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Better Today Than Yesterday.

Better Tomorrow Than Today.

 

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Isn’t that what it’s all about?

The better you are as an individual, the better your marriage will be.

The better you are as an individual, the better your relationships will be.

The better you are as an individual, the better your contribution to the world will be.

Intentionally Refined is a website dedicated to inspiring and encouraging you to become a better you, create a better marriage, develop better relationships, and more.

This blog is inspired by a strong desire to impact people in a positive way. It is about helping you become Intentionally Refined:

Intentionally

– done deliberately and on purpose

Refined

– with impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing
– developed or improved so as to be more precise or exact
– having or showing the good education, polite manners, etc. that are expected in people who belong to a high social class

Are you ready to get rid of unwanted elements in your life? Do you want to improve your life? Are you ready to be part of a high social class? Are you ready to do those things deliberately and on purpose?

Then you’re in the right place because that is exactly what this site is all about.  Make sure you don’t miss anything. Subscribe to our blog today using the form below.

Subscribing to our blog makes it easy on you. When you sign up, instead of having to come back to the site to see if there is new content, you will receive encouragement and inspiration right in your inbox. (Don’t worry. We won’t share your email with anyone and you can unsubscribe at any time.)

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A Little Bit About Us

“The two become one” (Mark 10:8). We’ve done it, but we are still trying to figure out how.
Troy Mason / Taryn Mason About Us Image
One of us is a

  • High-D
  • Bull in a china shop
  • Snap-snap get things done
  • Do now / think later
  • Who needs details?
  • “Big picture”

guy – that for the most part, is not a people person.

The other one of us is a

  • Steady-S
  • Makes sure everybody is happy
  • Everything has to run smoothly
  • Think now / do later
  • “I need details”

girl – that is all about people.

Somehow, we’ve managed to take those two opposites and make them work. We’ve been together 18 years, have a teenage son and soon-to-be teenage daughter, and we are excited about what life has in store for us before we reach our goal of being married for 75 years.

The idea for this blog evolved from the countless times people have commented to us about our marriage. We’ve heard things like, “You guys have the best marriage”, “I’ve never heard you say anything bad about each other”, “You should share how you do it”.

At first, we just wrote off comments like these. The people making the comments did not understand that we don’t have it all together and that we aren’t anywhere close to being perfect. We have had just as many struggles as any other couple.

Even though we brushed them aside, the comments kept coming, almost like we were being told to go share what we have – the good, the bad, and the ugly. In addition, the past few years for both of us, as a couple and as individuals, have been full of growth.

Last year was a year of exponential growth where the idea for this blog started taking shape. As we’ve grown and matured, we have decided that we want to have a bigger impact on others. This blog is only the start of doing just that.

In the coming weeks, months, and years, you will learn a lot more about us. But the goal of this blog isn’t about us. It’s about you. Our goal is to help and encourage you, your marriage, your relationships, and more. We want you to become Intentionally Refined right along with us.

About Troy

If you didn’t figure it out above, I’m the “High-D”. I have been that way my whole life. I’m the first born of my family and the first grandchild on my mom’s side. I naturally gravitate toward the leadership role. In the classroom, I always took the leadership role. In sports, I was the quarterback and the catcher. Even today, without even thinking, I jump into the leadership role.

I attended Ball State University in Indiana and graduated with a B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering. I struggled with the “details” involved in obtaining my degree, but the “D” in me loved the challenge of learning and running CAD (computer aided design) software.

Loving the challenge presented by CAD systems, I got a job in Indianapolis, IN doing product design using CAD. It was a great job. We had many new, leading-edge, product development technologies. We could do all of the main facets of product development under one roof. I often tell people that I got a masters degree in product development working there.

Unfortunately (maybe I should say fortunately), about two and half years into working there, I saw the writing on the wall that the company was not going to survive. To make a long story short, it was poorly managed.

A great thing about working there is that I met Taryn. I worked with Taryn’s brother and after crossing paths with Taryn 2 or 3 times, I took the risk (she’s way out of my league) and made my move. Only by God’s intervention did it work. At about the same time as I realized the company wasn’t going to survive, Taryn and I got married.

While on our honeymoon and while thinking about what I was going to do next in my career, the concept of starting my own business started working in my head.

To make another long story short, in August of 1998, I made the plunge and started my own business. It’s been a roller coaster ride of mostly ups and some downs, but Impulse Product Development is still alive and kicking today.

Outside of work and family, I’m a sailor. I absolutely love the sense of freedom that comes when sailing. Of course, it goes naturally with my personality and wanting to be in charge. My mother-in-law and father-in-law live near Tampa Bay and we often visit to get in some great sailing time in the Bay and the Gulf.

I enjoy trail running. While I get bored quickly running on the roads, trail running is always enjoyable to me. There is a feeling when you’re running in the woods that can’t be described. It can only be experienced.

I am a huge reader. I often read 4 or 5 books at a time. I especially read self help / self improvement books. I’m kind of a self improvement junkie. I love to find things to work on, whether it’s myself, my health, productivity, our marriage, etc. I like to find those things and I love change.

Taryn and I have been married since 1998. We have two children, a boy and a girl. We live just outside of Indianapolis, IN. We attend church at Eagle Valley Church of Christ where I have served as a deacon for many years.

About Taryn

I’m the “S” of the duo. I like people and I like people to be happy. I’m constantly concerned about how others feel and how they see things.

As a child I was a momma’s girl and a people pleaser. I was always concerned about following the rules. I’ve always had a strong sense of morality despite not growing up in a church. The only time I ever got in trouble in school was in Mrs. Hill’s 3rd grade class.

You see, back then to have a rabbit’s foot on your belt loop was cool. So I borrowed Kevin Blackburn’s for gym one day and gave it to a friend to return to him, but it didn’t make it back to him. I was pulled into the hallway and questioned. I was petrified. From that day, I was a true rule-follower.

The other side of me is very detail oriented. This was a great help in getting me through college. I obtained my chemistry degree from Purdue University at Indianapolis.

I helped pay for some of my schooling by working for Clinique cosmetics. While working there, I also sharpened my people skills. When I wasn’t working, I was either with my friends (getting in my “people” time) or studying chemical formulas and titration procedures (fine-tuning my “detail” side).

I graduated college on Mother’s Day in 1998, but the celebration was short-lived. There was a wedding coming – and it was only two weeks away. A confident, good-looking engineer was waiting for me at the end of the aisle. The night before I married Troy, I became a Christian. It was important to me to affirm my belief in God prior to committing the rest of my life to one man.

Once the excitement of graduation, building a new house, getting married and spending our honeymoon in the beautiful Virgin Islands had subsided, I started working at Follas Medical Laboratories where I could finally use my degree. At first, I started off in the lab specializing in infectious disease testing. This satisfied the detail part of me, but the part of me that loves people was eyeing a sales position within the company. And I got it!

I remained in the sales position until the birth of our son. Before having children, Troy and I had agreed that I would take on the role as “C.E.O of the Mason House & Brood”. It was a role that just seemed like the natural and logical next step for me.

I have several different roles outside of our home. I currently hold an office in a philanthropic sorority. I published our church’s weekly newsletter for more than 10 years and continue to serve there. I hold weekly mentoring sessions focused on self-improvement and self-confidence for several women. I recently took on a leadership role with an online mentoring group focused on helping women be at their best and live a big life.

However, I am still very focused on being a wife and a mom and running our household. But with our kids getting older, I can see a time where they head out on their own and create their own lives. I want to make sure that I take advantage of the time they are here. I want to instill in them the value of constantly improving yourself and also helping others to improve themselves. In doing so, the world becomes a better place.

I have a big interest in moving my body. I love exercise, all different forms of it – from Zumba to boot camps to spinning to running. I also love food. Good food. Good for your body food. I am always reading and learning about what different types of food do to our bodies. I am interested in the nutrition content and how that nutrition affects our bodies – must be the chemist in me.

My personality style doesn’t like change, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like the change that comes with self-improvement. It just takes me a little longer than my “D” counterpart to implement and adapt to change. I like to read books that teach me how to make me better – inside and out. When I’m better, I can help others to be better. I feel like God is leading me in this direction.

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The paragraphs below share some more specific information about what this site is about.

Our intention is to post at least 2-3 new blogs per week. Those blog posts will center on these topics:

  1. Self-Improvement / Personal Development
    We have a strong passion to support and encourage strong marriages. But we believe that a strong marriage starts with a strong you. The better you are as an individual the better your marriage will be.Think of the difference between one marriage where the two people contributing to the marriage have very low self-confidence and no direction in life and another marriage where two people have a high self confidence and know their purpose in life. Which marriage do you think will be stronger?Even if you’re the only one working on a better you, it will still have a positive impact on your marriage. Avoid the tendency to be discouraged if your spouse doesn’t seem as dedicated to working on your marriage as you are. Be a positive influence, and chances are he/she will come around. Don’t underestimate the power of a spouse’s influence.This category will receive a lot of attention and will also be the most diverse. We will discuss:

    • Your psychology
    • Your mind
    • Positive thinking
    • Self motivation
    • Self worth
    • How you interact with others
    • How to build self confidence
    • And generally how to improve ourselves

    We will encourage you, challenge you to think critically about yourself, and even confront you. We intend to be a positive influence in helping you intentionally refine yourself.

    Ready to be Intentionally Refined? Get updates for free!

  2. Your Marriage / Your Relationships
    Or your future marriage if you are not yet married. We are not licensed marriage experts. We don’t offer marriage counseling per se, but we think we can have a positive influence on your marriage.We will offer good relationship advice and encouragement to help you improve your marriage.We would never discourage a couple from seeking out the help of a marriage counselor or attending couples counseling, but we believe the need for marriage counseling is simply a result of either:

    1. Not knowing what we should be doing to improve and strengthen our marriage
    2. Not being willing to do what is necessary to improve and strengthen our marriage because of self-esteem issues, laziness, etc..,

    For those reasons, it is our intention to:

    1. Encourage you to focus on some areas of your marriage that maybe you don’t even know need attention.
    2. Inspire you to work at your marriage and to be intentional about improving your marriage.

    We believe that if we as individuals will focus on those two items, we greatly reduce the chances of marriage problems, the need for a marriage counselor, the need for couples therapy, and even divorce.

    So,

    • If your marriage is great and you’re just looking for a few things to work on
    • If you are looking for premarital counseling
    • If you’re already engaged with a marriage counselor or in couples counseling
    • If you’re looking for how to save your marriage
    • If you’re contemplating divorce
    • If you’re anywhere in between

    We hope you’ll join us. We won’t fix everything, that’s your job, but we guarantee you will receive inspiration and encouragement to create a stronger, closer marriage.

    We also believe that many of the same principals apply to your personal relationships as to your marriage. Your personal relationships affect you positively or negatively, and the effect is usually something you can control.

    Our goal is to help encourage you so that your relationships have a positive effect on you. A better you means a better marriage.

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  3. Productivity
    How does productivity play into a better marriage? A more productive you, means a better you. And a better you means a better marriage.We believe that increasing your productivity and your efficiency will help you be a better you, be a better spouse, be a better parent, and be a better friend. As we discuss how to be more productive we will talk about:

    • Productivity tools
    • Productivity methods
    • Productivity apps
    • Increasing productivity
    • Productivity at home
    • Productivity in the workplace

    In general we will discuss ways to get more things done, how to incorporate them into your life, and even how to step away from technology to ‘just breathe’ for a while.

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  4. Goal Planning
    We believe in dreaming big and setting specific goals. We don’t think this site would be complete without encouraging you to plan out your days, weeks, months, years and life. We intend to do just that in our own unique way. You’ll learn about:

    • SMART goals
    • Goal setting
    • Methods for setting goals
    • Setting personal goals
    • Setting life goals
    • Setting family goals

    Goals are the first step in achieving our dreams, and most of our dreams should include our spouse. We should dream together and achieve together. Our goal is to inspire you and encourage you to do just that.

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  5. Health
    If we are going to improve ourselves, one area we need to focus on is our health. The better we treat ourselves from a diet and exercise standpoint, the better chance we have of continually improving ourselves.The healthier we are, the more energy we have. When we have more energy, we can work more on ourselves, our marriages, and our personal relationships. In this category, we will discuss things like:

    • Diet and diet plans
    • Exercise
    • Recipes
    • Healthy meals
    • Healthy snacks
    • Nutrition
    • Weight loss
    • Healthy foods and unhealthy foods
    • Energy levels

    Being healthy is a big part of being a better you. Improving your health will give you more energy and will lead to a more improved you.

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  6. Miscellaneous
    Once in a while we may talk about something that we think you’ll find interesting but doesn’t really fit into the general focus of the website. Those items will go in this category. We may talk about things like:

    • Vacation tips / vacation ideas
    • Finances
    • Food allergies
    • Weather
    • Music
    • Raising Kids

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As we mentioned above, the intention for this site is to inspire and encourage you to improve yourself, improve your marriage, improve your relationships, and more. But remember, what you get out of your marriage is a product of what you put into your marriage.

In the end, it’s all dependent on you. Getting great ideas for how to improve is one thing. Being intentional about making positive changes in your life is another.

Finding out what to do is the easy part. Doing them, intentionally, is the hard part, but it’s also the rewarding part.

We hope you’ll join us and let us be part of your journey to creating a better you and a better marriage.

We also hope you’ll share your thoughts and comments with us in the comments section of each post as well as on our Community Suggestions page.
Finally, we hope you’ll subscribe to our blog using the form below.

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We hope you’ll join in the discussion using the comments section below the posts, Facebook, and Twitter. We believe that a large, supportive community here will have much more impact than just the two of us writing about our thoughts.

In addition, your comments and feedback will help us develop the content of the website into something more applicable to you. If you have any suggestions for how we can make this website better for you, please leave a comment on the Community Suggestions page.

As the website and the community grow we will add more and more content. With your support it will become more and more focused on what you are looking for. We are planning on adding videos, a podcast, ebooks, downloadable content, links to products you may find beneficial, and even a store. While we hope to profit from this website someday, that’s not the goal. As we said earlier, our goal is to help you and to have a positive impact on your life. Profit will just be a product of that impact. If you would like to support us in this effort, you can do so in 3 ways:

  1. Participate. We can’t stress enough how critical we believe it is that we have a community here that participates in the conversation.
  2. Give us feedback. We will be doing the best we can, but we won’t know how we’re doing unless you let us know. If we’re doing good, please let us know. More importantly, if we should be doing something better, please let us know. You can make a comment under our Suggestions blog post, you can post on our Facebook page, you can tweet us, or you can email us – but the previous methods will be more efficient.
  3. Share. The only way for this website and community to grow is for you to share it with others. If you find something on the site that you like, that inspires you, or that you think someone else may appreciate please share it. There are share links on all of the blog posts as well as email links.

Thank you again for visiting our website. We hope you’ll subscribe and we hope to ‘see’ you around.

Better today than yesterday – Better tomorrow than today

-Troy and Taryn

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