(The following is an abbreviated transcription from a video Linda and I recorded with Dr. Josh Straub. Please excuse any typos or errors.)
Dr. Josh Straub and his wife Christi are speakers, authors, and marriage and leadership experts.
They host the Famous at Home podcast, have written many children’s books on emotional intelligence, and have released their new book Famous at home: 7 Decisions to Put Your Family Center Stage in a World Competing for Your Time, Attention, and Identity.
We are excited to have Dr. Josh Straub with us to discuss getting on the same page as your spouse. Because, we all know being on the same page as your spouse financially is so important!
Now before we get into all the details, I recorded our discussion that you can listen to on our Podcast below. But, if you would rather read the full transcription, you can do so here in this article!
Josh Straub & Famous At Home
Bob: Hey everybody. We are talking today with Dr. Josh Straub, who actually is a friend from church. We have a lot of awesome people at our church and he’s one of them. He and his wife, Christi are marriage and leadership experts and they host the Famous At Home podcast.
Their book, Famous at Home, is one of their newest releases that I’ve been going through. And, I’m really excited about it.
Bob: There’s a lot of really cool stuff in there that we’re going to unpack. And so yeah, that’s a little bit of an introduction. But I’m excited to dive in because there’s a lot of good stuff here. So Josh, thank you for taking a little time to come and chat today.
Dr. Josh: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.
Bob: Yeah, man.
Getting on the same page as your spouse
Bob: So I want to start here. I want to talk a little bit about, you know, you guys spent all this time talking to people about their marriage and their family. And, how to do this right. How to do it well. How to reach the finish line and feel like, all right, I did a good job. And so in the context of that, we’re often talking to people who are struggling to get on the same page of spouse financially. This is something that comes up a lot. I’m sure you’re not surprised by this.
Dr. Josh: Yep.
Bob: And so I just want to explore some of these different things of how we can get on the same page as our spouse. How we can improve our relationship with our spouse. And then we can talk a little bit about kids and kind of pulling all those pieces together. But coming out of your book, there’s just a lot of really great things I found in here that I’m excited to chat about. If for no other reason than for me, there’s some good stuff in here that I want to discuss further.
The atmosphere of your home
Bob: I want to talk a little bit about the atmosphere of our homes. Because I know, you know, we talked to a lot of people about money. And we’ve had different seasons of our life where the atmosphere of our home was not good. And so for someone listening, who the atmosphere of their home (in their marriage particularly) is just not good. It’s very unhealthy. It might even be toxic. It isn’t where it should be. What do you suggest? Where do we start in a situation like that?
Dr. Josh: Great question. And yeah, I’m pulling up the assessment here, because we have a, we have an assessment in the book where, and, and as you talk about it you know, it’s fascinating. There’s sometimes where the atmosphere of the home, it’s like, I’m trying to do everything I can to change the atmosphere of the home. But, my spouse is not on board at all.
Types of atmospheres found in homes
Dr. Josh: But then there’s times where it’s like, well, I experienced the atmosphere of the home a certain way. And when we talk about atmosphere. Is the atmosphere of complaining or gratitude. And where are you at on that scale? Because a lot of times, especially with young kids, it’s like we get into grumbling and complaining. And the atmosphere of your home changes dramatically when you have young kids complaining all the time, rather than having gratitude. Right? It’s like, where are we at on that scale?
Dr. Josh: An atmosphere of resentment or kindness. An atmosphere of fear or peace, despair or hope, anger or patience, melancholy or joy, indifference or love. And, on and on it goes. There’s all different types of an atmosphere. And the reason we talk about that is because you can sense the atmosphere in a home. And, I think one of the ways to think about this is you can sense an atmosphere when you go visit somebody’s house for dinner, right?
Dr. Josh: Maybe at dinner party or something, and you leave and you get into the car and as soon as the cardoor’s closed you got this sense of… whew. You know? You felt that atmosphere. Or, you get into your car and you go “man, they have a very peaceful home.” You sense it, you feel it.
Atmospheres in marriage
Dr. Josh: And our marriages have that same atmosphere. There’s an atmosphere that ebbs and flows. And we have to pay attention to it. We have to name what it is that we’re experiencing in the atmosphere of our relationship. Obviously this gets into the money conversation here in a little bit. Because it really starts with that. What is the atmosphere?
Spirit of resentment
Dr. Josh: If I have a lot of resentment towards Christi, there’s a spirit of resentment there. And you know what, this ebbs and flows. We are not perfect. There’s times I’ll actually say to her, “are you resenting me about something right now?” Or, she’ll say the same thing to me. It’s like, you can feel it. But unless you call out into the light, it can linger there. And then we don’t really talk about it because it’s just more comfortable to stay stuck maybe than to bring it up.
Let’s talk about it
Dr. Josh: And, we’re just huge fans of saying, “bring it out into the light. Let’s talk about it.” And so if you have a spouse, who’s on board with this… sometimes Christi will say, “Hey, can we do this exercise?” Where she’s really gungho about it. And I’m brand new to it. And I’m like, “ah, I don’t know what this is. What are you telling me I need to fix right now.” Right?
Dr. Josh: Let’s do this assessment. But let’s sit down without trying to blame your spouse. Let’s just look at this assessment and let’s do it together. Let’s see where we’re at. I want to see where you’re coming from. How do you experience the atmosphere of our home?
And so to sit down and do an assessment like that, just sit down with one another and just do it. Then come together and talk about it. Because so often your spouse might be feeling something that you’re feeling, but you just couldn’t put words into. And so if you do have a spouse on board with that, come together and talk. If you don’t, if your spouse isn’t on board with that, we can change the atmosphere of our home just by how we show up. And, by identifying the ways that we can show up as the best version of ourselves.
It’s like dancing to music
Dr. Josh: And that kind of gets into a different discussion. But it’s like when you’re dancing to music, if you stop dancing the other person can either keep dancing and be out there on the dance floor alone. Or the other person’s going to have to stop too. And so you change. The other person has to make a decision when there’s an ebb and flow in the house. The other person has to make a decision if someone else changes that ebb and flow.
Dr. Josh: And that happens by us changing how we show up.
Dr. Josh: As the best version of us for our spouse and our kids.
Linda: That’s really good.
The 15 minute exercise
Bob: So, okay. I feel like that leads into one of the exercises that you talked about in here that I’m like, oh, that’s really good. Was this thing of, let’s talk about this 15 minute exercise. What is this? How are you guys doing it?
Past trauma and our view of money
Dr. Josh: Yeah. This is fantastic because this really leads to that question around money. It really leads to the question of how do you view money? Because so often what ends up happening is our relationship with money can stem back to trauma in our lives.
Dr. Josh: How we grew up and that type of thing. But we don’t even recognize that. We haven’t even paid attention to it. But what this 15 minutes a day is really all about.
A number of years ago, Christi, we were in, so we have a 10 year old. We have an eight year old and we have a two year old. And there’s an age gap there for a reason. Because the first two were really difficult infants. They had colic, acid reflux, Christi had postpartum depression. She was dealing with a back injury. There was all kinds of things going on in that season.
Dr. Josh: Where we really had posttraumatic stress coming out of it. And during that time, I remember coming home one day and I was out working at a coffee shop. And Christi the way she describes it is I came home wafting in the smell of this, you know beautiful latte.
Do you know what’s going on in your spouse’s heart?
Dr. Josh: And she described herself in her mom uniform with the sweatpants that she wore to bed the night before. Hair in a ponytail and no makeup. She had banana sweet potato puree speckled all over her sweatshirt. She was just a hot mess. And, I came in talking all about my day and she’s just ends up in tears. She looks at me and she said, “Josh, why don’t you ever ask me about what’s going on in my heart?”
And it was one of those moments that just completely shocked me because I didn’t know that there was anything wrong in her heart, first of all. But, if she were sitting here she’d say in defense, she didn’t even know what was going on in her heart. But the Bible says to guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life.
We have one marital heart
Dr. Josh: When we get married, we become one flesh. I believe we have one marital heart that we need to guard. We need to guard that marital heart.
Dr. Josh: And the way to guard that heart is to get into the emotion, the feelings of your spouse. And so often what we end up doing is we end up just going throughout our day. We talk about the business of the day. Who’s watching the kids. Or, we got to get kids from this activity to that activity. And school, back and forth and everything. Or we talk about our business and all these sort of things. But we never really get into the heart.
Talk about your emotions
Dr. Josh: And 15 minutes a day is the way that we coach couples to be able to begin to talk about their emotions. And be able to get into the heart of one another. And sometimes you might have to start by going what is my relationship with talking about emotions? What did my parents teach me about talking about emotions? What have I learned culturally about talking about my emotions? Because so often many of us didn’t grow up learning how to do this.
One of the ways that I encourage couples to do this is to print out a feelings chart. Hang it on your refrigerator. We have one in the book there that you can take a look at and use It really helps you identify what it is that you’re feeling. And so we started doing this where we sit down and instead of talking about our high or low of the day, we talk about one positive emotion and one uncomfortable emotion that you had that day.
Keep it neutral
Dr. Josh: And by the way, don’t start with each other about the relationship. Because what ends up happening is then we start blaming, right? Like, I felt rejected by you today because you were being a jerk to me. Right?
Linda: Oh my gosh.
Dr. Josh: Let’s not talk about emotions considering the relationship, unless it’s a positive one. Like I felt really loved by you today. Right?
Dr. Josh: Let’s just keep it neutral. Because what it does is it invites our spouse into other events that we had throughout that day. And it gives us insight into how we’re feeling about those events surrounding that day. We often just end our day and we go to Netflix or our phones or our screens, or we put the kids to bed and then we numb out. This gives us an opportunity. By the way, I’m helping you have free therapy with one another. This is what you do in therapy.
Identifying your emotion
Dr. Josh: You’ll identify your emotion. So one positive. I felt excited, content, joyful, glad about ____. And then the event of that day.
And then one uncomfortable emotion. Maybe I felt rejected. I felt embarrassed. I felt sad, angry, you know? What was one uncomfortable emotion I had today?
I tell couples, it’s going to be awkward at first. It’s going to feel clunky. But you don’t have to sit down and just look each other in the eyes and say, “how are you feeling, honey?” We do this while we unload the dishwasher. And it doesn’t have to be 15 minutes. Sometimes it’s two minutes. Sometimes it’s five minutes.
But what ends up happening is, you enter into your spouse’s heart over time. And it gets more and more comfortable doing so. And what you can do then is you have insight into your spouse’s heart. So that by the time I come home from that coffee shop and she’s crying and she’s in tears… had I been doing that leading up to there, I’d already have insight into what’s already going on. And I’m not starting from scratch.
Bob: Yeah. Staring from scratch, that’s probably at a point too. Where it might be harder for her to communicate because she’s overwhelmed.
Dr. Josh: Yeah.
Naming our feelings and emotions
Linda: I love that because somebody gave me a list of emotions one time. And it was so helpful to me because I don’t think in those terms. I’m not trying to figure out the exact emotion. I know I just have feelings, right?
Dr. Josh: Yep.
Linda: And so I think helping to name it is so important. And especially, I mean not exclusively, but around the area of finances. There’s so many emotions that come into play. And I think when you come together as two separate people with different upbringings and everything, you bring your own emotions. And different things trigger different emotions, you know?
So many emotions around money
Dr. Josh: Well, and it’s true to your point. There are so many emotions that I have around money. Money’s probably the one area of my life that I have the most uncomfortable emotion around, a lot of times.
Dr. Josh: And I don’t often know where that comes from, unless I talk about it. I feel timid about spending money here because… you know? We don’t use that phrase. We don’t say that. But I feel like if we start to use emotion language, our emotional vocabulary, around certain ways that we talk about money.
We literally had a conversation about our finances right before I jumped on this call to have this conversation. You know, we’re talking about it, we’re looking at it. And I end my conversation by going… in the past, I can look at certain things and projections and go, “oh my goodness I feel scared. I feel fearful.”
Dr. Josh: I ended that by saying, “you know, what I feel encouraged and I trust God in this. I have faith that he is going to provide for us. Because he has over and over and over again.”
Our emotional journey is also a spiritual journey
Dr. Josh: My language around that has not always been like that. It has taken me a while to get there. That’s a spiritual journey. That’s an emotional journey.
But it has been plenty of arguments between the two of us where Christi’s the one carrying the faith and I’m afraid. And then it flips to the other side where now, you know, maybe I’m the one carrying the faith when she’s afraid. And I think God tends to work that out in that regard.
Just start, despite your generational lineage
Bob: I don’t know what your upbringing was like. But, my upbringing was not one, like my family was not a “all right, everybody sit around and name your feelings. And tell me how you felt today.” That was very not my world.
And so for people who have that kind of background with their parents, not identifying that. In which again, I don’t know your story. Like how it was for you. But just start doing this, getting the rhythm. And I mean, this is the point of the 15 minute exercise, right?
Dr. Josh: Yeah. Just start. I didn’t have this growing up. My parents divorced when I was 10. My dad divorced again when I was 19. I had great parents. My parents were amazing. They were physically in the stands for me. I can count on one hand, the number wrestling matches my dad missed. I mean, he was at every baseball game.
But emotionally, in big moments (and I talk about this in the book), my dad didn’t know how to show up. Because his dad didn’t show up for him. There’s a generational lineage there that you pay attention to.
What I talk about is that we want to honor our parents by honoring what they gave to us. But then, not be in denial about where they didn’t give to us. Because they’re just as fallen humans as anybody.
Dr. Josh: And go, “okay, now how can I take what they’ve given me and level that up for my family? And for my generation?”
Dr. Josh: And so that’s what we really try to do.
Everyone can talk about their emotions
Dr. Josh: I speak for military, I speak for joint special operations command. These guys are trained to capture and kill. And I go in and I have to talk to ’em about emotions. It’s one of those things where it’s like, they don’t talk about emotions because it’s not what they’re trained to do.
Dr. Josh: But they love it because the very thing that they’re trained to turn off to survive on the battlefield, is the thing they have to turn back on to survive when they get back home. And so they eat it up, they love it.
I put them in exercises when I’m working with them. We get in the room and I have them practice this and I have them talk about their emotions. And it feels clunky. Then we talk about emotions again. And so we just talk about it, we bring the wall down with one another. Like what feels awkward? Why does it feel awkward? And you can do that.
Talk about emotions with your kids
Dr. Josh: Do this with your kids, too. If you have kids in your home, it’s a great way to begin with them. Because you already probably do high and low for the day. Or favorite part of your day, right?
Dr. Josh: At the dinner table, instead of doing that with your kids, simply everyone go around and give one positive emotion from the day. You can give your high for the day, and then say “what did you feel in that high today?” Well… “I felt, you know, excited. I felt joyful. I felt silly.” And then do one not so fun feeling of the day.
Count it all as joy, even the uncomfortable
Dr. Josh: I use uncomfortable. I use not so fun feelings. Some people use negative. I don’t see feelings as negative. I think every feeling leads us to intimacy in some way, if we identify what it is. Even the Bible says to rejoice in suffering, you know?
Dr. Josh: Count it all joy. I think there’s a lot of joy in it. And so it’s like, why is that? What, what is God trying to teach you in the middle of your emotion? And so I think uncomfortable feelings are actually God teaching us something about ourselves and the world around us. So that we can be more intimate with him, and then those things we love.
The vast variety of feelings
Bob: So, practically, you have this feelings chart on page 147 of the book.
Dr. Josh: Yeah, 147.
Bob: So what this could look like practically, for us, we do highs and lows. But I like this better. This is all starting to make a whole lot of sense to me. And so for us at dinner tonight, take the book, rip out the sheet. Because as I’m reading through this big long list. There’s a lot of feelings here that I’m like, oh wow. There’s just a lot of words, a lot of options.
Bob: Of feelings.
Dr. Josh: Yeah. And this is only a small number of options.
Dr. Josh: I mean, it goes to show how many are actually out there.
Bob: Yeah. So, this would be a good way to start this though. To take this sheet, sit around the table. And my eight year old son can probably read most of them. But for me, like, okay, what are some other ways I can express?
Bob: Yeah. Or happy.
Bob: You know? Like independent, loving, optimistic, relaxed, secure, sincere, zealous. There’s so many different things on here. I just, I really like that. And so, is that a good starting point?
What am I feeling?
Dr. Josh: Oh, it’s a great starting point. Absolutely. And we also have a children’s book for kids called What am I feeling? And in the back, there’s a pull out feelings poster the kids could see.
Bob: We got that on our wall already.
Dr. Josh: It’s a great one for kids where they’re not overwhelmed by so many words. They can just kind of point to one of the core motions. I think what’s fascinating about this, even going back to money, is you mentioned the word secure. I think so often we are feeling insecure.
The emotion behind our feeling
Dr. Josh: And we can’t identify that we can’t label that. It’s like, oh, I actually I’m angry. I’m angry and I’m taking it out on my wife about the finances. Because, usually there’s an emotion behind the anger, right? And so we get arguing about money, or we get arguing about anything. And all of a sudden we’re arguing, we’re arguing, arguing. And it’s like, wait a minute. And we use this approach.
The two chair approach
Dr. Josh: It’s two chair approach. It comes out of Gestalt therapy. And the front chair is the anger. That’s what’s driving the bus. It’s like, I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m angry at you for the way you spend money. I’m angry at you for the way you don’t spend money. And that’s on the front seat of the bus.
On the chair behind… so, if you take two chairs and you put them one in front of the other. You can physically do this. There’s times where Christi and I have physically done this. Where I might be angry about something and I’ll put a chair there because we just can’t get through it.
You physically get up, you come around and you sit in the back chair. And you go “now tell me what’s really going on.” Often that physical getting up and actually going to a chair behind the anger. And I do this in role plays and exercises in places. You see people start to weep. And it’s like, oh, you’re actually asking me about what’s really happening.
Dr. Josh: And a lot of times what’s really happening when it relates to money, is it’s insecurity about the future. It’s, I don’t want to spend money because we grew up poor. Because I watched the way my parents spent money.
Identifying the narrative
Dr. Josh: And whatever that narrative is, we have to get back into that narrative. And what’s really going on underneath the anger, is usually where the narrative is.
Dr. Josh: And we just need to be able to identify that. And a lot of these feeling words actually help you be able to identify it.
Bob: I think that’s so powerful. We actually just got off a podcast an hour ago. And we were talking about one of the exercises we lay out in our book. It’s an exercise that Tim Ferris talked about, actually called fear setting. Which is essentially identifying your worst case scenario.
So in my case, one example I used was when I had gotten laid off. I was considering becoming a full-time blogger in 2008. And evaluating that decision through the lens of: what are the things I’m nervous about? What are the worst case scenarios that come out of this?
What is so powerful about this exercise is that when you shine a light on the fears, the worst case scenario they’re actually afraid of, it’s so much less scary. Because when it’s hidden in the shadows, it’s so much bigger and more ominous.
Bringing your fears to light
Bob: Anyway, so I’m seeing everything you’re talking about in terms of the importance of identifying these feelings the same way. Where, and you can correct me if you think I’m wrong or crazy, but to me it seems like they’re bigger and they’re scarier when you can’t really identify them. Do you feel that’s to be true?
Dr. Josh: One hundred percent. And if you’re an Enneagram person, I tend to be an Enneagram six. And so I identify with this.
Bob: I’m an Enneagram three.
Dr. Josh: Nice, there you go. Yeah. I identify with this. I have that worst case scenario mentality.
Dr. Josh: I think about that all the time, but I have to identify it. I have to be able to pull it out and go, “oh my goodness. The worst case scenario is, I get no more speaking events, you know? We can’t sell any more products. Or, we have to shut the business down and I have to go work at Lowe’s.”
Whatever that looks like, you start to lay it out. And you go, “oh, okay. Well, it’s not like I’m going to lose my house. “
Bob: I’m probably not going to starve to death, you know?
Dr. Josh: Yeah. I’m not going to starve to death. Like we have great friends. We have great people who will come around and support us. If the shoe were to drop, I actually have a really good life. And, it actually can lead to more gratitude.
Feelings and emotions are different
Dr. Josh: But it’s like you said, so often what we do is we hide from it. Because of that fear. And we can get into an even deeper layer of this. That feelings chart that you talked about in our book, it’s actually called “The feelings that help us recognize our emotions.” So emotions and feelings are actually different.
Emotions are what drive us. The Latin word for emotion is actually means to move. Most researchers believe that we only have between five and seven core emotions. We identify six of them in the book: angry, fear, disgust, sadness, joyful and surprised. Those are the six we identify.
Identifying core emotion with feelings
Dr. Josh: And then all the other feelings are underneath that. They help you identify that core emotion. So the core emotion is what’s moving you. The core emotion, fear for example, like you’re talking about… that’s the fight, flight or freeze. It is moving me when I am thinking worst case scenario. It’s going to move me to do something, to react, to protect me. It’s our God-given way to survive a threat in our lives.
The scary part
Dr. Josh: But here’s the scary part. When we numb that out, we deny it. We repress it. Whatever it is that we do to pretend it’s not there. Like you’re talking about, we don’t identify worst case scenarios. We don’t label what we’re feeling because emotions live in the unconscious part of the brain. They live in the limbic system, because the body’s teaching you to just react and get angry and fight.
And that’s what we do with our spouse when we’re scared about whatever topic it is. If it’s money, or whatever it is. And so your feelings live in your conscious part of your brain. That’s why identifying them and labeling them actually helps you become aware of the emotion that’s driving your actions. And helps you then make healthy decisions where you’re making decisions based on your feelings, not from your feelings.
Dr. Josh: And you’re not reacting on your feelings and saying things you regret to your spouse and the whole nine yards. So what you’re saying absolutely is the case.
Clearing out what’s underneath
Linda: This really reminds me of in our book (Simple Money, Rich Life), we talk about the parallels between a forest fire, which looks pretty bad when you see pictures of it. You’re like, this looks really bad. But the average forest fire is what, 37 days or something?
Bob: Yeah, 37 or 47 days, something like that.
Linda: And then contrasting that to, there’s this small town in Centralia, Pennsylvania. And it has…
Dr. Josh: I’m from Pennsylvania. I know, yeah.
Linda: You are?
Dr. Josh: I live there. Yeah. I live in that area. Yep.
Linda: So do you know what we’re talking about?
Dr. Josh: A hundred percent. Yeah.
Linda: There’s a coal mine fire and it’s underground. And I mean, the town looks pretty much normal. It doesn’t really look that bad.
Bob: Yeah. The trees have leaves on them. You know, there’s a crack in the road and whatever. You’ve probably been down there, but.
Dr. Josh: Yep, yep.
Linda: But I mean, it’s like the silent killer, right? It’s killing people.
Bob: It’s been going on for 60 years and they expect to go on for another a hundred.
Linda: Yeah. And it’s just interesting how when there’s things that are brought out into the light… the things that are above the surface, they might look really bad initially, but they’re quickly cleared out.
Bob: Can be healed faster.
Dr. Josh: That is such a great analogy because I’ve been to Centralia a few times. We drive through it to get to an amusement park we go to. And I’m telling you, it’s very depressed. You just feel the oppression. And so the analogy, it’s so well. Because when we don’t bring it out, that’s what ends up happening in our bodies.
God can deal with what surfaces
Linda: And I think there’s so many parallels here. We talk about how if it’s out in the open, then God can do something with it.
Dr. Josh: Yeah.
Linda: You know? Whereas if you’re hiding it in your heart, like there’s no way to fix it.
Dr. Josh: And that’s where the enemy gets you. When it’s in the hidden place, right?
Dr. Josh: When you’re not bringing it out into the light, the enemy can take it and just twist it. And he’ll get you believe in continued lies about the very thing that you’re not taking captive.
Linda: Yeah. And it will last for generations.
Dr. Josh: Yes.
Linda: It’s interesting how it can get passed down.
Linda: When you don’t even realize it. You think it’s all inside and then nobody sees it. But, everyone feels it.
Dr. Josh: Everyone. And that goes back to atmosphere. It goes back to the very thing we were talking about in the beginning. You feel it, but nobody’s really talking about it.
Bob: Okay. So this is really good. I want to keep going. I have a couple other practical things I want to touch on.
Dr. Josh: Let’s do it.
Establishing a weekly rhythm
Bob: So I love this idea, and we’re going to start doing this. Another thing I saw in your book that I love that you do, is that you have a weekly rhythm or cadence, or however you describe this. But just where every day has essentially a name. You defined it to create a pattern almost energywise throughout the week. Can you talk a little bit about this?
Dr. Josh: Yeah. So we have done this because it has really helped our family. So this really comes out of and like where we started, it was our friends over at Family Teams with Jeff Bethke and others, Jeremy Pryor, they have had this rhythm which brings order out of chaos.
God created us to have rhythms
Dr. Josh: And going back to Genesis chapter one, God created us to have rhythms. And he created first of all, a seven day week. And that seven day week, there’s a gift that he’s given to us called Sabbath that we so often forget. It’s like we ignore the gift that God gave us. And so our seven day week starts with a Sabbath day. And we actually practice Shabbat on Friday nights.
Friday sundown thru Saturday sundown – Sabbath
So our family, we go back to the Jewish tradition of doing a Shabbat Friday night sundown to Saturday sundown. That is our Shabbat day, that’s our Sabbath day, Saturday. So we start there. Everything we’re doing is leading up to this period of rest that we’ll have on the weekend.
Sunday – ramp up day
Dr. Josh: The reason we have Saturday as our Sabbath is because Sunday is our ramp up day. So we call it our ramp up day. It’s where we start to ramp up for the week. You know, we go to church on Sunday morning. And if you’re serving in church and then you’re going to lunch afterwards and stuff. By the time you come home, you’re not really resting. It’s not really a restful day.
Dr. Josh: And so we rest on Saturday. And then Sunday is our ramp up day. We come home from church and we start looking at what our week ahead looks like. We’re doing laundry. Our kids help with the laundry. There’s different chores that we have throughout the house. Whether it’s, you know, vacuuming or those types of things. And we’re cleaning up, just getting a house really looking nice for the week ahead.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – Work days
Dr. Josh: And then Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (because we work together) we really have this as the height of our bell curve. So I really try to schedule all my meetings, everything that I’m doing, I really schedule for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Those are three really big work days. Though Tuesday is kind of the pinnacle of that. So we’re really cranking on full work mode then. If I have evening meetings or anything like that (which I try to stay away from), but if I do I try to schedule them on Tuesdays.
Thursdays – throwing back to what matters
Dr. Josh: And then Thursdays, we’re starting to come down off that heightened curve. It’s normally our date night, too. We try to have dates on Thursday night because we call it “throwback Thursday.” We’re throwing back to the things that really matter. Because Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday can really get bogged down a lot of like working, working, working, working… total work mode. And we’re trying to come down off that mode into a Thursday night date night.
Friday – wrap up
Dr. Josh: Friday we’re still working, but we’re cleaning things up. We’re working on things where everything that’s required is already done.
Dr. Josh: And then Friday night we’re going into that rest time, our Shabbat. And what it does for our kids, is it brings this sense of calm because they know what’s coming. Especially our first born, he needs to know what’s coming. And we all do. We all get hopeful for things to come, and that type of thing.
So when we’re in our rhythm, that’s what our rhythm really looks like. And again, you don’t have to do what we do.
Finding the rhythm that works for your family
Dr. Josh: The whole point is to find what works for your family. And that’s what we walk families through in the book. What works uniquely for your family?
We homeschool, so it looks different. Because we have to have homeschool rhythms built into what we’re doing. But if your kids go to school, what does that look like? How do you capitalize on your evenings that you have with your family?
Name your days
Dr. Josh: And so you just name your days. Because if you don’t, everything else will dictate the direction of your family. Your sports schedules, your sports practices, your… everything else will dictate where your family is going and you won’t. Just like we were talking about with naming your emotions. You have to name your rhythms. You have to be able to identify the direction you want to be going in as a family.
And so therefore, we want to set our rhythms in such a way that are supporting our family. Where we defend our rhythms, the rhythms serve our family. We don’t serve the rhythms.
Bob: Yep. That’s so good.
Linda: I love that.
Bob: I love that. That’s really good.
Sabbaticals and the Sabbath
Bob: So we’ve been huge Sabbath junkies for a long time. So we take a month long sabbatical basically every month. And we’ve gotten into…
Linda: Every year.
Bob: Every year. Sorry, not every month, one month, every month.
Linda: It’s great.
Dr. Josh: Hey, I want to learn how to take a one month sabbatical every month. I’d love to learn how to do that.
Bob: It’s fantastic. We’ll get into that on the next one. And so we’ve been doing that, and I feel like we have that down. But we’ve been working on our weekly Sabbath.
It’s a work in progress
Bob: And I feel our Sabbath has just been a work in progress, in a lot of ways. And we actually recently just shifted from Sunday to Friday night thru Saturday night, like you guys.
Dr. Josh: Nice.
Bob: And I’ve found that it works a lot better for us. I really like that rhythm, that change. But when I read about your Sabbath day planning, I’m like that is so smart. We’re going to steal that immediately.
Planning your rest
Bob: Your Sabbath is the most regimented day of your week. And you plan it out basically by blocks of three hour windows throughout it. I love this so much. Will you talk about this a little bit? What this looks like for you guys?
Dr. Josh: Yeah. So what ends up happening is we do a really good job of planning our work, but we do a terrible job of planning our rest.
Dr. Josh: And if you don’t plan your rest, it won’t really be restful.
Bob: A hundred percent true.
Dr. Josh: Because what you’ll do is you’ll end up finding that you spend it on Instagram or Netflix. And you just were like, “oh my gosh, I wish I wouldn’t have,” you know? And so we schedule it in such a way where a lot of times we will talk about how we’re doing. How each of us is doing leading into the weekend.
Our first time block
Dr. Josh: Usually it’s Christi, because she’s been with the kids the most. She’s the one who needs the time away that first Saturday morning. But it depends.
In the summertime, we’ve been getting up in the morning as a family. And we’ll spend our first block as a family. Where we’re going to farmer’s markets. Or, we’re going places like that as a family. And that’s our first block.
Dr. Josh: There’s other seasons where that first block is just Christi going and getting away, because she just needs to get away from the kids. To get away from the family and sit with the Lord. And do “her time,” in order to come back as the best version of herself and really get rest. Good, true Sabbath rest.
The remaining time blocks
Dr. Josh: And then the other blocks are going to vary. Now it depends on how many kids you have. We have three kids. So there’s some Saturdays, like last weekend, I took our daughter Kennedy out on a date for one of those blocks. It was just me and her. And so Christi stayed back with the two boys and we alternate that.
And then by the evening at the end of the day, there’s family time. There’s time alone that we each get. There’s time that we get with each of the kids individually. There’s some rest time in there for everybody. Where everybody goes their own way to rest. But then at the end of the day, for us we usually have a family movie night on Saturday night to close things out.
There needs to be intentionality
Dr. Josh: But the thing about it is, you have to identify this. You have to be intentional about it. You have to be able to sit down, it’s a constant work in progress. Like we’re always working at this. I have friends who actually have Excel spreadsheets with the actual blocks of time.
Dr. Josh: And they’re typing in what worked and what didn’t work. Those types of things. We’re not that regimented with it. But we are sitting down on Friday night and going “okay, tomorrow we got this from here to here. We got this from here to here, this from here to here.” And we’re actually just saying, “okay, you’re going to get your time to go there. You’re going to get your time to do this.” And we just mapped the whole day out.
Make it easy to maximize your rest
Dr. Josh: We also try to make it easy too. We try to have meals already prepped. Usually our Friday night meal that we make is going to be leftovers on Saturday. Using paper plates, so you’re not doing dishes. Like you’re just trying to find ways to not have to be doing normal work stuff. Even house stuff on a Saturday.
Bob: That’s so good.
Linda: I love that.
Bob: We’re stealing that idea.
Linda: Yeah. The kids will love it too.
Bob: Yeah, I think they will.
Dr. Josh: Oh yeah.
Josh Straub books:
Bob: So anyway thank you for coming on, chatting about all this. Everybody go grab his book, their book: Famous at Home. And just check out all their stuff. We have their kids book, too. The one that you were talking about, what’s it called?
Dr. Josh: What am I feeling?
Bob: Yeah. And we were reading that with our five year old daughter who…
Linda: Her emotions are BIG.
Bob: She’s got some big emotions, y’all.
Bob: So we found this book to be helpful, as we’ve been working with her on naming her feelings.
And so anyway, this is something that we’re obviously continuing to grow in this. But everybody run out and check out this book. And Josh, thank you so much for coming on brother.
Dr. Josh: Oh my gosh. Thank you for having me. It’s such an honor.