Every year around Valentine's Day my church hosts a marriage retreat in St. Louis. This year we went to a Hilton, and had an amazing speaker named Jim Burns. He was funny and entertaining and full of wisdom. Walter and I always really enjoy going because it is a time where we can turn off the rest of the world (aka no tv, no cell phones, etc) and just focus on each other. We get to attend discussions, have a great meal with our church family, and grow together. We always come home with a book from the speaker as well. This time, 'Closer' a devotional book for couples.
Some things we learned:
"If the devil can't make you BAD, he'll make you BUSY"
There will be pain in marriage.
It will either be the pain of discipline, or the pain of regret.
Commit to weekly connections.
Create your own personal Engedi to be with each other. It should be an oasis to restore rest and relaxation, away from the busyness of life. Usually a bedroom.
Spend 30 minutes per week sharing:
Greatest joy of the week
A wish or hope
Book to read
Spending 15 hours per week together and alone.
Also needing self care/solo time.
On a yearly basis, get away! 2 nights
"Unattended fires soon become just a pile of ash"
Practice 'thank therapy' by keeping a journal of things you are thankful for.
20 reasons daily
Jen's Priorities (in order)
-Honesty & Openness
Walter's Priorities (in order)
-Honesty & Openness
OH! And something else we learned...
On our way down to the hotel, we got a phone call from 914. Yes, that was the whole phone number. Odd, right? I showed Walter and almost didn't answer, but Walter said, "Might as well" so I did. It was Winn Fertility, my insurance's fertility group verifying they had my medication list correct in order to ship. After we made sure all was correct, I asked her to repeat WHY she was checking to make sure I heard right. I did. She wanted to order our drugs for our APPROVED IVF CYCLE and to begin the medication! I got off the phone crying, and then had to reassure Walter that I just received GOOD news, not bad.
We showed up at the marriage retreat with tear-stained faces, knowing everyone was probably thinking we NEEDED this marriage retreat... but we both know it was one of the happiest days of our life, and our marriage was as strong as ever.