So maybe I was a little “too intentional” in the conversation on our first date!

Or maybe I wasn’t, because it worked out….she married me! #nailedit

I don’t remember all of the conversation because it was literally hours, but I do remember at one point saying “here’s the deal…I really like you and I’d like to pursue you, but if at any point you come to the conclusion that you would never marry me please let me know. I promise to do the same for you. It’s better for us both that way.”
How’s that for a conversation right at the beginning?!?!?!

The truth is that both of us were in a place in life that we didn’t want to waste each other’s time. We were both in our careers, we were both involved in coaching or volunteering in the community, and we both knew that we didn’t want to wait forever to start a family. I didn’t want to waste her time and I didn’t want her to be a waste of my time đŸ˜‰

Maybe that’s why we got engaged 4 months later and were married within less than 8 months of meeting each other….on a blind date!12969215_1673859082863938_119568102_n

Now…..I don’t necessarily encourage people to marry that fast, but I will say that it can be done and it can last. Here we are almost 10 years later and stronger than ever. We’re stronger than ever not because we’re “so awesome” but because we’ve had trials and struggles, we’ve grown together through transitions and changes, plus we’ve added the blessing of 3 little kiddos and all that goes with that.
Our “success” comes first and foremost through our faith in Christ….hands down. It has established where we are today and will be our guiding light for the future.
As life has moved along and gotten busier it has been challenging to be as consistent, but we strive to continually come back to intentional times with each other. Time away from the chaos and distractions of everyday life, kid-free time, and specific time to dream together and set goals for the future.
The fun, and additional challenge, has been to then take this into each relationship with our three children.
Especially in these early years. There many things that I absolutely love about my wife, but one thing that always stands out to me is how amazing she is with her time raising our kids. She continually teaches ME through her actions of how to be a better parent.
I want to make one thing clear….INTENTIONAL does not have to be ELABORATE.
At times us men think that we have to have some crazy, extensive (and expensive) plan to pull off to do something special for our wifethere'salwayssomethingto be. Now, I do think that it is fun to occasionally do something  a bit more exquisite or involved, but the truth is that I believe most women feel loved and appreciated by the small things just as much, if not more, than the big things. I found that out by experience :)
Trust me Jodi doesn’t mind some of the fun “bigger things,” but I’ve found that it speaks more to her heart by the smaller things.

Believe me, we are far from perfect in this area, but it is something we strive for more and more especially because it seems like life just gets busier and busier so it HAS to be a priority.

Part of this journey is learning each other and discovering how each other naturally give and receive love. I would highly recommend Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages” as a great starting point. And don’t stop there….read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch videos, go to seminars together. STAY THE COURSE and go through the process of growing together. Marriage is not a sprint or a marathon….it’s a life-long journey. It involves sprints, marathons, water breaks, time-outs, obstacles, hospital visits, and so much more :)

If you don’t become intentional with your marriage NOW, then the risk is that you look at your spouse LATER and they just feel like a roommate. One of the best things you can do for your kids is to pursue your spouse. They need to see that they are not the center of your household. Trust me, it’s good for them…..and it’s good for you.

So whether it’s a note of encouragement, a weekend away, breakfast in bed, or simply putting down your phone….just start anywhere and continuing to grow together and know how to serve each other better and better every day.