January 23, 2011

"Monday, Monday...

so good to me.
Monday, Monday,
it was all I hoped it would be.

Actually, it was Friday and Saturday that were all I hoped they'd be.
One of my goals for Project 2011 was accomplished:
Make plans with my husband to improve our marriage.
On Friday evening and Saturday all day,
we attended this marriage conference at our church:
Cultivating A Thriving Marriage
I should mention that growing together, instead of apart,
is a mutual interest.
I didn't have to twist his arm.
God is answering 20 years' worth of prayers  
as He begins a new work in us
in our empty nest season,
just before grandparenthood.
He is teaching us a deeper meaning of
what it means to be one flesh.
Remember that term from your wedding vows?
Seems so long ago.
Jeepers, it was long ago!

On Friday evening, we sat with 2 other couples, and, over dinner, 
chatted about our first dates, honeymoons and favorite vacations.
Did I mention the meal was catered? 
I didn't have to plan it or cook it.  
I wasn't on the committee to set up, serve, or clean up, 
(The youth group did that!)
and there were lemon bars for dessert.
I passed up brownies for lemon bars.
I know!  Crazy me!
Which would you rather have?

My Knight in Shining Armor,
was at my side.
Throw in friends and good food.
The weekend was shaping up to be 
one of the best we've had as a couple 
for a mighty long time.
After dinner, 
Ben and Janet Burns, national speakers at 
Family Life's Weekend to Remember marriage conferences, 
were introduced and spoke with humor and sensitivity about 
the differences between men and women.

Her thoughts:  "Where is our relationship headed?"
His thoughts:  "The car needs and oil change."

I'm certain about this:  
Everyone who reads this has noticed 
this apparent disconnect between the sexes, right?

Since Friday night was supposed to be a date night,
there was another special treat in store for us:
A local Christian couple, married for 35 years,
Mark Hanson, a Grammy-award winning guitarist,
and his wife, Greta Pedersen, the 2009 Artist of the Year for Young Audiences,
 performed for us.
(You can check out Mark's videos on youtube, too.  I've only linked to one here.)

On Saturday morning, Ben reminded us,
as is usual at each one of the Family Life Conferences we've attended, 
to make these our priorities:
 God first-Vertical relationship
Spouse second-Horizontal relationship

He said he and Janet experience conflict in their marriage.
And so does every other married couple, Christian or not.

Another thing I feel certain about:  
This is not new news.
Is it?
Well, phew
The DH and I aren't the only couple in church 
who have some doozies conflict.

They equipped us with useful scripts and methods to use to
work through our conflicts
in God-honoring ways, with love and truth.
Yes, marriage is work.  Every.  Single.  Day.
Everything they shared can be used by newlyweds as well as folks who've been married for decades.

One of the best things about the conference was that many of our friends were there.
When we first met, 17 years ago, we were all raising teenagers
a trying time even if you have "good" kids.
Together, we went through the stops and starts of 
launching them,
only to experience the empty nest.
College/jobs/military service, weddings and/or out-of-wedlock pregnancies, 
and grandparent-hood were next.
By God's grace, we are all still married to the partners of our youth.
It's so encouraging to know that these dear friends 
are still committed to their marriages 
and that they rely on Godly instruction to thrive, together, till death parts them.

Several times during the weekend I wondered,
"How do people get through married life 
without God
and a church family?!"

Thank You, Lord, for the tools we came away with this weekend.
We're so grateful that You will help us learn to use them.
Thanks, too, for our church family with whom we get to share 
the mountain tops and valleys of life here on earth.

Not by might, nor by power,
but by My Spirit, says the LORD...
Who despises the day of small things?
Zechariah 4:6, 10

My God shower His grace, mercy, and peace on you today!
Linking up with
and for the first time with Drowsy Monkey for
and Danielle for
and Darcy for
and Katie for
and the Latte Lady, Janet for


Danielle @ We Have It All said...

Good Morning! Thanks so much for linking up with Monday's Life In Him today... I am your newest follower :)

I hope you have a wonderful week.

MFEO2009 said...

Following you from Life in Him. Marriage is a blessing. Great post & attending those conferences together sounds like a great way to keep the love alive & priorities straight. :o)
Have a great day!

Cate said...

This is a wonderful post Karen.

And I totally agree with you - I don't think my marriage would have survived with out hubby and my core belief in God and His values.

Eden said...

Nice post. Love all your photos.

Thank you for the visit.

Liz said...

love these.

Deborah said...

Hi nice to meet you.
Im Deborah from "Encounters with the Lover of my soul", and Im so glad we found each other.
I love this your honesty...its very refreshing and comforting.
My hubby and I are doing "The Love Dare" which came from the movie "Fireproof".
Have you ever heard of it?
Im looking forward to getting to know you better..Im your newest follower (purehunnybee)

In His love,
Deborah \0/

Rose said...

Sounds like an amazing weekend. Thank you for stopping by my blog. Looking forward to getting to know a sister in Christ!

Miss Janet said...

Thank you very very much for putting Hearts On Fire here on your blog!

What a blessing!



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