A Simple Marriage in 2010

Relationship Design, Simplicity

I love the mountains. I love their beauty, impressiveness, challenge, and strength.
Having grown up in the plains of the midwest, where the mountains were 8 or more hours away, I loved trips to the mountains.
I’d love to live in the mountains some day.
For the past several months my wife and I have had several conversations about what we want our family to be about. What kind of story we want our family to be part of. What story we want our marriage to be.
This conversation took a more intent path when we read Donald Miller’s newest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (absolutely worth the read). Miller proposes that life is a story and many people quite frankly live in boring stories of their own writing.
For my wife and I, we began discussions about moving to the mountains as a way to write a better story. But it quickly became evident that moving may be a reaction to current life and if we did move, we’d only be changing the scenery, not the main story.
So in 2010 we are working on the main story, not the scenery (although the scenery in our home will be decluttered and simple as possible). In other words, we’re working on the main characters.
The scenery plays a minor role, the characters carry the story.
To that end, here are some questions we’ve been working through thus far.

  1. Are you living for something more than yourself?
  2. Much of life seems to be survival of the fittest and while self-care is essential for a life fully alive, and a marriage fully alive, it can cross the boundary to being only about ourselves easily. Being a part of something bigger than ourself is important to living a good story. Give of yourself to others, give your time to a worthy cause, help those around you.

  3. If your life were a movie, would you want to go see it?
  4. This same question works for marriage as well.

  5. What do you want in life?
  6. This is a question many people can’t answer, in fact most people wouldn’t know where to begin. To tell a great story, you must want something. So what do you want?

  7. Do you find you avoid life’s conflict?
  8. Life is filled with conflict, so is marriage. It’s unavoidable. Do you find that you spend a lot of time trying to avoid conflict in life and marriage? Is life at home like walking on egg-shells? If so, what does this say about the characters in your story? Move into the conflict. Face the fear of the unknown and speak up. As John Eldredge says in Wild at Heart“Let the world feel the weight of you, and let them deal with it.”

In 2010, write a great story. Be a good character in it. And tell a great story.
Join Mandi Ehman, of Organizing Your Way, all this month as she posts 31 ways of organizing for a better 2010.

Photo courtesy geoftheref