Monday, February 29, 2016

Habits & Investing.

How do you invest in your marriage? 

What habits have you built?

Maybe you have one of those smooth sailing type of marriages (and life).
I'd be willing to bet most of us don't. I know we do not.

Typically that means marriage (and life) takes work. You know, things like:
"You get what you give"
"Invest in the return desired"
"You reap what you sow"
"Work at it"

I fully believe marriage is a huge and ongoing investment.

Two people coming together is a unique, dare I say, miracle. It is beautiful. But it is work. Sometimes it is a one of a kind union that shows glimpses of God's profound love. Sometimes it looks more like an all out battle with the evil one. Sometimes it is the gift of sharing in the everyday. No matter what it looks like for you or in this season, I am confident it requires work. Not just when things are tough. But the preventative, proactive kind of work.

So what does that look like?

We're far from the best at this but here are some things we've established:
  • TIME TOGETHER. Some weeks are crazier than others but we have to check in with each other and make sure we are both getting the quality time we need. Regular date nights, lazy nights on the couch, drop everything so we can be together and deal with life or a quick lunch between our work schedules. The amount of time we have ebbs and flows but we have to make sure it exists. 
  • GROWING TOGETHER. Sometimes this is reading our own books over coffee and sharing the highlights. Sometimes this is working through a new learning together. Sometimes this is being in God's Word together (I'll admit bringing our own time with God together is often lacking). Sometimes it is emailing each other an article that challenged us and discussing it. It is keeping the dialogue open and desire to learn more alive. 
  • COMMUNITY. We so believe in inviting others in. We both need this personally and in our marriage. Whether it is a mentor, couple friends, our trusted peers, etc. We have a group of friends we meet with every 6 weeks or so (with the fancy name "Nuptialized") for dinner. This is such a need and gift. We rotate homes and all contribute to the meal and conversation. Sometimes it is light and fun. Sometimes it is heavy and hard. Sometimes it is practical like financial planning and meal planning, sometimes it is how to handle loss and transition. No matter what it is so valuable to have friendship, consistency and support. It is also the friends who share out living room, meals, double dates and game nights, phone calls and FaceTime sessions. Can you tell this one is important to me? 
  • TIME AWAY. We've made it a priority to get away. Whether it is 1-2 nights camping, a day trip, a visit with friends who live out of town or a mini vacay. This is a monthly things for us. Sure we will probably miss some but we'll make up for it. Time in a new space where we don't have laundry, grocery shopping, NetFlix and normal is vital. 
  • CELEBRATIONS. Life has plenty of hard but the good calls for celebrating. This includes the small wins like a great meeting at work, losing 5 lbs., a fun new idea and time with friends. But it is also the big wins and the milestones like anniversaries, overcoming personal hurdles, healing from past junk, raises, new jobs, and so on. We have photos taken every year, we document moments, we go to our favorite places, we buy/make each other special gifts. 
  • MARRIAGE CONFERENCE. This has been a yearly things for us. We found a great conference to attend our first year of marriage (things were challenging and it sounded wise). Since then we've made it a part of our normal rhythm. It is pretty local and really affordable. We get a 1 night stay near the conference and enjoy the getaway, wisdom from the speakers, debriefing together and with friends and our time. Not to mention the preventative/repair opportunity it brings. What can we learn for our future? What can we tweak? What can we heal? How can we love each other better?
Speaking of... If you are in Southern California the conference we attend and recommend is coming up! March 10-11, 2016. It is super affordable and a great way to get away and connect. It is honest, funny, engaging and wise. It is such a great investment. Check out all the details HERE. I don't share this because I am getting anything but rather than it is a great opportunity and I wanted you to know about it. They even have group discounts (grab some friends) and ministry discounts. 

This was going to be a quick post about the habit we've formed of attending a Marriage Conference and the importance of investing in your marriage but it grew a bit. Whoops. I just have a lot of thoughts about how important this topics is so there you have it!


How do you invest in your marriage? 

What habits have you built?

Here's a look at some of ours:

A table, friends and food. 
Get-a-ways with my love.   
A promise to each other from our first marriage conference & our last photo session  
Morning coffee & Date Night strolls downtown.

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