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The Crucial Element in a Long Distance Relationship

Ask Amanda, RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment
The Crucial Element in a Long Distance Relationship | www.maplealps.com

 

Question: What was the crucial element that helped your long distance relationship?


I guess quite a few of you must be in long distance relationships, because I get this question quite often. In a globalized world, I suppose dating or even being married long distance is getting more common.


Let’s see…


My husband and I spent 3 years in a long distance relationship before getting engaged. With the Atlantic Ocean between us, it did not always make it easy (or affordable for students - which we were at the time) to spend time with each other in person. We calculated it the other day, and the time spent face-to-face during that time added up to between 7 and 8 months. While that is not a lot, we did talk almost every day.


Modern technology is fantastic for that and allowed us to stay in almost constant communication (as constant as an 8-hour time difference can allow for anyway…). If it wasn’t letter writing and emails, we could text and video chat - something our parents were not able to do in their own long distance relationships!


Did I mention that even our parents did the same crazy thing? Must be genetic.


Anyhow, despite a large time difference, insane cultural differences, and the fact that we were on different continents, it all still somehow worked out.


To answer your question, there were several factors that affected our successful (in my eyes) long distance relationship. I actually wrote a blog post about it a while ago called, “The Three C’s of Long Distance Dating.” You’ll have to visit to find out what those C’s are and to find some really fun ideas for your own long distance relationship.


But really it all boiled down to intentionality.


I know I use that word a lot, and it’s the theme of this entire website, but it really is true.


Intentionality was the one crucial element that helped our long distance relationship. We chose to make it work, which made every element something we intentionally thought about.


We intentionally talked about core values with each other, but most importantly, we really tried to intentionally keep our relationship a God-centered one.


Practically, we had to be sure we were reaching out to each other and that the limited time we had to talk was used wisely and we were not distracted with other things. I’m not even kidding when I say that we often created agendas as if we were entering a board meeting before talking. That way we didn’t forget what we needed to share or talk about. There were several resources we used to guide our conversations as well.


All of this is not to say that we have stopped being intentional in our relationship now that we are married - not at all! It’s just that intentionality in our relationship looks a tad different now that we are married.

But more on that in a different post!


 


Have you been in/are you in a long distance relationship? What was the crucial element that helped you?


 
 

Mother's Day

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps9 Comments

I know that Mother's Day is coming up this weekend and it is always so touching to see Mother's Day posts from friends who pay tribute to their mothers every year. I debated putting together a post, and in the end, since I think all mothers should be celebrated all year long, I finally decided to put up this post to start off the festivities.

I know that Mother's Day is hard for some, so I wanted to keep it simple this year and just share ten pieces of advice a few of my friends sent to me! 

Best Mother's Day Advice

"When you are facing a fork in the road, can't make up your mind and both paths are good then just follow your heart. You are not going to pick the wrong one" Beth Mayberry

 

"Pray first and ask for God's help and guidance. Prayer should not be our last resort." Jacquelyn Van Sant

 

"Always wear a hat. Your baby face + skin will thank you when you're 40." Aubry Lybbert

 

"Be all you can be!" Hanha Hobson

 

"A couple weeks after my wedding I was going over the things I would’ve done differently or thought out more thoroughly. My mom stopped me, mid-sentence, and said “Would you change who you married? Cause that’s all that matters.” I lost my mom not two months later and that thought has stuck with me ever since." Caley Gonyea

 

"The best time to look for a job is when you have one." Candice

 

"One of my favorite pieces of advice from my mom (and there are many) is financial. When I first went out on my own, my mom told me to choose a dollar amount (e.g. $100, $250 or $500) and make that my "zero" in my checking account. That way, if I ever had an emergency, I would always have that buffer, that safety net." Jacquelyn Van Sant

 

"My mother was a woman of God that inspired and challenged me to pursue him as well. She leaves behind pages from her bibles with notes of biblically sound truths. Looking through her bibles, I often think she was one of the original "bible journalers" out there. I often reflect on her words of wisdom each week since she [passed away] in November 2017. I've learned many lessons from her one of which is to fully trust God instead of worrying. I'm a person that can sometimes be full of worry instead of basking in the fullness of God's peace and assurance. My mother pointed me to many scriptures to get me back on track when I would tell her all the things that troubled or stressed me. Stress does nothing for us and my mom reminded me of this all the time. She would sometimes say "Danielle, don't you know that God is up there?" I'm reminded of Romans 8:28 when I think of her encouragement, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." This Mother's Day I remember her for her strength to raise me and opening up our home to several foster children. She and my dad who is also no longer on earth had a big heart for children. God blessed me to have them as they adopted me at birth. While it's heartbreaking that they are gone, I'm thankful for the wisdom that I've gained from my mom for 30 years and my dad for 15 years. My mom's wisdom inspires me to continue to grow and teach other young women in the same way." Danielle Wallace

 

"A good [peice of advice she gave me] is wear your coat!" 5th grader

 

"The best advice my mom gave me is if somebody is fighting with you just walk away." 5th grader

 

What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?


 

10 Ways To Love This Valentine's Day and Every Day

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

A lot of people (including me) like to refer to the commercialized Valentine's Day as, "Singles Awareness Day (SAD)". Of course, society has emphasized romantic relationships on February 14 every year, but who says only those in romantic relationships are the only ones who love? I know many people who are single, yet love with great fierceness. Part of this is that they ultimately love the Lord, and because of that love in them, it flows out to everyone. 

I recently came across some notes I had scratched on the topic, and I thought I would share them today in honor of Valentine's Day. It's hard to love others sometimes, but as we grow and become more like Jesus, it becomes natural. Here is some of the ways the Bible tells us to love.

10 Ways To Love This Valentine's Day and Every Day | www.maplealps.com

1. Listen without Interrupting

 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
    he breaks out against all sound judgment.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing his opinion.
When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
    and with dishonor comes disgrace.
The words of a man's mouth are deep waters;
    the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
It is not good to be partial to[
a] the wicked
    or to deprive the righteous of justice.
A fool's lips walk into a fight,
    and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool's mouth is his ruin,
    and his lips are a snare to his soul.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
    they go down into the inner parts of the body.
Whoever is slack in his work
    is a brother to him who destroys.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
    the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
A rich man's wealth is his strong city,
    and like a high wall in his imagination.
Before destruction a man's heart is haughty,
    but humility comes before honor.
If one gives an answer before he hears,
    it is his folly and shame.
A man's spirit will endure sickness,
    but a crushed spirit who can bear?
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
    and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
A man's gift makes room for him
    and brings him before the great.
The one who states his case first seems right, 
    until the other comes and examines him.
The lot puts an end to quarrels
    and decides between powerful contenders.
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
    and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
From the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach is satisfied;
    he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
    and those who love it will eat its fruits.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing
    and obtains favor from the Lord.
The poor use entreaties,
    but the rich answer roughly.
A man of many companions may come to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (
Proverbs 18, ESV)

2. Speak without Accusing

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; (James 1:19, ESV)

3. Answer without Arguing

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
    but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. (
Proverbs 15:18, ESV)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29, ESV)


4. Promise without Forgetting

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (
Proverbs 13:12, ESV)

5. Trust without Wavering

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4: 18, ESV)

The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain. (
Proverbs 31:11, ESV)

10 Ways To Love This Valentine's Day and Every Day | www.maplealps.com

6. Forgive without Punishing

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:13, ESV)

7. Give without Sparing

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, ESV)

The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
   is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death (
Proverbs 21:6, ESV)

8. Share without Pretending

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. (Romans 12:9, ESV)

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (Ephesians 4:15, ESV)

9. Enjoy without Complaining

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, (Philippians 2:14, ESV)

10. Pray without Ceasing

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, (Colossians 1:9, ESV)

Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV)

 
bible promises www.maplealps.com
 

Of course, you should love others every day, not just Valentine's Day, but today is a great day to start!


 

Two Years of Marriage & the Best Marriage Advice Ever Received

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 Comments

I can't believe it has been exactly two years since my husband and I officially tied the knot! It has been an exciting time, and I must say, I do love marriage. We have both learned and have grown so much, and I thought it would be fun to share what kind of marriage advice some of my blogging friends received when they got married.

Two Years of Marriage & the Best Marriage Advice Ever Received | www.maplealps.com

Make each other a priority for the first year or so. Bible studies, volunteer opportunities, and other activities can wait. Build your foundation strong, and in Christ, and it will withstand everything that is to come!
- Abbey from Small Town Soul

 

Well.....here goes. "Argue naked." hat's the best light-hearted advice we were given. But a more serious piece of advice is evident in how my husband designed my engagement ring: the center diamond is as near perfect as he could get it and two smaller, imperfect diamonds on either side of the center one...to remind us that we were both two imperfect people held together by a perfect God.
- Heather from The Rescued Letters

 

The best advice (besides keeping God at the center, obviously) was that marrying someone with either the expectation they will change or the expectation they will never change will lead to unhappiness. We need to love someone through all the seasons of life. 
- Kate from Stumbling Toward Sainthood

 

I was told that when you are having a difficult conversation about something, remember to say words like "I feel..." instead of "you are ...." this keeps your spouse from feeling like you are just pointing fingers or placing blame.
- Morgan from My Pear Tree Home

 

My best marriage advice is: Go to bed angry! My Mema told me this and I rolled my eyes at her. But it was truly the best advice I ever received. Sometimes staying up and arguing or trying to talk through it makes us cranky, tired and miserable. Kiss good night, roll over and sleep on it. It's better to rest than speak as a fool. 
- Lauren from Bellows in the Berkshires

Two Years of Marriage & the Best Marriage Advice Ever Received | www.maplealps.com

My best marriage advice is to make time for quality time! Go on a date, spend and hour really talking without distractions like your phone, TV or computer. Do a fun activity together! It can be hard to find time sometimes but it's so worth it! One hour a week of real meaningful quality time is really all it takes for a healthy thriving relationship. A worthy investment! 
- Lydia from The Evergreen Woods

 

 When we got married someone suggested that we keep track of how we spend every anniversary, even if it's a super simple date. Seems like something you'd remember but those little details fade fast. I love the idea of looking back after 20 years (or more) and reminiscing about each anniversary together. 
- Rebekah from The Tex-Mex Mom

 

Our best marriage advice was to have a weekly date night. It seems like it'd be impossible, but we made it through medical school & grad school, residency, and four years of my husband working in the ER while having two kids and only missed our weekly date a handful of times in 10 years of marriage. We had to get creative, but it has been incredibly fun and has kept us focused on each other, even when things were really challenging. 
- Angela from The Mango Memoirs

 

There will be days you don't like each other and days you'll argue over every single thing but there will also be the days that you can't imagine being anywhere else in your life and you'll fall in love all over again. Marriage is tough, especially in the beginning, but you can't let the tough days affect your every day. 
- Kristin from This Wife & Mommy Life

 

From Beth Moore in her Bible studies: We have a powerful influence over our man, but we must master timing. 
- Traci from Traces of Faith

 

Our pastor and his wife invited us to join their small group for newly married couples a month after we were married. The one piece of advice they gave that still stands out in my mind (almost 13 years later!) is to never use the phrases, "you always" and "you never", when arguing. It's alienating and rarely true.
- Crystal from Pennies and Playdough

 


What's the best marriage/relationship advice you ever received?


 

The Three C's of Long Distance Dating

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps5 Comments

Last year I wrote on the truth about long distance relationships. I talked about some key things to remember when being so far away from loved ones and we concluded that while long distance relationships were hard, they were a good thing too.

Since that post, I received numerous messages from readers asking me to write more on the topic of long distance, but especially in dating relationships. Today, I answer these concerns and will share 3 Cs for surviving a long distance relationship.

Spending pretty much 3 out of 3 years of my now husband and I’s dating relationship with the ocean between us gave us plenty of time to get good at long distance. We, of course, failed at times to keep it smooth sailing, but now that we look back on everything we went through, we are happy for the trials. The hardships made our relationship stronger, and we are grateful.

Without further ado: The Three C’s of LDRs.

The Three C's of Long Distance Dating | www.maplealps.com

 

 

1) Communication

 

If there is one thing you take from this post, take this one. Communication is a very important part of a successful relationship - long distance or not! Since you do not have the privilege of seeing each other every day, it is important to learn how to communicate. In these days, we might consider texts and messages and snaps “communication,” but let me venture to say that these many avenues are not always the best way to communicate. Carve out time in the week to talk “face-to-face” via Skype or FaceTime. Call each other if you’re in the same country (or have a great phone plan). Write heartfelt letters and emails and share your thoughts and talk about your day - even the mundane stuff. It's crazy, but even if you didn’t experience a day or event with your significant other, you will still be able to relate later when they retell it to someone else because you were kind of "there" when it happened. 

 

2) Creativity

 

Make it fun! Think care packages, fun apps, surprise visits and creative from-a-distance dates. These are all things that couples who are always near each other can’t do! I mean, no one in their right mind would have a movie marathon virtually when they’re 2 streets away - right? That’s just crazy. I remember one time I showed up for J’s 25th birthday to surprise him. I spent a couple hundred dollars and travelled 15 hours to another continent just to see him turn white like he had seen a ghost and be in shock for the next 3 hours, but it was totally worth it.

Here are a few things to get your creativity going:

  • Birthday care packages

  • Surprise visits

  • Schedule times to pray together (or for each other)

  • Download fun Apps (we used one called Couple. They even have a "thumb kiss" feature! So fun, we still use it.)

  • Read the same book within the same time frame (read it together, or read it apart and discuss it later!)

  • Watch a movie together (you can even mute each other and just have each other's faces on a screen)

  • Eat dinner together (cook the same meal and eat at a table together via Skype)

  • Keep each other accountable for exercising, etc (the Runtastic app let's you cheer on your friends as they're out and about)

  • Have a scrapbook you take turns keeping and exchanging when you visit or in the mail

  • Remember (or make) important dates/anniversaries and celebrate them

3) Commitment

 

Being all in is the only way to make a long distance relationship work. Remember that love is a decision. There will be days when you don’t want to talk to the other person. There will be times of frustration and hurt. There might even be feelings of envy and suspicion, but remember your commitment, and trust theirs.

 

See? Long distance doesn’t have to be so hard. Just remember that communication, creativity and commitment are key.

 

Are you/Have you been in a long distance relationship? How did you make it through? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!