12/31 & 1440 {112} :: Kindness In Marriage


kindness might be the single most important thing in marriage.

he walks in the door and no matter what i am doing, or where i am in the house, i at least pop my head around the corner, make eye-contact and welcome him home. i’ve learned after 26 years that these are critical and precious moments, the first few back inside the safety of home, where the stresses, the facades, the responsibilities can be left – at least momentarily – on the back doorstep. i also know that for him, these are moments best experienced alone… so after i say hello, i go back to what i was doing and let him decompress quietly, peacefully, alone.

whereas i crave conversation and companionship, he craves quiet. it took me a while {ummm, years?} to learn this about us, and to learn to respect this difference. i also learned that when i give him his quiet homecoming, he gives me friendship and companionship and conversation shortly after. and so it works… understanding that what we each want is different, respecting and putting each other’s desires before our own… treating each other with kindness.

kindness in marriage is just like kindness in other relationships. except when we share space and our selves so intimately, we start to assume our mates will know what we mean…. that they will understand…. and we start to put our selves first. we speak without thought, we act selfishly. we start to see past what our partners want or need and go straight to what we need from them. this is not kindness at all. 

kindness is consideration. 

it is thoughtfulness, and understanding. it is space and quiet, and it is intimate and friendly. it is words, it is acts, it is time given. it is putting another first.  it is consistency and stability, and it is adventure. it is responsibility and it is playfulness.

 it is as important as love and loyalty, and common values. it allows for love.

it is different for each and every one of us, because our needs and desires are different. 

kindness in marriage strengthens bonds. it builds trust. it makes more room for intimacy. 

think about your spouse… consider what his or her needs are, what makes them happy. the daily things… try practicing this thoughtfulness, developing this awareness so that you can treat him or her kindly. talk about it with each other {and with your children}… what is kindness? how do we practice it? what would an act of kindness done to them be? 

{you might be surprised how little it takes to be kind to each other.} 

then see what kindness can do for your relationship and marriage.

what are some ways you and your spouse practice kindness with each other?


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Buckeroomama - October 24, 2014 - 1:39 pm

This post is absolutely golden –your message and your images, both! I believe that kindness is the single most important factor in any relationship.

Cathy H. - October 24, 2014 - 2:31 pm

Beautiful post and images! A very good reminder!

Barb - October 24, 2014 - 2:31 pm

How beautiful and inspirational. I feel exactly the same way … if kindness is our intention, it’s all good. My husband and I just celebrated our 40th and we greet each other in exactly the same way as you described in your first paragraph. Thank you … and your images are beyond stunning.

11/31 & 1440 {111} :: Kindness And Those You Love

there’s an expression that goes something like, we treat those we love the worst. i was completely stunned when i first heard these words… why, for goodness sake, would we ever treat those we love the worst?

i have some pretty good guesses why. because we feel we can be our truest, rawest selves in the presence of those we love. right?

i want to contend that our truest rawest self doesn’t have to be self-centered. when we release and let those negative feelings {anger, hurt, fatigue, frustration} gush out of us uncontrolled, unfettered, we are completely succumbing to ego-centric emotions that bring a certain energy to anyone in the room. and that’s not fair. it’s irresponsible. and it’s certainly not kind.

i’m not saying you have to be sunny and chipper all day, every day. and i’m not saying fake it. i’m suggesting first understanding your own feelings, and then  communicating them to your loved ones. imagine a more considerate control of negative emotions. instead of unleashing it, imagine communicating it to those you love and giving them the opportunity to love you back instead of being hurt by your actions and causing space between you.

if you respond with, i’m sorry, i’m just so angry right now… maybe she’ll understand your need to run on the treadmill instead of listening to her day.

if you say, i’m so tired i can’t think straight… maybe he’ll say, well let me make dinner then.

if you say, it hurts me that she didn’t even call… maybe they will offer you a hug, or an understanding, supportive comment.

if you say, grrr. i can’t believe he pulled that at the last minute of the day… maybe they will understand your need for some quiet, self-nurturing time.

perfect control of our emotions is unlikely. but i think we need to at least try. we need to try to treat those we love the best. it’s one of the highest forms of kindness.


moving on to the next layer of our inner circle, we will be chatting about kindness in marriage over the next few days. i hope you’ll join us and offer your thoughts on this topic.



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Buckeroomama - October 17, 2014 - 1:29 pm

I love this post. “Treat those we love the best.” Absolutely! I think it boils down to mindfulness.

Viv @ within the Frame - October 17, 2014 - 2:21 pm

So agree with your thoughts we should treasure the ones we love the best.

Sarah - October 17, 2014 - 4:46 pm

Great things to remember.

lisa - October 17, 2014 - 5:22 pm

What a beautiful post. Truly inspiring words. I’ve also noticed that we treat those closest to us the worst while going out of our way for complete strangers. I believe you hit the nail on the head. If we all would remember how fleeting life is, we’d probably act much differently.

Donna - October 19, 2014 - 12:42 pm

Just what I needed to read this morning. You put into words, what I’ve been trying to express – this desire to become more mature and treat those I love with kindness. Beautiful photos and thoughtful words. I’ll be back for more!

[…] Kindness & Marriage – Finding Serendipity. I try to remember this. Sweet Husband is my greatest ally in this world. I need to remember to treat him that way. […]

10/31 :: Make Your Heart Beat Wildly


|| o n e. ||
there is not one fiber in my being that is interested in jumping off 23 foot cliffs into the cool waters of Cherokee Lake. not one. it will never happen. it’s not fear of heights nor lack of courage that keeps me from this accomplishment; i am just NOT.INTERESTED. not even interested in bragging rights. not gonna happen. no way, no how. not ever.


|| t w o. ||
also? not interested in running a marathon. not ever. lots of admiration and respect for those who have and those who will… just not my thing. i like my knees. and i like being able to walk. and i don’t want to hate running any more than i already do… all that being said, i will never. never ever. run a marathon.

kindness to one’s self is not only the lack of things unkind. it is the beautiful, nurturing acts of goodness… things that allow your spirit to breathe, AND… things that excite you and give you fuel for the future, energy {and space and joy enough} to be kind and nurturing to others.

it is so very important to do something that makes your heart beat wildly. something that you dreamed of, something that you worked for, something that is out of the ordinary, something that does grant you bragging rights… something that’s a little edgy, or outrageous, that requires at least a bit of courage… something that curls your toes and makes you smile.

what will that be for you? 

is it starting a business?
practicing an art?
painting your front door kelly green?

is it traveling to a new place?
wearing something risky?
trying a new haircut?

is it throwing away something heavy that you’ve carried with you all these years?
saying hello to a stranger?
reaching out to someone in need? adopting a pet?

is it granting grace to someone who has actively, though ignorantly, hurt you?

is it taking a chance on love?


what will your brave heart lead you to accomplish?


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Emily - October 15, 2014 - 1:48 pm

Beautiful… as always…

Kim S - October 16, 2014 - 11:28 am

I love this. No cliff jumping or marathons for me either. I am in the process of a potential career move and the stress of decision making is upon me. Thanks…good timing as usual. Beautiful photos, too.

Buckeroomama - October 17, 2014 - 1:30 pm

Such gorgeous, gorgeous colors!

9/31 :: {Pause} Inner Circle, Part 2, and The Power of Kindness

A small act of your kindness can change a life. And you might never even know it. 


Johann Berlin considers the following in this  TED talk:

Who are you kind to?

No act is too small

Don’t lose hope



8/31 :: Kindness to Self


Source: promulgates

it’s saturday, and i have a heaping plate load of things to do… clean house, for one. edit pics, pick up my daughter from a sleep-over, clean up the kitchen, tend the laundry that’s already summer-saulting… and then there’s our beloved UT {Tennessee, not Texas, y’all} game. so i’m treating myself with kindness in two ways: i’m starting off with my sit-down coffee {not the cup that i carry from chore to chore}, and i’m writing this post. because this IS something i enjoy.

today, i thought i might share some internet-love links with you…

|| o n e . ||  40 Ways To Practice Self-Kindness {Huffington Post}

|| t w o. ||  9 Steps To Mindful Breathing and Rest

|| t h r e e. ||  22 Examples of SocialMedia Kindness

|| f o u r. ||

12 Steps To Self Care

|| f i v e. ||  The Magic of Kindness



and on pinterest ::

|| s i x. ||

THIS board of beautiful kindness quote pins

|| s e v e n. ||

THIS board with more quotes

|| e i g h t. ||

and lastly, my two boards on kindness… THIS one

|| n i n e.||

and THIS board of printables about kindness.

Southern Gal - October 11, 2014 - 6:08 pm

Ah, when I read the list I can see where I’m not always kind to myself. Thanks for the reminder. i hope you enjoy your game!

Roxi - October 13, 2014 - 3:36 pm

This is sooo good. Thanks.

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