By: Abby Glaser
Encompass Community Advocate
Spring is a time for new birth and new growth…and at the Encompass office it’s a time when we start getting calls from engaged couples preparing for their weddings! After fielding one of those calls recently I found myself thinking about what things I wish I would have been told before getting married. There were many misconceptions my husband and I had that we quickly found out were wrong! After 25 years together, I can confidently debunk the following ones!
The Two Sides of New
By Lavern Nissley
Encompass Executive Director
The term "new" sparks different responses, doesn't it? For some, "new" is associated with a freshly purchased item that is going to make life soooo very much better. For others, "new" is something that requires major adapting to yet another change. Which are you? And how can you best navigate the two sides of new?
The most valuable present
By: Cindee Johnson, Relationship Coach
Are you making those holiday lists and checking them twice? What do you gift the kids? Your spouse? Friends? Family? All. Those. Lists. Yes, we are in the midst of the greatest gift-giving season of the year. Also, the most stressful...
A powerful present of presence
By Lavern Nissley
Encompass executive director
In December our blog post themes center around the words "present" and/or "presence."
Have you ever wondered what a movie or a series of your life would look like? We watched and enjoyed "The Crown" series about the life of Queen Elizabeth. Someone has remarked that a person's life is the "dash" on the gravestone between the birth and death dates. Sobering.
Our daughter, Kristen, gave Ronda and me an interesting gift subscription to Storyworth about a year ago. Here's the big idea behind Storyworth: Everyone has a story worth sharing. Preserve meaningful moments and memories in a beautiful keepsake book. Then, share the experience with loved ones and discover stories you never knew.
I'd like to share my own experience of responding to 50+ questions the past year (one per week) and how it affected me. I hope my children and grandchildren will find it meaningful.
What we love about being married
Testimonial by Thaddeus & Sara Williams
RINGS course & coaching participants
This one-minute to-the-point testimonial contains 2 valuable takeaways they have that make marriage satisfying. See if you can catch them.
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
Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. The relationship between a mother and her children has been widely heralded and celebrated, and deservedly so. The women who were divinely chosen to be our gateway into this world are the glue that helps hold our families and nation together.
However, if that parent-child relationship supersedes the husband-wife relationship, trouble in the family usually follows. Picking your spouse over your kids is increasingly becoming unpopular advice as the country increasingly turns away from God and His ways. However, not making that choice goes against the priorities God set up for all marriages. His order of priority when things get unclear: God first, your spouse second, the kids third.
This doesn’t mean that you love your children less. God forbid! But when we decide to accept God’s gift of holy matrimony with the love of our life, we are expected to live our married lives in His holy ways. There’s a reason “forsaking all others” is part of the traditional wedding vows. All means all if push comes to shove.
Why is it important to choose your spouse over your kids if you must pick one over the other? Here are just four of the myriads of reasons:
A FRESH START: pARENT'S EDITION
By: Abby Glaser, Community Advocate
Can you feel it? The days are getting longer. The temperatures outside are getting warmer. Spring is in the air, and spring is the season for fresh starts. Even parents need a fresh start sometimes...
Every time I sit down to write a blog post on parenting or begin teaching a parenting class I always feel the need to clarify that I’m not an expert. Most people already know this but you’d be surprised at how many think mother of five children equals expert!
One of the interesting things about my current stage in life is that I now have two adult children living out of my house and three still at home. So I’m starting to hear from the older kids areas they feel I could have done better and I have the opportunity to make some of those changes now with the younger kids. While my big kids will often lament about how differently we parent their younger siblings, my response is always of course! Just like them, their dad and I are always growing and evolving and trying to do a little better than we did before. In some ways one of the gifts of having multiple children that span a ten-year age gap is that we get ongoing chances to pivot and do better. I often hear from parents in coaching that they feel stuck or in a rut with their kids, especially teenagers. I’d like to offer a few ways to pursue a fresh start!
Gratitude Stories: Darnell & Bekah
Each week in November we'll be sharing stories from grateful couples who have seen their family trees forever changed through growing in relationship skills. This week we hear from Darnell and Bekah, participants in the RINGS Experience course for couples.
By Encompass Outreach Group
When you get married, you get your first experience of having in-laws with your partner’s parents. This can often be a time filled with frustration and complications. However, once you have children and they grow up, get married, and have families of their own, you suddenly become the mother-in-law or father-in-law that you once had to deal with. Here’s how to be a good in-law when your child has a family of their own:
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.