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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

John and Michele Zumwalt Share Relationship Tips


We met at a recovery camp-out in June of 1991. We started dating steady and married on Nov. 20th, 1993. We knew very quickly that we were meant for each other. We started having date nights every Friday night. It was especially important when the Kids were little. Mom needed a get-away. We also pray and do Bible studies together daily.

My relapse with prescription drugs in 2003 was the most difficult time in our marriage. We sought Christian counseling and God has helped us find our way back to Him and to each other. Johnny and I share our journey with Jesus. Our marriage is a true mission. We are friends, but more than that, we are faithful friends who are Kingdom building TOGETHER.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Women Want From Men


Webster's dictionary describes intimacy this way: "intrinsic, innermost...marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity, marked by a warm friendship, suggesting, warmth or privacy, of a very personal or private nature." In surveys that question what women want most in relationships, nine out of ten women say intimacy. Is it any wonder that a recent survey on the website, "How to Get the Man of Your Dreams", found that women desire courtship?

Are you a woman who likes to have a guy open her car door, seat her at a dinner table, help her with her coat? Do you admire the guy who occasionally plans a surprise get-away to his wife's favorite place? How about the guy who brings a rose or her favorite CD to his date? I know a man who emailed poetry he wrote to the woman he loved. She loved it.

A man who makes a woman feel special with his thoughtful attention has learned how to be a lover. Women look for that kind of man. You can bet she tells her friends all of the special things he does. Unfortunately, they may ask their guy, "Why don't you ever do anything like that?"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lisa Ling and Paul Song Learn A Lesson

RELATIONSHIP IS DIFFICULT! Being "in love' does not change that. Working with couples reinforces my opinion that this is unavoidable in relationships in general as well as in intimate relationships. The closer you become to someone, the more certain it becomes that you will at some point feel hurt, frustrated, and disappointed.

Recently, "People Magazine" printed an article in which well-known correspondent, Lisa Ling, shared how she and husband, physician and biotech firm president Paul Song, struggled through troubling times. Song's father died of gall bladder cancer, his mother had a bad car accident, and Ling had a miscarriage. Instead of disconnecting from each other, Paul and Lisa realized their marriage needed mending and they started therapy.

One of the essential ingredients necessary for becoming soul mates is commitment. You will see that over and over as couples share their stories. Instead of thinking first of divorce, find a good marriage therapist who believes in marriage. Open up to understanding and learning what you can do to get through the difficulty. At the very least, you will learn more about yourself and relationship which will be of value for the rest of your lives.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Monty and Julie Flanagan High School Sweethearts


We met in 1966. I was a sophomore and Julie was a freshman at Sanger High. We were the only two viola players in the orchestra. We began going steady. I wondered when we would break up, because we never argued. I finally decided she was the one in the second year of Jr. College. We have been married 37 years. We have been completely devoted to meeting each others needs with God's help.

I started working at age 11 and I became a workaholic and couldn't stop no matter how hard I tried. I got sick and was put on permanent Social Security Disability. Now Julie has me every day and never seems to get tired of my being around.

I like too many things about being married to try to list--cherishing, loving, needing, being together. Most of all we enjoy being one with each other and with God. Sort of like a trinity.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Winter at Sea Ranch



Always beautiful and romantic.

If you have never been to the north coast of California in winter, you are missing a real treat. On a rare sunshiny Sunday we headed to Sea Ranch for a two night get-away. We stopped in Sebastopol to have brunch at our favorite restaurant, The French Garden. Fresh green vegetables, honey, and farm eggs filled a small farmers' market in the parking lot. The blue green ocean at Bodega Bay reminded me of the ocean at Hawaii. It sparkled, but it was as calm as a large lake.

Our room was ready when we arrived at the Sea Ranch Lodge. I opened the window, lay down on the window seat and let the sun bathe me in its warmth while the cool breeze blew softly over my face. What a wonderful place. No T.V. to watch the Oscars event. We watched the sun wiped out by an incoming storm as it was trying to escape on the horizon.

The next day it rained. We read books, talked, and cuddled. These are the things that help keep romance alive. Try it.

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