I don’t know what the record books say, but it is COLD in our walk-in again, thanks to Vernon Rattan of Grace Community Church in Konowa. When his church used the camp this summer the walk-in cooler would not get cold. Vernon took it apart and the compressor was junk. The church borrowed several home size refrigerators and made camp happen, but Vernon has been on a mission to replace the outside unit with something more modern (the old unit was an antique). He found a unit on Craig’s List, and purchased it. Then he researched all of the other parts it would take to do the conversion and purchased those too, including a new expansion valve matched to the unit. Then he hauled everything out here and went to work. We now have our large walk-in cooler back. The new unit is so smooth and quite compared to the old one too. We can’t thank you enough Vernon Rattan! We thank God that you are faithful to use your gifts to bless others. You are very much a part of every life that is changed as a result of these camps. We pray for God’s blessing upon you.
Some good advice! What do you think? I definitely think I could turn off the electronics more and spend extra time with Dave.
1. Putting your marriage on hold for the sake of your kids.
I see so many couples who put their marriage on the back burner and put all the their focus on the kids. Some will even say things like, “Well, we haven’t been out on a date together or on a trip alone since our kids were born,” as if it’s a Badge of Honor to their dedication to their kids. We obviously need to make our children a priority, but I am convinced that there is no greater gift you can give your children than the security that comes from seeing their parents in a loving, committed relationship to each other. Make Date Nights and time together a priority especially when you kids are young. Your children are watching and they will base most of their ideas about love and marriage from what they see with you and your spouse.
2. Being in the same room but in different worlds.
With all the phones, e-readers, computers and TV screens in our homes, it’s now possible to be sitting next to your spouse while being in two completely different worlds. Make it a priority to shut down all the electronics periodically and reconnect daily with uninterrupted conversation. Consistent communication is vital to a healthy marriage. Talking with your spouse is always better than texting with somebody else!
3. Listening to the wrong voices.
One of the most common traits of unhealthy marriages, is that one or both spouses has a group of friends or relatives who romanticize divorce or live their lives in ways that don’t uplift the sacredness of marriage. Choose your friends carefully, because you will most likely become like they are. Surround yourself with positive influences and distance yourself from negative ones. Most of our closest friends who have encouraged us in our marriage have come through church. I would strongly encourage you to find a life-giving church home if you don’t have one already.
4. Settling for mediocrity.
With all the busyness of life, it’s easy to leave our marriages on autopilot, but anything left on autopilot will eventually crash! Don’t settle for just co-existing in the same home when you can and should be growing daily in your intimacy with one another. Keep thoughtfulness, passion, spontaneity, sex, laughter, selflessness and FUN as priorities.
5. The Comparison Trap.
Don’t compare your marriage to Hollywood Love Stories. Those might seem glamorous from a distance, but if you notice, they almost always end in divorce. Don’t compare your spouse or your marriage to other people who seem to have it all together. If the grass looks greener on the other side, it doesn’t mean you need to move, it just means to you need to water your own grass! Invest in your own marriage instead of wishing you had someone else’s.
If you are going through a difficult time in your marriage, don’t make the biggest mistake of all by giving up on each other! Work together to rebuild what’s been broken. It will take time and effort, but your marriage is worth it!
Taken from davewillis.org
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Kissing
July 10, 2012 5:00 PM EDT
Found this on Facebook. Great advice! What do you think?
3 Things I Wish I Knew Before We Got Married
I used to think I had my stuff together. Then I got married.
Marriage is great—but it rocked everything I knew. I quickly realized my basic goal in life, prior to getting married, was to simply remain undisturbed.
This “disruption” came suddenly and was disguised as a 5-foot-nothing Swedish-Filipino woman. When I decided I’d rather not live without her, I proceeded to ask her to marry me—that is, to officially invite someone who wasn’t me to be in my personal space for the rest of my life.
This decision introduced my most significant experiences and most challenging experiences—none of which I would trade for the world.
However, I wish I’d had a bit more insight on the front end of our marriage to help me navigate it all.
According to most research, more than 50 percent of people who say “I do” will not be sleeping in the same bed eight years from now. And though Scripture alludes to the fact that adultery and abuse may be reasons individuals might end a marriage, I’d be willing to bet that most challenges experienced in marriage are the result of unawareness. Most people—myself included—jump into marriage with suitcases full of misconceptions and bad theology, entirely unaware of the unique beauty and paradoxical intentions of marriage.
Although happiness is often a very real byproduct of a healthy relationship, marriage has a far more significant purpose in sight.
The following are three thoughts on marriage that friends and mentors have shared with me. I remind myself of them often in hopes of keeping this anomaly called marriage both enjoyable and healthy.
1. Marriage is not about living happily ever after.
Here’s the truth: I get annoyed at my wife. But this is more a reflection of me than her.
I’m intensely certain that nothing in life has ever made me more angry, frustrated or annoyed than my wife. Inevitably, just when I think I’ve given all I can possibly give, she somehow finds a way to ask for more.
The worst part of it all is that her demands aren’t unreasonable. One day she expects me to stay emotionally engaged. The next, she’s looking for me to validate the way that she feels. The list goes on—but never ventures far from things she perfectly well deserves as a wife.
Unfortunately for her, deserving or not, her needs often compete with my self-focus. I know it shouldn’t be this way, but I am selfish and stubborn and, overall, human.
I once read a book that alluded to the idea that marriage is the fire of life—that somehow it’s designed to refine all our dysfunction and spur us into progressive wholeness. In this light, contrary to popular opinion, the goal of marriage is not happiness. And although happiness is often a very real byproduct of a healthy relationship, marriage has a far more significant purpose in sight. It is designed to pull dysfunction to the surface of our lives, set it on fire and help us grow.
When we’re willing to see it this way, then the points of friction in our marriages quickly become gifts that consistently invite us into a more whole and fulfilling experience of life.
2. The more you give to marriage, the more it gives back.
Over the past year, a few friends and I have had an open conversation about the highs and lows of marriage—specifically how to make the most of the high times and avoid the low ones. Along the way, we happened upon a derailing hypothesis that goes something like this: If one makes their husband or wife priority number one, all other areas of life benefit.
When we return marriage to its rightful place in our priorities, it can quickly turn into the greatest asset to every other layer of our lives.
It’s a disorienting claim. Disorienting, because it protests my deeper persuasion that success as an entrepreneur, or any professional, requires that career takes the throne of my priorities and remain there for, at the very least, a couple of years.
However, seeing that my recent pattern of caring about work over marriage had produced little more than paying bills and a miserable wife, I figured giving the philosophy a test drive couldn’t hurt.
For 31 days, I intentionally put my wife first over everything else, and then I tracked how it worked. I created a metric for these purposes, to mark our relationship as priority, and then my effectiveness in all other areas of my life on the same scale, including career productivity and general quality of life.
To my surprise, a month later, I had a chart of data and a handful of ironic experiences to prove that the more you give to marriage, the more it gives back.
Notably, on the days my wife genuinely felt valued, I observed her advocating for me to invest deeply in to my work. She no longer saw our relationship and my career pursuits as competitors for my attention, and as she partnered with me in my career, I have experienced the benefits of having the closest person in my life champion me.
Of course, marriage requires sacrifice. And sometimes it will feel as if it takes and takes. However, when we return marriage to its rightful place in our priorities, it can quickly turn from something we have to maintain and sacrifice for into the greatest asset to every other layer of our lives.
3. Marriage can change the world.
John Medina, the author of Brain Rules and a Christian biologist, is often approached by men looking for the silver bullet of fathering. In one way or another, they all come around to asking, “What’s the most important thing I can do as a father?”
Medina’s answer alludes to a surprising truth.
In my previously mentioned experiment, I measured the effect that making my marriage priority number one had on different areas of my life. One of those areas was my 16-month-old son’s behavior.
What I found in simply charting my observations was that the majority of the time, my child’s behavior was directly affected by the level of intention I invested in my marriage.
Re-enter John Medina, the Christian biologist. After years of biological research and several books on parenting conclusions, what is his answer to the question, “What’s the most important thing I can do as a father”?
“Go home and love your wife.”
Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, the authors of Babywise, say it this way: “A healthy marriage creates an infused stability within the family and a haven of security for a child in their development process.” They go on to sum up their years of research by saying, “In the end, great marriages produce great parents.”
The point is that marriage has a higher goal than to make two people happy or even whole. Yes, the investment we make into our marriage pays dividends for us. But, concluded by Medina and his colleagues, the same investment also has significant implications for our family, our community and eventually our culture.
So men, women, the next time you find yourself dreaming about living significantly or succeeding in your career or being a better parent than yours were to you, do the world a favor: Go home and love your wife. Go home and and love your husband.
I had a favorite sweater I loved wearing. It wasn’t too bulky but was still warm and cozy. The only problem was the threads were loosely woven together. It would snag on things, so I had to be ever so careful when I wore it.
I was always mindful of the delicate nature of this sweater so I could protect it, make it last, and enjoy wearing it time and again.
Until one day I was in a hurry. I grabbed some things I needed for a meeting and rushed to my car. I tossed all my stuff over to the passenger seat, including a spiral notebook. A spiral notebook whose metal binding wire had gotten caught on my sleeve. As I pulled my arm toward the steering wheel, the notebook came with it and pulled a huge snag in my sweater.
I unhooked myself and assessed the damage. Based on what I saw, I should have taken the sweater off, put something else on, and later taken the time to repair the snag the correct way.
But in the rush of all I had going on, I made the tragic decision to do what seemed easiest in the moment. I snipped the lose threads and hoped for the best. That tragic decision started an unraveling process that ended the life of that beautiful sweater.
Recently, my husband and I got into an argument. In front of the kids. Over something so stupid. Right before we were about to head out the door to go on a date.
In the heat of the argument he announced the date was off. He no longer wanted to go. And honestly, I no longer wanted to go either.
I wanted to go sit in a coffee shop by myself and make a mental list of all the reasons I was right. All the reasons he was wrong. And justify my perspective. But it’s at this exact moment of resistance that an unraveling can begin.
Doing what seems easy in the moment often isn’t what’s best for the long term.
I pushed for us to still go on our date. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t easy. There were tears. There were awkward stretches of silence. But we pushed through the resistance we both felt, and eventually talked.
Talking through the snags. The pulls. The things that threaten to unravel us.
There is a delicate nature to marriage. It’s so easy to forget that. It’s so easy to take it all for granted and stop being careful. Stop being mindful. Stop being protective.
The unraveling can happen so quickly.
What’s something you can do today to invest wisely in your marriage? To be mindful of your mate? To protect your relationship?
For me? I had to apologize. The right way. By admitting I was wrong and asking for forgiveness. Repairing the snags the right way… tying a knot and tucking it back into the weave of our relationship fabric.
Isn’t it funny that when we get married it’s called “tying the knot”? For us, this wasn’t just an act at the altar. It’s something we have to do over and over again.
Crosswalk has a great article on this. There is even a quiz that you can use to score your skills in this area:
By answering the following questions, you can quickly assess how you are doing in the marital satisfaction department. Ask yourself if you agree or disagree with the following statements:
1. The environment of my home is warm and peaceful on most days.
2. I drop other things (even with my kids) to make time for my husband if he needs anything.
3. I never say unkind things about my husband to others.
4. If there’s a decision to be made, my husband has the final say.
5. I enjoy having sex and look forward to making love to my husband.
6. My husband and I talk regularly about ways to improve our sex life.
7. I make an effort to look attractive with my clothes, hair and makeup even on days when I only see my husband.
8. I am a healthy body weight and exercise at least 3 times a week.
9. My husband and I go on a date at least once a month.
10. We still enjoy romance, kissing once a day for at least 5 seconds.
How did you do? Count the statements that you agreed with. If you agreed with 1-4 statements, your relationship is probably on shaky ground. There are some critical areas of unmet needs that you must identify both for yourself and your husband.
We finished up putting the 1X4 and 1X6s on the roof today. Mike Purcell is donating some roofing and also helping us install it, so George and I have been trying to get as much ready ahead of time as possible.