Debi Walter, Author at Engaged Marriage | Page 3 of 6

All Posts by Debi Walter

About the Author

Tom and Debi Walter have been cultivating their romantic vineyard for most of their 36 years of marriage. It has been their conviction from the start. Now they are passionate about helping other couples discover the rich harvest of romance available to them no matter the current season. Through their marriage blog, The Romantic Vineyard established in 2008, they provide regular posts about growing your marriage for God's glory.

Dinner and A Movie–It’s Not What You Think.

By Debi Walter | Romance

Unknown

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and I’ve talked about it often being our favorite holiday of the year. Why? Because it’s a day set apart for romancing my favorite person in the world–my husband.

Do you think of romance as a privilege? Not as something on your ever-growing list of Things You Need To Improve?

Tom and I have recently gone through some events that have made us appreciate every minute we get to spend together. It is a privilege to have one person in this life with whom you can lavish your love. I’ve heard it said that many never know how much something meant to them until it was gone. May that not be true of our marriages. Life is too short–and we need to make the most of every opportunity to express our love in tangible ways.

Which brings me to this month’s post and my chance to spur you on with ideas that are fun, and not difficult to pull off.

Ask an assortment of couples what a date night looks like to them, and more often than not you’ll hear this phrase: Dinner and a Movie. Tom and I like to go to the movies, but we rarely do on date nights. Why? Simply because we like to talk and the people in the movie theater don’t like it when we do. 🙂

I would like to share with you a new twist on Dinner and a Movie.

Instead of going to the movies, watch the movie at home. Instead of eating dinner out, prepare a meal that goes along with the movie. It makes your meal an extension of the whole movie experience. We’ve done this a couple of times and they have ended up being some of our favorite dates.

Not sure how to pull this off? Well, not to worry–we’re not going to leave you stranded. Choose from the following list and have fun planning your next rendezvous–right in your own living room. It may become a regular event.

Six Dinner and a Movie Dates At Home

6. The Godfather and A Sicilian Dinner for Two: Tomato-Sausage Sauce, Antipasto Salad, Sicilian Cannoli

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 1.38.21 PM

5. When Harry Met Sally and Katz’s Deli Dinner for Two: Pastrami Sandwich, Coconut Cake with Chocolate Sauce on the side.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 1.45.39 PM

4. The Notebook and Candlelit Crab Boil for Two: Crab Boil, Fingerling Potato Salad, Buttered Popcorn Ice Cream Sundae

3. Sixteen Candles and Updated Cafeteria Fare for Two: Grass-Fed Beef Meatloaf in a Bacon Blanket, Tater Tots with Truffles, Braised Carrots with Crisp Sage, Golden Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Pain Au Chocolat: There were so many delicious recipes to choose from for breakfast, I made a link for you to pick from the list.

1. You’ve Got Mail – Sushi and a selection from Cafe’ Lalo‘s menu. This date provides ideas on where to buy the dishes so you don’t have to cook.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 2.17.00 PM

I hope this gets you thinking of ways to make a Dinner and a Movie date something special.

Bon Appetit!

Photos provided by Delish.com

 

The Role Kindness Plays In Romance

By Debi Walter | Romance

I’ve noticed lately, especially when driving around Orlando, that kindness on the road is greatly lacking.

What happened to those who used to let you in when you were trying to merge onto a busy highway?

Or when you slow down to let another car merge into your lane, what has happened to the wave of the hand to say, “Thanks!”

I’ve noticed many times after parking my car at Costco and walking towards the entrance, I’m nearly hit by a rude driver not willing to stop and let me cross the road in front of them. Or when I’m the driver and have stopped to let someone cross in front of me, they take their time without regard to my time spent waiting.

What has happened to kindness behind the wheel–kindness in our culture–kindness in general?

Have we become so absorbed into our own schedules that our rudeness to strangers seems justified? And isn’t it most likely true, that these attitudes will have some influence on how we express kindness to our spouse?

When our kindnesses are cut off like this over and over, it tends to make us cynical and vengeful.

Many husbands who have had a rough day being ill-treated by others, come home only to take their frustrations out on their unsuspecting family. Likewise many wives who have been the recipient of stressful attitudes all day long are tempted to vent to the ones she loves most.

The Bible reminds us that we are to…

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32 ESV

When we are purposing to show kindness to our spouse, we are not thinking cold, uncaring thoughts towards them. Instead our thoughts go to ways we know will bless them.

What does all this talk of kindness have to do with romance? Everything!

Romance starts and ends with showing kindness to our spouse. (click here to tweet this)

It can be as simple as fixing a favorite drink for them when they walk in the door after a rough day, or going all out to plan an unsuspected night out on the town.

Romance is all about knowing your spouse well enough to realize when they need some special attention.

I remember one time Tom had had a particularly difficult week at work. Kindness was not on his company’s agenda, and he felt beat up on several levels. Friday had finally arrived, and he was due home within the hour.

I got the idea to make him a special surprise–a banner hung in the garage that said, “Welcome To Your Weekend!” When he walked in the door I had his favorite snack waiting and sent him to our room to relax and unwind before dinner.

It was a simple kindness, but very romantic. And best of all? It didn’t cost much at all!

Have you bought the lie that romance is complicated and expensive? Or that it requires too much effort?

Well, I encourage you to think otherwise.

Tell me, what is one kindness you can show to your spouse today that will make them smile?

Give it a try and see if kindness doesn’t begin taking root in your home–and maybe, just maybe it’ll make it behind the wheel of your car as well. 🙂 Kindness has a way of spreading to those who need it most.

Check out this excellent post by my friend, Cindy Wright at Marriage Missions International, for ideas on how to show random acts of kindness towards your spouse.  Or this great list of 74 Simple Things You Can Do to Brighten Your Spouse’s Day here at Engaged Marriage.

Until next month…let’s practice romance…and be kind to each other!

 

(photo)

Two Romantic Christmas Ideas To Bless Your Spouse

By Debi Walter | Romance

Two Romantic Christmas Ideas to Bless Your SpouseTwo Romantic Christmas Ideas for you to try or tweak to your own liking…

Number One:

Celebrate the 12 Days Of Christmas either leading up to the 25th or starting on the 25th. Think of your spouse’s favorite things and surprise them each day. Here are some ideas:

First Day – One baked hen (a romantic dinner to start the 12 days off right)

Second Day – Two turtle candies

Third Day – Three French kisses

Fourth Day – Four Calling Friends – arrange for four of your spouse’s faraway friends to call them at different times of the day. Or go to dinner with two other couples.

Fifth Day – Five Golden Rings – give them 5 of their favorite donuts.

Sixth Day – Six Geese A Laying – Share breakfast in bed with a three egg omelet for each of you.

Seventh Day – Seven Days of resting – spend time planning a week long vacation. If you can’t afford it right now, dream for your bucket list.

Eighth Day – Eight Milky Way bars – or their favorite candy.

Ninth Day – Take your lady dancing. Or watch an episode of So You Think You Can Dance.

Tenth Day – Give them “10 words a-speaking” of your love. Can you make a synopsis of your marriage in 10 words?

Eleventh Day – Eleven cupcakes with piped icing on top. Or think of something a little more sexy 😉

Twelfth Day – Twelve drummers drumming in almost 12 minutes…Watch this documentary about Drum Corps, titled 11 1/2 Minutes.

Number Two:

Give A Love Letter To Your Spouse using the titles or familiar lyrics of Christmas Carols.  It is sure to make your spouse smile!

Copy and paste this into a document and give it to your spouse via e-mail or snail mail.

See if they can find all of the Christmas Carols–there are a total of 24.

Make it really fun by giving them something special if they get them all right. 🙂

It came upon a midnight clear of what I wanted to give you, in fact it’s all I want for Christmas as well.

It started when I was rocking around the Christmas tree one silent night thinking of how to keep you from feeling a blue Christmas. Not that I mind the color blue, but a white Christmas would be better, don’t you think? I know you’re expecting nuttin’ for Christmas, which makes surprising you all the more fun.

When I was setting up our decorations, I found tucked away in a manger, something that gave me an idea. It was my Christmas wish from last year. What if I were to make a list and check it twice of all the highlights we’ve enjoyed together this year? We could read it together the night before Christmas while listening to the carol of the bells. As the jingle bells sound, I’ll look back on 2015 with wonder as I wander, and I pray you will as well.

I can’t wait for you to exclaim “Joy to the world! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!”

As we deck the halls with holly and ivy, it helps take away my fear of the grinch who stole Christmas a few years ago, ever coming back to our home for the holidays.

Honey, do you hear what I hear? It’s the sound of sleigh bells ringing and a reminder of all I want for Christmas. It’s to walk with you in a winter wonderland and remember gifts we’ve been given all year long.

I love you and thank God we get to celebrate another O Holy Night as husband and wife.

It has been a pleasure this year to share a monthly post about romance in marriage with you. I pray it has benefited you and given you ideas on what romance looks like practically from day to day.

I want you to know I count it a privilege.

If you would like more ideas for romancing your spouse at Christmas, check out my Romancing Your Husband and my Romancing Your Wife lists on our website. There’s something there for everyone.

Merry Christmas and A Blessed New Year to you and your spouse!

(photo)

How’s the (Romantic) Temperature In Your Home?

By Debi Walter | Romance

imagesIf marriage is like a house, then romance is the central air and heat.

Think about it. A marriage can make it without romance–many couples have proven this fact, just as you can live in a house without central air and heat. It may be do-able, but it certainly won’t be as enjoyable.

When things get difficult in your life–trouble with work, children, schooling, relationships–it’s nice to know your spouse is there to let you vent about the struggle. It’s even better if your spouse plans something special, romantic even, to help you get your mind off the trouble at hand.

Romance is NOT foreplay, but it can be.

Any husband or wife, who is using romance as a way to get what they want in the bedroom, is abusing this very special gift.

Romance is like a comfortable chair in your favorite room of the house. It feels right.

Romance has the ability to cool a heated situation or heat up your relationship when the air has chilled.

Romance is something you share with your spouse alone. No one else has the privilege of romancing you, and vice versa.

Do you see romance as more of a privilege or an obligation?

How you answer this question is key to how successful showing romance to your spouse will be.

It’s Christmas, the time of year our children anticipate the other eleven months of the year. It’s our job to make it special for them. But it’s also a great time to romance the one who will be there when your children are grown and gone.

Following are some easy ways to incorporate romance this Christmas season:

  1. Go for a walk after dark to see the Christmas lights in your neighborhood.
  2. Order dinner at your favorite restaurant for pick-up after the kids are in bed. Set the table with your favorite candles and play Christmas music softly in the background.
  3. Plan your own surprise of the 12 Days After Christmas, where your spouse gets to open one special box a day beginning December 26th. Fill it with coupons, candies or treats you know they’ll appreciate.
  4. Put lights up in your bedroom. This is the one time of year you can get away with having special romantic lighting in your room and no one will bat an eye, but maybe your spouse. 😉
  5. Make a personal Christmas tree in your bedroom. Decorate it with pictures and souvenirs from special places you’ve been together.
  6. Mail your spouse a romantic Christmas card and spend time expressing your love to them with carefully composed words. Check out Hallmark’s customized Christmas cards that you can add your own special photos and messages to!
  7. Mail your spouse a romantic Christmas card and spend time expressing your love to them with carefully composed words.
  8. Have a photo book made of all the Christmases you’ve enjoyed together. Give it to them on Christmas Eve after the kids are in bed.
  9. Make it a tradition of opening your gifts to each other on Christmas Eve, so you can take your time and enjoy each gift without interruptions.
  10. Watch your favorite Christmas movie together.
  11. Give your spouse a foot massage–or treat them to an unexpected pedicure after a long day of shopping.

What’s the temperature in your marriage? Maybe a little romance is in order–give it a try and see if it doesn’t make things much more enjoyable. 🙂

Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Blessed New Year!

 

(photo source)

What’s Your RQ?

By Debi Walter | Romance

IMG_2682

You may not be familiar with an RQ, and it’s for good reason–I made it up. 🙂 But testing of this kind has been around since the early 1900’s.

You’re most likely more familiar with an IQ, which stands for Intelligence Quotient.  Your IQ is determined by measuring your answers to questions asked from others in your age group. It is a helpful tool for educators and interesting for parents.

But have you ever considered where your marriage would stand compared with other couples with similar circumstances like yours such as: years married, age, number of children, where you live, etc.?

Wouldn’t it be helpful and interesting to know?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a standardized test we can take to measure such statistics.

Oh, there are romance quizzes, but most of those are geared to couples dating, not married.

Of course, there is The Five Love Languages Quiz, that helps you discover how you and your spouse speak and understand love spoken to each other.

If you haven’t taken this quiz, we would encourage you to start there. However, as an aside, be warned: There is danger in holding too tightly to your love language, and it isn’t biblical to do so.

For instance, the Bible doesn’t say to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” but only if they love you according to your love language. No!

The Bible is very clear that we are to lay down our lives, as Christ has layed down His life for us. We are not to consider our own interests, but should consider the interests of others as more important than our own, which includes our spouse.

That said, I believe there is a way to measure how we’re doing in the romance department to discover our RQ, so to speak.

It comes from the friends with whom we relate, it comes from the couples we know at church, it comes from the marriage bloggers we follow who share their own experiences, and it comes from asking older couples we respect how they cultivated romance through the changing seasons of marriage.

I recently asked an older friend how they managed to keep their romance alive, and her answer was simple, yet profound:

She said, “My husband isn’t the same man I married 60 years ago; he’s changed. And honey, I’m not the same woman he married either. We’ve both changed, and we’ve both had to learn to fall in love with who we are today. We’ve managed to fall in love with the same person over and over, season after season, and it’s been very good. That’s the secret to lasting love.”

Wow. I love that! And it makes me look at the struggles we’re facing today, in this season of marriage, a bit differently.

Maybe what’s needed is a touch of romance to woo my husband again, like I did when we were first married?

Maybe it’s him taking the time to sweep me off my feet, like he did when we first met?

Maybe it takes us both leaning into the marriage and instead of pulling away?

Our Romance Quotient is determined by how you measure up to others in similar circumstances. But RQ also determines those who are genius compared to the standard.

May we learn year after to year how to ramp up our RQ for the good of our marriage and for God’s glory. That’s what lasting marriages are made of, and it’s worth pursuing.

Based on what you’re doing today to romance your spouse, what do you think your RQ would be? Take some time and talk about it on your next date night. This might be the beginning of something good–real good!

While you’re at it–you might like to enter our Capturing Romance Photo Contest

img_2621

We’re celebrating our 6th year of blogging at The Romantic Vineyard, and we love to give good gifts away to those who are pursuing romance in their marriage. The deadline for entering is Midnight on the 11th (that’s Tuesday), and there are three top prizes…so click over and send us your best shot.