Summer Days

Summer Days

I don’t know about you but it is a breath of relief when summer rolls around.  No school, less traffic, weekends at the pool, 4th of July, summer vacations (BEACH), and long days of sunlight that extend evening socials.  Each season is unique and has something to offer but summer time… well… let’s just say I’m a little partial.

The question for me and for you is, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SPEND IT.  Intentional time is something that Kate and I talk about alot between us and with other couples.  If you are not managing your schedule, your schedule will manage you.  This “intentionality” is key.  Whether that is directed at family time, career or personal growth, slowing down and relaxing, dating your spouse, exercise, or household projects.

But every single day there will be dozens of people, agendas, schedules, and requests that will compete for your time.  Maybe it’s healthy to shift the filter through which you are reacting to everything that is coming to you.  What is priority?  What is essential during this season of life?  Is that filter relationships, health, ministry, personal development, family, or liesure?

We feel like we just started our summer on Father’s Day weekend.  There was a lot going on with school finishing, hosting friends and family at our house, recitals, VBS camp, working on getting the final draft of our book to our editor and prepping for a speaking engagement at a marriage event.  We now have several weeks of downtime that we plan to fully maximize as a family and be extremely purposefuly with our time.  No matter what season you find yourself in right now, you can not only simplify but prioritize so you can achieve the maximum results.

If you find yourself in a season where margin is absent and “stress free” sounds like a fairy tale world, then try something.  Pick a day (we like Sundays), turn off your cell phone and devices, disconnect from social media and apps, and figure out what you want to get out of these summer days.  There is no perfect answer.  The answer should come from your soul.  What are you craving and not getting right now?  What do you need to feel alive and charged?  What is currently cheating you of that satisfaction?

Before you know it, school will be back in session (if that pertains to you), the sunshiny days that seem to have no end will end, the pools will close, the lake activity will settle, summer concerts completed, vacations will be sidelined, and schedules will pick up.  Don’t waste this opportunity to replenish, restore, and recharge your soul.  AND, take some time to prioritize how you want to tackle this amazing journey called life.  You won’t regret it.

SJD

 

10 Weeks of Summer and What You Should be Doing

10 Weeks of Summer and What You Should be Doing

Summer is only about 10 to 12 weeks here in the south. Before we can blink the lazy mornings and pool days turn into school shopping and cramming your reading list into the last two weeks before football season starts back up. So what should we be doing with this time? How do we maximize it with out it maximizing us? There have been many  a summer that I have gone back into fall with exhaustion and sunburn, wondering how I allowed my most precious and favorite time to be eaten up with things that just didn’t seem to fulfill my potential. This sunny joyous time is irreplaceable. To help us all out, I have decide to give you the questions that I use to help encourage growth. This is for focusing on what really matters during the beautiful summer months of iced tea and water life.

 

  • What 3 goals do you want to achieve within the next 3 months?
  • If anything was possible what would you wish for?
  • What have been your 3 greatest successes to date? 
  • Are there people that you’d love to spend more time with? If so whom and why?
  • Is there a hobby you’ve wanted to spend more time on? If so what?
  • Is there a class or workshop you’ve been meaning to take?
  • What else have you always wanted to do?
  • What are you struggling with right now?
  • What makes you feel tired?
  • What is one thing you can do today to move you forward?
  • Who are most important to you in your life – what do they provide you with?
  • On a scale of 1 -10 how happy are you with your life right now? What are the things that make you happy?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how motivated are you in your work/personal life? What motivates you?
  • On a scale of 1 -10 how stressed do you feel right now – what are your key stressors? List 5 things that you feel you are ‘putting up with’ right now? 
  • In a weekly report write out how you did with Chill Time, Sleep, Exercise, Drinking Water, Reading, and Focusing on personal development.
  • What skill do you need to personally develop over the next three months?
  • What are the top 10-15 goals and tasks you are going to focus on for the next 10 weeks?

Time Away

Time Away

When’s the last time you truly got away… and I don’t just mean heading out for a weekend trip (although those quick getaways are sometimes just what the doctor ordered)…

I’m talking about phone silence, email abstinence, abstaining from chores, relishing in late breakfasts over mimosas, long quiet walks, getting lost in a good book, doing a unique family activity, getting lost gazing into a fire, spending too much time in a hottub, cooking a massive meal with plenty of leftovers, star gazing late at night once the kids are asleep, or cuddle under a blanket with the person of your dreams.

Are you building this into your schedule?  Are you making time for what’s truly important in life?  I’d be able to retire in my 30’s If only I had a dollar for every time someone says how fast the “time flies by”.  Time is precious and we can’t control the amount of it that we’ll be given.  Carpe Diem (seize the day) is one of my favorite slogans from Robin William’s “Dead Poet’s Society” film… seize every moment my friends – don’t let a minute go by without thoughtfully planning how to maximize it to the fullest!

Summertime is the perfect time to take that much needed time away.  Spend the money, you won’t regret it.  And if your boss is not “cool” with you leaving your laptop at the house so you can enjoy some much needed time off… well, maybe it’s time to start looking elsewhere.  I recognize that limited communication/monitoring of the business might be needed if you are an executive or CEO… but come on people, you know you’ll be refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle challenges after a time of isolation.  I guarantee that if you compromise this area of your life, you will suffer dearly in all other areas – albeit emotional, relational, physical, spiritual, etc.

My job requires me to interface with counterparts around the world… I’m always jealous when I receive out of office messages from my colleagues in India, Europe, etc.  Many of them taking a solid 4 weeks off to recharge with friend and loved ones.

So… what are you going to do in your current situation?  My advice (whether merited or not)… turn the phone off, shut the laptop down, put in the vacation days, pull some extra cash out of the bank that you’ve worked hard for, and grab the hand of the person you love most and go off the grid… disappear for awhile… live life to the the fullest.  I promise you’ll never regret that decision.

SJD

Bride and Groomed

Bride and Groomed

 

 

 

Staying healthy helps to keep us in a positive mindset. Good health starts with a healthy diet, physical activity, and getting enough sleep. With the summer months now officially here it is acommon thread to slow down and focus abit more on health and personal development.

Why is this so important for us as relationship coaches? We personal have to model the behavior that we want to see in others. Our heart is to witness that our clients see that they too can meet their goals. Staying healthy is a big piece to achieving all other goals.

How is your self-care when it comes to your physical health? Are there things you can do to improve? Odds are, you can. None of us take perfect care of ourselves. But today we wanted to focus on the things that we feel can significan;t help and impact you for the better and boost you in your relationships. 

Successful people with incredible relationships have self-confidence and are generally happy with who they are, but that’s not to say that we shouldn’t try to look our best and keep working on these areas. This is a big idea; especially for those of us who have gotten to a certain level of comfort in our relationships and in our lives.

Taking care of things that make us look and feel better is a great characteristic to model to future generations and to the world. Enjoy your summer! 

Tip Number One: Get a makeover

I choose to get a makeover periodically. A makeover can include new makeup techniques, skin care regime, and or a new hairstyle. It sometimes involves getting an updated wardrobe and for me almost always it involes a new pair of killer shoes! I have even colored my hair champane pink before. 

To do a makeover well, Both men and women need to look in their closets and get rid of shoes and clothing that are woefully out of style, uncomfortable, or no longer fits. Enlist a friend or family member to help you shop for what looks and feels great. Stop saving the clothes that are two sizes smaller just because you might loose the weight in a year. By the time you get there, (and you will) it will be outdated. 

Creating the best “you” possible will make you feel more confident, interesting, and maybe even sexy. If you haven’t evaluated your look in the last five years, it’s probably time to do so.

Tip Number Two: Invest in a Manicure and Pedicure

This is not just for women! The mani/pedi is a relaxing way to make your hands and feet look and feel terrific. My personal favoite about getting this done is the massage chair! I’ll often pay the exrta couple dollars to get a foot and leg massage as part of the process, which helps me personally relieve stress.

 

Tip Number Three: Get a Massage

As a fomer althete and dancer I learned that physical therapy was crucial to taking care of my skin and body. Early on in my career I was using foam rollers and fascia stretching. Outside of a day in the sunshine, a massage is my favorite way to boost my mood.  From a psychological standpoint, being touched is impactful in so many ways! It would take three blog posts just to name all the benfits! For example, it has been recommended that people get at least one hug every day due to the knowlege of how touch affects us. 

 

Tip Number four: Unplug from Elecrtonics for 24 hours

I love technology and all it has to offer. Summer time, eluads to more tv time and audio books and swiping through feeds of pictures while laying by the pool. The Opportunity for it to take over can be strong. A reboot for your mind and your soul is healthy. I usally need just a bit of time off. A couple hours or an afternoon free from my phone. That means everything. I have never taken a Insta gram subatocal, or delted my facebook account for a month or wiped out my apps for lent. However, I ahve never felt I needed too because I take the 24 hour unplug rule to heart. Every once in a while I go longer. 24 hours off of all devices. Not just one app or one progarm or one netflix show, I put it all away and silence all devices, including my fitbit tracker and my alarm. Thsi time frame is not too long that I will miss the important email or that our extended loved ones will be worried. It does however, free meand my relationship from devices 100% for an enttire day. It is one of the most amazing things to do for your health and your romance. 

Tip Number Five: Get A Coach

 

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Top 5 reasons why it is so important!

5. Your coach just might show up with wine and a cheese board to cheer your relationship on and encourage you in your goals! 

4. Lots of fun, laughs, and growth! 

3. No children screaming, “Mooooommmmyyyyy” are allowed during coaching sessions!

2. You will learn something new that will impact you for the rest of your life. 

And the Number One reason you should get a Coach:

I think you’re great and you deserve a little focused attention on personal and relational development! So may of us just need a cheerleader and a mentor to make us go from creating great to Creating Exceptional! A coach can do this!

 

Tip Number Six: Dressing for Success In Your Relationship

Once people get married we have noticed a trend for fashion to decline. Some of this is good. It means you are comfortable. This can be freeing. However, the statement about dressing for success at work is true for your marriage too! We have a dear friend that talks about himself in the “2.0 version” because he had a complete wardrobe shift about five years into their relationship. All of a sudden his spouse had the hots for him in a totally different way. I am not saying you need to go out and buy an entirely different wardrobe and I am not encouraging fast fashion, but if your partner only sees the weekend sweatpants, are you truly showing up for your marriage? Are you showing up more for work than you are for your romance? We have a couple that we love to mimic in this. They are both entrepreneurs and work from home but oh my do they know how to turn heads and to step it up in their game when they need too. They don’t just do it for work but for each other. They are beautiful and fun on the hiking trail in their t-shirts and on date night they can make everyone wish they aged like them. No insta filters needed! Make sure you are dressing for sucess not just at work but also in your romance! 

 

Cheers to your health and relationship!

 

 

Marriage Versus Motherhood

Marriage Versus Motherhood

With this week being the week after we love on all the mom’s and the mothering figures in our lives I felt it only appropriate to share some of my thoughts on the balancing act of the roles of motherhood and my romantic relationship.

The big point in this post is the honor we have as mothers. It is beautuful but it is also dangerous at times for our marriages. We can very quickly focus on our role as mother over the role that made us one. The danger of that is we can loose our romantic lives in the process.

Your kids more than likely came after your marriage and they must ALWAYS stay there.  I don’t care if you have a miracle baby who is only eight months old and your still nursing him.  Get a babysitter!  Break up with that child.  One day that kid will yell at you, will go off to college, marry another, and create a new family.  Where will you be with your marriage?  The best advice we ever got on this subject was from a couple who didn’t have children.  The reason we took the advice?  They were on the outside and could see stuff that all of us who had kids couldn’t see.  We were in it, we were blinded, we were tired, and we were busy.  It was the best advice. Make sure your marriage always stays in front of your kids.

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I am a mother to a miracle child and what we call our “bonus baby”.  I had high risk pregnancies with both of them and we are lucky we have them at all.  They are my pride and joy.  My special bonus.  My dream that I cried and deeply feared would never be a reality.  And I became a lioness when they were born.  No one could care for them the way I could.  If I had not taken this advice to heart I know for a fact Steve and I would be in a challenging spot.

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However, our marriage must come first. Your babies will be better off when you prioritize your husband.  Your marriage can be a thriving, dynamic and energizing machine, while raising children. When the kids head out on their own, you won’t be devastated and unaware of what to do with yourself.  Trust me, you both will be much better parents for putting each other above all other relationships, including your children. 

 

Proverbs 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.

What are the Keys to a High Performance Marriage?

What are the Keys to a High Performance Marriage?

Last December, we had the unique opportunity to sit down with Ted Lowe from MarriePeople as we discussed a few concepts from our upcoming book.  This site provides amazing tools to couples of any age as it navigates today’s biggest topics while providing simple ways for couples to make marriag more real, fun, and simple.  We hope you’re encouraged, challenged, and inspired to create something exceptional.

 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST – “What are the keys to a high performance marriage?”

(repost from the MarriedPeople podcast)

*Your one simple thing this week*

Pick one of the three characteristics of a high-performance marriage and work on it together.

  • Dream: Write down one goal that you want to accomplish in your marriage during the next 10 years.
  • Grow: Pray together so you can grow deeper as a couple.
  • Date: Do something you’ve never done before on a date night.

 

Blessings,

Steve

Instant Vision

Instant Vision

Life can give us massive blows. We don’t get to write our stories. God does that. When I get down, it is usually because I am discouraged in what I can not see as good. I can’t see where God is going with the plot or even see the full story God is writing. And I find myself aching at my core. We can get so focused on what we don’t have, or don’t want, or can’t instantly make better that everything sinks. A few posts back we talked on having vision in your relationships. today we would like to take it a step further. 

We do have a choice. We get to choose how we live the story God gives us. My question to you today is, are you thinking the best about your spouse? Are you giving them the benefit of your best thoughts towards them? Are you communicating and being life-giving? Do you have a gut level honesty with your significant other that no one else gets? Do you speak to each other as if you are desperately, madly, over the moon for one other?

Instead of complaining we want you to focus on what you like. Do more of that.

If complaining and focusing on what you don’t have is killing your relationship and your romance, what are the things that can transform it? Statistically speaking much of relationship counseling doesn’t work. The reason being when you go to a councilor you are going to go unpack everything that is wrong. That can be very discouraging and further depressing! Stop focusing on everything that is wrong and start seeing what is right. 

Jesus said “‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” We hope you drink more living water! We hope you see the gift God has given you in your marriage.

Dream – When things are hard and the tomb seems shut for good we choose to keep dreaming. Towards incredible impossible things in spite of it all. When you have lost your job, a friendship dies, you have horrific health news, or you witness someone bury their baby, life can seem to stop in the middle of horror.

It may seem contradictory and even disrespectful but we encourage you to keep your dreams alive! We must never stop dreaming incredible, beautiful, wonderful things for our relationships. The “what if possibilities” in life have helped us get through job loss, infertility, and heart-break of the deepest degree’s. This is not a goal but something super big. We pray that if life seems dark and your understanding of the pain in this world is hard to comprehend that you will take heart! That you will keep on, pressing toward the prize.

John 16:22-24;33

“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Happy Easter!