Happy Monday everyone! Did you have a good weekend?
While I feel like mine went by far too quickly, but it was a good one.
On Friday night and Saturday, Terry and I attended a marriage retreat put on by our church district. I know what you are thinking, marriage retreat? Isn’t it a little early to be attending a marriage retreat? Well, we thought the same thing at first. My good friends, Paige and Andrew, who went last year convinced us it was valuable and we would enjoy ourselves. It’s never too early to start building a stronger marriage.
When we got to the campgrounds on Friday, we settled in at my mom’s place on the campground. We were lucky it was available, because it knocked the price down! Thanks Mom. 😀
Schedule + sweet treats
I was seriously so happy to Paige and Andrew. They live in Nashville, but Terry and I love the time we get to spend with them!
First, dinner was served. Pork tenderloin, the best wild rice ever, pineapple casserole (Terry’s favorite), mixed sauteed veggies- heavy on the shrooms, honey wheat roll, and salad.
That night we had our first session on “Hedges”. This session focused on the importance of building hedges around your marriage to protect it during vulnerable times. Throughout the session I was thinking how fortunate it was to be learning this before I would have wished we thought to talk about those hedges we needed to be intentional about. One of the highlighted verses of the evening was Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” A huge take away for me was to avoid either of us feeling isolated or going into isolation. The most damage is done when someone feels lonely or unheard.
After the session we enjoyed a bonfire with my favorites, s’mores! Afterwards, we spent sometime catching up with our friends.
The next morning we were treated to a delicious breakfast and unlimited coffee (I had three cups :O). Terry got my bacon because I’m still not a fan, but watermelon!!
Our first session of the morning was “Love it or List it”, a play on the popular HGTV show. The main point of it was to learn to love your marriage rather than to consider “listing it”. Sometimes marriages need renovations, and it is important to recognize when a change is needed. Do you speak your spouse’s language? (Take the love language quiz!) The quote that really hit me was “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Man, I definitely have to admit that we’ve both been at fault for that one.
Do you know how to handle conflict? Do you make more deposits than withdrawals? Do you openly communicate about money and finances? Are you a spender or a saver? And finally, are you ready for the unexpected? We learned the importance of building a strong foundation for when things hit us out of nowhere or when the seasons change. The key question is not “how can I get my needs met?” but “how can I bless you?”
After a quick coffee break, we went on to the third session, which was on understanding God’s design marriage. The speaker illuminated for us how God didn’t intend for a wife to be inferior to the husband, but they were made equal. Until the fall, Adam and Eve were considered equals, and thanks to the transformative spirit of God, man and wife can learn to walk side by side, hand in hand. In short, God can transform our self-centered love to Christ- & other- centered love.
After third session we had lunch. Spaghetti & meatballs, sauteed zucchini, and salads. Major props to them for offering whole grain noodles.
We did a little walking around and chatting outside. I am loving all this sunshine!
For our fourth and final session, each couple had to make a “marriage bucket list.” This could entail both practical and dream-like desires that we wanted to do together. Some of the ones we came up with were to have children, live in another state, visit the holy land, get matching tattoos, pay off debt, have a garden, go to Harry Potter world, and hike the Appalachian trail. This was a fun activity. If you’re married, you should totally make one!
In addition to the sessions, we played some fun games and heard from some long-time married couples. Paige and Andrew are right at two years of marriage and May will be two years for Terry and I, which made us the newest-newlyweds there. There were several couples with more than 40 years of marriage. The longest was 56 years. I truly value the time spent hearing from both couples with tips for success and from couples who made it out to the otherside after years of struggling.
Though we didn’t know what to expect, I am really glad we went. So thank you Paige for convincing me 😀
Do you know your love language?
What qualities do you look for in a relationship?
If you’re married, what is something that makes your marriage stronger?