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READ: Review, The Husband Project by Kathi Lipp

(To win this book and two more that will help you start 2012 off right, check out the New Year’s Prize Pack information below my review.) At our home, we’ve had an extended holiday celebration. Our final set of visiting family leaves this morning. I’m sad to see them go but excited to get back to the normal-and-necessary routines of school and writing work—and blogging, too. Most of the books I review here at Read. Write. Pray are new or not-yet-released. But I want to start this New Year with a review of a book that released on January 1—three years ago. I missed it back then but am grateful to have read it now. The other day, I bought a special dessert for my husband. Because I love to bake, I don’t normally buy desserts. But our family was celebrating a special event in my husband’s life, and I decided to purchase a rare treat as a way of honoring him.  The surprise was not the purchase, however. The surprise came in my husband’s unexpected gratitude. He thanked me several times—not for the dessert itself (although he loved it), but for taking time to celebrate him. His gratitude blessed me. And his surprise made me realize how often I take him for granted. Routine is (for the most part) easy, or it wouldn’t become routine. But a large part of marital joy comes in little packages: the surprise desserts, the private celebrations, the picked-you-up-a-movie and more. And sometimes we need a reminder. In The Husband Project: 21 Days of Loving Your Man–On Purpose and With a Plan, popular speaker and author Kathi Lipp gives readers that reminder: three weeks’ worth of practical tips and thoughtful encouragement wrapped in wisdom and tied with a bright bow of humor. She shares with engaging candor about her own marital bliss and blunders, preparing the way for readers to examine their own. The book’s user-friendly format makes a great match for busy wives whose marriage relationship could use a refresher. The Husband Project moves from foundational principles (including a helpful section on adapting the projects to whatever unique situations readers may face) to day-by-day project instructions to a planning/overview sheet and glossary. The projects themselves range from the simple (praising your husband in front of other people) to the more involved (planning a B & B experience at home). No, the author doesn’t suggest you wrap yourself in Saran and meet your husband at the door (although if it works for the two of you, I’m sure she’d approve). Instead, she sets forth a challenge to allow God to change your marriage by changing you. She also encourages you not to go it alone but...

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