A Generous Grace

ideas on practical spirituality and loving each other

Category: Questions to take your relationships deeper (page 1 of 2)

7 Journaling Prompts for a New Year of the Soul–and a Freer 2018

New Year Soul Journaling
My son asked me today about my New Year’s resolutions.

Weeell…I’m not really the resolution type. But I told him I do like the new year for new beginnings. For reevaluating, for seeing with fresh eyes and finding some intentionality in things that can run away from me in the tyranny of the urgent. (In the past couple of years at this time, I’ve shared ideas and questions to take your relationships to the next level, and some questions to bring your relationship with God to the next level, too.)

 

Maybe you still have a day or two of holiday time left. If so, I hope these journal prompts (designed for you to “prink” over–that’s pray and think) can help breathe some fresh air into your soul in 2018. Maybe you won’t know all the answers to these, and they need to rattle around in your head awhile.  

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The Safe Place Series, #3: Practical Tips to Becoming a Person of Refuge

The other night, one of my kids was at his finest. It was as if a switch had been flipped. He went from easy-going to stonewalling us, arms crossed, resolutely stubborn. And man, was I getting the stinkeye.

Though his attitude was not without consequences, God was kind to me. I think He reminded me that disproportionate reactions are a lot of times symptoms that something deeper’s being triggered. Thankfully, this tipped my husband and I off to dig and uncover the problem more than just slam down the symptom.

Because when you’re going through a hard time, life can feel a little…naked. So our emotional safety is directly tied to the degree of acceptance we sense from someone.

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Know Thy [Stressed] Self, Part II: The Stressed Version of Your Marriage

Missed Part I? Grab it here.

One of the unexpected delights of our final couple of months in Africa was the arrival of a college friend who’s known my husband and I since the beginning. She watched us meet, cautiously date, giddily become engaged. She played the piano when the two of us spring chickens said “I do” forever. Later, I stood with her as she spoke her own vows beneath a spreading tree. And when she visited us in Africa and we stayed up entirely too late, she gave us this gift: I told my husband, “I love that she reminds us how good we are together. That you and I together are a really good thing.”

I wrote before that this time of leaving Africa, of setting a foot on two highly divergent continents, has delivered unavoidable stress to our relationship. Both of us are strained, so it makes sense that our most intimate relationships would bear that weight. So it was kind of God to remind us that despite the ways we occasionally feel like the losers in a three-legged-race right now—“us” is still a really good thing.

Part I of this post outlined some essential reasons we need to identify when we’re stressed. If you’re convinced, let’s get down to it. What are the signs your marriage is under stress?

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10 Questions to Take Your Relationship with God Deeper in 2017, Set #3

Last year, I kicked off 2016 with 6 Ways to Take Your Relationships Deeper, parts I and II and dug into that a little with six sets of questions help tug your most intimate friendships to the next level.

This year, I’ve kicked off 2107 with questions to help us pursue our relationship with the most potential for fulfillment and gut-level happiness, no matter what’s around the corner. (Check out the previous two sets here and here!)

 

  1. What names of God most resonate with me right now?
  2. Lord, where do you want to send me?
  3. Consider the questions of God toward people in Scripture—and pray through the answers.

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10 Questions to Take Your Relationship with God Deeper in 2017, Set #2

Last year, I kicked off 2016 with 6 Ways to Take Your Relationships Deeper, parts I and II and dug into that a little with six sets of questions help tug your most intimate friendships to the next level. 

This year, I’ve kicked off 2107 with questions to help us pursue our relationship with the most potential for fulfillment and gut-level happiness, no matter what’s around the corner. (Check out the previous set here!)

 

1. At times when I feel most worshipful, what am I doing?

2. Spend time thanking God for ten people who are gifts to you in this present time, and ten people from your past. Continue reading

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10 Questions to Take Your Relationship with God Deeper in 2017, Set #1

Last year, I kicked off 2016 with 6 Ways to Take Your Relationships Deeper, parts I and II and dug into that a little with six sets of questions help tug your most intimate friendships to the next level.

This year, I’m gonna party like it’s 2107 with a few questions to help us pursue our relationship with the most potential for fulfillment and gut-level happiness, no matter what’s around the corner. I’m raising my glass: to the One who fills every soul-hole this year. Cheers, friends!

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Interview-your-Child Fridays: The Christmas Interview

For ideas on how to make the most of these questions, see the first interview.

interview your child fridays

  1. In the Christmas story from the Bible, what character would it be the coolest to be?
  2. What’s one of your favorite activities to do around Christmas time?
  3. What’s one of your best Christmas memories? What did you love about that time?
  4. What is your all-time favorite Christmastime snack?
  5. What do you think the world would be like if God never sent Jesus?
  6. What do you think God would want for Christmas this year? Parents, this is a cool time to talk with kids about God wanting our hearts. My kids also repeatedly ask to use What God Wants for Christmas, a book with surprise gift boxes to open that tell the nativity story. You could use Micah 6:8 to guide you: He has shown you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: To do justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Rather than just pushing “good behavior”, this is a chance to show that Jesus is the One who creates this in us!
  7. If you could have one Christmas wish, what would it be?
  8. What one gift would be the most meaningful to you this year?
  9. What’s one of the top gifts you’ve ever received for Christmas?
  10. What gifts has God given you this year?

 

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You might also enjoy my free ebook, Discussion Questions to Better Understand Your Family’s Subculture!

 

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31 Anything-but-Vanilla Methods to Bring Fresh Flavor to Times with God

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Ten Discussion Questions to Take Your Relationships Deeper in 2016—Set #6

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New to these questions? See these notes first, along with Set #1 .

 

  1. Talk about a realization (or more than one) that changed your perspective and understanding of a past event. (i.e. I found out the parents of that bully in school were getting a divorce. I discovered I’d totally misunderstood my sister’s perspective, and she hadn’t been malicious at all.)
  2. When you get to heaven, what are some questions you hope to ask God?
  3. When is one time in life when you felt most alone?
  4. What’s one regret you have of your past? (Have you sought forgiveness from God and the people you affected?)
  5. What are some of your greatest strengths as a spouse?
  6. What is one of your greatest weaknesses as a spouse?
  7. What are some of your greatest strengths as a parent?
  8. What is one of your greatest weaknesses as a parent?
  9. What are your dreams for your kids?
  10. For what do you pray most often?

Like these? Consider subscribing to A Generous Grace and receive a FREE E-BOOK of Discussion Questions to Better Understand Your Family’s Subculture. They’re great to process with a friend, spouse, or small group.

 

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Ten Discussion Questions to Take Your Relationships Deeper in 2016—Set #5

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New to these questions? See these notes first, along with Set #1 .

 

  1. When you are looking back at your parenting, what is one thing do you suspect you’ll wish you did differently?
  2. What specific action makes you feel most loved? (i.e. If someone listens to me. If someone touches me. If someone asks me good questions and draws me out. For more ideas on this, see these posts on 20 practical ideas for each love language.)
  3. A previous question asked about one of the highest compliments you’ve ever received. Talk about meaningful things people have said to you (not necessarily compliments). (i.e. I felt validated when someone with whom I’d had a conflict for a long time came and apologized. Or, My dad said he was proud of the man I’d become.)
  4. If you could take a class or learn a skill, what would that class or skill be?
  5. What do you daydream about?
  6. A previous question mentioned what made you feel immediately connected or disconnected to a person. What qualities do you immediately find magnetic about a person—and what qualities are immediately off-putting?
  7. At what times in your life have you felt closest to God, or when do you feel closest to God now?
  8. When Jesus was tempted in the Bible (Matthew 4), he was tempted by three key lies. What lies about yourself or reality or God are you most likely to believe—in the “tapes” that play over and over in your head? (Talk together about God’s truth that would counter those lies, like Jesus did.)
  9. Talk about a realization (or more than one) that changed your perspective and understanding of your parents. (i.e. I had no idea my dad had experienced that. I was clueless to the pressures my mom was facing. I see now that my expectations were largely unrealistic.
  10. What are symptoms that tell you that you’re weary and/or not doing well? (i.e. I snap at my kids. When I wake up in the morning, my jaw is sore. I daydream about being alone and doing whatever I want.)

 

Like these? Consider subscribing to A Generous Grace and receive a FREE E-BOOK of Discussion Questions to Better Understand Your Family’s Subculture. They’re great to process with a friend, spouse, or small group.

 

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