Tag Archive | counseling

What Have You Done Today?

fullsizeoutput_97ccMany years ago when my husband and I went through counseling to try to firm up some sagging places in our marriage, our counselor told him that when he came home from work, my husband was not allowed to ask me what I had done that day.

We had small children at that point, and I was volunteering at our eldest’s parent-involved school 2 days a week. I was lucky to get dinner on the table each day.

I am not a high-energy person when it comes to physical labor. I can’t work in the hot Florida sun for more than about an hour before I’m just done. My husband can go on for hours at a time.

Sometimes I feel guilty for being inside in the air conditioning. Maybe I’m reading a book. Maybe I’m playing a mindless game. Or maybe I’m working on my computer, actually accomplishing something.

Wait, what was that I just said?

That’s exactly the problem. If I’m just resting or reading or playing, I have the mindset that I’m not ACCOMPLISHING anything.fullsizeoutput_97cd

And that needs to change.

There’s a saying: God made us human BEings, not human DOings.

Yes, there are chores that need to be done. But sometimes just BEing takes precedence.


This post is a part of the Five-Minute Friday link up. Join the fun! Today’s prompt is “done.”

Tandem Living: You Never Know So Much That You Can’t Learn From Someone Else

tandem bike drawingIt’s been a very busy season in our household as school has started for me and our three kids. David and I are restarting our weekly date nights which we had let go during the summer. I apologize for my prolonged absence as I have attempted to figure out what my normal for this school year is going to look like. So far in this series on Tandem Living, we have looked at the importance of going in the same direction, communicating, trusting, being an example, weathering the storms, working together, and getting tune ups when needed.

Today, I want to say that, even though David and I have been riding a tandem bike for nearly 20 years, we certainly have a lot still to learn, and though we’ve been married for a bit more than 22 years, we would be the first to admit that we certainly do not know everything there is to know about marriage. There are always those who have more experience than we do. The day we decide we have nothing more to learn from anybody better be the day we die.

We might know the basics about biking, but we haven’t researched tips and techniques to making our riding experience better. We haven’t taken cross-country trips or even gone more than 30 miles at a time. We’ve never crashed. We’ve never had a flat tire on the tandem. We’ve never had it stolen.

In our marriage, we’ve never had to navigate the waters of infidelity. We’ve never lost a child after it was born. We’ve never had a major, life-threatening illness. We’ve never gone through a bankruptcy.

God forbid we would ever have to go through any of those trials, but we’d sure like to know how to handle them well if we did. We may have things we can teach couples who have not been married as long as we have, but we also have so much we can learn from those who have been married longer. But when we went through counseling several years ago, our counselor was a single woman. That didn’t mean she didn’t have something to teach us; she did because she had education and life experience. We didn’t hesitate to listen to her just because she’d never had personal experience as a spouse.

Seek out those who know more than you about being married, just as we need to seek out help from experts in the field of cycling if we plan on improving our ride.

Tandem Living: Even the Best Bikes Need a Tune Up Every Now and Then

tandem bike drawingWe bought our tandem bike in South Africa in 1994. Since then, we have changed the seats a couple of times until we found ones that are comfortable, we have gotten new handle bars that sit us more upright, and David has cleaned it and adjusted some things every now and then. After 19 years, it needs work. It’s a very heavy bike, so it’s not one we would consider high quality. But it gets us where we want to go. David often talks of selling it and getting something better. I’m kind of sentimental and want to hang on to it. For right now, it’s working for us.

Now, my husband’s road bike and our Townie and cruiser bikes, those are a different story. I mentioned before that David is a bike snob, so he bought those with special attention to quality. They’re not top-of-the-line, which we can’t afford, but they’re not Huffys, off the rack at Wal-Mart. But what would happen if we just let those bikes sit out in the rain and sun, never cleaned them or made sure their gears and brakes and tire tubes were in good shape? Well, we wouldn’t have them for long.

One day recently, both David’s road bike and my Townie got flat tires on the same day. And I did something to mine that caused my brake to start dragging on the front tire. And then there was the near spill I had that broke the bottle cage. All these things needed to be fixed before the bikes would be truly road worthy again. (Well, the bottle cage is still waiting to be replaced.)

The same is true of our marriage. Many years ago when our kids were still little, for Christmas I gave David the gift of agreeing to see a marriage counselor. We didn’t have huge, divorce-on-the-horizon problems, but David had been pushing for us to talk to someone about some issues that just were’t going to go away without help. Our marriage needed a tune-up. We loved each other, we were committed to each other, but we had some things going on from our histories that were putting roadblocks in our future. Those needed to be torn down.

I have a friend who has been married just short of a year whose husband refuses to go to counseling because he thinks that seeing a counselor means that you’re crazy.

It doesn’t. In fact, it means you’re very smart. Although David knows a lot about bikes, he still takes our nice bikes to a bike shop for a professional to work on, because he knows that he doesn’t know everything. He wants what he loves in the hands of those who know what to do with it.

There are people who’ve been married a lot longer than we have. There are people who have been trained to ask the right questions and dig beyond the surface. They’re the ones to whom we want to entrust our most valuable relationship. And counseling isn’t always necessary. Sometimes just attending a conference like FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember or The Art of Marriage, or joining a couples Bible study, or reading a marriage book together will highlight some areas where work needs to be done. (Comment below if you’d like some ideas of books to consider.)

Keeping our bikes road worthy is a priority as we spend a lot of time on them. Making our marriages shine is even more important.