"Don't Just Survive...Thrive. Practical help for real families"
This was the title of a marriage event Wes and I went to last week at our church's main campus. It was sort of like a date night w/dinner, nursery open for kids, and great fellowship w/ other married couples. The title was enough to get me excited b/c I don't know about you, but the word "surviving" has been our go-to word to describe life ever since we had our second child. I've heard that saying "The days are long but the years are short," and I get it completely. My girls are growing up so fast and many times I just want to stop time and keep them both small, but Lord only knows some days feel like they lasts forever especially when Im in the throes of disciplining, cleaning, calming down meltdowns, and negotiations.
Check out the Thrive event which was recorded here. I will share some main points that I walked away with. These principals are probably not new to you but they were absolutely a needed reminder for me because when life gets busy I typically forget everything I've learned and get in survival-only mode.
* Marriage is not 50/50 its 100/100- We both have to give our ALL into the marriage not just half; Realistically speaking we are human so there are going to be times when someone just can't give 100% but the goal is a total of 200% so that means one of the spouses may have to give much more. Pastor Mike Glenn, the speaker, gave an example of when he was going through cancer and he said he may have had only 20% to give as a husband at the time while his wife was giving 180%, or after his wife had their twin sons the scale was off b/c she couldn't exactly give 100% to the marriage due to exhaustion and taking care of babies. We strive for 100% and then we do what we need to do to meet the needs of our family throughout each season.
* Communication is key. Men and women communicate differently and we need to understand those differences. My husband is quiet and I'm the talker in this relationship. I heard on a radio station the other day that women on average use about 7,000 words or more each day while men use about 2,000 words or less. (I am not 100% sure that these numbers are fact but either way I think we can all get the point that us ladies talk significantly more than men :)
* PRAY for your spouse daily. Simple task right? Sadly sometimes its not as easy for me b/c I'll just face it- I want to talk to Wes about all the things I need him to do and change instead of talking to God who created Wes and knows more about him than I do. This is not saying I can't and shouldn't tell Wes how I feel (remember communication point above), but I also need to take my cares, worries, and frustrations to God b/c He is essentially the only one who can change my spouse and really many times its me who needs an adjustment if Im honest with myself and He can definitely assist there too. ;-0 We had a time at the end of the gathering where we held our spouses hands and prayed over each other and then we had to commit until the end of the month as a start to just pray each day over our spouse.
Last we had to plan our next date night before we left. Something happens after you get married, after life gets crazy, and maybe you add kids and growing careers into the mix that you may forget to date your spouse. Think about the things you did to get the attention of your spouse before you got married and figure out ways to foster that now even in the mist of whatever crazy season you may be in and enjoy your dating your spouse!
Gift bag for each couple from the event with some great tools. I started reading Crazy Busy, and it's good and very relevant to the way my life feels right now ;-0