Marriage Meltdown: When Your Marriage Loses its Identity

After almost 18 years of marriage, we still get our minds blown by new concepts that can radically impact our marriage. 

This idea that our marriage has its own identity, that it’s a living and breathing thing that has its own set of needs, adds a whole new component to what it means for two to become one. 

This weekend we thought about what needs our marriage has, how the needs of our marriage sometimes need to supersede our individual needs, and what continually gets in the way of us meeting those needs.

You can also view the video on YouTube here.

 
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The Marriage Check-Up

I know. You might think a "marriage check-up" is cheesy. But can we pause for a moment?

Craig went to the doctor last June for his yearly physical. He had no symptom anything was wrong. But lurking underneath the outward appearance was evidence of beginning stages of a liver issue and the reoccurrence of a past kidney issue.

Sometimes you don't realize there's a problem until you get a check-up. I fully believe that busyness can blind us to the real state of our relationship. So what if you take 20 minutes with your spouse this week and take stock? You can use this printable to guide you. 

To get the printable shown above, just grab it off the google drive here.

The Necessity of Undoing

The Necessity of Undoing

I'm guest posting today over at a friend's place. Here's a little teaser with a link at the end where you can finish reading.

This has been a summer worthy of its own hashtag.

If I had the time or the desire, I’d go back through each sad event between May 8th and the day I posted about Irma’s projected path (because at press time, she hasn’t made it to the U.S.) and tag it #thesummerfromhellcontinues.

As I talked to my mentor via FaceTime today, she said, “You have been through trauma.”

I bristled.

Trauma? It's not trauma. Trauma is what people are experiencing after Harvey. Trauma is sexual abuse or the loss of a child. This is not trauma, I thought to myself.

And this attitude of mine comes a few days after talking to two different women about two different things and me telling them that God wants them to know their pain is valid. Their wounds are valid. It is okay, I said, for them to lament and cry and point to all the broken pieces and be sad. I actually, this morning, told one of them to not compare her wounds with someone else’s.

Therefore, I know what I am telling myself is not the truth. Is it not easy to speak the truth and then shut one’s own ears?

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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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Give Grace: The Reality of Unrealistic Expectations

Give Grace: The Reality of Unrealistic Expectations

Jen told me the other day, “Valentine’s Day is the holiday of unrealistic expectations.” Ain’t that the truth?

Do you have secret hopes that your husband will show up with two dozen long stem roses, luscious hand-dipped strawberries in silky chocolate, and a handwritten card that expresses his sincerest appreciation and deepest attraction for you?

Movies, ads, and that one guy on Facebook (who actually does this kind of stuff for his wife) have set the bar so high that we end up disappointed when February 14th doesn’t deliver a fairy tale.

I’ve always been one to have high expectations of myself and others. The ugly truth is that I expect darn near perfection and when I don’t give it or get it, I’m frustrated.

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The Weapon of Self-Care (and how it can slay Anxiety)

The Weapon of Self-Care (and how it can slay Anxiety)

There are many benefits for all of us in the practicing of self-care in order to reduce the symptoms of anxiety: breathing, mindfulness, prayer, slowing down, exercise, and accepting comfort from God and others. And it is often hard for many of us to do these things because of how society tells us we should operate (push harder, go further, work longer, be better).

For others of us, though, practicing self-care is critical to uprooting the very cause of our anxiety. It's not just about mitigating the symptoms. It's a crucial key to solving the problem. And because of this, it may be even harder for us to practice it.

You, Emotional Caretaker. I'm talking to you. (And me, or course.)

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Amelia Rhodes’ ‘Pray A to Z’ Guide to Prayer Prize Pack

Amelia Rhodes’ ‘Pray A to Z’ Guide to Prayer Prize Pack

I'm sure you've noticed—the needs of this nation, of our world, are great. Oftentimes as I read the paper in the morning, I am completely overwhelmed by the wretched state of affairs. Natural disasters, government corruption, shootings, budget deficits...the list could go on seemingly forever. My heart breaks and I feel out of control, at a loss for words, and confounded at what I could possibly do to make this world a better place for my children and generations to come. It all seems too far to reach.

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