Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


We want to just wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! It's been quite an incredible year for us: 
  • Officially, we added two children to our family with Nora being born on June 5 and Sean being adopted on July 17
  • We published our first book on marriage and relationships in February: 99 Thoughts on Marriage and Ministry with Simply Youth Ministry
  • We moved in March to a bigger home to accommodate our growing family
  • Melissa published her first Novel at the end of the summer: The War Inside which has been getting rave reviews and one professional reviewer claimed it was "easily as good as The Hunger Games"
  • Jake helped design, launch and implement a new Student Leader training event for New England called Equip in early September with the help of Monadnock Bible Conference.
  • We joined the mini-van club (kinda...it's a mini-mini-van) buying a Mazda5 in October
  • Melissa signed her first book deal with Astrea Press for a novel tentatively titled Dreamcatchers that will come out sometime in 2014
  • We ran the second Youth Ministry and Marriage Retreat in Atlanta, GA in mid-November and had the amazing privilege of being hosted for FREE by WinShape Retreats, a retreat center of Chick-fil-A

And this is all on top of Jake's full time job as Youth Pastor at Grace Community Church, Sean's second year of life (he turns 2 on January 18th) and pregnancy/Nora enjoying her first 6-months of life. 

Just seeing this list makes us overjoyed at what God has done in our lives and families this past year. We are so thankful for all of the people who have blessed us and been through it all with us!

May you find many blessings for 2014 for you and your family!

Jake and Melissa

Friday, December 13, 2013

Every Minute Can Count

The taxing ministry schedule often makes finding quality “couple” time a chore.

Everyone else in the church needs a piece of your day, and when you get home you’re exhausted and spent. Then there are daily responsibilities, children, school and sports schedules to contend with, and needing individual alone time as well. Time for your marriage can get pushed to the back burner. So, it’s time to get creative!

We deal with the crazy demands of ministry as well, Melissa works part-time, and we have two kids under two — life is very full at the moment, and we’ve had to reorient our idea of quality time.

We’ve had to figure out creative ways to spend time together in the midst of all these other non-negotiable demands.

- See more at: http://www.morethandodgeball.com/simply-insider/creativity-time-you-never-knew-you-always-had/#sthash.jRElHqYt.dpuf
Our goal of this blog is to share stories (both good and bad), thoughts and insights about our marriage and we would love for you to jump into the conversation.

The goal is to provide three things:
1) HOPE for struggling couples that they are not alone.
2) GROWTH in our marriages and our understanding of marriage.
3) ENCOURAGEMENT to keep loving your spouse unconditionally.