In January of 1996 Ann and I went to the Lake of the Ozarks for some time of rest and celebration. Our marriage was going to survive. Beyond surviving we began our move towards thriving. We stayed in a very nice small vacation home just up from the water. It was one of the sweetest weekends I've ever had with my wife.
During the weekend we kept the TV off and mostly focused on being together and enjoying one another. We also read. My chaplain in the reserves, Steve Smallwood, who was instrumental in our marriage healing, had recommended I read Inside Out by Larry Crabb. It rocked my world. For the first time in my Christian Life I felt free to be who I was, whatever state I was in without the pressure of having to put on a smiley face.
In a series of posts I want to share some of what impacted me in the book because I believe deep honesty is essential to a thriving marriage. Larry helped me go further into being more deeply honest with myself and others. It's a journey that will last a lifetime but reading Inside Out was a big leap in the process. Many pages of the book have * after * down the margins of the pages. So I can't share all of the ways in which I was touched but I'll share what feels most important.