We have been married for 44 years come this December, and we met in ministry…
Each year since I was 19, I have selected a “Word for the Year”, a “verse for the year” and later I added a motto for each year (something you might put on a coffee mug, billboard, T- shirt or bumper sticker). In 2012, Bill and I selected the same word and the same verse:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will
be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
We know it is often hard for couples to dovetail their goals. In Men Are Like Waffles, Women
Are Like Spaghetti, we have a chapter on Achieving Together in which
we describe the process we use to get on the same page. It begins by having an honest conversation of just what is really important to each of you. Often couples have different priorities when it comes to the delicate balance of home, work, marriage, family, friends and self care.
We encourage you to grab the book, and a stack of 3 x 5 cards and begin writing down all the areas you each are responsible for personally and professionally- at work, home, church, family, and in community. (You’ll need to pick up a copy of Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti to hear just what to do with these cards and how to use the “What’s Important to You” survey in the same chapter). But we promise, if you use these tools, there will be much LESS arguing and a lot MORE “Red Hot Monogamy” going on.
We also have a goal setting sheet for couples, as integrating the goals of each person in the family can be a challenge if you are fighting for your desire to be top priority. However, goal setting conversations can also be a great opportunity for deeper connection and intimacy. We have provided our Your Best Year Yet worksheet as a template for your conversations as our gift to you. We developed this process several years ago so we could be pulling in the same direction TOGETHER!
So what was the result of our year of being STRONG? We launched a new Love-Wise video production company and the first products have rolled out. (See Bill’s 10 Best Decisions a Man Can Make DVD series clip). We both got stronger physically –(I (Pam) lost 50 pounds!) Our family got stronger (we added a beautiful daughter in law and new grandson too!) We got stronger spiritually—and God is using us- we traveled for ministry 250+ days last year, including to Singapore to release a marriage enrichment DVD commissioned by their government: “Love-Notes”.
Lastly, if this whole concept of having a Word for the Year is new, Pastor Mike Ashcraft and my friend, Rachel Olsen just released a book, “My One Word” (Zondervan), and it can walk you through step by step on how to select, implement, and maximize your word.
My favorite quote from this resource is:
“My foot needed to be held on the outside for the sake of what was going on on the inside. This is
true of our spiritual lives. We need a boot, so to speak. Something to hold us in a given position long enough for some specific inner work to happen My ONE Word can be that tool.”- Pastor Mike Ashcroft & Rachel Olsen
So get ready for the Best Year of Your Life—Choose a Word
for the Year, get a copy of Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and My One Word, then dovetail those goals with your mate for some awesome synergy!