Monday, January 05, 2015

Let the 2015 Adventure Begin

We moved back to Clarksville, TN in November then there was unpacking then there was Thanksgiving and then there was Christmas. It was a whirlwind. We finally feel settled....besides the boxes in the basement of things we move around with us that apparently we don't need or use. Part of this adventure has been that we are not on staff at a local church. The entire time we have been married Daniel has been on staff at a church. So each Sunday (and for the last 2 years EACH SATURDAY- I think I'm still bitter about that....) we have known what church to go to. But for this new adventure we have had freedom to attend different churches and support fellow ministers. It's been a tad overwhelming to me in that I don't always love new things. I like to know what to expect. I tend to worry about my kiddos and how they will do in new environments. (They are awesome and have really seemed to have had fun at all the places we have gone.) So far we have been to 5 different churches. What a neat experience, I'm definitely counting this as a privilege to worship with different bodies of believers.

Yesterday we went to a 5pm service. I was moved to tears during the communion time. As the first service of the new year the pastor encouraged us to forget what was behind and let go of fear of the future. Last year holds plenty I want to forget with the death of my dad being at the top of the list. And this year definitely holds lots of unknowns which often leads me to fear.

There was a new pastor there for the first time. He preached on marriage. It was a very young crowd. Like seriously looking around we were in the 2% of the oldest people there. {ummmm we are not old!} The pastor has been married 13 years. (We have been married 14.5 years! boom) It was a nice, but strange situation to be in. We have a great marriage. I'm really proud of the hard work we have put into our marriage being and remaining strong.

It was a great sermon to start the year. Some of the points of his sermon I can't get out of my head today. One was a statistic that out of married couples that pray out loud together the divorce rate is 1%. (He gave lots of other stats good and bad, but this one really shocked me.) That God can change things. That His presence in our marriages matters. That He matters and changes things especially marriages in a country that leads statistics in having the highest divorce rates of developed countries.

The big idea of his sermon was that the key to having a marriage that sizzles is having serious fun. The couples you see that have that longstanding love take their commitment seriously yes, but they also have serious fun. That we usually have fun when we are dating and that is what made us fall in love, but having fun can also sustain our marriages. He challenged us to ask the question- Am I fun to live with? I've been pondering that thought all day. He said we can't make anyone choose love us. Control is an illusion. But we can behave in a way that creates margin for another human being to love us back. He talked about how we have expectations and when behaviors don't meet those expectations we can react two ways---assume the worst or believe the best. This is something Daniel says a lot. Don't assume the worst. Luckily we are able to communicate and work through miscommunications (or times when I assume the worst.) But that one question keeps swirling around in my mind and heart....Am I fun to live with?

What about you? How is your marriage? So many are struggling. If yours marriage is struggling don't go it alone. Reach out for counseling or help. We all have good seasons and hard seasons of marriage. Daniel and I learned a trick in marriage counseling that we have used over the years. Each of you rate your marriage 1-10. (The wife usually has a lower score...don't take it personally.) Then ask yourselves what could make it closer to a 10. This has really helped spark conversation of expectations and of what's missing in our marriage.

*I understand that not all men and women are in healthy marriages. If you are being abused or have been divorced or feel alone in your marriage God is not abandoning you, get help. God is real and loving and gives grace freely and He doesn't expect you to walk this journey alone. I just had to share my notes from this sermon since I can't get this stuff out of my head this morning.

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