In It Together
couple’s book of devotionals aimed at stronger marriages
When you meet Matt and Suzie Kendziera, you can instantly sense that they share a genuinely unique connection. After 19 years of marriage, the Eau Claire pair are still as excited to share their lives together, seek adventure, and dream together as they were the day they met. It is this strong connection that inspires the mission they seek to accomplish in their new book of couples devotionals, In It Together. The mission is simple: “inspire couples to engage daily in their marriage through adventure, communication, and prayer.”
Very early in their relationship, Matt and Suzie knew they wanted to somehow encourage other married couples because of their immediate connection and extraordinary relationship, but they also knew they needed to gain credibility, maturity, and wisdom before they could do that meaningfully. They were no professional marriage experts at the time, but they sought to establish what made their situation good and unique – what are they qualified to share that will help others? After Matt went looking for a couples devotional book as a gift for Suzie and found minimal, outdated options that didn’t seem to apply to their lifestyle, the idea came about to write a 52-week devotional book from their own perspective. It’s full of personal stories, applications, photos, and “love nuggets.”
After two or three years of plugging away and working with local artist Geri Krause on the finishing design touches, In It Together is now finished and available. It takes on an attitude that most devotionals don’t. It’s playful, not stuffy, and although faith is extremely important to Matt and Suzie, it doesn’t inhibit their ability to be playful and adventurous (ideas that are equally important to them).
Aside from their work on the book and obtaining their marriage coaching certificate in the past couple of years, the Kendzieras also began hosting local marriage nights quarterly. Suzie shares, “We felt compelled to offer opportunities for couples to get together and do something that was more purposeful and intentional to grow and establish connections,” but that could also be a fun night together as a couple. Their first marriage night was in February at Infinity Beverages with about 45 other couples. After the overwhelmingly positive feedback from that initial night, they knew they were on the right track and have been hosting 80 to 100 couples at events since then. They’re on schedule to have done about 11 by the end of the year.
Their approach is faith-based, but these nights are truly open to all levels of faith and to “married couples who believe that marriage is important but struggle to prioritize it because of careers, kids, finances etc.” They believe in the strength of prayer but not in over-organization or being too presumptuous. Every night is different and takes on a theme of conversation. For example, one night’s theme was “adventure” – a chef came in and challenged couples to eat things they usually wouldn’t, such as mealworm banana muffins.
Upcoming marriage nights will be In It Together’s Fall Ball at Wild Ridge Golf Course on Friday, Sept. 29 ($30/couple) and In It Together’s Down Home Christmas at Schultz’s Country Barn on Saturday, Dec. 2 ($40/couple). You can find copies of In It Together on their Facebook page, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and at The Local Store, 205 N. Dewey St.