Monday, April 6, 2009

Quarterly Review #5

Welcome guest writers, Danny and Laura Stiller

by Laura Stiller

Each of our quarter reviews look different (I'll get to specific quarterly review ideas in a minute), but this has kept them fresh and fun for us. Some of our trips have been strictly for play. Any talk of our marriage just flows, it's not structured or planned. Some of our weekend trips have been fully structured complete with an agenda, discussion topics and intentional questions - sometimes even with homework (or books to read BEFORE the quarterly review in preparation for a discussion).We've needed both of these at different times in our marriage. Danny has been stellar at discerning what types of things to plan for our quarterly reviews and deciding what kind of tone our week needs to take.Let me give you a few suggestions. Please keep in mind that each marriage/couple is vastly different, so part of what will make quarterly reviews beneficial for you is how you tweak and customize them to your needs and personalities. Free/Cheap Activities:
outdoor movie
camp out
find a local event
rent a tandem bicycle
go back to places with memories
go site-seeing with your camera - take pictures together (this is on our "to-do" list)

To Foster Deep Conversation:
attend a marriage conference
plan your future together by reverse engineering your life
take & discuss temperament spiritual gifts, leadership and/or personality tests
watch the PREP Marriage Video Seriesexplore career goals/dreams together

Sample Discussion Questions:
What has been the biggest adjustment being married?
What has been the hardest struggle in our marriage?
What have you struggled with personally since getting married?
What has been most unexpected thing about marriage?
What has been the biggest blessing since getting married?
What do you want to focus on/improve next quarter (marriage & personally)?
Things we've learned since getting married. What's your spiritual life been like this quarter? What are some things you've prayed for this quarter?
What are some ways that I have (and maybe currently do) hurt you?
What can I do so that I don't hurt you anymore.
Establish some "Action Steps" for building/maintaining intimacy (in anticipation of a busier semester).
Write down 10 things that make you feel loved.
What are our spiritual, physical, emotional, social and intellectual goals for the next Quarter? What have our challenging/stressful circumstances been this quarter & how can we relieve the stress? (ie: packing lunches, planning menus, doing laundry, etc.)
What are our prayer needs this quarter (because if we don't feel like we need God then we won't go to Him)?
What is the most humanly impossible thing you'll ask God to do this year?
Where are some places we'd like to try to go on future quarterly reviews? (ie: Grand Canyon, West Coast, New Orleans - we dream big folks)
What did we accomplish this quarter that we had set as goals last quarter?
What's improved in our relationship this quarter?
And that, my new friends, is the book The Stillers have written for themselves on Quarterly Reviews since sitting on a worn leather couch the summer of 2005. It is still being written, with many editions to come.

Danny and Laura Stiller were married on August 27, 2005. They fell in love while leading an inner city ministry together after college in Bryan, Texas. Two weeks before their wedding, while Laura was busy finalizing wedding plans and dreaming of marital bliss, Danny decided they needed to move to Greenville, SC for a better job opportunity and to pay off debt FASTER. Somehow, during their first two years of marriage, they moved four times, and squeezed there in the middle was a year in Columbia, SC and the Harris' newlywed Sunday School class. They are now half-way through the four years it takes to get a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and are maintaining their sanity with date nights, quarterly reviews, and lots of hearty "communication." They blog regularly at:

1 comment:

Joe, Ash, Grayson and Hank said...

Hey Lorie- Sara had a C-Section yesterday. Ben was 9 lbs 4 oz. Whew! Everyone is great.