Dear Ones.
Happy weekend to you. Snow flakes are falling again out my window! Beautiful but hoping for not too many. Al and I went to see a movie last night and enjoyed, The Man called Otto! This morning we are looking forward to our friends from the lake coming for coffee! 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  In our relationship with others, there is always room for growth and ways to communicate and get along better. Marriage is especially one such relationship where we need to be intentional if we are to have a loving, successful life together.
   On I read an article by Brent Rinehart, a Public Relations Practitioner, who writes about 3 things we should be doing with our spouse and probably aren’t. Perhaps we can apply his words to other relationships as well.
   The first way is Communicating well. We need to speak truth to one another and when we are hurt and bothered by what the other person has said or done, we should discuss it together. That means listening to where they are coming from and being patient and kind and wanting to seek truth. As it says in James 1:19(AMPC), “Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak( a speaker of carefully chosen words and), and slow to anger (Patient, reflective, forgiving).” We are not to let things smolder but deal with them in love.
   The second point Brent makes is to speak their love language. Gary Chapman has written about the 5 love languages and it is helpful to the understand what makes others feel loved and according to their love language, not ours. It may be words of affirmation so it is good to speak compliments, words of appreciation and that build up. It could be if it is quality time then it is good to schedule things to do together and give your full attention. Or if it is receiving gifts, to pick up those special things that they enjoy, to let them know you are thinking of them. If it is acts of service, it may mean doing those unexpected things around the house, like helping with the dishes and taking out the garbage. If it is physical touch then giving frequent hugs and holding hands will help them know they are cherished.
   The third point was to pray.  We can ask the Lord to show us where we need to improve, and to help us grow closer to Him and to one another. Al and I make it a habit to pray together early each morning as we start our day. When the kids were little, it worked better to do it at night, just before going to bed as mornings were so busy.
   May the Lord help all of us to be better communicators of His love and to work for harmony in our marriages and all of our relationships.
  Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to be the center of all your relationships and to communicate His love in new and varied ways. 
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy