Sharing another writing from 1998 – TWiG – Teach What Is Good..  


A wife asked her husband if their budget could handle her buying a new pair of glasses.  He replied if you bought glasses it would take our checking account down to 0.  She said okay and walked away.  He thought he had handled that so tactfully.  Two weeks later she walked in and asked her husband how he liked her new glasses.  He was surprised she had gone out and bought the glasses.  Although he thought he was conveying that that they didn’t have enough money for his comfort level.  What she heard was “Honey, we have just enough money this month for you to buy new glasses.” 

Communication can be tricky.  We can all talk till we are blue in the face and not communicate.  Many times what comes out of our mouth is pointless and fruitless.  It takes the form of gossiping, passing rumors or endless lectures.  Talking keeps us wrapped into a cocoon of ungenuine safety.  We take no risks therefore we conclude we will not be hurt.  Unfortunately we allow a part of us to stay closed in and die.  This creates no room for understanding, but an arena for misunderstanding.

Communication on the other hand takes courage.  It requires risk, as we become vulnerable.  As one communicates, one shares a part of themselves and is free to express their feelings in a way that validates their uniqueness, their happiness of their joys, and the honesty that they do not live in a perfect world – they struggle.  Mark 7:6 (my paraphrase)”True communication comes from the heart not the lips.”  However for many communication is scary and often we fear it can make a situation worse.  We are afraid of another’s reaction.  Perhaps they will consider our feelings insignificant; perhaps they will reject us.  We must not base our value on another person’s reaction, but on the God who knows us.  As we take baby steps in learning to communicate with those we have relationships with, we are given strength.  Strength that builds more strength. There is a freedom in true communication.  The words may be hard, often they are choked out.  But there is a newness, a fresh start that is gained by not carrying the burden of burying our feelings, opinions, joys and struggles.  Will we communicate on the same level with everyone?  No.  There are many people in our lives – and some will be closer than others.        

At 33 years of age, I find myself often choosing to reside in Fantasyland.  I bet you thought you had to travel to Disneyland to visit there.  Or maybe you know the fantasyland I’m talking about.  The place where you believe you must say just the right thing, that if you are nice and sweet to others they will automatically anticipate your needs and dreams.  Instead you find yourself wondering when the last time was you had an original thought travel through your brain, let alone know what your opinion was on something that didn’t have to do with raising children.  Recently I was introduced to Reality.  And I found out that my ways of communicating in fantasyland were not effective in real life..  I also knew that I wanted something more than to live in a  pretend world and that all the wishful thinking in the world was not going to enable that to happen.  I needed to learn to communicate.

We all want to be known, to be understood.  Those two things could easily be defined as love.  But how can we communicate to others what we need and think if we don’t even know ourselves.  There is a lot of wonderful information about communication.  It comes in all kinds of forms.  You can pick up any woman’s magazine and more than likely find an article on communication or relationships.  I think some of it can be very useful.  But without knowing what your likes and dislikes are, what feeds you, what drives you crazy, what delights your heart, and what your dreams are, you are just talking about methods not learning how to communicate with another individual in a way that makes God smile.

How do we do this?  By learning to communicate first with our Heavenly Father.  Go to the source – the one who knows you.  It is safe to learn to communicate with someone who accepts you right where you are today, who will never pull his love away no matter what you express, to find comfort that nothing is hidden from him anyway, and that He wants what is best for you.  It takes practice and commitment.   Communication requires a choice to lay aside what begs to distract.  A 10-minute period of time that is free of distraction is worth 1 hour if you’re mind doesn’t want to be there.  

It was in my moments of focus that I learned how Jesus communicated with others and began to apply it in my communication skills with others. 

  1. Spoke the truth in love.
  2. Was gentle and humble
  3. Compassionate yet strong
  4. Never condones sin but does not judge
  5. Never forces himself on anyone
  6. Communicates verbally and by touch
  7. Did not rehash things once said
  8. Communication takes time
  9. Just as important to listen as it is to talk







Expectations of Our Husbands

Have you ever been disappointed in your husband?  I have.  I don’t think there is a wife since the beginning of time that hasn’t had similar thoughts run through her mind. The truth is our husbands are going to fall short.  Some days they are going to shine like the sun and other days you are going to feel like you need an umbrella.  It may be a marriage made in heaven but it involves imperfect people who live in an imperfect world.


The words above were written in January of 1998.  I was teaching a mentoring class called TWiG (Teach What Is Good) at Grace Community Church in Tempe, AZ which was created to bring the older woman and the younger woman together (Titus 2:3-5).  I had an opportunity to share one of the lessons with a MOPs group earlier this year and then posted the content on Deliciously Inspired.  In case you’d like to read – What Kind of Mom Will Your Kids Remember?

I am now the older woman in the Titus scenario but I still find myself after 36 years of marriage needing to be reminded of what was written so many years ago.  When TWiG was created I remember purposely keeping the i as lower case to remind me of God and my relationship – there are times I can get a little too big for my britches. I wonder if anyone else gets mixed up about that occasionally?


Author Carol Kent in her book “Secret Longings of the Heart,” states “We all come into marriage with a hope chest full of expectations.” It’s interesting to look at the word “expectation.”  According to Webster’s it is something to look forward to, something that is considered reasonable, due or necessary and these two words:  wait and stay.

As little girls we begin to dream of the time we will meet the man of our dreams and build a home and family.  Somehow through the process, we can take the dream from fantasy and start believing it is reality. expecting our husbands to meet our needs for security, happiness, comfort, understanding and the list goes on.  Sounds like a pretty tall list for a human being.  I sure wouldn’t appreciate the same expectations of me.

There are things we should expect from our husbands –  to be physically and emotionally safe, respected, faithful and loved and cared for (remembering he will have his own way of expressing this).  Communication is key.  Not just the spoken word but how it is conveyed. One of the greatest gifts we can give to our partner is the freedom “to be.”  To be all God has designed them to be.  That means we lovingly encourage them to grow in areas they struggle in and we are thankful for their uniqueness.  Study your husband.  How does he process information, what things make him feel loved, anxious, comfortable?  Now ask yourself what things make you feel loved, anxious, and comfortable?  Quess what?  They may not be the same.   More on this subject can be found in The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

On the other hand, unhealthy expectations can be damaging leading to disappointment, anger and bitterness.  We cannot change our husbands.   That is God’s work.  But we can pray for them and just as importantly ask God to change us.  Change us in how we relate to situations within our marriage.  If you are a person that demands much of yourself, it is likely you have high expectations of your husband.  We must be careful that the expectations we express are not so high that they feel there is no reason to try.

You may say:  “I just want to be treated in the same manner I treat him.”  WARNING:   If you are doing things for your husband motivated by wanting something in return, you are not acting out of love.  Ist Corinthians 13:4-7 gives a list of guidelines regarding God’s love.  It is the model we are to follow.  

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

But what if your expectation is acceptable; it all lines up with the guidelines in 1st Corinthians?  Remember that expectation can also mean to wait. Most of us would choose moving over waiting any day.  But there are some things that are worth waiting for.  There are blessings, strengths and yes, even joys that cannot be attained without waiting.  Because waiting is a college degree in Faith.  I don’t think there is a successful marriage that has not endured hard times. If you are being called to wait, wait in eager expectation, put your hope in God’s plan and take courage in the fact that Our Father holds your hand.  Make an effort to focus on what is right in your marriage. Cling to God promise in Proverbs 23:18  “There is surely a future hope for you and your hope will not be cut off.”

There are other times when God points out to wives that there is more than one way to get to the same destination and our husbands are not the ones who needs redirection.  When we are confused, a solid plan of action is to hightail to God as fast as we can and ask him for his perspective.  

Keep in mind that we can be easily influenced.  Remain alert to the condition of your value system.  Is it a smooth wheel or has it become rather wobbling and warped lately?  Ask yourself, Are my expectations of my husband truly mine or are they influenced by family members, friends, TV, movies, or reading material?  There is much out there to confuse us and cloud our judgement regarding what our husbands should be providing.

In closing let us remember God alone will provide for our needs – not what we think we want, but our needs.  (Phil. 4:19  God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches.)

Expectations of Our Husbands – Quide Sheet

 1.  What are a few qualities you appreciate about your husband?  Have you told him lately?  Try to make it a point to praise your husband this week.

2.  Do you think accepting the limitations of our spouses can grow us in unconditional love? 

3. Is there anything that I’m expecting of my husband that is not reasonable or necessary? 

4.  Is there anything that I’m expecting of my husband that I am in a waiting mode?

C:  TWiG/’98 – Debbie Hallock

Saying - Marriage Box

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What Kind of Mom Will Your Kids Remember?

This was written in 1998 and my now adult children were 14 and 10.  I was teaching a mentoring class called TwiG (Teach What Is Good) at Grace Community Church in Tempe, AZ which was created to bring the older woman (which I am now one of) and the younger woman together (Titus 2:3-5).   I recently shared this at a local MOPs (Mothers of Preschooler) group in April.  It was interesting to read my words 16 years ago. 

Mother's Day 2014 - Flowers 1


 I always wanted to be a mom.  And after six years of marriage, both Jeff and I were in agreement it was time to start our family.  I’ll never forget the day I found out Tamara was on her way.  Oh- I wanted to shout the news out.  Calling the newspaper was not out of the question – this had to qualify as front-page news.  From that day on – the life that I shared with my husband was no longer my own.  My thoughts and decisions were now influenced by the startling revelation that someone would call me “mommy.”  Tamara’s outgoing nature brought joy into our quiet world.  Three years later a little boy who most always has a smile on his face and a hug ready joined our family.  Two children with individual needs both requiring a solid foundation of love to grow in.  I’m learning that there are extreme joys that cause the heart to soar in the land of motherhood.  And along with those highs also come gut wrenching, energy-sucking lows.  My children are God’s greatest tools for my growth – not just as a mother but in discovering my own strengths and weaknesses.  It is in the care of others that we face some of life’s greatest decisions – to pull close with our arms wrapped tightly around or to let go and let them fly, to laugh or to cry over a situation, to encourage in an area that is best for my child and not myself, and to allow them the freedom to fail to name a few.

What kind of mom will my kids remember?  Who knows?  I probably won’t know that answer until I sit around as a grandmother and listen as they tell their children about the times when they were growing up.  But I have some ideas of what kind of heritage I’d like to give them.  And I believe with God’s help, that we are what we practice to be.

Memories:  I want my kids to remember their mom laughing.  She didn’t take everything in life so serious.  She wasn’t so much of an adult that she forgot what it felt like to be a kid.  And, just maybe I might have a small degree of influence in teaching them what fun was all about. (Funny Slippers, birthday theme parties.)

Availability– I want my kids to remember that I was there to listen.  I was willing to put aside what I am doing when they needed to discuss something.  When they walked through the door from school, it was their time to tell me about their day.  They didn’t find me on the telephone or in the middle of a project.  For it is in the quiet moments of listening that our children can hug our hearts.  I remember  Evan curled in my lap, his little fingers tracing the outline of my face, saying, “Mommy when I draw your face with my fingers it is a heart.”

Home – I want my kids to remember that the house we lived in was a home.  It provided a place of rest from the outside world.  Not a fantasy land, but a place where they knew they were loved.

Boundaries – I want my kids to remember that I loved them enough to say “no,” to set limits on their actions and that there are consequences for their actions.  To learn that love is not all about sweetness that lets you do whatever you want.  As their mother, I was willing to do what was necessary for their best interest no matter how hard it was on me.  Hebrews 12:11  “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Marriage:  I want my kids to remember that I loved their dad and our marriage was very important to me.  And that when times were tough, I didn’t give up.   They saw their dad and I have differences of opinion and somehow we still loved one another.  That anything worth having is worth working for.

Value:  I want my kids to remember that I valued myself from God’s perspective.  I was able to model taking care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually so I could take care of them. 

Cheerleader:  I want my kids to remember that more times than not I encouraged them in their endeavors.  That they had permission to try something and it was okay to fail.  My ears and time were open to provide opportunities in areas that interested them and help them in areas that didn’t come easily.  Our motto:  A family is a team and that a team works together and pulls for each other.

Guidance:  I want my kids to remember that God guided their mom.  It was her time spent with Him that strengthened and sometimes gave her a shoulder to cry on and an ear to rejoice to.   For she was just an ordinary woman and she needed help in learning to be the mother God had called her to be.  Is. 40:11 “He tends his flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart, he gently leads those that have young.”

Chances are my kids will never express everything from the list above.  That’s okay.  I’m not trying to win The Best Mother Award of All Times.  I am however striving to be The Best Mom I Can Be for Tamara and Evan.  And when I have goals in mind, I can work towards those.  I’d rather that what good they remember about me as a mother becomes part of them and they’ll be able to pass it on to the next generation.

 TwiG/’98 – Debbie Hallock (All rights reserved)

I see a new project for me – What Kind of Grandmother Will Your Grandchildren Remember?  

I’d enjoy hearing your own goals as a mom/grandmother and hope that you have a lovely Mother’s Day.

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