woman with a man

  1. Be his friend.

A man appreciates a close friend he can confide in and count on no matter what happens, someone he can share his thoughts and feelings with, someone who will always be there and will listen to him without judgment or condemnation.  Be that friend to him.  Be his confidant.  Be careful, though, not to mother him or smother him.  Give him room to breathe.  Admit when you’re wrong and be willing to forgive when he’s wrong.

  1. Be affectionate.

Be generous and consistent with your hugs and gentle touches. Say “I love you” often and take the time to tell him why you love him, why he means so much to you, why your life would be empty without him.   Initiate your affection.  Make him feel wanted and needed.

  1. Accept him for who he is.

Let him know you have no desire to try to change him, that your goal is not to “make him a better person.”  You like him the way he is. Make it clear to him that he’s your Prince Charming.  Don’t compare him to other men, especially in a way that makes him feel like he doesn’t measure up, that he’s not good enough.

  1. Be his encourager.

Every man needs and wants encouragement. It’s especially meaningful when he’s facing challenges or is having a rough day or week.  Little things, done on a regular basis, can mean the world to him, like writing a thoughtful note and putting it on his bathroom mirror, or taking him to a movie he really wants to see, or preparing his favorite meal, or sending him an email at work or at home with an inspirational quote or thought, or buying a magazine dealing with topics he enjoys and having it on the table when he sits down for breakfast….little things that tell him you’re thinking of him and that you’re in his corner and always will be.

  1. Respect him.

One of the most important thing you can do is convey to him that you respect him, that you hold him in high regard.  Let him know you appreciate his wisdom in making decisions,  and whatever you do don’t go behind his back and undermine the things he does or what he decides.  Don’t try to manipulate him into doing or thinking what you might think is best.  If you disagree with any of his decisions, sit down and talk with him about it in an objective manner.  Don’t try to persuade, just share feedback.

  1. Keep a record of good times together.

One of the ways a man feels loved is letting him know you’ve thoroughly enjoyed the good times the two of you have had together.  Take the time to verbally reminisce with him.  Maybe keep photos of the special moments you’ve had together, perhaps in a photo album or on your phone and/or computer.  Set aside times when you can sit down with him and look at the photos and talk about the special moment you’ve had together. Tell him how special those moments made you feel and how he has contributed to your happiness.

  1. Sincerely compliment him.

Be alert to the things he does, large or small, that you appreciate and then compliment him.  Build him up and make him feel special. Focus on his strengths.  He’s a man and he wants to be viewed as a man and your compliments can help with that.  Let how know how proud you are of him and that you appreciate the good qualities you see in him.

  1. Share in his interests.

Take the time to talk with him about his interests, even the seemingly insignificant ones, and determine which ones you might be able to enjoy with him.  Some of them may not be your “cup of tea” but just being willing to participate with him will make him feel special.  Surprise him with little gifts or gift cards that he can use to help him enjoy his interests.

  1. Believe in him.

One way to win his heart is to really believe in him, even when others might not and especially when he’s struggling with his own self doubts.  Even if he has had some setbacks or failures or has made some unwise decisions, let him know that you believe in him and trust the fact that he has the ability to make good decisions.  Be willing to sacrifice and work hard to help him accomplish his goals and fulfill his dreams  and do it with a positive, “never give up” attitude.

  1. Encourage his spirituality.

There’s a tendency for a man to feel like he should be strong and independent and rely on himself, that it’s a sign of weakness to depend on anyone else or to let God be in control.  Sometimes it’s difficult for him to express what he believes spiritually.  Give him freedom to travel his own unique spiritual journey and let him know you accept and support him wherever he is along the pathway.  Be patient.  Be an example.  And be supportive.




man and woman holding hands

  1. Say positive things about her in private as well as public.

Observe her! Look for opportunities to give her sincere compliments.  Let her know you like how she looks, or what she wears, or things she does, or what she cooks.  When appropriate, tell others in a public setting how much you appreciate her and let her hear the kind words you say about her.

  1. Display photos of her.

Carry a photo of her in your wallet.  If possible, display a photo of her at your work place and have one visible on your desk at home where you can easily see it when you’re on the computer.  Use a nice photo of her as your desktop wallpaper. She’ll feel honored and cherished.

  1. Take her out to eat.

Make sure you know which meal is her preferred meal: breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and treat her at her favorite places.  Don’t just go on her birthday or anniversary, or at holiday time. Let her know you want to take her out as a treat.  And when you take her out, TALK, carry on a conversation.  Don’t just sit there and eat.  And NEVER sit and look at your phone.

  1. Take time to know her interests and participate in them with her.

If she enjoys going on a walk, go with her as often as you can.  If she likes romance movies, enjoy them with her.   If she likes playing cards, take the time to enjoy playing cards with her.  You don’t have to participate all the time, but enough to show her that you genuinely enjoy being involved in her life. What’s really important is that your world isn’t centered primarily on YOUR interests.  One way to check this out is to list the top five things the two of you enjoy doing together and then determine if these are primarily YOUR interests.  How many of them are based on HER interests?

  1. Surprise her with little gifts on a regular basis.

Take the time to know the little things that make her feel special and then, as much as possible, give them to her as surprise gifts. Learn which things have sentimental value to her.  Maybe it’s a rose bud.  Maybe it’s dusting FOR her or WITH her.  Maybe it’s doing the laundry or emptying the dish washer.  Maybe it’s giving her a book by her favorite author. Maybe it’s simply going to the store and buying a card that says you’re thinking of her or, even better, giving her a homemade card.  Maybe it’s putting a thoughtful note in her purse or lunch container and surprising her.  But remember, the best gift you can give her is yourself.  Be there for her.

  1. Talk to her, share your thoughts and feelings.

Tell her about your day and then ask her about hers and LISTEN when she talks.  Make her feel important by looking at her when she talks.  Don’t be distracted. It will make her feel so good to know you thoroughly enjoy her company and want to have a conversation with her.

  1. Spend time with her friends and family.

Be aware of who’s important to her and find ways for her to share time with them.  Let her know you are willing to be there with her to share time with them as well.  Don’t be critical of the family and friends that mean a lot to her.

  1. Accept her for who she is.

Make sure she feels that you accept her for who she is, not who you want her to be.  Don’t make her feel that she has to meet certain standards or expectations in order to gain your acceptance.  Focus your attention on accepting her, not trying to change her.  She’ll appreciate it.

  1. Say “I love you” often.

Doing things for her will make her feel special, but nothing is more important than sincerely saying to her, “I love you.”  There are those who think you don’t have to say the words, that actions are what’s important. But the key is what’s important to HER.  Ask her if she likes to hear you say, “I love you.”  If she does, be willing to say it.  It’s reassuring to her.

  1. Encourage her spirituality.

Encourage her in her search for spiritual meaning. Spirituality is a personal thing so give her freedom to explore.  Support her beliefs even if they’re different from yours. If she chooses to express faith in God, don’t discourage her efforts.  To the contrary,  buy her inspirational books and gifts that give her a spiritual lift.  Her spirituality is part of who she is so don’t do anything to discourage or squelch it.






perfume and roseShe’s gone.  I can’t reach out and touch her.  I can’t take her to our favorite restaurant and have a romantic meal with candles, music and quiet conversation.  I can’t look into her eyes and see the hopes and dreams that lived there, so vivid and alive.

She’s gone.  I can’t walk through the door and see her standing there waiting to greet me.  I can’t see her smile that always warmed my heart.  I can’t share my day with her and hear her laugh at some of the silly things I did.  I can’t take her hand and walk through the park and watch the geese in the pond or sit on a bench and talk about nothing.  I can’t sit by the fire and put my arm around her and feel love and comfort and coziness.

She’s gone. And I miss her so much.

I walk past her closet and smell the soft fragrance of her favorite perfume that lingers there.  It triggers memories and fills me with nostalgia and a longing to have her in my arms just one more time.  If only.

I step into the shower and her shower gel is still there and I lift the cap and breathe in the fragrance that always greeted me each morning.  Her favorite body lotion is still on the counter and I can’t resist dabbing a small drop of it on my hand and letting it remain there for me to enjoy the fragrance and reminisce. 

The last bouquet of her favorite flowers that I gave her on her birthday is still in the vase on the table.  The flowers have dried but a faint fragrance is still present and reminds me of the memorable time we had celebrating her special day.  How I wish there was another one to celebrate together.  If only.

She’s gone.  And I miss her so much.  Somehow the fragrances keep her alive 

via Daily Prompt: Fragrance


CAN GOD BE SEEN? — A Little Boy Wonders

boy looking at sky


On the way home from church one Sunday morning, six year old Billy turned to his sister and said, “Katie, the preacher keeps talking about God, but I can’t see him. Can anybody see God?”

Katie sighed and said, “No, of course not. God’s too far away to be seen. He’s up there somewhere but you can’t actually see him.”

On another Sunday after church, Billy sat putting a puzzle together with his mother and said, “Mama, I was just wondering. Can anybody actually see God?”

Billy’s mother thought for a moment then said, “God is a spirit, Billy, so you can’t really see him. He’s there but you can’t see him.”

Later that day when he was tossing a ball with his father in the backyard, Billy said, “Daddy, is it possible to see God?”

Billy’s father said, “That’s a good question, Billy. Why do you ask?”

“The Sunday School teacher said, “Gods is real, but how do I know? I can’t see him. Where is he?”

“Well, Billy, your teacher’s right,” his father said. “God is real but you can’t actually see him. You see, he lives in your heart.”

Billy was still inquisitive about the whole subject. It seemed to him that if God was real and alive, you should be able to see him.

The next Saturday Billy was scheduled to go to a baseball game with his grandfather. When they got to the park a lady was standing on the corner holding the hand of a small girl. They both wore well-worn, tattered clothes. The lady said, “Mister, do you have a couple of dollars? We haven’t eaten today and I’d like to get a sandwich for my daughter. I don’t need nothing for myself. I can get by, but she needs something. She’s hungry.”

Billy’s grandfather reached into his pocket, pulled out his billfold, and gave the lady twenty dollars. “You go get a sandwich for both of you and make sure your daughter gets some milk.”

Tears welled in the woman’s eyes and she said, “God bless you, mister.”

When Billy and his grandfather got to the entrance of the stadium, a man and a small boy were standing there. The man seemed to be searching for something on the ground and the boy was sobbing.

“What’s going on?” Billy’s grandfather asked. “Why all the tears?”

“I promised my son I would take him to the ballgame for his birthday,” the man said. “He’s been looking forward to it for a whole month, but somehow I lost our tickets. The tickets were in my pocket but somehow they’re gone and the game’s sold out. No more tickets are available.”

Billy’s grandfather thought for a moment and then said, “Well, I’ll tell you what. Since birthday’s come just once a year and should be happy occasions, I want you to take our tickets and we’ll go another day. Is that alright with you, Billy?”

Billy looked at the tears on the boy’s face and said, “Sure, grandpa. That’s fine. We’ll go another day.”

Billy’s grandfather gave the tickets to the man who was reluctant to take them.

“No, I insist,” the grandfather said. “Take them. It’s a birthday gift to your son. Go celebrate.”

The man finally took the tickets and his son walked over and hugged the grandfather. He had a smile on his face and said, “Thank you, sir. This is the best birthday ever.”

On the way home Billy and his grandfather talked about how happy the boy and his father were to get the tickets. Suddenly grandfather pulled the car to the curb and stopped. He said, “Looks like a lady is having a problem.”

The grandfather got out of the car and walked to the car in front of them where a lady was trying to change a tire. She seemed relieved that the grandfather offered to help. Soon the tire was changed and the lady smiled and thanked the grandfather. “I’m so grateful,” she said. “I had surgery just last week and didn’t have much strength to change a tire. I sure needed a good Samaritan to come by and you did. Thank you so much.”

Billy’s grandfather dropped him off at home and later that evening at the dinner table, Billy said to his mother, father and Katie, “Guess what? I saw God today. Several times. He really can be seen.”





Daily Prompt: Harmonize


via Daily Prompt: Harmonize


My brother Joey was born without arms.  When asked how something like this happens, the doctors simply said, “Sometimes it just happens.”

In 1950, a child born without arms in my hometown was considered “a freak of nature,” not normal.  Because of this, most parents would have kept a child such as Joey from the public eye to avoid having people stare and express words of sympathy or pity.

My parents were different.  When Joey was born they sat my brother, Sam, and me down and had a serious talk with us.  Sam was six years old and I was seven.  They told us that they were determined to help Joey have a full, active life, to have hopes and dreams like everyone else, but we would all have to work together to make it happen.  Sam and I were thrilled to be on mom and dad’s so-called team to help Joey grow and develop and enjoy life.

As soon as Joey was able to sit up, Sam and I helped him learn to use his feet to scoot across the floor.  We were amazed at how fast he could go. We got jumbo crayons and put them between his toes and when we colored, Joey colored.  We laughed at his scribbles as well as our own.

Joey had an amazing mind and, along with my parents, Sam and I soon had Joey speaking in sentences and singing nursery rhymes by the time he was two. One he learned he could talk nothing stopped him.  My dad said Joey rattled on “like an eight-day clock.”

When Joey was three and running around in the back yard with us, we bought him a soccer ball and the three of us began what was to become many years of wild, competitive soccer matches.  We would play until we were exhausted and would then fall to the ground, laughing and talking.

We all worked together to help Joey learn to pick up utensils with he toes and feed himself.  We created a special tool for him to use and pick up a wash cloth and  wash himself in the shower.  With each task that Joey was able to do on his own, we all rejoiced, gave each other high-fives, and sometimes cried.

What’s interesting is that Joey didn’t just receive, he also gave.  He was a key member of the team.  His keen sense of humor had us all laughing on a regular basis.  His wit was beyond his years.  His brilliant mind generated endless creative ideas on how to improve things around the house.  He also came up with ways to help others with disabilities.  At his direction and persistence, our school was one of the first to put in sidewalks with ramps for wheelchairs and to widen restroom stalls.  He was a force to be reckoned with.

Perhaps his greatest contribution to our team was his ability to inspire us.  He had a “never say die attitude,” a willingness to give anything a try, and just when we all needed a lift he would say, “We can make it happen, let’s do it.”  When we tried something and failed, he would say, “Remember, failure’s not the end, it’s the beginning of trying again, a chance to do it better. We can’t give up.”

Joey went on to be captain of the high school soccer team and graduated second in his class.  Without the family’s tremendous teamwork, without everyone’s willingness to work together and harmonize their efforts, Joey would most likely have remained at home, out of public view, and his brilliance, his wit, his ability to inspire others, would have been wasted.

Normal is how you perceive normal, not what others tell you is normal.”  

                                                                                                                        …Sean Thomas





YOU MAY NOT BE WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE But You Can Become Who You Really Are

Be Who You Are

The odds are that who you think you are is NOT who you really are. There’s good news, though because you CAN become YOUR REAL SELF. It’s a choice you can make and it’s a gift you can give yourself.

The reason you are likely NOT WHO YOU REALLY ARE is because over the years you have been bombarded with relentless messages from advertisers designed to convince you that who you are is not okay. The persistent messages constantly tell you what you need to do to be acceptable, to look better, to feel better.

It addition, you likely have gotten subtle messages, and maybe some not so subtle, from family, friends, and others that have influenced how you view yourself. You gradually become who others think you should be and, perhaps worse, you bury qualities that, according to others, you don’t have.

You listen to all the messages, both consciously and subconsciously, and over time you begin to believe them and start telling yourself: “I’m not okay.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’m different.” “I need to change if I want to fit in.” “I don’t like how I look.” “I’m no smart enough.” “I’m not loveable.” “I don’t have any talents.”

As a result, YOU BECOME WHO YOU ARE NOT. You may not even realize it, but you become the person you think others expect you to be. The REAL YOU, your authentic self, gets buried, sometimes forever.

But there’s GOOD NEWS. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to make a decision to shed the layers of who you are not, choose to discover all the good that’s in you, and BECOME WHO YOU ALREADY ARE, THE REAL YOU, THE PERSON YOU WERE CREATED TO BE. It will take courage but you CAN do it. Like E.E. Cummings once said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

The best place to start is to identify the qualities that describe the real you. Here are five descriptions that describe THE REAL YOU. Examine each one and allow yourself to BELIEVE that these are really you. Make them part of the messages you repeat to yourself.


It doesn’t matter if you have a disability, or if you have bodily defects, scars, or warts, or if you are overweight or unusually thin, or if you’re missing a limb or more, or if you are blind or deaf, or even if you have a debilitating disease, YOU ARE WHOLE. It doesn’t matter if you’ve made the world’s worst mistakes, YOU ARE WHOLE. That’s how you were created….WHOLE. No one can change that, not even you.

The very SOUL that was breathed into you when you took your first breath, the SOUL that prompted your heart to beat, the SOUL that makes up your beautiful inner being and gives you life — that’s what is WHOLE. The amazing SOUL that’s KEY to your very life is WHOLE. Nothing, not one single thing, not any person, can change that. To feel WHOLE, to accept yourself as WHOLE, is one of the most beautiful, most encouraging, most fulfilling feelings you can experience. YOU ARE WHOLE


There can be only one original painting and down through the centuries original paintings by the great masters have always been considered to have great value. Originals of any kind have great value. That’s what and who you are. YOU ARE AN ORIGINAL. And as an original, YOU ARE VALUABLE.

Regardless of whether you are a “believer” or not, the fact is you were created in the image of the great master CREATOR. You are not God, but YOU ARE GODLIKE because you can think, verbally interact, love, express emotions, plan, organize, create, and so much more that makes you a UNIQUE being. You are ONE OF A KIND, an ORIGINAL. You are VALUABLE.

Accept and nurture your uniqueness and give thanks that you are who you are: AN ORIGINAL. John Mason made a valid point when he said, “You were born an original, don’t die a copy.”


Because you are made in the image of the great master CREATOR, you have the capacity to make things, to create, to invent, to express yourself in something that is uniquely your creation. Consider the fact that when you create YOU ARE GODLIKE in that you are bringing forth something new.

Most people think of being creative as painting a landscape, or writing a book, or composing a symphony. But creativeness comes in all shapes and forms — anything from crocheting an afghan, to solving a problem, to improving ways to do things on the job, to expressing yourself in dance or song, to sewing a dress, to making a quilt, to creating a new recipe, to developing a better way to garden or farm, creating new designs, constructing wood projects, demonstrating creative leadership, using a creative approach in teaching others — there’s no limit.

YOU ARE CREATIVE — YOU ARE UNIQUE — all you have to do is have the courage to EXPRESS IT.


You were created with innate abilities, talents, gifts. Though you may resist the idea, or even deny it, the fact is YOU ARE CAPABLE. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Don’t let yourself doubt that you have talents. Though you might not initially recognize your abilities, never stop exploring your own strengths. A talent that you might not identify at one time, you might well discover several years later. Circumstances often help bring about self-discoveries.

In exploring your own talents, never compare yourself to others. You were not designed to have the same gifts as everyone else. Your talents are uniquely yours. Appreciate what you have and resist the temptation to envy another person’s talents.

You may not be an admired leader, but you may be an appreciated servant. You may not be the party organizer, but you may be one who contributes delicious food for the party. DISCOVER YOUR OWN UNIQUE TALENTS and develop what you have been given. BE WHO YOU REALLY ARE.


It’s not unusual to hear someone say, “I don’t see how anyone can love me.” The fact is, plain and simple, YOU ARE LOVEABLE because you were created out of love. The master Creator “so loved”…..EVERYONE. That includes YOU. And one of the greatest commandments ever given was “love one another.” That means each person is indeed “loveable.” Again, that includes YOU.

Just like talents, you can resist the idea or even deny it, but the fact is, YOU ARE LOVEABLE. And here’s the most amazing thing of all: love that expresses the love of the Creator is an UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. This means that you do not have to meet certain conditions in order to be loveable. You are loved for WHO YOU REALLY ARE. Even when you make mistakes, YOU ARE still LOVEABLE. Nothing can change that.

It bears repeating. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is to be WHO YOU REALLY ARE. To do so will bring you peace of mind and put you on the road to self-fulfillment. Take another look at WHO YOU REALLY ARE and BELIEVE. You, yes YOU, are WHOLE, a beautiful ORIGINAL, CREATIVE, CAPABLE, and LOVEABLE human being.

“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.”     ….Oscar Wilde







Holding mother's hands

It was Christmas and I traveled home to visit my mother. She was now in a long-term nursing care facility. Her mind drifted in and out of reality but she always seemed to recognize me and greet me with a smile. It was difficult to see her sit idle in a chair because she had always been so active and had such a strong spirit.
She was asleep when I got there, her head slumped almost to her chest. I sat down beside her and took her hands in mine and for a few moments just looked at this special woman who had been such a wonderful mother.
I looked down at her hands, now wrinkled and shrunken with age. I couldn’t help but think about how she had used those hands to embrace life and mold lives. In her hands I saw a mother who sacrificed and gave up so much in order to serve others.
I recall how those hands held me when I was small, picked me up when I fell, wiped tears from my cheeks, and rubbed my forehead when I went to sleep.
Those hands made favorite snacks and birthday cupcakes for me, and somehow created meals out of nothing when there seemed to be nothing in the house to eat. They sewed clothes when we couldn’t afford to buy them.
Those hands tied my shoes, zipped up my jackets, gave me a bath, and helped me put on my pajamas.
They helped me hold a pencil and write essays, poems, and do math for school.
Those beautiful hands helped me make play dough creatures, played board games with me, pulled me in the wagon, pushed me on a sled down a snowy hill, clapped for me when I was in the Christmas play at school.
Those hands received dandelions when I gave them as though they were the rarest of flowers, received my finger paintings as though they were masterpieces, and carefully and tenderly tucked away the Mother’s Day cards and birthday cards I made out of scraps of paper as though they were purchased from an expensive card store.
Those worn hands gripped my arm firmly when I misbehaved, guided me out of danger, held me tight and comforted me when I got hurt
Those hands lovingly held her grandchildren, carried food to friends and family members in times of illness and grief, served the needy, planted seeds in the garden, picked the vegetables and froze them for eating later.
Those hands decorated the Christmas tree, made gifts for under it, cooked delicious holiday meals that became family traditions, crocheted afghans, and constantly made little surprises that made my day.
Those hands were folded daily in prayer, turned worn pages in her Bible, selected songs in a hymn book to play on the piano at night while I lay in bed and listened before falling asleep.
May her beautiful hands, so full of a life well lived, be forever engraved in my memory. I’m so very grateful and honored to have held those hands in mine.