Monday, April 30, 2012

Making Goals and Journaling

After posting about the change in our lives, my job loss, I had a reader contact me about goals and how it helps cancer patients. She is involved with the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance as a contributor to their blog. While her article focuses on cancer patients and how they can benefit from keeping a journal and recording their goals, something like this is also beneficial for couples. My husband and I have started a "Couple's Almanac" that we record events from our lives, lists of things (places to travel, restaurants we like, our short term and long term goals, how we met, what we want our future to look like and more). This is therapeutic and gives us something to work on together-- another benefit. Enjoy Melanie Bowen's article and begin a journal soon! Connect to her article by clicking on this link: Journaling and Goal Setting for Cancer Patients

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Retreat: Strong Bonds

My husband and I were fortunate enough to attend a marriage conference put on by the National Guard. It was held in Lake Ozark, MO at Lodge of the Four Seasons. A gorgeous place! We arrived on a Friday afternoon and stayed until noon on Sunday. A date night was even a part of the weekend itenerary. I plan to blog more about the details of different sessions in the coming days, but for now will say if you ever have the opportunity to attend a marriage conference, DO! It brings a focus back onto the marriage and energizes the relationship. This particular weekend was put on by chaplains from the Missouri National Guard and offered to guard soldiers and their spouse. There were 33 couples this weekend. Topics included altruistic(unselfish) love, speaking/listening techniques, differences between husbands and wives, sex discussion (I even sat on the panel to field questions), finding the hidden issues behind negative feelings/events, problem solving, five love languages, and MORE! Thanks go to Shawn, Joe, Elliot and Jack for leading us this weekend. It was incredible! Part of the weekend was also receiving resources for later. The book set, For Couples Only and the book on Five Love Languages were among the takeaways. A wealth of resources. Well, I need to go for now. More tomorrow...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Weekend Away for Two

Wow! It seems like ages ago that I posted last. For good reason-- my hubby and I spent the weekend away from our kids enjoying time with one another. No daily distractions and just time to focus on one another. It was fabulous! We took off on Friday afternoon and went to a nearby town until the following day. The whole idea was to spend time together and make it an adventure. The only thing that would have made it better would have been nicer weather (it was cloudy and sometimes rainy). We went shopping, ate dinner, spent time in the jacuzzi and just enjoyed one another. The following day we walked around town and a few shopping areas before heading home. The weather prevented any type of real outdoor activities because of the rain. It was great fun going to dinner at a local restaurant and sampling Australian fare. Teasing and laughter were both part of our conversations. Afterwards we took time to get out our Couple's Almanac questions and answered a few about the other person.. what are your spouse's passions, what movies do you like to watch together, and more. Check out our blog post that tells all about what a Couple's Almanac is, why to make one and it even has some sample cards that can be filled out to make your own! a follow-up blog post... Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Sheet Music" book review

I am so glad my hubby made it home after being gone all last week. It was so nice to see him and have him back by my side. We had a busy weekend and a wonderful Easter. Hope it was the same for you.
Here is my review of the book "Sheet Music" by Dr. Kevin Leman. Visit his site at: Reviews / Comments WOWZA! STRAIGHT-FORWARD, TRUTHFUL AND BIBLICAL "This book is amazing! Each year during my husband's two-week Annual Training I get a marriage book to read while he is away and then we share on the phone or when he gets home. This was a read from several years ago and we refer to it often! It is well-worn and has many notes in the margins! Dr. Leman has a straight-forward and entertaining approach with this book. That's refreshing to see when it is about sex. This book opened my eyes as a wife to the sexual needs my husband has and what an important role I play. Not only did it make me more aware, but I am benefiting from the advice as much as my hubby. We are happily enjoying connecting in more ways than the bedroom. By understanding my husband and knowing some of the "why" it is he is wired this way I can make more sense of his needs. I want to please him and this book has helped me accomplish that. He would tell you the same thing in regards to me. This isn't a book for those not yet married and it doesn't hint around anything. Straight-forward, truthful and above all-- Biblical!" Apr 09 2012, 11:46 AM by Sarah S I plan to go through the book and include more details on each chapter(s). My husband and I feel this is such an important topic for couples to address and we hope you will join us as we share our thoughts with you. Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Inspiring Quotes

Do you have this kind of passionate love with your spouse? It's not too late to get it back! Try reading "Sheet Music" or "Red Hot Monogamy" and see if you can get the spark flaming again! These books aren't just about physical love, but the entire relationship! Both books gave us a better understanding of being committed to our marriage!
This is something that happens too often in marriages... husbands/wives leave their spouse thinking life is better with a new person. This is not God's plan for marriage. If this is where you find yourself-- STOP and think hard about what you are doing or thinking of doing! Try to get the spark flaming again in all areas of your relationship... not just the bedroom. Remember... love is a choice. Try doing the "Love Dare" from the movie Fireproof-- this has you focus on the other person and not yourself. Truly commit to see it through to the end, even on days when you don't feel like it. Many times one spouse becomes selfish and might ask "why isn't my spouse meeting my needs?". Did you ever stop to ask "Am I really meeting the needs of my spouse?". Try focusing on them and see how your perspective changes! It makes me feel happy when I focus on my husband because I know I am making a difference to him. In turn, he feels respected, treasured and ready to turn his attention to you! If you both focus on the other then both are getting your needs met and aren't focused on what your not getting. Hope this makes sense...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hello Again, FINALLY!

It has been a long while since I last posted... but all is well on the home front! My husband and I are planning on attending a marriage workshop put on by the Army National Guard in a few weeks and I mentioned this to our daughters the other evening. Consider the fact we have always told them that we are 100% committed to our marriage and that divorce is not an option for us. Well, our oldest said "why? are you having marriage problems?" This was the prime opportunity to share a life lesson with them, without "preaching" to them. I told her no, we don't have marriage problems. I could have left it at that but decided to share a bit more with her. I said "why wait until there might be problems? Isn't it better to go to a conference to try to prevent problems then wait until problems happen to fix them?" She thought about my answer and thought that sounded good, but still asked "so your not going to get divorced?" Mind you, we have discussions but never really have arguments or fighting that might indicate issues. I shared that it is better for us to go now so we can continue to keep our marriage strong. She was good with that! It got me thinking a couple of things... 1) Couples need to be proactive in protecting their marriages and 2) Kids of any age worry about their parents relationship/marriage. So what can be done? 1) Be Proactive! Go on dates, talk about your feelings, share stories with one another, serve the Lord together, hold hands, say I love you, take the time to smile at your spouse, exercise together, go on family outings, eat dinner together, send texts during the day, discuss goals for the future... I could go on and on! 2) Be an example to your children and others! My husband and I try our best to be good role models for our children, their friends and the kids we work with. We talk things through, make time for each other, let our kids know the importance of marriage, share our views of marriage (during tv shows, movies, music), show affection toward one another (even when they say GRRRROOOOSSSSSS!), let them know of our future plans, include them in making family plans and more! They need to see how much we love each other... who they choose as a spouse has a lot to do with what they see/experience at home. To me the biggest thing a couple can do is to be selfless towards one another... put the other person first. Life is not all about ME! This is such a strong example for children. When they see loving compromise, working together, sharing differing ideas and putting others needs first (not to the extreme) they begin to form opinions/ideas of what they want in a spouse. Have a wonderful day and stay strong through your JOURNEY of LOVE!