Sunday, March 1, 2015

There is no "I" in "T.E.A.M."

As I think back on our engagement, I reflect on how much I appreciated Jacob's support and partnership. We learned as we went along and made a really good team! During your engagement, it is important that you become a T.E.A.M.:

Talk / Trust:

  • Engagement is a good and important time to get comfortable talking about a wide range of topics from the guest list to vendors, to your vision for the ceremony to your expectations for your first night together. Be sure to talk through the questions you have for each other as well as your expectations.
  • This is a season for growing your trust in each other. As tasks get delegated and hearts are unveiled, you cross into a new level of practical and relational trust.

Evaluate / Empathize

  • There are so many decisions to evaluate and it is good to do this together for the big ones. Sure, there are plenty of small decisions that are more efficiently dealt with by one of you, but for the big decisions, evaluate the options/pros/cons together and it will lay some more bricks on the foundation of your relationship.
  • This is an important time to really learn to empathize with each other. It might be slightly more relevant for the guys to work on this area as it is a very emotional and busy time for your lady, but both of you will experience new things, challenging things, and demanding things in this season. The more you can put yourself in the other person's shoes, the more you will appreciate the other person and feel like you are heard and understood in the midst of a whirlwind of activity.

Advisors / Accept

  • For many decisions during your engagement, it is important to seek out advisors. It's important to have wise biblical counsel during this time period. Jacob and I sought out guidance from our parents (married 34 & 42 years!) and a few mentor couples. We prayed together and read books together to spur conversation about God's design for marriage and our expectations. On the practical side, a lot of research went into our decisions. We determined a few options for wedding dates but then consulted with our families. We sought out a number of options for DJ's. I wasn't willing to accept that the only way to get elegant flowers was to pay $3,000 so I did a lot of searching and asking around at work, with friends, etc. There is a lot of good information out there if you just ask!
  • During this season, you have the opportunity to display acceptance for each other in a number of ways, including personal preferences, decisions, and mistakes. There is so much happening, and this is a great time to learn to express and accept grace from each other!

Make a Decision / Marvel

  • Yes, you must finally make a decision! After searching out a ton of vendors, choose one. After looking through a book of colors, choose one. After going cross-eyed by reading long, hard-to-pronounce flower names, pick one (or two, or...). After reviewing the menu options and ten types of grilled chicken, choose one. One of the things I enjoyed most about our engagement was making decisions with Jacob. We talked through things, shared our perspectives, and then made decisions together. This was also a good time for me to practice letting Jacob lead (he's a great leader, by the way). 
  • Take a step back and marvel. The time period preparing for a wedding is pretty incredible. Shining through the decisions to be made and tasks to be completed was such a bright light of community. It was truly a blessing to see how our community came alongside us to make this day happen. Family and friends hosted showers, purchased gifts from our registries, offered advice when asked, made themselves available to help, etc. Be sure to take time to marvel at these gifts of time and service. 

This partnership will be the foundation of your marriage. A month into our marriage, I see this in so many ways already and know it will continue as we go through different seasons of life. 
 

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