Recently, my husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary with not one, not two, but 10 special events. That’s right. What started out as a two week vacation turned into months of celebrating everywhere we went. Including: renewing our vows and partying with dear friends, going out for multiple anniversary dinners and being showered with many free desserts and unlimited well wishes.
Why did we go overboard? Because being married for 25 years is a huge accomplishment and our love deserves celebrating!
We’ve learned a few things about relationships along the way. Every relationship goes through seasons and once in a while, it needs a spark to re-ignite it. If you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you may need to jump start things.
Here is a recipe to add a SPARK of love to your relationship.
S – Spiritually Connect!
Your love story is a grand adventure and God is in it with you. God is the glue and the ultimate power source to your love. Pray together and watch God bind you closer together than ever. Remember – a strand of 3 cords can’t be easily broken.
To Do: Ask your partner: “What is 1 thing I can do this week to be a better partner?” Then listen. Sit quietly and really hear what the other person said, without getting defensive. Then, as long as it’s not offensive to you, when you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone, try it.
P – Physical Touch.
Hug, kiss, hold hands and be intimate. All of these physical touches are critical to keeping you close to each other.
Research shows that hugging (and also laughter) is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress. Research shows a proper heart to heart hug builds trust and a sense of safety.
Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”
To Do: Ask: How many hugs and touches would you like each day?
A – Actively Grow
Spend time together & apart doing NEW things. Add novelty to your relationship.
Engage in New experiences. Try new things together. Whether it’s traveling to a new country, taking a cooking class, or writing YOUR love story, this too will help keep your relationship alive. Engaging in new experiences will allow both you and your partner to learn new things about yourselves and each other. It also provides room for excitement, and to support each other.
Do the Original Love Box tradition. Write each other love notes and read them aloud to each other. Try writing your love story in the Original Love Box book. Keep your love alive by reliving wonderful past experiences and creating new ones.
You can keep your love story alive for future generations as well by writing it in the Original Love Box book. It’s such a treasured keepsake.
R- Respectfully Communicate.
Respectfully express your love and appreciation for each other. As often as you can. Top regrets people have at the end of their life are that they didn’t do what they really wanted. #3 regret is “I didn’t express my true feelings.”
It’s vital for us to express ourselves. The good and the bad. Make sure you pour loving words into your partner and your kids.
What’s a good ‘Love Talk ratio’?
Say 5 ‘Love Talks’ to 1 correction. Pump 5 positive, uplifting and loving statements to 1 negative one. Your tone of voice speaks volumes.
Start the Original Love Box tradition and keep pumping love notes into your partners life. Write love notes to each other!
If you hurt the other, be sure to extend grace and forgiveness. Do the 3-H Forgiveness method. Kathrine Lee, creator of the Ultimate Source recommends forgiving with your head, heart and hands. Forgive logically by thinking about making the conscious choice to forgive. Then search your heart and spiritually forgive them. Then extend your hand to forgive them and ultimately, use your hands to help another person.
K – Keep On Keeping On!
Different ages and stages bring different changes. Each season has challenges and opportunities for growth. Keep working on your relationship. Remember; the only way you can lose is if you give up.
Relationships have ups and downs. Keep the faith and keep believing in the other person. Stay hopeful and add a spark to have a happier and more rewarding relationship.
Wish you a love to last a lifetime. You can add a fresh spark to your love at any time and enjoy a long and loving relationship.
- Communicate daily
- Date weekly
- Adventure monthly
- What’s 1 thing I can do to be a better partner this week?
- What can I do that’s novel and different?
What’s the 1st word that pops into your head about the holiday season?
For many years mine was, overwhelmed. Followed closely by over burdened and let’s not forget overweight. You get the picture, I was in way OVER my head. Then I hit the “That’s it! button and decided, “This holiday’s going to be different.”
It was time to change and to enlist help. My hubby and I looked around and realized we had a whole team of helpers at our disposal, they were just disguised as family members. So, we decided to organize and mobilize ourself and the troops.
1. Have a Plan. Make a plan for your time, your health and your Spiritual growth.
Use the Holiday Help! checklist and stay organized. The Holiday Help! checklist includes all the activities that make the holidays complete and you can tweak it for your family. You post it on the fridge and let each family member or holiday guest “sign up” to help. Then, assign a completion date for every activity on your calendar and who is responsible for its’ completion. The checklist keeps you organized and holds everyone accountable.
If no one signs up for an activity, it doesn’t get done. Oh what fun, it is to get the whole family helping along, Hey! When you’re organized and everyone’s working together cheerfully, everything is better.
If you want the checklist, just e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Be still. Pray, meditate and open your heart to the Spirit. Focus on the true reason for the season. Read the Bible, devotional or other spiritual books to slow you down and grow in faith.
3. Simplify the Season. Ask; Why are we doing what you’re doing? Ask your family, “What are the most meaningful traditions? Do those & ditch the rest.
4. Control gift giving. Ask the kids TODAY: “What gifts do you remember from last year?” Then brace yourself. If your loved ones can’t remember, simplify to just 3 gifts. After all, 3 gifts were good enough for Jesus.
5. Focus on Relationships. Focus on growing in love instead of more stuff. Simplify and include others in the Season. Let go of wanting things to be perfect. Life is not a Hallmark show. They’re not going to be. Strive for ‘good enough’ instead. You really do NOT have to do it all alone. When we let others help we teach our kids and hubby how to love by serving.
6. Be grateful and Focus on the Moments – See all the joy in faces of the people you love and the moments.
7. Give the gift of Love. Grow closer together with family and friends as you share your love with the The Christmas Love Box tradition. If you’re not Christian, you can do the Original Love Box tradition. Giving the gift of love is the greatest gift you can give your family and the world.
You can get yours online at: www.originallovebox.com
Wishing you and your heart joyful moments amidst controlled chaos. Keep the faith and by all means, just keep breathing – deeply.
Breathe in: I am at peace.
Breathe out: I share love.
Merry Christmas friend!
The Love Box Mission: To be ‘Love Agents’ for the Military Family by providing Original Love Notes® and/or The Original Love Boxes®.
Let’s give every soldier as many love notes as possible and give their families a Love Box too. The Love Box for Military Families includes the Original Love Box® plus unique patriotic items especially designed for military families.
Benefits: The Original Love Box® for Military Families is a powerful tool that will benefit soldiers and their families every day and keep them close, especially during periods of deployment when military marriages are the most stressed.
- Organize a Love Note Campaign to send military soldiers and their families more love now. Suggested donation: $1 per love note.
- Sponsor an Original Love Box® for one or more Military Families – $39.99 each.
- Provide extra Original Love Note Packs – 20 love notes – $9.95.
- Donate seed money toward the creation of ‘The Military Love Box’.
- ______________________ Your idea here! Would love to hear it.
Who’s Involved: Christine Martinello, Inventor of the Original Love Box® & Jacqueline Arnold, Creator of Sweet Life USA (www.sweetlifeusa.com) are joining forces to send our military families more love.
The Braselton Rotary is hosting these keynote speakers at the Nov. 9th meeting @7:30 a.m.
Christine Martinello, P. O. Box 851, Braselton, GA 30517
Email: email@example.com PH: 678-960-www.originallovebox.com
Let us know if you want to join forces and send love to Military families. Because of you, we can spread more love! You help educate & encourage military families so they can build foundations of love. Thanks!
Hope you’re getting ready for a very happy Fourth of July. We sure are!
The love agents (Cindy is above) and I will be in the parade in Braselton, GA starting at 6 PM. We’ve had such a blast getting ready for it.
Rather than throwing candy we’ve decided to pass out 600 love notes so people can write & read them to their family. Yes, there will be a little candy in there to weight them down. 😊
The lady love agents and I are going to wear the heart T-shirts (above) and a red boa. How fun is that?! My husband and sons are coming too and we’ll see how much they get into it. I can’t guarantee my College agedboys will wear hearts.
It really is awesome to give through our business and bless so many families. The Original Love Box , books and love notes have brought families together across the world. We are thrilled to bring freedom to relationships and to help people to express their deep feelings.
It is our honor to help people give the gift of love, one note at a time.
On this Fourth of July we hope you’ll express your love and gratitude for each person that is in your life. We have such limited time together and today is the day to express what’s in your heart. Don’t hold back. Be free to express your loving feelings.
God bless you, your family, and America!
Hi! Deep down do you wish you could have a loving life and family? For everyone to just get along and be kind to each other. Oh, I sure have. For this to happen we have to intentionally work to create peace and love.
When I think of some of the greatest people who love deeply, I think of Moms. As a wife of nearly 25 years and Mom of 3 college aged kids, I’ve discovered Moms love deeply and are a great example for us all.
Here are five ways we can grow in love.
1. Prepare for love. When a woman begins to consider becoming a mom, she immediately begins to prepare for it. She sees friends that have children and starts to imagine herself in that role. After she gets pregnant, preparing really heats up as she makes room in her body, announces the upcoming birth to family and friends, plans for doctors visits, etc. Each day she opens her heart to the idea of creating and loving another human being.
Erma Bombeck captures a mother’s heart with these words, “Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.”
2. Give Birth to Love. In order to grow in love we need to be willing to give birth. Mothers intimately know the amazing miracle it is to give birth to her precious new baby. For us to love we must be willing to go through the pain of birth to receive a new life and love.
3. Raise up love. For love to grow we need to tend to it an mend it. From the time the child is born until they leave the nest mothers tend to millions of details to raise up loving children. A mother’s constant spirit reads emotions and heart strings like no other.
For us to truly love we know we need to mirror love as a couple. It’s super important to continue to grow a relationship with our spouse and schedule date nights.
I remember when my daughter Tina was five years old and she asked me, “Mommy are you going to be home after I come home from kindergarten today?” I told her, “Of course honey. ” She began to jump up-and-down and excitedly say, “Hip hip Hooray, today’s a Mommy Care day! “ It was at that moment that it struck me – she would remember what we did from this point forward.
In 1999 our family started creating traditions that would build a foundation of love in our family. On of my favorites is ‘The Original Love Box’ tradition – which is writing love notes to everyone in our family and reading them aloud. This tradition gives us space to express heart-felt feelings and bond our family together in profound ways. We did & will continue to do the tradition every Christmas eve. We also do it for birthdays or before the kids go away, etc. What a huge blessing it has been for all of us!
4. Realize Love Fades & Dies (for a while). A dear friend named Peggy recently celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary. I asked her what her secret was and she said “Great love requires two great forgivers.” We are human and make mistakes. We must apologize over and over again for our failures and mend our relationships.
When each of my children were in high school I knew it was time to begin letting you. When you love someone deeply you want what’s best for them and that means letting them go to follow the path God has for them.
Graduations were marked with so many emotions including intense joy & celebrations. Then when we dropped each of our children off to college I felt heart broken and as if a piece of my heart was taken out. At the time the pain seemed overwhelming and the following weeks I felt like I was sinking in quicksand. I was so happy for them but sad for me. Then as each child started succeeding I realized we could create a new type of relationship and love.
Love may fade for a time. Many beloved family members have passed away and some of our saddest times in life have been losing our loved ones. There are seasons to love and one of them is letting go. Ultimately, we realize that we can love forever in our memories. Death only ends our Earthly relationship. Our spirit and love lingers on.
5. Love lasts forever. We can continually grow in new love and new life despite challenges, death and deep loss.
I remember tearing up when our children went off to kindergarten. Yet, I was also delighted because I got a few hours of freedom per day.
Since the kids went off to college my hubby and I have a lot more time time to do new things. It has brought us great joy to rekindle our romance. We can focus on traveling, hobbies and our careers. For years I wondered “When is it going to be my time?” Now it is.
I now have the time and energy to promote more love in the world with educational programs and the Original Love Box tradition. We are taking all the love we used to pour into our family and share it with so many other people – at work and in or community. What an honor to watch love grow in unimaginable ways with thousands of families.
As you can see a mothers love is immense and lasts from birth to letting go. Mothers are incredible role models for unconditional love.
We hope that in the future (not too soon though) we will have grandchildren that we can love on too. Oh, the joy and more love that waits.
Love grows and lasts forever!
So, how do you grow in love? Let’s hear your comments below.
When a 5th grade math teacher gives her students love notes, students feel loved, have a better attitude and do better in class. Isn’t that amazing?
Here’s the teachers story:
I’ve been writing love notes to my math kids. On the right side of the note I share a personal note to them. On the left side I give them “A major award” that I think up.
These kids are so excited when it’s their turn to get them! I seriously see some students gazing at their love notes repeatedly.
The boy who got his first love note last week is carrying it with him always. He literally hated math at the beginning of the year and did a lot to get out of doing it (Ie: bathroom clinic, mom checking him out, sighing deeply, etc.).
After the receiving his love note his attitude changed for the better.
Christine, Thank you so much for sharing this tradition with me. -Mrs. Tate, 5th grade teacher
See how much of a difference a love note makes.
We’re delighted to see the changes that the Original Love Box tradition is making in families, schools, churches and companies.
Love is spreading in vast and unimaginable ways. It takes all of us working together and as you can see, we’re making a huge difference!
Give the gift of love, one note at a time.
If you’re a parent, grandparent & or a Military family, you’ll want to see this. ‘Love Your Family & America’ TV show (starring yours truly) is being released on the Peggy Denny Show. Colorado & S. Carolina aired the show last month. This week Georgia friends can see it on Wed., March 8th @ 11:30 am & Sat., March 11th at 9 am on WATC 57, channel 2 on Comcast.
We’re always looking for great ways to teach others how to love at home and work.
If the answer is yes on most days, great! Keep it up. For too many Americans the answer is NO. In fact, did you know the most common day of the week for a heart attack is Monday?
Here at ‘Love Box Land’, our mission is to teach people how to love their family, work and life more. As an entrepreneur and consultant for 22 years, I know there are things we can do to help us on our quest to a loving work life.
Let’s look at 5 ways to love your work more.
- Build a Loving Team. Working with people you respect and trust is a whole lot of fun. Create respectful and kind relationships with a team of people who ‘have your back’. Make an effort to like co-workers or better yet, love them. You may not want to be married to them, but you do want to be ‘engaged’. (Yes, pun intended.)
- Mix Your Talents with Meaning. Work at a position that matches your skills and talents with work that is meaningful to you. Change the way you work so you can enjoy the work itself and find it more interesting. If possible, explore cross training to see how the company works in different departments. Explore how your job is making a difference and fits into the big picture of the organization and your life. Keep in mind, the realistic expectation that you probably won’t like everything about your work. If you’re an entrepreneur and in charge of everything, delegate the work others can do.
3. Compensation. Make sure your pay and benefits are in line for you. Take advantage of the benefits your company offers including perks and 401 K matches. If you believe you are being underpaid, consider negotiating for what you’re really worth.
4. Check your Security & Recognition Levels. Security is about feeling safe and secure with your position and your future at the organization. 83% of employees are motivated by recognition so if you don’t know how you’re doing or have a tight-lipped boss, ask for specific feedback.
5. Be Grateful. Focus on the positive parts of your job and be grateful. The old adage: Count your blessings helps you be more positive. Change your outlook to appreciate of the opportunities and people around you. Also, look at how your job is making a difference and fits into the big picture of the organization and your life.
There’s plenty of good evidence that employees who love their work have lower turn-over rates and increased productivity. We spend a lot of time and energy at work, so let’s do our best to love our time there.
Here’s to you – growing in love at work and home.
If you are interested in training or coaching about this topic, please contact:
Christine Martinello, www.originallovebox.com