If you’ve been keeping up with the life of the Burns, you may have noticed we were out of town last week. And if you follow us regularly, you know we’re all about marriage and strengthening the commitments we make to each other on our wedding day. When we meet with all our clients, one of the first things you’ll hear us say is that we love getting to work with other couples as they’re preparing the join the married club! And throughout our couples’ Wedding Experience, we love encouraging them to focus on building a foundation for their marriage, not just the details of a single day.
So it’s no surprise that this past week we were doing just that for our own marriage at an event you’ve heard us talk about time and time again: Connect Retreat. Every year in the spring, for the past 5 years, we’ve packed our suitcases and made our way to Rome, Georgia with dozens of other couples to take a break from life, our business, friends and family, and take 4 days to focus on ourselves and our marriage. And year after year it has been just as rewarding. (We thought it was rewarding before having a kid, it’s all the more so afterwards!) So I wanted to take a moment to share what that experience for us what like, and some deep revelations that we took away, even after attending for several years.
The biggest thing we talked through that I (Tyler) took away was that I’ve been bringing a poverty mindset to being a new father, and consequently haven’t been showing up in the ways that I should have. Seeing how great Lindsey is with children, and knowing how not great I am with kids had been causing me to check out from parenting out of fear that I wouldn’t be good enough or wouldn’t know what I was doing. It’s something we’d recognized, but through the some of the speakers’ talks we gained a framework and new language so we could better put into words what was happening and see it more clearly. Using the model of having a wealthy mindset as opposed to a poverty one (i.e. I can do this, this is within my control, my dreams start today) we realized some fears and doubts that were restraining us in our business as well, and overall a theme of “just show up” became evident. For whatever reason – laziness, hecticness, tiredness – we both hadn’t been showing up in certain ways to our business and to each other, and it had led to conflict and not forgiving each other as much as we should have.
In business they like to say that if you’re not growing, you’re dying. And while I wouldn’t have said we were dying in our marriage, we certainly weren’t growing, and this plateaued state of being can very much have a negative effect. You become complacent, unforgiving, less patient, and it can feel as if you’re more like roommates even. That was all true for us at least. Just like how in our work we need to take time away from working in our business to work on the business, every one of us needs to continue the hard work of working on our marriage and relationship to our spouse beyond the wedding day and pre-marital counseling. And if you’re a married creative in business, we would ask you to highly consider making the investment to attend Connect next year. This isn’t some trickery, we don’t get kickbacks or a commission from this, we just really think it’s so incredibly worth it for your marriage! It isn’t a busy conference in the city, or merely an marathon of counseling sessions, it’s an all-inclusive, intimate retreat for you and your spouse in the foothills of the Georgia mountains amongst the friendliest group of couples and retreat staff you’ve ever been around. You can learn more about it and signup at www.connectretreat.com. If you have questions about what you can expect or anything else, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to answer them as best we could! This year the organizers are wanting to hit a minimum number of attendees by this Friday, so think and pray about it, but know that you may need to sign up by then if you don’t want to miss out at all.
That’s all for the heavy reading. Now we’re photographers, so it wouldn’t be complete without some beautiful, scenic pictures!
By now, you should not be surprised at all to know that Lindsey and I most definitely drove and camped our way to Georgia. In years past, we’ve flown, but after so many road trips, this was a walk in the park and so relaxing.
On the way there, we stopped at some hiking trails that lead to a swimming hole in a national forest in Alabama. We certainly tried to, but it just was still too cold to swim unfortunately!
Our amazing small group for the week!
Winshape Retreat Center, where the retreat is held, is owned by Chick-fil-a, so they have a Truett Cathy bench outside one of the buildings, and Lindsey had to get a pic with him wearing a past Connect shirt that says “Love this Stud.”
The campus has a nearby reservoir that we always like to bike up to, which is absolutely gorgeous.
On our way back, we stopped in Louisiana to go canoeing in a bayou. Definitely one of the most beautifully creepy landscapes we’ve seen. That fun had to end though when Lindsey may or may not have seen an alligator pop its eyes up out of the water.