Brandon and I attended a Weekend To Remember marriage conference in late June, and it was a huge blessing to us as a couple. Our good friends, Wendi and Wade, asked if we wanted to attend with them, and while I knew Camille would still be a little baby, I thought the weekend away would come at just the right time for us as individuals, and as a married couple. So we said yes and signed up!
The sessions were great . . . lots of good reminders as well as some new insights. . . and the speakers were humorous which is always a plus when sitting in a conference for two days straight. It really was a great time to just be together without the interruption of every day life, and to actually have time to talk about what is working well in our marriage and where we could tweak a few things.
(Side note: It is said that parents of special needs children have an 80% divorce rate. 80%. Why? So. many. factors. Lots of extra physical, emotional, and financial burdens, and a special needs child requires so much more intentionality compared to a typical child. We heard this at the conference, although this was not the first time this statistic was shared with us. We have heard firsthand, from other special needs parents, that we MUST be on our guard & attempt to beat these odds. End of side note.)
When reflecting on the sessions & words spoken that weekend, there was one thing that really stood out to me above all else.
What type of "climate" am I giving off to my spouse on a daily basis? We all give off a certain "climate" everyday, whether we realize it or not. When we enter a room, or when someone enters a room where we are residing, our climate is displayed in many ways (tone of voice, body language, general attitude etc.).
Ok now. . . If I am being 100% honest, there are many days when Brandon walks through the door from work where my climate is less than ideal. I might not be a total grump, but I am definitely not inviting or showing enthusiasm that he is home for the day.
A cold climate really can set the tone for our evening, and once the tone is set, it is sometimes hard to turn things back around to the positive.
I have been working really hard over the last few weeks to set a different tone, a different climate so to speak, when Brandon walks in the door from work. Eye contact, a smile, a hug, a proper tone of voice that says "I am happy you are here," goes a long way. My climate can be gentle and loving, even if I am explaining to him how our day was a h.a.r.d. one. Because I really can do both. I really can be honest about our day without being a total Debbie downer. I really can flash a smile and show love, even if just seconds earlier Clara was refusing to eat or melting down, or Camille was refusing to nap, or I had to call insurance 100x that day to work out some outstanding therapy bill (That is really not outstanding at all. Story of our life. Thank you UHC.).
I can set the tone for our evenings.
I am in control of my climate.
. . .
Thanks, Wendi and Wade, for inviting us, spurring us on to do better and be better, and making lasting memories! We had a great time!
And apparently, based on the pictures above, I need to go shopping. It appears that most normal human beings wear different types of clothing on different days. My uniform of capri pants and solid pink top could use a little changing up. :)