This post is a part of The 15-Day Relationship Challenge. If you’re just now tuning in, click here for the whole series.
Top 5, part 2. Keystone Stories of Joy.
Good morning. Welcome to Day 5 of 15!
Yesterday was a big hurdle you made it over! Good for you for taking the time, energy, and responsibility to engage in those difficult stories (if you didn’t, that’s ok. But stop here and complete yesterday’s daily assignment before moving into today’s reading and assignment).
Remember that a keystone is a stone that a builder places at the top of an arch to connect the two sides together. This allows the archway to stand on it’s own, hold weight, and be a central focus of the building. There are two categories of keystone stories in our life: Joy and Sorrow. Today, we’re going to talk about Joy. Joy is so much better than sorrow, right? Yes, and no.
I think we are more afraid of what is good about ourselves, than what is bad. For the entire history of mankind, we have yet to discover something good and not attempt to use that for power and control. Wendell Berry says it best, “What man has not discovered, man has not destroyed.” Some of us are afraid of discovering the joy and goodness in our lives, and inappropriately use those.
Just as the painful experiences have shaped your life, so to have the glorious experiences. We often take pictures of these events because we need help remembering these moments. Pictures become a memorial to remind us that there is good in our lives, and this good needs to be celebrated. When we celebrate, we invite others to celebrate as well. When we don’t celebrate, we envy those who have something to celebrate about.
Celebration is an emotional muscle that only grows with exercise. One of the biggest holes in marriages today is that husband and partner get seduced into contempt and criticism towards each other.
Here’s a secret that will change your relationship: Celebration and contempt cannot coexist. They are like oil and water. The glorious and celebratory stories of your life are the ones that need see the light of day, and to share the joy with those you are closest to.
- What did I notice about me in reading today’s material?
- Did I have feelings, thoughts, questions, or stories that came to mind?
Write a brief description of the top 5 most joyous experiences from your life prior to marriage. Be as detailed as you can. Answer these questions about each story:
- What happened?
- What did I feel?
- How did I respond?
- What did I do with the joy I felt?
Give yourself some time to complete today’s assignment. You might need 30 or more minutes to appropriately answer the above questions. Be kind.
Hello! Welcome back. Good to see you again. How was your day?
This morning we talked about joyful experiences, which is way better first thing in the morning than talking about difficult stories! I hope the assignment was revealing and helpful for you and your day.
Take 10-15 minutes tonight with your spouse to talk through your day.
- What were the highs and lows?
- Where were you surprised?
- Was there anything different about your day because of the assignment(s)?
- From this mornings reading, what stood out to you?
- If you’re willing, share your answers from the reflection questions.
Pick one story from your assignment list, and share that story in as much detail as you’d like to share.