This is a map we bought on a recent trip, of our favorite Island...
we (he) will be making a frame for it...
there is a spot waiting over our love seat for it...o.k.....now turning over my blog to...
truly the best person I know...
and am more than honored to call husband!
Enjoy it ya'll!...I promise I am not even going to interrupt...or edit!
Here he is...
We bought this map at an old antique store (one of Tracey's favorite past-times) and I have yet to get the frame together. Half of me knows how hard it is to make 45 degree cuts and the other half is still working on the "honey do" list from last year. But I'll get there and maybe sometime within the next 30-40 posts you'll learn that the map is on the wall...
I'm gonna come clean and say that's it's much easier to keep the map rolled up than to take it out of its rubber-banded reality and put it in a conspicuous spot in the house. It's easier to remember with fondness the reason we bought the map (our favorite vacation destination is on it) than to do anything with it in the here and now. I think that's a lot like marriage. A man and woman remember with fondness the reason they first got married (some of us much longer ago than others) but being intentional about the marriage in the present moment is another matter entirely.
I want to hang-up on this blog post for all to see... some reminders of why it's essential to take the time to frame our marriages with great intention and care and to see our marriages as the most beautiful place on the maps of our lives. The marriage needs to become our destination of choice each and every day.
- Framing -
(the things that hold the whole "picture" together)
Communication: not just talking about the details of the day but talking about the "us" in the details. Ladies... did you know that women need to speak 20,000 words a day (on average) but for guys it's about 7,000 words a day?
Let that info...sink in and share it with your spouse...see what it causes in conversation about your marriage.
Affection: intimacy doesn't start and stop in the bedroom. Ladies... you know this but sometimes us guys need a good reminder. Just make sure to clarify your needs because although this may surprise you,
God did not give men the supernatural ability to read your minds. I have always thought that might have been the one and only flaw in His design...did I step on toes...I hope not...just being honest.
Starting with "us": the best way we can love our kids is to love each other. Children are happiest at home when they know their mom and dad's relationship comes first. Although it's easy to be a child-centered home... it's important to keep the marriage at the center. The kids get the most attention and love when things are good between mom and dad.
Time: in our busyness we've bought into quality time. What we need is both quality and quantity time. Are we putting dates on the map? Are we spending time in each other's interests (a week ago I couldn't sleep and so I spent the better part of an hour reading this blog. I went away loving Tracey even more because I invested in what's of interest to her).
Now all of this is good... but I'm aware that women get this stuff much more naturally than men. So what would I want to leave you ladies with?
At the end of the day husbands want their wives to be vulnerably transparent with them.
Often men are quite dense or easily distracted by work, finances, sports, hobbies, etc... We tend to be slower at processing and get stuck in tunnel vision (I can see and do one thing at a time whereas Trace can see and do up to 12 things at a time... I tell Tracey I'm a 3G and she's a 4G - she didn't disagree). But if you're willing to continue to share your heart and your needs and your hurts with your husband it will (for most anyway) get through the dull glaze and the thick craniums. You might be surprised to find that when you authentically communicate your vision for the marriage and how you want it to be on the daily map of your life... that your husband (if he has a beating heart) will more than likely process a while... but will eventually respond with a desire to take the marriage out of its rubber-banded reality and to frame it out smack dab in the center of your home, exactly where Jesus would hang it.
Thanks for letting me step into this world for a morning.
I'm a 3G in a 4G Blogging World but am so Happy to share in the stuff Tracey cares about.
Love You Trace!
O.K...I am back... I had to share one of my favorite photos of my 3 favorite people in the world!
Also I feel compelled to tell you...if you are struggling in your marriage...you are not alone.
We have had seasons of deep struggle...with great counseling that led us through.
We may not know all of you personally...but we believe in your marriage...and know that if you pursue Jesus, your spouse and sound counsel...you too can thrive.
If you ever have questions or want a third party to communicate with...our e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Love on the map,