eXhilaration in Marriage

eXhilaration in Marriage

eXhilaration – it’s a combination of Fear + Fun… doesn’t that define marriage?

(If you’re wondering why I’m using the interesting “small e” and “capital X”, it’s because there aren’t any Values in Robert’s list of 400+ that begin with “X” ¬†— and I”m doing an A-Z challenge with these posts. So… I’m being creative. ūüėČ ¬†Just join in the fun.)

Ever been on a roller-coaster?

What’s the first thing that happens when you get on a roller coaster?  You get buckled in.

You know the ride is going to be exciting ‚Äď that‚Äôs a given.

You know, at some time during the ride, your stomach is going to be in your throat.

You know you’ll feel out of control.

The ride is a combination of fear & fun.

eXhilaration - doesn't that define marriage - use your 5-point buckling system and enjoy the ride

Marriage is just like a roller coaster.

In marriage there are l-o-n-g uphill climbs and wind-rushing-through-your-hair-thrills.

Sometimes a spin or two ‚Äď and even an upside-down moment‚Ķ or eight.

What makes the difference between a thrilling ride, and possible death?

Being buckled in.

In marriage what is holding you safe?

A husband and wife can use a five-point buckling system for their marriage¬†ride. They’ll use it to weather the fear and fun – the exhilaration of the ride:

Hope ‚Äď the belief in each other and¬†a good future together.

Faith in God ‚Äď as a strength and guide¬†in directing your life together.

Love ‚Äď unconditional and affirming, building up and strong.

Prayer ‚Ästas an investment for the future and a way to release pressure.

Action ‚Äď working together to create a meaningful life ‚Ästgreater than just the two of you.

And who is always there to help buckle you both in… who is your “buckler”? Why, it’s Jesus, of course!

Encourage your spouse and enjoy the eXhilaration!

Yup. Stay buckled in and enjoy the ride! 

Robert’s official definition of Exhilaration is:¬†the feeling of lively and cheerful joy; refreshingly thrilling

.

I’m putting these posts – “A to Z” Values – all under the FAMILY portion of this site.¬†Why? Every one of these Values words will be a blessing to each spouse – but more than that… they’ll benefit your whole family!

Imagine if you are¬†buckled firmly in – ready for the fear and fun of marriage¬†–¬†what kind of impact will that have on your family? On your children? I’m guessing that your children and family will only benefit as they watch the two of you¬†encourage each other through the up-down-and-all-around eXhilaration of life together.

This is an Instagram challenge for July 2016 – A to Z and a few numbers… check out our Instagram account!

The posts in this series can be found on the¬†PAGE – 27 Values to Enrich¬†your Marriage¬† (BTW – If you’re reading this post before the end of July 2016, then the page isn’t complete… I’m still writing! ūüėČ )

27 Values to Enrich your Marriage - 27 values for your marriage

 

Unselfish Couples Lead Well

Unselfish Couples Lead Well

Unselfish couples are generous. They’re aware of needs, and work toward making their world better. Nothing demonstrates unselfishness like two people, working together for the good of those around them. They are unselfish couples, leading by example.

Robert and I are inspired by these unselfish couples: husbands and wives living meaningful lives.

So what’s the definition of the Value of Unselfishness?

Unselfishness   Рacting generously; regarding the welfare of others before oneself

Here’s a post originally written for our Leadership Couples site… it gives you an idea of how this Value shows up in a marriage relationship, highlighting 3 unselfishcouples.


3 Unselfish Couples

Leadership couples are generous with their talents, resources, and time.

They embrace the Value of Unselfishness ‚Äď acting generously, and regarding the welfare of others before oneself.

There are couples we can honor from the past. There are couples active today we can applaud. And if we continue to encourage the value of unselfishness, there will be leadership couples into the future.

Unselfish with Talents

unselfish couples SpurgeonThanks to the many talents of Charles & Susannah Spurgeon, they have left a legacy that lasts to this day.

Known as the ‚ÄėPrince of Preachers‚Äô, Charles was the Billy Graham of his time. During the second half of the 19th century, it is estimated that Spurgeon preached the Gospel of Christ to 10 million people.

In spite of nagging health issues, Susannah demonstrated the admirable qualities of a supportive spouse. She also used her talents to get books into the hands of hundreds of poor ministers across Great Britain, who otherwise had no resources to increase their knowledge or improve their ministries. Her now famous Book Fund continues to this day.

Charles & Susannah Spurgeon were an unselfish couple.

Unselfish with Resources

unselfish couples HydeBarbara & Pitt Hyde are serious philanthropists. Through the Hyde Family Foundations, they focus their significant resources on cultural, educational, and economic growth in their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

A native of Memphis, J.R. (Pitt) Hyde III is the founder of AutoZone, a leading automotive parts retailer. He is also the grandson of the founder of Malone and Hyde, the third largest wholesale food distributor. Pitt’s grandparents started the Family Foundation in 1961 and Pitt’s business ventures have afforded the opportunity to significantly expand its reach.

Through their Foundation, the Hyde’s provide support to many different schools in Memphis, including public charters, private independents, and inner-city parochial schools. This year they also made a sizable donation to the construction and development of a bike and pedestrian crossing at the Harahan Bridge, crossing the Mississippi River.

The Hyde’s have also made considerable investments in the National Civil Rights Museum, the Ballet Memphis, and even helped bring an NBA team to Memphis (the Grizzlies).

In the growing category of husband-and-wife teams in philanthropy, Barbara comments:

‚ÄúIt is one of many things that Pitt and I have in common and we love to talk about. Neither of us plays golf, for instance. We‚Äôd rather do this work together.‚ÄĚ

Barbara & Pitt Hyde are an unselfish leadership couple.

Unselfish with Time

unselfish couples SeyalKait & John Seyal love their dogs, adopted from an animal shelter. They unselfishly wanted to raise awareness about animal rescue and pet therapy.

So they decided to give up 9 months of their lives and walk coast to coast across America.

On March 1, 2012 Kait, John, and their 2 dogs ‚Äď Max and Grace ‚Äď began their 3,000+ cross-country journey from Lewes, Delaware. Along the way, they stopped to volunteer at hospitals, nursing homes, children‚Äôs homes, veteran‚Äôs facilities, and anywhere else the unconditional love of a dog was appreciated.

Reading the comments on their website Dog Walk Across America, not everyone was supportive. But this husband and wife team persevered.

They walked alone for the first 1,100 miles. Then a friend and his dog joined them, providing a support vehicle to give the dogs a place to rest during the hottest hours of the day.

On November 17, 2012 the team reached the Pacific Ocean, at Long Beach, California. They achieved their goal and proved that they can make a difference.

Kait & John are an unselfish leadership couple.

Unselfish Couples Lead Well - 3 examples of unselfish couples past and present

Who do you know that lives the Value of Unselfishness Рcould you include them in this list of unselfish couples? Leave a comment!

How can you use the value of unselfishness to make a difference?

I’m putting these posts – “A to Z” Values – all under the FAMILY portion of this site.¬†Why? Every one of these Values words will be a blessing to each spouse – but more than that… they’ll benefit your whole family!

Imagine if you¬†and¬†your spouse began to lead using the Value of Unselfishness –¬†what kind of impact will that have on your family? On your children? I’m guessing that your children and family will only benefit as they watch the two of you standing together –¬†contributing to the greater good of everyone around you.

This¬†is part of¬†an Instagram challenge for July 2016 – A to Z and a few numbers… (¬†check out our Instagram account) and it’s become¬†a series of Values posts! ¬†The posts in this series can be found on the¬†PAGE – 27 Values to Enrich¬†your Marriage¬† (BTW – If you’re reading this post before the end of July 2016, then the page isn’t complete… I’m still writing! ūüėČ )

27 Values to Enrich your Marriage - 27 values for your marriage

 

Teamwork – From Dream to Celebration

Teamwork – From Dream to Celebration

on the way using teamwork from dream to celebrationTeamwork makes the dream work! And this statement is especially true in marriage.

As I write this post, Rob and I are driving toward Atlanta, Georgia – and we followed the steps you’ll read later in this post to get there as a team – from dream to celebration. (Well… we haven’t celebrated yet – that comes in a few days.)

What’s the meaning of the Value of Teamwork? Taken from Robert’s research defining¬†400+ Values, it’s:

Teamwork – cooperative effort of two or more people for a common purpose or goal.

Ah, yes. Goals. What are your marriage goals?¬†Do you work with a co-operative effort toward those goals? (Even if they’re spontaneous?)

5 Steps to Make the Teamwork… Work!

  1. Decide. You can’t work as a team without agreeing on a course or direction. Use your shared Values as a signpost and rumble strips as you’re deciding.
  2. Develop. Make your plan. Even if it’s on-the-fly, or last minute, be strategic and know the steps you need to take. ¬†The more often you work as a team, the easier it’ll become.¬†
  3. Divide. Divide and conquer.  Know your roles, know your strengths and take action toward the goal. Yes, working together is sometimes best, but teamwork is as much about working on the goal separately, using your strengths toward the common purpose. 
  4. Dig. Dig in and dig deep – be persistent. ¬†Don’t let the first (or fifteenth) obstacle derail your efforts. There will be roadblocks. The way might be slowed by dips or humps. You might need to take a detour. Don’t give up – DIG in. Be stubborn about your goal.¬†
  5. Done. Celebrate when you reach your goal! Every completed goal needs a bit of “hooray” – and what’s better than a bit of celebration with your spouse? ūüėȬ†

Teamwork in Action

I was checking my email this morning, lying in our bed inside our little house on wheels. Robert was in the chair in the other part of our 282 square feet – he was finishing up his quiet time (reading the Bible and praying.) In one of¬†my emails was a note about an event…

robert reading

The email¬†was reminding me about a blogging conference. In Atlanta. (We were¬†currently in Raleigh, North Carolina so that’s 420 miles away.)¬†The problem? The conference started the next day.

Now, I’ve always wanted to go to a blogging conference – writing and blogging is what I do! And this conference was one that I’d signed up to receive information from – I did want to go. However… at such a late date, there were some barriers – most people don’t try this at the last moment. The “buts” started their litany in my head…

  • but it starts tomorrow…
  • but it is in Atlanta – 7 hours away…
  • but I’m grandparenting Theo tomorrow…
  • but Rob is not naturally a spontaneous person…
  • but money is very tight…
  • but Rob has a conference call he’s leading tomorrow…
  • but I don’t have any business cards. (See, I was going through all the negatives…)

My first reaction was to just give up. It seemed too hard – too many obstacles. I mean… who does this at the last minute??? Then I prayed about it because that’s a normal reaction when I don’t know what to do. And the next thing was talk to Rob – because we are a team. We talk through everything.

This was where the 5 Steps I listed above took over:

  • we needed to decide if this was a¬†viable endeavor…
  • we needed to make a plan¬†– to know¬†what was needed to make our trip¬†possible…
  • we needed to take action in areas of our strength, and take action on our plan
  • we needed to solve the issues that arose (and there were a few)…
  • and now we are on our way. Halfway there¬†as¬†I’m writing this. We will celebrate at the conclusion of the event, when I’ve met my goals for the conference.

Decide + Develop + Divide + Dig + Done = TEAMWORK!

We used the power of teamwork to make a dream into a goal, and then took action to make it happen. In 2 hours.

It took two hours from the moment we decided we would make this work (at 10AM) until we were on the road to Atlanta at noon. We arrived in Atlanta before Office Max closed, and were able to pick up my business cards – which we had ordered online before we left Raleigh. Now I’m all set for the Blogging conference on Thursday and Friday. (I even brought a few copies of my book so I can give them away if anyone is interested.)

Better yet Р I can meet other bloggers in person, introduce myself and begin some online friendships, and learn lots from the speakers.

Teamwork made it happen!

moving past procrastination and business cards

I’m putting these posts – “A to Z” Values – all under the FAMILY portion of this site.¬†Why? Every one of these Values words will be a blessing to each spouse – but more than that… they’ll benefit your whole family!

Imagine if you are motivated to¬†work as a team¬†–¬†what kind of impact will that have on your family? On your children? I’m guessing that your children and family will only benefit as they watch the two of you standing together.

This¬†is part of¬†an Instagram challenge for July 2016 – A to Z and a few numbers… (¬†check out our Instagram account¬†– I’ll be posting photos from the conference,) These posts have¬†become¬†a series of Values posts! ¬†The series can be found on the¬†PAGE – 27 Values to Enrich¬†your Marriage¬† (BTW – If you’re reading this post before the end of July 2016, then the page isn’t complete… I’m still writing! ūüėČ )

27 Values to Enrich your Marriage - 27 values for your marriage

 

Hands Tell the Story of Solidarity

Hands Tell the Story of Solidarity

Solidarity¬†is a perfect word for marriage (even if we don’t hear it that often). The Value of Solidarity has all the aspects of what we see¬†in a marriage; a connection while¬†being unified in doing life together as husband and wife.

Solidarity – a bond of unity around a common goal; a union of interests or purposes.

I‚Äôm fascinated with pictures of couples holding hands. But it’s not just about their hands…

Holding hands is an outward sign of solidarity.

Rob and I have been holding hands since we were 15 & 17.  His hands are so familiar to me.  So precious.  I know every little dot and spot.  I know the feel and shape of his hands. It feels odd to walk beside him and not hold hands. Robert’s hands are always reaching out to me, offering acceptance and steadiness.

holding hands solidarity

Holding hands ¬†‚Äď reaching out a hand ‚Äď is more than a physical gesture.

When a couple holds hands, they‚Äôre defying the odds and declaring their unity. It‚Äôs a comfort, and a promise.¬†Walking together and¬†praying together – while holding hands¬†– is¬†a sign of connection to¬†a¬†common goal, and a promise to live your life together. It’s a signal of solidarity as you meet each challenge as one flesh.

hands high solidarity

Solidarity even in disagreement.¬†¬†Do you and your¬†spouse disagree? I’m guessing you’re like most of us, and don’t always see issues from the same vantage. Here’a suggestion for when you’re heading toward an argument: reach out to hold his/her¬†hand. ¬†It‚Äôs almost impossible to argue with any heat and hold hands at the same time! ūüėČ

couple hands solidarity

We are ‚Äúdoing‚ÄĚ life together. Holding hands is a symbol of that promise of solidarity we made. It was a promise to love each other till we¬†are¬†parted by death from our spouse. Remember when you were married‚Ķ did you hold hands or did the minister place your hands together during the ceremony?

solidarity wedding hands

 

Are you still united in that spirit of Solidarity?

I’m putting these posts – “A to Z” Values – all under the FAMILY portion of this site.¬†Why? Every one of these Values words will be a blessing to each spouse – but more than that… they’ll benefit your whole family!

Imagine if you and your spouse adopted the Value of Solidarity¬†–¬†what kind of impact will that have on your family? On your children? I’m guessing that your children and family will only benefit as they watch the two of you standing together – unified.

This¬†is part of¬†an Instagram challenge for July 2016 – A to Z and a few numbers… (¬†check out our Instagram account) and it’s become¬†a series of Values posts! ¬†The posts in this series can be found on the¬†PAGE – 27 Values to Enrich¬†your Marriage¬† (BTW – If you’re reading this post before the end of July 2016, then the page isn’t complete… I’m still writing! ūüėČ )

27 Values to Enrich your Marriage - 27 values for your marriage

 

Reliability is a Weighty Value

Reliability is a Weighty Value

Reliability is not a Value to take lightly.

When I was looking through the 24 “R” Values (from Robert’s 400+ defined Values), I hesitated to highlight it in this “A to Z” series. It’s not a frivolous, “feel good” quality. In fact, good marriages crumble¬†because one spouse believed she/he couldn’t rely on the other…

Reliability  Рworthy of trust; dependable; faithful; authentic

Worthy of Trust.¬†Finding the strength to trust your spouse, even when she/he is an imperfect person…

Dependable.¬†Hoping that your spouse will be consistent in his/her positive behavior, despite circumstances…

Faithful.¬†Believing your spouse will remain steadfast and true, even though the temptations are rampant…

Authentic.¬†Knowing your spouse is real with you, sharing her/his true feelings…

See… there are four serious qualities making up the Value of Reliability.

Reliability is not for the faint of heart.

Is it even possible to be constantly, continually reliable¬†– especially when it’s inconvenient – or even painful?

We’re all humans with a huge capacity to fail. We fail regularily, in small and huge areas. And our spouses are usually up front and center, quite close to that stinking burn of failure.

How could you ever have the Value of Reliability as one of your three Differentiating Values in marriage? Maybe a dose of selflessness…¬†

Three ways to make Reliability work in your marriage:

  1. ¬†Don’t expect your spouse to be perfect. (There was only one perfect human on this earth – your spouse isn’t Him.) Build reliability into the smallest areas of your life first. Work from your strengths. Set up your world to make being reliable possible. Avoid what will cause a problem. Restructure. Be deliberate in choices. Decide – together – what will make being reliable easier… or harder. Make a plan to be reliable. Then stick to the¬†plan. There’s going to be areas in your life where this Value has the most impact. Finances. Fidelity. Parenting. Healthy choices. It’s usually in an area where you’re especially tender.
  2. Learn how to forgive each other… because neither of you are perfect.¬†You will both mess up. Become experts in expressing and demonstrating regret, and saying, “I’m sorry.”¬†, and then letting the past go. Make a plan to do better. ¬†And then both of you work to not mess up in that same area again.
  3. Understand that the only One who is truly, always, and forever reliable is God.¬†Don’t place expectations on your spouse that he/she can’t meet. Rely on… lean on… your loving Heavenly Father and your Savior Jesus. And remind your spouse that she/he can rely on God also. Together… with God, the three of you can be secure.

What would change in your marriage if you both were reliable?

I’m putting these posts – “A to Z” Values – all under the FAMILY portion of this site.¬†Why? Every one of these Values words will be a blessing to each spouse – but more than that… they’ll benefit your whole family!

Imagine if you are motivated to become more reliable¬†–¬†what kind of impact will that have on your family? On your children? I’m guessing that your children and family will only benefit as they watch the two of you standing together – filled with trust, dependable, faithful and authentic.

This¬†is part of¬†an Instagram challenge for July 2016 – A to Z and a few numbers… (¬†check out our Instagram account) and it’s become¬†a series of Values posts! ¬†The posts in this series can be found on the¬†PAGE – 27 Values to Enrich¬†your Marriage¬† (BTW – If you’re reading this post before the end of July 2016, then the page isn’t complete… I’m still writing! ūüėČ )

27 Values to Enrich your Marriage - 27 values for your marriage