3 POWERFUL Back to School Traditions

Friday, September 9th, 2016

It is back to school season. Your kids or grandkids might be enjoying the fun of grandkids-back-to-schoolnew school supplies, cool new backpacks, lunch boxes and water bottles or maybe feeling the thrill of that fun new back to school outfit or uniform. But you, as parents, might be excited for back to school time for an entirely different reason!

 

In our books for parents (10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make, 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex, Got Teens? and Raising a Modern Day Princess) we encourage parents to leave their TradeMark  [TM] o their kids and grandkids with

Traditions: Those yearly look forward to moments or activities

Memories: Those once in a lifetime experiences or Rites of Passages

Here are 3 powerful  ideas to consider and implement as your kiddos head back to school:

  1. Create Character: Our Back to School tradition was the yearly “Learner and Leader” Day. It was a day we set aside to negotiate privileges and responsibilities for each child. We also selected ONEtm-sons-10bp character quality to focus on for each child, each year and selected a verse to pray over that child connected to that leadership trait we would be reinforcing all year. You can read more about our “Learn, Leaders who Love God” parenting plan in our book 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make. Our goal with Learner & Leader Day was to create a system for solidly placing the baton of faith, values and character to the next generation. (It is fun to now watch our grown children create their own version of Learn and Leader Day and their own Back to School Traditions. (Download a copy of the Learner and Leader chart for your child, or pick up a copy of 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make and get the list of “What Chores Kids Can Do at Each Age and Stage”)

For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalms 139:13)

 

If you asked us the three best choices we made in raising our kids, it will include:

(A) Faith – Pray for your kids and teach them how to have their OWN relationship with God.

(B) Family Create a family identity by using traditions like Learner and Leader Day, Rites of Passage, and shared meals, and memory making experieinces etc.

(C) Fun– Weave activities your kids love into all of this. Reward church attendance with paying for them to go to an enjoyable youth camp; Make family devotions a creative hands-on experience; Schedule fun memory making activities. (Yes, let the kids pick and plan some of these!)

 

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,  I know that full well. (Psalms 139:14)

 

  1. Prepare the Plan: Our friends Deanna and Jon Ramsey take a night out with their children and host a goal setting session. Deanna shares, “I love seeing them dream and plan and look forward with anticipation of a great year to come!”

After the children are done with writing their individual goals, the family then has a conversation about how they can help each other achieve those goals.

ramsay-kids-goals-back-to-school-learner-leader

You might recognize Deanna and Jon because they have also been the musicians at some of our marriage events, and they are frequent hosts at Forest Home Family and marriage camps. Deanna is also a popular speaker  and musician for women’s conferences as she shares with hope and humor how their family kept making the next brave and right choice when husband, Jon, was stricken with a life threatening illness.

The Ramsay’s thrived during this difficult season because they maintained routines, rhythms, and faith traditions despite the hardship.  Deanna’s parents held a similar goal-setting night for their children while growing up, now Deanna and Jon are building on that foundation of faith with their children. At the goal-setting night, the Ramsey’s also created and shared with the kids,  a “So You Have Free Time?” –a list of healthy, quality activities for kids other than being on media. And a “So You Wanna Make Some Money?” –A list of chores kids can do to earn extra money.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,  when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. (Psalms 139:15)

 

  1. Celebrate Their Uniqueness: Our friends, Tammy and Chris Morgan are the leaders for Fellowship of Christian Athletes at University of Louisville. When their daughters head back to school, they celebrate theback-to-school-morgan-cake day with baking a cake, and it often reflects a love of that girl. In our years serving in youth ministry and our own parenting experience, we observed that celebrating a child’s unique talents, strengths and loves gives them a strong sense of understanding who God made them to become and what God what God would be calling them to do. A cake is a simple and affordable celebration and because it is a rare treat to have sugar in a family that is very athletic, healthy and eats clean, it is rare, so it makes the celebration uniquely special too.

 

Your eyes saw my unformed body;  all the days ordained for me were written in your book, before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them! (Psalms 139:16-17)

 

Find (or create) traditions that resonate with you or your family– then live and love them year after happy year!

 

pam-bill-red-umbrella-rebecca-closePam and Bill Farrel are international speakers, Co-directors of Love-Wise and authors of 45 books including bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti 

Share

Our Love Story: Anniversary Ever After

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

 

In celebration of our 36th wedding anniversary, here is a creative attempt at telling our love story using our book titles:pam bill dating bc

Once upon a time there were two kids that wondered, “What are THE BEST DECISIONS A MAN CAN MAKE and THE BEST DECISIONS A WOMAN CAN MAKE?”  Pam, a little girl from a chaotic home, knew she didn’t want to marry an alcoholic like her dad, and she knew that only Jesus could heal her heart and life, so at age eight, she made the BEST DECISION and asked Jesus to come into her life. Meanwhile, Bill, a few years later, as a high school QB who thought he was fearless went to see the a horror movie and was filled with fear! He read 1 John 4: 4”Greater is He who is in me than he (Satan) who is in the world.” So Bill made the BEST DECISION and asked Christ into his life.  These great choices made Pam and Bill CELEBRATE! Because they made a great decision to follow Jesus and God laid a strong foundation to their lives!

pam bill engagement moroAs college students, on two different campuses, they each made the BEST DECISION to go to a leadership conference at Campus Crusade Headquarters in Arrowhead springs. Pam wanted to become A WOMAN GOD CAN USE. Bill wanted to study to become a pastor.  There, after using one of the 30 WAYS TO WAKE UP A QUIET TIME,  Bill and Pam each made the BEST DECISION to give God their future and each decided to go into full time Christian work. Each entered the lobby from  a different door and sat on sofas that faced the other. Bill made the BEST DECISION to introduce himself to Pam and ask her, “What did God teach you today?”

That day God connected their hearts.

They wanted to date in a God-honoring way, so Bill had a spiral notebook that had some BEFORE YOU MARRY BOOKOF QUESTIONS in it.

The Farrels believe and base their love and life on the verse:

This helped them begin A COUPLE’S JOURNEY WITH GOD so they decided not to kiss until they were engaged and after dating for 9 months, they took a summer off: no writing or talking for 8 weeks—just praying to see if they were God’s will for each other. They needed to learn the 10 BEST DECISIONS A SINGLE CAN MAKE. Bill worked hard all summer cleaning pools and saved for a ring, because he wanted to LET HER KNOW HE LOVED HER! Pam studied hard all summer at Institute for Biblical Studies. One a quiet night in August, they met up and they knew God had called them to begin a life serving Jesus together. Pam and Bill also knew they would LOVE TO LOVE EACH OTHER!   Shortly after, near the beach they had often dated on, Bill knelt on one knee and sang a song he had written for Pam and then asked, “God has brought us together. Will you marry me? Will you kiss me for the first time?” and Pam joyfully, excitedly, enthusiastically said, “YES!” pam bill wedding 2 view frame prov 14 22 verse

That day God connected their futures.

 

On December 14, 1979 they married in Bakersfield, Ca. They had a heart’s desire to live out the BEST DECISIONS A COUPLE CAN MAKE.

That day God connected their spirits—and their bodies!

Those FIRST FIVE YEARS were a rollercoaster of emotions: The challenge completing their college with  little money, but joy too as they saw God do miracles! (One big one was, seeing their youth group pray God would provide transportation– after riding bikes for a year everywhere God gave them a used car!) The Farrels loved youth ministry, and during those years,  Bill finished Talbot seminary, while Pam attended bill carrying pam 1BIOLA. As they studied, God gave them a heart for helping people with relationships. They often wondered, “WHY DO MEN AND WOMEN ACT THE WAY THEY DO?” It was a MARRIAGE IN THE WHIRLWIND  of responsibility so they were having many DEVOTIONS FOR MEN ON THE GO  and DEVOTIONS FOR WOMEN ON THE GO. After much hard work, Bill graduated first (BA, then MDIV) , then Pam (BA).

Those days God connected their ministries.  

Soon kids came along, and they wanted Brock, Zach and Caleb to reach their God given potential so they prayed, “God, what are THE 10 BEST DECISIONS A PARENT CAN MAKE. We want to help find THE TREASURE INSIDE OUR CHILD(ren) so they can learn that GUYS ARE LIKE WAFFLES AND GIRLS ARE LIKE SPAGHETTI (and SINGLE MEN ARE LIKE WAFFLES, SINGLE WOMEN ARE LIKE SPAGHETTI) . Lord, help our sons step into their calling and try to  follow THE 10 BEST DECISIONS A GRAD CAN MAKE.  And, God, here’s a tough one–How can we can answer those QUESTIONS KIDS ASK family sons smallABOUT SEX?”  To get answers they dug deeper into God’s Word. Their kids made good choices so life and their marriage seemed a PURE PLEASURE.

Those days God connected their hopes and dreams.

Bill and Pam answered God’s call to San Diego where Bill at the young age of 28 became a Lead Pastor. Right away, the Farrels began to help people with their relationships. They wanted people to be “LOVE-WISE.”  They knew MEN WERE LIKE WAFFLES, WOMEN WERE LIKE SPAGHETTI  and if couples could just put God in the middle of their love, they too could have RED HOT MONOGAMY.  Pam desired to Farrel_366be a WOMAN OF INFLUENCE so she began to share God’s views on life and love.  She also taught on RED HOT ROMANCE TIPS FOR WOMEN and 52 WAYS TO WOW YOUR HUSBAND to help other marriages gain strength too!

Meanwhile, Bill equipped men to be their wife’s BEST FRIEND.  They knew they had to keep growing so they could keep ministering in the local church as well as in their travels for speaking and writing so they asked God to help them learn 10 SECRETS FOR LIVING SMART, SAVVY AND STRONG so they could have a FANTASTIC AFTER 40 life. They were STEPPING OUT ON THE PATHWAY TO THEIR DREAMS. Pam was trying to BECOME A BRAVE NEW WOMAN, a WOMAN OF CONFIDENCE,  who steps into God’s adventure and Bill was her courageous Superman living out THE 10 BEST DECISIONSfamily dogpile A LEADER CAN MAKE. This was vital because eventually they GOT TEENS and they needed all the wisdom of God!!  

 All those sons married beautiful, godly women and finally some girls began to enter the Farrel family—and after a few years, grandchildren arrived!  Nana and Papa want their granddaughters to become  MODERN DAY PRINCESSES, and their grandson to walk out THE 10 BEST DECISIONS A MAN CAN MAKE like his daddy and granddaddy.  Together they have cultivated the ability to LOL WITH GOD, even when times are tough.

complete Farrel family jessica caleb wedding use as christmas card 2015These days God is connecting their legacies.

Yes, just as for most everyone, life has not always been  easy, because in all honesty, EVERY MARRIAGE IS A FIXER UPPER,  but Pam and Bill have held on to God and each other “for better or worse, in sickness and in health.”  Together they gathered 7 SIMPLE SKILLS that God layered into their heart. Those SIMPLE SKILLS  have helped them succeed at life and love, write 44 books, which have been translated into 15+ languages, and now they travel about 240 days a year sharing God’s good news to help others become LOVE-WISE too. Bill and Pam are committed to making their marriage—and others– work “til death do us part.”

Bill and Pam know they could not have made it to this, their 36th wedding anniversary, without thepam bill kiss at ocean rebecca love of family, friends and the wisdom of God, so they want to take their HATS OFF in thanks to all those who have poured wisdom and love into their lives so they could gain THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SUCCESSFUL COUPLES and unlock THE MARRIAGE CODE. Deep down, Pam and Bill know that the verse they claimed on their wedding day, “We love because, He (God) first loved us” (1 John 4:19) is the only reason they can live happily ever after.  

pam and bill fine art DONE cropped smaller rebecca love made in heaven no framePS: Change is coming right around the corner for Pam and Bill, please join them on Thursday evening Dec 17 at 7 pm (Pacific Time; 8 MT; 9 CT; 10 ET)  on PERISCOPE as they share LIVE ONLINE “The Next Chapter”  God has for their lives and for LOVE- WISE ministry. (To join the Farrels for their important announcement, download Periscope, then login. You will be able to send comments and questions. It is also our hope  (if technology co-operates) to record the session which we will post on our website and this blog in near future)  

Share

Summer Sizzle: Fan the Flame on Your Marriage

Monday, July 14th, 2014

 

red hot tips bill pam

Do you want something MORE for your MARRIAGE?

Do you long for a sex life that sizzles with your husband?

Do you long to see “that look” in your man’s eyes?

Do you want a strong stable marriage that creates a healthy positive environment for your children?

Recently, I ran a Red Hot Wife Challenge, based on our new book Red Hot Romance Tips for Women . This challenge gathers women (on a private facebook group)  to gain encouragement, equipping and inspiration as we  look at the 26 traits, A to Z that will help us become a more loving wife.

Learn more about the Red Hot Wife Challengered hot header

Buy Red Hot Romance Tips for Women now – softcover

Buy Red Hot Romance Tips for Women –digital form

Red Hot Romance Tips for Women  has also been used by women’s church groups (along with Pam’s book, 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband) to help women encourage and stand by other wives as they all seek to become better wives with more loving, solid marriages. Here are a few thank you’s some grateful wives sent after the last Red Hot Wife Challenge:)

  • red hot romance tips on bed“Being part of the Red Hot Wives challenge has helped me grow in Grace toward my husband. It’s helped me to stop and realize my words and actions toward him instead of focusing on his actions toward me. It’s also helped me grow in putting attention toward my marriage. I loved the daily tips and challenges that got me thinking about ways to love my husband”
  • “Being a part of this group helped me to realize a bunch of little things that I could be doing better as a wife to make sure that my marriage stayed alive! It’s a great book with some really helpful pointers that are actually doable!”
  • “The red hot tips have been very helpful and a great reminder to some very happy husbands of what it all started with years ago and how it can live and outlive us all….It is never too late to get serious about your marriage health and make 26 days of blessing and appreciating your husband,…. Thank you for taking on the challenge of writing and speaking . . . Heaven bless you for caring and taking your queues from the WORD and the Holy Spirit” – wife married 44 years

Our belief is that sex is a gift from God to protect and enjoy in marriage. Yes, sex was God’s shhh secretsecret a long time before it was “Victoria’s Secret!”

I believe God knew millions of women were vulnerable to getting sucked into Satan’s distortions, falsehoods,  and lies so God challenged me to write and offer a healthier alternative with a simple, Bibically-based, and candid book packed with ideas that can help a wife lavish her husband with love to add some spark, sizzle and success to their marriage.

My prayer has been, “Lord, don’t let women settle for shades of grey (or anything other color) when your plan for intimacy brings red hot lasting love.”

Go to our Red Hot Romance Tips for Women book page and see what you might be able to share with those in your circle of influence. You will find additional helps to share like:

  • A video from Pam explaining the heart and purpose of Red Hot Romance Tips for Wives
  •  A bonus extended version of the “Yummy” chapter (Is there such a thing as sexy foods?)
  • A “Seal it with a K.I.S.S.” worksheet: How to set romantic goals for your marriage A-Z Bookmark red Hot
  • Sample articles  like: “Success through Sistering” – about how a marriage can be strengthened when friends all commit to helping and supporting each other for the purpose of building a long lasting marriage.
  • What’s Does God Say is Okay in Sexual Expression? article
  • Pinterest bookmark with the 26 traits of a desirable wife, as a simple reminder that a woman can post on her mirror, in her Bible, or use as a book mark on her 26 day, or 26 week journey to become a more loving wife.
  • How to Be from A to Z: We gathered the common frustrations and complaints of husbands over the years and match with a Biblical quality of love a wife could learn that could help lower the fulfillment level in a love life.

foothills happy ever after valentine pix humor frame 40As YOU know, everyday can become a little more like a Valentine’s Day if a wife wants to extend love, affection, admiration, and support to her spouse. (Don’t worry, we are not letting the guys off the hook, Bill is busy working on helping the husbands!) Can you help us get the word out about Red Hot Romance Tips for Wives?

(The idea is to help the summer sizzle stay and have a long term positive benefit to a marriage). There will be more ideas, tips, scripture photos, and some giveaways.  Please “Like” the Bill and Pam Farrel facebook page, then share and repost the things I share during the challenge that point women to the Red Hot Wife Challenge.

red hot softer 50

The Bible asks, An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. (Proverbs 31:10) The answer is fund in this little book!  You can join an army of Red Hot Wives around the world  willing to love their husband, and build a strong marriage, and create a healthy loving home for their kids!

SONY DSC

 

Share

Live Smart, Savvy & Strong: Top 10 Tips for Health & Wellness

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

 

 

So many people have asked me about my wellness journey (and subsequent loss of  50 pounds last year), that I decided to do 10
days worth of blogs—one idea per day for 10 days. These are the top 10 things I did and would recommend to others.

 1. Dr Mark Stengler

I made a change in 2012 to completely switch to a doctor who had more TIME to spend with me, learning about ALL my life,
history, and habits. I also wanted a doctor who would (could) take a more holistic, natural (and innovative) approach to help me create a personal plan from comprehensive tests and interviews.  One thing I really appreciate about Dr Stengler is he has two full degrees: one in medicine and the other in theology, so he CARES that we all live longer and stronger (and it matters to him that I
live a life that reflects God and have the energy to keep serving God as long as possible!)

          I have linked to Dr Stengler here (watch his TV show co hosted with his wife or subscribe to his newsletters for free health and
wellness tips). If you want to give him a visit he is located in San Diego County). If you live further away from Southern California, in 10 Secrets to Living Smart, Savvy and Strong, I share a link to a listing of other doctors that have similar medical philosophy.

          I have known and trusted Dr Stengler’s advice for several years (and have even quoted him in my books) but my insurance didn’t cover his care so I UNWISELY delayed changing physicians because I was going to need to pay out of pocket. Well, my health check up in January 2012 gave me unwelcome news so I thought ‘What I am doing with my traditional health care provider is not working!”  In
addition, I felt rushed anytime I had an appointment with my traditional health care physician. The last straw was each time, no matter what question or conversation, the traditional doc just signed the same prescription forms I had been on—and some meds had been prescribed for YEARS. (I later learned that one of these was actually stopping my body’s ability to process food correctly).

          When I got the bad news from my regular January check up, I remembered the definition of insanity:”Doing the same thing but expecting a different result”. I knew I had to do something different, so I called Dr Stengler- best decision of my year!

          On the other hand, Dr Stengler gave me a set of very detailed tests and spent over an hour in an appointment learning all the details of my life, schedule, stress, sleep patterns, family and personal medical history and the hopes, dreams and goals I wanted (and needed) to accomplish. When the results returned, he walked me through each intricate detail, explaining what my body
needed and how I could get new choices going to reverse the negative unhealthy patterns and regroup to move forward in the positive. I left with a detailed, do-able (but challenging) plan that I could begin immediately.

          I left the doctor’s office and went straight to my local health food store (Sprouts and Whole Foods are good ones). Then I ordered the books to read to gain new needed information, and then I went home and purged everything not on my “healthy food” list out of my pantry/ refrigerator, and announced to my family the plan for the new me. (I had years before rid the obvious things like
all sugar, processed foods, snack food, etc) but this time I got rid of items that others could eat but for me caused negative impact. (I will cover the details later under the food post day).

          I knew my husband, children (and my personal assistant) would be the people who would see what I was eating and how much I was exercising. Accountability is a very good thing—and so is encouragement!

          I shared my wellness information with those I loved: friends, family, and staff—and they  shared wellness and
health information with me. Each day, we all became more and more informed and disciplined so we all could gain the best life possible.  As I look back on 2012, the most drastic change in my wellness journey was a change in physicians. (And my wellness is worth every cent! Being healthy is definitely much less expensive! Illness and medications are almost non existent, and my productivity is multiplied! ) If you are not getting the answers you need, look again, there are many people in the medical field who do care- so take the time to find the right one for your care.

Share

Where Are They Now?

Monday, November 21st, 2011

 

If you asked us, “What one parenting decision would you make
sure you did again? “ We would answer, The
Family Compass.
Having a family Mission Statement, Motto and Moniker gave
our boys an internal ethical GPS to navigate today’s ever-changing moral landscape.
In 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make, we walk you through questions to help you form your own Family Compass. We also share examples of our mission, motto and moniker. But what is the motivation behind all the work that is needed to be this proactive?

The outcome!

We raised our boys with a simple motto from 1 Samuel 2:30, “
. . .those who honor God, God honors . . .”
. Our Moniker has symbols that convey our family’s values:

The 3 “L’s” stand for Learner, Leader, and Love God- things
we prayed our sons would be.

The two hearts mean Farrels keep their promises, especially in
marriage.

The cross with the star means that each person is a unique
creation of God and beginning a personal relationship with Jesus, then walking
in obedience to God’s Word releases you to live out your full potential.

So where are our boys now? All three are Learners (all three got college
scholarships, two have Master’s degrees and the youngest is currently studying
engineering); They are all Leaders:
Brock is now a football coach and high school teacher;

Zach is a performance Coach at a major university;

 

 

 

 

 

Caleb is a leader on his football team in college;

and they all Love God and are fully engaged growing in their faith and serving
God. Brock is also married to a godly woman leader, Hannah, and together they
are raising their children (our granddaughters) to love God too!

 

A few Christmases ago, when all the kids were financially
strapped college students and Caleb was in high school, I (Pam) knew they
couldn’t afford a gift for me so I said, “All I want for Christmas is words
that make me cry”. Bill asked each son to write a letter to me and he placed
their letter over a picture of each of them performing the sport they got
college scholarships competing in. In every one of the letters, each son
thanked us for raising them to live by, “those that honor God, God honors”—

The compass works!

Use this holiday to bring the family into the fun process of
designing your own family crest.  (Order 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make
or 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make to learn more.)

Share