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Quick Tips

In America every Thanksgiving, 45 million turkeys get gobbled.

Source: American Demographics
Dockers or Drawstring?
So who, ultimately, wears the pants? You both do. One of you gets the "Submit Leg #1" and the other gets the "Submit Leg #2." Your mutual submission reflects the character of your commitment to God. God knows you both have wills to contend with. Instead of going to extremes, hem in a lot of hassles by not pulling a power trip on your partner. Instead of dominating, serve your spouse in love. One size fits all when you're willing to be stretched.

Joey O'Connor in Women Are Always Right; Men Are Never Wrong (Word)

Let It Snow, Let It Snow
A lot of people whine all winter long about being trapped in the not-so-great indoors. But staying in has its upside. Turns out

63 percent of people read more in winter than during other times of the year; 52 percent spend more time baking and cooking and 29 percent spend more time vigorously keeping house.

From Are You Normal? (St. Martin's), by Bernice Kanner


Oh, You Didn't Want Oven Mitts?
Here are a few creative gift tips from Men's Health magazine to help you win points with the one you love:

Nostalgia.
· Take a favorite old photo and have it framed.
· Recreate an early date.
· Call your spouse's college and order a sweatshirt.
· Fly in your spouse's childhood best friend for a visit.

Lessons. Dance lessons? Art class? Sign up for both of you, and you'll be giving the gift of your time too.

Freedom. Give your spouse coupons, good for time off from whatever household or childcare obligations he or she likes the least.


What's Worse than a Giraffe with a Sore Throat?
You with a sore throat. Here are the best cures for sore throats, according to Bottom Line Personal:

1. Steam. Remove a pot of boiling water from the stove and sit with your head over it, with a towel over your head. Inhale gently for ten minutes. Then put a humidifier in your bedroom.

2. Spritz a saline spray up your nose four to six times a day.

3. Sip warm liquids—but not milk or dairy products.

4. Suck cough drops or hard candy.


Now They're Talking
These singers knew they had more than music going for them when they married in 1997. Kevin Max, of DC Talk, and Alayna Bennett, of the twin-sister duo Audra and Alayna, knew they shared an interest in horseback riding, fashion and traveling, but they didn't know they had yet to share some of their best arguments … while riding in the car.

"When we were dating, Alayna's spirituality attracted me," Kevin says, "as well as the fact that she saw me for who I really was." Her discernment prevented Kevin from hiding his imperfect self behind his rock-star alter ego and led to arguments about his admitted selfishness.

Since then, Kevin has stumbled upon some good advice in C.S. Lewis's The Four Loves. "It's about loving someone," he says, "not just about marriage. You need to look ahead—consider the cost of your actions and decisions.

"And," he adds, "don't throw things."
Especially while driving.

Interviewed by Yolanda Soo Miller


Shine on Me
Got a bad case of those sunlight-deprivation winter blues? Medical researchers at Cornell University figured out that your brain's mental timekeeper can be manipulated by focusing a light on—get this—the back of your knees. Jet lag, insomnia and winter depression may eventually be treated with back-of- the-knee therapy.

between the covers
Out of Bounds

We all go through times when we feel imposed on or taken advantage of. We might expect it at the office or in volunteer work, but what if it happens at home?

Counselor John Townsend, co-author with Henry Cloud of Boundaries in Marriage (Zondervan), says Christians, especially, have trouble setting appropriate boundaries.

"The big conflict of boundaries in marriage is that the Bible teaches that the two will become one," he says. "And at the same time, Jesus tells us that each person's got to carry his own load."

We asked Townsend to sort things out.

Please define boundaries in marriage.
Boundaries are your personal property line. A boundary defines what you are and are not responsible for. Boundaries give you freedom because you know at any time you can say "no" to your spouse. You can disagree. You can say "I'm not going to participate in this" or "I'm not going to put up with this." When you're free to say "no," you're also free to say a wholehearted "yes" when you agree.

What's the best way to start setting some boundaries?
The first thing is to realize that you may be doing something to make the problem worse. Perhaps a husband keeps quiet, trying to please his wife, and doesn't let her know when she's hurtful.

Second, make sure the boundaries you want to set are not about your own comfort but will actually contribute to the growth of your marriage.

Third, you need another couple—perhaps older than yourselves—to serve as a sounding board. If your relationship exists in a vacuum, you may be afraid to set boundaries because if your spouse reacts against you, you have nowhere to get the support you need.

What is the most common area where a better boundary is needed?
Many couples run into trouble when they don't make their values and preferences clear to their mates. They let their spouse tell them what to feel or they take responsibility for their spouse's feelings. That's where they need to set a boundary.

Cut Holiday Stress in Half
Literally. Elaine St. James, author of Simplify Your Christmas, recommends cutting back on "holiday madness" by prioritizing your list of a million things to do and then "cutting it in half."

"Halve everything," she says, "buy half the gifts, spend half the money, send half the cards." St. James discovered that the things left undone are rarely missed.

y o u s a i d i t !
"When you're sure of your strength, you can exhibit compassion, emotion, love, concern, equality and—even better than equality—the attitude of a servant."
Jimmy Carter

"Trust means you can open up to another person and not be hurt. In a good marriage, there's so much trust that each person can show his weakest side and know he'll still be loved."

Dianne Hales

reader to reader

WHEN BETSY'S DAD DIED LAST YEAR, HE DIDN'T LEAVE HER MOM IN THE BEST SHAPE FINANCIALLY. BETSY AND HER HUSBAND ARE CONSIDERING WHETHER THEY SHOULD INVITE HER MOM TO COME LIVE WITH THEM, BUT BETSY IS WORRIED ABOUT THE STRESS IT COULD ADD TO HER MARRIAGE. SHE ASKED, "AM I RIGHT TO WORRY OR AM I JUST BEING SELFISH?" HERE'S WHAT MARRIAGE PARTNERSHIP READERS HAD TO SAY.

You are definitely right to worry. I highly recommend you pray hard about this and try to think of other solutions. My husband and I lived with both sets of parents (at different times) for months at a time, and it was a terrible strain on our marriage. You need privacy, a place to call your own. Move your mother down the street or even next door, but let her have her own place. Otherwise, it will stress you out, and your mother too.
Tracy G.
Palm Bay, Florida

Yes, you may have reason to worry. And yes, you are being selfish. But if that is your only reason for being hesitant, then invite your mother to live with you. My father always says, "You don't have anything if you don't have family." I understand that all the more now that I have my own children. Bringing your mother to live with you could very well make your marriage stronger. God bless you in your decision.
Deidre L.
Parkersburg, West Virginia

You and your husband need to pray for peace about doing the right thing. Worrying about problems before they exist is borrowing trouble from tomorrow. Personally, I feel my family is God-given. Therefore, God will give me the peace and reward for acting responsibly and taking care of what he has given me.
Rhonda Z.
Morristown, Indiana

My mother had barely enough to live on when my father died. But she relishes her independence and privacy. After I helped her learn how to live within her means, she has been able to get by on less than $900 a month. It's not always easy, and she still needs our financial assistance as well as some physical help. But the way I see it, my parents spent a good portion of their lives helping us, so why shouldn't we help them in return?

Supporting your mother's efforts at becoming independent, and assisting her in reorganizing her finances, would be better than making her dependent on you (unless she is physically challenged and/or destitute).
Tammy H.
via e-mail

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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