Challenges, Podcast, Unity

Embracing New Rhythms and Routines for Life at Home

Virtually everyone around the world is quarantined because of COVID-19. It’s a shocking, fast change, for sure! However, it’s also also an opportunity to press into new rhythms and routines that will bring us closer together as a couple, as a family, and as parents. In this episodes we’ll share some of our habits and rhythms we’ve found as people who have worked at home and home educated our children for years. We hope it blesses you!

Transcript Shownotes

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Scripture, Show Notes, and Resources Mentioned

  • [00:45:04]
    • Scripture reference:
      • 1 John 1:5-7, ESV
  • [00:50:02]
    • Scripture reference:
      • 2 Timothy 1:7, paraphrase
      • Psalm 42 & 43, taken in part

Full Episode Transcript

Ryan:
A lot of couples find themselves at home with an extraordinary amount of extra time together with each other, with their kids. And it caught a lot of us off guard, right?

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
We’re in a unique time. It’s unprecedented.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And obviously, we’re talking about COVID-19, which we mentioned it last week. And it has, I mean, unfortunately, it’s continued.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
The numbers continue to rise.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
I just looked at it before we hopped on here. 20,000 more cases. It went from 200,000 to 224,000 in the site that I used to track it, overnight!

Selena:
Yeah, yeah.

Ryan:
That’s a 10% increase overnight on this thing that’s been around for… three and a half months?

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Since December.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
So, it’s changing a lot—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And it’s putting us kind of face-to-face with each other. [Snickers]

Selena:
Mm-hm!

Ryan:
And face-to-face with our own mortality in a lot of ways.

Selena:
You know you’ve seen the homeschool memes out there. [Ryan laughs]

Ryan:
“Everybody’s a homeschooler!”

Selena:
“Everybody’s a homeschooler!”

Ryan:
So, this episode is devoted to kind of sharing really honestly what we’ve done in the past, because it’s not, if we’re honest, we’re not truly disrupted by this, the Frederick family.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Because I work from home. We home educate.

Selena:
Yeah. It doesn’t disrupt maybe our day to day tasks. But there’s been a whole heart and emotional and mental side.

Ryan:
Yes, very much so.

Selena:
That it’s weighed heavier on. But there’s just some things we want to share that we’ve learned with you and stumbled through before. And hopefully we can shed some light on some rhythms and routines that have helped us cope with so much time together! [Laughs]

Ryan:
Yeah, both as a married couple but also as parents with young kids.

Selena:
Yes!

Ryan:
So, it’s going to be a fun conversation. [Selena laughs] And we’ll see you on the other side.

<Intro Sequence>

Ryan:
This episode of the Fierce Marriage podcast is brought to you by Vance Refrigeration.

Selena:
[Scoffs] You wish! [Ryan laughs] You stopped me for that?

Ryan:
How do you know?

Selena:
Goodness.

Ryan:
How do you know that they haven’t sponsored us? [Selena cackles] It’s probably a real company out there.

Selena:
It’s pretty awesome if it is! [Ryan laughs] Got my vote. Anyways, we are—

Ryan:
We’ll see.

Selena:
We really are living history right now. There’s a lot happening around the world. And as believers, I think we can take heart and cling to hope!

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Because of Christ in this time. And we can also love our neighbors, literal neighbors around us. Social distancing, yes. But…

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
We’ve kind of found ourselves reaching out to, in different ways, to each other. And I think it’s refreshing and it’s kind of a jolt to the system, right?

Ryan:
Very much so, yeah.

Selena:
So, that’s not really driving the conversation here, but it definitely, I think, was the big, “How do we just—?” You know, you got to acknowledge the elephant in the room and talk about it.

Ryan:
Yes.

Selena:
And but there’s a healthy way for us to kind of move forward.

Ryan:
And for a lot of us, this is our new normal.

Selena:
Yeah, yeah!

Ryan:
And so, it’s not, unfortunately, this pandemic is not going to just be gone overnight.

Selena:
Right, right.

Ryan:
It’s going to be around in our state.

Selena:
Yeah, Washington state is one of the highest right now.

Ryan:
It’s one of the highest, and they are also considering, they closed schools down.

Selena:
For six weeks.

Ryan:
For six weeks.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
But now they’re talking about how they won’t open up any schools until fall again.

Selena:
Right, right.

Ryan:
And we’re in March right now.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
So, that’s a big deal!

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
And so, we’re having to settle into a new normal.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And so, we don’t want to pretend like this is just going to go away. So, let’s talk through how we can really press into this as a family.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
As a married couple, as parents and as the new educators of our kids.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
But also, there’s all kinds of opportunity! It’s rife with opportunity!

Selena:
Yes, yes!

Ryan:
And so, that’s what we want to focus on. And how do we leverage and steward those opportunities for discipleship, for instruction, for teaching, for training—

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
As effectively as we can.

Selena:
‘Cause we got time, people!

Ryan:
‘Cause we got time. [Laughs]

Selena:
We gooot time! [Snicker]

Ryan:
We got time.

Selena:
So, before we get started with any of that, just thank you so much to our listeners, our raters and reviewers. If you have not done that already, please take five seconds to do that, hit that highest star rating. [Ryan snickers] I mean… [Both clear their throat] Hit that rating as best you can!

Ryan:
It’s by far the most satisfying star to hit, is that fifth one!

Selena:
[Chuckles] It really is, it really is! Just trying to help ya out.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
But yeah! And leave a quick review. It definitely helps us get the word out.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
And I read reviews for other podcasts, so, I want to know what people think!

Ryan:
Oh, it’s so important!

Selena:
So…

Ryan:
It’s so important, yes.

Selena:
‘Cause, yeah. If you want to support this podcast, I’m going to try this, you can do so via Patreon. Patreon.com/fiercemarriage is where you can go. And we just ask two things that you consider: you pray about it and consider it together, and then what was the second thing?

Ryan:
And you actually do it! [Laughs]

Selena:
You do it! Okay, I was like, “Is there something I’m missing here?” [Laughs] Still on the no there. Yeah! So, we would love to lock arms with you and continue to keep…

Ryan:
Mm-hm!

Selena:
This podcast ad-free, except for Vance Refrigeration, and…

Ryan:
We make exceptions.

Selena:
[Laughing] We make exceptions.

Ryan:
For things we really believe in.

Selena:
[Laughing] Yes. So, is that it? Is there anything else you want to mention?

Ryan:
[Clears throat] Yeah, and if you have any questions, go to fiercemarriage.com/podcast. There’s a button there.

Selena:
Yeah, and we’ve got a bunch of interviews kind of in the in the can here. And I’m excited to share some of them.

Ryan:
We do. We have about ten right now.

Selena:
Goodness! Freddie, get on that.

Ryan:
I know! [Both laugh] I feel the pressure! It takes a lot longer to edit the interviews, and with the book coming up, which, by the way—

Selena:
Oh, yeah!

Ryan:
With See-Through Marriage—

Selena:
Whooo!

Ryan:
Coming out in May, okay, when we’re recording this, it’s in the middle of March. So, in about a month and a half, this book will drop. We just, and by the way, if you want to be a part of our launch team, it’s not too late! Although it’s almost too late.

Selena:
[Giggling] Almost too late! [Chuckles]

Ryan:
So, make sure to go to SeeThroughBook.com, and there’s a little form there. Fill out the launch team thing. But anyway, the book hit number 14…

Selena:
Whooo!

Ryan:
As of today, on the Christian Marriage and Relationships. And it’s number one new release, I think.

Selena:
It is, in something!

Ryan:
In something! Anyway. And, oh—

Selena:
I think it was the Christian—

Ryan:
In dating, in dating relationships.

Selena:
Yes, yes.

Ryan:
Anyway, we are just thankful for that! Obviously, it’s resonating already, hopefully! [Both chuckle] With folks. So…

Selena:
Yeah, this is great.

Ryan:
Go to SeeThroughBook.com. You can preorder that. If you are on the launch team, here’s the good news. You get the access to the e-book early.

Selena:
Oooh.

Ryan:
For free!

Selena:
[More excitedly] Oooh!

Ryan:
So, you do have to pre-order the book and give us a receipt number, and then after you preorder it, then you submit the form. We will send you an e-book download thing, and that way you can actually read and review the book!

Selena:
[Gasps] Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Ryan:
The thing’s we’re asking is that you actually read the book and then you write a review on Amazon when it comes out.

Selena:
Yes!

Ryan:
And so, that’s fairly, I think, easy if you want to be a part of that.

Selena:
Easy peasy.

Ryan:
Otherwise, if you don’t want to be part of that, then you can just wait till it comes out. No worries, no harm, no foul.

Selena:
Then you can buy five. [Ryan exhales a chuckle] Okay! Sooo… [Selena laughs and Ryan chuckles] Talking kind of a bit about our home life right now. Not ours specifically. We’ll definitely share examples. Don’t you worry! But we are talking about if we’re taking some inventory of our life, right, as a married couple, what does it look like? Are we honoring God in the way we live at home after work? What is biblical homemaking? We see it throughout the Bible.

Ryan:
Hm! Yeah.

Selena:
Proverbs 31. Are we really stewarding our time well, to God’s glory at home? I know that our tendency when we were first married, I think, was just go work, get the money, get paid, come home, do what you want, relax, rest. And not to say that any of that is bad, right? We do have to have a place of rest. We need to have that rhythm built in. But I think if we’re just kind of left to our own of we come home, and we do kind of whatever we want or whatever chore’s ready to go or waiting for us— Usually that’s my job. [Both laugh] Then it’s I think we are bordering on being passive about our lives! And there’s just so much opportunity for us to be intentional in how we—

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
Live and worship God on a day to day basis.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
There’s so much room for intentionality in terms of being fruitful.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
Of having a home life and community, and what that looks like. So [Clears throat], excuse me. I want to start with one of my good friends, Lydia, she—

Ryan:
Which she will hopefully be writing for Fierce Parenting soon.

Selena:
Yes!

Ryan:
That’s what we’re hoping. She’s brilliant!

Selena:
She is just amazing.

Ryan:
Yes.

Selena:
Check her out on Instagram. Oceans Never Fill. She said Christians ought not to be passive consumers of the world, but rather intentional worshipers, not just reassessing life when things go wrong, but evaluating our choices always. And I was like, “Yes, yes, yes! I wish I could hit the heart button 30 times.” But it’s so easy for us, I think, to come home again and be a passive consumer, right? Through our screens.

Ryan:
Huh.

Selena:
We’re tired, but I mean, and even when our kids come home from school, which now they’re home all the time, but when kids come home from school, we’re all tired. Maybe, yes, we need to recognize different cycles.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
Physical cycles, but!

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Overall, we are called to be worshippers. So, how can we worship God through our home life? And one of those ways that we’ve talked about is just rhythms and kind of routines!

Ryan:
Mmm.

Selena:
Go ahead!

Ryan:
I don’t want you to go any further. [Selena chuckles] I want you to worship—

Selena:
“I want you to stop right there!”

Ryan:
Worship God through our home life. That’s profound.

Selena:
You’re welcome.

Ryan:
That is a profound reality. Well, you didn’t create the reality, so…

Selena:
[Snickers] That’s true.

Ryan:
I’m thanking the Lord for this.

Selena:
Okay, sorry. [Ryan laughs]

Ryan:
It’s a profound ability that we have to worship God through our home lives—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
In the so often we treat our home lives, and this is what you’re talking about, we treat it as kind of the accessory to the main thing.

Selena:
Right, right!

Ryan:
But the main thing is my career, the main thing is my ambition, the main thing is the eight hours that I spent away from the home during the day.

Selena:
Right, right!

Ryan:
But what if that flipped? What if our home life was the main thing and the job was just the thing to support the home life?

Selena:
Mm-hm!

Ryan:
And that was the thing that we were ambitious about. It was the thing that we were eager to improve in!

Selena:
Yeah, yes!

Ryan:
And so, yeah. I mean that’s—

Selena:
[Laughing] What better time to start…

Ryan:
Yeah!

Selena:
Improving some of those areas?

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Or just identifying, I think, and having…

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Asking the Lord to kind of shift our hearts in this season. I mean, we have so much time…

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
That it can either be—

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
A burden or a blessing depending on how we…

Ryan:
Yeah!

Selena:
Pursue it.

Ryan:
It’s really putting that our cultural idol of work and identity in work—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
On the chopping block right now. And we’re realizing how much we really live to work and how much we don’t naturally work to live. Does that make sense?

Selena:
Oh yeah!

Ryan:
So, usually we’re like, that’s our ambition, like I just said!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
But you got to flip it!

Selena:
Right!

Ryan:
We don’t live to work. We work to live.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Work is a means to an end, not the end in itself.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And so that this disruption of our economy, this disruption of our daily lives, this disruption of our normal community routines—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Really does give us a ripe opportunity to do exactly what you’re saying, is to not live passively, to get back on the tips of our toes and agile in these things.

Selena:
Mm!

Ryan:
Okay, so the image that comes to mind, you used our friend Lydia, her quote. By the way, you mentioned this, but her Instagram handle’s Oceans Never Fill.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
What I love about that is this makes me feel like this whole pandemic feels like you got hit by a rogue wave.

Selena:
Mmm!

Ryan:
You’re walking along the beach, and then boom! You get just pile drived into the sand, or you get knocked back. And what happens when you get knocked back by a wave? You can’t fight the wave.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
You are pushed back!

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And you get caught on your heels. And it’s only a matter of time until that initial hit kind of secedes and goes away.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And now you can start to actually get on the offense and start moving forward and living really intentionally in these things. And I think that’s what you’re getting at.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
Is not living passively but getting back on the tips of our toes and aggressively, I do mean aggressively, like seizing these days!

Selena:
Right, right!

Ryan:
It’s a beautiful opportunity. So.

Selena:
Yeah, and I think we don’t mean to, even as believers, but we do kind of acquiesce to cultural schedules and cultural norms when really, I think God may be trying to pull our hearts back to Him in different ways. And one of those obviously big ways is our home life and in our relationships with each other!

Ryan:
Yes.

Selena:
Yes, we post pictures on social media of the one time all our kids are smiling, right? But truly… is that something that is being lived out? Are we just trying to get it to post it, or is it a real thing in our life? You know, and that’s always been my question in my heart.

Ryan:
[Chuckles] Well, we have this truth in our culture is Pixar didn’t happen. [Selena snickers] Right? Like Pixar didn’t happen. You can’t just live a fun moment with your kids. You can, and lots— And-and-and— [Selena laughs]

Selena:
We do! [Chuckles]

Ryan:
Probably thousands and hundreds of thousands of people do this every day.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
But on social media, you get the sense that if you didn’t actually post about it, it didn’t actually happen.

Selena:
Right, right.

Ryan:
At least if that’s something that we spend our time on, so…

Selena:
Right. So, it kind of begs the question, if we’re not doomed to just live this life and die, right? God has more for us. What if we were intentional about our rhythms? What if we were intentional about knowing our kids? And I’m not saying that we aren’t intentional. Don’t get defensive here. I’m saying…

Ryan:
Who’s getting defensive?!

Selena:
What [Chuckles] if—

Ryan:
I’m not defensive. You’re defensive!

Selena:
What if we spent more time just being with them and hanging out with them, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hung out with our kids and I’ve learned so much from them because you just watch them be little people! And they show you so much about who God is…

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
About our sin nature. Right?

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
There’s just so much to be gleaned there. So, how can we experience more of God at home?

Ryan:
Hm…

Selena:
And I’ve been reading Ruth Chou Simons’ Beholding and Becoming book. And this is not a plug. It’s just an awesome book. If you haven’t checked it out, do it. My word for this year was “beholding,” and that was before I knew she wrote a book. But she quotes Goethe in this and she says, “Cease endlessly striving for what you would like to do and learn to love what must be done.”

Ryan:
Mmm. Love me some [Ryan snickers and stutters over the name and Selena quietly chuckles] Lu-Wo-Wol-Wolfgang! What’s his name?

Selena:
Johann.

Ryan:
Johann! Ah, whatever. He’s a German guy. [Laughs]

Selena:
[Laughs] Goodness!

Ryan:
That’s funny. I can’t get his name right to save my life. But Goethe is an—

Selena:
“Ger-tah.” [Snickers]

Ryan:
Amazing writer. So, what does that quote actually mean? And what are we talking about here? So, it says, what’s the quote again? [Both chuckle] It says—

Selena:
[Chuckling] Oh, my goodness.

Ryan:
Chris— Where is it? It’s right here! “Cease endlessly striving for what you would like to do and learn to love what must be done.” Okay, so obviously there’s a lot in there. But learning to love what must be done, obviously, learning…

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Is adjusting our heart not around just trying to do what we want, but seeing what must be done, and then learning to reorient our priorities around what must be done!

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Begs a huge question, of course.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
What actually must be done? What ought we do? What ought we not do? As Christians, we have God’s word. Right? And it does give us… wisdom, clearly.

Selena:
Instruction. Yeah!

Ryan:
It gives us instruction. It gives us a set of priorities, which is go forth and multiply. Fill the earth, subdue it! That’s the Christian marriage priority, kind of.

Selena:
And go make disciples, yeah.

Ryan:
And then go make disciples and baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. So, we have this stewardship and discipleship are our priorities. So, now in terms of the home life, what ought to be done or what must be done, and how can we learn to love that… discipleship of each other?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Discipleship of our kids?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Now, how do we learn to love those things? [Selena laughs]

Selena:
Well, that’s saying what if we learn to love what must be done instead of just checking the boxes, essentially? Is there more…?

Ryan:
What do you mean by checking the boxes? We say that a lot, but what do you mean? I’m going to force you to articulate it.

Selena:
[Scoffs] Okay. So. kids are fed, they’ve had play time, they’ve had instruction and school, and it’s just kind of like, “Okay, I got to do this.” It’s kind of that feeling of just moving on to the next thing and moving through the day, just kind of keep moving forward, just check the boxes, do all the things so that maybe at the end of the day when the list is done, then I can feel this kind of sense of accomplishment, or—

Ryan:
So, it’s like a to-do list of boxes that you’re checking off?

Selena:
Yeah! It’s a to-do list rather than…

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
A soul experience of sanctification. Right? And—

Ryan:
Hm!

Selena:
And I’m not just… Parenting is not just… feeding your children, making sure they don’t die, and giving them activities to do. Right? Having children is a blessing! And so, if that’s the truth here, and if being married is a blessing as well, there’s…

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
There’s ways our will needs to value that, or our hearts need to start valuing the things of God—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
In the ways that He is wanting us to value them.

Ryan:
So, all of this is about reorienting our affections or our priorities around these big topics, big to-dos, but not just doing them, but doing them with a glad heart that sees the value that God sees in those things.

Selena:
Yeah! There’s a bigger purpose in those!

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
There can be if you decide to kind of walk in that. [In unison] So. [Resumes solo speech]

Ryan:
This conversation just, listener, we’ll spend a little bit more time talking about the parenting dynamic, because that is kind of the one that we’re all feeling the most in this.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
But I don’t want to go too far down the parenting side because we want to stay in the…

Selena:
#FierceParenting. [Both chuckles]

Ryan:
We want to stay in the marriage space, too, because that’s why people are turning this on, right? So.

Selena:
Right. Well, and we were just on a call with the Jacobson’s. So, Matthew and Lisa Jacobson, they said something profound to me about how they really established kind of their marriage for their children. They have eight children. And so, they said every morning—

Ryan:
Hey, oh! Eight children.

Selena:
I know. [Ryan snickers] They had coffee time every morning. And that was like the kids could come and join, but they could not interrupt it. They could not take over it. So, they set that simple boundary.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
And through the years, they said as their oldest I think is 26 now and they live across the country and they just keep coming back. And they say the parents, Matt and Lisa are like, “What do you guys want to do when you come back for Christmas break, or when you come to visit?” And they’re like, “We just want coffee time. We just want to be a part of that and just sit there.” And they were so thankful for seeing that modeled, of their marriage being a priority in their day to day life and the love that was exchanged, and how they communicated with each other.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
It spoke volumes to them as kids and now young adults. And so, that’s, I think, just one example of how we can have this, “See our day,” right? As a, “Lord, what do you want from me today? And how can I serve you? How can I love my family well?”

Ryan:
Hm.

Selena:
“As an act of worship unto You and of gratefulness?”

Ryan:
Hm!

Selena:
And there’s a lot of ways that this looks, or…

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
A lot of ways this can play out, I suppose.

Ryan:
Yeah! So, let’s maybe start with you said coffee time.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
So, let’s look at a day in a life, like a weekday. Okay.

Selena:
In a normal day, as in pre—

Ryan:
No, I’m saying like right now.

Selena:
Right now. Yeah!

Ryan:
And some of this stuff is normal for us. And so, that’s I think what we’re trying to add is kind of our because I work from home, because we home educate, we’re not rushing out the door in the morning, so—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
We have more bandwidth. It’s kind of common in the Frederick household for better or worse. [Both chuckle] But it’s common in almost every household around the world right now, that you’re going to have all this bandwidth now.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
So, what does a day look like in light of this new normal that we’re going to be experiencing for the foreseeable future?

Selena:
Yeah, and I don’t want to gloss over it because—

Ryan:
So—

Selena:
I think we, as a family, we kind of wake up. We let the kids sleep because Lord knows we need little kids to sleep [Laughs] as long as possible. So, we just kind of let the kids wake up as needed. Sometimes you’re up reading your Bible.

Ryan:
Kind of depends on how the night went with the kids, ‘cause—

Selena:
[Laughs] Yeah… We’re still kind of in that stage of…

Ryan:
We’re in that stage.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
So, I tend to field the older two.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
The three-year-old and the six-year-old if they have night issues or crying or they need snuggles at night.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
I’m the one that’s fielding those.

Selena:
Yes, and I got the baby!

Ryan:
And Selena’s taking care of the youngest.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And so, it just really depends, like some mornings I’ll sleep in—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Because I just was up for like two hours with one of the kids.

Selena:
Right. And this is just kind of a season that is happening right now!

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And so, our mornings, thank you, God, for flexibility and grace in those mornings. Typically, we wake up. Whoever’s up kind of starts coffee and starts breakfast. And all the kids come out. They kind of trickle out and they either pick up a book and read if breakfast isn’t ready or they start playing. And we make coffee and breakfast and we sit together!

Ryan:
And they don’t always pick up a book automatically.

Selena:
No!

Ryan:
Sometimes we will have to urge them to do that. Or—

Selena:
They’ll just kind of come and snuggle sometimes, too. And…

Ryan:
And if I’m reading one of my books, they’ll come sit on my lap.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
Or they’ll do that with you.

Selena:
Yeah! And so, we will all make an effort though to sit around the table in the morning and have breakfast together. And that looks different different days, you know? Sometimes we will read a Bible story from the Jesus Storybook Bible. We will do another book of readings. Sometimes, we’ll sing songs. So, just kind of… We have a lot of activities, I guess, to choose from with our morning time. But we typically try to connect with each other—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And pray together as a family in the morning. And then typically, you go upstairs to…

Ryan:
Sometimes in the morning time we’ll do— I want to round out that a little bit—

Selena:
Okay.

Ryan:
‘Cause its breakfast, but it also evolves into our family worship time.

Selena:
Yes, yes!

Ryan:
Family devotional time, and—

Selena:
That’s what I meant.

Ryan:
And it’s not always super rigid, but it is. We try to get the girls thinking in terms of Jesus!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Every day.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And that’s, like you said, Jesus Storybook Bible or we really value God’s word fully!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
So, we’ve been reading more out of John.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And going through and not filtering, but letting the stories be the stories.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And then let the girls— We ask them retention questions.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Who was the name that they mentioned? Or…

Selena:
Right!

Ryan:
What did Jesus do? And then, okay why do you think he did that or how do you think that felt?

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Try to ask them some of those questions. And this doesn’t happen like this every day, but that’s…

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
Some days we’ll do this.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And then, Selena, like you said, we’ll do some singing. But typically, it’ll evolve into some sort of teaching.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Instruction. And that’s a rhythm that has gotten to be so…

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Helpful to us and to the kids because we’re actually discipling them and saying we’re showing you how to divide God’s word.

Selena:
Uh-huh.

Ryan:
At the age of six and three.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And our three-year-old, the other day we were talking about Joseph and his coat of many colors. [Chuckles]

Selena:
Oh yeah. Jumping in that, yeah.

Ryan:
Well, it works right now.

Selena:
Yep! [Laughs]

Ryan:
And it’s Joseph and his coat of many colors. And she goes, “Oh, you mean like…”

Selena:
Jesus’ dad.

Ryan:
Jesus’ dad. And of course, Joseph wasn’t Jesus’ father in that sense, and so I have to like… [Chuckles] That’s where I get hung up. Then I’m like, “Welp, God is— The Father is the father.” [Selena chuckles] Anyway. I get a little bit hung up on it, but—

Selena:
You get too theological.

Ryan:
I do.

Selena:
No. They’re two people with the same name. [Laughs]

Ryan:
And so, but she is starting to pick up on that!

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
Like, “This is the same guy?” And she’s remembering. She’s three! And—

Selena:
Yeah, she’s working hard to—

Ryan:
She’s got a mind like a steel trap, though.

Selena:
Yeah. Watch out.

Ryan:
She remembers everything.

Selena:
Watch out.

Ryan:
And so, it’ll be an instructive time—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Where we’ll talk through some of these bigger truths. And…

Selena:
And this is not a long time! I don’t want people to think that, “Oh, my gosh!” [Ryan laughs] “We could never do this with our kids.” This is probably, like, over breakfast, which, what, takes like five minutes to eat, right?

Ryan:
[Laughing] Yes.

Selena:
And then it’s probably 10 to 15 minutes. And we’ve built it up over the time! It used to be shorter.

Ryan:
It started out, like, five minutes flat.

Selena:
When we had younger kids.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
But now, yeah! We can sit at the table for probably 30 minutes or so and talk and read the Bible and ask questions and…

Ryan:
Right! And they’re goofing off the whole time.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
They’re not just engaged the whole time.

Selena:
Yep.

Ryan:
And they’re actually— And so, I don’t want people to think that it’s—

Selena:
Yeah! It’s not this just like strict sitting at a desk hands folded and all of that. So, anyways!

Ryan:
You got mad at me for talking about Clementine’s story.

Selena:
No, I’m not mad at that. I thought you were giving me the—

Ryan:
No, I was ta—

Selena:
The finger of like, “Be quiet. I’m ready to talk.” [Ryan laughs] So, I’m just like, “Go ahead! Go ahead.”

Ryan:
Selena wrote the rundown today, and if I deviate at all…

Selena:
I’m not talking about deviating.

Ryan:
I get the stink eye.

Selena:
That wasn’t that. I was like, “That’s fine. It works.” And then when you gave me the hand signal, so…

Ryan:
No, that was the, “I want to add something, so don’t go on.”

Selena:
Oh.

Ryan:
‘Cause you’ll—

Selena:
And it felt like—

Ryan:
You’ll-you’ll—

Selena:
“Be quiet!”

Ryan:
Power right through to the next step.

Selena:
It just felt like, “Be quiet,” so, okay.

Ryan:
Well, you know what?

Selena:
Okay. So, a typical day [Ryan chuckles] is us waking up, having breakfast, having “morning time” is kind of what we have labeled it. Some people call it “morning basket,” some people call it just… “coffee time” or whatever. But it’s just that sacred sort of time in the morning that has some boundaries on it. And then you typically head upstairs to go to work. And the girls and I, we start school! And we start kind of our formal school, the mechanics of reading, writing, math. And…

Ryan:
Mm-hm!

Selena:
We also do Classical Conversations. So, that takes about two to three hours, ‘cause we are not, again, we’re not rushing through, checking off the boxes. And this is something I’ve learned because I was like, “Well, if we’re doing at school, at home, kindergartners are in school six hours a day. So, we need to do six-hour school. No, that’s not what’s working for us.

Ryan:
There’s no need! There’s no need.

Selena:
So, we are taking it slower and we’re going through—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Each thing, and they’re learning and retaining it. And so, we’re spending that time, not only just educating and going through the mechanics, but we’re also talking about why is this hard? Why are you having a frustrating time? “Well, yada-yada.”

Ryan:
‘Cause our oldest does not like to read.

Selena:
She doesn’t like to read. She doesn’t like to write. She’d rather just do math and play outside. And that’s great. I love that. So, we’re learning how to do hard things together, and why we have to do things we don’t feel like doing.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
I mean, I’m like, “Geeze, I’m teaching a six-year-old. I still am learning this stuff!” Right? It’s so beautiful how God can disciple us through our children, right? And we’re so—

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
We’re discipling each other and being discipled as well.

Ryan:
Yeah. I wanted to add, we’ve layered in kind of a new routine as it’s been nicer the last few days.

Selena:
Oh, yeah. ‘Cause when the sunshine’s out up here, man, you got to get outside.

Ryan:
Yeah! And knowing that you’re going to kind of be inside most of the day.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
So, we’ve been doing a morning walk around the neighborhood!

Selena:
Oh, man, the kids love it! They just wear their jammies and…

Ryan:
They wear a coat too.

Selena:
Right after breakfast.

Ryan:
It’s cold, but…

Selena:
And we just book it on out! Go around the block.

Ryan:
They ride their little bikes; we walk. We have the stroller with the—

Selena:
Yeah, we just connect with each other.

Ryan:
The infant is napping.

Selena:
And we pray. Well, I think lately I’ve kind of been trying to start praying a little bit for our neighborhood as we’re walking, and…

Ryan:
Hm.

Selena:
Yeah! It’s been a good opportunity for us to just…

Ryan:
Yeah! And then we’ll—

Selena:
Be out and about.

Ryan:
And part of the reason for that was the weather. But also, it helps get the wiggles out for the kiddos.

Selena:
Yep! Yep.

Ryan:
And so, they’re a little bit more… attentive when it comes time to…

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
To do their studies.

Selena:
Their bodies are ready to kind of settle down and—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And do some things rather than trying to wrangle them. Sometimes you got to just recognize that if it’s going really badly, try something else! [Both laugh] Try the other thing. Try to lean into whatever, like if they’re wiggling and not sitting still, recognize, “Okay, it’s time to take a break. You guys need to go outside for a bit. I need to regroup.” Kind of a thing like that. And that’s okay! That’s why we have the time and space to do this and recognize these opportunities.

Ryan:
Hm.

Selena:
So, yeah! We kind of do school. We do lunch. We kind of try to be outside and doing activities in the afternoon. We’ll do art, science, all that kind of stuff. And then we typically have dinner around 6:30. And the kids, we all have dinner together. That’s I feel like when we do more of the songs. We don’t do the songs in the morning because we’re all just kind of ready to go! But the songs, I mean, yesterday was just like, “Daddy, we forgot to do songs last night!” And we’re like, “What?” And she’s like, “After dinner we have to do songs! We didn’t do songs.”

Ryan:
[Chuckling] Yeah.

Selena:
And that girl, man, she loves her routine! So!

Ryan:
Sometimes I’m just too tired.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
I’m the leader of the songs. [Selena laughs] And so…

Selena:
You’re the only one that can play an instrument. [Laughs]

Ryan:
I have this ukulele that we got, and we have some songs are, like we made them up. They’re silly songs.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
And the kids love those.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
We have one that’s called “Hop Like A Bunny,” and they just love that.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
And then we also have, obviously, Jesus Loves Me and songs that…

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
I try to learn a new song. I haven’t learned any new ones in a while.

Selena:
Yeah. And I know that time between lunch and dinner, or kind of the witching hours of three or five to 6:30 and seven. Those can be hard. A lot of times we want to put a TV show on. Sometimes we do before dinner our dinner. I’ll let them watch a 20-minute show ‘cause that’s my time to prep. But…

Ryan:
Hm.

Selena:
There are so many other options that we can do as far as not putting a screen in front of them.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And allowing them to either be bored and find something to do or to play or to listen to a book on tape kind of thing. There’s so much more, and this is where the richness, I think, is. There’s an opportunity for it, to not just… “Okay, go watch TV. You haven’t watched anything today.”

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
It’s like, “No. This is a really good time for your brain and your heart to go engage with something, or to engage with your sister.”

Ryan:
I wanted to add a thing to that for husbands. Okay? So, if the husband is the one working from home during this season or whatever, I know that I struggle a lot with, okay, breakfast is done! All right. Are you good? All right. I’m going to go get to work ‘cause I’ve got a whole list of items to get finished for today.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And God’s been working on my heart in that. And He still is. And it goes back to what we were saying at the very beginning of this episode of not living to work, but working to live, and realizing that if these are in a lot of ways are the best moments of our life—

Selena:
Mm-hm!

Ryan:
Because the kids, where they’re at, and the fact that we’re healthy and strong! And why wouldn’t I give up, my family who is a priority, some of the best moments of my day?

Selena:
Sure.

Ryan:
And that includes the breakfast time.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
The morning table.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
That includes going on these walks. I mean, this morning—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
You were like, “You going to come on the walk today?” ‘Cause sometimes I won’t go, and sometimes you go on walks mid-morning, like at 10:00 or 11:00.

Selena:
Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Ryan:
And I’ve already started work. And I always feel like I’m missing out. And so, I was just like, “You know what? I’m just going to make it a priority! I’m just going to go! And you know what? The e-mail that I’m anxious to return will be returned a half hour later.”

Selena:
Right. And—

Ryan:
And so, I just want to encourage husbands that—

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
That that’s okay! Let work fall to the wayside. And now more than ever, I think, you could probably get away with that. But I think find a way [Selena laughs] to give your family—

Selena:
“Don’t work!” [Laughs] I’m just kidding.

Ryan:
Find your way to give your family the best moments of your day, if you can!

Selena:
Yeah… Yeah, yeah.

Ryan:
Again, you can’t always do that! But during this season, you for sure can. And maybe you find a way forward to do that in whatever the next season looks like.

Selena:
Yeah. I think it’s just recognizing those opportunities.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
If you can take that minute to do it or not do it.

Ryan:
Mm-hm. And then I wanted to ask you another question.

Selena:
Okay.

Ryan:
So, we talked about kind of the witching hours of the day.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Between three and six, when you’re pretty spent. I’m pretty spent. It’s not time for dinner yet. It’s not time for bed yet. [Selena laughs] There’s time to kill. How do we go through that time without just killing it, right? And so, one of the things you said was putting kids in front of a screen, which we’re honestly not against. I think within moderation, within wisdom, within good boundaries, screens are good! But I want you to talk about the concept of twaddle, because that’s— [Both laugh] No, I’m serious! I feel like this would be helpful for people.

Selena:
All right.

Ryan:
It was helpful to us! There’s a difference. Not all content is created equal.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Not all shows are created equal.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
Not all books are created equal!

Selena:
So, twaddle comes from Charlotte Mason. And if there is any homeschoolers out there, they probably know her. She’s a British woman, lived in the 1900s. But she had this whole… [Clicks tongue] theology around home education. And one of her… things was twaddle, and that was basically kind of like natural beauty and everything is so rich enough, why should we water it down for children in little, tiny basic books, right? That-that…

Ryan:
Don’t ask a lot of them.

Selena:
That don’t ask or require a lot of them.

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
That don’t paint much of a story, that just kind of give them five pages of, like, “So and so did this and that!” And that’s it. No real… There’s things called living books, like Wind in the Willows, and things that have really rich language and vocabulary and things that require more of the child than just zoning and watching something.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
Which is why we, again, we try to be intentional about everything that they do. So, if they are watching a show, we’re trying to be intentional about what shows they’re watching. Right? Like Kratts is awesome. It teaches them—

Ryan:
[Spoken in unison with Selena] The Wild Kratts. [Resumes solo speech] Yeah.

Selena:
[Laughing] It teaches them stuff in a fun way. But…

Ryan:
Dela knows all about marine creatures because of that show.

Selena:
[Laughing] And she will just start spouting stuff off. It’s great, but—

Ryan:
We were at a zoo or something and we saw it. And I was like, “Oh, look, a—” it was like a manta ray. No! I was like, “That’s a whale!” And she goes, “That’s an orca, daddy.” [Selena laughs] Or, “That’s a stingray, not a manta ray.”

Selena:
Yeah. [Laughs]

Ryan:
And so, she’s kept us sharp. But—

Selena:
Yeah! I think it’s just, again, it’s us recognizing opportunities and being intentional and integrating all that we can.

Ryan:
I wanted to… What is twaddle for marriage? Okay, so—

Selena:
Twaddle for marriage.

Ryan:
We’re getting back to the kid thing. Let’s talk about marriage now!

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
How do we twaddle ourselves? [Both laugh]

Selena:
[Laughing] That sounds terrible.

Ryan:
[Laughing] I’m sorry!

Selena:
It’s just dumbing down, essentially, is what things are— Twaddle is like dumbed down versions of reality.

Ryan:
Yeah! So, every reality TV show. [Laughs]

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
[Snickering] Sorry! Okay. I don’t want to pick on anybody’s favorites. All right! Is The Office twaddle? ‘Cause that’s kind of our thing, where we’ll go to it because that makes us laugh; it helps us connect.

Selena:
The Office is brilliant! [Ryan cackles] I don’t know…

Ryan:
It is—

Selena:
How dare you!

Ryan:
I’m asking this que—

Selena:
Get out.

Ryan:
Okay. I’m sorry. I’ve-I’ve—

Selena:
Wrong question again. [Laughs]

Ryan:
I have knocked over a sacred cow. [Laughs]

Selena:
No. [Laughs] I think it’s okay to have… I don’t know what you want me to say here, ‘cause I’m saying, like—

Ryan:
I’m not asking you! I’m saying let’s have a conversation around it, so—

Selena:
I don’t know! I’ve never thought about it, to be honest.

Ryan:
Okay. Well, let’s think about it right now.

Selena:
Okay. Go! [Snickers]

Ryan:
So, twaddle in a marriage, or content or habits that ask nothing of us—

Selena:
Hm…

Ryan:
Would be like sitting on your couch with your phone.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Doing the easiest thing. I think, basically—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Twaddle is our tendency to choose the easiest, most entertaining, least engaging thing. Our friend Nathan has an amazing podcast.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
It’s called Gospel Tech. He talks about this difference between “tool tech” and “drool tech.”

Selena:
Mmm.

Ryan:
And so, drool tech are things that you just consume. Tool tech is tech that you use to create or to accomplish some other greater thing.

Selena:
So good.

Ryan:
Or, so, with our kids, they have this, like, we could put them on an iPad and say, “Here’s a cartoon, and just be quiet,” right? Or we could say, if you’re going to put them in front of screen, right, again, there’s balance here. We don’t put our kids in front of screens all the time. But I think they are a valuable tool in some regard.

Selena:
Mm-hm!

Ryan:
You just don’t use it as a babysitting tool.

Selena:
Yeah! And no, there’s again, it’s just recognizing where’s the depth?

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
Where is the joy? Where is the richness…

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
That can be had? And if, yes, if you are tired, take a break! Relax for a bit. But, again, that should not be the generating force of your life, right? We’re not living to get to this moment of taking a break. The moment is happening because our bodies just need a rest. But we are—

Ryan:
Wow! That’s profound.

Selena:
We are intentionally living out in worship of God.

Ryan:
Hm.

Selena:
And we are learning about His creation. There’s so much to be— If you can’t look outside and see the magnificent glory of a tree, we need to get our heads on straight because there is so much out there! And I think…

Ryan:
Hm. It’s all the shouting God’s glory.

Selena:
It is!

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
It truly is shouting God’s glory. And the more we take the time to teach our kids that, not just the mechanics of how to write the letter or how to do math, but if you understand that in the bigger context of creation, right?

Ryan:
Hm…

Selena:
It’s mind-blowing! You can’t sit at the table long enough to learn!

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
There’s just not enough hours in a day. And I think with our marriages, we can tend to do that when we come home from work or we’re done doing what we got to do, yes, if you need a breather, recognize that routine. “Okay, I need 20 minutes to kind of reset.” That’s fine! Do that.

Ryan:
So, here’s the challenge with that, is ‘cause that 20 minutes could easily be frittered away.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
In a way that’s not actually restful. So, like if I’ve said that to you, where I’m like, “I just need 20, 30 minutes ‘cause I’m going to lose my mind.” [Selena laughs] “I’m tired! I don’t have any energy!”

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And so, I could go into the bedroom and get on my phone and start dinking around…

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
On Instagram or Facebook or whatever. Or I could just put the phone down and I could just lay there and close my eyes.

Selena:
Right, right.

Ryan:
And I can tell you, unequivocally, when I lay there and close my eyes, it is so rejuvenating. [Laughs softly]

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
I’ll come out feeling great! If I’m on my phone, I feel worse than when I went in.

Selena:
Well, and again, see these routines and rhythms that we have should create fruitfulness in our lives, right? We should be worshippers that, and stewards—

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
And have time and space for the Holy Spirit to create fruit in our lives. If we constantly find ourselves frustrated—

Ryan:
Hm.

Selena:
We constantly find our self tired. We need to stop, and we need to reassess. Something is not right. If I don’t have enough time to think and to plan and to— And I’m not saying every day is perfect, but if I don’t feel like I have the time and space to do that, then something else has got to go. Because our time right now as a family is what is important and discipling each other as spouses. How are we… I always fault— The default is just… phone or book, right? [Laughs] I’m just like, “What should I do in this break or whatever?” So, anyway. Some of the daily rhythms I think we want to share that we can have, just to give you ideas of like, okay, we have a downside. The kids are looking at me with big eyes and I don’t know what to do, or we’re looking at each other on a Saturday morning. Say you don’t have kids and you’re just, “What should we do?” Right? We obviously connect through devotions, connect with each person in your family. So, connect with each other. What does that mean?

Ryan:
M’kay.

Selena:
Go—

Ryan:
You’re connecting through devotions, what could that look like?

Selena:
Oh! Well, read aloud is a big thing in our household.

Ryan:
For married couple. Just…

Selena:
I know! I’m getting to that.

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
I think reading the Bible aloud to each other can be very powerful.

Ryan:
Mm!

Selena:
And I think reading it together has always been very powerful. Whenever you’ve read me the Bible or I’ve read you the Bible, I feel like it’s been very potent.

Ryan:
Ah.

Selena:
So, that’s, I think, one way we can connect with each other and, of course, talk about that. Right?

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
We can talk about devotions, if you’re reading a book. But obviously scripture should be the core of those devotions.

Ryan:
So, typically, a devotional time will have a component that is centered around reading scripture.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Then we’re discussing that scripture, and then… prayer.

Selena:
Yeah, yeah.

Ryan:
And then if you feel led, some aspect of worship, which worship doesn’t have to be singing.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
It could be… you just marveling!

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Look what God has done. Worship is literally saying, “God, You’re God; I’m not. And thank You.”

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And what is that thank you?

Selena:
Hm!

Ryan:
What does your daily thank you, and what are you grateful for? And that can be how you express worship.

Selena:
[Clicks tongue] Right.

Ryan:
So, daily Bible reading, daily devotionals, the first rhythm. And then you said connecting with each member of your family is next one!

Selena:
Right. I think that’s important—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Just for people with kids. I think it’s…

Ryan:
Yes!

Selena:
We need to connect with each other in a real and true way of not just how was your day, but hey, knowing what’s going on in each other’s lives, right? And we can do this like we said, you can integrate. Right? Fresh air and activities. Go outside, go for a walk and talk. A lot of times it’s a lot easier to do things with kids and talk to them while you’re doing something. Kick the ball around.

Ryan:
Legos are a puzzle or something, too.

Selena:
Yes, yes!

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
So…

Ryan:
That’s how I connect with you. Just putting—

Selena:
Legos? [Chuckles]

Ryan:
Some Legos in front of ya. [Selena laughs] So, how you feeling about that, huh?

Selena:
No, you were totally getting into the coloring books for a while. We were like, “Oh, yeah! This is therapeutic.” [Laughs]

Ryan:
Yeah! Well, gel pens? [Selena laughs] Hello! Those things are satisfying! [Ryan chuckles and Selena laughs harder] Not a crayon guy!

Selena:
[Laughing] Not a crayon guy?

Ryan:
I didn’t get into the colored pencils, but the gel pens.

Selena:
The gel pens.

Ryan:
That’s where—

Selena:
Oh, yeah.

Ryan:
Those were the money pens. [Snickers]

Selena:
Those were the money pens. [Both laugh] So, I mean, there’s a lot of just daily rhythms, I think, looking at the week, looking at day to day ways that your family sort of falls into things. Right? Where are some areas you kind of maybe tighten the belt a little bit? Or where are some areas that you can be a little bit more lenient?

Ryan:
Hm.

Selena:
But some weekly rhythms, I think, that are important. Again, this is all to be able to… to be fruitful! Right? In the things of God. Fruitful in how, in what, and knowing God through His word. Fruitful and worshipping God together. Fruitful in helping others and loving our neighbors, literally, right now as a couple. Ryan and I went and checked on an older lady that we know lives in the neighborhood, and just before everything kind of hit the fan and we’re saying, “You know, if you need anything, please let us know,” and gave her our number and all of that. And we’re not tooting our own horn here. We’re just saying that God’s, I feel like, leading us to reach out to our neighbors that we’d probably just walk by, right?

Ryan:
Yep.

Selena:
So, fruitfulness in that, fruitfulness in discipleship of each other, and in the things of God. Learning to value what He values! But if we don’t have weekly rhythms in place, we don’t have margin, we don’t have a day where we set aside all of our work and we sit and worship, if we don’t have margin even in the day to day, I don’t think we are giving God that much time and opportunity to really work on our hearts, and to really… show us what it means to worship Him through our day to day.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Because I think, again, we can get so familiar with it. We can get so… frustrated with it.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And God says, “I have so much here for you if you are willing to dig a little bit.”

Ryan:
Hm…

Selena:
So, our weekly rhythms are pretty simple right now. We…

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Just have… Go ahead.

Ryan:
Sorry. Speaking of digging…

Selena:
Okay.

Ryan:
How do we dig in terms of our relationship with our spouse? So, asking meaningful questions.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
Like digging, trying to…

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And it doesn’t have to mean tense, okay? But sometimes we just gloss over this stuff and we don’t actually talk through… “Here’s our expectation. We’re going to talk about weekly rhythms.”

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
In that is intimacy. In that is maybe like a family missional check in.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
How are we? Whatever that weekly rhythm looks like. But in terms of daily rhythms and going through these conversational prompts, “How are you doing?” “I’m doing good.” “Well, why? Why are you doing good?” Or, “Are you really doing good?”

Selena:
Yeah. What’s going on in your heart?

Ryan:
Yeah, and, “What’s—”

Selena:
That’s good.

Ryan:
And, “Emotionally, how are you feeling?”

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
“I can see that you’re a little bit off. Let’s dig. Let’s find out how can I love you in this? How can I disciple you through this?”

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
“And how can I show you Christ in it?” And so, a lot of times you don’t ever get to that point because we just say, “Okay, good! You said you’re good. I’m going to get on my phone now,” or, “I’m going to go take a shower,” or, “We’re going to go on to the next thing,” or whatever.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
This is a great opportunity with all this time on our hands to actually stop and have slower conversations.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And those conversations could be really topical! So, in terms of your marriage, so [Selena snickers], “How are you feeling about our intimate life?”

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
“Are you feeling like I’m loving you well?”

Selena:
Sure!

Ryan:
“Are you feeling honored?” [Snickers] “Are you feeling…”

Selena:
Sure.

Ryan:
“Are you feeling cared for?”

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Or, “Do you feel like maybe this is falling to the wayside?”

Selena:
A checklist! [Snickers]

Ryan:
Yeah. Do you feel like…

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
Last night we had an argument because you wanted to read something, which is beautiful, and I was super tired. And [Snickers] you pulled out the book and I was like, “Oh, no.” [Laughs] And that… It’s still raw. I’m sorry.

Selena:
It’s fine.

Ryan:
I’m really sorry for that.

Selena:
Nope! You’re good.

Ryan:
[Chuckling] But I was tired!

Selena:
Mm-hm!

Ryan:
You don’t look like I’m good right now. [Laughs] You look mad.

Selena:
It’s just your, “I was tired.” And I’m like, “Doesn’t matter.” [Ryan laughs] I don’t get to pull the, “I was tired card.” [Selena laughs]

Ryan:
Oh, you do. We’ve had that same conversation about S-E-X [Both snicker] plenty of times!

Selena:
[Laughing] Did you just spell it out?

Ryan:
It’s for all the children listening, [Selena laughs harder] ‘cause they’re all at home right now. [Ryan laughs briefly] Anyway! That was an opportunity to be like… You were able to voice that you have not felt like we’ve connected and here’s how maybe I’ve not loved you well as a husband. And—

Selena:
“I connected with you last month!” [Both laugh] “Why isn’t that good enough?”

Ryan:
And so, it was very… helpful. So—

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
Around your finances, we had to pay it sometime yesterday to talk through some of the big kind of what’s happening with the markets and what should we do? And what’s happening with work in—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
The Fierce Marriage stuff? And what should we do? And we’re thinking about different steps, and that all has to do. And so, we had an opportunity to have that conversation.

Selena:
Yeah, yeah!

Ryan:
So, I think it’s digging, as you said, and digging in and getting into the work!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
The work of discipleship.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
The work of knowing each other. Think about knowing each other as work, and it’s good work.

Selena:
Yeah, yeah!

Ryan:
But think of it like it’s something that’s not going to happen unless you put your hand to the plow.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Unless you choose to dig. And I think that’s important.

Selena:
And I think it can be hard for us too, right, because we want, I think just by nature, we want to see that accomplishment. We want to see that success, like, “Ah! I worked on our marriage and now it’s good!” Right? There’s no way to measure that! There’s no way to…

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
Just put that in a gratifying way. Right? It’s more of you’re sowing a lot and then you’ll see kind of a change, and you’ll see the growth.

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
You’ll see the harvest. But that’s not because you sow the seed, right? It’s just like, what does Paul say? “We sowed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” Right?

Ryan:
“Only God makes it grow.”

Selena:
Only God makes it grow.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And so, again, it’s just that time and that attention. So, I want to move on really quickly to homelife and community, because right now it’s going to be really easy for us to be disconnected, I think, to the outside world in some ways. We can very easily just kind of forget about, like, our community groups are not meeting. And so, it’s easy to just kind of just take care of our own, right? And we’re not called to that! And we’re called to have fellowship with one another. We’re called to live in the light with one another… at all times! Not when there’s not a pandemic or [Scoffs] not when there’s— I don’t mean to laugh. Sorry. Not when life is good, but we’re called to live in community.

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
And I think our home life and being in community, that it’s a place where we can see other’s as homelives, right, being exposed. Like how they parent, how they deal with frustrations in their marriage, how they love each other through some of these difficult times. And I’ll read I John 1. I don’t know if I’ll read all five versus. But it says—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” So! [Exhales]

Ryan:
There’s a lot of verses more, but…

Selena:
There’s a lot of verses more. Which is again, time! Time allows us to confess sins to each other, right? Time allows us to…

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
Forgive each other and to walk that out. It’s not just kind of a, “Yeah, I forgive you. That’s fine. Whatever. Move on,” right?

Ryan:
Mm-hm!

Selena:
There’s a lot to be had in that space.

Ryan:
Yeah, that’s really good. So [Inhales and exhales deeply] … Community’s hard, though. I mean, we have our neighbors, which we, right now, it’s everybody’s so…

Selena:
It’s a critical time right now.

Ryan:
Kind of critic— Yeah! So, paranoid about the virus, that we shout at them from across the street, [Ryan imitates shouting across the street at someone] “How you guys doing?” [Selena laughs] “You holding up alright?” [Ryan resumes normal speech] You know? And so, it’s a little bit awkward in that way.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And as far as our church community, the people who are in our vicinity, spiritually speaking, that we have relationships with, I’ve just been in touch with some of the guys just via text.

Selena:
Yeah, yeah!

Ryan:
And, “You guys doing all right?” And, “How’s your rhythms?” And just encouraging…

Selena:
Mm-hm!

Ryan:
As they’re trying to figure out their new normal. And…

Selena:
Yeah, we’ve kind of, as wives, been voicing fears and things that we’ve been dealing with.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
And how we can pray for each other. And it’s important, right? We don’t just live this home life to be on our own. We’re supposed to be a part of…

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
Of the body of Christ. And what that looks like is connecting with other families. And again, being exposed to their homelife and how we can maybe learn from that, you know? And disciple each other better through that!

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
So… Yeah!

Ryan:
That’s good. [Inhales] That’s good. And a lot of churches are obviously making that easy as well, in terms of just the morning, like Sunday morning stuff.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And the digital streaming and all that.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
I have mixed feelings about that, because that’s just how I am. [Both laugh] I’m like, “Well, let’s just do home church then. Let’s study a passage as a family and talk through it. And it’ll be 30 minutes long.” But at the same time, it feels like—

Selena:
Not everybody’s—

Ryan:
It feels like—

Selena:
Feels equipped to lead that, though, too.

Ryan:
Right! And it’s also a beautiful thing to say that the global church is simultaneously worshipping…

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
In the global church, but also our local churches.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Altogether, of one accord!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
We are worshipping together in that moment to a similar conductor, who might be our pastor, right?

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
[Inhales] And so that’s a beautiful thing, too.

Selena:
Mm-hm!

Ryan:
Maybe I just sold myself on the idea.

Selena:
There you go.

Ryan:
I don’t know. ‘Cause that doesn’t happen. You can do home church all week if you want!

Selena:
[Chuckles] Right.

Ryan:
And so, yeah! [Raises voice] Go to your virtual church! [Both laugh and Ryan resumes normal speech]

Selena:
Just some… verbal processing there.

Ryan:
Just changed my tune there.

Selena:
There you go. It’s all right!

Ryan:
Anyway.

Selena:
You’re allowed to.

Ryan:
Just use wisdom and know that men and parents and spouses, you’re called to disciple each other. Husbands, lead your family, lead your wife, well. And what I mean by that is just lead them into the word.

Selena:
Yeah…

Ryan:
If you’ve never been there, if you don’t know how to go there, then get yourself a good study Bible.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Amazon is still delivering. I got the ESV study Bible and it’s blowing my mind. [Selena snickers] And people have been on that for years, for decades, and I’m like, “Why didn’t I get the sooner?!” [Selena laughs again] And… ‘Cause I always kind of felt like I had to be able to mine the truth myself, but I’m realizing that… [Selena snickers] Like, why? [Both laugh]

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
So, anyway, be encouraged! God gave you the family He gave you so that you—

Selena:
He gave you the spouse, yes.

Ryan:
The spouse He gave you, because you’re the one that He assigned to that role of discipling each other—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And loving your spouse in that way. So.

Selena:
Yeah. And I would say just be gentle with each other at home. And if there are frustrations, talk about them as soon as you start feeling them, and don’t let them fester.

Ryan:
Oh, good.

Selena:
Just get them out because there’s you’re going… spending more time together, it’s going to feel more frustrating. So, just see these as opportunities for you to grow in your relationship with each other and grow together—

Ryan:
That’s good.

Selena:
And in the Lord.

Ryan:
That’s good.

Selena:
So, yeah! It can… look like doom and gloom, but with Jesus as our hope, there’s just a…

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
Massive opportunity for us to know Him more—

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
And to share His love with those around us.

Ryan:
That’s good, that’s good. So, wouldn’t you mind praying for us, Sel?

Selena:
Sure.

Ryan:
Did you do a Couples Conversation Challenge… or do we not?

Selena:
I think that’s pretty much everything in life. [Laughs]

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
Figure out your rhythms, look at your week.

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
Lean into those times of day, like what is it [Sighs] somebody ta— She’s a baby sleeper person and she says something about rigid, flexible schedules, but like rigid routines or something? I don’t know. It’s just kind of that play on words of be flexible about your routines, but try to keep them consistent, you know? Don’t be so rigid that you can’t…

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
Enjoy them and understand them. So… Anyways!

God, thank You so much for Your word. Thank You for this time and this season, that we can help our hearts and our minds to see the opportunity that You’ve given us to learn to love each other more, to connect with each other in a new way, and God to reach out to those around us. I pray that You would help us to be bold and to live confidently and assured in our faith! And to not be afraid of the unknown, Father, but to rest in You and to be able to share Your peace with others around us. God, I pray for all the marriages out there that this might be affecting them in a financial way or in a…

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
Just a anxiety-driven way, God. I pray that You would be there peace, that this would be an opportunity for them to experience more of Your joy and peace, God. And an opportunity for them to learn to trust You as their provision, Father. And help us all, again, to just link arms and to prayerfully be considering one another during these times, and to be gentle with each other’s hearts, Lord. We love You so much. In Your name, amen.

Ryan:
Mm. Amen. I mean, as you’re praying, I was thinking through the verse, is it in Timothy? It says, “I’ve not giving you spirit of fear, but of…” I should—

Selena:
Power, love and a sound mind?

Ryan:
Thank you. The sound mind piece, I think, is really important!

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
Right?

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Power and love, obviously important. A sound mind is seeing this whole thing with perspective, with Godly perspective, and with context, knowing that our home, our ultimate…

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Or our citizenship is in Heaven, is with the kingdom king of Jesus Christ. And that this world is very fragile!

Selena:
Yeah…

Ryan:
And our hope is not in this world! Our hope is of another world. And I think that’s a beautiful reminder. And the sound mind piece of that verse is being re-assured in your hope, and telling your downcast soul to—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Basically, look up! That’s Psalm 42-43, “Look up!”

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
“Why are you cast down, oh my soul?”

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
“Rejoice!” And so, I think that’s the sound mind piece. So!

Selena:
Love it.

Ryan:
Go with peace, fierce husband, fierce wife… You’re not alone! You have your Savior by your side. You are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. But you also have a community of believers who are living alongside you through this. And we’re going to thrive in the middle of it. I think that much is true.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Is that we’re going to thrive. The more intentionally we live, the more we’re going to thrive. So, anyway! As usual, I thank you for joining us for the Fierce Marriage podcast. And this episode is…

Selena:
In the can!

Ryan:
And we will see you in about seven days, but until then!

Selena:
Stay fierce.

<Ending Sequence>

Podcast ends.

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