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Marriage 101: Are We on the Same Page in this Marriage?
The back door opens and closes constantly as we lose the battle with the houseflies that keep trying to invade our rural Alabama home. True, the smell of grilling food must be tempting, pork chops and ribs on one grill with aluminum pans full of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes and onions on the other...
You might wonder if it is a special occasion but no, this type of event tends to go on at our home once a month or more. Soon, on this day we will have fifteen to thirty people here, family and friends, babies and senior citizens, all enjoying food, fun and fellowship.
Not all the “eatings” as we call them are this big. Many times my husband and I have only one or two couples over for an enjoyable evening out on the patio.
What in the world would possess you to go through all this trouble, you might ask? All the planning, cleaning and cooking that goes on in having these “get-togethers?” That is the key word: get-together.
I have discovered that for a marriage to stay healthy and strong, you must have planned times, events and interests to keep both you and your spouse on the same page. The original title for this article was “How Working Together at Home can build the Relationship,” but I realized it is much more than the work that is holding us together.
Yes, we do take time to do yard work and housework together, including cooking, since the children are grown. We also have a vegetable garden which we work in and also put up vegetables in the freezer for winter. This was something we really couldn’t do as much when the children were young with the busyness of that stage of our lives. It seems like we were always working in shifts but now it gives us something to look forward to.
My husband, however, is a people person and is the happiest when the house is full of family and friends and he is the host. I, personally, am more of a small group person but we compromise and have some big and some small planned events at our home.
We found that after the children were grown that we had a lot of time on our hands, no longer being filled with ball games, school and church events that we supported and chauffeured. A simple way for us to fill the time was to start working together on our house, the yard and other projects that brought a sense of togetherness, especially with that feeling of the empty nest. Our nest is not truly empty for the children come by often but if you are there, you know what I mean.
So we plan these weekend events, doing the yard work a few days before and then the day of the event is here. Everyone brings a dish and we prepare our planned dish which usually includes grilling even in winter and before you know it the people are rolling in, food filling the counter and table.
We have at least one event a month which is for the birthdays of that month but instead of exchanging gifts we bring funny birthday cards to share. The high-light of the day is after the meal when the people with the birthdays line up in the living room and start opening the wide assortment of cards. We pass them around and laugh while eating dessert and starting a little minor clean up.
It’s usually late when everyone leaves and as I finally sit exhausted, I wonder why in the world I go through it all. Then my husband joins me and starts talking about the different people and topics of conversation and one look at his content face lets me know it is worth it.
Lest you think our relationship is one-sided, enjoying his big events, I will take next month to look at some of the things I enjoy that we do together. Until then…simply Marriage 101…
Jennifer Hallmark Jennifer Hallmark is a writer, artist and ministry leader who works with women’s ministry groups. Her love of writing is evident in over 120 articles she has written for article websites besides her blogs, websites and fiction writing. She has finished her first in a series of novels, Journey of Grace: A New Beginning and is actively working to complete the second: Journey of Grace: Saving Abigail. Check out her websites at www.jenniferhallmark.com and www.aclarioncall.com . Also read her blogs at http://jenlhall63.blogspot.com/ and http://jenlhall63.christianblogsites.com/blog/