Some of the times we have bonded the most in our marriage have been when we have tackled projects together. Projects such as building a deck, painting a room, building a pallet wall for a bridal show (in a weekend no less. whew!), remodeling a bathroom, even something simple as rearranging the furniture can strengthen our bond. you may be wondering how in the world that can bring you closer to each other. So we'll share our most recent little project we that drew our hearts to each other.
Our latest little project we tackled together was...chopping firewood! What? Yes indeed! Allen's back has been out this week, and as he recovers, he is limited in physical activity. I really wanted a fire (there's finally a chill in the air in North Florida - yay!) and I knew the only way it would happen was for me to chop the wood. However, never having done it before I knew I would need some assistance. So for this project, Allen was the coach and Carol did the physical labor! I actually did split a few logs with an ax! Whoop Whoop! But it took quite a while. Allen had to show me how to hold the ax, how to swing it and where to swing it (just for the record, I did not hit the same spot twice on any of those logs. Oops. But they did split eventually- haha)
How in the world did that bond us, you may wonder. Well, 1. It forced us to work together on the same project instead of separate ones. Life can easily get very busy with both of us going in different directions, if we allow it. Anyone else notice that too? Working together also 2. Increased our communication. Allen needed to communicate clearly and kindly to me in a way I could understand (which of course is quite different than him just telling a guy how to chop wood). I need a bit more gentleness and encouragement than one of his buddies would. By the way, he al ways excels at being kind but sometimes what he says is NOT what I hear. Things get lost in translation you know. LOL (I feel certain I am not alone in that area). This also meant that I had to practice listening and receiving instruction from him without getting offended. Was it easy? Ummm. No! It was a challenge for us both just a bit, but we found a balance between Allen teaching, me listening, and the wood splitting (albeit not right down the middle). 3. This also gave us an opportunity to believe in each other & cheer each other on. Allen believing in me and being patient when I struggled to catch on spurred me on. Honestly, one of the reasons I love doing projects with Allen is because he believes in me. He does not belittle me or make me feel dumb. He just encourages me! And BECAUSE he believes I can do it, then so do I! With the hubby coaching & the wife log-splitting, we were able to push through and in the end take satisfaction in a job well done together and have a nice cozy fire later on! There were certainly challenges and differences to overcome in the process, but that just made cuddling by the fire later that much sweeter!
That leads us to share with you one more example...about the time we welded together. Crazy, right? We were on a mission trip to Puerto Rico and Allen was in charge of welding a balcony railing for a church. The other men had different jobs and there were only a few ladies on the trip. I was one of them. The ladies were working in the kitchen, although I really had my heart set on working with Allen. I knew though that I had no previous experience welding and wasn't sure I would excel at it. Well, you would be surprised what you can do when someone believes in you and patiently teaches you. That's exactly what Allen did for me. He gave me a crash course in welding 101. Although it took me a bit to pick up on it, Allen never gave up on me. He kept encouraging me and saying "You can do it", even when my finished project was much less than perfect. And at the end of the week, I had learned a new skill and Allen and I had learned yet more communication skills. In addition, we built a stronger bond that week knowing that we had worked together as a team and welded a balcony! Wow! Who does that really? We do! :) Could Allen have built it without me? Absolutely, but it wouldn't have been as much fun. I mean we had a lot of fun flirting with each other & stealing kisses in-between welds. Hee-hee.
We have learned that one of the Keys to doing projects together is to value each others input. whoa! That's a tough one. after all, Allen is a firstborn perfectionist and I am a "fly by the seat of my pants" baby of my family. We sometimes have very different techniques for tackling a project. The coolest things happen when we listen to each other though. We learn that the other one has great ideas and input and that there can be more than one way to go about something. One of us learns a new method & the other feels valued. Definitely a win win!
THE PRIZE IS WORTH THE PRICE!
Ok so just to recap...
Advantages to doing projects together:
- It builds your bond
- Increases communication skills
- You accomplish something that you can both take pride in
- Opportunity to encourage each other & believe in each other
- Lastly, you get the chance to flirt with each other! oh yeah!
Keys to doing projects together:
- Believe in each other
- Encourage each other
- Value each others input
- Be patient with each other
- Don't forget to high-five and seal it with a kiss!
Okay. It's your turn now. Get out there and tackle a project together and don't forget to have fun with it! There will almost certainly be challenges as you work together, but try to remember your end goal - to strengthen your bond, not to have a perfect project. You can do it!
Cheering you on,
ALLEN & CAROL