By Kermit Rowe
Encompass Relationship Facilitator
It really doesn’t make sense, does it? Couples will spend $10,000+ and a year or more planning their wedding but spend nothing to prepare for their marriage. This could be a dangerous and potentially destructive oversight. For this reason, from the start of our organization (in 2005) we asked local pastors to sign a pledge that they would not marry a couple unless they had premarital counseling or coaching. We, and many area pastors as it turns out, feel it is THAT important! So, as we dive deep into our theme of preparation for this month, looking at the advantages of premarital counseling and coaching is as natural for us as it is foundational.
A New Take on "old" relationships
By: Abby Glaser
Encompass Community Advocate
As we continue to dive into our topic this month, "New," I would love to explore some ways that old relationships may have something new! I’ve had some experience with this recently regarding a Christmas gift I purchased for my Mom. If we’re talking about relationships, there are none “older” than the ones with our parents! I’m sure if asked, I may have said in the past that I know everything there is to know about my Mom. I’ve discovered recently how untrue that is! For Christmas this year I bought my mom a subscription to a platform that facilitates her sharing all kinds of memories from her life in one place. At the end of the year it puts all of those stories together into a bound book about her life, for us to share! You may remember Lavern talking about his book in a prior blog post, A Powerful Present of Presence.
The gift of the red light
By: Ronda Nissley,
Co-Director of Encompass Connection Center
There are few things I find more annoying than a stoplight that turns red just as I am approaching the intersection. It’s personal – the green light sees me coming, quickly turns yellow and then red – forcing me to come to a complete stop!
Several months ago, as Lavern and I were hurrying across town to make it to our next meeting, I couldn’t help but notice that we were literally hitting EVERY SINGLE RED light!! I could feel the exasperation and tension rising inside of me and was getting ready to express that frustration when Lavern joyfully announces, “Have you noticed we have been first at every red light?” Incredulous, I told him I noticed we were getting stopped by every red light, but I certainly didn’t see that as a good thing! He responded by saying how much he enjoyed being “first in line” so he could take off unimpeded when the light turned green.
falling for fall with family
Falling for Fall with Family
By: Ronda Nissley, Co-Director of Encompass Connection Center
I really enjoy the Fall season here in Ohio. There’s nothing quite like having front row seats to the changing and vibrant colors of the trees as the weather turns cooler. But there’s more. As I reflect on what I like about Fall, I came up with the following list:
By: Hollie Kowalski, Encompass Outreach Coordinator
A day in the life of the Kowalskis:
7-8a drop kids off at school (two different schools)
-38 min drive-
-35 min drive-
2:45p pick Josie up from school,
-35 min drive-
3:30p pick Dom up from school, drop him at home; Josie change clothes
-25 min drive-
5p drop Josie off at rowing (use carpool for pickup)
-55 min drive-
7:30p Isaiah's soccer game
-55 min drive-
9:30-10:45p Homework, showers, and finally... bedtime
This is a fairly typical week night schedule for our family. It makes me cranky just planning it, but this is what families "do" now right? This is the new "normal." But how is this new normal affecting our families?
By: Kermit Rowe, Encompass Relationship Facilitator
Time and time again, I sit in the coaching rooms of Encompass Connection Center as one of its relationship facilitators and work with struggling couples who find themselves wondering: “How did we ever get here?”
No one gets married to get divorced. One chooses “to become one” with another human being with the belief that life together with our perceived soulmate will be much better than without them. Yet the stresses of life, inevitable mistakes by both spouses and poor communication habits erode their relationship and weaken their love. How do they get back to where they started their holy matrimony?
By Ronda Nissley
By now, you may have heard the term “quiet quitting” in relationship to employment. If you haven’t, this is when an employee decides to do “just enough to get by” – no extra effort, no striving for excellence, and no emotional buy-in to the mission and purpose of their employer.
This is justified by our desire for work/life balance and the sense that we don’t owe our employer anything but to do the job we’ve been hired to do. Personally, I’m very curious how this will work long-term – for the employee as well as the employer.
Video featuring Drew and Sarah Brown
RINGS Experience course and coaching participants
Drew and Sarah have full lives with 6 young children. They face the daily challenge of making quality time for each other. While going through the RINGS Experience course they acquired a valuable connection tool, the RINGS Chat. But implementing it into their busy schedule was tough. And tiring.
But they adapted and adjusted to make it work given their context. The result: A potent legacy of a healthy marriage to pass along to each of their six children. Watch their story in a 3 minute video.
By: Jeff Pinkleton
Encompass Connection Center Board Member
I believe it was Paul David Tripp, who first spoke a hard truth into my spirit about marriage.
One of the primary goals of the God covenant with a man and woman is that they each would conform to the image of Christ. And yes, to accomplish this purpose, God wants to use your spouse to mold you into His image. More than anyone or anything else, says Tripp and others.
Sounds a bit painful, and challenging. Yes and Amen.
One of the main ways, I’ve seen this play out in my marriage to Kara, is the high priority and value of our same sex friendships. Here's what I mean...
The path to disconnect
By: Abby Glaser, Community Advocate
A few weeks ago our executive director shared lots of great tips on staying connected with your partner. Hopefully you found some valuable information there! You may have come away from it wondering how you became so disconnected in the first place? There are lots of reasons couples might find themselves disconnected from life stressors to internal struggles that aren’t being addressed. I would like to share with you what that path to disconnection* often looks like and what you can do to turn the tide!
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.