Monday, February 8, 2010

Review/Giveaway: The Marriage Project

A WINNING READINGS GIVEAWAY!

Title: The Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love and Laughter
Author: Kathi Lipp
Genre: Christian nonfiction: love & marriage
How to enter: Leave a comment on THIS post right here! If you're a subscriber or a follower, leave a second comment for a second entry.
Entry deadline: February 25, 2010
Restrictions: Open internationally!

That's right, enter right here for this giveaway. This is my review copy, so it has been gently read.

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It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


The Marriage Project

Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2009)

***Special thanks to Kathi Lipp for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Kathi is married to Roger, the Worship Arts Director at Church on the Hill in San Jose. They have four kids and live in San Jose, CA. When she’s not doing laundry, Kathi is a full-time speaker and writer whose articles have appeared in Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and Christian Parenting Today. Her first books, The Husband Project and The Marriage Project were both released by Harvest House.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736925287
ISBN-13: 978-0736925280

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Why The Marriage Project?


With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see.

-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox


I have a shelf full of marriage books and I bet if you‘ve been married for any amount of time, you do too.


Most of the books that we own are great books. They talk about God’s desire for a healthy marriage, the theories behind a healthy marriage, and what a healthy marriage should look like if you apply these principles.


Some of those marriage books have had a great impact on my relationship with my husband.


Most of them? They ended up on our bookshelf as things I feel guilty for 1) not implementing on a daily basis and 2) not dusting.


When Roger and I got married we both brought two teenagers, two full-time jobs, and a host of volunteer activities into the relationship. There just wasn’t much time to be sitting up in bed after a long day, taking turns reading pages out of marriage enhancement books and staring longingly, with great resolve, into each other’s eyes.


On the other hand, Roger and I both determined to make this marriage work. We each had been in marriages that ended in divorce, and we were committed to being absolutely intentional to do everything we could, in God’s power, to see that we had a marriage that not only lasted, but also was honoring to Him and filled with joy.


That’s when the crazy ideas started to flow.


First, there was The Husband Project, where I challenged my friends (and myself) to bless our men for 21 days without expecting anything in return. While most women kept it a secret from their husbands, I had to tell Roger eventually (he had a right to know what book I was working on seven hours a day).


After that, Roger and I wanted a project to complete as a couple. The results of that are what you hold in your hand.


I wanted a way to bless my marriage that was very practical, fun, following God’s plan and purpose for marriage (and perhaps just a little bit flirty). I needed something that wasn’t just a theory about what to do about my marriage – I wanted some checkboxes. I wanted something that would instruct me, “This is what you do, now go and do it.”


That is what I needed, and that is what I ended up writing.


Becoming an Expert on Your Own Marriage


I’m definitely not a marriage expert. After one failed marriage and just four years into my second one, I’m probably not the first person you’d approach for marital advice. (Although the fact that Roger and I got married with four teenagers between us, and we’re still together, should earn us some kind of presidential Medal of Honor. Or at least a nifty certificate in a leatherette case.)


So I gleaned and condensed the very best advice from every marriage book on our shelves and adapted it into short, doable steps – or projects, that we could work on together.


This is how I have to manage almost every area of my life – whether it’s healthy eating, child rearing, Bible study, and most recently, marriage. It’s not enough that I know what I’m supposed to do; I need to have a plan to get up and do it.


Through these crazy little projects (most taking less than five or ten minutes) my husband and I learned new things about each other. We rediscovered what makes each other tick, confirmed some basics we already knew, and found new and exciting ways to encourage one another. While I may not be a marriage expert, I became an expert on my marriage.


I love how The Message Bible illustrates the words of James when it comes to putting feet to our thoughts:


Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (James 2:14-17)


We can talk about marriage all day long. We can buy books and listen to podcasts about how we should have great marriages. We can listen to sermons and do Bible studies. But, unless we put some God-acts to our God-talk, no one benefits.


Hundreds of couples have done the Projects before you. These simple acts have been proven to change not only people’s behavior, but also their attitudes. I pray that God pours out His blessings on you and your marriage as you put feet to His plan for your marriage.


My Review

I've got a shelf full of marriage books, too, but I must say this one is quite practical! It's got a preparation section, and then 21 days of projects. Each project includes a description/ideas, the purpose of the project, a prayer, a "getting creative" section, and a place to jot your own plans down. Many chapters include project reports from some of the first folks to do the project.

In the prep section is a short discussion on "What if my spouse doesn't want to do The Marriage Project?" I should have read that first - the points are quite valid, and the project CAN proceed with only one person. Let's just say my husband is not a "by the book" kind of a guy - he'd prefer spontaneous actions to checklists and plans. So I appreciated the ideas in this section, even though most of the book is geared towards a team approach. Because ultimately The Project is about what I do to bless my spouse.

There was a quote by Richard Foster in this book that really caused a paradigm shift for me:

When we choose to serve, we are still in charge. We decide whom we will serve and when we will serve. And if we are in charge, we will worry a great deal about anyone stepping on us, that is, taking charge over us.

But when we choose to be a servant, we give up the right to be in charge. There is great freedom in this. If we voluntarily choose to be taken advantage of, then we cannot be manipulated.

I've been contemplating what it means to be a servant ever since, and trying to apply this to my own life. It really does make a difference in how I feel about things.

I haven't gotten through the whole project yet. I'm tripping up over a few of the days. But I'll keep plugging away at it, because I've already seen a big difference. Accountability to an encouragement crew is strongly advised, and that is one thing I need to add to the equation.

Overall, a great, practical book that's sure to positively impact your marriage - and ideal for a couple wanting to do something fun together.

75 comments:

IceJewel said...

It sounds good !
Please do enter me at icejew at gmail dot com.

IceJewel said...

I'm a follower. Thanks for the giveaway :)

Annette said...

This sounds good (and simple) to me!

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Annette said...

I follow!

Wanda said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.
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Wanda said...

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Merry said...

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Merry said...

I'm a follower.

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Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good, practical book.

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Anonymous said...

I follow.

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Janet Ruth said...

A follower

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Please count me in.

Simply Stacie said...

I follow.

Abi said...

Love to win thanks.

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Lady Araujo said...

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Mama Llama said...

oh...I need to work on a marriage project! Thanks for the giveaways!

Nancye said...

This sounds like a good book. Thanks for the chance.


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Jennifer said...

My husband is kind of similar to your description, but it still sounds like there is useful info in this book.

Jennifer said...

I'm a follower too!

Wendi P said...

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~ Cee ~ said...

This sounds wonderful! Thank you so much for your giveaway ~Cee~
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Elizabeth said...

Sounds like a great book! Thank you.

Jenndiggy said...

I'd love to read this. I'm not married, but I love to read marriage books so that I have the information when I do get married!

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Anonymous said...

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GOOD READING

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wmmahaney said...

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Renee G said...

Would like to read this.
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enter me please! and thank you!

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I'm a follower

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Nickolay said...

follower

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I usually don't like self help books!

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Please enter me - thanks!

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AmyLynn said...

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ZESTYWONDERLAND said...

I would love to read this & then pass it on to my niece who has a rocky marriage!

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