Monthly Archives: September 2014

There is an app for that…

My husband and I are really good at signing up for marriage challenges. We download the apps and register for the challenges, and then…nothing. We watch Star Trek instead as the phones ding with updates and the spam boxes fill with updates…Oops. We always think this time we will follow through, but then Captain Picard says something insightful* and we are cuddling on the coach listening to his wisdom. Most likely marriage advice from a Starship Captain is not a good idea. Anyways, I digress…

Currently, we are supposed to be doing a 30 Day Challenge from Amazing Life Together. This challenge is unique in that it is a mixture of small daily challenges and conversation topics. One day might be “Do a small surprise for your spouse” and the next day might be “Reminisce about your honeymoon.” The best part about this challenge is every Sunday, a weekly round up is sent out. On Sunday, I write down all the challenges in a notebook that Trae and I can look at. We realize that we aren’t going to fall under the 30 day deadline, and you know what, that is ok. More than ok. Marriage challenges are about strengthening your marriage and if a 30 day challenge doesn’t fit the needs of your marriage, then it won’t help.

Do not be afraid to change the rules of a challenge so it will strengthen our marriage. The purpose of a challenge is to help a couple work on their weak spots and right now our weak spot is communication. By the time I get home for tutoring at two different jobs, I am all talked out. I just want to hear John Luc Picard save the Federations problems in one hour while Trae rubs my feet. I am not normally in the mood to reminisce about on  how I knew he was the man I was going to marry…heck, as long as he rubs my feet he will remain the man I am married to.

I know this is a sign we should communicate more. This is why we have learned to manipulate the challenge to fit us as a couple. Make sure you do what is best for your marriage. If you find that you do not have time to complete a challenge, then do not feel guilty. The Internet or app do not know if you finished within the deadline. For example, I am going to end this blog because Trae and I are going to eat dinner and then head to a music jam. Captain Picard will save the federation another night, but tonight on the drive, maybe we will discuss one of the challenge topics….Maybe. All I know if we don’t have to finish the helpful challenge in 30 days.

UPDATE: Oops. We got lazy and watched two episodes of Star Trek. My foot rub was phenomenal!
*One of my favorite Picard quotes:   Buried deep within you, beneath all the years of pain and anger, there is something that has never been nurtured: the potential to make yourself a better man. And that is what it is to be human. To make yourself more than you are. Oh, yes — I know you. There was a time you looked at the stars and dreamed of what might be.

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The Importance of Water

“Water is the driving force of all nature.”– Leonardo da Vinci

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(Tiny heads up: This will be the most risque post so far, but hey, you are married; God approves.)

Marriages need water just as much as gardens do. Without water, plants die. Water gives the plants nourishment and causes growth. Without water, the plants fight to survive, but ultimately turn brown and shrivel up before dying. All that remains of a once healthy plant is a yellow-brown vine that is brittle to the touch.  The vine resembles an earth worm that was unable to make it back to the dirt before the sun baked him onto the sidewalk. The shell remains, but the life of the plant is gone.

Now, when I say marriages need water, I don’t mean drinking the eight recommended glasses of water a day. I mean, marriage needs nourishment. Nourishment, in terms of marriage, is acts of kindness or intimacy that promotes growth. Acts of kindness do go a long way when promoting growth in a marriage, but honestly, intimacy is the key factor in promoting growth. Without intimacy, you are missing a deeper connection with your partner. It is important, however, not to confuse intimacy with sex. Sex is just one type of intimacy. I can buy my husband Reece peanut butter cups once a week, and while that will make him feel happy towards me, that happiness is surface level. Intimacy is the water of marriage that brings nutrition to the roots.

To me, touch and sight are two of the engaging ways to promote intimacy. Trae and I take showers today, and while we don’t do hanky-panky, we still have the closeness of being together in the shower. Out bodies touch, and we also all Adam and Eve (aka naked). Sleeping Adam and Eve style is another great way to promote intimacy. (For the winter, just invest in some warm fleece sheets!) Laying in bed snuggling (if the jealous cat will let you get close enough to snuggle) and talking is the best way to unwind after a hectic day of teaching. Obviously sex is another way to promote intimacy; sex. to me, is the ultimate way to express intimacy. However, that level of intimacy is made stronger when the couple is being intimacy on several levels.

Now if A&E style with the goodies hanging out isn’t your style, there are other ways to promote intimacy. I am also a spoiled wife and Trae rubs my feet every night; the touch of his hands makes me feel at ease every night. His touch makes me feel close to him. Cooking is another way to create intimacy with your spouse. I love the way the smells engulf the kitchen; the aroma hugs you as the two of you work together. The best part of cooking together: eating together! Special dates can also promote intimacy, but do not confuse special date with expensive. Yes, a fancy meal share in a candle-lite booth is romantic and intimate, but enjoying a canoe ride or hike are also intimate. Seeing an expanse of mountains before me serves as a reminder to that we do truly believe in an awesome God and how lucky I am be able to see and rejoice in His creations with my husband.

A good way to promote to promote intimacy is to ask your spouse what he/ she enjoys and use those things promote intimacy. Do you enjoy to read? Well, then maybe you and your spouse can read together while snuggling on the couch. Be creative and find an level of intimacy you are both comfortable with.

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