When Romances Flops

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Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and countless couples went out for a night of fun and time together.

The reality though is that for many couples, the night did not go how they planned. Maybe the food wasn’t good, the conversation didn’t flow, they didn’t connect or worse, they had a fight.

Maybe sex was less than amazing.

 

If you do date night enough, you will eventually fight on it or it will not go according to your plan.

You can get angry.

Swear off date nights.

Yell at someone.

Or, you can try again.

Know that no matter what went wrong last night, you can move forward.

Maybe you couldn’t think of anything to say, you said the wrong thing, sex was not what you hoped it would be.

That’s okay.

Life does not end because of one bad date night.

On the flipside of that, when date night does go wrong, that is a great opportunity to take inventory of your marriage and determine if something is going on underneath the surface of your marriage that caused it to go wrong.

You could also try again tonight, except do date night at home and see how it goes.

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9 Reasons to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Every Week

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Recently, I was with a group of women and they were talking excitedly about going out for Valentine’s Day. When they asked me what Josh and I were doing, and I said we weren’t doing anything special that day because we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day.

They all looked at me with a look that said, “Poor thing.”

The reality for us is that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14th because 7 years ago, we began having a weekly date night, so Valentine’s day is less important to us.

As a funny way to answer the question, Josh and I came up 9 reasons we don’t celebrate it and instead celebrate it every week with a date night (some are his and some are mine).

Here you go:

Vomit. Someone is bound to throw up (ie. our daughter last night) and ruin your plans.

Action. You will get more action if you celebrate Valentine’s day every week instead of once a year. Scientifically proven fact.

Little planning. Valentine’s day takes little planning. Roses, a card someone else wrote that you signed. Plan ahead and have a great date night.

Expensive. Everything is more expensive on Valentine’s Day. Everything.

Not enough. Celebrating valentine’s day, having a date night once a month or three times a year is not enough for your marriage.

T & A. You will get more of this with a weekly date night.

Irresistible. You will be irresistible to your spouse with a weekly date night. Also, find out what scent they like and wear that.

Never let your underwear drawer go more than a year without updating, keep it interesting (that’s just free advice and has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day but we needed another letter).

Everyone else is out on Valentine’s day. Plan a weekly date night and avoid the crowd.

So what do you do for a weekly date night? It doesn’t even have to be expensive. Here are some of our rules for date night and some ideas on how to do date night at home.

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History of Break-Up Songs

In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, here is the history of break-up songs (yes, they bleep out some words, but it’s still funny):

(HT: 22 Words)

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How to Set Goals and Accomplish Them

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This post originally appeared on The Blog of Manly.

Since we’re now at the end of January and the luster of New Years Resolutions has begun to wear off, I felt like its time to share some ideas on how to set goals and keep them.

Resolutions are just that, goals. They are hopes for the future. In December we look at our lives, the things we don’t like about them and set a goal to change that specific area of our lives.

No one makes a resolution to get into more debt or add 30 pounds (at least not that I have met).

Here are ___ ways to set goals, keep them and accomplish them.

  1. Be realistic. If your goal is to lose weight, losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks isn’t likely or realistic. Possible if you just stop eating but that sounds miserable. The excitement of what could be is easy to get caught up in, but the reality that you will all of a sudden get up at 5am 4 days a week when you have been struggling to get up by 7am isn’t realistic.
  2. Set goals you want to keep. I have had friends set a goal and they are miserable. Now, sometimes our goals will have some pain. When I lost 130 pounds, it wasn’t fun to change my eating habits, but the short term pain was worth it. The same goes for debt. It will require some pain to get out of debt. You have to walk a fine line here. If it is too painful, you will not want to keep it. This is why our goals are often more of a process than a quick fix.
  3. Make them measurable. Don’t make a goal: to lose weight, get out of debt or read my bible more. Those aren’t measurable. How much weight? How much debt? How much more will you read your bible? Make them measurable so you can see how you are doing.
  4. Have a plan. Once you have your goal, you need a plan. If its weight loss, what will you do? If its debt, how will you get there? What are the steps? If its bible reading, what plan are you using? No goal is reached without a plan.
  5. Get some accountability. Equally important is accountability. One of the things I did when I weighed 285 pounds and started mountain biking was I bought some bike shorts that were too small and embarrassing to wear. This gave me accountability to keep riding. Your accountability might be a spouse or a friend, but it needs to be someone that can actually push you. Maybe you need to go public with your goal and invite people to help you stay on track.
  6. Remove barriers to your goals. Your goals have barriers, that’s why you have to set goals in the first place. It might be waking up, food, credit cards, working too late or wasting time on Facebook. Whatever it is that is going to keep you from accomplishing it, remove it. Get rid of the ice cream, credit cards, move your alarm clock so you have to get out of bed. Whatever it is, do it. Life is too short to be miserable and not accomplish your goals.
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Things I’m Thankful For

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Tomorrow is thanksgiving and then Black Friday and then Christmas will be here. In the midst of the holidays, it is easy to fly through them and miss what matters most. I thought I’d take a minute to share some things I am thankful for this year.

  1. My wife. It is hard to believe that Katie and I have celebrated 18 thanksgivings together from marriage and dating. It never gets old. Everyday I am blown away by her patience with me and our kids, the determination she shows in teaching them and her growth in godliness. She wakes up while it is dark out just to read her bible and pray for me and our kids and other needs. Her generosity challenges me everyday. She opens our home up to people, makes them feel welcomed and loved whenever they are here. I love being with her, watching her grow and do things and seeing how God uses her.
  2. My kids. It is hard to believe that I have 5 kids. While transitioning 2 new kids in the last 2 years into our family via adoption has had its challenges, the joys have far outweighed those challenges. Each night as we sit around the table as a family I’m blown away the noise our family can make. I’m also wondering what impact our kids will make in the world. God brought each child into our family for a reason, given us 18 years to train them and disciple them into adults who love Jesus and I can’t wait to see what they do with that. It is humbling and an overwhelming task.
  3. My church. Revolution Church celebrated 5 years this past September. Many churches don’t make it past year one. The things God has brought us through have prepared us for what is ahead. Today, we are stronger than ever before. Our staff and leaders are more talented, gifted and passionate than ever before. Our staff and elders are stronger as a team than we’ve ever been. We are healthier, financially stronger than ever and on track to plant Revolution Church Midtown next year.
  4. God’s protection in our lives and church. While difficulties come every year and I’ve grown to expect them in life, it is amazing to see how God protected us as well. Friends have moved out of our lives, people have left Revolution and those always hurt, no matter what. They are also reminders of God’s protection and his perfect timing. Looking back, I’m able to see how God moved in the perfect way. He brought Judah into our family at the right time.
  5. The Steelers play on Thanksgiving night. While I’m not sure they’ll win, the fact that they will play is a great way to end the day.
  6. My parents living close. My dad is one of my best friends and I love my mom. It was hard living apart from them for so many years and it is awesome having them less than a mile from our house. I love watching the relationship they have with our kids.
  7. Time off. Many pastors either don’t take time off because of ego or because their church won’t let them. I love that I have some down time this weekend and have a great friend preaching for me (seriously, he is really good and you don’t want to miss it). Thanksgiving also means it’s almost Christmas which is a little bit more time to catch my breath and enjoy my family.
  8. Homeschooling. This has become a serious blessing to our family. I don’t talk about it that much because what we do for our family works for our family and I don’t believe homeschooling is the only way to educate your kids. It works for us, our rhythm, allows to be together more and be on mission more strategically as a family. This past year has been a real blessing for that.
  9. Life changing books. Every year I read a ton of books and I’m on pace to reach my goal of 75 this year. I read 3 life changing books this year: Start with Why (the best leadership book I’ve ever read), A Praying Lifeand In Search of Deep FaithIf you want a book to read this month, pick one of those.
  10. A full house. Tomorrow, we will have a full house of family and friends. It never gets old having people into our house to enjoy a good meal. One of the things we want is to use our house to be open to people, to be hospitable. I love how our kids get this vision and ask who is coming over and how excited they get when people are here. A house is a gift from God and is meant to show people his love and grace. I’m hopeful that will happen tomorrow.

What are you thankful for this year?