God can do anything, you know- far more than you could ever imagine
or guess, or request in your wildest dreams.
This past weekend, Michael and I attended an XO Conference at our church, Redemption Rock. The Conference was shown simulcast Friday night and all day Saturday. We actually had never even been to any type of conference before, let alone anything for our marriage, so we had no idea what to expect, but were completely blown away from the whole entire weekend regardless.
Every husband has what his wife needs,
and every wife has what her husband needs,
but we can only get it if we serve each other. -Jimmy Evans
In today’s blog post, I’m going to be sharing all about our experience at the XO Conference (on simulcast). This is in NO way associated with the conference itself or anything, just my (and some of Michael’s) honest thoughts! 🙂
Michael and I knew we were going to sign up for the conference when the announcement was made at church a little while back, but we really weren’t sure if we were going to attend both of the days…reason being because Michael works 7-3 on Saturday’s and the second day of the conference was 9-5 on that Saturday, so I didn’t know if he could get it off and we didn’t really talk about it much. However, after attending Friday night, we both knew we really wanted to (and needed to) go to that second day of the conference. I am so thankful Michael was able to get the time off for the conference and take the time to make our marriage a priority.
XO Marriage Conference “provides expert marriage advice and practical teachings to help couples navigate their marriage journey.” (Taken directly from the XO website). The Conference is filled with a number of Christian marriage experts, and speaking leaders who inspire all of us attendees/viewers by sharing their stories, their experiences, tips and secrets to having a healthy, thriving, and loving marriage. This year’s conference was all about escaping the ordinary and having an extraordinary marriage. Even if you are not married yet or are newly married (ahh, that newlywed bliss), I really recommend this marriage conference…whether you attend the actual event, a host sight, or a simulcast viewing. The things they discuss are so insightful and so helpful for any and all marriages. Not only are you going to hear from amazing speakers, you are going to have fun no matter where you are.
We didn’t see the whole entire conference, but we saw a lot of it (as you can imagine, in all of those hours). The speakers that we did get to hear from were absolutely amazing. Some of my favorites included Jimmy Evans (the main speaker), Michael Todd, Bianca Olthoff, Dave and Ashley Willis, Tim Ross, Dr. Les Parrott, Joe and Lori Champion, and Taya Kyle. If you don’t know any of these people, please do yourself a favor and look them up, follow them on Instagram and stalk their whole life. Okay, hold on, I am joking…don’t stalk their life, but definitely follow them on the ‘gram and give them a look on YouTube.
Not only were there speakers, but there were little questions that were shown to prompt us into a conversation with our spouse. Questions like: “How did you know I was the one?”, “What is one thing you have never told me?”, etc. These were actually questions that we have never talked about, and were really fun for us to talk about. Some were hard, and some were easier than others, but I loved sharing my answers with Michael and I loved hearing his answers.
And the best part of the whole entire conference? Okay, okay, one of the best parts, because there were so many ‘best’ parts…we all got to renew our vows at the end of it and were declared remarried. It was so amazing.
Your marriage is not a contract, it’s a covenant. -Jimmy Evans
The XO Conference was an amazing experience for Michael and I. It was something we didn’t know our marriage needed. We’ve been married for almost 3 years now (3 years in May, what?) and like every marriage, we aren’t perfect, and we have definitely had and still have some rough times, but even in a time where we weren’t really “struggling” so much, this conference was exactly what we needed. But, to be completely honest (because when am I ever not honest with you all?), Michael and I kind of attended this conference on that Friday night feeling a little irritated with each other…but guess what? We exited the conference on Saturday at 5pm completely different. It’s like Michael’s (cold) heart softened…hahaha, I’m joking, I’m joking. (Or am I?) But no really, there were SO MANY things that were said that opened my eyes and taught me a lot of new things about marriage.
One of my major takeaways from the whole weekend (amongst so many other major takeaways) is that no matter what you are going through in your marriage, God can take that and make it extraordinary. “Your problem is not a punishment. Your problem is a platform for His power.” . Also, in order to have a marriage on purpose, you must delight in your differences (hello, Michael and I are so opposite), and p l a y together! Meaning, have some fun. Do you know what we did yesterday? We laid in bed for a half hour and had a tickle fight…okay, I am not ticklish so it was more me tickling him and him doing these crazy jujitsu moves on me and holding me hostage in holds that I couldn’t get out of…hahaha. But it was fun! (Even though I kept screaming “I can’t breathe!” and “Help me! I’m going to die.” What? I admit, I’m dramatic.)
I even asked Michael what he took away from it, and he said, “To never give up on your marriage. Never give up on your spouse. Always try looking at your situation through your spouse’s perspective.” Anddddddd the best one: “COMMUNICATE (Praise Jesus ya’ll), and don’t go to sleep mad.” My heart is going to explode, guys!!! Without getting much into detail (because Michael surely wouldn’t like that, since he is all “personal” and stuff), I am so extremely proud of the man Michael is, and I am so proud of the way he loves me. God truly has blessed me with this man!