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ML


Don’t Just Stay Married — Stay Engaged

On July 16th, 2010, I got engaged. On May 29th, 2011, I will no longer be engaged, but married — by definition.

I saw this phrase on this blog the other day

“Don’t Just Stay Married — Stay Engaged.”

Deep huh?

How huge is it to embrace an intentional mindset to continuously stay engaged even after the wedding day.

But wait, you were already engaged — your married now..

  • True, you may be married now, but try looking at the word “engaged” as a verb rather than a period of X months before a wedding..

What does this look like?

  • By engaging in your marriage, you are:
    • communicating with each other
    • supporting/encouraging each other
    • serving each other
    • praying with each other
    • actively leading
    • setting goals together
    • acting according to their love language
    • being intentional with your actions
    • being affectionate

Engage in your fiance/spouse. Don’t let the “engagement” stage die just because the wedding came and went..

What else can you do to actively stay engaged in your marriage/relationships?


Here’s to 2011

It’s the first of the year..

A time for a fresh start..

A time to be completely original..

A time to turn those thoughts into action into results..

A time to be intentional..

A time to get off the sidelines and into the game..

A time to go BIG w/out fear..

The only thing that is holding you back is yourself

Here’s to 2011 — the most incredible year to date.

ML


Work to Live, Live to Work

Does your career define who you are?

It’s so easy for us to get so wrapped up in our jobs that we lose all identity of who we are. Simultaneously, we can find ourselves beginning to live for our work while working to live. The everday-ness of routine completely narrowing your thought-process, and the next thing you know you are defining your day job with who you are.

That’s what happened to my friend.

My friend has been working for a solid company for 6 years now. Starting at the bottom to where he is now as a supervisor is quite the testament to his incredible work ethic and attitude. I mean this guy is good at what he does!

There’s this other thing in his life though, his family. He’s on his second marriage and has a total of 6 kids (from previous marriage/girlfriend).

His job demands a lot from him. A whole lot. To be exact, it demands 240 traveling days (away from his family) out of the calendar year. When asked “How’s Life?” He simply replies, “Work is good!” After all, he has no choice if he wants to provide financially for his family, right?

Being on the road, waiting in a terminal, finishing up a job — my friend has completely lost his identity through his career. Coming home from his long road trips to his wife and kids has become coming home to his roommate and kids. It’s when he’s gone that his kids/wife are encountering life — and he doesn’t get to consistently be a part of it.

Did I mention that he was married? They actually just got divorced a few months ago, due to the fact that his job was so demanding of his time.

Now, he’s single with child support bills and longing for a redo – all because his priorities as a “breadwinner” got out of whack.

I think we start out in a career with our priorities in line. We think, “I’m gonna work out every day at 5:30am before I go to work, be the best I can be at work, arrive home by 5:15pm, love on my wife, be at all my kid’s baseball games, and start it all over the next morning with a huge smile on my face.”

But as our career kicks off, promotions/demotions happen, location changes happen, strict demands happen, pressure to conform happens, stress happens. We lose those priorities quick if we aren’t careful. In losing these priorities, we put the things we first prioritized on the back burner, in hopes of the “providing-for-the-family” aspect making up for time actually spent with our loved ones.

I want this to be a reminder — don’t let your career define you. Don’t LIVE strictly for your work. Make a list and realize your priorities — then keep them in check. Make sacrifices for the sake of your family and continuously evaluate where your job/career is taking you. Jobs are essentially meant to provide financial stability and satisfy passions(if you can find a job that does that) — but remember, the stability you can provide at home as a husband or a father is 10-times more important than your twice-a-month checks.

ML


5 more things learned from being Engaged.. Part 2

I’d like to continue this post from my “Part 1” of 5 more things learned from being engaged for 5 months now.

Here is 6-10.

6. Learn to love what he/she loves – Since we’re creepin’ up on the wedding date, we’re having to think about house decorations, plates, furniture, etc.. I’d like to think I have good taste in some things, but I’m learning that it probably better to let her take on these details. It’s unnecessary to disagree on the small things — because in the big picture, it’s JUST decorations/plates/furniture/etc..Aside from those small things, learning to love what he/she loves just adds to the bond that the two of you have..

7. Give together - I can’t tell you how awesome it is to give something as a couple. This year, we opted to “adopt a child” during the holidays. Knowing that you are bettering a situation directly, and doing it together, is something very special. Whether its giving towards Water is Life, the Tapestry project, The Adventure Project, Mocha Club, or the intersection hobo near your workplace — take on this quote from the legendary John Wooden:

“You can’t have a perfect day without doing something for someone who’ll never be able to repay you.”
John Wooden

8. Quality time - Life get’s in the way. Work gets in the way. Reality shows get in the way. But it’s so freakin’ important to be intentional about time spent together. Cherish the quality time, turn off the TV and just talk. Go beyond surface conversation, talk about the future, talk about goals/aspirations/career paths…Be Intentional!

9. Support one another - This is huge. I can’t even explain to you how incredible it is to have a second backbone who supports you in anything you do. Whether its talking about future opportunities, career direction, or even in a conflict, knowing that you’re better half is 100% behind you is irreplaceable.

10. Embrace the art of encouragement – For some weird reason, if Paige encourages me in any way, I’ll remember it for a long time. However, if my parents or good friends share that same piece of encouragement — it’s a quick “Thanks” and quickly forgotten. It’s a huge part of me that wants to put on my best for Paige, and being an “words of affirmation”-type guy, those insignificant comments become very significant in my eyes.

BONUS
*11. Don’t wear slip-on Puma shoes - Probably the single-most important lesson I’ve learned in this time of engagement. No matter how much you love those slip-ons, your a big boy now and should probably ditch the high school shoes. It doesn’t matter how sentimental these shoes are to you, or where you’ve walked in them — all good things must come to an end. I guess it’s time to throw them away…

What are some things you’ve learned while being engaged/married?

ML


Why Marriages Work/Fail

Nate Thiry is a lover of God and people. If he’s not twittering, he’s most likely supporting local businesses, serving at LifeChurch.tv YKN, or dominating his Masters program. One who challenges me on a weekly basis by his thoughts and words of wisdom, I’m honored to have Nate guest post on my blog today — Send him some link love & check out his blog “Pity Laughs.”

Why Marriages Work/Fail by Nate Thiry

My two biological parents are happily married…just not to each other.  They are both, in fact, on their 3rd marriage. Simple math would tell you that I’ve been through 3 total divorces (and witnessed a few more) none of which were my own.  If you’ve begun to have pity on me, I wish you wouldn’t.  I really turned out pretty good, by the grace of God, & it’s these experiences that have given me this perspective on marriage: don’t get divorced.  Now, I’m not married, nor have I ever been married, but I’ve gained a wealth of information both by watching those who are, and those who were.

You see, I watch and learn quite a bit.  I watched my parents get divorced, and learned that it sucked.  I’ve watched people stay married, and I learned that it’s awesome.  I’ve also learned some foundational things—common denominators, if you will.

Marriages that are TRULY built on Christ, and that TRULY apply biblical principles every day will never fail.

Marriages that are built on selfishness will always fail.

Sure, I make it sound easy, and I know it’s definitely not.  I also know those aren’t the only two scenarios of marriage.  I’m also not saying it won’t take a lot of work, and that everything will always be rainbows and butterflies if you go with the first option.

A lot of times, I feel like we over-complicate things in life (especially marriage) but God gave us a simple, yet great example of marriage in the 5th chapter of the book of Ephesians.  Someone could give me all the marriage advice in the world, but none would top this stuff.  Let’s check it out in The Message translation for a little added flair.

“23 The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. 24 So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. 25 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting.”

Soak it in.  Drink it like a warm pot of tea on a cold day.  It’s that refreshing.

“What’s my role as a husband?” Lead like Christ

“What’s my role as a wife?” Submit like the church

Don’t say He never told you!  Now make it work.

NT


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