Marriage

Valentine’s Day – You want to travel?

Blessed Valentine’s Day (3 days in advance)

I received this message from Lonely Planet…… sharing with me the 10 “best” traveling places on Valentine’s Day – well, at least for the rich and well to do couples.

Personally I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because it is really too commercial. You may say I am not a romantic lover cum husband, I just don’t see the point to buy a stalk of rose for many times its’ price in “normal” days! My practical mind overcomes any slight impulse of wanting to be romantic. 🙂 I thank God that my wife Julia has the same idea. She said, “Why don’t we save that money and spend it on something else on another day, that gives us added purchasing power and value for the same amount of money.” Yay! It’s blessed to have a wife who has the same mind.

I want to share this not because I “condone” spending lavishly on Valentine’s Day………it’s just that the photographs in this are so beautiful that I want you to enjoy the places with your eyes if you are like me cannot afford to be there. Continue reading

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Husband and Wife

A Joke on husband and wife. This is a great one!

Wine

It makes me laugh………….and then it makes me sad.

The world has lost the meaning of marriage; many couples are merely tolerating each other, some are substituting other things like wine, golf, cars, jewelery or friends for the spouse………

The Bible says marriage is a union of two lives. “That is why a man leaves Continue reading

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How Do Teenage Problems Affect The Parents?

How Do Teenage Problems Affect The Parents?

Julia and I have a fair share of challenges when our two children grew to become teenagers. Suddenly they no longer looked at their parents as heros, they also found it hard to relate to us as buddies. When they faced some real stressful and challenging situations in relationships – To share or not to share? That’s the big question.

Family

As parents, we have to understand that teenage problems are inherent because Continue reading

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5 Suggestions to rekindle the romance in your marriage

5 Suggestions to rekindle the romance in your marriage

FishingHave you ever felt that your marriage has lost the steam where you first met your spouse? Remember how you longed to see him or her everyday and secretly wishing that time could stand still when you both met. Today, you seem to live everyday just like any other day. You don’t get excited over your relationship with your spouse anymore. You’ve no expectation on your marriage, family and even your own life anymore. It’s really a sad state to be in.

Imagine you can rekindle the romance that once filled the air that both of you breathe. Continue reading

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Manage household finances – Put the credit cards down today

Credit CardCredit Card – Convenience or Temptation?

One of my friends told me that when he leaves the house, he intentionally leaves the credit cards at home. At the start of the week, he goes to the ATM and withdraws his weekly allowance. His allowance is the only cash he allows himself to spend throughout the entire week.

My friend keeps his credit cards in a place that he cannot access easily. Stashing the credit cards in his basement, attic, or the middle of his freezer typically curbs his spending cravings.

Similarly, my family’s budget is under control because I choose to keep it under control. I am responsible for my family’s financial well-being. For this reason, I amimpulse shopping strict with my purchases.

Before I commit to a purchase, I evaluate exactly what use I would get out of the item. If it is a necessity, I make the purchase.

If the purchase is unnecessary, I leave the store and give myself 24 hours to think it over. If by the next day or even the next week, I still want the item and have found a good use for it, I make the purchase. However, most of the time, I choose not to make a second trip to the store. Sometimes, this is real hard but I know for sure In this way, I curb my impulse purchases.

Due to my efforts, my family enjoys extra money for activities spent together. We can use that money as a family, by going to an event, taking a vacation, or having a nice meal with our children.

Hot Air Balloon Trip in Turkey 2008

I don’t put the credit cards down as my friend does. I know very well that I care about our financial security. I will not put my loved ones into financial distress and sufferings because of my spending habits. And so far, I am doing well in self-discipline.

Today, let us make conscious decisions about our purchases. We replace impulse purchases with peace of mind, family well-being and financial stability.

Self-Reflection Questions:
  1. How do I spend the majority of my spending cash?
  2. Have I ever fallen behind on my bills due to unnecessary shopping?
  3. Am I okay with buying less expensive brands in order to save money?
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Effective Parenting – What to do when your baby cries?

crying babyOh! “Crying Babies”

Baby’s crying seems to be such a distant history for Julia and I. Our children have grown up so fast that they are already into their early 20’s. They don’t cry now, at least they don’t cry in the ways that they did when they were babies. However, Julia and I can still remember how we “suffered” from their sharp and high pitched cries. Well, it is part of the price of being parents. You receive much blessings to have a bundle of joy when your child is born. At the same time, you receive the whole lot of challenges to deal with this “angel” gives to you – one of which is crying without apparent reasons in the middle of the nights. Therefore, to get prepared for parenting is so important. (Click here to read my related post)

If you have been parents for a while, you’ll notice that babies cry. You may become helpless and frustrated when you fail to understand the reasons. A piecrying babyce of important information all parents need to know is this; Crying is a physiological process in the life of a baby. It is the most natural and normal way of communicating with others. Your baby is too young to utter words that can make sense to you, crying is the only way, whether you like it or not, for him to communicate his feelings and discomfort.

We have done some research, coupled with our own experiences, on babies crying which we think might be useful for new parents. These practical tips can be learned Continue reading

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Say these words for a blissful marriage

Henry & Julia

Do you speak these words to your spouse?

word powerI cannot emphasize enough the importance of communication in a marriage relationship. I have shared before about learning the love languages of your spouse so that you can generously lavish the right kind of “love” upon him / her (click here to read of my book review), there are some words that are ever green and effective no matter what love languages you speak.

Of course there are many words words that could help improve your married life and make it a blissful one. Some of them are “may I help”, “I I love uam sorry” or the commonly used phrase, “I love you”. There are other words to show you care and truly love the one you are with and perhaps the two most important words/phrases are shown below.

Children have been thought to speak kind words to each other as they grow up. Simple words, Continue reading

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Our Journey in Marriage

Marriage is a Blessing – Don’t turn it into a curse.

Henry wedding 1Our Wedding Photo in 1987

This article may be slightly long compares to the normal standard of a web post. However, I hope you have the patience to read it through. We are sharing our journey of more than 20 years of marriage and really pray that someone like you who are reading it will be blessed.

For those of you who are deciding to walk down the aisle soon, you are surely overwhelmed by the prospect of you and your partner living happily together for the rest of your life. This is actually a good expectation. In fact, when both of you decide to say “I do” to each other, you should have such high hope of your marriage life.

Marriage can be one of the greatest blessings in your life. You are going to live with the person whom you loved and committed to for the rest of your life on earth. In years to come, two of you are going to have children to share this life together. How wonderful it is. Continue reading

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Romance in the London Eye

A Memorable Time at the “London Eye”

HenryJulia2

I don’t believe I found this photo accidentally by browsing through some of my “old junk”.

I love this photo. It was taken in 2009 by my daughter when we visited the U.K. on the “London Eye”. There were very few tourists on a winter afternoon when our family of four occupied a full passenger capsule. We could choose any corner of the capsule to take beautiful pictures. Do you notice the Houses of Parliament as the background? Well, the weather was not bright and sunny (who will expect good weather on a winter afternoon in London?). It was cold and drizzling outside. However, I thought it added some kind of “romantic atmosphere” to the picture. In fact some friends commented that we looked like actor and actress in a Korean drama 🙂 I don’t think so. Well, may be if we are not wearing glasses, we will be more “qualified”? Hahah……..What do you think?

Continue reading

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How to manage household finances without emotional stress and arguments?

Household budgetHousehold Financial Management – What’s the Big Deal?

Before Julia and I walked down the aisle, many friends told us from their experiences that one of the toughest challenges in marriage is to agree on the ways to manage household finances.

“Believe me, Henry, you are going to have heated arguments on how to spend money.” Sincere and loving friends “warned” me in advance with well intention.Arguing

Due to different family background and the way that our parents brought us up, we have different attitudes and habits on spending and saving. We cannot expect a couple to have the same priorities in managing finances. Compromises and mutual respect are keys to work out an agreeable pattern together.

After nearly 30 years of marriage, we must say household finance has not been a great issue for us. Why? Besides the fact that both of us share the same trait of being thrifty, we also established 2 basic principles and stick to them religiously.

1)     Find your comfort level with merging your finances.

Continue reading

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How to deal with two most common fears in life?

Child fearTake Away My Fear

Have you ever worried about your family member’s safety? How about really concerned for your children’s education? Or may be anxious about a sick and elderly parent? Chances are you do face some form of fear, anxiety and worrisome. Yes. You’re right. Having fears is a natural part of life. Fear enables us to be careful and not subject ourselves to danger. However, fear turns out to be unhealthy and undesirable when you allow it to take control of the way you live your life or relate to others. In fact I have seen many cases where fear has so gripped the person’s life and emotions that he is totally “paralyzed”, it means his mind goes completely blank and he cannot make any normal decision in that situation.

I would like to share with you two very common fears happen in families. From the examples you could chose to react to your fear positively or the other way. Are you ready to look at them?

Fear No. 1: The Straying Partner

Continue reading

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5 Tips to build an intimate marriage relationship

Husband and wifeBuilding A Blessed and Fruitful Marriage

Marriage is indeed one of the greatest blessings in your life, but it takes a lot of work to maintain a close, vibrant relationship for a long time. Sometimes it seems as though the odds are against the success of your marriage.

Over the past 20 years, I learned of some practical tips that can help develop the intimacy and fulfillment within the marriage relationship. Julia and I had our fair share of struggles and pain when we walk this married lives together, but these principles and practical steps gave us hope for better future and direction to move forward. I would like to share them with you and hopefully they could spice up your marriage life too. By taking these simple steps, you can continue to experience the intimacy and fulfillment you crave within your marital relationship: Continue reading

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God helps my family stay strong

Weekend Reflection:

Today’s Quote (Mother Teresa)
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

Family1Every family, including mine, experiences hardships. It’s only natural to have personalities clash in a home with so many strong-minded individuals.

Though it may seem at times like our family members have very different opinions on things, our bond is undeniably strong.

ShoppingIn the past, my wife and I took spending time with our children for granted; now we savor every moment spent by their side. This is especially true when they reach an age when they no longer need us driving them around. Nothing feels better than my daughter asking, “Hey, want to go to the mall?” She could have asked any of her friends to go with her, but she asked me! Continue reading

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How to manage anger and avoid home violence?

Angry1Beware! Loosing Control of Anger can Destroy your Family

One of our family friends recently had a serious fight in the house. He had a heated argument with his wife and later he turned violent and bitten his wife up. The two children, trembling with fear, hid themselves at a corner of the living room, witnessing their parents fought in the house. It was a traumatic experience for the children. The parents later had to bring the children to seek therapeutic counseling to help build their confidence again.
My friend later told me that he has this problem of controlling his anger at home. While he believes that a man should not hit his wife, when his emotion runs high, he just looses control altogether. The wife has another set of problem too. In the height of the arguments, she would intelligently corner the husband to admit his wrongs. My friend speaks reasonably and has no problem carrying meaningful conversations in normal days. But when he starts an argument with his wife, his brain stops functioning. He would be overtaken by emotions. Continue reading

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Help given appropriately

Today’s Quote (Rick Godwin):  AbundantLifeTogether

You can help others when you do for them what they can’t do for themselves, but not when you do for them what they won’t do for themselves!

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AbundantLifeTogether
This is especially true in a family situation. When a parent helps a child, you need to know whether he or she is not capable to do it or just simply lazy to do it. We propagate “helping is a virtue”. It can only be true if your child truly needs that help, he or she is not escaping from responsibilities. Continue reading
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