All I can think of is that old SNL sketch, Celebrity Jeopardy with fake Sean Connery. (Warning...the inappropriateness level is pretty high on that sketch, so if you're not into that, just keep reading and forget I ever mentioned it!)  But I digress...that is NOT what this post is about!

I like to fancy myself a writer.  I am not a professional writer, by any stretch of the imagination. But I do have a good grip of language and enjoy putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys, as the case may be.)  I also find that I can express myself much more fully and thoughtfully in writing. And many times, I surprise myself with what I actually think or feel about a topic once I sit down and write it out.  I have been an on-again-off-again journaler for as long as I can remember.  Usually, I get the urge to write when I am full of all the feels.  I get overcome with something, whether it be world events or my own life experiences, and then I simply have to get it all out on paper.  My best reflections on scripture and even my most profound prayers are discovered when I take the time to sit down and write.  

This is one of the ways that Marriage Encounter gets it all right!  If you've attended a getaway weekend with us (or even an Engaged Encounter, for that matter), you are familiar with the concept of personal reflection.  For those of you who haven't attended, the idea is simple.  Pick a topic and write about it!  Then read each other's letters and discuss.  It's so easy that it seems like it wouldn't matter!  But the idea is that when we write, we take the time to slow down and process what we really think or feel about an issue.  Often, if there is a subject in our marriage that is a sore spot, or one that is particularly heavy or troublesome, taking the time to put my heart on paper stops the inevitable word-vomit that tends to happen in heated discussion.  It helps me to actually know what I think.  For me, that's huge!  I am an extrovert, and so I process my thoughts out loud, which a lot of times can result in confusion.  But I can channel that extrovert in me through personal reflection--I let the paper be my sounding board which results in a more focused and fruitful discussion with my husband later.  

So I'm challenging you to try this!  If there is something you've been meaning to talk about, write it out first.  Then let your partner read what you've written and discuss.  Or allow time for them to write you back first and then have your chat.  Can't think of anything specific? Just write them a love letter!  Romantics at heart will love this kind of sentiment, and even the non-romantics (silently raising my hand) will appreciate the beauty of the love that the two of you share.  Still not convinced?  Use one of our weekly discussion topics as an easy jumping off point for your writing.  The possibilities are literally endless, and I promise, you won't regret trying something new!

Dust off your stationery and find a pen that works!  Happy writing!

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