Last week Caleb and I spent the week at CONNECT — a faith-based marriage retreat for couples who are in business together. Ever since going to this retreat when we were first ENGAGED (which sounds crazy but some friends of ours recommended going even as an engaged couple and we are SO glad that we did!!!!), we are committed to going every year as long as the retreat exists.
This retreat is SO good for our marriage and we feel extremely grateful that such a specific retreat exists because we realize that this is so rare and an incredible opportunity that not a lot of people have in their lives. I think that is one of the reasons we are committed to going — because it is a such gift for us as husband and wife AND as business owners. Another reason we are committed to going to this marriage retreat every year is because someone once told us that people are so willing to invest financially in things in their lives they are passionate about or really love — hobbies, their home décor, cars, coffee … you name it! — but not willing to invest in the most important thing in their life … their marriage. This REALLY hit home for us because we truly believe that if you’re married, your marriage IS the most important thing in your life! Having a transparent and healthy marriage (and friendship!) that builds you up while also challenging you to be a better version of yourself is the best gift you can give yourself, your children, and your friends! This retreat is one way we can invest in our marriage.
This year was different than any other year for us so far at CONNECT. We didn’t have any OH MY GOSH break through moments or any really HARD moments, but that doesn’t mean our marriage wasn’t impacted in a significant way. We actually felt like this year was a really refining year for us at CONNECT (funny because that is our “word” for 2017) ; ) We felt God calling us to prune and pull back — to take this year to focus on HIM and on US — both personal things and nothing related to the business. This is scary because it is always so easy to focus so much of our time and our energy on our business because … well … that’s how you GROW. But we felt God asking us to trust Him that if we focus on our PERSONAL lives — ourselves and our marriage — that not only will those things improve but so will the business. It makes sense.
2017 is dedicated to a year of personal growth for us and we couldn’t be more excited. Another thing we learned at the retreat this year is that change begins with US. Deeper connection and intimacy in our marriage begins with US — not with our spouse. We know that we each have so much to learn about ourselves and we cannot wait to peel back the layers and dig in deep. This will undoubtedly be SO hard and probably painful at times, but so worth what it will bring to our marriage as we understand how and why we do the things that we do … and in turn, how and why our spouse does the things that they do!
I have thought for awhile that I had done a really good job at this and credit so much of that to our marriage coach. But I am realizing that, like anything in life, we have SO much to learn and we will NEVER have it “all” figured out. I can learn new things about Caleb every day, especially as he changes and grows over time … and vice versa! So here’s to a year of continuing to build the strongest foundation we know how for our marriage, our children, and our legacy as husband and wife!!
P.S. If you are interested in CONNECT and have questions, please send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org. I would LOVE to share more with you : ) Otherwise, enjoy some photos that we took of some dear friends that we have met over the years THROUGH CONNECT!
Ashley and Tyler are a husband and wife videography team at The Herrintons!
Nathan and Ashley are a husband and wife photography team at The Siners Photography!
Ryan and Alyssa are a husband and wife wedding photography team at Ryan & Alyssa Photography!
And I had to post a couple of “outtakes” because this is what it’s REALLY like shooting with a bunch of photographers ; )
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