My Marriage Is Perfect…YEAH RIGHT!

IMG_0289As many of you know, Amy & I have the perfect marriage. It has always been rainbows and alive with the light of a million fairies. YEAH RIGHT!

No, the truth is we’ve had a 14+ year marriage that has been all over the map. Figuratively and literally, haha. We have experienced many joys, but we have also experienced (and sometimes created) many heartbreaking, trust eroding, emotion shattering moments as well. In the midst of the highs and lows, we’ve known one thing to be true: God must be the center of our marriage. That sounds like a trite “Christianese” phrase but it is very true. If we don’t allow Him entrance into every part of us individually and as a couple, we will never walk in the freedom and calling He has for us. At least not to its fullest.

As we’ve moved through our journey, there have been pivotal moments that have led us to stop and evaluate our marital and spiritual health. I’m writing today because last night was one of those times. As we got into bed and would have normally turned on a show or movie, I was led to go to the website of a church I like in Nashville. As I began to scroll through past messages, I found this video. Click Here As Amy and I sat and listened for just over an hour, we were strongly impacted by what this message spoke to us. God used it to reveal things to us about ourselves, our marriage, our parenting, people we’ve hurt, people who have hurt us. It was POWERFUL.

I strongly recommend you and your spouse OR perhaps you and your boyfriend/girlfriend watch this video. Take an hour and instead of watching mindless tv or movies, watch something that can impact your life and help you shape your future. There’s no catch here. They are not selling anything and neither am I. It is real, raw, authentic, biblical insight on relationships. I pray you’ll allow it to impact you for the better.

Believing God will be at work in your relationships as He is in ours!

Written by Andrew Pino

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Make Her Swoon Over You

dsc_7496_2Why is it that so many women swoon over the guys in romantic movies? Is it their dashingly handsome good looks? Their ability to “rescue” the one they love? Their charming sense of humor? The argument could be made that yes, all of those things draw a woman into the story unfolding on the screen and endear them to the male lead character. However, what seems to be the fundamental component to every well loved leading man, is the amount of focus, time, and energy he puts into his on-screen counterpart. There’s something in the way he looks at her, the things he breaks away from to be with her, the lengths he’ll go to just to make sure she is the center of his attention.

So, why does this make a woman smile, cry, laugh at the movie? Because she wants that kind of relationship.

If we’re honest guys, we often hate those movies because they point out some serious flaws in how we relate to our wives (or girlfriends). So many times we have lost focus on what’s going on in the life of our wife. We’ve invested our energies at work, in sports, or whatever other hobby, instead of giving priority to serving our wife and showing her she matters to us. Even time invested in your kids can start to take precedence over spending quality time with your wife.

Like anything you want to see grow, flourish, etc you have to invest your energy into it. You are one of the key contributors to your wife being happy and feeling loved in life. No, she doesn’t need to be codependent on you, but she will certainly define the quality of your relationship by the amount of time, focus, and energy you invest in it.

If this post is challenging you to stop and think about what you can do to reengage your wife, here are a few tips to get her swooning over you:

  • Ask her how her day was and really listen to the answer.
  • Clean up around the house.
  • Do laundry. Not just washer/dryer, but folding and putting it away too.
  • Take her to dinner. Whatever is in your budget to do. She’s more interested in the time and conversation.
  • Go for a walk together.
  • If you have kids, tell her to go out with her girlfriends and you keep them.
  • Sit on the couch and talk to her, not the sports game on TV.
  • Share your life with her. How work is going, what you’ve been thinking about lately, etc.

Sure, this is no exhaustive list, but it’s a start.

We all want to be the leading man in our life. We want our wife to look at us and think, “yes, I made the best decision marrying him. He genuinely cares about me and for me.” Stepping up and giving your time, energy, and focus to your wife will communicate your love and make it clear that she is your top priority.

Written by Andrew Pino

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The Power of Patience

AA018336Patience…just writing that word makes me feel guilty. I am the consummate “do as I say, not as I do” person, when it comes to patience. I can’t think of a time in my life, where patience wasn’t a battle for me.

This struggle wasn’t birthed out of being a spoiled brat, who got everything he wanted growing up. It isn’t spurred on by other people at all. Impatience simply seems to be part of my DNA. That’s not a copout. I’m not off the hook. I just realize that I have an addiction for getting things done and want everyone around me to be the same way.

There are pros and cons to this dilemma…

Certainly a pro is that I get a lot of stuff done. I mean a lot. You’ve heard people say “I get more done by 9am than most people do all day!” That’s me. I don’t let things sit, fester, and atrophy. I push, I execute, I drive. (Just saying this is making me energized. I know, I’m a freak)

Another pro is that I inspire and energize people around me. My wife, my kids, my staff…all can feed off the driving force I bring to the table. Finding a new gear and getting more done than they thought possible.

BUT, it’s not all magical and alive with the light of a million fairies! The opposite side of that proactive drive is impatience and control. The ugly truth is that “drive” often looks like impatience and arrogance to others. Just because I’m wired to “get it done now” doesn’t mean that everyone else is or even should be.

Though there have been many positives in my life that have come out of being proactive (promotions at work, leadership in church, a thriving family), there have also been a lot of missteps, damaged relationships, etc. I’ve learned the hard way that leadership at home, at work, at church…centers on patience.

Patience and grace. These words have been used interchangeably in my life. People have had to show me an extreme amount of both. As if that weren’t enough, God, my creator, has shown me more patience and grace than I can ever quantify. I’m literally in debt to Him and can never repay Him fully. The only thing I can do to honor God in all of this, is show other people the same patience that God has shown me. Hopefully in that gesture, I model Christ and His strength in my weakness.

So, the journey continues. I may never be a person that others call “the patient guy” but hopefully I can become a man that others are inspired by, pushed to be better by, and see gracious leadership from.

How about you? Do you battle with patience? I’d love to hear your story…

Written by Andrew Pino

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Eliminate Chaos In Your Life

AA017960You know the moms with the planners; the crazy organized, perfectly scheduled kind?  They absolutely amaze and intrigue me!  I, unfortunately, didn’t get that gene, but I’m finding more and more that I need one!  See, I could get away with my disorganized chaos so much better when I was younger, before I was married; before I had kids.  It was just my sanity it affected.  Now, with the husband and three small kids, I’m having to rethink how I go about my day; how my choices effect them.

There’s so many things I want to do, to be a part of, but most of the time I can’t figure out how to fit one more thing in or the thought of one more thing just overwhelms me.  Now, I agree that many times our lives our filled with business and chaos that we just don’t need, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.  I’m talking about just finding time for the things that mean something to you; the things you’re passionate about or that you feel called to do at this moment in time, but are struggling to make room for.  I feel like many of my weeks are spent running around from chore to chore, errand to errand, putting out fires ALL OVER THE PLACE, doing multiple things at once and forgetting what I was doing to begin with and rarely sitting down until after the kids are in bed.  Anyone? Anyone?  Well then, lie to me – tell me you’ve done this too and I’m not alone!

But, I’ve decided to put a stop to it.  I can’t accomplish all that I want to, all that is in my head to do, living in the chaos that has been my day to day.  I’ve been thinking about the things that kill my best intentions to be organized and productive….and that’s where we all have to start: Identifying what’s tripping you up.  For me it’s:

1) Lack of Focus – Allowing myself to get distracted with anything and everything.  Yes, this happens ALL THE TIME with kids, but that can also be our excuse <gulp>!  If I’m really being honest with myself though (and with you), it also happens when I stop to check email or Facebook or Pinterest for “just a second” and 15 minutes (or 30) goes by before I know it.  It takes discipline to stay focused and sometimes we have to say no to those kinds of little things in the moment so we can say yes to the things we really want to do later.

2) Procrastination – I am so amazing at this!  I’m reasonably sure I drive my proactive, get it done right away husband absolutely crazy sometimes!  No, really, it’s bad!  It’s the reason I feel overwhelmed so much of the time.  I put off so many things that they snowball and come rolling over me.  I actually have been working on this for years and I have improved in a lot of areas, but when I have those train wreck weeks, I know there’s still plenty of room for improvement…which I will get to someday.  Kidding!

So I’m off and running with this “organized life” thing (with lots of help from my husband!) because I want an intentional life and I want to teach my kids how to lead intentional lives.  I want to be able to do the things God has put in my heart to do and I can’t do them well or perhaps at all with a disorganized schedule that runs me. What about you?  What are the things that hold you back from an organized schedule?  What does it keep you from accomplishing?  Or for the “Planners” out there (that cringed their way through this post), what helps keep you organized?

Written by Amy Pino

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