Recently as we dropped into bed at midnight, I remembered to tell Zerrin that in the morning two pastors were coming over to the house to talk about us doing a conference with them sometime next year. Her response was: “In the morning?” and then she sighed and rolled over while we went to sleep. Early the next morning I heard my wife scurrying about in the kitchen. I got up and started some stretching when it occurred that I might ask: “Anything I can do to help?”
With a mixture of frustration and teasing that only my wife can pull off, she said she was fine–although gonna be later getting to school than she wanted to because she had a husband who tells her things at the last minute which meant spending an extra 20 minutes cleaning up before she left the house. My response? Not the best…read on!
It was a genuine delight to host the Madly in Love conference this past October. Although I had never actually attended one before, I still confidently assured the folks I invited that the content of the weekend would “speak to them” no matter where they were on the “marriage journey.”
After making that guarantee, Mark & Zerrin actually exceeded every expectation I had as they wisely, humbly, and practically encouraged all of those who were able to participate in the conference. And based on the feedback I have received from others who attended, they had the same experience.
(Director, Behind the Scenes Ministry)
No doubt we have all heard our spouse start a sentence with: “You ALWAYS…” or “You NEVER…” Truth be known, we have probably all said those words ourselves. I remember once, telling Zerrin I was frustrated about her using those words when she talks to me, only to find myself doing the same thing on a walk with her only one hour later. Ugh! I hate it when that happens! What do we do?
I remember feeling a pain deep inside, when just days after my first child had arrived I had to go to work. It just didn’t seem right. There she was, the most precious gift God had given Zerrin and I–a very real part of me–and I had to say good-bye.
From that day forward I would increasingly experience an unexplainable mix of joy and pain inside my heart between wanting to hold on to her forever and letting her go. I have felt that mixture of emotions every day for 28 years not only with Brittany, but again with my son Micah, and my second daughter Taya.
How do we enjoy the time we have with our spouse and children, while knowing our time is limited?
Last week I wrote about priority management being more of the key rather than time management. This morning as I awoke and laid in bed feeling overwhelmed with all I had to do, I reminded myself: “priorities Mark…think priorities!” That helped me once again to put things in focus. It got me out of bed and into my day as it does most days. At the same time, there are still nagging questions I have and questions you have asked about handling time and things to do. Over the next few weeks I am going to do my best at answering them. Here is the first question…
“How do we deal with what seems to be an endless list of tasks?”
Finding time! It is a struggle for most of us living in this fast-paced world, with its incessant demands, and virtually (no pun intended) unlimited opportunities. What is the secret? How do we find time for everything?
That may or may not be your feeling. It is a question however, that I hear fairly often. When marriage is not going well, a thought crosses the mind of one or both spouses: “Did I marry the wrong person?” Feelings of disappointment, hurt, anger, betrayal, and disconnection shroud any feelings of love. Fear takes over and opens the door to confusion.
A similar question could also be raised: “How can I know if I am marrying the right person?” This is a significant concern in the lives of young people considering marriage and evermore with a society full of broken marriages and others not marrying at all.
Recently when talking to my brother, we both shared separate stories of a childhood memory where words were said to us in a very demeaning manner. I was in 8th grade when a teacher ridiculed me in front of the whole class because I didn’t know the definition of a word. I remember feeling utterly ashamed. I wanted to disappear. Why did he do that? Why wasn’t he considerate of the effect that might have had on me? Why aren’t we all much more attentive to what we say and how we say it? What should we keep in mind the most when communicating so that we can positively affect and love others well?
There is a proverb that says: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Think about that. The very words you and I use each and every day are words that can injure, wound, shame, destroy, and bring death. OR they can bring forth LIFE! Our words can encourage, help, comfort, build up, strengthen, give direction, and heal!
24 seconds! Only 24 seconds today and the bed was made! You may have read my earlier blogs about making the bed in the morning. I don’t like doing it but one day I realized it only took 47 seconds–so it’s doable and a blessing to my wife. Then one day we found it only took 17 seconds, when we did it together. Teamwork! It’s great for building connection in marriage. BUT today I did it myself in 24 SECONDS and was reminded that life is all about…
FOCUS! Life is all about focus. I stayed totally focused while counting down the seconds and it made a huge difference (relatively speaking.) I cut my all time solo record in half. Woot! Woot!
Throughout my life I have deeply appreciated and respected all five sets of my Aunts and Uncles – each one very true to their faith and to their spouse/family. Each one has been a model and hope for Zerrin and I as we continue to forge our way through life. This past weekend I spent some time in Dallas with my Aunt LaVonne and Uncle Don who is 88. While visiting, I saw a dimension of love that deeply stirred and challenged me…
Don & LaVonne Campbell. Don is former Professor and President of Dallas Theological Seminary.
You see, my Aunt has that very debilitating disease known as Alzheimer’s. It has to be one of the most frustrating, puzzling, and heart-breaking diseases one can experience.