Hello and thanks for stopping by my blog. If you’re looking for specific resources, be sure to check out the topics in the column to the right. Otherwise, feel free to look around! ~ Kerry

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Double-Date Ideas

Having fun together is an important component of a healthy marriage. But sometimes Mike and I face seasons of life when it’s really hard to connect with other couples in a deeply satisfying way. Especially during times of transition, when our responsibilities increase, or when our family’s needs are more demanding...

My friend likens this to “backwashing.” She says that a couple needs a regular inflow of new perspective and interaction from people outside the two of them. Otherwise, their own relationship can get stale and unfulfilling. (While this may be a funny way to look at it, I think it’s true!)

The symptoms of “backwashing” include: taking each other for granted, bickering over little things, being stuck in a rut of the same activities, reluctance to be spontaneous, critical thoughts and attitudes...you get the picture.

In those times, I’ve discovered the importance of planning ahead for time with other couples. Here are a few of my favorite double-date ideas:
  • Get dessert and take a walk in a park.
  • Play miniature golf.
  • Have a bonfire.
  • Share dessert after the evening church service.
  • Go to a concert or symphony.
  • Visit a local attraction or museum.
  • Around the holidays, gather for a potluck where each couple brings a dish to represent their unique heritage.
  • Attend a local fair or carnival together.
  • Make homemade pizzas together.
  • Attend a theatrical performance.
  • Go out for breakfast on a Saturday morning.
  • Choose a book to read, and regularly meet to discuss what you’re learning.
  • Engage in a common hobby—biking, hiking,
  • Visit scenic areas and take photos.
  • Host a theme-related dinner where each couple brings a dish (Mexican, luau, Asian, etc.).
  • Plan a game night.
  • Enjoy an afternoon picnic.
The possibilities are endless!! And I’m always amazed at the meaningful conversations that develop as we do an activity we enjoy. I always feel that our marriage is refreshed after spending quality time with dear friends. The benefits are well worth the time and effort put into planning!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Love Boat

Mike and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on a Caribbean cruise! My boss was given 20 cabins to fill on the KLOVE cruise. She offered one to us, and it was the perfect way to celebrate. I know—what an amazing gift!

The morning before our ship set sail, I was enjoying some quiet time with my Bible. Before I read I generally ask the Lord to speak something specific to my heart—something I can think about and meditate on throughout the day. This day was no different. I had taken a copy of the New Living Translation with me, and my daily reading was taking me through Deuteronomy 5. Verse 10 stood out like it was written in neon letters, “I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands.”

Throughout the entire cruise, that verse continued to resound in my heart and I felt the Lord lavishing His love on Mike and me. His love was experienced in so many sweet moments like basking in the sun on the deck, gazing at the vast ocean, exploring a Caribbean island, eating wonderful food, meeting interesting people, and enjoying “together time” alone in our cabin.

But probably the sweetest moment for me, was on the last day of the cruise. The sky was an indescribable blue, the breeze was warm, and the smell of the ocean air was a so fresh. I could almost feel a tangible presence of God. We were standing against a railing on the open deck with (literally) 1,000 other people listening to Mandisa sing. She sang “God Is Speaking” from her True Beauty album.

Listen to some of the lyrics, “Who knows how He’ll get a hold of us, Get our attention to prove He is enough, He’ll do and He’ll use whatever He wants to, To tell us, I love you…” The last line of the song is, “God is speaking, ‘I love you’.” Standing there after the song, with Mike’s arms wrapped around me, tears were streaming down my cheeks. Mike whispered in my ear, “Everything okay?” I couldn’t even tell him how perfectly loved I felt at that moment, not only by him, but by God.

God is speaking, “I love you!”

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hilariously Different

I love Mike with all my heart, but honestly there are times when I think “Are you really from the same species that I am?!” The way he views the world, processes emotions, and expresses himself is so very different from me.

I know I’m not the only woman who has noticed this! There are truckloads of resources dedicated to helping men and women understand their differences. I waded through several of these when writing my book, Secrets. And in the process, I stumbled upon a YouTube clip that presents it perfectly—and hilariously!

Mark Gungor’s “A Tale of Two Brains” is a side-splitting, oh-so-true depiction of how the brains of men and women are wired differently. As you watch this, I hope you experience the “aha!” moment that I did...and that you grow more fascinated and appreciative of your husband’s differences.

I’m convinced that Mike and I are a perfect match—not because we are the same, but because our differences complement one another. We truly are better together than we would be alone!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Crying My Eyes Out

Crying my eyes out…what a way to start the new year! Sunday, January 4th we put Blake (our youngest son) on a plane bound for Argentina. I really didn’t have any idea how hard it was going to be! A friend of mine, Candy Tolbert, says having children is like having a part of yourself walking around outside your body. I didn’t know just how distracting it would be to have a part of myself walking around on another continent…

Since that tearful Sunday, I am continually reminding myself of Philippians 4:8, “Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, …THINK on these things.” It may seem silly, but I find myself needing to purposefully change my thoughts from “what if he loses his passport, gets a parasite, or is attacked by a guard dog?” to “God loves Blake even more than I do, and He is walking with him every step of the way.”

Earlier in Philippians 4, Paul encourages us not to worry about anything, but instead to pray about everything. We should tell God exactly what we need, and thank Him for all He has done. As I pray for Blake each day (sometimes each hour), I also need to thank Him for all He has done and is doing in Blake’s life. I really am so thankful that Blake is following hard after God, that he is exploring the call to missions, that YWAM is such an awesome program for young adults like Blake, and that God is giving him AMAZING experiences and opportunities every day.

Worry only brings sleepless nights, a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, and it changes absolutely nothing. But Paul is so right! “If you do this (pray and thank God for all He has done) you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.” While I have to admit that I’m still counting down the days until June 7th— when I will get to hug Blake again—I’m so thankful that I don’t have to live distracted and worried! His peace really is wonderful!

BTW—Blake is on the bottom right in the photo.