Major Announcement!

We are two people who absolutely LOVE marriage!  Who else loves marriage?

We are so happy to be entering a new season in our marriage.  Throughout our engagement three years ago we made a commitment to build a resource for married couples – newlyweds, remarried couples, and veteran married couples of 15-25-35+ and even those who are engaged.  We have heard from so many couples that there are too few places they can go to invest in and build a resilient marriage.

So here we are today with a MAJOR announcement!  We are SO excited to announce the first of it’s kind marriage event right here in New Hampshire!

One of the top marriage experts in America, Ron Deal, is coming to Jaffrey, New Hampshire for a marriage conference.  Come to the conference for the day or come for the weekend for a bonus session.

Check it out hereFree childcare too – so hopefully there is no reason to miss it!

New Hampshire has not had a marriage conference like this in recent memory so PLEASE take advantage of it!

We met Ron Deal one year ago and at that time decided to arrange for his visit to New Hampshire.  We know first hand how he can impact marriages.  He has such a unique gift and we guarantee that you and your spouse will be enriched by this event.

Please join us!

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Goldilocks – Part Two

Here we go again on our quest for restful sleep.  You may not know that our search for a mattress has been a long and painful (literally) journey since the day we were married two years ago.

In fact, one of our very first posts outlined our rather ridiculous story in the first few months of our marriage.

So after sticking with our third mattress, we ended up getting a 3 inch memory foam topper for the bed as well.  Keep in mind that our firmness levels are totally opposite (Michael soft for his miserably achy shoulders and Joya firm).

Neither of us have slept great in our two years and given the tremendous importance of sleep in our sometimes chaotic lives, we decided to renew the search.

This time, we went online rather than in person.  Continue reading “Goldilocks – Part Two”

The Sibling Whisperer

That’s right.  We have the “Sibling Whisperer” right here in our home.

We have known for a long time just how special Liam is to us.  But his abilities, or gifts we should say, never cease to amaze us.

As we enter the third year of blending our family, many challenges remain.  We have written quite a bit about the difficulty in bringing four very different kids together to live and love in one family unit.

However, we had a breakthrough during our summer vacation.  And that breakthrough was led by our very own “Sibling Whisperer”.

Let us tell you a little more about Liam.  He was born with Down syndrome.  Continue reading “The Sibling Whisperer”

2nd Anniversary

You wouldn’t think these low numbered milestones are very important.  But given the chaos we have gone through in our first two years of marriage, we are here to tell you that it is a BIG ONE for us!

Some days, it seems like we’ve been married for 5, 7 or even 10 years.  We have gone through more difficult experiences than any “typical” honeymoon couple would go through.

Most “typical” honeymoon couples go through issues of money, sex, and leaving the cap off the toothpaste! We are happy to say those haven’t been our issues.

However, as a remarried couple and one working on blending a family, our issues have been: ex- spouses, parenting styles, health issues and putting each other, and our marriage, first when we were both used to putting our children first for so many years during our divorce.

Here’s where we are today. Continue reading “2nd Anniversary”

It’s Time To Speak Up At Church

So many of us look for guidance, help, shelter, comfort and advice from our churches.  But we sometimes fail to appreciate and recognize that, just like us, churches aren’t perfect.

Churches try to serve as many as they can in their congregation with different programs and ministries.  But, after all, they will never fully know the needs of their congregation unless we tell them straight up what WE need.  Or unless they ask and we answer honestly and openly.

According a survey by LifeWay Research and Focus on the Family, 75% of Pastors say they are doing enough in their church to help marriages.  Yet only 69% of churches have an ongoing ministry.  That’s a mighty big disconnect.  (In New Hampshire it is more like 95% of churches that don’t have a marriage ministry).  Great article here about the challenges Pastors face with marriage ministries.

When we entered the marriage ministry one year ago, we were somewhat critical of  churches for not prioritizing and focusing on what we believe to be the overarching issue in the breakdown of our families across America.  We believe that is marriage.  And we believe that marriage should be the priority of every church.  But we are just two people who don’t have a say – which is why we are here writing. Continue reading “It’s Time To Speak Up At Church”

Summer Is Busy! But I Have A Lighthouse.

We have been quiet this summer.  When you have 4 kids off from school and full time jobs, summer can just be sheer craziness.

You try to enjoy time as a couple…

You try to enjoy time as a family…

You try to stay on top of your duties at work…

BUT – you fail because you can’t do it all.

As Joya and I approach our second wedding anniversary, I am so thankful to have found my earthly Lighthouse – my love Joya.  Joya is an amazing woman who has endured more than a wife should in the first two years of marriage.  I have seen and witnessed her pain.  And as her husband I feel it too.

Together, we have faced more struggles than couples should face during our honeymoon period – almost all of it out of our control.  Yet, how we approach those struggles IS within our control and we continue to work on our marriage, and our communication with each other, so we can weather the storms when the unexpected ones hit.

I know these struggles have and will continue to make us stronger.  We are aware of the blessings we receive every week.  We know God is preparing us for good and big things ahead.  And we know we are here to share our struggles and triumphs with YOU!  Throughout this crazy summer we have shared some great times as a family!

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We’ll share more about our summer at a later time.  In the meantime, I hope you find time to spend with your spouse – and family – all while working your job!  Just know you can’t do it all and that’s ok.  No one expects you to do it all.  You just do your best while trying super hard to remain a loving and respectful spouse.

Blessings to you all!

–Mike

 

 

Summer Mood – Research – It Makes Sense!

Two things we have in common – for better or worse – is the temperature our bodies feel!  That means in the winter we are freezing cold and in the summer we start to warm up – just a little!  So we struggle to keep our bodies warm during the winter and REALLY look forward to the summer.

New Hampshire has had one of the coolest and wettest springs on record – and that hasn’t been good for our psyche – or our bodies.  But this past week – PRAISE THE LORD – has finally hit the 80s!

Seriously – we usually have a couple of rogue 90 degree days in May and several 90 degree days in June but we have barely even hit the 80s until this week!

Why do we tell you this?  Well there just happens to some science behind the fact that warmer temperatures increase our mood.  And when our mood increases our relations are even better with our spouse!

This is from a study by the University of Michigan: Continue reading “Summer Mood – Research – It Makes Sense!”

Here’s A Question: What Is Marriage?

Ask that question and everyone will have a different marriage:

“Marrying your best friend”

“Living life with your soulmate”

“Not being able to live without your partner”

We just finished the Love & Respect video series and cannot even begin to tell you how much we learned about marriage, relationships, men and women, and most importantly the role of God in our marriage.

As we all know, dealing with conflict in marriage is the 800 pound gorilla.  Continue reading “Here’s A Question: What Is Marriage?”

A Text or Two a Day

For us middle aged folk, we might be able to learn something from the younger crowd  with respect to technology and relationships.

Regardless of your age, how often do you communicate with your spouse during the day?  One time – two times – NO times?

Would you believe that, according to Pew Research, 85% of young people expect to hear from their partner at least once a day.  35% expect to hear every few hours!  Thankfully only 11% expect it every hour.  Phew…

Another interesting stat among the 18-25 year old crowd Continue reading “A Text or Two a Day”

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