Life Dimensions
Summer 2009
The Relationship Resource
Teaching the Dynamics of Healthy Relationships
In This Issue
What is Love?
Book Review
Quick Links
What a fast-paced world we live in that allows instant messaging to people we want to connect with and offer information and services.  This is my attempt to make that connection.  As someone who has worked with hundreds of people over twenty years as a counselor, my hope is to offer resources that will enhance and engage us in the most important aspect of our lives-our relationship with others, self and God.

A man and his wife were arguing about who should brew the coffee each morning.  The woman says, "You should do it because you get up first."  The man retorted, "You should because you're in charge of the kitchen. I can wait for my coffee."  "No, you should do it," the woman insisted. "Besides, it says in the Bible that the man should make the coffee." "I can't believe that," the husband said, "Show me."  So the woman fetched the family Bible, opened it to the New Testament, and showed him that the Bible does indeed say "Hebrews."
What is Love? 

            When working with individuals and couples in a counseling session, the idea of love comes up often.  "I don't love this person anymore."   I love him, but I'm just not in love with him." "I want to be loved."  What is love?  Webster defines it as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person, especially when based on sexual attraction as well as a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection.   I prefer Thomas Acquinas' definition which is "to will the good of another." 
            To will the good of another is a positive intention.  In other words, I want the other person to experience goodness.  That may well mean that I am good to that person.
In a committed relationship this is essential.  St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians writes: "Love is patient: it is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."  That's sacrifice in the best sense-putting love first. 
            So many other distractions get in the way of putting love first.  This often happens between married persons with work, kids, extended family, sports and hobbies, and even church.  Other activities or persons can take priority over this most important relationship, leaving the other to feel unimportant, not valued as number one.  Am I intentional about my love?  Do I expect my spouse to wait his or her turn in line?  Am I giving my best self to the most important relationship I'll have for a lifetime?   Do I create opportunity for my spouse to be his or her best self in return?  Am I willing the good of my spouse?  What does love mean to you?  
Book Review:  Marriage Fitness  
Marriage FitnessA must read book for couples and anyone else for that matter who want to learn how to build and maintain phenomenal love for a lasting, intimate relationship. I highly recommend Marriage Fitness by Mort Fertel (2004). 


Fertel's book offers a four-step plan that gets results. His plan includes putting love first; giving is more important than receiving, giving presence; making your spouse your number one priority, moving from 'me to a we'; doing things together even if it's not your first choice, and lastly, save yourself; keeping good boundaries-physical, social, emotional-- and balance with others outside the relationship.  


Marriage Fitness is not marriage counseling.  It's a practical and positive approach that not only makes the relationship better, it can shape the individual to be a better person by following the guidelines.


thorton wilderIn Thornton Wilder's play The Skin of Our Teeth, he gives a profound statement about what makes marriage work.  "I didn't marry you because you were perfect, I didn't even marry you because I loved you.  I married you because you gave me a promise.  That promise made up for your faults.  And the promise I gave you made up for mine.  Two imperfect people got married and it was the promise that made the marriage.  And when our children were growing up, it wasn't a house that protected them, and it wasn't our love that protected them.  It was that promise."
Blueprint  for Success 
Blue Print for SuccessMary Ann Van Buskirk is a  keynote speaker and author and has been selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Blueprint for Success, a highly successful book series from Tennessee based Insight Publishing. The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) and Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager.) Van Buskirk, Blanchard and Covey, are joined by other well-known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.
Mary Ann Van Buskirk, M.A., M.Div. is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and co-founder of Positive Coaching with over twenty years of experience as a counselor, trainer and national speaker.  People who have worked with her report vast improvements in their abilities to relate in healthier ways at home and at work.  Success is a result of healthy relationships.
Take $10 off our Seminar, "Proven Ways to Improve your Marriage."
Treat yourself to a day enhancing your understanding on how to improve your marriage relationship.
Seminar Date:  Saturday, June 27, 2009
Time:  10:00AM-12:00PM
Location:  4155 E. Jewell Avenue, Suite 1100
               Denver, CO 80222
Cost: $35.00 per couple/$20 per individual.
(Take $10 off the original price by mentioning you heard about the seminar through The Relationship Resource newsletter).
Register by June 20, 2009 (Space is limited)! 
Facilitator:  Mary Ann Van Buskirk, M.A. M.Div, LPC, 20 years counseling couples.
To sign up, email
"Focus on the positive.  Focus on what's right, not what's wrong."

Mary Ann Van Buskirk
Life Dimensions
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Use this coupon to receive $10 off an in person seminar "Proven Ways to Improve your Marriage."  For more information contact us at
Offer Expires: June 27, 2009