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Wifey Wednesday: What do You Do Well?

It's Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post and then linking up!

And October is "Simplify Your Life" month over here at To Love, Honor and Vacuum! Yesterday we had a decluttering challenge--have you entered yet?

But every Wednesday on this blog we talk marriage, and so today, I want to talk about how to simplify our married life. And to do that, I want to introduce you to an idea which is applicable in all areas of our lives: Figure out what you do well, and then do it.

This sounds trite, but much of the grief that we have in life is because we are trying to do things we aren't particularly equipped to do. We're trying to balance the chequebook, and we're not good at it. I'm exhausted right now because I administer our youth quizzing team at church (which sounds geeky, but it's not), and while I love working with the kids, I'm horrible at administration. Whenever the day comes by during the week that I have to get all the stuff printed out for the coming Sunday, I freeze up, even though it really only takes 20 minutes. I just don't like administration.

Ask me when I feel most alive, though, and I can easily tell you. I love reading. I love walking. I love playing games with my kids. I love relaxing at the end of a long day by making dinner with some music on. These are the moments I live for, because I'm living "in the zone". I'm doing the things that I enjoy and that I do well.

Often in marriage we get caught up in the things that we DON'T do well together. Our relationship becomes defined by the things that divide us, or the problems that we have yet to solve. I often think couples would do a lot better if occasionally they could put some of those things on the back burner and just do the things that they do well together.

My grandparents apparently had a difficult marriage because they were both strong-willed, both highly intelligent, and both very independent. They didn't always see eye to eye. But one thing they both loved was traveling, and my mother still remembers fondly the car trips that they would take as a family, because they would all get along. It was peaceful. They were doing something that they did well.

Whenever you watch movies of couples that are exhausted or tired, what brings them together in the end? It's usually starting to do something together that they used to love doing, but they've forgotten about. Maybe they used to jog together, or cook together, or read funny stories to each other. Maybe they used to dance together. And suddenly, even though they've been fighting, they start doing that "one thing". And their whole demeanor and behaviour towards each other changes.

Often we relate out of our weaknesses rather than our strengths, because we feel that the weakness defines the relationship. If we get along in most areas, but we're weak in one, that's the one we pay the most attention to. Now I know some areas can be huge, and I'm not trying to diminish problems. They do need the attention they deserve to get better.

But they don't need all the attention, and if we give our problems all the attention, we can suck the energy and life out of a relationship. On the other hand, if you can spend positive energy, then you build goodwill to really deal with your problems.

One word of warning, though: when I say find things to do together, I mean find things to DO together. Don't just watch TV because you both enjoy it, because then you're not with each other. You're just beside each other, but you're not really building the relationship. Find something where you are both engaged and present, rather than just vegging.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Taking a walk
2. Playing a game together (or with the kids)
3. Playing golf
4. Playing some sort of sport
5. Dancing
6. Cooking
7. Going to a concert/play/sporting event
8. Planning long-range together
9. Helping the kids with homework all together
10. Playing instruments
11. Reading out loud to each other while the other cooks/does a craft/does a hobby
12. Visiting with friends
13. Volunteering together
14. Going for nature walks
15. Biking together
16. Taking a bath together

It can be anything that makes you smile, that you enjoy, and that builds your relationship.

Can't think of anything in particular? Then ask yourself this: when was the last time we really laughed together? What were we doing? Can we start doing that again?

Maybe it's just half an hour a week that you spend doing something that you do well. But laughing together for half an hour a week will likely do more for you than a ton of fighting, hashing out problems, or even trying to organize the children's lives. You feel connected again, and that has rewards that can't be measured.

One of the best ways to simplify your life is to build on your strengths so that you have more energy to fix your weaknesses. So today, find the strength in your marriage!

Now, what advice do you have for us today? What do you do well together? Or do you have something else to tell us? Write your own Wifey Wednesday post that links back to here, and then leave the link of THAT POST in the Mcklinky below. Thanks!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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