Our blog posts this month are based on the phrase "Start HERE." They will all have relational components, but by the limiting parameter of something with utmost priority.
By Lavern Nissley
Encompass Executive Director
Ronda and I have found a new recreational/exercise love. If you know us from previous statements made on this topic, you'll recall we love bicycling, hiking, cross country skiing, and playing racquetball.
Any guesses on what our new love is?
It's pickleball! What we once thought was just for older people trying to limit their exertion couldn't be further from the truth. Not only is it a great workout - it's fun and for all ages.
So, our "Start HERE" with pickleball was a 1-hour hands on tutorial at United Senior Services. That progressed to 1) watching lots of YouTube videos on game essentials and skills, 2) practicing against each other, and more recently, 3) playing weekly doubles matches with our friends, Scott and Kim Griffith.
We just discovered there is a cool app that helps you keep track of the score! It syncs with the Apple Watch, and it's called Side Out.
But this post isn't about pickleball. What would you consider a "Start HERE" on healthy relationships?
I've become somewhat of a cheerleader for growing the spiritual fruit and relationship trait of kindness. Have you noticed that it doesn't seem to come naturally, but just like our new love of pickleball, must be practiced and grown to have measurable impact?
In July 2023 Ronda and I attended a national marriage conference in Charlotte, South Carolina where we became fascinated with a plenary presentation speaker, Shaunti Feldhahn. A former Capitol Hill and Wall Street researcher, Shaunti directed her skills to understanding the impact of kindness. Her book, The Kindness Challenge: Thirty Days to Improve Any Relationship, has definitely gotten our attention.
In August 2023 I took the 30-day kindness challenge (with Ronda as my "target") and found my heart transformed in the process. How different a relationship can be when even just one partner makes a conscious decision to be kind!
The front and back of the card below give you much of what you need to know about Starting HERE with KINDNESS. Check out our webpage dedicated entirely to the 30-Day Kindness Challenge. There is even an 8-minute video of 3 couples reflecting on the topic.
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.