Thursday, November 29, 2007

9th Quarterly Review

A few weekends ago Danny and I had our 9th quarterly review.

Now, I have been informed that we should change the name of this little marriage-weekend-getaway because it sounds to business-like. However, this last "quarterly review" was more business than play. It was rough and exhausting, but also bonding and productive.

We started out on Friday night eating dinner at Macaroni Grill thanks to the free gift card we had received from test driving a Toyata Tundra.

We then ventured into the heart of Dallas to have coffee and desert at the top of Reunion Tower. I had never been to the top of Reunion Tower and the view did not disappoint. Spinning around while trying to eat was a little disconcerting, and both of us felt a little seasick after leaving the restaurant, but I would do it all over again just to dip rock candy into a fancy coffee drink. We caught the restaurant just days before they closed for remodeling, so if you're wanting to get some of this delectable chocolate cake you will have to wait until Fall 2008.

Yes, I know the pictures are blurry. I was enjoying the evening, trying not to worry about taking pictures for our tens of blog readers. And, the pennies are being saved for a new camera. So, hopefully come January you will be enjoying the Stiller's life through better quality photos.

Friday night date night was followed up with a Saturday of marriage evaluation and planning.

Danny did amazing research and planning for this quarterly review. Every day I am more blown away by his leadership of our lives. He had given me an entire packet of questions to think about and answer before our weekend together, so we were all set and ready to discuss life and marriage together. He had listend to a podcast by Mars Hill Church pastor, Mark Driscoll, on "Reverse Engineering Your Life" and decided this would be a great thing for us to do to become a more unified team and to envision what we want our lives to look like in the future.

And so, we set out to answer questions about what each us wanted our life to look like during seminary and beyond. After both sharing our desires, goals, expectations, etc. we then attempted to mold our goals into one.

When my Dad asked Danny years ago if he really wanted to date me because "she's a stubborn one," he apparently wasn't kidding.

Needless to say there were highs and lows - exciting realizations and selfish arguments. It was one of the toughest weekends of our marriage, but also a bonding milestone. It was a great time of creating one vision for our future.

We are still tweaking things, but it's fun to know that we have the same goal: to get through seminary in one piece!

Here are some the questions you to could ask if you want to have a "love and war" weekend:

List your top seven priorities for your life.

Seminary Life:

  • How long do we want to be in seminary?
  • What do we want our weekly schedule to look like?
  • Where will we live while in seminary
  • How will we pay for seminary?

Health (during & after seminary):

  • How often will we excercise?
  • What will our vacations look like?
  • What day will we Sabbath?
  • What things will our house be near?

Home: (after seminary)

  • How many bedrooms do we want?
  • What rooms will we have & what will their purpose be?
  • What chores will be done each week/month/year?

Financials: (after seminary)

  • What line items will we have in our budget after the necessities are paid?
  • How much will we tithe?
  • How much will we give?
  • Where will Danny & Laura work?
  • What kind of insurance will we have?

Marriage: (during & after seminary)

  • When will we have date night?
  • What components will a quarterly review consist of?
  • How will we encourage one another spiritually?
  • How will we structure our Bible study together?
  • What would a typical week look like for us after seminary?

Family: (after seminary)

  • How many kids do we want to have?
  • What will our evenings look like?
  • How will our kids be educated?
  • How will our kids do ministry with us?

Extended Family: (after seminary)

  • What will holidays look like?

Learning: (during &/or after seminary)

  • What do I want to learn about?
  • What conferences/classes do I want to attend?
  • What resources do I need to do these things?
  • How much will I read each day?
  • What areas do I want to grow in?

Ministry: (after seminary)

  • How many nights will we be out for ministry?
  • How often will Danny travel for ministry?
  • How will we serve in the church?
  • What type of community groups will we be involved in?


  • What three things do you hope will have changed about yourself, your spouse, and your ministry after seminary?
  • What three changes in my life would make my life easier?
  • What obstacles are keeping me from living by my convictions?

Quarterly Review History
*1st - 12/16/05 - Raleigh, NC
*2nd - 03/25/06 - Charleston, SC
*3rd - 06/24/06 - Columbia, SC
*4th - 8/27/06 - Boston, MA

*5th - 12/1/06 - Gatlinburg, TN
*6th - 2/09/07 - Charlotte, NC
*7th - 5/26/07 - Myrtle Beach, SC
*8th - 8/27/07 - College Station, TX

*9th - 11/10/07 - Dallas, TX


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