We will be traveling….

Elizabeth, Hannah and I will be visiting our relatives in Hungary and working on our conversational Hungarian for the month of March so I will not be posting during that time.

You can pray for:

Our travel

Our language acquisition

Our health

Our relatives (who will be letting us hang out with and learn from them! Most of them do not speak English so it is important we are able to communicate with the Hungarian we do know — and will be learning!)

Please feel free to pray for anything else that comes to mind. We are excited about our trip but we are also a wee bit nervous!

If you are on Instagram and you want to see what we are up to, you can follow MagyarMarketing (our business account) or #mmhungary2014 which will allow you to see each of our perspectives because the girls will also be posting pics.

Compromise is Not a Dirty Word!

Compromise happens at work, at home, in friendships, at church, and driving during rush hour…you have a place you are trying to get to and someone barrels in with their plan. Do you cause an accident or let them merge?

Everyone must be willing to compromise in some areas but determining when it is appropriate is so tricky! There are also times when compromise shouldn’t happen and that is equally as important. Some personalities love to be in charge and being willing to concede is extraordinarily painful for them but all the more necessary. Other personalities so desire peace (or acceptance, etc.) that they are open to compromising too much and that can cause problems. Who you are and who you are dealing with are very important things to consider in this business of compromise in addition to “the compromise” itself.

Does your compromise actually stand in the way of what you hope to achieve? Are there fears and regrets in the middle of the compromise? Are you surrendering your better judgement or core values? Some things are really not that important and other things can change the course of your life…forever.

So what if you find yourself in a situation where you have compromised a little too much, are experiencing regret, and are having a difficult time getting back to “the line in the sand” you had previously established? Maybe establishing “the line” wasn’t important previously but as you grow and mature you see the benefit from having a boundary. Ponder the situation. Pray about the situation. If your heart is restless, I would guess that the compromise you struggle with is probably more than should have been surrendered. Sometimes you can ask yourself “How do I wish this situation looked right now?” and that might give you a clue to what you should be working towards. Have you talked it over with a trusted and wise friend? Have you visited with a trained counselor?

Boundaries can change over time and there are times they definitely should. Consider a parent who is in charge of their child’s every day. Typically, the day will come when that child moves away. Has the parent given them wings to fly when the time comes by allowing the child (young adult, adult) increasing opportunity to make decisions and grow in being responsible for themselves? This is tricky business for parents but it can also be difficult at work, as you volunteer, and in many other relationships. Too much compromise can lead to regret and anger and an unsettling feeling. Too little compromise can lead to relationship challenges.

Pray for those you see compromising too much. Pray for those who are too often unyielding to ideas that don’t come from their own mind. Both extremes have their challenges. Spend some time thinking about your life and your compromises. If you are struggling with regret, seek God’s forgiveness. If you are struggling with anger, seek God’s peace.

The Meat is in the Marriage!

Landon and Grace!

Landon and Grace!

You may have heard that our sweet Landon proposed to his sweet Grace. Oh, we knew it was coming….they have been dating quite a few years and are hopelessly devoted to one another. That devotion will carry them through the inevitable ups and downs they will encounter in this life.

Disclaimer: I am not trying to sneakily communicate to Landon and Grace through this post–I have been saying stuff like this for years to all of our kids, so they know my spiel! But we are seeing a lot of engagements this year and I have just have a couple of things on my mind.

Just so you know, Grace accepted Landon’s offer! We love Grace and we love her family and we are looking forward to the big party in November! Landon and Grace are in the throes of planning because this wedding is their deal and while we are supportive, if it gets too much for them to plan, then it is probably getting to be too much. Know what I mean? When you are marrying your best friend, everything else is gravy….non-essential…..The meat is in the marriage.

Have you seen the crazy tv shows out there? There is Say Yes to the Dress, Bridezillas, Four Weddings, etc., and with all kinds of things being posted in various media outlets it seems there is a fair amount of pressure to have some fabulous (read: EXPENSIVE) shindig. I am all for fun but I am not all for debt. And some of these potentially beautiful brides act so ugly. I suspect the pressure of juggling everyone’s expectations contributes to this ugliness. Marriage is hard enough work without having the financial burden (and pressure) of wedding and honeymoon debt due to “perfect details”. If you are getting married soon and getting overrun by details keep reminding yourself “I am marrying the person I don’t want to live without and that is the most important detail of the day!” And if you can’t say that, then we have some other talking to do!

Don’t misread what I am saying: There is nothing wrong with having as big and wonderful and detailed a wedding as you can afford to have . . .

but what level of effort and energy and expense goes into the life that follows that sweet day?

I haven’t decided if having Pinterest and wedding planners are good things or not. Ideas are great–particularly ideas that help something be affordable. So, in that sense, Pinterest is great. Wedding Planners? Well, I suppose they may have their place, but it is a tiny place in the corner of a very large universe. Very tiny. Generally speaking, I think wedding planners signal that our lives are way too busy or we are envisioning way too complicated of a day! With all the details and pressure it is no wonder people run off and elope or hire someone to tend to the details! Often mothers and grandmothers and aunts all seem to have their ideas and expectations for an upcoming wedding…and then the guest list…don’t get me started! There are so many difficult decisions to make even for a relatively simple event.

And women aren’t the only ones who are stressed! Think of the pressure guys are under to be romantic and have a photographer sneakily snapping some photos of his perfect proposal. Never mind the guy has just had to find and pay for a ring and come up with some clever way to declare his undying love and affection (think of some of the proposals that are super public–like on the big screen at a ball game…oh boy…)

Talk about pressure….

And we haven’t even touched on the wedding yet—the date, the wedding party decisions and discussions, the colors, the food and beverages, the readings, the vows, the musicians, the honeymoon… So much preparation goes into the day. And for those who love to plan this kind of stuff–they are in their element. For others it can be a challenge.

Any discussion on budgets and debt and what are our dreams and goals for this life? What about children? What about education or travel? What about church? What about your history and how will it impact your future? What about volunteering? Do you have a place to live? Do you have enough for the bills and savings? Do you have a contingency plan? Are you committed for the long haul???

I think if you are utterly exhausted by the planning of the wedding you might need to re-evaulate your efforts. If the meat is in the marriage then everything else is really gravy. And I believe the day should be simple enough that you enjoy it without getting stressed about too many details!

Think of the effort invested in the proposal, engagement, wedding and honeymoon….are you committed to putting all that and more into your marriage?

Marriage will take more of you than you thought you had to give and will reveal your selfishness like nothing else. It requires sacrifice. It is about compromise.

Are you ever really ready for marriage? I doubt it. One thing that is certain is you need a team effort! And a commitment! If you go overboard trying to figure out if you are ready, well, you probably won’t ever be because, honestly, who ever really is? Having God in the center of your life and marriage can make a significant difference in how you view yourself and your spouse and how you deal with the inevitable conflicts and troubles that will come.

If you have been married for any length of time, what advice do you have for those getting ready for this big adventure?