On my last blog, “Poof! Up-Up-Away,” I posed a challenge to couples to take more time to appreciate each other and to lessen the load on your schedule. If you accepted the challenge, how are you doing?
I’m off to a good start….This weekend my family was able to spend some much needed time with our grandson, Gabriel. Though we could have done a million other things, we put Gabriel as a priority. That was definitely time well spent But that was just the start: I was also able to have coffee with a friend, watch a baseball game with a bunch of friends, eat some ice cream with great people, listen to the Word of God, take a long Sunday nap, and rescue my child from a broken down car. We finished the weekend watching the Honors Flight DVD, appreciating our veterans and remembering the sacrifices of great men along with the great sacrifices of my own family (my husbands an Army veteran). Overall I think it was a very successful weekend!
This week I’m committed to:
Every year I tell my husband that we need to slow down in our lives. Yet, year after year it seems as if our schedules become even more cluttered and more overscheduled. How can we have “normal” lives if we are working all day, checking our emails all night, working on projects until midnight, and not taking breaks on weekends or even during vacations? Last night I posed the question of possibly committing to NO technology over our vacation. My husband immediately turned white with fear and didn't even reply to my request. Why can’t we unplug? If I can find any comfort in the answer, at least I know we aren’t the only couple that struggles with constantly being plugged into everything. That still doesn’t make it alright though!
We set aside time for God, but it’s never enough. We set aside time for each other, but it’s never enough. We rarely set aside time for our entire family, and with two young college-bound men for sons, we may be missing our last opportunities with them. We have goals, ambitions, work demands, church demands and physical demands. Honestly, most nights I want to break down and cry because of the overwhelming number of tasks and deadlines we need to complete.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (MSG), the word says, “There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth. A time to (for):
God’s word is great at providing clear direction as to how we are supposed to keep order in our lives. He gives us these guidelines to show not only the limitations we need to set on ourselves mentally and physically but also so we can give time for the spiritual. How is it that God gives such easy direction on how to live a stress free life yet we won’t listen? He’s even given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to comfort us and we still find ways to take control back over.
I would like to challenge you to join my family over the next 30 days. Commit to making some changes in how you schedule your life. Don’t find yourself regretting the years that mysteriously passed by. Even if you have to schedule specific time in your calendar so you set the time aside…DO IT! Over the next month, think about the opportune time to do things such as time for:
If you accept this 30 day challenge, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tell us on Facebook. You can always find out more information about us at www.wholearmorministry.com.
My husband and I went on the Third Ward Food Tour a couple weeks ago and had the best night out! I saw this coupon and wanted to share it so there's no excuse to not book your tour today. Go to zerve to book it and you can use the discount code SPRING2014. I know we are looking forward to booking our next one! Have a great night out and enjoy each other. Eating out together can be a new experience each time!
Interested in learning more inspiring ways to keep your marriage on fire, purchase my book Whole Armor of Marriage and the accompanying 40 Day Couples Journal.
If you want personal advice please email us at email@example.com and we would love to help you!
Marriage CAN be an adventure! Many of you may believe the longer you're with your spouse, the less adventuresome you become. This doesn't have to hold true if you just take time with your spouse. Keeping your marriage exciting and adventuresome requires effort and planning. Learn to seize moments of time. These moments act as kindling in your relationship. As your marriage receives constant kindling, it will remain ignited, ON FIRE.
This week my husband shared the most meaningful observation with me. He said we spend a lot of time together but he couldn't imagine it any other way. He even commented "You are my best friend and I love sharing life with you." He then proceeded to share that a lot of men he knows spend more time with their male friends then their wives. That most men use their male friendships to escape out of their marriage.
I don't want to mislead you to thinking our marriage is all about "us" because it's very important to have friends you can share other interests with. Our time together however is critical to us staying connected at a different level with each other. We spend time talking, sharing business ideas, discussing ministry, remodeling the house, going to concerts, fishing on the lake, talking over dinner and so on. If I don't have that time with my husband I get very lonely and less confident in our marriage.
Would you consider your spouse your best friend? If not, why? What would it take for you to get to the point where your spouse's company is a necessity?
Here are some solutions to turning your marriage around from just being married and living out your time like a job, to have a relationship that is meaningful, interactive, and full of connection and intimacy:
Be the instigator: Schedule date nights and time together. Be the one with the ideas and motivate your spouse.
Be positive: Who wants to spend time with someone who is always negative. Be happy and find the brighter side of life's events.
Show interest: Just showing interest in your spouses hobbies will build a connection in your relationship.
Take a trip down memory lane: Do things you used to do when you first met. Reconstruct the date that was the most significant in your relationship.
Be fun: Simply just enjoy life and have fun.. Demonstrate a spirit of joy and happiness.
Be selfless: Put the needs of your spouse before your own.
Be intimate: Don't overschedule so you have no time left for intimacy. Intimacy allows for that strong connection to stay fastened. You remain comfortable and confident with each other as you continue to share in this one-on-one time.
One way to lead your marriage to destruction is to put technology before your spouse. Today this trend is becoming more common. Why can't we put our computers and phones away and just spend time with our spouse? What happened to the days where couples communicated face-to-face without distractions?
Don't let this happen to your marriage. Take time to reflect on your relationship and be honest with yourself about your technology use. Are you finding more enjoyment in your technology then in your spouse? Are you more excited to spend time on the computer then talking with your spouse? Are your Facebook and other "social media" friends more important to you then your spouse?
Being on the receiving end of this type of relationship can be extremely lonely. There are times when personally I feel like I mean little to my husband or that I no longer interest him because of the time he spends connected to other things besides me. Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever considered how your spouse feels when you always have your face pointed at a screen? Is your intimacy suffering because of it?
I challenge you to fast from technology and reignite a spark in your marriage. Don't downplay the significance of your misuse. Once loneliness enters a marriage, depression or adultery is not far behind. Be proactive and take your marriage back! Put God first and then your husband or wife! Technology MUST be last.
Marriage Book Emerges from Tribulations of Iraq War, Reality TV and Recording Contract
January 7, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WAUKESHA, Wis. – Faith, forgiveness and spiritual armor helped save her marriage to Iraq veteran and Sony recording artist Daniel Jens, author Caroline Jens says in her new book, “Whole Armor of Marriage.” Jens’ book includes her personal testimony of the trials she and her husband overcame.
Jens and her husband appeared on the NBC reality show, America’s Got Talent in 2008, shortly after he returned home from a 15 month deployment in Iraq.
Dan Jens, who was the founding member of the vocal group, 4Troops, signed a recording contract with Sony Masterworks in Jan., 2010. He left the group just 10 months later to salvage his marriage.
“So many things took a toll on our marriage,” Dan Jens said. “After the long separation from the deployment, the
television show and touring with the band meant more time apart. I was also dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder from combat and a drug addiction. Caroline was so supportive through everything. We hope our testimony of the highs and lows of our marriage will inspire others,” he said.
The couple’s faith in God, love for each other and the support of their congregation, True Life Church, made it al possible, according to Caroline Jens.
“I feel it’s my duty to share what we went through and how we were able to restore our marriage,” she said.
Whole Armor of Marriage is more than just one Army wife’s memoir. Through their experience, Dan and Caroline Jens have developed a formula to help other couples, military and civilian, emerge stronger. The book takes a twist on the armor of God and applies it spiritually to marriage, such as the helmet of communication or the breastplate of love.
The Jens will be sharing their testimony and Whole Armor of Marriage just before Valentine's Day on Sunday night, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. at True Life Church, 1615 Silvernail Rd., Waukesha, Wis.53187. Mr. and Mrs. Jens have been attending TrueLife Churchfor over ten years and share a ministry mentoring the 18 – 30 year old college and career group.
Whole Armor of Marriage and the accompanying 40 day couple’s journal are both available at amazon.com and wholearmorminisry.com. For more info, please contact Daniel Jens at firstname.lastname@example.org.