weekend wanderings | things I learned this weekend

Shane and I were enormously blessed this weekend to attend Family Life Today’s Weekend to Remember marriage conference in Grand Rapids, MI. Such a great weekend. I  knew before we went that we needed it, but it was only after we’d been there for awhile that I realized how much. Things in our marriage had just gotten stale. Routine. Old. Boring. Hard.

We had a rough start. I am pretty sure we didn’t even like each other when we got married, come to think of it. So our road has been a little rocky. This was a time for us to reconnect, to remember why we fell in love. It was so good.

The speakers were AWESOME. Clarence and Brenda Shuler and Brett Ray. Seriously great, great speakers.

I learned so much about myself, about my family, about my marriage. And I want to share with you a few of those things….

1) My husband is not my enemy. Surprise! And to think how much time I have wasted fighting against him!

2) Hotel beds are A.MA.ZING. I love them. When Shane suggested an activity, like getting ice cream, I would counter with, “Can we eat it in bed?” I just really didn’t want to leave that super comfy bed!

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3) Six flights of stairs taken really fast CAN ALMOST KILL YOU. The elevator was seriously just too slow to wait for. (Not to mention I could see outside while were going up, and it reminded me of a roller coaster. I hate roller coasters. So yes, I was slightly afraid of that elevator.) I don’t know how many times I climbed those six flights, but it didn’t seem to get easier. And I could NOT breathe after each time. My favorite times were when Shane would take the elevator and I would take the stairs to race him.

4) God can heal. Anything. Everything. He is amazing.

5) Being on the mountaintop is amazing. But down in the valley is where the fertile soil is. That’s where we grow the best. So now that we’re off the mountain (the conference) and in the valley (real life at home) I am praying for lots of growing!

6) My priorities need to be: God, Spouse, Kids. In that order. They have to come in that order for things to work right. My kids will feel much more secure when I put God and my husband before them. Sounds weird, but I know it is true.

7) Shane and I need to spend more time together. Just us. We went out for a short walk downtown Grand Rapids on ‘date night’ and the snow was magical. Huge, fluffy thick flakes falling everywhere. We were literally covered! Walking back to the hotel, we got snow in our eyes, up our noses, covering our hair. It was wonderful. We laughed a lot. And that felt good.  (And Shane called me his ‘little snow bunny’ which gave me warm fuzzies 🙂 )DSC_0517copy1

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DSC_0515copy8) Sometimes Shane and I feel really incompatible. We don’t have a lot in common, and that leaves us wondering if we were meant for each other. But I learned this weekend that the issue isn’t compatibility, it is commitment. The more committed we are to each other, the more compatible we become.

9) I want Shane to be able to say about me “Amy is a pleasure to be married to.”

10) With a wife’s respect and support, a husband becomes more confident. I was in awe that I have such power to help my husband rise up to be the man God made him to be.

11) A good marriage is made up of two professional forgivers.

12) True love is not a feeling – it’s an action.

13) God has placed greatness inside of us as a couple. We have a godly destiny in our marriage!

14) Our past does not have to dictate our future! Praise God!

15) And lastly, EVERY married couple should attend this. I am serious. EVERY COUPLE. Learning about God’s plan and purpose for marriage is incredibly empowering. People have gone to these conferences on the verge of divorce and come back with a renewed commitment to their love for each other. God is so powerful and amazing. DSC_0522copy

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