"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Monday, April 25, 2016

Making a rule of life work for you {3rd P - Partner}

In case you're new here, this blog series is about what helps me keep my top 5 priorities in order - Holly Pierlot talks about this in her book, A Mother's Rule of Life. Read my previous posts to catch up: Intro, Prayer (1st P), Person (2nd P).

I have to admit, I was dreading this post the most. Maybe because I feel like our marriage struggles the most when I'm pregnant, and I just really feel like I'm a lame spouse most days lately. Most posts I've written about marriage are about how hard it is and protecting your marriage in a survival season. But hey! I did write that post about what was making our marriage better. I should read that every week.

Okay, I'm just going to jump in, okay? Come Holy Spirit! *takes deep breath*

I'm so glad I'm a big fan of books, because our marriage would not be the same had I not known about the 4 temperaments and the 5 love languages. If you aren't familiar with them, I highly recommend reading those books! (Links at the end of the post – NOT affiliate, just saying.) Logan and I are opposites when it comes to pretty much everything, so knowing what makes each other thrive and tick is OH so very helpful.

That also means that in order to keep each other happy, we have to do things that makes the other person happy – not necessarily ourselves. So that's why it's important to be taking care of yourself first! (Is the whole 5 P concept thing sinking in yet??) 

Although I'd much rather have an in-home date night watching a movie and eating takeout sushi, I know Logan prefers getting out of the house – it totally energizes him. And I actually don't mind doing that (even though it can be exhausting to my introverted self) because I also take the time doing things that refresh me. It's much easier to make sacrifices for others when you're taking care of yourself – if that makes sense.

I think date nights are so, so important, because it's so easy to get caught up in everything else in life – jobs, kids, etc. - that it's incredibly easy to forget about our partner in life. Schedule date nights just like you schedule doctor appointments! I recently had the revelation that of everyone in my household, I see Logan the least amount, so I need to make more of an effort to be present when I actually do see him. Date nights (whether in-home or somewhere else) help with that. Marriage retreats help even more!

What I've also learned is that it's the small things that really make a difference in your marriage. A quick back rub or shoulder squeeze, simply asking Logan if he wants something to drink, or encouraging him in whatever endeavor he's undertaking at the moment. It doesn't take much! Plus, the more I do these things, the more Logan reciprocates. It's a win-win, really.

Also, as much as I don't want to mention it - have sex. Lots of it too. You can be doing everything else to make your marriage a priority, but if you're not uniting physically too...there's going to be a disconnect. This is coming from someone who can't have sex while pregnant (9 months is SUCH A LONG TIME), so you know, trust me on this. (And please pray for us. Thanks.)

One of my favorite times of our week is something we started somewhat recently – having a weekly meeting every Sunday night. Nancy at Do Small Things with Love has a free printable agenda that I came across one day (it was totally a God thing, because I was not looking for it) that I printed out and hung on our fridge so we remember to do it. It usually take 5-10 minutes – sometimes longer, depending on if there are issues we need to discuss – and makes such a difference in how we approach our week. We're both on the same page regarding activities, finances, etc., and I love how it gives us an opportunity to talk about anything that's bothering us. Logan and I both have the tendency to let things build up and then we're full of resentment – which doesn't help things AT ALL – so being able to have a time set aside at least once a week to really talk about things has been life-changing.

I've also been reminding myself lately that Logan and I are a team, and the times we act like one are when our marriage is thriving the most.

We're not quite 7 years into this marriage thing, though, so we still have plenty to learn. So tell me – what do you do to keep your marriage a top priority??

Links I love and books I recommend:

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