Miles and I are coming up on our seventh wedding anniversary (say whaaaat?) so naturally we have this whole marriage thing down by now. HA. Is seven years even considered that long? I mean to us it seems long because it’s the longest we’ve been married yet (duh), but in some ways we still feel like we got married just yesterday.
I guess we must look like we’ve been married for a decent amount of time because lately we keep getting asked from newly engaged or married friends what our number one marriage advice would be. I think we would have both said different things over the last few years, but for once we are 100% confident and on the same page about what that advice should be.
(*Also, if you’re not married or soon to be married, no worries, this is still for you. Stick around and see why.)
So what would that advice be? This would be the part that if we were in person Miles and I would cutely say in unison: Monday Morning Meeting.
I know that sounds boring, but let me tell you how we got there. Miles is the lead pastor of our church and works crazy hours. I know that always shocks people because he is often asked on Sundays, “So what do you even do the rest of the week?” Word to the wise, don’t ask that in front of me. I’m not as gracious with my answer as he is. :)
Well not only does he work crazy hours, but those hours are not set in stone and no two days are the same. Every week was so unpredictable and therefore our lives were becoming unpredictable. Well 1. Hi, my name is Courtney, I’m type-A and I don’t DO unpredictable and 2. Hi, my husband is Miles and even though he’s the boss, he needs someone to keep him in line and that’s where I come in. :) So after having the same conversation (read: argument) over and over again, we finally found the solution in August of 2016 (only took us two years after planting the church… not sure if that’s good or bad).
In August we decided to sit down and map out our week on Monday before the week got away from us and expectations became unmet. (Ahhh unmet expectations. The root of all evil in marriage. But that’s another post for another day.)
Okay, back to our meeting. So we sat down on Monday morning to talk through our week, what Miles’ hours would be, when I could EXPECT him home (and he’d really be home!), and other things that were important to us. You guys. GAME CHANGER. He was gone before the sun was up on Wednesday, but that didn’t matter because I could look at our notes and saw he would be home a couple hours early to make up for it. Oh he worked late on Thursday? That’s because he watched Anniston that morning while I went to an early gym class so he made up some work hours that evening. All of our expectations were listed for us to see so we weren’t creating scenarios in our head and then getting upset with one another before he even walked in the door. It was the best week ever.
So naturally, because we are SO smart, we decided this needed to be a weekly thing! We set Monday morning at 9:30am (Anniston’s nap time) as our official meeting time and no matter what would sit down at the dining room table together and schedule out our week. Why Monday morning? Miles works ALL day on Sundays (we have morning and evening church services and he usually works about 10 hours that day) so he usually goes in at lunch time on Monday so he can have some family time in the morning and catch his breath from Sunday. Now I understand most jobs don’t work like that so we often tell people to try and schedule their meeting for sometime on Sunday. Just make sure you get it in before the week starts! And try to make it the same time and day so it becomes a habit and just as important as any other meeting you have that week. (Side note: Anniston is about to drop that morning nap and my number 1 concern is for our morning meeting on Mondays. If you’ve got advice, send it my way!)
So we are all in different seasons of life so your “agenda items” (so fancy, I know), will be different than ours, but here is a look at what we talk about:
Miles’ work hours
Miles’ feedings with Anniston (he tries to do one a day, usually her breakfast or dinner)
Miles’/Courtney’s work out times
Family Appointments/Events (Ex: Courtney’s hair appointment, Anniston’s doctor appointment, Anniston’s gymboree class, Dinner with _______, etc.)
Talking Points (Ex: budget, upcoming trip, etc.)
So the teacher in me got all fancy and created a document with lists, tables, pretty colors, and all sorts of fun stuff (it makes it more fun!). Then I simply copy and paste for each new week and we fill it in as we go with that week’s info! This way we can both refer to the document throughout the week to stay on track and know what to expect!
And as you can see, we always finish our meeting by praying. I’d love to say we pray together everyday (I am a pastor wife for goodness sakes), but honestly, that just doesn’t always happen. This way no matter what, we are praying together every single Monday. We are praying for our week. For our marriage. For our baby girl. For our church. And for every little and big detail. Those prayer times have been so special and often bring us to tears in gratitude to our Father for giving us this life. I’m telling you, this Monday Morning Meeting thing is MAGIC.
If you’re single and stuck with me this long, THIS IS FOR YOU TOO! I truly believe it would be so good for you to set a time for yourself over the weekend or on Monday to schedule out your week. We often feel like time gets away from us, but many times that is because we do not treat time as the gift it is! If you schedule your gym times on Monday you are so much more likely to actually make it there when you have it in writing! That goes for your quiet times, when you are getting together with friends, when you’re studying, and everything else. If you get to the end of the week and always feel like you didn’t have “time” to do anything, this is for you. How many times does the TV suck you in? Or mindless scrolling on social media? You don’t realize how much that takes away from the time you have in your day! I’m not saying you need to schedule every minute (except I’m pretty crazy and do, haha), but I am saying be INTENTIONAL. Schedule your week and pray over your week. You will be amazed at the wondrous things and extra time that comes from it! My guarantee or your money back! (I mean not really, unless you want to pay me for this awesome advice, then I’ll give it back if it doesn’t work! ;))
So there it is, the best advice I’ve got, a weekly meeting for yourself or one with your spouse. Do it and see the goodness that comes from it. You won't regret it!