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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When Holidays Aren't Happy: 4 Ways to Deal with Grief and Porn Addiction

When Holidays Aren't Happy: 4 Ways to Deal with Grief and Porn Addiction

My friend sent me a SOS text the other night. She had discovered a movie on their cable account that she suspected her husband had watched. Her text contained the normal anger and anxiety that many spouses feel when they find their significant other engaging in pornography. But she also said this: I feel so sad for him. In the same moment she was overcome by her own grief, she knew that her husband had lost something significant too.

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Marriage and Community: Shouldn't this be Private? (new video)

Marriage and Community: Shouldn't this be Private? (new video)

It's kind of like the R.E.M. song, "Everybody Hurts...Sometimes," except this one would be called, "Everybody Needs Help...Sometimes." 

We need help. 

And this video is just an honest reflection of that. We're talking about 3 different types of help that married couples might need when they are going through hard times. Right now, we don't need meals and we don't need professional counseling, but we do need encouragement because this journey through grief is hard. It weighs us down and some days, we feel like it's a fight for every step, for every positive engagement, for every smile. The things that were easy and mundane now seem to take effort. And it's not all doom and gloom, for sure. But when the waves come, boy, do they come.

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Get on the Roof (new video)

We sat in church on Sunday and prayed for all those who were being terribly impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The sermon happened to be on community and how we must be willing to admit that we don't have it all together. We thought about water rescues in Houston and the emotional/spiritual rescue that we all need from time to time. 

Here's the call: Do you need to get on the roof?

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If Things Look Hopeless

If Things Look Hopeless

A decade plus ago, I (Jen) could have made the choice to steer the car into oncoming traffic. The despair was that bad. The darkness was that overwhelming. By God's grace and intervention, I stayed in my lane.

After that moment, the way I began to view the world and God and Craig slowly changed. And now, here we are, speaking hope and light to marriages, even though at one point, we were bathed in darkness and depression.

You can be a Christian and still be assaulted by hopelessness. You can still be plagued by thoughts about how easy it could be to walk away. And yet, as we have found, it's worth it to persevere through the suffering. God promises to use all things for good. There is purpose to our pain.

If this is true for us, it is true for you, too.

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Getting Through Grief (new video)

Getting Through Grief (new video)

Grief sucks and for the past 3 months we've been inundated with it. Since our mission is to live authentically in this community, we're simply inviting you into how we've been living out (the good ways and the not-so-good ways) this process of grief recently. 

Here are 3 lessons learned:

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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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The Importance of Play in Marriage

The Importance of Play in Marriage

This is a piece of metal that my mother-in-law used when she wore her scarves. 

It's mine now. 

The reason it is sacred to me is not because I've been in desperate need of what my father-in-law calls a "scarver." It's because when he was going through her things, he immediately thought of me. 

One time years ago, he and I were in an intense Scrabble battle (the real one, with the board and wooden tiles). He played the word "scarve" and convinced me that it was a verb - like when you "scarve" someone (i.e. put a scarf around the neck). He was so convincing (and a priest!), so I didn't challenge. 

I should have.

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Recognizing Your Spouse's Tells (new video)

Recognizing Your Spouse's Tells (new video)

Ever play poker? Play enough with the same people and your get really good at reading their tells. Same in marriage. You know someone well enough and you learn when your spouse isn't ok...despite what he/she may say. 

Last week, my grandmother died and we spent the weekend with Craig's parents. His mom is very ill and though it was an amazing visit, I left so sad. But it took Craig awhile to get me to admit it-for a variety of reasons. 

In this video, we talk about the importance of recognizing your spouse's tells and why it's beneficial to continue to pursue him/her through the denial.

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