We caught up with Becky Thompson to talk about her new audiobook Love Unending The interview was recorded and can be played below. Enjoy!
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Vicki Morgan: Hi and welcome to the conversation! I’m Victoria Morgan interviewing for Christian Audio, and we’re thrilled to have celebrated author and blogger Becky Thompson here with us today via Skype. Her new audiobook, Love Unending: Rediscovering Your Marriage in the Midst of Motherhood, is really a first-aid kit for worn-out moms, hurting marriages, and lonely hearts. In Love Unending, Becky invites you to remember what life was like when you first fell in love with your husband. Love Unending is designed to re-focus your attention, re-center your heart, reignite the romance, and help you rediscover your marriage in the midst of motherhood. So, if you feel like your marriage no longer receives the attention it needs to thrive, if you struggle to balance your roles of mother and wife, or if you can’t seem to muster up the energy for your husband when you’re tapped out with everything else, you’ll want to check out Love Unending. Becky’s community of grace-filled moms is growing into thousands of tight-knit women, who are learning to rekindle that unending love.
Becky Thompsonblogs under the pen name Scissortail SILK, which started as a fashion/lifestyle blog. When women began to come to her for encouragement of a deeper kind, she responded by recording her first audiobook, Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truth for the Momma’s Heart. She was hoping to set women’s hearts free with God’s truth. Now she has a global audience of millions.
Becky is a city girl, yet finds herself recently transplanted to Oklahoma, where she lives with her husband, Jared, and their three children Kolton, Kadence and Jaxton. She also includes in her family the critters that wander onto their property from the wheat field out back. And I’m sure she’d include you if you asked. That may be why you wandered here today, to meet Becky.
So without further ado, Becky, we want to welcome you to christianaudio.com! Thank you for taking time to be with us today!
Becky Thompson: Vicki, I’m so excited about our time together. Thank you so much for having me.
Vicki Morgan: So, Becky, the feelings we experience in the first days of love and marriage are now buried beneath hurried life, active children, bills and laundry and whatever else we’ve got going. We have no idea where the romance went, and when, if ever, it will come back. And yet you advise us in your audiobook that sometimes in order for us to move forward, it’s best to go back to the beginning. What does that mean exactly?
Becky Thompson: Well, you know, in the very beginning there were attitudes and behaviors that just came naturally. You know, no one had to say I need you to pay a little attention to that guy you really like. No one had to say put the phone down and look at him. No one had to say I know that little kids have been touching you all day, but if you can hold your husband’s hands, you know, if you can hold this man’s hand, it will be very important for your relationship. These attitudes just came very naturally in the beginning, looking at each other, talking to one another. Investing time in your relationship wasn’t a chore. It was just easy. And so if we look back at some of the things that we did in the beginning, we can be reminded of not only the attitudes of our heart, but the behaviors. And as we relive those things, we can remember what it really means to feel like you’re in love.
Vicki Morgan: That sounds wonderful. And I know that it’s not going to come easy. Love Unending is a 21-day journey that presents us with a challenge to refocus parents’ hearts so that they can recapture that feeling you’re talking about, that newness of being enraptured by one another again. Would you briefly describe for us that 21-day transformation that we can hope to experience?
Becky Thompson: You know, I think if we are being completely honest, most of us are hoping to see a change in our husbands. It might just be me, [laughter] but I think if I had to look around, I would think, “Oh, I want my husband to notice more. I want him to engage more.” I want to see a transformation in my husband. It’s easy to look around and see what other people need to do. It’s easy to look and see what our spouse needs to do to change. But this book really focuses on our own actions. We can’t change our husbands. We can’t even begin to change them. Don’t try. If you want to change them, the first thing you have to do is not try to change them. But what we can do is we can look at the actions that we’re putting out. You know, we can look at what we are doing and we can course correct if we need to. We can put in the effort.
And so, if we take this 21-day challenge, what we’re doing is we’re softening the ground of the relationship. We are intentionally loving. You know, I always say somebody has to love first. Somebody has to put out the effort that somebody else can respond to. In marriage, especially with children we get in this habit of “it’s your turn” or “it’s my turn or “who’s going to change the diaper,” “who’s going to take the kids,” “whose job is it to do this now?” But in Love Unending, and in this 21-day journey, what we’re doing is we’re looking at what we did in the beginning so that we can be the ones that love first. We can remember what we did and we can do those behaviors. But as our hearts change, and as we look at maybe the areas that we have changed since the beginning, I think what we can experience is that our husbands are going to respond to us differently. Our husbands are going to notice that we are loving intentionally … we are loving first. And as we love first, they are able to respond more freely. So it’s not just a change in our own perspective that we can experience and expect; I think that we can expect a change in the entire dynamic of the relationship.
Vicki Morgan: And I guess that would include the dynamic of the household as well. It doesn’t sound easy, us taking that first step. ‘Cuz I know if you’re anything like me you’re like, “Well, I always take the first step.”
Becky Thompson: Right.
Vicki Morgan: But I guess the first step would be our willingness to carve out time to invest in our marriage. It reminds me of when we’re on an airplane, the flight attendant tells us to put on our own oxygen masks before attending to our children. If we adults are suffocating, we can’t really effectively help our children, and we can’t effectively help our marriage, can we?
Becky Thompson: That’s exactly right. In our family, our schedules might be different, our lives might look completely different than our neighbors or our friends, but what we can all really give our children that’s the same, is a marriage that is intentional. We can show our children what intentional marriage looks like and we can let them grow up in a home where they see their mom and their dad making an effort to connect. You know, it’s so easy to revert to the temperature around us. If it’s a warm day and, you know, you’re in the car, it’s easy, if you don’t have the air-conditioner on, for it to get warm inside the car. But you have to purposely set the climate. You know, a good friend of mine recently said “You have to purposely set the climate.” And I think in Love Unending, as we make these steps and as we love first, even if we think that they should be the ones to love first, what we’re doing is we’re setting the climate in our home and in our marriage, and that is something that our children can then respond to. They can respond to the love that they feel coming from the parents.
Vicki Morgan: And you carry that point one step further in Love Unending because that climate that you speak of is not always perfect in your house, you’ve been there. You’re still there. You’re very honest about yourself online and I love that. Sometimes you snap at your kids. You do rush from soccer game to wherever else.
You throw on their clothes and you pray that they smell clean. And yes, I agree with you when you said that your living room is probably as messy as mine! So, to maintain that climate, at least spiritually and emotionally, is just wonderful, but it’s not always perfect, is it?
Becky Thompson: It’s not always perfect. And I think as we are honest with what our lives really look like when we’re sharing with others, my reader has a chance to connect. The majority of us don’t have it all together. We are looking for ways improve our lives. We are looking for someone to either say, “I’ve been there too” so we don’t feel so alone, or someone that can come alongside us and say, Now let’s fix this together.” But what I would like to think is that, in my writing, in my first book, Hope Unfolding and now in Love Unending, that I give my reader a chance to say, “Me too” and “Let’s figure it out.”
It’s a flashlight to shine around our lives and then a hand to walk through the next steps together.
The second we believe that we have it all figured out is the second we become irrelevant, because we are all works in progress. We are all constantly being transformed through the love and the power of Christ, and as we let Him work out salvation in and through us and in all aspects of our lives, as we give Him access to all aspects of our homes and our lives, they’re transformed. And so I am honest with my transformation. I am honest in saying that I’m still living out love unending. I am still figuring out what it means to fully love my husband like I did in the beginning. And I am still living out and figuring out what it means to actively try to maintain that climate in my home — of a Christ-filled home, of a love-filled home, and a love-filled marriage.
And so, yes, we get into this place where we think we have to have it all together, but we just don’t. And I think that’s a really important thing for all of us to admit, that just because we want to improve does not mean that we are in danger.
Vicki Morgan: And I love the fact that you are so genuine about these things. You answer for us some of the difficult questions. It sounds like you’re coming from a place of wisdom. I respect that so much. But let’s talk about the first thing that we need to do, and that’s to actually slow down.
Becky Thompson: Right.
Vicki Morgan: The whole house, not just the parents, but the kids. Nowhere in the Bible does it say to cater to our children’s whims and fancies. What it does say is to train up a child in the way he or she should go. So, when we overcommit and when we overschedule our lives and our children’s lives, are we training our children in the wrong direction?
Becky Thompson: You know, I honestly think that’s a tough question, because we do, absolutely, need to create a space for love to flow freely and unrushed. And I think that needs to be true in marriage and in our parenting, and in our interactions with our children. I think a lot of us are overscheduled, but what I think we need to all kind of acknowledge is that life looks different in every home. Some homes, parents are struggling to financially make it, husbands are having to work extra jobs, wives are having to send their kids to daycare and pick up extra shifts on the weekends. You know, everybody is just doing the very best that they can, and I think we have to acknowledge that. You know … a home might look different than the ideal — everyone sits down together and has a nice meal, and we all have these community times as a family, you know, where we come together. And while that would be ideal, it’s not necessarily possible.
The woman who feels like a single mom, you know, the married woman who feels like a single mom because her husband is gone all the time, I’m sure she longs for those moments where she can gather her family together. And so the places where can un-rush should be unrushed. But as we give ourselves the grace for the life that we are currently living, and we say, “Well, what can I provide my children?” There’s no way financially where we can change jobs and all sit down or have these moments where we’re all gathered together — what can I give my children? Then, the one thing that I think we all can give our children is the intentional love directed toward them and then most importantly, the intentional love that we give to our spouse. Because as they see the security of that relationship despite all of the hustle and bustle and all of the coming and going, and all of the craziness of life that sometimes just can’t stop, they can let that love and the representation of God’s love through that relationship with each other be the anchor that kind of secures the peace in the home.
Vicki Morgan: And the anchor really is the relationship of the parents, but as parents, even during our alone time, when it’s just mommy and daddy time, we wind up talking about the kids, don’t we? We never seem to get that intimate thing going on.
Becky Thompson: Right. It’s so true. Children change the entire dynamic of the home. You know, I’m not a husband and I’m not a man, so I can’t speak for them, but I know as a mom that my heart is always thinking about them. I’m always wondering are their needs taken care of. And as I think about myself, like you said, you know, we’re just always reverting to thinking about them, but even as I consider myself and sort of turn my attention away from them for a second, I’m thinking, in my self-reflection I’m wondering, well, am I a good mom? I’m not even thinking about myself as a person, as a woman. I’m wondering about my mothering. But this is true and echoes through into marriage as well. You know, we get alone and we don’t even have a chance because we’re so rushed, and so when we do find a few moments in are coming and going we connect, a lot of the time, we’re just talking about the kids.
And so Love Unending is designed to reconnect our hearts, as husband and wife through intentional actions. And not just intentional actions that might have been presented in other places and other books or in other writing — intentional actions that reflect what is changed in the heart of a mom and a dad, in the parent’s marriage. And I think that’s what kind of sets Love Unending apart a little bit. It’s reencountering your husband’s heart, reengaging his heart with the attitude that you are a mom and that engaging his heart and encountering him in that way that you did in the beginning just is going to look different. So, what do we do? How do we live with that? What comes next?
Vicki Morgan: Well, that’s actually a good lead into my next question. A couple of your reviewers (who are also busy moms, by the way) describe their husbands as being quietly there in the room like some forgotten entity in the household.
Becky Thompson: Right.
Vicki Morgan: And it’s true, we need to remember our husbands, their desires, their needs. It seems like they’re suffocating in the mundane over there. But so are we. I mean, as moms, we have needs as women. We need intimacy. We need mental connection with somebody other than a two-year-old or other than a teenager.
Becky Thompson: Right.
Vicki Morgan: This is a two-way street, isn’t it?
Becky Thompson: Right. It really is a two-way street. And so we are so desperate for that connection. Like you said, we are so desperate for them to reach out. But often in the very beginning of parenthood, whether you adopt and you have a six-year-old that comes into your family and that’s how you enter parenthood, or you give birth to a newborn, there is this time in the beginning when we are just figuring out our own roles as mom and dad. And we don’t get to connect like we did when it was just the two of us. It just changes. No matter how hard we hold onto who we are and try to set aside date night, we are figuring out our own identity, that often this cycle begins. I can’t say who begins the cycle in each relationship, but the cycle goes a little bit like this. One person spends a little more time focused on the child and then the other spouse tries to engage either with the child in the parenting or with the other spouse. And as that attempt for connection is either received or rejected in a way, they sort of pull back. They say, “Well, I’m trying to reach out here, but you’re so focused on this child that I’m having a hard time connecting with you.” And so, then they pull back and they might not make the same effort. And then they might slip and the other spouse might try to make an intentional effort, but the other one’s so preoccupied with the child or with the parenting, or with just the new aspects of life that they can’t connect the way they did. And so they pull back a little bit.
And so we almost get in this stagnate stalemate of “I’m tired” or “I’m overextended” or “I don’t know how to connect with you because it’s been so long since we have connected.” There is just this lack of connection. And where do we start? What do we do? How do we break this cycle of who is going to love first? And that is where the story of Love Unending comes in. That is where somebody breaking the cycle and saying “I want you to reach out to me.” You know, whatever that looks like, whether it’s helping with the baby, or just being the one that takes care of the home work, or whatever it is … we are desperate for our husbands to reach out and help, reach out and connect, reach out and see us. See our hearts, really see us as women, see the bride that they fell in love with. But we can’t require them to do that if we’re not in the place where we are reaching out and we are loving and seeing them as the man that we first fell in love with. And so that’s where the story of Love Unending comes in and that’s where loving first matters so much.
Vicki Morgan: That brings me to another point, the most loving man in the world, your dad. I think this is my favorite part of your book, Love Unending, was revealing your dad’s secret. And who would not fall in love with your dad after listening to this?
Becky Thompson: [laughter] I know, he’s just wonderful.
Vicki Morgan: You were actually going through exactly what you said … you were expecting a baby, you were a busy mom, you were struggling to keep your own marriage fresh. And yet people were constantly seeking your advice on your blog and you were just overwhelmed. Now, here’s your dad, married for forty years, the most patient man ever and he had a secret to share that helped you guys out.
Becky Thompson: This is the best part of the book. This is the secret of Love Unending. So, like you said, I was completely overextended, I’m overwhelmed in my own life, I’m balancing it all, I’m wondering how I’m going to connect with my husband now that we’re having a third baby. Meanwhile, women are messaging me through my blog saying, “What do we do, Becky? How do we remember how to be wives when we’re so busy being moms?” And I’m thinking “I don’t know. Let me know when you find out.” But I’m having this late-night conversation with my dad, and my mom is putting my kids to bed. It’s just my dad and I in the room and I’m so overwhelmed and I lean in and I say, “Dad, what do I do? What do I tell these women that are asking for advice? What do I even do in my own marriage?” My dad looks over his shoulder and makes sure my mom isn’t listening, and then he says, “Just tell everyone to do what I do.” And I thought, Dad, what kind of secret have you been keeping for forty years that you couldn’t have told me ten years ago when I first got married? You know, what is this secret that has made your marriage so wonderful and grace-filled and loving? Because like you said, he is the most patient man I know. I haven’t ever heard him raise his voice to my mom. I haven’t ever seen or witnessed him be purposefully hurtful or not attentive. He’s very attentive. And so I said, “Dad, what do I do? You know, how do I tell these women how to love their husbands?” And he says, “Every day I wake up, I tell myself that it’s the first day that I married your mom.” And I thought, what would that even look like? What would the first day of marriage really even look like?
I think Jared and I might have fought on our way home from our wedding about where we were going to stop to eat because we hadn’t had a chance to eat at our reception. And so there are some of us that come into marriage and we already have issues, we already have things we need to work through. But the truth of my dad’s words are:
What would it look like if there wasn’t a yesterday for which you needed to forgive your husband? What if there was a yesterday that didn’t have a list of things that you were holding against him? What if all you had was the day right in front of you and it was the first day every day, how would you speak, how would you engage, how would you listen, how would you care, how would you touch? What kind of conversations would you be having? Would you be snippy?
And so I looked at my own life and I thought, I don’t even know what that would look like, but I set out on a journey. And I made a list. And then I looked at all of the things that have changed since becoming a mom and since that first day of marriage … how I talk to my husband, how I greet my husband, how I speak to my husband. And I just made a list and then I decided — on this day I will do what I did in the beginning in this way … I will take this one challenge. And I made a 21-day list of all of the things that were different, and then I lived them out in my home.
And you know what happened? Everything changed. Not just my own perspective of how much I had deviated from the past in the beginning when I was eager to love and I was willing to love, and I had all the time in the world to love. But I noticed that my own heart changed. And as my heart changed, and as my interactions with my husband were sweet and kind and intentional, he changed too. And I’m not saying that in hopes that someone will jump on and say, “I need this now.” I’m saying that because it’s what really happened. In my home, my husband’s heart toward me changed because he had the soft ground that I had been intentionally tilling to plant his love into. And then things begin to grow. And it was good, and it was on purpose. And that’s the secret of Love Unending. The secret of Love Unending is to remember what you did in the beginning and continually live out that climate of love.
Vicki Morgan: Becky, we long for that kind of love. We long for that kind of connection with our spouses. We want to be the wives and mothers that God wants us to be. It’s not that we want to “fall in love again,” quote-unquote, but we do want to feel those feelings.
Becky Thompson: Right.
Vicki Morgan: Our homes, they suffer without love. And in Love Unending you make the distinction between “falling in love” and “walking in love.”And I think you kind of described it here, but would you explain a little bit more about that?
Becky Thompson: When we first fell in love, there were certain behaviors and attitudes that we had. It was just easy. Love was free. There weren’t expectations on who needed to do what. It was just freely given without expectation of return and without being some sort of … you owe me this. It was just so free without any expectations that followed it. And so when we walk in love, we have to be intentional. Falling happens naturally. The natural reaction of the world is to just fall. You drop something, it falls. It just happens. But when we get to the place where the cycle of falling stops and we reach the ground, almost, well, what does that look like to really walk out a love that came easy like falling? And we have to remember, like I said, what we did in the beginning and then make those purposeful steps forward. And, you know, who would think that looking back would be a safe way forward? But in this case, it’s just like the answer we didn’t even know we needed.
Vicki Morgan: Absolutely. And Love Unending … I have poured through it and I’ve got to tell you, it really does make it a simple and effective way for us to patch things up in our marriage, and in our own hearts. And I’m sure our listeners are excited to join in. We would love to join your community. Where would we go to enjoy your blog, your videos, and your encouragement just to have that connection with women who are learning how to navigate and enjoy their family life again?
Becky Thompson: Well, you can find me at beckythompson.com. That’s pretty simple, beckythompson.com. And then, actually, my largest online community is on Facebook. There are almost a hundred thousand of us over on Facebook. And my original blog was called Scissortail SILK. There is a long story behind that, that I’m sure we don’t have time for it today. But if you go to my blog, beckythompson.com, there is a button that you can click and it will take you directly to the Facebook community, and we would love to have you join us there.
Vicki Morgan: I just want to thank you for being so genuine. You are a cup of cool water, healing water for millions of us and we’re proud to be the audiobook publishers of Love Unending and also Hope Unfolding. So, God bless you and your family. Thank you so much, Becky, for being here today.
Becky Thompson: It’s been an honor. Thank you so much for allowing me to share my heart. Thank you.
Vicki Morgan: And you can get your copy of Becky Thompson’s new audiobook Love Unending: Rediscovering Your Marriage in the Midst of Motherhood at christianaudio.com. If you would like a free audiobook each month, just join our mailing list. I’m Victoria Morgan. Thanks for listening!
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