Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ten Things

I'm always on the lookout for practical, God-based marriage advice from people who have made their marriage thrive. Not just work, but thrive. I want my marriage to be the best thing I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing, and so far it has been, so I look to those wiser for ways to ensure it stays that way.

Yesterday, while wasting time on Pinterest, I came across what is probably my favorite thing that the internet has ever showed me. The link led me to a fantastic blog, at which I spent an embarrassing amount of time reading. Her list is made up of ten brilliant ideas rooted in unconditional love. This is no run-of-the-mill, "have a weekly date night" advice, people. This stuff is forrealz.

Ten Things
found on Today's Letters blog

1. Weekly Questions: For the past five years, Tim and I have been asking each other the same five questions every Sunday night. These questions have made the biggest difference in how we love and serve one another. If you're going to incorporate one of these 10 things into your marriage, we hope it's this one.

2. Small Metal Box: After reading this story, Tim and I made a pact that each time we made love we would put a dollar in a special metal box and save it for our 50th anniversary trip to Hawaii. This has surprisingly been a great way for us to creatively pursue one another over the years. Our only advice would be not to count the money in your box. Focus on quality, not quantity. 

3. Traveling Journal: There is a journal we share filled with words that would make you blush. We take turns writing in it, always hiding it for the other to find in unexpected places. Its been found duct taped to our shower, in suitcases when traveling, even in the refrigerator behind Cool Whip. (Pretty sure Husband is trying to tell me something.) Overall, this has been a great way for us to verbally affirm and encourage one another.

4. We (try and) Conflict Well: Conflict is inevitable in relationships, but we believe it exists to make us better, not bitter. We try and keep short accounts with each other by sharing our disappointments and hurt feelings. This isn't always easy but it's necessary for maintaining marital oneness. From experience we know that there is nothing more damaging to our relationship than harbored bitterness.

5. We Play Together: Husband and I have chosen to be active together. Whether it's tossing the Frisbeeflying our kitegoing on walks, or participating in adventure racesreading bedtime stories, or building forts in our living room, playing together has helped us find our inner child. It has also reminded me that being active together can be romantic. After all, deep down I know my husband wants me to be his sidekick when it comes to doing "guy things" with him. Realizing this has been critical in helping us stay connected both physically and emotionally. 

6. We Pray Together: One of our favorite way to end the day is by praying together. We pray for our friends, family, and wisdom in our marriage. Though our prayers are not usually longer than a few minutes, they have made a huge difference in helping us stay spiritually connected, as well as making us more aware of each others fears and insecurities.

7. We Celebrate Together: Husband and I love to make a big deal out of anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and even smaller personal accomplishments. We are each others biggest fans, and sometimes finding a thoughtful gift or preparing a special meal can make the biggest difference in making us feel known, loved, and celebrated.

8. We Don't Do Marriage Alone: Our trusted friends have been incredibly helpful in helping us work through some of the biggest issues in our marriage. It wasn't always easy to share these struggles because of our pride and embarrassment, but soon we realized that most couples were struggling with the same things we were. We learned that isolating only hinders us from truly dealing with our hurts, habits, and hang-ups. 

9. The Greatest Gift (Self Work): We realized early on in our marriage that the greatest gift we could give to one another was to know ourselves. This meant working through our family of origin junk. We all have it, but so few actually sort through it; Celebrate Recovery helped show us how. It was here that we first learned to attack our problems together, instead of attacking each other about our problems.

10.  We Study One Another: Someone once told us that no matter how long you've dated your spouse, the day you get married you are essentially committing your life to a total stranger. This was great advice on how quickly people change. To say that I know Tim fully after 5 years of marriage would be a lie. There is so much about him that I do not know simply because I do not ask. This is why we like to interview each other regularly. It's amazing the things you can learn about you spouse when you take the time to ask both fun and creative questions. 

10b. Girl Time/Dude Time: Sometimes the best thing we can do for our marriage is to spend time apart. It blesses me when Tim is able to take a trip with his guys because I know they meet certain needs that I can't. Similarly, Tim understands that spending a weekend with my girls is critical to my overall mental health and well being. Don't get me wrong, you guys know how madly in love I am with Mr. Loerke, but sometimes a girl needs an uninterrupted weekend with her besties. Guys are no different. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Warrior Dash

Saturday, Tommy, Sydney, Kacie, and I geared up and ran Warrior Dash!
Mud, obstacles, and crazy hats galore! Made for a pretty exciting Saturday and very sore Sunday. It also proved what we all knew: Kacie is in great shape and I should run more often. Overall it was a successful run and the obstacles were pretty easy. Except for one.

There was one obstacle about halfway through that I was not stupid enough not be afraid of. Its basically a large arch made out of 2X4s. I got to the top and while I was waiting on the girl in front of me to climb down, realized exactly how easily I could slip and die. Suddenly, I lost it. I'm not one to be afraid of things like this but I started freaking out. The boards are about two feet apart, slick with mud, and too narrow to stand on but too wide for my smallish hands to grasp. I was 12 feet above ground with nothing between but crisp November air. At this point I was frozen and started yelling, "I DON'T LIKE THIS! I DON'T LIKE THIS!" over and over. Strangers started to try and comfort this crazy girl saying things like, "You can do it, sweetie!" and "Breathe, honey. You're almost there." [Ever notice how generous people are with the pet names when they're trying to be empathetic?] Eventually I did make it down and went through the other obstacles with ease, but I think I embarrassed Tommy! HA!

Except for my episode, Warrior Dash was a good time. However, I think I'll stick to Spartan Races. Personally, I find their obstacles more physically challenging without making me fear for my life.


 Yes, I am feeling very nervcited lately! 
(that's nervous + excited, for those of you who don't speak Bethanese)

After three years of sitting for the Potter girls, it is time to move on. Little by little my college classes have begun to conflict with the hours I work and this coming semester has sealed my fate and forced change to be made. There's a word for it... not bittersweet, just... bitter. Yeah, bitter. Its like the end of an era! We're talking, when Rachel moves out of Monica's apartment sad, people! I am going to miss my girls terribly, but its part of growing up. 

I've known this was coming for a while so I've had some time to get used to the idea and start the application process. I'm now moving out of the slightly depressed phase and on to nervcited about change! (But I'll totally still sob on my last day)

The scariest part of this change is that currently I have no leads. Zilch. Nada. None. 
My school schedule mostly leaves space for night work, meaning restaurants are my best bet. The problem there being that I don't have any experience. I've applied to a lot of places around town but so far haven't heard much. So I don't know yet whether I'll be paying rent or living in a box. Time will tell!

I'm trying to look on the bright side and I'm very excited about the prospect of gaining new skills, meeting new people, and working with grown-ups. I know that I was made to work with children and I love that, but it will be nice not having to worry about other people's bathroom habits for a change! I hear there's also less biting in the adult world.

Whatever might happen with my employment, or lack thereof, I know that its in God's hands and that He will provide just as He has time and time again. I will not be afraid, just nervcited!

balloons from hellogiggles