"You guys are going to make a great team," Mr. Paul told my soon-to-be-husband, Josh, when he shared the news of our engagement. Mr. Paul was a man we respected and someone we'd both worked for during our days in college. His remark about our impending marriage stuck with me more than anyone else's response to our engagement news. It was a complement for the here and now and a challenge for the future. You're going to make a great team has stuck with me all these years as the way I envisioned my marriage and wanted it to function practically. And the mentality of teamwork has proven to be one of the most important values we've experienced the past ten years of marriage.
So it was with excitement that I read my long-time friend and fellow writer's newest book, Team Us: Marriage Together. I first became acquainted with author, Ashleigh Slater, during my early blogging days way back in 2005 or 2006. Later I worked with her in a more professional capacity writing for her website, Ungrind. And we even got to meet in real life once! So it was with great joy I read her first in-print book!
Team Us is a book from a Christian perspective about building a marriage "team." It reads very conversationally, like Ashleigh is having a chat with you over coffee. It doesn't present itself as having all of the answers to the struggles of marriage or knowing "the right" way to do marriage. Instead, it's more of a chronicle of the Slater's own marriage and what they've learned along the way to help their marriage "team" grow together. It almost reads like a marriage memoir. It is lighthearted and humorous in tone that makes it easy to read, even while also dealing with weightier issues like job loss, depression, and grief.
I think the book's strength is in dealing with communication within marriage. This shows up through out the book no matter what the topic, whether it's conflict or parenting. You can tell the Slaters work hard on respectful communication and Ashleigh gives some practical techniques on how to make this happen, like the use of the "communication sandwich," which is basically sandwiching a criticism between praise and affirmation and giving the person the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming motives and going in for an attack.
One thing that makes the book unique is there are "Ted Says" sections where Ashleigh's husband, Ted, shares his perspective on a subject or what Ashleigh has shared. Each chapter also ends with discussion questions called "Us Time" to foster reflection for an individual reader or a couple reading it together.
Check out Ashleigh's website for more information about the book!
I’m giving away one copy! To enter to win, please comment with why you'd like to read Team Us. I’ll choose the winner randomly and announce on Friday, July 11th.
Update: The winner is comment #13, Dani! Please email me through the contact form your full name and address and the book will be sent to you. Congratulations!
This contest is now closed.