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lori & steven mcclure

helping you write a better love story

Month

September 2015

Words for My Steven

20150915_175521When my eyes met yours, your lips curled into a restrained smile I can still see forever etched in my brain. Your eyes lit up, and my heart did, too, because you were my gift. You’d been sent to save me, to see me, to know me, to love me like no other had.

And you did.

You jumped into loving me with all you have as it if were your only job, and you’ve done it fiercely and completely and without reserve for every moment, second, and minute of every day.

How you do it I don’t know except for the grace of God giving you strength to love me as a sign to me I’m not forgotten. I’m never alone. I don’t have to earn God’s love or your love.

It just is.

Your love has covered me like a blanket on a cool day, and it has sheltered me from life’s storms. Yes, you cover me. When days are hard and when life weighs us down, you push through all that tries to separate us, and you pull me to you, refusing to let space divide us.

You continually choose to serve me, to give of yourself in a way that seems superhuman, and in a way, it is because only God1959340_790686210991913_3036767981389027569_n could give you that kind of love to share.

So, on this day, I celebrate you and the gift you are to me, to our children, and to the world. You are the kind of person who inspires poems and songs, and somehow I’ve been blessed to share my life with you.

Thank you, my love, for choosing me. I am thankful for you.

I love you, and I always will.

Happy Birthday.

L.

The Emotional Affair: When Sex isn’t the Only Infidelity in the Room

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Infidelity gets people talking faster than almost any other topic. A couple who’s been married for ten years and still divorces due to unfaithfulness strikes a chord in us all (a moment of silence for Ben and Jen, please).

What happened? How did things go wrong? Who’s to blame?

Could it happen to us?

Sure it could.

According to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, in 41% of marriages, one or both partners admitted to emotional or physical affairs. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

Nothing happens in a vacuum, and our choices always lead us to a specific outcome. The shock of infidelity sends us reeling, but the truth is, most people don’t meet a stranger and hop into bed with them. No, infidelity is more often the sum of a series of tiny decisions that culminate in an affair.

Speaking of which, what constitutes an affair?

Affairs don’t automatically equal sexual relationships. Emotional affairs are just as damaging (some would even say more so) as physical affairs. In this brave, new world in which almost every person has more than one social media account (not to mention more than one way to keep those accounts hidden), it’s a wonder the percentage isn’t higher.

Is there hope?

Of course there’s hope. But in this case, where there’s hope, there’s work.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Are you and your partner transparent when it comes to social media?
  2. Do you have any secret accounts?
  3. When an old flame or friend contacts you, do you share that information with your partner?
  4. Do you experience a mild (or not so mild) sense of panic when your partner grabs your phone?

If any of your answers give you pause, it might be time to rethink your online habits.

Easy Fixes to Try:

  1. Talk. To each other.
  2. Ask non-accusing questions. “I feel like a distance has grown between us, and I want to fix it,” is better than, “Why have you been so distant lately?”
  3. Answer questions honestly. Doing so will help to create a trusting environment conducive to open sharing.
  4. Don’t hide information from your partner.

However, if one or both of you is resistant to sharing, consider tackling secrecy issues with the help of a counselor.

Remember:

Nothing in the digital age is ever really done in secret (Hello, Ashley Madison!). You’re fooling yourself if you think you won’t eventually get caught. Rekindling an old friendship can be fine as long as boundaries remain in place and you’re open with your partner about the relationship.

If you feel tempted to hide your behavior, chances are good you’re headed down a dangerous road. Don’t let a bunch of tiny texts, emails, and instant messages lead you straight into infidelity  — emotional or otherwise. Choose open and honest communication instead.

Amy L. Sullivan and the Gutsy Girls Series Launch

Any woman who’s had a mean girl experience (even as far back as those junior high days) can attest to the potential pitfalls inherent in bonding with women. I still struggle in my relationships with other women sometimes.

So when you find women working to spread love and encouragement to other women and girls? It’s hard not to get excited about that kind of positivity.

One woman who is working to encourage women and girls just so happened to be around in my life when mean girls also swarmed. This girl picked me up when their words crushed me, and we realized early on that life would be bigger than junior high drama and prank calls.

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Fast forward to a life where junior high is a distant memory, and Amy L. Sullivan is promoting a message of strength with her #StrongGirlsCan and #Raising Girls campaigns. Her new project, Gutsy Girls: Strong Christian Women Who Impacted the World, is a book series for young girls to empower them on their journey to serve others. Book one in the Gutsy Girls series is about Gladys Aylward, an unlikely missionary to China.

Readers will journey with Gladys as she discovers her purpose while also learning that no one is too ordinary to serve. In a world where women are still pitted against each other or boxed into specific categories of service, the Gutsy Girls series will help young girls realize their strengths instead of their limits.

If you’ve got a youngster in your life, the first Gutsy Girls book goes live this Monday, September 21, 2015. Mark your calendar, so you don’t miss out on the freebies Amy is giving away to those who preorder and order in the first few days of release.

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Discover more about the first Gutsy Girl in Amy’s series, Gladys Aylward, now.

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