Can we appreciate the small things?

I’m sitting in our RV right now, typing this. We’re sitting by a small, manmade lake in Jacksonville, Florida, surrounded by a bunch of snowbirds (those are mostly Canadians and northern US retirees who come down to Florida for the winter), plus a bunch of actual birds that Keith is having fun photographing. We’re here for just a week, because I’m giving a Girl Talk tonight at New Berlin Road Church. Then we’re off to Louisiana, where I’m speaking on February 16 at Christ Community Church in Lake Charles.

One thing that I always come away with after living in our RV for an extended period of time is how little I actually need.

I have my knitting (I’m knitting a big blanket for our bed, and it’s my RV project that’s lasted a few years); we have some games that we play; Keith does our accounting and edits his bird pictures. And we’re happy.

Knitting in the RV - PODCAST PLUS: Changing the Dynamic in Your Marriage!

The “sock yarn remnants” blanket I’ve been knitting for 3 years

When the kids were little, some of the happiest times we had were in our little 30-year-old tent trailer camper, playing board games and having hot chocolate.

Family vacations don't have to be expensive--why we loved our tent trailer!

Rebecca and Katie on their bunk in our tent trailer, around 2001

You have so few clothes, so few possessions, and life really is just about being together. Sure you have to cook and clean, but you don’t have much, so cleaning doesn’t take long. You have to do laundry, sure, but it’s not that much work. And we’re really perfectly happy. I’m always a little disappointed when we get home and I have to live in my house again.

Keith in the RV - PODCAST PLUS: Changing the Dynamic in Your Marriage!

Keith getting lunch ready before we go out on a hike

I think one of the key things to life in the RV is that we’re not streaming Netflix. The internet isn’t good enough to support streaming, so we actually have to spend time together. So we play games, and we do our hobbies, and we talk.

Couples come to me with all kinds of questions and problems in their marriage, and they wonder where to start. How do you start to disentangle such complicated issues and hurts, when there have been layer up on layer of misunderstandings and problems?

And I invariably say the same thing: Start spending time together first. Start just doing something that you both enjoy. Start doing something fun so that you just chat.

When you lose the ability to talk about small things, then you lose the ability to talk about big things.

We can’t tackle big problems if we can’t just chat and laugh. To tackle big things, you need goodwill to draw on. And for that, you need some chatting!

That’s what we get when all is stripped away and we’re living in a 24-foot long camper, with a bed where I need to climb over Keith to get into or out of. Sometimes less complicated is better.

Working in the RV - PODCAST PLUS: Changing the Dynamic in Your Marriage!

Writing this post!

I’ve talked this month about how many of us are spending our lives on things that don’t ultimately satisfy. They fill up our time (like video games), but they don’t feed our souls or our relationships. Or maybe we’re not doing the things that we need to do to live good lives (like getting healthy). And instead of feeding good relationships, we’re feeding selfishness (like my post on how we shouldn’t damage our kids by feeding thoughts about resenting parenting). Next month we’re going to move on to how to spice things up and have fun in bed, but before we do that, let’s get back to basics!

I just want to encourage everyone to have some downtime with each other, with some of the modern trappings pushed aside. Play a game. Do a hobby. Take a walk. Make this a regular thing. It’s not hard. It doesn’t take that much time. But it reaps such big dividends in your lives!

The older I get, the more I believe in the power of board games.

I’m going to be doing a series of posts this year on some of the best, most fun board games I’ve come across. My kids like board games. My assistants on the blog love board games. Tammy, my right hand manager, always gives board games as wedding presents. They’re fun. You can play them with children (starting around age 6 or 7). And it gets us away from screens and talking to each other again!

I remember the board game nights we have as a family. I remember the date nights we go out to pubs with the game Hive. I rarely remember the times we spend watching a TV show together.

Playing Hive for 2 Players at Local Pub Night

Taking Hive out to the pub to play!

So I hope this  year to spread some of that enthusiasm to you all! The power of a board game is the power of chatting and laughing. And it does matter!

I want to offer you another opportunity to win the game Hive–along with three expansions (ladybug, pillbug, and mosquito), and Gen 42 Games’ amazing game Logan Stones, too!

Your chance to win Hive, Logan Stones, and more!

Just enter in the Rafflecopter below. And you get extra “entries” by doing cool things like liking Gen 42 Games’ Facebook Page. You even get 10 extra entries by posting a picture of yourself with the game Hive (even if you take the pic in a store, that counts!). Just hashtag it with #hivegame!

I’ll keep the contest open until February 12, so the winner will be notified right around Valentine’s Day. Let’s get back to some fun without screens. It’s good for your marriage!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What games do you love? Let’s talk in the comments!

 

SheilaSidebarAboutMe - PODCAST PLUS: Changing the Dynamic in Your Marriage! Sheila Wray Gregoire has been married for 27 years and happily married for 22! She loves traveling around North America with her hubby in their RV, giving her signature “Girl Talk” about sex and marriage. And she’s written 8 books. About sex and marriage. See a theme here? Plus she knits. Even in line at the grocery store.
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