new book by Steve Arterburn

My Three Favorite Things About the Mediterranean Love Plan

When I accepted the opportunity to be on the launch team for The Mediterranean Love Plan, I was hoping for a free book. I like to travel and I love to be married, so I thought maybe the book might be a good fit for me to review.

Lucky for me, and hopefully for you, the book was an awesome fit and I learned a lot. Eric and I have been married long enough that we’ve gotten through the weird first years when everything was new and challenging, and then we gritted our teeth and made it through the baby and toddler years, and then we coasted through the kids being in elementary school. (Also known as “the years when Jessie actually understood math homework.”)

Now we’re helping the kids plan for their futures as independent adults. In the blink of an eye this house is going to be empty and my beloved and I are going to be staring at each other over an empty table, silently weeping into our gluten free noodles because we’re old and the kids are living their own lives and we have nothing to live for.

Just kidding. Eric and are are going to be texting the kids from the south of France while we eat seafood and sample delicious wine in the sunshine. And The Mediterranean Love Plan has only proven that our plans are indeed good ones. The author, Steve Arterburn, thinks that the Mediterranean cultures know something about living well, and that healthy, active, passionate lives translate to really great marriages.

I agree.

I enjoyed the book as he walked the reader through simple, practical steps to help a marriage thrive. Here are the top three reasons I think you’ll like the book, too:

1. It values strong, vibrant marriages, and helps us believe we can have one if we’re willing to work at it.

I don’t want to believe that only rich and pretty people get to have great marriages. I want to know the old people down the street and the pastor at my church and even little old me can have a great romance. And I want it to be with my spouse! The Mediterranean Love Plan helps normal people have an above-normal marriage.

2. It encourages you to be the best individual you can be, which helps you have the best marriage possible.

Great marriages don’t require magic or some secret knowledge. Arterburn encourages each reader to be the most interesting, healthiest, most caring individual he or she can be, and then helps us visualize what our marriages will become when we are thriving as God intended us to thrive.

3. It give practical tips on how to do that, assuming we might not know what specific things might be beneficial.

Of course we’d all have glorious marriages– if we had the first idea of how to do that. Gently, Arterburn breaks down the steps for us just in case we need really specific directions. I know I do. The book even addresses how to dress, how to touch, what kind of food might be fun, what your mate needs to hear, and good questions to ask at the dinner table. You don’t have to wrack your brains trying to figure out what might make your marriage come alive; Arterburn has loads of helpful, specific suggestions.

If you’d like a marriage book that believes you deserve a great romance and then gives you the steps to do it, I think you’ll love the book too. Try it and see! Click here to get your own copy. 

(All links to Amazon are affiliate links, and I did indeed receive a free copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.)

How a near-death experience in a Roman taxi can bring new life to your marriage

Have I told you the story about how I thought I was going to die in a Roman taxi?

If yes, I apologize but I’m going to tell it again anyway. It’s a good story that bears repeating. And it even has a point, in a manner of speaking.

It begins a few years ago, when Eric and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary by going to Italy without the children. I love to travel, but I wasn’t prepared for how un-America Italy was going to be. While the trip was beautiful and delicious and wonderful, we also spent the week driving around lost, looking for an appropriate bathroom, and trying to find a parking place that wouldn’t get us fined or towed.

So it was wonderful, but a wee bit stressful in the transportation department. When the week was almost over and it was time to turn in the rental car, I was a wreck. It wasn’t quite time to go home, though. We still had one night in Rome, but to get from the car rental office to the city we had to take a taxi.

This was not the taxi. But isn’t it cute?

Listen. I grew up in the sticks. There are no taxis where I’m from. There are barely buses. And my husband grew up in a small farming community that literally considered a tractor a viable transportation method when one needed to get to school.

So we were unprepared for Ricardo and his taxi.

Or, as we shall now refer to him– Reeecaaaaaaahhrrrdoooo. That’s how he said his own name all fifty times he answered his cell phones as he hurtled through traffic.

Did you catch that? Cell phoneS? As in the man had more than one phone?

Yes, yes he did. He had three of them, and two of them he answered over and over again while making notes on a clip board.

Eric took this shot. Isn’t it great?

I was quite sure I was going straight to the bosom of Jesus from a Roman taxi, as this fool of an Italian man barely kept his hands on the wheel as he attended to his office duties from the front seat of a hunk of metal that must have been traveling about seventy miles an hour.

I wasn’t sure how my orphaned children were going to keep a straight face explaining my death in a flaming taxi/office with Reeecaaaaaaahhrrrdoooo at the helm. That was going to be awkward for them.

We didn’t die. You’ve probably assumed as much, but we made it just fine. Not even a little accident. The gentleman drove us to exactly the right spot and politely took our money and left us wobbly-legged on the sidewalk across from the location where Christians used to get eaten by lions.

This place seriously creeped me out. Our people were snacks and entertainment here!

All this added one more layer of glue to our marriage. Years later, all I have to say is “Reeecaaaaaaahhrrrdoooo” and Eric grins at me. The whole week was like that. We saw beautiful things, ate delicious meals, and walked on ancient streets. And somehow, our marriage was strengthened by the experience.

I don’t understand it, but apparently this is nothing new. It’s part of the concept of Steve Arterburn’s new book, The Mediterranean Love Plan (affiliate link). I joined the launch team for this book, and I’ve been stopping Eric for days to read bits and pieces out loud. The book’s basic premise is this– if you want a passionate, joyful marriage, you need to be two passionate, joyful people. No sitting silently on the sofa in beige sweatsuits while the blue boob tube flickers in your living room.

“If both of you are not proactive about passion, I can guarantee that one day you’ll be pulling up your Depends and wondering, ‘Where did we go wrong?'” ~The Mediterranean Love Plan

Encouraging the reader (hopefully that will be you!) to tune into their mate and then tune into the joy and beauty of the world, Arterburn has a better plan than growing old and boring in a beige, sexless marriage.

Eric and I are in! Are you? The book releases April 4, but you can preorder it and have it in your hot little hands as soon as it’s ready. I’ll be doing a few more blog posts on it, just because I have other dumb stories to tell and I think marriage is important enough for us to focus on for a while.

Until next week– Ciao, baby!