The Many Meanings of “I Love You”

These three little words that we use every day have many more nuanced meanings today than they did seventeen years ago. I remember the first time he said them. It was right after our first kiss (which also happened to be my first kiss). I had made him wait because I was determined to make that first kiss a special one. He had been ready to say “I love you” for a while, but he didn’t want me to feel like he was just pressuring me to kiss him, so in love, he waited for that, too. I remember the first time I said it back to him. It was a couple weeks after our first kiss. Even though he […]

The Boy Who’d Never Tasted an Apple

There was once a boy who lived 15 years without ever tasting an apple. Oh, he knew what apples were. They were everywhere. Apples on billboards and bumperstickers, t-shirts and magazine covers. The lady on the car commercial was holding an apple. The hero of his favorite movie had a thing for apple pie. But the boy had never seen an apple in real life, much less tasted one himself. The boy’s parents ate apples in secret, and the boy knew it, but in public the boy’s parents pretended that apples didn’t exist. The boy wanted desperately to know more about how apples grew and what they tasted like, but he was afraid to ask. The boy looked to the internet […]

The Taste of Selfishness

We were poor newlywed college students looking for a way to pass the evening when we had the brilliant idea of popping over to the local mall for an ice cream cone from the fancy creamery. Since money was tight, we decided to get one double-scoop cone and share it, each of us picking a topping. It was going to be the best ice cream ever. We each selected the thing we were most craving and we peered through the glass as the attendant folded our independent choices into a single pile of ice cream on the cold marble slab: fresh cherries and Oreo cookies. It was indeed one epic ice cream cone. Hands down the worst we’ve ever had. It was so bad, in […]

On Our 14th Anniversary

Marriage is like turning a marathon into a 3-legged race. I’m running along at my own pace, eyes fixed on the goal, when I sense someone running beside me. I look over and see you running toward the same goal at about the same pace. We fall in step and decide that running this race is better as a team, so we stop and bind ourselves to one another hand and foot. At first we’re just happy for the companionship, and even though we’re bumbling along trying to find a new stride, the challenges are fun. But then the binds grow tight and chafe, cutting deep into the flesh. Indeed, the binds have fused our flesh together so it’s impossible […]

Intentionally Awesome Date Night: Personality

It’s time for our FREE Intentionally Awesome Date Night resource of the week! We’re all unique–and our uniqueness can cause varying degrees of compatibility or friction with the people around us. This is no less true in marriage. Understanding personality types can be a bridge in conflict and help us to be more patient with one another. This week you and your spouse will take a free personality test, then our worksheet will guide your conversation as you discover more about each other’s quirks and gifts. Understand more about the person you love! Click this button for your FREE pdf workbook!   Personality Come to a better understanding of yourself and each other–and strengthen your marriage in the process. Happy […]

Intentionally Awesome Date Night: 10-10

Yes, ladies and gentlemen! It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for… Here’s our FREE Intentionally Awesome Date Night resource of the week! What would you do if you had $10 million and 10 years to live? How would your spouse answer that question? It’s time to dream! Today’s worksheet guides your conversation as you dive into this fun scenario with your spouse. Click this button for your FREE pdf worksheet!   10-10 This may be a fictional scenario, but it reveals a lot about your values and priorities. Find out what energizes your marriage! Happy Dating!       In case you missed it, you may want to go back and check out our original series of posts on […]

Intentionally Awesome Date Night: 25 Things

Pull out the candles and put the kids to bed early. It’s time for our FREE Intentionally Awesome Date Night resource of the week! The purpose of date night is to connect and build toward a stronger marriage. While this exercise may not appear on the surface to be a marriage-building exercise, it brings perspective in a way that can protect your relationship during moments of temptation. Today’s workbook is called 25Things. What would it cost you if you were unfaithful to your spouse? If you’ve never given it much thought, maybe you should. Your list might surprise you. Click this button for your FREE pdf workbook!   25 Things Count the cost together and reaffirm your commitment to each […]

Intentionally Awesome Date Night: Urgent/Important

I know you’ve been waiting on the edge of your seat! It’s time for our FREE Intentionally Awesome Date Night resource of the week! Today’s workbook is about Important Things. We are daily bombarded by urgent things. Some of these things are important; others are not. When we attend only to urgent things, important things can fall to the wayside. What happens to the important things that never become urgent? You decide. Click this button for your FREE pdf workbook!   Urgent/Important Get ready to stop putting out fires so you can live more intentionally. Happy Dating!       In case you missed it, you may want to go back and check out our series of posts on How […]

Intentionally Awesome Date Night: Expectations

Hello, friends! It’s time for our FREE Intentionally Awesome Date Night resource of the week! Today’s workbook is about expectations. We all have expectations that are logical and reasonable to us, born out of who we are, what we’ve experienced, and how we see the world. Expectations are human. When life doesn’t match our expectations, we’re left with frustration, disappointment, anger, and conflict. What if you could clear the air and get on the same page with your spouse so that your expectations are more in line with each other’s? What would that do for your marriage?   Find out. Click this button for your FREE pdf workbook!   Expectations Having done this exercise before, I expect you will be […]

Love and Respect, by Dr Emerson Eggerichs

Today’s #favoritething is the one book that’s had by far the biggest impact on our marriage. Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs is a thorough, biblically-based look at the differences between a husband’s and wife’s driving needs. When those needs go unmet, the Crazy Cycle happens–a series of negative reactions that intensify conflict. Dr. Eggerichs teaches couples how to get off the Crazy Cycle and move intentionally toward meeting each other’s deepest needs, and he points them to the One who can help them to do so regardless of what they’re getting in return. It’s not a quick-fix book, but more of a way of understanding why we behave the way we do […]