Marriage Building Tips

Marriage Building in Manhattan Kansas

How was ‘unplugging’ this past week?  Did you find freedom through it?  I’d love to hear how it blessed you!  If you missed our marriage builder tip number two from last week you can find it here.

This topic on dreaming together does not come easy for Kyle and I.  In fact, we struggle with this a lot.  ‘Dreaming together,’ for us has been a continual process of individual evaluation, prayer, and communication.  It has taken us awhile to realize that ‘dreaming big together’ doesn’t necessarily involve living out the ‘American Dream.’  We have had many a discussion on acquiring the american dream and what it truly means to dream big dreams and then go get them for yourself.  It is a struggle for us.  Kyle and I are NOT saying that dreaming big is wrong by any means.  We are also not saying that those that acquire much wealth or possessions are wrong in doing so.  In fact, we know many wealthy people who are unabashedly loving on people and giving of their inheritance for incredible reasons.  God has entrusted them with much and it’s a blessing!  Nor are Kyle and I saying that those that live with little or don’t acquire wealth or possessions are more ‘godly.’  In fact, in discussing this ‘dreaming together’ topic with you, we aren’t even talking about the ‘American Dream.’  Kyle and I have learned through trial and error, ups and downs, disagreements and agreements, selfishness and unselfishness within our own marriage that the dreams we truly desire to see fulfilled happen deep within.

‘As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.  Joy is always possible.  Whenever, meaning-now; wherever, meaning-here.  The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience.  The joy wonder could be here!  Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be-unbelievably-possible!  The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now.’ – Ann Voskamp

3. Dream together

We are realizing that our hearts desires and our dreams are actually God’s desires and dreams for us.  We don’t always realize them or understand them, but God knows them.  You see, He created us.  He instilled dreams, aspirations, and desires within us to be used for His ultimate glory and purpose, not only in our lives, but in the lives of those around us.  Kyle and I are slowly learning what it means to search for truths in our hearts longings and dreams.  We are learning that dreams have a much deeper meaning and figuring out how to live out our dreams requires us to dig deeper.  Digging deeper for us has helped in realizing that our joy and our dreams come to fruition when we leave an impact on those around us through serving them in our gifting’s.  Did you know that God created YOU for a purpose?  He has given you gifting upon gifting.  We are realizing slowly that our gifting’s are meant to fulfill our dreams; our dreams of leaving a legacy and an impact beyond our own life .  Yes.  Living out of who you are and who God created you to be will ultimately lead to dreams fulfilled and joy attained because you are wholly satisfied in Him and He will use this to impact those around you.

Helpful things to consider when dreaming big together:

Discover your gifting

We were all born to create in some shape or form.  We were all born to live out of our truest authentic selves.  Kyle and I are still discovering our gifting’s and we believe they transform and change over our lifetime.  I didn’t realize I had a gift in telling the stories of so many through photography, until about two years ago.  And it all started with me taking up a little hobby in redoing furniture for my daughter’s nursery!  I honestly didn’t know I had a creative bone in me until I was 26 years old :).  So I mean it when I say go out and ‘discover’ your gifting!  Start with a passion you have or something you desire to grow in and continue to learn and practice it, pray over it, and tell someone about it.  A dear friend of mine recently wrote on this very thing and it was absolutely beautiful!  Read her post on ‘created’ here.  *Beautiful, right?!  And that sweet face :).*  Kyle and I have found Strength Finders to be an excellent resource in discovering your gifting’s, as well as being willing to get uncomfortable ;).

Don’t be afraid to take risks

Why would we suggest taking risks when referring to dreaming big together?  If you are like me(Kyle here*) when you were young you wanted to be and do something amazing.  You wanted to become a doctor, a firefighter, a race car driver, or personally a bull rider!   While young and innocent our dreams were not limited by financial responsibilities or settling into a career that will allow you to retire in 35 years.  We weren’t thinking about the cute house with a white picket fence, 2 kids, a lab and a cat for good measure.  Instead we were thinking about fun and adventure! What happened to the adventure in life?  What happened with helping people, saving lives, living with excitement and the lack of fear when it comes to taking risks?  For many the american dream becomes a prison.  We are stuck in a culture thats main focus is to reduce risk as much as possible.  We buy into “the dream,” trading our once big dreams for security, a steady paycheck, and a retirement plan.  As Seth Godin puts in his book “Lynch Pin” it’s easy to become an easily replaced “cog” in the  “machine”.   Being a “cog” that simply shows up in life and at work to just get by.  This approach to life steals the very heart and soul out of who you are and what you were made to do.   I’m not suggesting you should drop everything and chase your latest invention.  What I am saying is tomorrow when you wake up to head into the office be willing to take a risk in showing true passion for what you do.  Let your heart show through your work.  Allow yourself to be placed in a vulnerable place, one that risks the rejection of others if they don’t like it.  You are an artist.  Create something and don’t be afraid to fail.

Live Generously

When you adopt this attitude of living with passion and striving to live out of your natural gifting what you are offering people is a gift.  A gift is something that is received by someone yet is not *always* paid for by the recipient.  The price has been paid by the giver.  Think of your favorite musician.  In order to see that musician perform you may have to pay a ticket price of $50.  The ticket price lets you into the venue to see your favorite artist, but does the ticket price cover the value and the worth of the skill and artistry of the musician?  Absolutely not!  Countless hours were spent by the musician to hone skill, talent and passion into an amazing experience that you receive.  This is a gift you couldn’t possibly ever repay.  How much does a smile cost?  Every time you smile you give a gift.  Be generous with your gifts!  Be generous with your time, your talent, your money, your heart, your love, and your life.  Your dreams come true when you impact others in living generously.

So as you dream together, I hope you find yourselves discovering ways to utilize your gifts, searching for the risks in your day-to-day to live fully alive where you are, and being compelled to live out of generosity.  Hear me when I say that we are learning this more and more each and every day, so are not great at it ourselves, but we desire to live out of who we are and who God created us to be because we trust that that will lead to dreams fulfilled and joy attained when we find ourselves wholly satisfied in who He’s created us to be.  Our ultimate ‘big dream’ is to leave a legacy that brings other’s closer to Jesus through our marriage and impacts those around us through our gifts.

The next marriage building tip for February’s ‘love month’ is on the importance of ‘working together.’  We are excited to share the steps we’ve taken with you next Thursday on Marriage Building Weekly!

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