Day 1: Hello!

This post is a part of The 15-Day Relationship Challenge. If you’re just now tuning in, click here for the whole series.

Hello. A Walk Down Memory Lane.

Hi. Hey. What’s up. Hello.

These are are words of welcome. Of invitation to be here. The word “hello” lets those who hear it know they are welcome and you are open, available, and intent on listening to what is about to be said. 

Your mom or dad probably said something like this to you when you were born. Maybe it was with a look, a touch, or with those very words. Perhaps the doctor or nurse was the one who greeted you to this world. Regardless, someone in that room welcomed you to life.

And then you probably screamed. Understandable. Perhaps the most blameless action any of us have ever taken!

Somehow you knew (the experiential kind of knowing) this new reality wasn’t what you used to have. It was colder, louder, brighter, and much harsher than your previous dwelling. Like Adam & Eve before us, we’re all trying to get back in to that peaceful, warm, and safer place from where we came.

Hello is also something you said to your husband, or wife, when you first met. It’s amazing how an inflection of certain letters in that word can change the meaning. Maybe the best form of Hello brings with it the phrase, “oh yeah, I like what I see and feel.”  At some point that hello turned into let’s go. And at the beginning, going anywhere together was better than going somewhere on your own. 

Before we get to the hello and let’s go of your relationship, it’s good to take a trip down memory lane. The memory lane about you. Because you are partly responsible for why your relationship exists (yep, even the not-so good parts of the relationship). The next several days will be about where you come from, and how you’ve become who you have become. 

Knowing you, your story, your hopes and dreams helps to set the context for what you’re looking for in your relationship (and the same is true for your spouse as well). The phrase “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” couldn’t be more wrong. What you don’t know might be the very reason you feel what you feel in your life, and relationship. 

Reflection Questions:

  • What did I notice about me in reading today’s material? 
  • What feelings, thoughts, questions, or stories that came to mind? 
  • Who has been the most welcoming person in my life? Why?
  • Who have I welcomed the most into my life? Why?

Practice the gift of welcoming someone today. When you get home later today, offer welcome to your family. 


Hello! Welcome back. Good to see you again. How was your day? 

This first day of the challenge is a great foundation for what is to come. Feeling welcomed is a gift, one we need ourselves, and one others need from us. I hope you practiced that today. 

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)?

As you look ahead to these next two weeks of growth together, answer these questions: 

  • What am I excited about?
  • What am I afraid about?
  • What do I want to see grow in me as a person? 
  • What do I hope for out of this process? 

Assignment Connection
Tell each other the story of who you gave the gift of Welcome to today.


Kids Need to be Needed

One of the worst things we can do to our kids is to raise them without ever asking anything of them. My kids love to remind me that none of their friends have to clean the kitchen, or do their laundry. What they don’t realize is that most of their friends’ don’t really know what their value is to the family, because their parents don’t ask anything of them.

Kids who are never needed at home never develop a sense of place and belonging in the world. They grow up thinking one of two things: Everything should be easy and done for me (entitlement); or I am not needed in the world and therefore I don’t know what makes me unique.

Most parents who don’t ask anything of their children are doing so because they don’t want to deal with the mess that comes with asking a kid to do something.

Kids whine and complain. They are like pigs. Put a pig in a stall, and it’ll find a way to get out. They constantly testing the limits of the boundaries: What is a legit boundary, what is a threat, what is a lie. When they find a weak spot, they’ll hit it over and over and over again until they get what they want. Kids want freedom (don’t we all!), but they don’t know what to do with freedom unless they’ve been taught.

Setting your kids up for success depends on how much responsibility you teach them. Parents teach responsibility by giving them responsibilities. By telling them that they are a valuable member of the family. By telling them that their actions impact more than just themselves.

The best thing we can do for our kids is give them a constructive space to fail.