Marriage-MondayJill says: This coming weekend is the National Hearts at Home Conference and that means there’s a lot happening at the Savage this week.

Mark says: We’ve been doing this for 22 years, so we’ve learned a few things about managing the stress that is a natural part of such a big event.

Jill says:
With over 5,000 moms in attendance, my incredible team of leaders is busy with all the conference preparations. I’m still putting the finishing touches on my messages. At home, we’re also preparing for a house full of family who come in to both help and attend the conference.

While you may not have to deal with the stress of producing a large conference, every couple has moments of life where stress will happen.  One of the things a married couple can do is anticipate the stresses and have a plan to work through them.

2015-Poster-ConfBothMark says: I’ve learned to adjust my expectations of Jill during conference week.  She has dozens of things on her mind.  This is a week that I need to be okay with not getting her full attention. And it’s likely not a week for any sexpectations. Knowing I’m a priority during the rest of the year, gives me the ability to give grace and space during crazy weeks like this.

Jill says: And I’ve learned to ask for what I need.  My family can’t read my mind and they don’t see things around the house that I see that need to be done.  What bugs me (my feet are sticking to the kitchen floor!) doesn’t phase those who live with me. If I need their help, I have to ask for it…with words!

Mark says: I’ve also learned that this is a great week for me to have a servant heart. I will not only serve at the conference site, but I also need to serve at home. Keeping up with laundry, running the vacuum, and helping to make beds for guests are all things I can do to take some weight off Jill’s shoulders.

Jill says: Mark’s great to help out at home on a regular basis and I’m so appreciative of that. But on conference week I’m double appreciative!  His servant heart really makes a difference for me and reduces the stress so much!

I’ve learned to let things go too.  I might want a different level of a “clean house” than is realistic for this week. There are some things that around the house will just have to be “good enough.”

Mark says: Not all stress can be anticipated and planned for, but when you can look at the calendar and think ahead about handling crazy seasons well, it is a gift you can give your marriage!

What about you? What strategies do you use to manage stressful seasons in your relationship? 

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