Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years Questions to Consider

Alexandra Stoddard calls it "puttering." She says every woman should make time to putter around the house, completing chores at a liesurely pace. This includes organizing a drawer or fluffing a pillow... whatever you find to do. I usually don't have time to putter, but this week has been full of puttering, cleaning, meandering, and moving slowly around our house.

It sure has been nice.

Even now, Clay and I started reading, but he fell asleep on the couch. It's a lazy vacation week and we have time for it, so why not?

Fortunately, on lazy days like this one, Clay and I have time to talk about ideas that are normally too idealistic for everyday hustle and bustle. I stumbled across a set of questions on Charrise's Blog, and we asked one another these questions. It was very insightful, so I thought I'd share them. Feel free to use them with your spouse or friend, or just journal your answers for personal reflection.

Remember to answer without editing.
Say or write the first thing that pops into your mind.

1. If you were to FULLY live your life, what is the first change you would make?

2. What do you want MORE of in your life?

3. What do you want LESS of in your life?

4. What are three things you are doing that don't serve or support you?

5. What would you try if you knew you could not fail?

6. What is missing that, if provided, would move you into a life you truly love?

7. What is the fear that most often stops you?

8. What are you willing to give up to have what you think you want?

9. What are you tolerating right now that doesn't serve you?

10. What are you pretending not to know?

11. What action are you afraid to take?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

8 Questions for the Ride to Grandma's House

Over the river and through the... snow, to Grandmother's house we go!

If you are braving the highways this holiday season, don't forget to bring extra money for a hotel (just in case) and bring some interesting conversation starters since you are bound to be delayed by the BLIZZARD sweeping across the United States.

8 Conversation Starters

1. What is the real reason you broke up with me in college? He is trapped in the car. He has nowhere to run or hide. Ask him the question he usually avoids. Be careful, though. This could backfire. Your questions will likely be turned around and asked of you, so be ready with an answer.

2. If you could change one thing about my personality, what would it be?
After a night with friends, Clay answered this question for me. He said he wishes I would not be so competitive when playing board games with company. I doubt I'll change, though.

3. If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
The answer to this question can reveal hidden truths about your sweetie!

4. Would you rather...
More than a question, this is a game that can last for hours. Start with simple choices like, "Would you rather eat at Chick Fil-A or Zaxby's?" Both people must answer and must choose. Answers like, "both" or "neither" are forbidden. After a few minutes of food choices, move to more difficult questions like, "Would you rather live in Paris or London?" Be sure to explain why. Finally, end with gross questions like, "Would you rather swim in a pool of snakes or eat grasshoppers?"

5. Tell me something about yourself that I don't already know.
After nine years of marriage, Clay and I can always find a way to answer this question. Last week, I told Clay that when I clean the house, I feel guilty if I am not also listening to a book on my iPOD. I feel like I'm wasting time to only do one thing at a time. He was intrigued.

6. If you could relive our wedding day, what would you change?
You might be surprised by your spouse's answer to this one. After attending what seems like hundreds of weddings, we have seen tons of cool things that we did not even think to incorporate into our wedding (like the potatoes in martini glasses).

7. Who have you lost contact with that you'd like to talk to again?
Always interesting.

8. What is God teaching you lately?
This is a great question to ask once every month. It's also good to share what you are learning because maybe God wants to your spouse to learn through you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lord, Change Me

Do you believe that prayer is strong enough to hold a marriage together?

I don't.

Actually, the RIGHT kind of prayer will bind you together and the WRONG kind will tear you apart.

After four years of interviewing couples, publishing my first book, and now, writing my second book, this little bit of knowledge has been the most transformational for me. Chapter 3 of my new book, Cloud 9 Club, is titled, "Lord Change Me," and it describes an attitude that great couples display.

In a nutshell, happy couples are more likely to pray, "Lord, change me," while unhappy couples tend to pray, "Lord, change my spouse."

Although I am obviously not a professional movie director, I enjoyed making this little clip to illustrate how often we pray for the other person to change. Doreen even says, "Lord, I know you are going to make him into the man I need him to be." Isn't that what we want God to do?

7 Prayers Clay has probably prayed for me (to no avail)...

1. Lord, please help Emily to remember to turn off the lights in the house.

2. And while you are in a reminding mood, encourage her to charge her cell phone now and then.

3. Father, give her a heart for the Atlanta Braves... and the Hawks... and the Falcons.

4. Heavenly Father, give Emily the will to clean the shower at least once a month. If not, just place a hedge of protection around the entire bathroom.

5. Lord, could you miraculously turn her Christmas cookies into my Mother's cookies?

6. Father, you know all things, so you know how to get Emily ready for church on time, for once.

7. But mostly Lord, I just thank you for my wife. As the music group, ALABAMA, so eloquently said, "She's close enough to perfect for me." (I'm sure Clay prays that).

If your spouse were praying for you, what would he/she pray for?