Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Should You Marry Young?

posted by Linda Mintle

coupleFriends of ours married off their son when he just turned 21. Another is getting married at 20 and hey, I was married at 19! Yes, I know, that is really young.

But is marrying young a good idea?

Well, for me it obviously worked. I’m about to celebrate 40 years of marriage this year. Yes, we had a lot of growing up to do. And maybe that is the point. We grew together. We were too young to be set in our ways and basically had to learn how to get along with each other and create our “We” from our “I”. Marriage helped us understand ourselves better. Growing up together can form a powerful union.

Marrying young, we had to build our careers and watch our money. We saved, ate mac and cheese multiple times a week (5 for dollar back then) and worked at achieving goals together. We shared our music, learned to appreciate art and developed a spiritual life.

The down side of course was that we, (mostly me), were immature and didn’t always handle things well. We made mistakes, lost money on bad decisions and learned things the hard way at times. Mostly though, we had a lot of fun working our way through graduate schools and finding cheap ways to entertain ourselves (so thankful for college hockey!). During those early years, both of us became more focused in graduate school because we didn’t have all the distractions of dating. Our grades went up!

I know the average age of marriage has risen to 29 for men and 27 for women. But those who wait into their late 20s and early 30s also struggle more with depression, drinking and feeling less satisfied with partners. And certainly the sexual temptation is always present the longer you wait to marry.

So here is my take on marrying young, if you feel you met the right person, know you will struggle some, but have the attitude of building something together and stay spiritually sound, you will probably be fine. The spiritual part is key because there are too many voices in the culture telling you to satisfy yourself and be dissatisfied with everything else. Keep your eyes on Christ, pray together and make your spiritual lives vibrant. That spiritual unity is most important when it comes to preventing divorce and growing together.

The Hope of the Resurrection

posted by Linda Mintle

crossIt’s Good Friday.

Do you sometimes feel as if your life is lived  in a perpetual Good Friday mode? Like the movie, Ground Hog Day, it seems you are replaying the same bad day over and over, fighting despair and struggling. Disease, broken relationships, prodigal children…the landscape looks bleak and can easily lead to despair.

But Good Friday reminds us that all our suffering and struggles will one day end. One day there will be no more tears, no death, no mourning or pain. All things will be made new.

Easter is not about the bunnies or all the candy. Easter is about Hope. No matter how bleak Good Friday seems, Easter reminds us that one day disease will be erased, wrongs will be righted, and brokenness will be healed.

We are created for that hope and long for that day. 

Psalm 39:7 reminds us, “My hope is in Him,” not circumstances or people. Psalm 119:147 says, “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.” On Good Friday, cry for help, but remember  Christ is risen! Our living God is our constant source of hope. He defeated the darkness.

This Easter season chose hope. Refuse to give in to despair. “Love never gives us, never loses faith is always HOPEFUL, and endures every circumstance ” (I Corinthians 13:7).

Yes, Good Friday is here, but Easter is coming.

 

Honey, Do Your Know Where My Glasses Are?

posted by Linda Mintle

cell phone 2It’s a running joke in our house. Where are mom’s glasses? Mom, that would be me, is constantly putting them down and forgetting where they are! I don’t think it is an aging thing because the misplaced glasses have been misplaced for years.

Oh and this happens to my cell phone on a regular basis as well. Thankfully, someone in the house just has to call my cell number and I am like On-Star, unless I forgot to take my phone off vibrate!

Apparently, I am not alone in my misplacement of objects. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the average person misplaces up to nine items a day! Hey, I am way below the national average here.

And thank goodness this tendency to misplace doesn’t mean I’m heading into dementia. People of all ages forget things. However, the does brain begins to shrink with aging (meaning in our 20s)  and it does worsen this tendency to forget.

The problem is that the number of things we have to remember in a typical day doesn’t decrease with age. And to top it off, we often multitask, making memory even more difficult. It’s a wonder we don’t lose more than 9 items a day!

Some German scientists think that our memory and distraction are related to a certain variation in a gene we inherit. Regardless of the cause, what works is finding a regular spot to put something. At night, I put my glasses on top of the dresser, same place every night! I don’t lose my car keys in the house either because I put them on a hanger the second I walk in the door. There they hang in the same place every day. If you are losing things, put them in the same place every day!

But when it comes to remembering  things that don’t have their own special place, I have to be intentional and make a note of where I am putting something. For example, I can’t tell you how many times I come out of a store and forget where my car is parked. The reason is that when I park, I might be on the phone, deep in thought or simply thinking of other things. If I don’t want to lose my car, I have to look around, get a few markers and tell myself to remember where I parked. If I am tired, upset, or highly stressed, my memory is even worse and so I pull out my cell phone (when I can find it) and put a reminder with an alarm on it. This works unless I forget where I put my cell phone or leave it on vibrate!

So if you want to stop losing your checkbook, keys, office items and cell phone, make a mental note of where you place those things, find a consistent place, and add a little reminder via your phone or a note to self. Refuse to lose 9 items a day or you just might lose your mind!

It’s Tax Day But How Is Your Emotional Bank Account Doing?

posted by Linda Mintle

2 happy coupleYes, today is tax day and many of you will make that last minute run for the post office before midnight! Why? Because you don’t want to be penalized by the federal government. But what about your emotional bank account?  Do you need to make more deposits when it comes to your relationships?

An emotional bank account has to do with how often you deposit positives into your relationships. Do you praise, show fondness and admiration to your partner, give complements, make gestures of affection, tell the person you love him/her, use words of encouragement, pay attention to his or her needs, etc.?

If you don’t make regular positive deposits, your emotional bank account can go into a negative balance.  When this happens, the negativity begins to tip the positive, causing you to start looking at your relationship in a negative way. In fact, we know from the research of John Gottman that couples who are doing well have a 5 to 1 positives to negatives ratio operating in their relationship.  Happy couples have 20 to 1 positives to negatives. Unhappy couples have .08 to 1 ratio of negates to positives.

So on this special tax day, get to the post office on time, but tell your loved one something positive along the way. Make sure you are making regular positive deposits into your intimate relationships. These will be absolutely necessary when problems erupt. An overall positive feeling about a relationship makes it easier to deal with problems.

You can’t stop the government from taking your tax dollars, but you can stop your relationship from being depleted. Make those emotional deposits every day and your emotional bank account will be full!

Previous Posts

Should You Marry Young?
Friends of ours married off their son when he just turned 21. Another is getting married at 20 and hey, I was married at 19! Yes, I know, that is really young. But is marrying young a good idea? Well, for me it obviously worked. I'm about to celebrate 40 years of marriage this year. Yes, we ha

posted 7:00:59am Apr. 21, 2014 | read full post »

The Hope of the Resurrection
It’s Good Friday. Do you sometimes feel as if your life is lived  in a perpetual Good Friday mode? Like the movie, Ground Hog Day, it seems you are replaying the same bad day over and over, fighting despair and struggling. Disease, broken relationships, prodigal children...the landscape looks

posted 7:00:41am Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Honey, Do Your Know Where My Glasses Are?
It's a running joke in our house. Where are mom's glasses? Mom, that would be me, is constantly putting them down and forgetting where they are! I don't think it is an aging thing because the misplaced glasses have been misplaced for years. Oh and this happens to my cell phone on a regular basis

posted 7:00:14am Apr. 17, 2014 | read full post »

It's Tax Day But How Is Your Emotional Bank Account Doing?
Yes, today is tax day and many of you will make that last minute run for the post office before midnight! Why? Because you don't want to be penalized by the federal government. But what about your emotional bank account?  Do you need to make more deposits when it comes to your relationships? An

posted 7:00:26am Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »

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