The marriage retreat was life changing for us, to say the least. As we listened to all of the wonderful speakers about their experience with success and fame, it made us realize how much we had been chasing after all the wrong things of this world. When we would go out to dinner it was mostly business talk. When there was silence in the car, more talk of business growth. We never realized how quickly business was taking over our life and our marriage, but most of all, everything we ever took joy in!
Im so glad we were able to catch our downward spiral before it was too late. Jared and I now have a renewed vision of what our marriage needs to look like, and it isn’t just being business partners. We NEED to play together, craft together, have fun together, and most of all….pray together.
Our relationship was definitely not a bad one. We never really fought, argued or felt like we were distant from one another. But quantity time together is much different than quality time together. It had been a long time since we had created a safe environment for one another to express our concerns, feelings and struggles. We weren’t as connected as we needed to be!
Im so thankful for the evening on the second night. Jeff and Julia Woods shared their testimonies and where they had been attacked for the last 6-8 years. To keep things simple, they were hurt and broken. That night they had us all break off individually and answer some questions and pray over them. The last question was “What area does God want me to be vulnerable in tonight with my spouse?”….This is where our marriage was shaken to the core.
We came back together as a couple and went off to our own room. In that room we shared things with one another that we had NEVER shared with anyone before. I have never in my 10 years of being with Jared felt as close to him that night than ever before. As we poured out our hearts to one another and made ourselves so completely exposed and vulnerable, a HUGE weight had been lifted. It was a game changer, folks! I have never loved this man more than I do today. This retreat completely changed how we feel about one another, how we communicate and how we do business. No longer is it the first thing we talk about in the morning. We have set hours of office work and now set days of shooting and I have never been happier about this change in our life. Its added structure to our day and now at 7pm, the office lights go off, the computer is shut down and we take the rest of the night to spend it with each other and/or our families.
Here are some take aways we received at the retreat:
- Our relationship with God comes first. Then our marriage. Then family and friends. Then our business.
- Taking time to slow down and listen to God speak is so important. We’re always in a rush to get from place to place that we drown out the voice of God with our own wants and desires.
- We need mentors. Both for our marriage and our business. Keeping the two separated is vital to maintain our relationship.
- We need to be content with where we are and where God plans on taking us. Our dreams may not be Gods will. And we need to accept that.
- Keeping an open safe zone of communication for each other. No judging, no “fixing”, and no harmful words. Just pouring out love and forgiveness.
- Being a part of a community and contributing to your community is important for establishing relationships. If Jared and I decided to leave Westerville and move across the state, would anyone care or even notice we were gone? What impact are we making to those around us each day?
- Structure. No more waking up as we please, no more working from 8am-11pm. We wake up, do our bible studies, eat breakfast, SHOWER and undress from PJ’s and get into the office at the same time everyday. Adding structure, even just for this week has decreased stress levels. And who doesn’t like decreased stress?? Business will take from you what you allow it to take so being constantly aware of your structure if important.
- Take time to learn the love languages of those around you. Learning how to love your spouse, family, and friends will enable you to build better relationships.
Thank you Katelyn James for the iPhone image on the right!
Here are some of the amazing folks who helped transform our marriage and will continue to keep us accountable in our priorities!
These are all iPhone quality, don’t be scared