By: Hollie Kowalski, Encompass Outreach Coordinator
At first, I thought it had to be an error. After triple checking my planner, I happily accepted it as our reality. A whole day off! No events, no appointments, no practices, no rushing! WOOHOO!! But, THEN my mind immediately goes to my to-do list: order groceries, hand wash the delicates, clean the bathroom, prepare a lesson for my small group, start planning next weeks schedule, shop for Easter baskets… Ugh! (Insert hand over face emoji here.) My brain needs an “off” switch!
Is there a connection between couples having fun and experiencing romance? Not sure I would have made such a correlation until Ronda and I actually experienced it ourselves at a WinShape Marriage Retreat in Rome, Georgia. A series of couple challenges where both of us had to work together really gave us the FEELING of being connected in a positive way.
We found out later that it's part of the WinShape Marriage DNA - to CREATE environments and opportunities for couples to have fun together. Want to know more about this connection?
By Lavern Nissley
Encompass Executive Director
Darnell and Bekah came to walk through the RINGS Experience education and coaching, having been married for 12 1/2 years and being parents of 4 active young boys. Their online relationship assessment was average with some areas like connection, intimacy, stress responses, and conflict resolution way below average and needing significant skill-building.
Their weekly preparation, or "homework", and then meeting with a certified coach helped them grow in understanding their relationship deficits, but more importantly, to learn skills and tools to enhance their sense of "US". One skill, the RINGS Chat, made quite a difference as they began doing it daily to share feelings, intentions/information, needs, gratitude, and dreams for the future."
This is what I have so been so hungry for," she remarked the week after learning the RINGS Chat. "We feel as close as we have ever felt after 12 years of marriage." And Darnell is meeting her love languages of gifts and affirmation with little notes all over the house. And the boys are seeing the notes and getting in on the excitement.
Responding to the RINGS Experience final evaluation, Bekah commented about the personal impact: "I want to experience life to the fullest with my husband now and to try new things with him. I feel like I have grown so much as an individual through this experience."
Darnell commented about the SOS conflict resolution tool: "We both need a tool to be able to share our feelings in a safe and productive way and this has provided that."In their final session, both observed that as they reviewed major stressors in their lives, "For the first time in many, many years our marriage relationship was not on the list!"
At Encompass we celebrate the wonderful transformation experienced by this couple and that their "family tree has been forever changed."
If you’re looking for guidance and growth in your relationship or parenting abilities, get in touch with a knowledgeable and sincere advocate or coach at Encompass Connection center by following the links below.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.