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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The Kindness Challenge

The Kindness Challenge

On Monday, we talked about some stress strategies we use when life gets busy, complicated, and over-scheduled. Often, even if our lives are filled with good things—God-ordained things—we can still find ourselves frayed at the edges when we don't allow space for other God-ordained things, like rest and fun.

It was in my quiet time when God showed me that I needed to not be consumed by what I need in the moment. This self-focus seems only to grow bitterness and resentment when Craig doesn't meet those needs. It's easy for Craig to fall in the same trap.

God showed me that if we could simply take a breath and turn our eyes outward, if we could remember that God joined us together as a team, perhaps we could consider that, though we are frayed, we can mend each other, that God might give us the capacity to be filled as we fill.

It's a team. One team. So what you do to the benefit to the team, you naturally reap the benefit as a member of that team.

I'm sure, not coincidently, this is why we happened upon the Kindness Challenge created by Shaunti Feldhan. In her research, she found that 89% of relationships who took on this challenge saw improvement.

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Giving Grace: Stress Strategies

Giving Grace: Stress Strategies

February has been INSANE for us. We knew this going into this month. We also know that the first part of March is more of the same. Until Sunday, we were doing well. We were tag-teaming. We were giving each other space for downtime. We were connecting on emotional and spiritual levels, even though we often weren't in physical proximity with each other. Our wheels were spinning at the same speed.

Sunday morning came. We were both exhausted. I had driven two hours away to speak at a retreat on Friday night and then drove back to town on Saturday morning to be at an all-day dance competition for our oldest. The adrenaline alone from speaking and then being a dance mom was enough to shut me down. Add in chores that had been neglected and I was over the edge. Unfortunately, so was Craig. And so the downward spiral of sarcasm and snippiness began. It took two efforts to try to regain our traction, but thankfully we did.

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