Team Us: Marriage Together (Giveaway Time!)

team us: marriage together
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How do you fight? Not brawling on the streets, but with your spouse– ya know, “conflict resolution”.

Clint and I used to be terrible fighters, there was fighting but not as much resolving. In the beginning of our marriage, there was lots of screaming and it always ended with Clint angry and me wanting to ignore the situation before anything was resolved. We both believe we’ve gotten better at fighting.

In Ashleigh Slater’s book Team Us: Marriage Together she talks about two different approaches to conflict resolution: the “me-first” and the “team-first” mentalities.

Just to give a few examples:

ME-FIRST would be a need to be right and disregarding your spouse’s perspective on the issue.

TEAM-FIRST  would be giving up the need to be right and instead having a desire to understand your spouse’s perspective on the issue.

Of these two, I definitely think Clint and I have learned to employ more of the team-first than the me-first. Sometimes when we argue, it turns into a really long conversation of us just trying to understand where the other is coming from and clarifying clarifying clarifying until we completely understand. Honestly, sometimes we realize we both think or feel the same way, we’re just so different that we explain things differently.

I recently read Ashleigh’s book and enjoyed it. She uses several real-life examples from her own marriage and examples from marriages of her friends written by each of them, for each of the 10 chapters. I always love examples in marriage books because it affirms that you know what the author is talking about.

At the end of each chapter, are questions that you can either answer alone or with your spouse for some discussion to get you thinking. There are also several snippets in each chapter from Ashleigh’s husband.

The entire focus of the book is how to approach marriage as a team. A good team, one that works together to win! Ashleigh offers several strategies throughout the book that she and her husband use in their own marriage that have helped them build a stronger marriage. The book is a fairly quick read and the chapters are the perfect length to read a chapter before bed each night and discuss with your spouse.

And just in time for Valentine’s Day, I also have a copy to give away to one of you! Just scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway.

Do you and your husband view marriage as a “team”? 

About the book:

What are you agreeing to when you say “I do”? When a couple promises “I do,” they agree to more than just a shared last name, a joint bank account, and no more dateless nights. This husband and wife duo forms a new team. “Life together” becomes their mantra. Nothing can come between them. At least, that’s the plan. But then real life sets in. With it come disappointments and frustrations. If the couple isn’t intentional in their day-to-day interactions, that once enthusiastic “we” can slowly revert to “you” and “me.” Before long, the couple’s left wondering what happened to their team spirit. 
Team Us: Marriage Together offers couples practical ways to cultivate and strengthen unity in their marriages. Author Ashleigh Slater shares from her own marriage as she presents couples with realistic ideas on how to foster cooperation, deepen commitment, and exercise grace on a daily basis.
You can also get more info here:
Check out the book trailer HERE & hear from Ashleigh Slater HERE.
 
Check out Ashleigh’s blog HERE
 
Check out the official website HERE 

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 Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted..

The Marriage You've Always Wanted
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Happy Valentine’s Day! Let’s celebrate by talking about marriage today! The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted- sounds nice, right? Would make a wonderful book title too. Well Gary Chapman already beat you to it 😉

You guys probably already know I’m a big fan of Gary Chapman from this post. Well his book The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted is just as good as The Five Love Languages, if not better. Actually, I think they’re both great in their own way.

One thing I love about his books is that they are written for any couple. For instance, he will make reference to couples having a hard time and write things specifically for you, but he also writes plenty for the couples in a good season in marriage. And he does both effectively, I think– I’ve been in both of those spots in my marriage– to the extreme of each actually.

Clint and I haven’t had much time to sit and read this book together at night, with so much going on, ya know–life. But I recently read this book and Clint has been reading a chapter here and there when I leave it out for him. Now that I’m finished, he’s going to read the rest of it.

The book covers almost any subject you can think of though and gives you that eye-opening DOH! type of advice just like the love languages. You’ll go, well of course, why didn’t I think of that? Well, maybe because you aren’t a trained Christian marriage counselor, ya think? 🙂

Another thing about Chapman, is that he never avoids the topic of sex. I know society has made sex so dirty, that we’re taken back when we here a Christian leader mention it. But Chapman always points out that it is an extremely important aspect of a healthy marriage and that we as Christians need to get over that stereotype and enjoy intimacy with our partners.. just saying.

Each chapter is sort of broken down into a general idea or specific topic, such as in-laws or sexual intimacy, and then at the end of each chapter there is a mini “assignment”. I like to highlight the parts in the chapters that really speak to me and then answer the questions directly into the book. That way, when I want to look back through at another time, if I wanna be lazy I can just read the highlighted. For instance, I love this…

"Doing right, responding to others as God would respond, expressing love, being patient with imperfection, and having a realistic appraisal of yourself-- these are the things that bring true fulfillment to a marriage."

So now here’s your chance to read The Marriage You’ve Always Marriage– I’m giving away a free copy to one of you!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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If you don’t want to wait for the giveaway, you could just go ahead and purchase it now.

[amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]0802411576[/amazon-product]

God’s Not Dead

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I was not compensated in any way or even asked to do this review, I simply wanted to share my thoughts on it. All opinions expressed are solely my own. 

Happy Monday everyone! Hopefully your weekend went by a little slower than mine did. I still feel like it’s Friday of last week. I want to announce the winner of the Unstoppable DVD today and share with you about another movie I saw recently. I rarely even watch television or movies, so it’s been strange watching so much of it lately.

LAURA D. 

is the winner of the Unstoppable DVD. I will be contacting you. 😉

So.. have you heard of the new movie coming out called God’s Not Dead? Since we don’t have cable and I don’t watch much television, I had not seen any previews until we went with the Youth at our church to a concert in Mobile, AL recently and saw the trailer for it. You can view that here…

Doesn’t that make you want to watch it? Well it certainly got me interested! A few weeks ago, I got invited to a pre-screening for it as a blogger. I RSVP’d immediately and asked my friend Jennifer if she would like to come along with me. That is so unlike me too, because I generally stay in my comfort zone and only do things with family. 

I’m so glad I asked her, because it was the first time in a very long time that I have had any girl time with someone other than Shaye or my mother in law and we had a BLAST. And the movie was just as wonderful as the trailer makes it look!

I get so tired of the movies you see nowadays. It’s always a break-up make-up comedy or a hero comes to the rescue with a happily ever after ending. That’s one of the reasons I don’t even like to watch movies. Of course, with Christian movies not being the norm, especially in our theaters, I was excited to see what God’s Not Dead was all about.

Without giving too much away, a college student takes on his professor in proving that God is NOT dead. You see believers and non-believers in several walks of life including those who have always believed, new believers, ones who have turned away, and those who have never really heard the Gospel. The examples of faith in this movie will certainly be eye-opening to believers.

GodisReal

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Not only that, I think this movie will be a great witnessing tool. Like I mentioned in my Unstoppable post, I’m a skeptic. I ask questions and I don’t like the “Because I believe” answers to hard questions. In terms of Creation, this movie will answer so many questions that -I hope- will either shape your faith or help you to defend your faith when the time comes.

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If you are an Atheist–you’re going to want to see this movie.

If you are Agnostic– you’re going to want to see this movie.

If you are struggling in your faith– you’re going to want to see this movie.

If you are a believer– you’re going to want to see this movie.

If you are alive– you’re going to want to see this movie.

They are currently booking theaters for the March 21 opening weekend. You can visit the website here to see if one has been booked in your area. They did stress at the pre-screening that the more tickets sold on the opening weekend, the more likely it will stay around the following weeks. It will be in our area and I’m hoping our church will get a large group together to go.

What do you think of the preview? Is GOD’S NOT DEAD something your family will be seeing?

 

Unstoppable: Review & Giveaway

Unstoppable Review & Giveaway
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Most of you probably know Kirk Cameron from the 80’s where he played Mike Seaver on Growing Pains or maybe from his role in the 2008 film Fireproof. Honestly, until I saw Fireproof, I didn’t even realize Kirk Cameron was a Christian.  Recently, Clint, Shaye and I were at the movies and saw this trailer for UNSTOPPABLE.
If you’ll remember, this is the movie that was apparently being “banned” on Facebook. I think that turned out to be some kind of mistake, but anyhow. Sadly, we weren’t able to make it to either of the showings, so when I got the opportunity to receive a copy and review the movie, I was really excited. Here’s a little more information:  
Inspired by the death of Cameron’s close friend who succumbed to cancer at the age of 15, Kirk Cameron takes viewers on an inspiring and hope-filled visual journey to better understand the biggest doubt-raising question in faith: “Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?”

Going back to the beginning—literally—Kirk investigates the origins of good and evil and how they impact our lives … and our eternities. UNSTOPPABLE will prompt audiences to consider the role that pain and suffering has in our lives, as they affirm their personal views on faith, and encourage conversation starters about God, suffering, and hope.

In theaters for only two weeknights (Sept 24th and Oct 3th, 2013), UNSTOPPABLE: A Live Event with Kirk Cameron sold a staggering 260,000 tickets and reached a theatrical gross of over $3.2 million dollars. In just two nights this independent project sent a loud message – audiences want thought-provoking and meaningful entertainment.

Like that says, Kirk Cameron narrates scenes from the “Beginning” giving you some Genesis 101. Because of this, I think Unstoppable is great not only for mature Christians, but new believers and non-believers as well.

I will say though, it didn’t come straight out and answer the questions about why God allows bad things to happen to good people or where He is in the midst of these things. Instead, Kirk Cameron gives numerous instances in the Bible where these type of things happen and pointed out how we view those things today or how they shaped history. 

I’m a skeptic. I ask questions. Maybe it’s a generational thing or maybe it’s because of my upbringing but I don’t like the “Because I believe” answers to hard questions… yeah, you know what I’m talking about. I don’t have faith because my parents told me to and I’ve never thought to think differently — I have faith, because I ask those hard questions and have come to believe through answers that I was confident in and that were biblical, I guess you could say. I explain this because, the main idea I walked away with from this movie is that you have to trust. He knows what He’s doing, and you have to trust Him. That isn’t exactly an “answer” I would normally be satisfied with, but with the way Kirk Cameron presented it (all biblically-based), it makes perfect sense to me.

The film is Dove Approved for those 12 and older. There are a few scenes that probably wouldn’t be appropriate for children younger than that, so I think the 12+ is suitable. The DVD was released this week on January 28, so you can go the the official website http://unstoppablethemovie.com and buy a copy today… or you could scroll to the bottom of this post and enter to win a free copy. 🙂 Giveaway ends February 9, 2014 @ 11:59 PM.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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What’s Your Love Language?

What Your Love Language?
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Marriage is hard. And wonderful. And frustrating. And such a blessing.

After dating for 2.5 years, Clint and I tied the knot on June 14, 2008, at our church. We were married by our previous pastor, Brother Garland, who had been called to another church a few months before. During our premarital counseling, he gave us a copy of [amazon-product region=”us” text=”The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” type=”text”]B0032CVAQQ[/amazon-product] written by Gary Chapman and stressed to us how important he thought it was that we read it.

We did read through it before the wedding, but it was sort of a rush through. Our relationship had been extremely easy until that point. Yes, those 2.5 years had been a long-distance relationship, but we seriously rocked the long-distance.. if that’s possible? I didn’t get the pre-wedding jitters, I knew without a doubt that this was the man God intended for me and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I wasn’t sure if I wanted children or not, but we would figure that out later.

clint sara 8-10-07

Our first year of marriage, well- it was tough! It was difficult to get used to being around each other all.the.time. Like I said, we only saw each other every other weekend and during school breaks while we were dating/engaged, so this was a major adjustment for us. Things definitely smoothed out around the second year though. But around that time, I decided that we should continually try to better our relationship. I started buying marriage books and devotionals here and there for us to read through together.

One book I got was [amazon-product region=”us” text=”The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage” type=”text”]B007V698DG[/amazon-product], also written by Gary Chapman. When we got it and I looked through it, I decided we should read through [amazon-product region=”us” text=”The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” type=”text”]0802473156[/amazon-product] again and it was such an eye opener this time around. Gary Chapman includes personal stories of others, which I find really interesting. It was fun to read through and go, “Oh yeah, that’s definitely you!”

Clint and Sara August 2013

I think it’s extremely important to learn each other’s love language, though- and what it takes to keep each other’s love tank full. Clint’s primary love language is Words of Affirmation, followed by Quality Time. Mine are Acts of Service and then Physical Touch. We are complete opposites, always have been. 🙂

If I didn’t know and focus on Clint’s love language, I would probably show my love by doing the things for him that make me feel loved. I mean, it’s great if I get up on Saturday morning and cook him breakfast or hold his hand when we’re out and about, but neither of those things are going to make him feel loved the way me thanking him for something he does around the house or just hanging out on the couch watching a movie with him does.

[amazon-product region=”us” text=”The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” type=”text”]0802473156[/amazon-product]is definitely a book that I would recommend to any couple, newlywed or in their 25th year of marriage. Have you read it? Do you speak your spouse’s love language in order to make them feel loved?