Blog Posts

The Three R’s of Connection

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  September 13, 2023
Relationships feel good when they are connected and there is a good emotional exchange going on. They don’t feel very good when we feel disconnected. You can feel lonely or unsupported with unmet needs or expectations. Often, when couples take a marital evaluation, the results will come back indicating that the couples relationship is disconnected. What do you think of when you hear the word disconnected? Being an electrician, I immediately think there must be

Let’s Talk

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  April 7, 2023
Two business workers shaking hands at the office. “If you want out of that tube, you’re going to have to work on those communication skills.” Fifth Element I sat next to a young lady on a jet at 30,000 feet recently headed to Miami from Denver. I had the window seat, she sat in the middle, and my wife Linda had the aisle seat. She was in her mid 20’s, career minded and successful, and

The Art of Letting Go

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  September 3, 2022
Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash What do I need to let go of? I decided to write the art of letting go as I experienced some recent struggles while doing so. Things get more manageable when I can see what’s going on, then co-operate with it. It’s the self-awareness stuff we talked about last time. We cannot see what’s going on without looking in and observing with insight. A perspective we can only get from the “mirror.”

Self-Awareness—God’s Mirror

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  August 5, 2022
Through the Looking Glass When I was little, self awareness existed in the form of how much I wanted, how much I needed, and what I could do to get it. Manipulation is birthed here no doubt. This forms rather self-centered patterns that don’t serve us well as we grow and form relationships like marriage. I was “aware” of what I was doing, even “sensing” it was wrong at times, but knew no other way.

Peace Be Still

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  June 25, 2022
Peace be still! Now, more than ever, we need peace as an anchor for our souls in a world with no answers or solutions for life’s anxiety. Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39 If you were honest with me, you would agree that “a great calm” is harder and harder to come by these

The Art Of Connecting

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  April 7, 2022
I’m going to ramble a bit about connection. We are created for connection, we long to be part of something, to belong, to be valued for who we are. We want to make a meaningful contribution, to make a difference. We are created to know others and be known ourselves. This is universal to humanity. Not only in the community but in our intimate relationships. When God formed Adam from the dust of the ground

The Push of Time

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  February 8, 2022
The Push Of Time The Fast Track I lose track of how fast it’s going by. It seems just the other day I was pressing a new colorful license sticker to the plate. They seem to come now like fanning book pages. Scraping away at the old as much as possible, then sticking it on, convincing myself it won’t stubbornly peel off before the next one comes. It’s too cold, I’m not about to find

The Wise Man And The Fool

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  January 30, 2022
The Wise Man & The Fool The Wise Man & The Fool What makes one the wise man or the fool? It’s not how one is born, rather what one chooses to become. Becoming happens day by day as the newborn develops. He’s always listening. Watching. Receiving influence, breathing in. Not only air but the environment and all it contains. Life and toxins. Nurture and perhaps trauma, withheld love, or abuse. Fear & insecurity. Much

Last Year’s Business

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  January 28, 2022
As this old year slides away, and another takes it's place, Lord let my heart be comforted by the knowledge of your grace. The grace that calls me from the past to live right here and now, When I'm hurting and my heart can't love, grace comes and shows me how. Your grace brings truth and mercy, when I'm struggling with my sin, You bring your healing words of life, I find my way again.

Blind Spots & Conflict

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  January 25, 2022
Photo by Daniel J. Schwarz on Unsplash Why do we call them blind spots? It’s something we’re blind to. We can’t see it. We can’t see it because we don’t want to. Why are blind spots painful? Because our “blind spots” are masking painful areas of ourselves. (often family of origin areas, at times containing trauma and or abuse.) We mask the pain with behavior that will make us feel better about who we are. We hide behind

Respect & Meeting Needs

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  December 23, 2021
Can you see me? Understanding who we are Our marriages hurt when our needs aren’t being met, and we don’t understand the way we are reacting to one another. Tension builds as we reach towards our partners grasping for something they can’t or won’t give us. Facing the truth that we are needy My wife Linda and I were teaching a room full of people in a marriage class we were conducting. I had written

Operating Systems

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  November 16, 2021
Operating Systems Relational Dynamics How we navigate our operating systems in marriage determines the level of our marital satisfaction or misery respectively. Our operating systems and how we roll with them create all the dynamics we experience in our relationships. Ignorance of our operating systems sets us up for conflict, distance, and misunderstanding. A healthy self-awareness of how we roll, (interact,) can deliver us from a lot of pain and confusion, and increase our connection

Managing Escalation

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  October 26, 2021
What words do you think of when you hear the word escalation? I go first to anger because anger is the fuel of escalation. What you are doing or saying is making me mad and you’re going to hear about it. I then go to the word destructive because escalation destroys the conflict resolution process. It blows up the communication bridge as bad words are released in angry tones. Then comes the word avoidance. This

The Need For Courage

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  September 25, 2021
Courageous Submission The Need For Courage I find the courage needed to write this article when I think about all the hurting, lonely marriages that don’t understand submission. There can be no happily ever after in a marriage of two people who are not mutually submitted to one another. People don’t have marriage problems; they have submission problems. I’m going to explain what that means, who we are submitting to, and why we’re so afraid of

The Road Home

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  July 18, 2021
Love Our hearts have lost their way, like sheep that have gone astray. A good shepherd named Jesus comes after our hearts to free them and to love them back to life. He never gives up and pursues us no matter how far we run from Him. Like the prodigal son who went to a distant country and squandered everything, our Father scans the horizon anticipating our return so he can run to us and

Remembering Our Mission

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  June 2, 2021
The Marriage Mission We’ve all heard of mission statements. Has anyone ever asked you as you’ve embarked on an enterprise? “What’s your mission statement?” They want you to be able to tell them why you’re doing something. Maybe it’s starting a business or a ministry of some kind. Can you put into words why you’re doing it? Perhaps you think desire is enough, believing, “My wanting to do it will get me where I want

Needs & Expectations

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  May 16, 2021
I Do When we marry, we drag a lot of needs and expectations into the relationship. There’s no way around it, it’s human nature. This doesn’t make us “bad,” it makes us “needy,” and “expecting” a lot. Alas, it’s the law of relationship, one of many. The more we learn about these “laws,” the better our relationships become, as we get in touch with how much we need, and how we are projecting those needs

Growing Together

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  March 22, 2021
Connecting Through Adversity “Love suffers long and is kind. . .” 1Corinthians 13:6 I would be an unfaithful writer if I didn’t write this piece. By now, I think my readers understand that a lot of “happily ever after” is not lived on the mountaintop of marital bliss, but rather in the trenches of resolving conflict. This place can feel more like death and distance than life and connection. “Unpacking” our bags isn’t easy or
Winter Chill It’s February, almost Valentine’s day and it’s freezing! The temperature has hovered between zero and eleven degrees all day. The weather is what got me started on this topic of “attitude.” The reason being, I have chosen not to fight winter. I need to accept it instead of wasting my emotion and energy trying to fight it. The weather is never going to be perfect. It’s always going to be too hot, too

The Dance of Differences

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  January 9, 2021
The Dance of Differences “what was it, Adelle? What was it you liked about us?” “I liked the way we danced.”  Bagger Vance. The Dance of Differences We all grow up learning our own steps to the dance. At first, the dance seems so elegant as we move and sway through the initial romantic fireworks. We can anticipate each other’s moves and can almost finish their sentences for them. We, “know them so well, and

Fighting fair

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  December 8, 2020
Learning to fight fair There’s no such thing as a conflict-free marriage. Happily, Ever After doesn’t mean you don’t fight, it means you learn to fight fair. We didn’t learn “fair” at home and have to learn, then practice what fair is, and what it looks like. Conflict Myths Myth; In a good marriage, there will never be conflict Truth; Conflict is the rite of passage to obtain the “holy grail” of unity Myth; Conflict

Mysterious Mutuality

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  November 8, 2020
Mutually Yours Abandoned L inda and I are just married. We’re off on our first shopping trip together, I think it’s Walmart. We’re just through the door, and I’m distracted with an article of interest to consider, probably a valuable food item. The next thing I know, Linda has vanished. It’s as if she was beamed up to the alien mothership, nowhere to be seen. I feel panic as I’m transported back to the little
Hi everyone! My book “Hope For Happily Ever After” is coming together and getting closer. I’m under contract with Illumify Media and we’re getting it written, organized and ready to go. The book focuses on “Finding connection in marriage,” and “developing the art of true love.” I’m praying it will bring hope and closeness to many, helping them identify disconnects, and remove the distance in their relationship. If you read this blog, (thank You,) and

I Forgave You Once

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  September 6, 2020
It’s 1978 and I have a newborn son. I’m so excited about being a dad! I’m only 21 and I barely have an idea what I’m doing. I don’t know what’s coming, but I’m working hard to be a good provider and now a good father whatever that looks like. I have the example of Dad and how he illustrated the love of a good father. I can be that for my son who will

Dismantling Depression

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  July 18, 2020
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad. Proverbs 12:25 It’s easier to face a thing head on when we can see where it’s coming from It’s easier to fight my enemy when I can see him What causes depression and where does it come from anyway? I’ll begin by answering the second half of this question first, then we’ll get into the causes. First off, God doesn’t

Are We United?

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  June 28, 2020
Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity! For there the Lord commanded the blessing—Life forevermore. Ps. 133:1-3We’re approaching independence day 2020. What a year!We don’t feel very “independent” in the middle of the COVID pandemic. Things are easing up a bit in Colorado, but there is still a real and present danger about. We aren’t out of the woods yet and need to be “wise as serpents and
Nothing hurts like a disconnected marriage. We can find the disconnects, and heal them. We can develop a strategy that brings hope. Awareness of what’s going on brings immediate hope. I can choose to change what I can see. “Oh, that’s what we’re doing!” So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; If you have found it, there is a prospect, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:14 Cause and

Quarantine Romance

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  May 3, 2020
Where are you my love? Where’s the one I knew and married on our wedding day? What happened to the spark we shared and love that lit our way? We used to share each happy thought & catch each other’s tears. Now it seems our love’s used up on bills, demands, and fears. I want to reach and touch your heart, but can’t seem to get in. Don’t know if we just don’t care, it’s

Conquering COVID-19

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  March 21, 2020
It’s the end of the world as we know it, but I feel fine… REM Out in the zone Fear and distrust were written on the faces we passed as Linda and I rolled through the ravaged shelves of the store grabbing the essential items we could find. No-one spoke or smiled for fear of inhaling the virus from the ticking time bomb pushing the other cart. I spent the morning digging out of the

Wind In My Sails

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  February 20, 2020
My Dad was an electrician on a ship in the Navy and he told me stories of being on the ship. I didn’t inherit the ship anointing. I did do a little sailing on what’s called a sailfin, a tiny sailing craft just larger than a wind surfboard. Two people can squeeze on with co-operation. I practiced tacking back and forth a while in this quiet marina until I had enough confidence to bring Linda

I feel connected when…

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  January 17, 2020
I feel connected when… We spend quality time together.We slow things down enough to spontaneously do something fun together.We determine to find enough reserve in our lives together to do that.We’re present to each other without any screens to distract us.We talk together about the season of life we’re in & how we feel about it.We do a state of the union together, talking about how we feel we are doing in our marriage.We talk

C’mon, Man!

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  December 28, 2019
If you watch the NFL, You’re familiar with the clip C’mon man! It’s a commentary of outtakes on different players in the league that do unconventional, uncool, or downright brainless things. These things violate the code of normal or proper conduct expected from professionals that are being paid the money they are to entertain us. Unsportsman or non-professional conduct could get you on C ‘mon, man. You don’t want to be on C’mon man. One

Five ways to disarm depression

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  November 15, 2019
“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” Proverbs 12:251. Get in touch; “Why am I feeling anxious?” The answer to this usually isn’t self-evident, so I can’t see what I’m choosing. I can’t change my choices until I’m aware of how I’m choosing. I can’t break an agreement I’m making If I can’t see it. Depression and anxiety lurk beneath the surface of our awareness, and must
The more you know going in, the better the chances of your marriage succeeding. One half of all marriages don’t make it, Christian or not. Confessing God doesn’t give you relational skills, they must be learned, and fought for. Knowing God, without self discovery does not insure success. You can confess God, and live in denial, not taking responsibility for who you are. There’s nothing like getting married to find this out. Linda and I

Ghosts in time

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  October 7, 2019
We are eternal ghosts in a temporal timeline. Shimmering like a mirage, there but not, we live out our days. Like mirrors, reflecting either glory or death, our choice given. Spirits eternally young, in wonder watching, time tolling on our bodies. Tethered to an eternal God, in His image, time passes. Waiting, we watch with hope for the door to open. Older we become, more accepting, anticipating the inevitable. No need to control the path,
They’re in the trees, waiting to jump When they jump It’s Friday evening, following a hectic, full, fast paced week, running the business. I need a letdown, to unwind and recharge, catch my breath and find my balance. As I pull into the driveway, the phone rings. It’s this new builder I’m building a relationship with. I better take this. “Hi Dan, I’m sorry to be calling this late, but I’ve got this emergency job

What I Really Need

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  August 10, 2019
May I practice your presence Lord, instead of that of another. May I seek the comfort of your love when I feel the need for cover. The empty need I feel inside, I can never meet, it’s only through surrender, and sitting at your feet. We think we’ll find the things we need in many different faces, when really we’re just seeking love in mostly the wrong places. Loving Spirit come and be the compass

One is the loneliest number

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  July 28, 2019
Many of you will remember the Three Dog Night song, with the single piano chord repeating… “One is the loneliest number, that you’ll ever do… Two can be as bad as one, it’s the loneliest number since the number one… I talked with a divorced woman at the fairgrounds the other evening at an event Linda and I were attending for the Aurora Chamber of Commerce. The topic of writing came up and I gave
When something happens that hurts me, I tend to feel betrayed, used, or taken advantage of. I internalize things, and can get stuck in a “paralysis of analysis,” where I try to make sense of things and figure it all out. My perfectionism and “need to please,” personality tries to trap me in consternation. Of course, control is always around, involving my need to surrender my will to God and what He wills. I’m only

Forsaking Fear

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  June 6, 2019
The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25 Those of you on the journey with me know that this transformation mountain is one you climb a step at a time. Revealed truth is grown into through process. From glory to glory, faith to faith. That is the journey. As I look at the title at the top, I feel it mocking me, as if I

Security, Trust, & Healing

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  April 18, 2019
Intimacy in marriage is one of my core values. A marriage hurts when intimacy is not present. Intimacy is not just sex, although it’s an important component. It’s agonizing to hear of sexless marriages; they are out there, some anorexic at best. When someone asks “how often should you have sex in marriage?” My answer is “as often as possible.” I have scripture for that. Check out proverbs 5:15-23 How’s that for a hook? The

Working or Resting?

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  April 6, 2019
For the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:19 I’ve decided the devil has a pretty good memory, and he seems very diligent about keeping my memory intact concerning past sins. He also likes to amplify my present weakness, and vulnerability. Shame is associated with this mental traffic my enemy likes to run on the freeways

Out of control choices

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  March 30, 2019
Which one is the rescuer, or the victim? Intruder alert! Looking at my ringing cellphone, instant anxiety, reading the caller ID, warning me it’s my brother, a year older than I. The drug addicted homeless one, who never calls to give me anything, except another hard luck down and out story, with the appeal for another rescue for him, and his plight. My heart always hurts after his calls, leaving me feeling hopeless, anxious, guilty,

Thoughts about control

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  March 27, 2019
Thoughts about control God won’t compete with our control. When control enters the equation, God leaves it. Wherever control enters our life, addiction accompanies it. Whatever we try to control in life imprisons us, be it substance, power, sex, money, or relationship. Surrender is the eventual release from all forms of control. Surrender is the doorway to the grace that frees us.

Out of control living

Posted by Daniel Lillyblad on  February 2, 2019
This is the beginning. Welcome to the out of control living blog. I am excited to get the page up, and find new friends to connect with! This has been a long time coming who’s time is now. 3.1.19 My goal is to post to this blog as often as possible, time permitting between running my contracting business, writing, and maintaining a vibrant marriage. If not always vibrant, at least life giving to both of

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