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What if all it takes is 20 minutes a day to make a great marriage?

Every Friday I like to post a quick, inspiration 400-word marriage post with ONE thought to help you. Here’s this week’s, on how it doesn’t take long to connect.

The Twenty-Minute Marriage: What if it doesn't take that long everyday to feel connected? Let's do a little, everyday, and see the difference!

“Technology is ruining marriages!” “We need to unplug and start talking!” “We need a date night!”

We hear things like this constantly, yet couples don’t seem to heed the advice. Why not?

Maybe it’s because we turn connecting into an all-or-nothing activity. If we don’t spend an entire evening together, our marriage is doomed. If we don’t completely unplug, we’ll never be close. And yet people like their devices. I like my Netflix–my husband and I are really into The 4400 right now. And taking a whole evening for a date night? When you have small children, it seems daunting.

What if this all-or-nothing approach is wrong?

Yesterday I had so many thoughts swimming through my brain. I had talks to plan for the FamilyLife Canada marriage conference where my husband and I are speaking tonight. I had worries about a friend. I had good news from my girls. I had too many things on my to-do list.

When Keith came home, though, he had some work to finish up, so I fleshed out our talks. Then we headed out to the hot tub together and shared our “highs” and “lows” of the day. I told him my news and concerns. We processed it, made plans to deal with some of it, and then dried off, headed back inside, and watched The 4400 (while I knit!).

And you know what? I felt heard, and I know what’s going on in his life.

We try to talk for 20 minutes a day. Sometimes it’s while we’re going for a walk after dinner. Sometimes it’s while we’re playing a board game together. And, yes, sometimes it’s in the hot tub. But those 20 minutes are precious.

Would I like more time? Sometimes. But you know what? I also like watching The 4400. I also like going out with other couples or having them over to our house. And I like talking to my girls and my mom, too! On average, we only have three and a half hours between when Keith comes home from work and when we have to head to bed. If we can spend half an hour of that connecting, we catch up, feel close, and all is good.

Let’s be more realistic about what most couples face, and more honest about what couples need. You don’t need to stop doing all your hobbies so you can stare into each other’s eyes for four hours. Just make sure you’re sharing your heart and you know what’s going on in his. It’s only twenty minutes a day. You can do it!

Friday Roundup on To Love, Honor and Vacuum

What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?

So I’d love to post what’s ACTUALLY #1 in all of these categories–but often it’s the same post in all 4, or it’s the same post over and over. So here are 4 DIFFERENT posts this week, and they’re all number 1’s and 3’s!  It’s all about intimacy with the hubby and doing the hard work when the kids are young to create peace in the home –and to help raise the kind of kids that become people we actually like!

raising-kids-cover-smaller#1 NEW Post on the Blog: You Can Raise Kids You Actually Like
#1 on the Blog Overall: How To Initiate Sex With Your Husband
#3 from Facebook: When You Don’t Want To Make Love
#3 from Pinterest: The Importance Of Disciplining Toddlers

This picture has been seen by 2,000,000 this week alone

Seriously, it went crazy on Facebook again. It does that every so often–I put it up two years ago, but sometimes it takes on a life of its own.

Be Great Parents. Gross Out Your Kids!

You can share it, too, right here!

Raising Kids You Actually Like Launched This Week

Raising Kids You Actually Like My SiteDid you miss it? My new ebook is now LIVE! It’s the best posts on the blog on how to discipline kids, but also on how to talk to them and create a great relationship with them so that you actually want to be around them.

Many of these blog posts are from back in 2008, and you may never have seen them! But they’re good. And I organized them so they told quite the story. Then I added a bit more, and had some printables created, and voila! So if you’ve ever wanted all of my parenting advice in one place, here it is!

Raising Kids You Actually Like Kindle

Raising Kids You Actually Like My Site

Inside Sheila’s Brain

A bunch of people got their own special email yesterday of what’s going on inside my brain–what I’m planning to write, what I’m worried about, what’s going on in my family. And they also got my ebook FREE!

They’re my patrons, the ones who support me on a monthly basis for as little as $5 a month, to help me improve the blog (looks like I need a new server, too, because it’s been so slow the last two days because of massively increased traffic), and to expand marriage ministry overseas.

It’s a win-win for everyone! If you’ve wanted to get to know more about me personally, and you want to help me with what I do, come on over and check it out!


We’re Teaching at a Marriage Conference This Weekend

Keith and I are in beautiful Niagara on the Lake teaching at a weekend marriage conference, and I hope to “live” blog it on Facebook and Twitter. So if we’re not connected on Facebook, come on over!

And pray for me, because I’m really distracted right now just with some personal crises that some friends are going through. Two particular couples that are really on my heart and mind, and I’m finding it hard to focus.

Then on Sunday we fly out to Colorado so that we can record on Focus on the Family together! So it’s a busy week, but it’s fun to be with my husband.

Have a great weekend, everyone!