Today Cowboy and I enjoyed a full day of work around R7. One of the projects was running more pasture fence. Building a fence can really be therapeutic.

You get to see a finished product, it involves nice even posts, and a bit of simplicity that doesn't come along nearly enough.

In January, we had a wonderful opportunity to attend the Act of Marriage conference by Family Life. It was really a wonderful experience of sharing and investing in each other. Last night I was reviewing the workbook from the conference --- all marriages have "review" kind of days...

This thought from researcher John Gottman, who interviewed thousand of couples, really stuck out to me.  He mentions that the presence of four behaviors is the apocalypse or signs of a probable end of a relationship: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and withdrawal.

Ouch. Criticism. (I prefer to call it analytical...ahem).

This is so true. Hmmm...withdrawal --- I think even before dangerous walls are built in a marriage comes the fences. These are my areas of responsibility in the family. This is me time. These are my friends. This is my side of the bed....Fences. Boundaries.

I love to think of the wild prairie days before the fences went up. Sometimes those fences went up to say "this is mine." Other times though, just as the fence we built today, the fence is built to keep what you value near. It's built to keep danger out and what you love in.

Those are the kinds of fences we want to build in our relationships and families. The kind of fence that holds us together not divides us up. 

Today I had that little moment when I realized the best way to build that protective fence is together. Working side by side. Walking hand in hand down the road.

1 comment:

Alison Agnew said...

Love this. I have always appreciated the fences in my life. There is such freedom in knowing my boundaries. Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded last week, and you're one of the features this week!


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