i don't claim to know it all. i don't claim to be perfect. i just claim to love jesus.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


i haven't done a "topic" post in awhile. and i've had this one floating in my head for awhile. so it's about time i get it out of my head and onto my blog.

when i'm talking about maintaining i'm talking about maintaining our marriage. my marriage. over the past few weeks i've really been ministered to by this through some radio broadcasts and by talking with friends. it's been really good.

the biggest thing we do to maintain our marriage is our devotionals. i've already shared an entire post on this. so i won't go into much detail again. BUT it's been HUGE. HUGE HUGE HUGE for our marriage. we do an in depth study each sunday night. and i find myself looking forward to bedtime for the kiddos on sundays so we can have our time together. it's been awesome seeing us grow. last night we were going through a "summary" of our past "unit" of the book. it was nice to revisit some of the things we've already talked about. and it got me talking about something that had been on my heart for a week. it's so nice to have doors be opened and be given the opportunity to talk about things. and it's huge for me to take the opportunity. not so long ago i would've slammed the door shut as soon as it opened. ((i'm so thankful for not only the growing of our relationship but also the growing of me)) our devotionals draw us closer together and closer to the One at the center of our family.

we pray. to maintain our relationship we pray together. and we pray for each other. i pray constantly for shaun while he is at work. i know he is doing something that isn't the greatest job in the world. but he does it to provide for our family. and i know it kills him to work at least 60 hours a week. no one should have "at least" 60 hours a week in my opinion...that's insane. BUT he does what he needs to do to provide for our family and for that i am so very thankful. because i couldn't imagine my life without staying home with our babies. i know shaun prays for me as well. and those prayers i'm sure are the only thing that help me get through some days. to know i have a prayer warrior praying for me blesses my heart so much.

one of the most fun things we do to maintain our relationship is date night. a few months ago my sister in law called asking what we thought about her coming out "at least" once a month to watch the kiddos. so we can have a date. i didn't have to think at all, and didn't even "okay" it with shaun before i said, ummm YES! that'd be awesome.

so for the past months we've had at least one date night a month. and it's been awesome. actually it's been beyond awesome. it's pretty much the most awesome part of my month. to get some hours alone with my man. and we've gone on a couple of double dates with friends from church as well. and that has been great too. to hang out with just adults and not have to worry about keeping an eye on our kiddos. so not only have shaun and i been growing our relationship, we've been able to grow our relationship with friends as well. which has been awesome. :)

my husband comes only after God. he comes BEFORE my kids. always. no matter what. my kids come in snuggly close after him. but shaun comes before them. i am a wife first. my husband is going to be there (God willing) after my kids are all out of the house. i want to KNOW him after they leave. if i spend 20 plus years putting my kids before my husband....how will i even KNOW him after my kids leave. i need to maintain my relationship with my husband at all times. so when my kids leave, we love and know each other.

i know that there are not awesome sister in laws out there just like mine who offer up their services to you each month. or that some people have zero family around. my challenge to you then, is to get creative. shaun and i will do our devotional each sunday night. and i think that counts as a "date" as well. the tv is off. we're focused on God and each other. we also will sometimes make an ice cream date. so we snuggle up on the couch with some ice cream and just talk after the kiddos are snuggled up in their beds. date night doesn't mean you have to leave your house. it just means you take the time to spend with your spouse only. to get to know them. to love on them. one other thing we love to do is play games. so we'll break out the deck of cards and play a mean game of rummy. or i love othello. or cribbage. or we'll play the wii or xbox together. anything to spend time together and not zoning out to the tv. plus i'm really competitive so i love to beat him. ;) and he knows i'll purposely pick games that i know i can maybe win at. the joke is on me most times, because he wins a lot.

or if you know of a friend who doesn't have helpful family or family around...offer to take their kids! tomorrow we're having a friend's daughter sleep over. our friend's family lives no where near wisconsin and the hubby has travelled most of this month...so since i can fit one extra kid in my car. we're having one of their kiddos (they have two) sleep over tomorrow. so they can get some alone time after the little one goes to bed. and get some special time together. if i could've i would've taken both kiddos. but then one would have to sit on the roof, and well...that's sort of illegal. i figured something is better than nothing. :) i know how much i treasure alone and special time with my husband and i'm glad that i can offer it up to her and her husband.

and if you don't have family around...don't be afraid to ask for your friend's help. because...we're willing to help out! even if we have five kids. seriously. ask. please. your marriage is worth my gray hair it. ;)

so my challenge is to you. maintain your marriage. through prayer and devotions. and date nights*.

*disclaimer:: date nights have been shown to add more children to your family. don't say i didn't warn you.

in all seriousness. i mean this post with all my heart. my marriage is a changed marriage because of the things we do to work on it. marriage is work. hard work sometimes. but worth each ounce of your soul you put into it!

4 loving words from you.:

Kristin said...

Yes, yes, yes! So funny that we both wrote about the same thing today. :-) It is so true, though. I focus so much on my kids, but my oldest is 9. In 9 more years, he could be out of the house and the others will closely follow, but my husband is here for the long haul.

Holly said...

I do think that spouses need that alone time together. My husband and I don't often get it though. I think we would a lot more if we had family near us. Plus I don't like to be away from the kids much. I think it's b/c they're still young. As they get older it'll be easier to get away.

Stephanie said...

I was about to say something profound and then you had to make me LOL with that disclaimer! Bahaha! You are awesome!

Ok, here's the thought I was going to share:
My mom and dad taught me, through their example, that the best thing Ted and I could ever do for our kids is to make our marriage a priority. They are just now enjoying an (almost) empty nest and, because they took the time often, even when we were all really little, to make time for each other, they are loving spending that little extra free time together. I remember them going on date nights or a two-three night getaway every so often. My siblings and I would often complain, "can't we come with you?" but they always insisted it was their time together...and now that I'm married, I get it, and I'm so glad they took the time for each other to show us how important marriage is and set an example for our own marriage. We were just talking about Christmas this year and, because our budget is really tight, we're going to forgo gifts to each other and instead make time over Christmas to have a date night, spending the money we would have spent on gifts on a nice dinner out and then giving money to someone in need (we still haven't decided on how to give, but are praying for God to lead us).

Cheryl said...

Loving your posts! I don't think that you mentioned what devotional you are sharing with your husband. Is there a specific book/books that you have found helpful?

Thanks so much!
With Hope,