Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The weekend pursuits…

One of the benefits the MN National Guard provides its married soldiers is a marriage counseling weekend*. The stipulation is you have to have been deployed for at least 12 months. But we got to stay in a nice hotel and have a weekend away. Plus we attended a really good marriage seminar.

The Guard uses Prep curriculum. The foundation of the course was to teach couples how to communicate with each other. They gave us a method of communication and started with some examples… If you suddenly won $500, how should you spend it? And it built up to what each couple needed to talk about.

Josh and I attended a conference where there was one underlying, marriage changing event that took place in everyone’s life… a 21 to 22 month deployment. Even talking to people who were in the Balkan conflicts of the late 90’s, we had communication easy. But that doesn’t change the fact that we were all separated for a significant amount of time.

It was really nice to attend a retreat where everyone had that one thing in common. During break time, you don’t have to worry about talking to couples and hearing different problems and thinking, “Wow, they have it bad! Why are we complaining?” It was also nice to attend a retreat where the only small group “sharing” interaction was just the couple. And it was nice to have a break as a couple without the every day distractions of television and the computer.

And it was also nice to go to a more secular event**. When one is around other Christians, there is a temptation to try to pretend everything is all good and not get the help one really needs. There was a non-denominational worship service this morning with a vow renewal. The worship service was voluntary. The sermon was about forgiveness and though it didn’t have the complete law and gospel I have become accustomed to, it was a message that was valuable.

Josh and I learned some things that will help us later on with up-coming stressors, planning for Baby, moving, and other various family interactions. So, all in all, it was a great weekend (even though my stomach was a little sensitive on Saturday).

*I would say “free,” but deployments are an expensive way to obtain a trip to a nice hotel and a marriage seminar. And we did pay for our own date night. But we personally did not incur any expense for the hotel, two breakfasts, lunch, and various materials.

**When I say, "Secular," I am not talking about the program, which was developed to be used by churches. Rather, as this was a military funded event, the intent was to use a good program that works. Christianity was not mentioned until the worship service.


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