When was the last time someone shared with you a “100 %, would recommend”, word-of-mouth endorsement? Whether it was Crumbl Cookies or MODE boutique, or Feedwell Kitchen & Bakery, I bet once you heard the recommendation you made a mental note to try it out for yourself.

I have a couple of those to share with you.

Firstly I want to recommend to you some great advice that my husband and I received when our kids were young: 

If you’re married, keep dating your spouse.

I know that once the babies come along, those helpless, adorable, needy, charming, tiny little darlings do everything they can to become the center of your family universe. Don’t let them. Does that strike you as odd coming from your Children’s Ministry Director? Maybe. Especially when Hollywood and Disney and the mommy blogs all tell you to “put the kids first.” Instead, I strongly suggest “put the marriage first” and let the kids come in at a strong second.

There’s a ton of reasons I endorse this. One is that I believe kids feel most loved and secure when the adults in their lives are loved and secure. Another is the reality that the universe doesn’t revolve around your kids. They might as well learn that as soon as possible. Lastly, before you know it, your kids are going to be gone. Gonzo. Vamoose. And you’re going to be left at home staring at this other adult with 30 more years of life ahead of you. That’s way more time to be married after the kids are grown and gone than before. That’s a pretty big chunk of time. You’ll be wise to invest where you’ll get the best long-term returns.

Date each other. Go out to dinner. Go for walks. Sometimes Jeremy and I would just go grab a stack of books at Barnes & Noble or the library and leaf through them while drinking a coffee. Dates don’t have to break the budget. Put the munchkins to bed and turn off the TV. Read a book together. Talk about something besides work and the kids (this may take some planning ahead-that’s okay).

And once in a while-go away together. Stay in a hotel. Winky winky. Sometimes we simply go to Hotel Kirkwood for a night, not even leaving town. Just to focus on each other and keep the romance alive. 100% would recommend.

My second word of mouth recommendation is for an event coming up next month: AbideCR. Trust me, it is going to be incredible and worth the investment.

AbideCR will take place on February 11-12, 2022, hosted at New Covenant. We will join together with other area churches Friday evening and all day on Saturday. You will have extended time together or individually to pray, journal, learn, sing, reflect, discuss, and bask in the presence of Jesus. 

We are creating a unique and special space for you to drink deeply of the goodness of God. Additionally, we have partnered with cool local businesses Feedwell Kitchen & Bakery, The Hip-Stir and Crumbl Cookies to make sure you feed your body as well as your soul. Think of it as a spiritual retreat and a date night and a staycation all in one. 

And we’ll welcome special guest Aaron Williams and the Worship Initiative Band all the way from Dallas, Texas. They will be leading us in some extended times of worship as well.

Tickets are on sale now at an early-bird rate of $69. Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but you can also get an additional $10 off by using the promo code ABIDENCBC. The catered meals alone are worth the price of admission. 

And just in case your ears perked up at the idea of a night out at a hotel-we have negotiated a super discounted rate at the Marriott for conference attendees. Get a babysitter and really enjoy each other. Winky winky.

There’s a couple quick word of mouth recommendations I hope you’ll consider! Make 2022 the year where you invest in your most important relationships. 

See you there!