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Monday, November 10, 2008

Marriage Retreat

I spent the weekend in lovely Delavan, Wisconsin with my husband of 7 1/2 years at our first marriage retreat. If you have never been on one, I highly recommend it! We had a great time. The speakers, Kurt and Kristin Sauder were humorous, insightful and very charismatic! The first night we spent talking about building our marriage bank, and what we felt were deposits and withdrawals. The best part of the meetings were after the meetings - discussion sheets were provided and you got to have some alone time with your spouse. I cannot believe how easily my husband opened up when it was someone other than me (even if it was a piece of paper) asking the questions! Even after years together, there were things that were important to him, that I didn't realize were THAT important.

As the weekend went on, there were other meetings - Respecting your husband (for the women) and How to Become a Romantic Stud (for the men) - There was also a meeting called You Are Here - which had you remember back to how it was when you first met - and what attracted you to the other person to begin with. On one of these discussion sheets it asked what you would like to change in your marriage and I wrote down - Spiritual time together. My husband asked me what I meant by that, and I said that I would like to pray together. He said - you know that is hard for me. I told him that it was hard for me, too. And we left it at that.

At the Sunday morning service, before we all left to return home - the leaders led us in a prayer by couples - First he would say - men, pray about this aloud with your wife, women, pray about this aloud with your husband... (like what you were thankful for in each other, etc) One of the women's prayers was to be about another couple who were struggling. Instantly a woman came to mind who I hadn't heard from in about 6 months. We have kids close to the same age, and occassionally got together for playdates, but just hadn't been able to connect in a while. I also knew that finances the last few years had been tough for them. That is who I chose to pray for with my husband.

Then - the best thing happened - we got to renew our vows with 50+ other couples. Talk about a moving experience. When that tear rolled out of my husband's eye, I knew that I was in the right place!

Well, we packed up and came home and as I was checking my email before bed, I almost fell out of my chair. There was an email from the woman who I had prayed about, who I hadn't heard from in 6 months. It just said that I had been on her mind a lot and she would like to try to get together and see a movie or go out for dinner. God still answers prayers! It was also wonderful to be able to share this with my husband - the one who had trouble praying out loud. I am hoping that it will get easier from here!!!

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