I can’t believe that after this post, we’ll only have 2 more left in our organization series! (Coming up in the next two weeks: Organizing our spiritual lives and Organizing our kids. It’s gonna be a good!)
Time: Em’s post and Nancy’s post
Finances: Em’s post and Nancy’s post
Home: Emily’s post and Nancy’s post
Personal Life: Em’s post and Nancy’s post
Work:: Em’s post and Nancy’s Post
TODAY: Relationships – read Emily’s post here!
February 27: Spiritual Life
March 6: Kids
This post is an exciting one to me. The older I get, the more I realize just how important it is to prioritize the relationships that mean the most to me. Organizing all of these other wonderful aspects of life – our work, our homes, our time… it’s honorable and good. But the one category we’ll be able to take with us after this life is over? Our relationships. I believe the relationships we invest in here on earth will be carried on in heaven. I think we will recognize and know our families and friends, continuing to build on those relationships in heaven. It’s a pretty amazing thought, isn’t it? That’s why It’s worth spending time prioritizing and organizing them here and now. And that’s what today’s post is all about!
Another thing I’ve learned through the years: you can’t grow deeper in relationship with someone you aren’t willing to spend meaningful time with. Period. Relationships require time and intentionality.
So organizing the relationships in my life comes down to prioritizing time spent together while opening up meaningful communication. Let’s take a look at how I organize the most important relationships in my life!
My relationship with the Lord
This one is the most important relationship of them all. If you aren’t a Christian, you might find it odd that I listed it here. While I will be covering much more about this topic next week, I want to be clear and say: when I prioritize spending time with the Lord, all of my other relationships in life are much more fruitful, joyful, and in unison. It all starts here.
My relationship with my husband
I love my sweet husband so much. We’ll be celebrating 10 years of marriage this year, and 14 years of being together as a couple. It’s easy to think, “We’re married! We live together and do life together. There’s nothing that needs organizing here.” But nothing could be further from the truth. I think that’s how things get a little too routine in a marriage. For a while it’s probably fine, but after years and years of a marriage with little to no maintenance, there’s too much risk for boredom, unspoken anger, and ultimately divorce. A longlasting marriage takes work, and this is how we organize our relationship:
Daily: We always ask “how was your day?” and take time to listen. If there’s something “off” between us, we always bring it up – even if we can’t pinpoint it, I’ll say something like “Are we good? I feel a little off today.” We always kiss each other goodnight.
Weekly: We have a “Sunday check in” where we go over our schedules for the week and ask each other 6 questions – the same questions every Sunday. (Will knows I really appreciate eye contact during these questions ;)). We got these questions from Beating the 50 Percent and we have really loved them.
1. What brought you joy this week?
2. What was something that was hard this week?
3. What’s one specific thing I can do for you this week?
4. How can I pray for you this week?
5. Is there anything that’s gone unsaid, convictions, confessions, unresolved
6. What’s a dream, desire or thought that’s been on the forefront of your mind this week?
Monthly: We go on at least 1 date a month, and we also add these two questions to our list:
7. How are we stewarding our finances?
8. How is our sex life?
Quarterly: Will and I see a marriage counselor once a quarter. We have been doing this for about 2 years now, and it’s been incredibly helpful navigating some difficult conversations as well as inspiring during the easy seasons of marriage. We highly recommend it!
Yearly: We always do something special around our Anniversary… extra special date night or a getaway somewhere.
Noteworthy Milestones: Every 5 years, we do a more extravagant anniversary trip. For our 5th anniversary, we lived on a boat in the British Virgin Islands for 7 days, and it was amazing. We’re coming up on 10 years, and we hope to go to Italy! We also plan to renew our vows every decade (10, 20, 30, etc).
Image by Eric Kelley
Image by Elizabeth Tate
My relationship with my kids
My girls are 2.5 and 6 months old, so it certainly is fairly simple to keep these relationships organized especially when comparing it to some of you who might have grown children. However I do want to leave you with one piece of advice that has changed the game for me and Will this year: “Mind Body Soul Time” with each kid for 10 minutes a day, twice a day. I learned this from my friend Amy inside her course: Positive Parenting Solutions. It’s the best way to keep our relationships intentional, and it fills their little attention buckets in the best way. So here are the rules: for 10 minutes, twice a day, each parent gets 1 on 1 time with each kid. The KID gets to decide how they want to spend the time – not you! And you have to keep it uninterrupted. No TV, no phone, no talking with your spouse – just you and the kid. It’s been so fulfilling for me as a working mama too – to always know we will have “Mama Milly time” and “Mama Lyndon time” leaves me feeling so fulfilled at the end of the day.
My relationship with my family
My family includes my Mama, sister Mary Lindsey, and her family (husband and 5 kiddos!) who all live in Nashville, TN; my Dad and Leslie and younger siblings Ryan and Reba, my brother Johnny who lives in PA, Will’s Mom, Will’s sister Jess and husband Kyle, Will’s brother John and wife Sam, and Will’s Dad. In short, both sets of parents are divorced and most siblings are grown and married… which makes for a lot of people to connect with individually!
Because there are so many households to schedule and connect with, we aim to connect with each at least every other month. For the local family, that means something in person. For distant family, that’s a little harder to do, so I try to facetime more often to make up for it. In addition to these times of connection, we try to have 1 trip with Will’s family each year, and 1 trip with my family each year. And of course, Christmas looks a bit like the movie 4 Christmases, but it’s worth it because we do love spending quality time with each parent and sibling. Thankfully, our families are incredibly gracious and nothing like the movie, so we can spread out our celebrations over the span of a week!
My relationship with my friends
Has anyone else found it more challenging to invest in friendships the older you get? I have. To be honest, looking back at my 20’s, I was so driven and focused on work, I let a lot of relationships go. It’s one of my biggest regrets and it makes me sad, but thankfully I am more intentional about my friendships now, while simultaneously dishing out much more grace to myself now that I have kids.
There are 3 weekends a year that I take time to invest in our friendships:
1. Minki getaway: this started just last year, but we’ve officially made it an annual thing. Me and my 3 best girl friends getaway for 1 night, maybe 2… just to laugh and be together and relax. A spa is usually involved, too. We’ve been best friends since 9th grade, we’ve been bridesmaids in all of our weddings, and it means so much to all of us to set aside time for this each year.
2. Camping with the Thomases: Yes – we love to go camping with Emily of Em for Marvelous’ family! Every year we choose a date and location and fight to make it happen in our busy schedules.
3. “Grandview Vacay”: This is a friend and business retreat with the Schultzes and Wheatons… some of our dearest friends. We’ve been doing this for 4 years now, and it’s so nice to get away and laugh with some like minded business owners.
There’s nothing like spending time to invest in relationships, and no better way to really do that than a weekend away together. But in between all of those weekends, with those and other friends, Will and I try to have a steady social calendar. This is fairly simple, but it looks like 1 – 2 dinners a month, in addition to 1 playdate on a mama day.
My relationship with my team
I love my team. If I’m honest, Callie and Olivia have become some of my dearest friends. Talk about spending time together – I spend the MOST hours with these sweet girls.
Each morning, we have a morning huddle. We share a Bible verse, pray together, and share our 3 priorities for the day, while also reporting whether or not we finished our 3 priorities from the day prior. It’s a great way to connect meaningfully before work.
We also just stop working when life calls for it. If we need to share something on our hearts, we do. We always try to love and support each other throughout our work days.
Outside of work, we love and support each other as well through birthday celebrations, running races and showing up for support, going to fundraisers together, and occasionally grabbing dinner as well. This means so much to all of us, as it’s important to share in life together outside of the daily grind of keeping NRP going.
Don’t forget to read Emily’s post today, too!
I’d love to hear: what was most helpful or new to you? And do you have any suggestions or tips for how you organize your relationships? I’m all ears!
Sign Up to Receive our FREE PDF - "5 Steps to Preserve Your Legacy Through Photographs"
And join The Nancy Ray News!