Headhunters & Death by Squats

Yesterday afternoon I got a pleasant surprise.  A phone call came in at work for me and when I answered I was asked if I'd be interested in an Engineering Manager job.  I told the polite lady that I love where I work and hope to retire from here.  She thanked me for my time and that was that.  It's always nice to get a call like that...

This morning's workout was Rx'd as 7 rounds of 400m run followed by 135 lb. back squat by 29 reps.  Umm, yeah, that sounds brutal.  We were discussing it at work yesterday and one my buddies said he was probably going to drop the squat reps down to 20. I called him on it.  He then told me that I was underestimating this workout...  I said we'll see, and he said we'd talk again when reality set in the next morning.

Fast Forward to this morning.  I completed the workout in 51:25 as Rx'd.  Well, almost as Rx'd.  In order to "one up" the whole situation I did my squats at 140 lbs. and did 30 reps.  That's a total of 1.75 miles and 210 squats with 140 lbs.  It was epic and although we had dubbed it "Death by Squats" yesterday afternoon...no one died.  Tomorrow?  Murph.  Bring it on!!!


Sobering Quote

Haven't shared a quote in a while...saw this on a friends facebook page today.

"Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA – ordinary citizens don’t need guns, as their having guns doesn’t serve the State." -- Heinrich Himmler
 Please keep in mind that many in our government, especially certain donkeys, want to do the same to us.  I am a citizen not a subject.  There will be no "taking of guns" from this man.

Daughters and Sons

One of the blogs that I really enjoy reading is "They Still Call Me Daddy"...  He posted up two excellent posts in the last couple of days.  Both will put a smile on your face, I'm sure!

10 Reasons I Enjoy Having Daughters

10 Reasons I Enjoy Having Sons


Monday (Tuesday) Weigh-in

I weighed in this morning at 168 lbs.  Only four pounds away from where I started, however, I look and feel great!  The only thing I can attribute this to is that muscle weighs more than fat...  As I'm working the fat off and pushing myself harder in the gym it must be converting over to muscle.  This would stand to reason as I am putting up better numbers in my workouts.  Over this past, extended weekend, I did Crossfit workouts on 2 of the 3 days.  Since I do not have a Crossfit gym in my garage...I pulled my workouts from a list I recently saw a link to on Twitter.  "The Moose is Loose" blog provided a post consisting of 92 Crossfit workouts that didn't require any equipment.  I used #31 for my Saturday workout and a modification of #87 for Monday.  I hit a new PR this morning by rowing 2,000m in 8:09 on a Concept II rowing machine at the Painesville YMCA.

More to come...until then, Eat Right & Train Hard!


Getting Serious on Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! This my first post from the iPhone. I awoke on this day of remembrance at 6:30AM. I stretched and then "warmed up" with some weighted situps. The only thing I had for weight was my 45 lb. kettlebell. This worked, for my first weighted situps in several years, and I did 3 sets of 10. My Crossfit workout today was Tabata. What is Tabata? It consists of 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. I did this for four exercises: pushups, situps, squats,& handstand pushups. Your score is your total amount of reps. This morning I scored 376. I then jogged a 1/2 mile cool down lap on my street. For Memorial Day the fam and I packed lunch and headed down to West Branch State Park where we hiked a total of 5+ miles on the trails there. All in all an awesome day! Please take some time out of your busy day to remember those who have fought and died for the freedoms that we all too often take for granted today.


Today's WOD

The workout of the day today was AMRAP* 12 of 15 foot rope climb and 15 pushups.  (We substituted 8 rope pullups for the climbs.)  I scored 9 rounds and my workout partner scored 7.

We also did a 5x5 back squat before the conditioning WOD.  I put up 225 for 5 and felt at the end like I probably could have done more.

Thought Provoker

If you have all the time to do what YOU want to do...you're not being a good dad [or husband for that matter].  - Todd Wilson (brackets added by yours truly)


#48 Does it AGAIN!!!

Congrats! to Jimmie Johnson for winning his 3rd All-star race and putting himself in the company of Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon for most wins in this prestigious event!

Getting Serious - food update

Saturday, dinner at Panera...570 calories, 43g fat, 9 sat. fat, 0 trans fat, 135mg cholesterol, 1070mg sodium, 16g carbs, 6g fiber, 3g sugars, 41g protein.  (Whole Grain Baguette - 140 calories, 1g fat, 0g sat. fat, 0 trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 310mg sodium, 29g carbs, 3g fiber, 2g sugars, 6g protein)
(Full) Chopped Chicken Cobb with Avocado Salad

Sunday, dinner after church, homemade pizza.  Whole grain (homemade) dough, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, green peppers, onions, black olives, and broccoli (with a salad on the side topped with Romano Basil Vinaigrette.)  This was mine.

I am trying all kinds of new foods and haven't found anything yet that I don't like!!!  And, I know I've said this before, but I feel great!

Monday Weigh-in

Weighed in at 165 lbs. this morning...
I'm guessing that that's right around where I'll settle in at weight-wise.  I'm okay with that.  As I mentioned earlier on in this saga, I am not doing this to lose weight.  This is all about getting healthier overall, setting a precedent for my children, and putting up better numbers in my Crossfit workouts.  (and if I end up getting jacked in the meantime...well, so be it!)

I pulled 315 on my deadlift this morning...not what I was shooting for (and I'm pretty sure it's not a PR) but I'll take it.  I also did the Cindy workout this morning and scored 18 plus pushups.  That was a PR!  More to come!


Getting Serious Update

So, I've been told by several of my friends who have had much stricter diets than I have over the years, that it is important to have a "free day" or a "splurge day" in your diet.  While this is very vague and open to interpretation, I'll just say that a free day is what it sounds like: eat what you want for one day each week.

Yesterday was mine.  I went to a small local place that has awesome burgers and got a Munchie Burger.  What is a Munchie Burger you ask?  It is a burger with mozzarella sticks and onion rings on top smothered in BBQ sauce.  Guess what?  It tasted delicious!!!  However, I felt like garbage all afternoon and didn't fully recover until later that evening.  The only other thing I had on my splurge day was A smore...as in ONE.  It was good, and there were no adverse affects from it...that I felt. 

All this to say that, while it was a free day, I found myself still "snacking" on seeds, fruits and veggies throughout the day instead of the Little Debbies that I used to get out of the vending machine.  I am finding that even on your free/splurge day you will not want to ruin what you have worked so hard to achieve so you will only "splurge" in moderation...if at all.

On Monday, I will post (hopefully) a new deadlift PR and a new Crossfit "Cindy" PR.*  I will also post my current weight.  I am only officially weighing in on Mondays.  (I will say this, I snuck a peak at the scale on Friday, post workout, and I can't wait to see what Monday brings!)

*PR = personal record       "Cindy" = 20 minutes AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 squats

Epic Win!

Thought you'd enjoy this...


Eight Girls Pull Best Yearbook Prank Ever


WOD's, Amino Acids, and Food

Today's WOD was Rx'd as 5 rounds of 25 yard walking on hands and 50 air squats.  In preparation for this I attempted to walk on my hands yesterday and barely made it 8 feet...that's, at minimum kicking up and restarting 9 times to achieve 25 yards!  We decided to substitute a 1 minute static handstand (up against a wall) for the handstand walk.  My official time for this workout was 12:32.  I was able to hold all of the handstands for the required 1 minute which means I completed my squats (250 total) in 7:32, that's 1 squat every 1.8 seconds!  Good workout, we were pretty whooped when we reached the end.  Tomorrow's workout is 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 of Chest-to-bar pullups, 30 inch box jump, and Glute-ham developer situps (we will substitute situps on a stability ball).  I will post my time tomorrow.

For lunch today, I am eating 2 small baked potatoes with salsa on top and a side of applesauce.

Regarding the diet portion of my program:
When eating a plant-based diet it is important to get your complete proteins.  These are normally found in the meats that my family and I are now limiting in our diet.  This article spells out how to make sure you are still getting the amino acids found in complete proteins in order for soft tissue rebuilding to occur after your workouts.

My wife recently sent me a link to a website called Meatless Monday.  It is a website that challenges people to cut meat out of their diet just one day a week.  It has a myriad of recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Shuffle List

Haven't done this in a while...1st 10 songs on my iTunes shuffle list this morning:

1. Who Are You - The Who
2. I'm Looking Through You - The Beatles
3. Should've Been a Cowboy - Toby Keith
4. I Can't Explain - The Who (weird that I got 2 of their songs in the 1st 10)
5. Gloria - Jewel
6. All Around Me - Flyleaf (Awesome Band! One of my favs!)
7. Heartland - George Strait
8. All I Ever Wanted - Shinedown
9. Casa Loma Stomp - Glen Gray
10. Munster Rag - Brad Paisley

Shooting to wound? Dumb.

Well said Tam and God, Gals, Guns, Grub.


Today's WOD

Today's Crossfit WOD was: Run 800m, then 10 rounds of 10 pullups & 10 ring dips, then run another 800m.  I completed this as Rx'd in 33:26.  My first 800 was 4:02 and the second was 4:58, not too shabby of a dropoff.  The "stuff" in between the runs was interesting.  The pullups would leave you winded and the ring dips just wore you down until you felt like you couldn't push yourself back up to save your life.  Tomorrow is a much needed rest day.  I will concentrate on stretching and some mobility movements to loosen everything back up and get ready to hit it again on Thursday.

Also, in regards to the focus on plant based foods, here are some of things we have eaten in the last week:
Eggplant Parmigiana
Veggie Burgers (Lentils and black bean based)
Tofu Stir Fry

On Sunday, for Mother's Day, I grilled marinated chicken breasts, pineapple slices, "potato packets", and we had corn on the cob.

So far everything has been absolutely delicious, which mostly has to do with the fact that my wife is an amazing cook!!


Beast with a Testimony

Rich Froning posted this on Twitter the day he won the 2012 Crossfit Games Regional in Columbus, Ohio.  Not only is he a beast, but he isn't shy about his faith!!!  Love this guy! Hope he wins again!

Getting Serious

As a follow up to my Saturday post...here are some baseline stats.

5/7/12 - Monday, post workout weight = 172 lbs.

One week of normal workout routine and first week of eating a mostly plant based diet.

5/14/12 - Monday, post workout weight = 168 lbs.

Now while I realize that I will probably lose some weight that is not really the end goal, so therefore, I should measure my progress by something else.  The best thing I can come up with is my scores from a few key Crossfit workouts and lifts.

This morning I actually hit a PR on my Clean and Jerk with 195 lbs.  (I also cleaned 205, but couldn't throw it overhead.)

My most recent 5K times have been hovering right around 30 minutes give or take 30 seconds.

My most recent FRAN time is 8:32 (however, my PR is 7:24)

Max Back Squat = 305 lbs.

Max Deadlift = 355 lbs.

Shoulder Press = 155 lbs.

Murph Time = 47:29

If I can think of any pertinent info I will post later.


I don't really have words for this...


Getting Serious

At the Crossfit Regionals in Columbus, Dan Bailey set a new world record for the "Diane" WOD.  You can check it out below...and yes, it is totally beast!  Watching the games has made me want to get more serious (no I wasn't serious enough before) about my workouts and my overall health.  Recently, my wife and I have started to make the move towards a more plant-based diet.  Read that again if you need to.  I did NOT say we're turning into vegetarians, because Lord knows I still enjoy a good burger or steak.  We will just focus more on eating healthier.  I'll keep you posted with results as I see them develop.  I can already say this, after one week...I feel overall better.  Is this all in my head?  Maybe, but I doubt it.  Anyway, check out Bailey below, this man is an animal!!!


Foodie Alert!

Holla!  Another awesome place is opening near me soon!  Melt Bar and Grill is coming to Mentor!

So, once again, I CAN'T WAIT!!!

I'm a meathead!

Love this!  Most “normal” people wouldn’t understand…


The loud gym rats whose groans are scaring away customers from neighboring businesses were slapped with two noise violations recently, police said yesterday.

Long Beach officials were called to CrossFit King of the Beach on April 3 and last Friday and issued $100 violations because the meatheads broke noise laws when they slammed down weights and grunted.

“We’ve gotten a lot of complaints,’’ said police Sgt. Eric Cregeen.

Yesterday, The Post reported that a neighboring barbershop owner and a personal-finance guru had filed a lawsuit against the gym’s owners, saying customers have literally run out of their businesses because of the noise.

“You’re discussing a million-dollar portfolio and hearing, ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ at all hours of the day,” said financial-services adviser Joseph Hamlet, one of the plaintiffs.

But the gym’s patrons defended themselves yesterday — and said the plaintiffs are exaggerating.

“I wouldn’t call us meatheads,” said patron Heather Tricola, 41, “When we do drop the weights, it’s not intentional,’’ but simply a matter of exhaustion, she said.


One Man and One Woman

These two clowns are supposed to be running our country?  I touched on this a while ago, in fact-almost a year ago. 

Excerpt from CBS article:
"I had already made a decision that we were going to take this position before the election and before the convention," Mr. Obama said in an interview with ABC News and referring to the Democratic nominating convention set to take place this summer.

Asked if he was upset with Biden for jumping the gun, Mr. Obama said Biden "got out a little bit over his skis, but out of generosity of spirit."

"Would I have preferred to have done this in my own way in my own terms without I think there being a a lot of notice to everybody, sure, but alls well that ends well," Mr. Obama said.

Indeed, Mr. President, and I do hope that decisions like these will help to end your “reign” as leader of our once God-fearing country.  I think our President, Vice President and the rest of the states need to take a lesson from North Carolina.

Let’s get back to the principles this country was founded on.  If not, we will continue to see a downward moral slide into a darkness and evil that will destroy this once strong nation.


Couple Openings

We are taking resumes/applications for a few positions right now at Ohio Ordnance Works.


Guns and knives

Love this!

Why It's Not Just About Guns

"Guns have become so pervasive in American culture that taking them away by trampling on the 2nd Amendment would be removing more than just the pieces of metal- even more than the loss of jobs, paychecks, and benefits- it would be castrating a part of who Americans are."

I've got a sense of humor!

Just got this in an email...not sure how much of it is true, but hey hopefully it will at least make you smile!

Several guys from Peterborough Ontario dressed up their truck with a guy tied to the roof.
The driver and passengers put on Moose Head costumes.

As they drove down the main street of Peterborough they caused about 6 accidents.

They were charged with Public Mischief and having open beer in a vehicle,

Peterborough cops have no sense of humor.

Soccer pizza parties ARE awesome

A good one from They Still Call Me Daddy today.


CCW Talk

Some interesting CCW talk from Robb.

This One is for the Ladies


This is a second follow-up to my “Are you a REAL man?” post from last week.

The first was directed at husbands….this one is directed at wives (and remember this was written by a woman!)

50 Ways to Inspire Your Husband

There’s an old joke about one of our presidents walking with his wife, who sees one of her old boyfriends in a less-than-glorious occupation. The president looks at the old boyfriend and remarks, “If you hadn’t married me, you might be married to that guy.”

The first lady answers calmly, “If I had married him, he’d be president.”

Now, occupation is not the measure of a man. But as a wife, you do possess a unique power to inspire your husband. Your loving vision of the man he’s becoming propels him toward greatness—not necessarily by the world’s yardstick of success, or even your own, but of God’s.

When you believe in him, he is secure. He can take the leaps of faith required to surmount fear. He can bear up under pressure, pioneer new territory.

An inspired husband feels the freedom to reach the fullest potential of the man God has created him to be. He’s not merely encouraged. He’s a man who’s empowered; a conqueror. If you want to give your man some “wind beneath his wings”… start here.

1.  Initiate great sex.

2.  Send him an email. Example: “Praying for you today. Thanks for being so courageous in [insert specific area].”

3.  Give him one night on a regular basis to do something he loves.

4.  Consistently mention ways you see him growing to be more like Christ.

5.  Ask him about his “bucket list.”

6.  Give him a book, audio CD, or ticket to learn about something he loves doing.

7.  Ask him about some dreams he has — and pray about them together, evaluating them. Then ask how you can help him go after them.

8.  Text him. Example: “REMINDER: I BELIEVE IN U.”

9. Make sure he feels respected by you.

10.  Leave sticky notes in his lunch, on his steering wheel, in his briefcase, etc. “So proud of all you’ve been doing with ___.” “You are so great with our kids.” “You are my dream come true.” “You are an incredible lover.”

11.  Suggest that he take some time to go pursue a hobby.

12.  Leave a message on his voicemail: “Thanks for going to work every day to take care of our family. You are so good at what you do.”

13. Ask him how you can pray for him at work. Later on in the week, ask about his prayer requests again.

14. Be proactive about doing something together that he really enjoys: make a date, get him excited, and share his enthusiasm!

15.  Tell him areas he’s gifted in. Don’t stretch the truth; be honest so he can trust you.

16. Pray for him.

17. Initiate great sex.

18.  Start and keep a “Dreams” binder with him. Include some travel brochures or whatever gets you excited. In the back, make sure you have a “Dreams turned reality!” file.

19.  Talk with him about setting aside a small part of the budget to pursue the ways God has created him — through education or through sheer enjoyment.

20.  Post on his Facebook wall: “I love being your wife! See me tonight regarding this.”

21. Gently communicate with him about what you like in bed, and respond encouragingly to his attempts.

22.  Remember a dream that he had a long time ago. Talk with him about whether it’s still a dream — and still a possibility.

23.  Ask God to open your eyes to the ways He has made your husband and to give you wisdom about how to maximize that workmanship.

24.  Have your children write him notes or letters about what they love about their dad.

25.  Initiate great sex.

26.  Ban yourself from any nagging, the Great Life-Sucker.

27.  Ask, “If I could do one thing I’m not already doing that would really empower you and inspire you, what would it be?” Listen — resist being defensive (the hard part) — and follow through.

28.  As you think of them, remind him of specific times and areas he has impacted people’s lives: “Hey, I was thinking the other day about all the time you invested in that Cub Scout troop. Wonder what those boys are doing now. It was so cool to watch them grow with you as their leader.” “Our son has grown so much in encouraging people lately. He gets that from you; you are such a good example for him in that.”

29.  Buy him something small to stoke the fires: a journal for a writer; some carpentry pencils for a woodworker; some grilling tools for the master chef. Add a sweet note: “Just because I love the way you’re made.”

30.  Do something fun and unexpected together: paintball; laser tag; on a spring day, have a picnic, blow bubbles, and bring the books you’re reading; swing; go to a drive-in movie, bring popcorn, and instigate a make-out session.

31. Think about a way you’ve been hurting him, annoying him, or not “seeing” him. Apologize, and work hard at showing true change.

32. Initiate great sex.

33. Go to a home improvement store to plan a small, doable project that energizes both of you, even if it’s just painting a room or fixing up some landscaping. (Hint: Make sure it’s something by which he won’t feel burdened.)

34. Do something from his to-do list for him — something that he’d rather have you do anyway.

35. Find a mutually enjoyable activity you like doing together on a regular basis — even if it’s playing the Wii together.

36. Create a cheerful atmosphere when he comes home.

37. Design a date night that will help him to de-stress and have fun.

38. Discover his love language and become even more fluent in it.

39.  Pray about and pursue at least one dream of your own, talking with him about it.

40.  What’s hard about his life right now? Pray for his endurance, and encourage him specifically. Galatians 6:9 is a great start for both.

41.  Organize or clean something in your home that you know he finds messy.

42.  Send a snail-mail love note to him at the office, affirming him in his work.

43.  If there’s something on his “Honey Do” list at home that he finds overwhelming or has a hard time finding time to do, talk with him (respectfully and gently) about the possibility of having it hired out. Make sure he knows it’s not because you find him incompetent, but that you want to free him from a burden.

44.  Initiate great sex.

45. Be a student of your husband. Does he feel inspired if he’s got all his ducks in a row? If he’s got a creative space to think? If he feels verbally affirmed?

46. If he’s into dressing nice, go with him to shop for clothes in which he feels confident.

47. Let him overhear you speaking well of him on the phone, among friends, or in public places.

48.  In his area of weakness, pray about how to subtly and gently step in and help him.

49.  Tell him what a great dad he is. Be specific.

50.  If and when he messes up, respond with the kind of grace, compassion, and mercy that God gives us. Respond in a way that communicates, You’re safe with me — and I’m not going to rehash your failures. This is a secure place for you to grow … and I love the journey with you.


50 Ways to Inspire Your Wife

This is a follow-up to my post from the other day called, Are You a REAL Man?

50 Ways to Inspire Your Wife

by Janel Breitenstein

An old story told from the island of Kiniwata relates the account of a man known as Johnny Lingo. The youngest and strongest man from the island, Johnny shocked the islanders by paying the father of his bride not the traditional two to three cows for his wife, or even the four to five cows for an exceptional wife. For Sarita, he paid eight. No one could understand: “It would be kindness to call her plain. She was skinny. She walked with her shoulders hunched and her head ducked. She was scared of her own shadow." Eight cows!? The entire island laughed at the audacity.

Curious about the story, writer Patricia McGerr visited Johnny's home. She was fascinated by what she describes as the most beautiful woman she’d ever seen. She wrote about this in a Woman's Day article,   “Johnny Lingo and the Eight Cow Wife”: “The lift of her shoulders, the tilt of her chin, the sparkle of her eyes all spelled a pride to which no one could deny her the right.”

When McGerr later pressed Johnny Lingo for his reasoning, he explains, “Many things can change a woman. Things that happen inside, things that happen outside. But the thing that matters most is what she thinks about herself. In Kiniwata, Sarita believed she was worth nothing. Now she knows she is worth more than any other woman in the islands ... I wanted an eight-cow wife.”

Now, for obvious reasons, please do not immediately tell your beloved, “Hon, you’re an eight-cow wife.” But remember that, at least in part, a man’s impact may be measured in the joy and character of the people closest to him.

The way that a man sees his wife, the way he cherishes her, has a lasting effect on her beauty within and without. How does your wife feel about you and your relationship to her? How do you want your children to remember your acts of love for their mother?  

Here are 50 ideas to get you started toward inspiring an eight-cow wife.

  1. Be a student of her. Where do her passions, gifting, and abilities lie? What energizes her? When does she lose track of time because she’s enjoying herself so much? What weights does she bear? (Can you learn incredible things about this woman that even she doesn’t know?)
  2. Ask God for special wisdom in understanding your wife and in loving her well (James 1:5-6).
  3. Make a list of 30 things that you love and/or appreciate about her. Write them on separate sticky notes, and leave one somewhere in the house every day for an entire month.
  4. For what ministry has God created your wife in order to build up His people? Give her time and energy to pursue it.
  5. Take care of the kids for a day so that she can have a personal spiritual retreat to recharge.
  6. Listen to her sincerely: Observe her words, body language, and circumstances in order to compassionately understand her. Make eye contact with her, and ask thoughtful questions, like “How did that affect you?” or basic who/what/where/when/why/how questions.
  7. If she’s got a budding hobby or one that’s been neglected, purchase something small but high-quality that she would enjoy: quality paintbrushes, a beautiful journal, photo software, a top-notch cooking knife, new gloves, athletic equipment (ahem … only if she loves athletics), a well-recommended book on her hobby. Include a note: Just because I love the way you’re made.
  8. Pray with her, and for her, on a regular basis. Consider making it a regular item in your schedule, such as before you leave for work or go to bed.
  9. Compile a CD with songs that specifically encourage things you love about her. Let her know that you intentionally chose these for her and about her.
  10. When circumstances, conversation, or even movies or songs bring up an area in which she excels, lean over and whisper, “You know, you do that so well. I love how you use ___ to bless the people around you.”
  11. Identify the “life-suckers” in her life. What saps her energy? Consider the points of friction that she often faces in her daily routines. Prayerfully ask God to help you see not only what weighs on her, but also how you could help her.   Initiate conversation to compassionately find solutions with her. Ask, “What could be done to make that less painful (or less difficult)?”
  12. Gently encourage your children to thank her for different ways she serves them: When they have clean laundry, when she serves dinner, when she drops them off at school. (Make sure you’re modeling consistent gratitude for little things, too.)
  13. Identify your wife’s “love language”—what makes her feel loved and valued. Is it words of affirmation, gifts, physical touch, quality time, or acts of service? She may have more than one. Become fluent in each of her "languages."
  14. What pleasures in your life do you enjoy that your wife isn’t able to enjoy? She might not be into fishing like you are, for example, but maybe she’d like her own version of alone time. Like you, she might be honored by accolades for her projects well-done, a chance to finish a conversation, or sleeping in on a Saturday.
  15. Allow your wife to set your standard of beauty, and make it clear to her that she is secure: Your eyes are only for her. Enlist the help of a trusted friend or pastor and accountability websites like x3watch.com to develop monogamous eyes that come from a monogamous heart … and a husband she can trust. Security gives way to confidence.
  16. Talk through your budget together with her. Make sure you both have the resources you need to care for your family well. If you primarily manage the budget, ask her to make at least one change before finalizing it. Esteem wise financial decisions she’s made.
  17. Be a student of her body. Ask her, both while you’re in bed and at a completely separate private time, how you can please her sexually and make her feel secure and beautiful. Seek tenderly to understand her past and how it affects her in the bedroom. Be prepared to humbly accept what she says, embracing her without defensiveness.
  18. Gently protect her. Lovingly help her set boundaries with her time, energy, resources, and relationships (kids and mothers-in-law included).
  19. Give her a massage—one that doesn’t lead to sex, unless she’s clear that making love is what she would enjoy most.
  20. Send her an e-mail. Example: “Praying for you today. Thanks for being so courageous in ___.”
  21. Give her one night on a regular basis to do something she loves. Occasionally surprise her with an afternoon “off” so she can do something fun or just be alone.
  22. Consistently mention ways you see her growing to be more like Christ.
  23. Ask her about her “bucket list”—the top things she’d like to do in her lifetime.
  24. Give her a book or audio CD to learn about something she loves doing.
  25. Text her on a stressful day. Example: “REMINDER: I BELIEVE IN U.”
  26. Leave a message on her voicemail: “Thanks for serving our family every day. You are so good at ___.”
  27. Be proactive about doing something together that she really enjoys. Make a date, get her excited, and share her enthusiasm!
  28. Ask her, “If there were one thing I could do to love you better, to really cherish you—and you knew I would listen—what would it be?” Be prepared to follow through.
  29. Tell her areas she’s gifted in. Don’t stretch the truth: Be honest so she can trust you.
  30. Talk with her about setting aside a small part of the budget to pursue the unique ways God has designed her (including her gifts, abilities, and passions)—through education or through sheer enjoyment.
  31. Post on her Facebook wall: “I love being your husband. You still take my breath away.”
  32. Have your children write her notes or letters about what they love about her as a mom.
  33. Ask, “If I could do one thing that would really empower you and inspire you, what would it be?” Listen and follow through.
  34. As you think of them, remind her of specific times when she has made an impact in the lives of others. “Hey, I was thinking the other day about all the times you’ve invested in all those kids who come over here. You do such a good job making people feel welcomed and loved on.” “I don’t think I could count all the meals you’ve brought to people who are sick. You are wonderful at seeing people’s needs and giving of yourself to them.”
  35. Do something fun and unexpected together. Here are a few ideas: play paintball, laser tag, or sand volleyball; organize a picnic and bring the books you’re reading; take photos of each other; play a pickup game of a sport together; go to a drive-in movie, bringing popcorn and her favorite candy (let her initiate any physical advances for this one).
  36. Think about a way you’ve been hurting her or annoying her. Maybe there are ways you’re not “seeing” her—not stepping into her world to understand what it’s like to be her, with all of the things she cares about (see 1 Peter 3:7). Apologize, and work hard at showing true change.
  37. Find a mutually enjoyable activity you like doing together on a regular basis, even if it’s working outside together or playing the Wii together after the kids are in bed.
  38. Create a fun, life-giving atmosphere when you come home.
  39. Design a date night that will help her to de-stress and have fun. (Dare I suggest ballroom dancing lessons?)
  40. What’s difficult about her life right now? Pray for her endurance, and encourage her specifically. Galatians 6:9 is a great start for both. Think, What can I do to ease the load she’s carrying today?
  41. Organize or clean something of yours that you know she finds messy.
  42. Talk with her about her fears—both deep and insignificant. Over time, lead her as you work together to replace those fears with faith in God as expressed in His Word.
  43. Send a snail-mail love note to her at home, affirming all she does for your family.
  44. Think of something on her to-do list that she finds overwhelming or for which she doesn’t have much time. Talk with her (respectfully and gently) about the possibility of having it hired out (maybe you could pay a responsible high school student to log a few hours on housework). Communicate clearly that it’s not because you find her incompetent, but that you want to free her up from a burden.
  45. If your wife likes to dress nicely, go with her to shop for clothes in which she feels confident and looks fantastic.
  46. Be an advocate for her rest. Gently help her to evaluate and set limits on her to-do list, reminding her that she loves others best when she takes time to replenish.
  47. Let her overhear you speaking well of her on the phone—among friends, to your kids, in public places, and to your mother. Tenderly but firmly keep family members from speaking disrespectfully to her or about her.
  48. In her area of weakness, pray about how to subtly, gently step in and help her.
  49. Request, “I’d like you to think about something for me. I’d like you to tell me one area in which you want to challenge me, but you wonder if I will listen and if I’ll receive it well. If you’ll do that, I commit to listen to you without getting defensive or somehow punishing you for telling me.”
  50. If and when she messes up, respond with the kind of grace, compassion, and mercy that God gives us. Respond in a way that communicates, You’re safe with me—and I’m not going to rehash your failures. This is a secure place for you to grow … and I love the journey with you.

One final note: Maybe you are a man who initiates many kindnesses to your wife and you don't receive much respect or kindness in return. Or perhaps you’re a woman reading this under the burden of a husband who doesn’t serve you or protect you or cherish you. May you be gently, compassionately encouraged: Giving without mutual gain puts you in good company—the company of Jesus. May God give you significant grace as you pray for your husband and encounter the nitty-gritty, everyday battles against resentment and, in many cases, injustice. Our God is the God who sees (Genesis 21:15-21).