>Spouse Management 101 by Gary Fultz

>    I sent our oldest daughter an e-mail last night I told Cheryl to have a hot bubble bath before going to bed…she is obeying!” She e-mailed back What a good, obedient wife you have. :-)”
My replyThe trick on obedient spouses is to ask them to do something they would love to do. Just beat them to the idea and make it possible.
                                 Beware Red sky in the morning…might summarize some marriages

    I remember a conversation on a guys trip where one guy was bragging about how much he had his wife in complete control of his every beckon and call. Because we all knew him well my brother summed it up very nicely and fairly accurately for him “Well Henry…sounds like you have her right where she wants you”. The poor guy still to this day doesn’t know why everyone laughed so long; probably because he had a bad habit of “knowing” what you were going to say by mid sentence.
  Too many points on spouse management here as an ongoing blog as well as libraries full of books could be written on the subject.I suspect the very title is fairly marketable in our day and age. It appeals to our sense of control in our relationship with our spouse. I would venture to say that the higher the need to feel in control, the less often we are in control. Here’s to all the Henry’s within each of us…May we get a clue!
    Just a couple of comments here…
    Selfish thinking comes so naturally we don’t recognize it in ourselves.
When we were a few years into our marriage I worked 70 -80 hours a week and even combined my fishing with work. I had stopped by the house to grab some supper and head out with the boat. I was leaving my wife with three  preschool kids on one of those rough days that seem happen six days out of the week. My most used phrase at home came out as I headed for the door “see you in a bit”. My wife always came for a good-by kiss and said very bluntly “You are really a selfish man”. A laser guided missile straight to my self centered heart began to do it’s work. It became a reality time out for me as a spouse to a wonderful unselfish women. I don’t have to tell you what happens when two selfish people get together. 
     Watch out if your idea of love is a feeling you fell into. Trust me you will get out of that feeling as easily as getting stuck in a mud hole and hitting the four wheel drive button. The stardust will fade and then you have some choices to make. True love is a decision which has a foundation of commitment to make choices based upon what’s best for the spouse…not me. I came to a point with my wife where I said “If you want me to quit fishing I will”  I ment it and would have sold the boat and hang up the rods in the garage rafters. It was a love choice for me. She was obviously in a good position for spouse management. She in her love choices was not going to take away a passion of mine. She just wanted me to think of her and the family before running off fishing. As a result we became a much more “intentional” family.
    Spouse management takes two ultimately, but usually starts with one when two people began to go separate directions. True, decisive, intentional love is what the wedding vows mean. Own your love, initiate love choices, and aim at the heart…but only in love. It’s a hard thing to respond to selfish behavior in love.It’s even harder to get good at it. There is a learning curve in this unusual behavior!
    33.5 years of marriage for us. Yes better and better but someday I need to redefine better as it’s more than what you think if you haven’t been there. It’s like saying “describe the Grand Canyon in one word” because I’ve never seen it. “Better” is experiencing 1 Corinthians 13 (great love chapter in the Bible) and not just reading it and saying “I understand it”.
    I would write more but the fish are biting…


>Tis the season by Gary Fultz


All morning I have looked out the window and enjoyed the snow laden branches. It’s actually been several mornings as there has been no wind to rid the brush and trees of such a heavy burden.
     It happened in an instant. I heard it, felt it, looked up and saw the huge gust of wind that shook the forest as well as the house of most of the snow. It’s suddenly snowing. I’m Glad I’m sitting by the fireplace and not out on the roads, and smugly satisfied I took this picture when it was nice out!
    This is winter in northern Minnesota! The warm-up overnight from below zero to 18 degrees is good enough warning that a front (probably with snow) was moving in. Where else can one enjoy open air ice fishing in 30 degree sunny weather one day and see -30 below zero the next? Tis the season!

Sometimes are lives are changed  as quickly as this storm hit!

    My season in life right now is a lot like winter. Recovery from a surgery takes a season of time. Not knowing how well I will be able to do physical labor again will uncover itself in it’s own time. How I handle this season in life seems to be the challenge. I have 30 degree sunny days and -30 below zero days. It seems that no amount of the will can change the temperature physically and emotionally. I do have control over one major aspect of my season and the storms that come without much warning. I can crawl back in bed or I can get dressed and face the day. These days I don’t even go get the mail without putting on a parka, warm boots, fur hat and warm gloves. If I get cold I’m cold the rest of the day.
    I have to keep my eyes off myself! The moment I focus on me I get more depressed then the emotions of the season in life have brought to me. It’s a tipping point and I have to look outward.  Thankfully I have friends who call and e-mail and offer help for things I cannot do. I have more faith than ever in a God who really is there and cares for me. This morning before the storm I was overcome with an emotion outside myself as I looked out our broken picture window (see blogs 1 and 2) and into the snow covered woods. A prayer erupted from my mouth with an emotion I haven’t felt since my season of summer. “God I look to you for your goodness, your bounty, your beauty. I look to you for your greatness, your plenty, your care. I want to see from a higher place as you see… when all I see is a broken window in the cold of winter. I know you are there and you are God. You are my God!” 
    We are having some long talks and some days I do even do some of the listening.
    I have good enough clothes to stay warm winter camping in -40 degree weather (because I’ve done it).
I am learning that letting friends, family, and others in to my life occasionally warms my day in this season. Looking to God daily and seeing from His point of view keeps me warm in the cold. I’m still looking forward to spring

>Another Grouse…Same window by Gary Fultz

>    I fear all the grouse in our neck of the woods have the same “deadly perspective” (see blog 1) as the first two that flew into my windows and broke them. Grouse number 3 just crashed into the same window as the first grouse. The window glass fragments are sagging and ready to fall as the grouse lies still in another two inches of fresh snow. That’s 3 grouse in five days.
    I think the only way to save the rest of the grouse in our woods is to become a grouse somehow and warn them all. The woods mirrored in our windows from the grouse perspective is certain death for all who would attempt to enter.
   Even if I could become a grouse I’m not sure I would want to. it’s below zero most nights. Can’t blame me for not wanting to bury into the snow to stay warm and eat tree buds and weed seeds. Besides that they are a bunch of independent, cocky know-it-all, bird brained, fly first and look later…birds.
    Makes me wonder why God had his son take on human form knowing they were a bunch of independent, cocky, know it all, people brained….Ya 🙂
    Jesus Christ said “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father but through me (John 14:6). He was warning us about our deadly perspectives. Ever hear this one? “we can decide our own truth”. How about this saying “all religions lead to God in their own way”. God told us his way would work and ours won’t. Makes a lot of people angry.
    Sorry but those grouse aren’t coming in my house unless I open the door for them and they fly in that particular opening. All 24 windows in my house mirror the woods surrounding us and no grouse faith on the planet will keep them from dying on my windows. If the grouse get to talking and the most recent poll shows  100% that they can enter the woods mirrored in my windows, I’m going to have a lot of broken windows!
    We do need to check our perspectives in all areas of life whether it be God, friends, neighbors, music, economics, politics, or the smelly guy who pushed into the checkout line ahead of us. It’s remotely possible our perspective is totally right. Should we check the polls?
     Meanwhile I’m not going to change out my broken windows just yet. By the way…they taste like chicken!

>Crazy Ruffled Grouse by Gary Fultz

>My inspiration came this week as I was viewing 16 inches of new snow. A loud sharp boom that sounded like my hunting rifle had me scrambling to the floor and then look at all 12 windows in our great room. One of two picture windows was broke in three pieces on the outside pane. Outside on the deck lay a ruffled grouse just sitting in the snow. I went outside and she never moved but her head was up but her neck was broken, she would never fly again, and we were minus a big window.
    the very next day another grouse flew into another window from another side of the house with the same result…found another dead grouse and a broken window. I figure there are 22 more windows to go in the house not counting the small side and door windows.
    We live in the woods where we see deer, bear, grouse, and hear the wolves howl at night. I didn’t know why this has only happened one other time in 17 years and then two in one day? I went into the woods to gain a grouse view point. I took one look at the windows and all I saw was the reflection of the woods in our windows. I guess they thought they were flying over our small yard area and into another woods.What a deadly perspective!
     I would like to blog some of my personal stories which have helped me gain helpful perspectives in my life. One look at the evening news and it’s not hard to see that there are many people with deadly perspectives as well. Wrong choices can lead to multiple trashed lives.  My relationship with nature from wilderness adventures, my friends, church, family, and my personal walk with God have given me plenty of object lessons. I hope they will be of interest and possibly of help for your growth as well.