Recognize, Stop and Figure it Out

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We know lots of relationships skills and we know when we use them they make all the difference in the world.  We just have to buckle down and use them.  We did that today.  We worked through an issue using several of the skills we have learned over the years.  It was a great experience and we each took ownership of how we contributed to the problem and what we were each willing to do about it.

I don’t have space here to explain the specifics so I’ll give you the basics and, if interested, you can google and read more about them and try these techniques to see if they don’t work for you.  Try them.  We think you will like them.  The tools we used were first, understanding what the experts call the “Fear Cycle.”  Then, identifying what’s behind the fear.  After that, we talked through our reactions using “I” messages and reflective listening.  After we had a good understanding of where the other was coming from, we used the ten-step plan for problem solving.  Ta Da = issue resolved and we are happy campers.

Foolish and Stupid Arguments


I’ve been working on trying to be more humble.  Isn’t it funny how when you pray about something the Lord gives you plenty of opportunities to practice what you are asking for?  Well, today was one of those days.  We had only been up a few hours when our first disagreement started.  It just so happened it was as we walked in the doors of church.

Disagreement #1 – “Look.  They have taken down the extra set of doors,” I said.

“I don’t remember there being another set of doors,” my husband replied.

“Well there was.  I remember there have always been four greeters – two at each set of doors.”

Disagreement #2 – I leaned over and mentioned to my husband that the man who just spoke sounded a lot like our neighbor Todd.”

David replied, “He did not.”

“Well, I think he did!”

Thank goodness the service started or things could have gotten ugly.

On the way out of church, the door debate started came up again.    “You mean there was another set of doors?” David asked.

“Yes,” I replied.

“Well, it’s just going to make the hallway and sanctuary colder in the winter,” he commented.

Probably true, but no need to comment on this one.  I’m thinking, “Leave it to the maintenance crew to figure it out.”

Do you ever have those silly arguments?  This is where humility can come in.  I didn’t say I was there yet.  I’m working on it.  But I know I need to be able to control how I respond.  I don’t need to try to prove I’m right and he’s wrong.   This is so hard sometimes. But some things just aren’t worth the high cost and are simply futile and unnecessary.  Is it better to win the argument or cause a rift in your relationship?

I’m reminded of 2 Timothy 2:23-25, “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. . .”

So there you have it.  Another peek inside our marriage where we are continually learning and striving to do better.  Just because you may have a lot of knowledge about relationships, doesn’t mean you are on top of things all the time.  We are fellow strugglers just like many others.

Grace and peace,

Penny and David










Let It Go!

shutterstock_96578368It doesn’t matter how long you know someone, sometimes you are just not going to understand that person’s actions. This happened the other day.  My husband and I have known one another for 50 years.  We are having a radon system put into our home and my husband worked himself in a frenzy pulling tons of things out from the walls so the radon man could get to the cracks in the floor to seal them.  Our basement now looks like a hoarder’s house with everything piled in the middle.  The puzzling thing, however, is each time I went to the basement every light in the place was on.  It’s not like one switch does the job.  You literally have to go around this maze of stuff and pull eight little strings to get all the lights on.  I would turn the lights off and the next time I went down they were on again.  So I figured my husband must be turning them on for a reason.  So I asked him.  His answer was “The radon man is coming Tuesday.”  “Yes, but this is Thursday.  Do you want to leave them on until then?” I asked.  He just shrugged his shoulders. “If you want to turn them off you can,” was his next reply.  Okay.  My husband is a smart and rational guy but this was one of those times when his reasoning just didn’t add up.   So I thought, “Just give him grace, and let it go.  Let it go!  Let it go!”  My next thought was hurry radon man as some of the gases may be seeping into my husband’s head.