Last weekend, Sam and I left the kiddos in the very capable hands of Grandma and Papa Brandt, and headed to Des Moines for a Family Life Marriage Conference called "A Weekend to Remember". I have confessed to Sam and will admit publicly now that deep in my heart, I was thinking that this would be a fun weekend away from home and Sam might learn a few things about how to be a better husband-to put it in their terms, I was bringing Sam there to fix him. Instead, God convicted ME and opened my eyes to so many truths that I wasn't living. If you would humor me, I would like to share with you a few of the things that I learned that I think will change my life:
1. I was created by God to be the perfect partner to my Sam. When God was creating me, He gave me gifts to compliment my husband and weaknesses where Sam is strong. The same holds true for Sam. We were created to compliment each other. Pretty awesome if you stop to think about it!
2. Expectations without communication leads to conflict! My husband is not a mind reader! :)
3. I need to reject our cultures pattern of 50/50 performance relationship, where I only do my part if I feel he is doing his. Very hard for me to do, but I am loving the results!
4. Sam and I have completely different communication styles-'nough said! :) However, one thing that I have been trying to take to heart is "Always respond to emotion with emotion, and fact with fact". They gave the example of a man commenting to his wife that they had gone over budget and his wife flies off the handle and starts crying about how he doesn't love her and is always yelling at her about money. That's responding to fact with emotion. FYI, it works well with Ellie too! :)
5. My priorities need to be in the Godly order of God, my husband, and then my kids.
There was so many other things that I'm not putting here, but it really was an awesome weekend. It was so much fun to spend time with Sam without all the distractions of home. We laughed more than we have in a long time, had plenty of time to talk, had a LOT of honest discussions, and even shed a few tears (ok, that was me...not Sam! :)). It was wonderful to be ME for a whole weekend. I adore my children, but sometimes it's hard to be someone's mommy all the time, and having a chance to have a break from it all was so nice. Sam was so great about the whole thing-I know this definitely wasn't his cup of tea, but he did it because he knew I wanted to. Sam is definitely my gift from God and I am so glad I had the opportunity to be reminded of it yet again. Love ya Babe! :)