a fabulous job of presenting biblical, scripture rich advice and experience on marriage that makes you feel like you are chatting with an old friend. While conversational in tone, the Youngs do not avoid difficult topics in My Beloved. Even when you disagree with their stance, you can trust that they diligently searched the Word.

My Beloved covers a variety of topics:

  • It is Not Good for the Man to be Alone addresses: Leaving and Cleaving and How to be Married to Your Best Friend.
  • A Helper Suitable for Him looks at: In Sickness and in Health, On Submission, and Fidelity and Loyalty are not Mutual Funds.
  • Fill the Eartha and Subdue It discusses: The Physical Aspect and Children and All That
  • Have Dominion shares: Money – Yours, Mine, or Ours? and The Division of Labor
  • In the Image of God He Created Them discusses: The Spiritual Aspect, Being of One Mind, and How to Fight So You Both Win

Each topic/chapter can stand alone. Perhaps you are struggling in one area of your marriage. Maybe finances or family size is a major cause of stress in your marriage relationship. You can begin reading those chapters and pick up earlier chapters later. While each chapter compliments others, it can be helpful and encouraging to refresh yourself in certain areas.

Personal Thoughts

For the past seventeen years, I have been blessed to not only be married to a wonderful man but to also call him my dearest friend. We have shared in life’s up and downs: job loss, death of a child, and financial strain. Despite all those challenges, we have had joy and laughter in the midst of it all. I am so thankful that before we were married, we were friends. It became a beautiful foundation for marriage.

Even more beautiful is that even if you did not marry your best friend, God can work in amazing ways. No matter how long you have been married, no matter the struggle you may be facing as a couple, He can bring you closer. He can make you the best of friends. My Beloved and My Friend can be a source of help and encouragement as you seek that closeness. This would be a great resource for couples who are engaged to be married or recently married as well.

Purchasing/Pricing Information

My Beloved and My Friend: How to be Married to Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses is currently available for pre-order. February 14, 2014 is the scheduled release date. You can pre-order a copy for $12.00 (free shipping).

Stay updated at My Beloved and My Friend.com.

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Love and Respect

Love and Respect By Emerson Eggerichs

Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect His Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is a marriage book based on Ephesians 5:33, extensive Biblical research and psychological research. In Love and Respect, Dr. Eggerichs speaks on the power of unconditional love and unconditional respect and how couples can reap the benefits of marriage that God intended.

“Nevertheless, let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Eph 5:33

This is the foundation of the book Love and Respect. Dr. Eggerich spends some time sharing some of the difficulties and struggles that marriages are facing today and the alarming rate of divorce in the Church body. He explains how in his study he discovered that one key teaching was being missed and that was that while a woman has a deep need to be loved; a  man’s need is not for love but for respect. While it appears so obvious in Scripture, so many are missing that vital message.

Then the book is divided into sections. The section for the husband to read is teaching and explaining to him why his wife needs to be loved and how to express that to her. Following is a section for the wife on the deep need a husband has for respect and how to make sure the is expressing that to him. He addresses the issue of women working out of necessity today and how that can shift the view of authority and leadership that is a part of how man was created. It ends with a practical advice on how to live out “love and respect” in a marriage. Dr. Eggerich also make the point that it does not have to be a joint endeaver. Your showing love and respect is not dependent on your spouse. You do it because it was commanded in Scripture.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. Whether you marriage is struggling or  not, any book that points you to Scripture to enjoy the full blessings of marriage is refreshing. It was an easy read; not full of different studies and statistics.

However, I did feel the the first few chapters were repetitive. It seemed that Dr. Eggerich wanted to make his point and got a bit overzealous about it. His point was valid but a tad overdone.

Also, if you grab this book expecting a never before heard revelation, you will be disappointed. Dr. Eggerich has a different presentation of the respect/love concept but this is not the first book to discuss it.

While I found the book served as a friendly reminder to check and make sure I was doing all I could to respect my husband, I’d rather pass it on to someone who needs that same reminder or whose marriages needs some encouragement. Just leave me a comment and Wednesday, February 2nd I’ll draw a winner!

**Disclaimer – As a member of BookSneeze.com, I was given a complimentary copy of this book for review. No compensation was made.