Motor Car Room
The Mutual Commitment
“When performance is measured, performance improves.”
Become A Part Of The Marriage Encounter Community
Where do we go From Here?
Hi! All of us here at the Marriage Mansion are glad you made the Marriage Encounter Online program. We asked Brad and Carly to bring you here to the Motor Car Room so we can tell you what’s available to put you on the road to live in the spirit of Marriage Encounter.
I'd like to take a few minutes to tell you about the enormous Motor Car Room. It was inspired by the stables of some mansions of an earlier time. It is completely finished in Native American hardwoods, stucco, and mahogany trim. The floors are covered with polished pavement stones, and it has several drains so you can wash your automobile inside in its heated or cooled atmosphere. There is a full basement under all eight bays, and bay #8 has a full floor lift to raise or lower automobiles (classic or others) between floors.
There are many vehicles to choose from to take you on your journey – a journey that can last a lifetime. Luanne and I want to tell you about the exciting ways in which you can continue to fuel and enrich your marriage relationship. To make it easier for you to keep track of all your choices, we are going to identify them as Vehicles 1, 2, etc.
Jarrett and I knew that our M.E. Online would have been just another nice experience if we stopped there. We needed something more so that the deep sharing we experienced would continue. We had the tools of Personal Reflection (PR) and Couples Dialogue (CD), but we needed a way to continue this process each day.
Vehicle 1 - FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS FOR 10-10 provided us with 60 questions and the format we needed to get in the habit of sharing regularly. 10-10 stands for 10 minutes of PR and 10 minutes of CD. We verbally committed to do 10-10 daily, but knowing our weakness for procrastinating, we decided to write our commitment on paper and tape it on our bathroom mirror. It read:
“Because I love you and want to know you better,
And we both signed it.
“Why five nights and not seven?” you might ask. We also wanted to spend one evening a week doing something special together, and we chose to have one night we could miss and not feel guilty about it. Certainly you should only commit to whatever works for you.
Each of you can write your PR love letter while you are separated, then exchange them and do your CD when you're together. If one of you travels, select the questions for dialogue before leaving for the number of days you will be separated.
Remember, once you form the habit of regular dialogue it will be easier to keep it up. We pass on the warning we received: Limit you PR & CD to 10 minutes each day. Then you only have to find two 10 minute segments a day. We all can find 20 minutes We all can find 20 minutes a day to invest in our marriage relationship. We recommend that you take the questions as they come; don’t “cherry-pick” them. We often find that the questions we would rather avoid are exactly the ones we need to dialogue on. The system we worked out is attached here. It works well for us.
Vehicle 2 - A DIALOGUE JAR adds a touch of fun to daily dialogue. (It also helps to keep the questions in a safe place.) Luanne and I cut apart the Questions for 10-10 (above) and put them in a fairly large jar. You can use a similar container, such as a bowl, box, or basket. Choose a pretty container, or plan to decorate a plain one with ribbons, flowers, stickers or paint.
An added advantage to the Dialogue Jar is that you can add your own questions. Keep strips of paper and pen near the jar to add questions for 10-10 as they come to mind. All questions are mixed and we take turns picking one at random.
Vehicle 3 - FAMILY DIALOGUE is another outgrowth of the 10-10 Method of Dialogue. Father Calvo encourages us to teach our children the dialogue method, and to use the sharing technique regularly with your children. He has formulated many questions for Family Dialogue.
Actually, Fr. Calvo has created many programs over the years to support marriage and family groups. Your Host Couple, Jack and Jane, have told us how excellent his programs are that they participated in, such as Marriage Re-encounter, Anniversary Weekends, and Retorno, where a couple goes to the Lord together with scripture. Their children experienced and helped to lead Sons and Daughters Encounters, and together with their children, they led several of Fr. Calvo’s Family Communication Workshops.
Learn about all of Gabriel Calvo’s F.I.R.E.S. programs on www.family-experiences.org
Vehicle 4 - CHARTING HOW WE ARE DOING in reaching our goals appeals to the natural instinct in most of us. There’s an axiom in sales that says, “ When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.” T. S. Monson. Accountability encourages us to do better.
With that in mind, we have prepared a chart that you can use to see how you are doing on the major goals you and your spouse agreed upon when you filled out “Our Couple Plan for the Future.” There is also room for you to track your main individual goals from “My Individual Plan for the Future”. This is not a scientific determination of how you’re doing. Rather it is a gut feeling poll.
Here’s how “Charting How We Are Doing” works: You will rate your progress in reaching each goal once a week, using the same day each week. For each goal there are four rating choices – poor, fair, good and great. Your choice is based on reflecting on the past week and what your gut is telling you. Mark each goal the same way. Probably after about a month of rating yourselves the chart will be able to give you a pretty good idea of where you are succeeding and where you need to work harder. Keep trying. You can do it. God bless you!
Vehicle 5 - DIALOGUE WITH THE LORD is a spiritually enriching program. This is method of dialogue that Jack and Jane were using when they heard God calling them to ministry as described in their presentation on Marriage Commitment.
Use the links below to find Instructions on using the Dialogue with the Lord handouts, as well as 90 Questions on the Gospel of Matthew, 90 Questions on the Gospel of Mark, and Dialogue with the Lord for the Advent Season. You select a question from the list. Write your PR as a love letter to the Lord. You’ll find God’s love letter to you right after the question you wrote on. After reading God’s letter from Scripture, sit quietly reflecting on His Words. Write whatever you think you heard, and then share it with your spouse.
Vehicle 6 - MARRIAGE MAGAZINE On our Marriage Encounter we were given a copy of Marriage Magazine. It probably sat on the coffee table for a couple of weeks until I picked it up and read it.
He probably picked it up because it featured an article on sex.
Whatever! But, I’m glad I finally did – it was a good article. So were numerous others. Every issue is loaded with common sense articles and no advertisements. Many little tips bring life, love and laughter into our marriage.
On the website for Marriage Magazine it says, “Marriage provides couples with proven advice, resources and information to easily build better marriages and create the relationship of your dreams.” We suggest that you check it out right away at www.marriagemagazine.org.
Vehicle 7 – MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER LIVE After making a Marriage Encounter Online, we highly recommend that you also make a “Live” Marriage Encounter Weekend. To find out where they are held, go to the website, www.marriage-encounter.org. There you will find a list of local affiliates and their locations, plus contact information for reaching them.
At a “Live” M. E. Weekend, you will experience live presentations from Team Couples who share from their personal life experiences. Even though there isn’t group sharing, you will bond with the other participating couples and the Team through your common experience, plus sharing meals and activities together. Follow-up will automatically flow from your weekend experience.
Vehicle 8 – CONTINUING DIALOGUE GROUPS If you make a “Live” Marriage Encounter you will be invited to join a Continuing Dialogue Group. You can also contact the above listed M.E. website and locate a leadership couple in your area for information about joining an existing CD group. This is a great way to strengthen your relationship on a regularly basis, meet other like-minded couples, and help to strengthen their outreach efforts.
Vehicle 9 – MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER CONFERENCE You are warmly welcomed to attend the Annual Family Conference of National Marriage Encounter held in July. They are a great enthusiasm booster for you as a couple, providing a chance to meet other couples and develop friendships with great couples just like you. It’s a wonderful fun and learning experience for you and your minor children. Jarrett and I think it’s the perfect family vacation.
Again, you will find information on the NME website, www.marriage-encounter.org.
Vehicle 10 – CONSIDER STARTING A MARRIED COUPLES GROUP If you are not located close enough to an existing Marriage Encounter Community, then consider starting your own group with friends and/or family couples who have experienced Marriage Encounter Online.
We learned many years ago that it was necessary for a successful married couple to surround themselves with three or more couples who share your moral, spiritual and family values. Contact us and we’ll show you how to get started. Contact us via our Contact Page.
Vehicle 11 – FACE BOOK CONTINUING DIALOGUE GROUP As the number of you who make Marriage Encounter Online increase, we will set up and facilitate CD Groups on Face Book.
If you are interested in learning more about such a group, or to join such a group, contact us using our Contact Page.
Vehicle 12 – REFERENCE LIBRARY Be sure to check out the Reference Library on the main menu above. There you will find many handouts and articles to aid you in your journey to a more complete and fulfilling marriage relationship.
Boy Voyage! Good Luck! God Bless You!
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