I’d been feeling it for a while.
We had gotten complacent. We weren’t very involved or serving in our church body yet. Our weekends were empty or filled based on whatever whims we had. We hadn’t been very intentional with one another or our kids for a little while. We were spending more evenings staring at our phones than at each other. Our spiritual disciplines were fairly nonexistent. And dishes were piling up every couple of days like an episode of “Hoarders.” Let’s just be honest here.
We had made a pact when we first got married that if we ever got complacent, we would call each other out on it and work to be intentional again.
So I had started praying for Connor to feel it too. I mentioned a thing here or there, but nothing super straightforward, because I wasn’t sure exactly what I felt like needed to change yet. And unless both of us are on the same page, it can frustrating when we don’t have the other person cheering and supporting us in something…especially where family life and personal habits are concerned.
Then a few weeks ago, Connor said over dinner, “I think we need to change some stuff with how we’re doing life.” *cue angelic voices and answers to prayer* He felt the complacency. He recognized we needed to make some changes.
Warning. We’re both nerds. We analyze. We like tangible and exact steps to take. And I’m a bit of a jump in with both feet kind of girl, once I’ve analyzed it to death. Connor suggested a spread sheet. I wrote lots of lists. You’ve been warned. Totally do whatever works for you, which will probably look different if you’re less crazy than us. This is just a baseline and starting point to give you some ideas!
I named it “The Revamp,” and wrote it in cute letters at the top of my notebook paper. (Cute headings give me life, friends.) We made a plan to talk about it on a certain evening after we had put the kids down for bed.
We broke it down into categories:
And we set the expectations of figuring our more of what our daily lives needed to look like, setting some goals, and deciding on our priorities (mainly about what we would be giving our time to).
We took turns saying what we had written for each category, listened to what the other person had written, and then gave each other some feedback.
Here’s some of what we came up with and what we’re shooting for in our Revamp:
In the Health category:
We both were pretty active all through high school, and even through our early marriage, but we had strayed from being active and eating as healthy. We decided on having sweets or desserts only once a week. I’m also trying to work our grocery budget a little to figure out how to do healthier meals, that are dairy free while I’m nursing our baby Veil, and involving our toddler Leland in doing more of the meal prep. Eating out will be once or twice a month, and we want to try to go with other people when we go to make it more of a “hang out with other people” thing. Connor set a weight goal for himself and wanted to work out at least a few nights a week after the kids went down for bed. I wanted to try and go walking several times a week, either as a family in the evenings and on weekends or with just me and the kids during the day. I’m also doing some pilates and working out at home to help my body recover from pregnancy and birth. We do lots of essential oils and Young Living products, so we are working on getting “oily regiments” written down so we’re on the same page with which oils we’re using at what times and for whom.
In the Family category:
We worked really hard when we first got married to fill each other in, if not ask each other, about everything. “Do you mind if I go play video games in a minute?” “Can I have a friend over on Friday?” “Does it work to buy this thing off Amazon right now?” “I have a doctor’s appointment Monday afternoon, just so you know.” etc. It helped us to be a team, to know what was going on, and to make each of us feel that our opinion and feelings were valued. So we decided to start trying to do that more again with one another. We also made more of a game plan for what to do in the evenings. When we have a plan, we are less likely to sit on our phones. I’ve also started putting my phone across the room from where we’re sitting when I want to make sure I don’t pick it up. We decided on doing a couple board game nights every week, trying to make it to the park or the pool at least once a week, reading books together one or two nights a week, getting involved in a small group that would be once every other week, and having maybe one movie night a week. We also love having people over for dinner, so we will be trying to do that more frequently as well. When we’re being intentional about that, it usually ends up being about once a week that we’ll have someone over. Leland has been needing a lot of correction and intensive parenting right now, so we committed to trying to be more present with him in the evenings (and me during the days as well) and I got a couple parenting books for us to read through for ideas. (Pro tip: Never stop growing as husband and wife, as followers of Jesus, or as parents. Reading books and watching lectures or sermons are a couple of our favorite ways to keep growing in those areas!)
In the Spiritual category:
We’re both pretty performance-driven, so oftentimes our relationships with Jesus can quickly become a to do list. It’s a hard balance for us to hit the sweet spot of doing the things that help you grow in that area without becoming legalistic about it. But these are a couple of the things we’re trying. We decided to read at least a Proverb a day (the proverb number that correlates to the month date, so even if you miss a day you can just pick back up on the day/chapter number you start again). We will be asking intentional questions during dinner about what we read and how we’re learning and growing. We also make it a point to talk about the sermon and what happened at church on Sunday afternoons. We’re in a super fun and crazy season of being two semi-Baptist kids now going to a more charismatic church, so we’re both learning a lot and having our views and thoughts challenged a lot. That’s a topic we’re discussing pretty regularly right now. I’m doing a study with a friend once a month on the book of Nehemiah, so that gives me study content I can be digging into as well. We’re looking at getting involved in a small group through church so we can be growing in relationship with Jesus and with the body of believers He had placed us in. The last thing we’re trying to be more intentional about in this category is mentoring. Being intentional with our relationships and who we’re surrounding ourselves with is so important to us. We are trying to decide on people to be mentored by, people to mentor, and ways we can be making disciples and having relationships with people outside the church.
Have you ever done a “revamp” or made intentional changes in the way you or your family does things? What has that looked like for you?