This past weekend, CHICmom held our Love in the Home workshop, sponsored by Northwest Activities Center. For starters, this workshop started as a thought. I struggled with love for years, I wasn't sure what it meant, I didn't quite see it modeled, but I knew I wanted it. I searched high and low for love, in men, in friends, in jobs, in almost everything but myself. When I got married, it was a fast reality check about love in its entirety. I had a dysfunctional view of love, and turns out my selfish reasons for wanting love, had nothing to do with the true meaning of love. Love actually requires the exact opposite. My husband and I used to argue like crazy, even with two small children, we just didn't quite get along. After counseling and tons of self reflection, we're going on our 4th year of marriage and I can honestly say, i LUH this man..lol Sure we still have disputes but it's different, disputes doesn't end with us yelling and screaming at each other, we have come to a place of understanding even when we don't agree. It has changed our whole household.
It's my biggest mission to help others with things I personally struggled with, and thats how Love in the Home workshop came to life. The workshop consisted of an interactive workbook, six workshop facilitators who shared their personal experiences, journeys, and their lessons, and forty attendees who were ready to answer hard questions to create a thriving and surviving household. Here's a couple of nuggets that stood out to me.
1. No household is the same. Do what works for your household. In terms of roles, there is no specific role that is identical for all marriages. Some men cook, some men don't, some men clean, others may not. Come to an understanding for your home what works, communicate what each other needs are, make intentional choices to sat aside time to communicate those needs. Effective communication is the best communication. Also remembering that our children hear the words we say, watch how we treat each other, so be mindful what we say and do in our home. Always remember in marriage you are ONE. When you start using terms such as, "my house", "my car", "my money", you're separating things into a marriage and soon can cause conflict. We are ONE band, ONE sound. Your wife can't lose and you're winning, we're on one team, so treat it as such. Most importantly, invite God in your marriage and keep him at the center of it. DeAndre also spoke on surrounding your children around those who have the same values, and morals as your household. Be selective over who and what you expose your children to. ~DeAndre Riley
2. The way we speak to our children is very important. What is your tone in your household. It is yelling? Are you talking AT your children instead of TO your children? It's important that we understand that our children are people too. This means having a clear lines of communication with our children even when disciplining. Telling our children that we love them goes a long, showing affection and modeling affection to one another is essential for a loving and caring home. Doing things together as a family, and communicating our hurts, fears, and worries in life is also important. Set the tone for your home to be a home of love, not bickering, hollering, yelling, and make sure your children know that they are a valuable asset of the home as well. Diamond did an amazing job of illustrating how her home affected her. I love that she pointed out that a functioning household is a home that works with all different parts in the family feel valued, loved, and wanted. This all starts at home. Diamond also spoke from a single perspective in saying don't settle, understand who you are, but don't settle out of fear. ~Diamond, Shut Up Fear
3. Love and Marriage. Pastor Esosa and wife Shereena did an awesome job talking about handling marriage disputes. I really took a couple pages from their book. One thing that stuck out was words matter, controlling your tougue is very important not just in marriage but in life. People will remember your words, so using your mouth to say positive things and speaking life into any situation is a valuable asset any home can have. How are you speaking about your marriage and your spouse to others? Words have legs. Also, praying over our spouses with situations and circumstances that we can't change on our own. It's our job to uplift our spouses, encourage our spouses, and use prayer to guide our marriage. Say a prayer over your spouse for situations that you wish to change. I really like that Pastor Esosa mentioned setting aside time to handle disputes instead of attacking things as they come. This allows each individual to handle difficult situations in a more calm manner. Lastly, they both mentioned there are three rules in the home; 1. No putdowns, 2. No yelling, and 3. Divorce is not an option. They were awesome!!! ~ Esosa and Shereena Osai
4. Make time to know and love yourself. Jo the Giant could not have said this any clearer, she made it clear that learning to love herself and date herself has changed how she view love and what she wants out of love. It's very difficult to know how to give something to others that you surely don't know have to give to yourself. I truly enjoyed Jo speaking on controlling and handling your emotions. You can control your emotions, how you react to things and/or people. Your reaction is a sign of your character. I really like how she spoke on positive affirmations and knowing when you were wrong, but learning from your experiences and knowing how to change them the next time around. Our life is an representation of what we think and what we do. If love is the focal point we respond to life situations differently. ~Jo the Giant
4. Psychological affect on children. Markiesha spoke from a social worker prespective about things she witnessed in her line of work. Although this was a very sensitive topic there were a couple points that stood out. Learning to forgive those who may hurt you. Sometimes we assume that people are aware of the hurtful things they do to others, but sometimes people just don't know. Markiesha mentioned that her job is not to judge people for their past mishaps, but to help them and provide hope. So if you know someone in your home, family, or social circle, this is a vital point to help others as oppose to judge. This is yet another factor of love. Children are very sensitive and they remember the smallest things even if don't think they do, especially traumatic experiences. Talking about these experiences is important, and if it's something you need additional help with don't be ashamed to ask.
Attendees had an awesome time shopping our local vendors, learning from one another and networking. We love mixing fun in with information. I could not be more happy with the results from this workshop. Attendees left with an interactive workbook to do at home. The workshop facilitators were amazing. It was also nice to see some guys in the building!