Category Archives: Marriage

Love Letters

I’ve been married for almost 7 years.  When I ReMemBer my dating days with Doug, I cherish all of the little notes and letters we gave one another.  Call me old fashioned, but there is just something special about seeing how the other person feels on paper.  Who doesn’t like a heartfelt love letter?!

Fast forward to the present and we are lucky if we can squeeze an “I love you” in a ConVersaTion without being interrupted by kids or hectic schedules.  We do well at thanking one another for little stuff throughout the week (taking out the trash, paying bills) but it is rare to have moments that we stop and verbally express the deeper love we have for one another.

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So….this week I decided to write a love letter.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t on fancy paper sprayed with perfume and sealed with a waxed stamp.  It wasn’t even hand written! It was a simple email that I typed up while I was waiting for my letter blocks to dry (romantic, huh?).  And to be hOnEst, it felt a little weird at first.  I mean, I’ve known Doug for what seems like forever, but to write things that have more meaning than your typical daily conversation brought back butterflies as if I was awaiting my first date with him.  So a good “weird” I guess!

Like many things that are slightly uncomfortable in life, you have little to no regret once it is over.  It felt G O O D to share how I felt and usually that is all it takes to help nurture a relationship.

By the end of the day I challenge you to send your loved one a thoughtful text, email or voicemail (or hand written letter if you feel froggy!).  They may be shocked to receive it because it is so out-of-the ordinary, but you never know what good things may come of it!

Yours Truly,

Lara  :)

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When Someone Won’t Forgive You…

…what do you do?  Whether it was a friend from 2nd grade, a boyfriend, or family member, we can all remember of a time that we hurt someone.  If you were lucky, they forgave you.  If not, you may still be seeking forgiveness.

I’ve really struggled with this question over the years.  It is upsetting when you do everything you can to mAke iT riGhT—apologizes, phone calls, a kind demeanor, or even space away from you—to result in nothing more than a cold shoulder years later.  This is frustrating and can often tempt you to be angry at the person.  It’s this vicious cycle of you wanting forgiveness, them staying resentful, and then you being mad at them for still holding a grudge!

There comes a time when YOU just have to LeT Go.  Let Go of the fact that they may never forgive you.  If you have exhausted all options, you have done the best that you can.  You can’t live the rest of your life in misery because of something you’ve already tried to fix.  When you see them, continue to be friendly but don’t put your life on hold because you may never get the answer you are wanting.

And if you are the one that is still holding a grudge…re-read this post and put yourself in their shoes.  Realize how much you are missing out simply because you won’t give one of the biggest gifts you can give…FORGIVENESS.

~Lara

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Worth the Investment

Last week Doug and I went on our first dAtE in quite a while.  I can not tell you how great it was to be able to eat a meal and hang out without being interrupted!  We were able to talk about things beyond the everyday “stuff” and found ourselves LeArNinG new things about each other, simply because the time was devoted specifically on us.

When the bill came to the table, I initially shrieked at the price because we are the type of people that try to be conservative with our spending.  Plus, my hiStoRy has always been to talk myself out of having a date night because it will cost too much—babysitter, meal, entertainment—not to mention all of the work to get the kids ready.

Well, as Doug pulled out his wallet he said, “It was well worth the investment.”  How true!  I’m not saying that you have to spend money in order to have qUaLity time, but whether it is the money you spend, the appointments you cancel or the things you put on the back burner, you are making a good investment by setting aside these things for your marriage.

It’s time to make your relationship more of a PrioRity.  You may think that you and your spouse have drifted so much that you can’t even muster up the confidence or energy to ask them on a “date”.  Or maybe you feel guilty leaving the kids because you don’t get to see them enough as it is.  Let me tell ya…it is wOrtH iT.  The MOST IMPORTANT thing for your family is the time you spend with your spouse.  The more quality time you can spend together (without smartphones, distractions, etc) will result in happiness for not only you, but your kids too :)

(As you all know…no relationship is PerFect and they all take work.  Click here to read some of our other marriage posts!)

~Lara

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Tough Issues–Cowards Vs. Heroes

Taken from Successful Farmer magazine: 

“The very human desire to run away from confrontation is so natural and common that we have to wonder how so many farm partnerships [or relationships in general] manage to survive and succeed in spite of it.

When trying to gather the courage to face a tough issue, it’s worth remembering that cowards die a thousand deaths, while heroes die but once. We know from experience that avoiding a battle doesn’t end a war – it just makes it that much tougher to fight, let alone win.

Fear can paralyze. It can keep a soldier from fighting for survival. It also can prevent people who love each other from coNfRoNting dangerous issues and solving them while that’s still possible. Armies learned centuries ago that even though fear can’t be eliminated, training and experience can instill habits that sidestep paralysis and enable action.

It can be the same in families. The straightforward commitment to face and rEsoLve day-to-day disagreements and misunderstanding, particularly the smaller, easier ones, develops the habit of reacting appropriately to issues as they arise.

It’s not so complicated. Sweat the small stuff first, day after day. It won’t make the big stuff any smaller, but it will make it that much easier to muster the courage for the scary face-to-face discussions that are so critical.”

I can relate to this article, can’t you? If I have a conflict with a friend, family member or coworker, it is much easier if I can work through the problem as soon as it comes up.  It is never easy, but it is worth it. Suppressing issues that arise only turn small problems into big ones. Do yourself a favor and Be a HeRo by resolving disagreements as they come.

~Lara

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If You Say It, Mean It

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about how society overuses certain phrases and responses.  For example, when someone asks “How are you doing?” don’t you normally reply with “I’m good”?  Whether or not you truly are GoOd, out of habit, your response is always the same.

Another habitual phrase is “We should get together sometime”.  How often do you say that but never follow through?  Do you really mEaN it or are you just saying it to be nice?  Maybe you have good intentions but life gets in the way before remembering to schedule a specific date.

On the flipside, have you ever tried to follow-up with people who wanted to ‘get together sometime’ and it was almost like they fOrGot they ever suggested it?!  That was a little awkward, wasn’t it? The situation may have even made you question your relationship with that person.

We have all made pRoMiSes that we can’t keep but how often do we consider how it makes the other person feel?   Next time your routine conversation comes into play, stop and ask yourself if the words you speak are siNceRe.  By doing so, following through with your commitments will comfort the other person that you value the relationship.

(*I am writing this post because I need this reminder, not because I am trying to hint around that you have broken a promise with me :) No worries!  And if I haven’t been prompt on following up with you, please forgive me!)

~Lara

(Up for an additional challenge?  Take your relationship one step further and read my other post If You Feel It, Say It.)

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{When To Tell The Truth}

Does your mouth ever get you in trouble?  Are you puzzled as to why some of your relationships are on the rocks or non-existent?  Are you one to “speak your mind”?

If so, you may justify your actions by saying, “I was only telling the truth.”  Telling the truth is good, but telling it all the time without discretion is not.  I once heard someone say, “Always tell the truth, but don’t always be telling it.”  It takes wisdom and self-control to know when to keep your mouth shut.  I can attest that it is not always easy, but the wise King Solomon states over and over in the book of Proverbs how it is the fool who is always talking, but the wise man who can overlook an insult.

Do you use your words to destroy or build?  Encourage or discourage?  If you have relationships that need mended check your words.  Do you need to give more grace?  After all, you do reap what you sow.   And speaking for myself I sure can use grace.

So, keep speaking the truth, but learn when it’s time to keep that truth to yourself.  You will be doing you and all your relationships a favor.

:)

Robynn~

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Lesson Learned: Enjoy Occasional Trips w/out Your Kids

(Written this past February)

Greetings from Hawaii!  I am writing this as I sit on our hotel balcony, overlooking the ocean.  I was lucky enough to be able to tag along with Doug since he had a conference here for a week!

We wrestled with the thought of taking our kids on this trip.  We have missed them so much but I can ConFideNtly say I am glad we went on this trip alone.  I am amazed with the depth of our conversations simply because we had time to THINK.  No distractions. No diapers to change.  Just us, having conversations that can last longer than 60 second because there is no one around to interrupt!

I won’t lie.  I had anxiety about taking this trip.  Being a Mom (and a bit of a worrier), you can only image the type of concoctions that I came up with on why I needed to stay home with the kids.  I can’t tell you enough how GooD this time has away has been for our marriage and for our spiritual life.

We all need time for ourselves and with our spouse.  If I’m at home I come up with a million things I have to do.  Forcing myself to be away from cleaning a house and taking care of the kids allows me to clear my thoughts and become Re-eNerGized.

Has it been a while since you have stepped away from your normal routine and environment?  You don’t need Hawaii to eScaPe.  Be creative, but most importantly, don’t talk yourself out of it!

~Lara

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