Saturday, February 16, 2019

Love Map

It wasn't until reading Dr. John Gottman's book The Seven Principles of Making a Marriage Work, that I realized that if I didn't change some things, my marriage could be in some real trouble. I feel fortunate to have gained some really neat insights that I'd love to share as I pick up on them. The latest that I am going to apply to my marriage is the Love Map. It almost sounds like something that a pirate would use, and it really is likely to lead to booty, we're talking about treasure here folks, the greatest treasure being a lasting marriage that can withstand the storms that life has to throw at us. 
So, what is a love map? It's basically a mental map where you've kept the small things, and sometimes big, that make your spouse who they are, their likes, dislikes, desires, dreams, love language, etc. Basically anything that you can retrieve to let them know that you love them. Little things to follow so that when life gets tough, it will lead you back to them. A solid foundation to a deep friendship, which is exactly what Dr. Gottman says leads to a happy marriage.

I was intrigued by the idea of a love map, and had no idea where to begin, thankfully Dr. Gottman is all about sharing the baby steps it takes to make a solid friendship and a love map that will lead to the greatest treasure of friendship and a lasting marriage, it is quite simple, take the time to get to know your spouse all over again, and express gratitude to them. Look for the good in them, and you will find it. I'm learning that like the gospel, it takes simple steps to have lasting results. What are some of your favorite ways to get to know your spouse? How are you making a love map to make your marriage last?

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Book Recommendation...Trust me on this one!

I am always on the lookout for good books, especially ones that will help me in my life. If you are looking for a book that will help you in your relationship with your spouse, I’ve found it for you. In the book “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by Dr. John M. Gottman he delves into different things that you can do to safe guard your marriage. Dr. Gottman has a 91% success rate at predicting divorce. While there are things we are doing wrong in our marriages, and he goes into those a little. The main concept of the book is to tell us what we can do right.
What shocked me as the basis of safeguarding your marriage against divorce wasn’t something like fighting less, getting rid of conflict, etc. etc. It was something even more simple, yet I feel so often overlooked. The strength of your friendship with your spouse directly influences the strength of your marriage. If you and your spouse are solid B.F.F’s you are likely to have a solid marriage. Conflict is normal and to be expected, but your friendship will help you navigate through the conflicts. Dr. Gottman said, “To make a relationship last: couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other’s hopes and dreams. What do you do to keep your friendship solid with your husband?  

Friday, February 1, 2019

Are you in it for the long haul?

After a substantial hiatus, I decided to go make to school and get my degree. At first I wanted to go into teaching because I love working with children. After realizing that I love my current job teaching children to read and that is what I wanted to do when I grew up. I decided to declare my major to a Bachelor of Science in Home and Family Studies. I have been blessed to take a marriage course and have been pondering some things that I have been learning and wanted to share with you.
As mentioned in my previous post, what I want my blog to be has changed. I survived a disease that was meant to kill me, and my whole focus changed. I have so many creative blog friends who put out the cutest tutorials every single day. While I will share something create once in a while because that’s who I am, this blog as its header states has become a Survivor’s blog, and I really want to share with you things I’ve learned that truly matter and will bring you Joy in your life. I’m all about bringing the joy. If you were here for the crafts and feel like it’s time to unsubscribe I completely understand, but I do wish you’d stay.
In reading a talk from Elder Bruce C. Hafen titled “CovenantMarriage” he shared the illuminating lesson that our Savior shared when he taught about contractual attitudes. Jesus taught about the hireling and the Shepherd and the difference in vigilance when wolves came to attack the flocks. While the hireling who simply signed a contract to watch over the sheep would choose their own lives over those of the sheep, opting they weren’t worth the risk. The Shepherd who had a vested interest in those sheep, dare I even say the Shepherd loved them enough to try and protect them at all costs, even at their own safety and possibly their own lives. This type of attitude can directly translate into marriage. Are we like hirelings in our marriages who simply signed a contract and when trouble comes take the opportunity to bow out, or are we like the Shepherd’s who are bound to those sheep in love and willing to do whatever it takes to save and protect that Sacred Marriage? Wow, I don’t know about you all, but that certainly made me stop and think. I know for a fact, I would do anything to protect my little flock.
At the end of his story, he shared an example of his wife, who had spent quite some time working on a science project with one of their more challenging kiddos. This was the child that they were certain God had sent to them to “make Christians out of” them. Can any of you picture any of your children that are like that? I know I can. We love them to pieces, but boy do they send us to seek Jesus real fast!
Here’s the story he shared: “One night Marie exhausted herself for hours encouraging that child to finish a school assignment to build his own diorama of a Native American village on a cookie sheet. It was a test no hireling would have endured. At first he fought her efforts, but by bedtime, I saw him lay “his” diorama proudly on a counter. He started for his bed, then turned around, raced back across the room, and hugged his mother, grinning with his fourth-grade teeth. Later I asked Marie in complete awe, “How did you do it?” She said, “I just made up my mind that I couldn’t leave him, no matter what.” Then she added, “I didn’t know I had it in me.” She discovered deep, internal wellsprings of compassion because the bonds of her covenants gave her strength to lay down her life for her sheep, even an hour at a time.”
There is so much to be learned about us if we simply look deeper. Elder Hafen gave some solid warnings about the specific wolves that are ready to attack our flocks in this day in age. I encourage you to go read his talk, it’s a good one. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. I truly wish you joy.