10 Benefits of Mentorship for Your Marriage

10 Benefits of Mentorship for Your Marriage

I'm over at iBelieve talking about the power of mentorship. Craig and I have been so grateful to have marriage mentors in our lives and they have all helped us navigate various tricky situations in a way that was far better than if we were trying to handle all things on our own. Do you have a marriage mentor? Do you wonder how they may benefit you? Well, then, read on for the teaser and a link to the full article...

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Marriage Meltdown: Unexpected Loss (new video!)

Marriage Meltdown: Unexpected Loss (new video!)

Loss can make you feel, well, lost. Sometimes abandoned. Sometimes highly emotional or deeply inward. Sometimes scared and volatile. Sometimes depressed and angry. 

So many emotions and feelings can be difficult to navigate and hard for your spouse to navigate, too. But if we believe we are better together, there must be a way to find our way through loss and still keep our relationship intact. 

Here’s a bit how we’ve felt and dealt with loss. May it be encouraging to you, no matter what kind of loss you’ve faced

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The Puzzle of Marriage

The Puzzle of Marriage

My daughter thought it would be fun to get a 1500 piece puzzle to work on as a family over winter break. 

"Fun" is relative.

For people like me, it feels more like a challenge, something to complete. It's about the finished product, not the journey. It's about conquering a feat that seems so impossible at the outset.

All those tiny pieces that all have a place. And not just any place, but a specific one. 

Details. Sometimes I hate details. 

But in the interest of family "fun" and now that the constant stream of holiday company around the dining room table is over, I've brought down the puzzle, laid out the mat, and started hunting for the edge pieces.

And, I've started thinking about how marriage is much like this puzzle.

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Peace in the Process (a guest post)

Peace in the Process (a guest post)

On our fourteenth anniversary in the summer of 2016, Greg and I sat in a busy breakfast cafe on Hilton Head Island, taking advantage of extra adult hands to take care of our kids at the beach house our party of sixteen was occupying for the week. We ended up talking about how God has opened our eyes through adoption to the hurting moms in our small town and how He then provided the opportunity for me to volunteer at the local crisis pregnancy center. I struggled to articulate some thoughts and got frustrated, so much so I declared we needed to talk about something else. We talked about another less meaningful topic momentarily, but then we ended back on the harder stuff, thanks to the comforts of marriage.

I was grasping how adoption had changed me from the inside out. I knew God used adoption to build my faith while He was building my family, but I had a new perspective of what my story could do for others.

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On Being a Rescuer

On Being a Rescuer

Today, my Facebook feed has been filled with images of ordinary people using ordinary boats to save ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. The catastrophe named Harvey has wrecked Houston and surrounding areas in the most unbelievable way. My father-in-law has been stuck in the hospital where he works as a chaplain (hopefully he's being rescued as I type), some of my friends have been evacuated, and I frequently check on my other friends to see if they've survived another night in a flood-threatening situation.

It's all terrible. 

But the rescuers. Praise God both for the people in uniform and the plain-clothes who are continually risking their lives to save people in danger of drowning and dying and despairing.

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Mindful Communication (New video!)

Mindful Communication (New video!)

That awkward silence when you walk up on a group. Eyes shifting to the ground. Whatever they were talking about, you weren't meant to hear, for whatever reason.

This is the scene in Mark 9. Jesus walks up, the disciples mouths close, their eyes downcast. They'd been caught doing something they weren't supposed to be doing—arguing about which one of them was the greatest, who had the most stature, who was the most gifted, the most right, the most _________. The content of their conversation was selfish, unfruitful, and led to division between them.

The guilt was written all over their faces and evidenced by their silence when Jesus asked them what they were talking about. They felt guilty. How do I know? I've felt the same way before. 

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Why Dead Batteries Matter

Why Dead Batteries Matter

I FaceTimed with my friend who is in hospice today in the aisle of Target today. When you get the chance to speak to someone who is dying, you make do in the environment you're in. You don't really care if people are staring because you're crying into your phone.

I told him I think he's the kindest man on the planet. I even confirmed it with my oldest daughter. She's spent the night at their house so many times over the past 10 years, and yep, he never raises his voice.

And then, he spoke to me:

"You probably don't even remember this, Jen, but 10 years ago - we had just met at the pool for the first time - we were stranded with a dead battery, and you had just gotten back from a trip from Florida. Craig met us at the gas station and gave us a jump."

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