FAML300, Winter 2017

W07 Staying Emotionally Connected

Dear Readers,

Let me first start out this post by saying how much I loved date night last week!  It was seriously a simple date.  We went to a restaurant that neither of us had been to before but had been wanting to go to and then followed it up by a little dessert at a favorite spot down the road from where we were.  We brought the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work with us on our date and we asked one another questions from in the book and it was FABULOUS!  According to Dr. Gottman, my husband and I are in pretty good shape, but when you read some of those questions, you are pretty much disappointed in yourself for not knowing the answer… for example: neither my husband or I could tell you what each other’s top 3 movies of all time are. How lame are we?  Well, not any more!  We asked and answered questions, we ate crab and clams and shrimp. It couldn’t have been more splendid.

Now, let’s talk a little about this week’s topic: Turning Towards Each Other.  What the heck does that mean anyway?   I like to sleep facing the opposite direction….

With all seriousness, Dr. Gottman explains that all of us have what are called bids for attention.  True story.  Here’s an example in our home (this one happens a lot):

me:” Does anyone else know how to do laundry around here?”

Crickets…. crickets

Apparently no one else in my home knows how to do laundry.  When I die, they will all be wearing dirty clothes or perhaps this is when they will hire that maid I’ve been asking for.

What was I really saying when I asked that snarky question?  I was really saying/asking “I’m overwhelmed with chores right now, can someone please help get the laundry finished?”

Now, that would probably make more sense, but we don’t work that way, do we?  How often do we sit down on the couch with a heavy sigh or just hint at what we need/want without really saying it.  These are the bids that Dr. Gottman is talking about.

He then teaches us that we need to turn toward one another, not the bed time snuggling, but the reality of answering those bids.  So when I make another comment “why is there dog hair all over the rug?”  My husband instead of ignoring me, would go grab the vacuum man-vacuumingand get it all cleaned up.  Doesn’t that sound just like heaven?

I tell you, it is a little slice of heaven.  When my husband and I are communicating well and really listening to one another and the bids that we put out, life is pretty darn good.

I’m sure that as the semester continues, I’ll have more to say about Dr. Gottman and the middle chapters of his book, but I’d like to skip to the end… not a spoiler though it is such an important aspect of loving one another.  When I read this next section, I was happy and this is what I really wanted to focus this post on, even though my words may not be lengthy, they are important!

Rituals… not the sacrificial kind, but the really good kind.  I know there are other families out there that share this ritual with me, but I want to focus on it.  Eating dinner.  Not just scarfing down food that you barely taste, but really eating a meal together.  It doesn’t happen every single night around here, and I am grateful for that, because if it’s not happening then there is something special going on.  However, six nights a week we have a meal plan at our home and six nights a week we sit around the table together.   We have no electronics at the dinner table, there is no television on and we enjoy the company of cartoon-family-dinnerour family.  We bless the food, we serve the food, we eat and converse.  Each night at the dinner table, each person at the dinner table (guests included) have to share a good deed that they did during the day.  This is the ritual that I am most proud of in our family. It makes my heart warm and it’s a moment in our day that we share a little bit of the light of Christ that fills our hearts and our home.

Many years ago, our pediatrician told us of a study that was published which stated some horrible facts about children.  It scared me and at the time I was a single mom with four children.  She taught me how important it was to have regular family meal times, and I immediately went into action.  She told me that having regular meal time with your children is the number one preventative measure that can be taken to keep your children from dabbling in drugs, having premarital sex, and delinquency in general.  I took a step forward that day and I haven’t looked back.  I now relish each night at the dinner table and hearing the good that my children do in the world, even if it’s just loaning someone a pencil.

I challenge each of you to make it a point to have meals as a family around the table with no TV and no electronics.  Talk to one another.  Learn about each other’s lives and build a ritual that can keep your children safe with so little effort.  I promise, the rewards you will reap are worth it.

Share with me what rituals that you have with your family that I need in my life!

With love,

Samantha

Standard
FAML300, Winter 2017

Week 2: Marriage Trends; Divorce: Make marriage work 

For this semester, I have an assignment to write each week about marriage. I wish that I could say that I could write more than once a week, but as you can see from the lack of recent posts, school is taking up most of my free time.  “Hey, I’m a busy lady,” is my current motto and frequently comes out of my mouth when I have dropped the ball on something menial at home.  I think my husband has heard that at least once each day this week.  I feel horrible for dropping balls, forgetting a soda in a lunch kit or not going above and beyond by doing one of the kids’ chore for them because they have a busy schedule too.  But what I don’t feel bad about is that I’m so busy because I am trying to make sure that our little family has a great future. My husband and all of the kids but the youngest fully support and try their best to understand when I simply can’t do everything that I can when I’m not going to school.

My family is pretty awesome.

I would like to take a moment or two and do some quick introductions and some background on myself so you can perhaps understand some of my posts and perspectives a bit.

My name is Samantha (in the plaid) and I will be 40 years old in just about three weeks.  I was married when I was 18 years old and had four wonderful children in this marriage.  Our marriage photobooth_0277ended in divorce after 13 years.  The kids’ father moved out of state which made visitations very difficult and then he stopped contacting the children completely.  It was a long while that we didn’t hear from him.  I was remarried (to a great guy) almost four years after the divorce was finalized.  At the time I remarried, the kids were 16, 11, 10, and 8.  My husband and I then had a little girl about a year after we were married.

I was born into a family and was raised to believe that having religion in one’s life is a crutch.  Believing or having faith in something other than yourself and your family would make you a co-dependent person, and we were to be independent young ladies and we didn’t NEED to have anyone in our lives, we could do it on our own.  And so we can, but none of us are truly independent, are we?

God made Eve so that Adam would have a help meet, an eternal companion.  He would not be alone.  We are not meant to be alone, but we are meant to have eternal companions, as Adam did.  We are to cleave unto our spouses, we are to be married and create a relationship between one another as we work together to grow closer to God, and become one. Here’s a little clip that talks about the importance of eternal marriage given by a leader of the Latter-day Saint Church in April 2003.  The institute of marriage hasn’t changed in God’s eyes since Adam, so they certainly haven’t changed since he spoke almost 14 years ago.

This week in my class, simply titled “Marriage,” we read a lot of statistics and information regarding the family as the basic unit of society and the ways that it is falling apart.  We are paying a disservice to our heritage by continuing to live in cohabitation arrangements and not committing to marriage prior to having children.  While I know that this is not the popular viewpoint (note: I don’t really care), we need to make this a priority in our culture, in our towns, cities, counties, states, nation, continent, and planet.

Simply put, children thrive when they grow up with a father and a mother that are married to one another in the same house for the entirety of their youth.  This means from birth to at least 18, and preferably for time and all eternity.

Families are the foundational unit for society.  Families that are built upon the solid marriage of a man and a woman who are committed to one another.  They should love each other and teach their children to love.  The dynamics of an individual family are simply too much for one blog post, so I will part with this thought on marriage: a marriage is celebrated by the communities where they are held.  Weddings are grand and celebrated worldwide.  If marriages were not the beginning of a new foundation with promise of solidarity and future family, then what foundation do we stand upon, other than the foundation of our Savior? He made families, He is of a heavenly family, and he had an earthly family while he was here.  If families were not important, He could have just existed here upon the earth without one.  But as He told John as from upon the cross in Calvary “Behold thy mother!”  Family was so important that as His lungs were aching from the position that he held, that he called upon someone to care for his earthly family.

 

Family is forever. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

and forever.families-are-forever

Standard
Uncategorized, Winter 2017

New Year, new goals, new me…

Oh my, once again I have gone without writing in my blog.  But here I am, that counts, right?   I am going to say that it counts.

I worked hard on my blog last school year and then let it go over the summer break.  When I left the Pathway program and matriculated over to BYU-Idaho to take 15 credits in Fall semester, I really just simply let this blog fall off of my plate and onto the floor.  Winter term starts tomorrow, and my online courses opened on 12/31 for access, and I am here to say that I am taking 14 credits this semester and one of them needs me to blog…. say what? Blog?  I can blog, if I remember to blog.  I actually love blogging!  So we’re going to take a little turn, but it isn’t a big one.

I think I posted before, somewhere, that I am majoring in Marriage and Family Studies.  I am currently a junior and am beginning to take my advanced courses for my major.  This semester promises to be full and challenging, with this little quiet blog of mine to be one of those challenges.  With the turn, I will move from being focused on different aspects of scripture study to marriage.  Why do I say that this isn’t a big turn?  Well, because family is central to God’s plan, and without marriage – between a man and a woman – the family will cease to exist.  So this semester, beginning right now, we shall focus on posts that relate to marriage.

I pray that each of you are well, and that this post reaches all 8 of you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Samantha

Standard