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Looms & Robots

Saturday was super fun. It was another cool morning down at the Southwest School of Art. We spent a large part of the morning learning how to weave on two different types of looms.

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After art we walked across the street to San Antonio’s first Maker Faire at San Antonio’s main public library. The kids got to see robots, 3D printers, laser printers, more weaving looms, robotic lego builds, wood carvings, and a bunch of other fun stuff. You can read more about the faire over at Daniel’s blog.

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After art school and the Maker Faire now I have an Inkle Loom and a Lego WeDo set on my wish list!

 

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7 Tools and Words of Encouragement for Newly Married Couples

Today I’m wrapping up my series on Building a Great Marriage.  

I began the series, because I know a few couples getting married and my church is talking about marriage. Marriage is one of the best things I’ve ever experienced. I am so grateful for Daniel and the life we have together. We have a blast and love spending time together. I know first hand marriage can be wonderful and a lot of fun.

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The Old Couple at Boccone’s

When Daniel and I were engaged we’d go to this quirky Italian restaurant called Boccone’s. The walls were covered with greenery and painted frescos with cartoonish characters. Hung above the white linen tables were all sorts of random art pieces including a replica Leonardo da Vinci flying machine. On the weekends a live band played in a tiny stage. Daniel would spin me around as we danced to the music. Occasionally, we’d earn an applause from guests eating their lasagna.

One evening we caught the eye of an older couple and we told them we were recently engaged. Over the next few songs they scribbled down a list of advice for marriage. We kindly thanked them and read their wisdom. I didn’t understand their enthusiasm at the time. Now I know they loved being married and were eager to pass along their knowledge to the cute dancing couple.

7 Tools and Words of Encouragement for Newly Married Couples

Just like the old married couple at Boccone’s I thought about what marriage advice I’d give a couple getting married.

I’ve already written about love languages, forgiveness, respect, dreaming, magic, money, and prayer. Other than what I’ve written, here are seven tools and words of encouragement for a couple beginning their marriage.

  1. When having a discussion use the phrase “What I’m hearing you say is…” Listen to your spouse without interruption. When they are done say “What I’m hearing you say is…” and repeat back to them what you think you heard. Then they have a chance to clarify what they said. This is huge and helps communication very much.
  1. After God, your spouse is your priority above your kids, ministry, and extended family. Save energy and time to enjoy being with your spouse.
  1. If the husband is praying and seeking the Lord, then let him lead. He can’t lead if the wife is walking in his shoes.

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  1. Wives make your home peaceful as much as you can. Make your home a sanctuary for your family. Courtney Joseph at Women Living Well has this post and this post about making your home a haven.
  1. Don’t let media or culture tell you how your marriage should work. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Only you gets to figure out what works for your marriage together.
  1. Limit your commitments for a season. In the Old Testament soldiers would take a year off from war after they got married (Deuteronomy 24:5). Consider limiting commitments your first year of marriage. If your marriage is going through a rough patch, then stop commitments and fix your marriage. Everything else can wait and other people will understand. 
  1. Have fun together! This is by far one of the best things you can do together. There may be seasons of intense ministry or hustle, but always make time to enjoy one another’s company. It doesn’t require a babysitter. Having fun only requires being present in the moment.

Thank you for reading through my series on marriage! I’ve heard in person how it’s helped a few people. Thank you so much. If you want to share this series, then you can find all my posts in spot at this page.  

What advice would you give a couple getting married?

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Don’t Be Their Holy Spirit

This is the seventh post in the Building a Great Marriage series.

“Within this Christian vision of marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of what God is creating, and to say, I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, ‘I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!”  –  Tim Keller

When you married your spouse you married them in AS-IS condition. Obviously, you liked the state and condition of your spouse when you said your wedding vows. As both of you mature, grow together, and get to know each other better you may notice things about your spouse you wish you could change. Or it may be your spouse is already awesome, but you see their potential and want to inspire them to be better. Encouragement and support is nice, but you can’t force change on your spouse.

Only God can change hearts, motivations, and desires through His Holy Spirit.

Through His goodness He shapes husbands and wives to look more like Jesus.

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There are times when I wish I could change Daniel, but I know I can’t. I resist the urge the nag and begin to pray. I pray that if God wants that change to happen, then He’d put it in Daniel’s heart. So when Daniel wakes up and tells me he wants to start working out and eating better I’m not surprised. I laugh and tell him I’ve been praying for him to get healthy. It’s not that I want him to get healthy to look better, but I’m worried about genetic health concerns and I want him to be around a long time.

Whenever you desire a change in your spouse then pray, don’t nag.

When a husband or wife is nagged, guilted, or badgered over changing an area of their life, then they are more likely to resist change. Being annoying about the subject will only bring resentment, annoyance, and animosity. Your spouse won’t want to hang out with you if you nagging them about something all the time.

Take your concerns about your spouse to the Lord, then pray and wait.

We don’t know the plans God has for our spouse. Maybe God is more concerned about other matters we can’t see and He is working on those first. Place your concerns in the Lord’s hands and trust that He will take care of the change.

In the process of prayer you may find the change you wanted to see happen in your spouse may not be a problem at all. Or the Lord may convict you the change is something you should work on in your own life first. God will change one of your hearts through the process of prayer.

We can’t be our spouse’s Holy Spirit and force them to change. Instead, let’s have patience and bring our concerns to the Lord. Our marriages will be a lot better when God brings the change we desire. 

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Being On the Same Page About Finances

This is the sixth post in the Building a Great Marriage series.

For where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also. – Matthew 6:21, Amplified

All he wanted was Whataburger and she was freaking out over the costs of eating lunch out. Amber and Jack in Financial Peace University (FPU) battled over Whataburger and weren’t on the same page. She was worried about spending and he was simply hungry. Eventually Amber and Jack created a budget together and got on the same page financially. She was happy knowing where the money was going and he was glad to eat lunch guilt free.

If Amber and Jack never came to an agreement, then they would’ve continued to fight about money for the rest of their marriage. Neither of them would’ve been really happy.

Married couples can’t ignore handling money, because they need money to live on planet Earth. Once a married couple figures out how be in agreement with money, then their marriage will be stronger for their family and the Kingdom of God.

Being on the same about finances means both the husband and wife bring all their money together. The Bible says where your treasure is there your heart will be also. When a husband and wife put all their money and effort together into one account, then they are also bringing together their desires and wishes.

Merging desires and wishes is not easy, because usually a husband and wife have different desires. In the example above Amber desired security and Jack wished for a tasty lunch. She was afraid the cost of eating lunch out would drain their bank account. Once they looked at the money together Amber realized eating lunches out wasn’t a problem.

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Once a husband and wife bring their finances and effort together, then they need to decide how the money will be spent. One spouse can’t figure out the money alone, because the burden is too heavy. Even if one spouse earns the money and pays the bill, they still need input and concurrence from the other spouse. No matter who earns money or who earns more money, both the husband and wife have equal say in how to deal with money.

It doesn’t matter what financial plan a married couple follows, they both need to have the same understanding about their finances. Being on the same page about money will decrease money fights make a good marriage great.

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