This weekend, for the first time in about 8 years, my husband and I got away. We took two days and spent them in a small Mennonite town about an hour from our home. We stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast, lounged, chatted slowly, sipped wine (yep, even me… three sips in total), saw an enchanting musical, strolled down old trails and lanes fit for horse and carriage, bought loose leaf tea, raw honey, candy apples, and chocolate, ate lunch in a tiny bakery bustling with small town activity, and just enjoyed each other’s company. We did this – we connected.
When our babies were little I was too nervous to leave for two hours, let alone an entire night. But, now, with our youngest at three, I agreed to put my husband first for two days and indulge in some alone time with this amazing man God gave me. We were married at 20 – and ironically, a sweet young friend picked us to interview today for a project she’s doing about marriage. I chuckle at the thought of being married nearly a decade and still feeling like kids. When did we grow up? When did two teens lost in puppy love end up here? How did we overcome everything we were thrown (and oh, we’ve been thrown almost everything – from others – and from within – and the stuff we’ve whipped at eachother). I chatted with a friend who told me Wes and I were ‘the exception’. That most people married young split up. At least, that’s what she had experienced. I grimaced… and I thought alound, “But it’s all a choice.” You choose to commit to Jesus – and then to your spouse. The commitment is forever and it is non-returnable or refundable (too bad for my hubs, apparently, I’m expensive). We are in it for life and this was our stance when we said “I do” when I was three months pregnant, unprepared, and clueless about marriage or motherhood.
It’s been a journey and we’ve grown more than I can explain in the past eight years. I’m so thankful for the time we’ve struggled, because those times have helped me grow stronger and more grateful for the good times. I wrote again before we left on Friday… in Our Journal. We have this journal – I forced Wes to write in it with me (not forced but close enough) when we started dating. It has been an amazing way we’ve connected through the years.
|An entry by Wes from our first few months together… (smile)|
|One from me…|
It is a gift now, as we flip the pages and literally read through the very moments of our growth together. I wrote in it again this week, for the first time in over a year, so I could read to my husband my feelings when we had quiet time alone.
So I could tell him I’ve been selfish. I’ve focused on myself more than him. I’ve ignored his feelings and his needs far too often and for far too long. I’ve dwelled on how I’m connecting with our children and remembering the cherish the moments with them – but what about my husband? Do I focus on the moments I have with him? Life is no guarentee. Life with this man is a gift – a totally grace-filled gift. I didn’t earn him. He didn’t earn me. We were given to each other. How do I cherish this present? How do I nurture our love daily? How do I speak life, rather than death? How do I build up and hold tight?
I haven’t. I mean, not really. Not madly… not the way I should be to truly honor my husband and God. Not to truly bless myself and my children with the joy that comes from the closeness we can achieve when we love selflessly and accept selfless love poured on us.
Connecting to this man again – is bliss. We’re laughing. We’re joking with eachother and flirting. We’re kissing. We’re embracing. I’m happier. I’m filled with love, joy, a good attitude. We text silly things to each other and can’t wait to see each other – it’s amazing. Our children are noticing. They love it. I’ve been renewed. I’ve been revived. Our love burns for each other… we want nothing more than to be a force to be reckoned with on this green earth. That we would truly build one another up and stand for each other in the hard times and also in the good. We will fight for this – because it is a battle to maintain a marriage and make it healthy. Not just healthy, but thriving.
We have decided to rekindle the words on paper to each other. To purposefully whisper love notes to each other through Our Journal. And we both know it will bless us emensely. All things worth doing take some effort. Choosing to invest in each other means going the extra mile to connect, even in this hectic, crazy three-children-still-really-little phase of life. Because there is always an excuse, it’s how we respond to potential excuses that defines who we become as a couple…
I’ve written for longer than 5 minutes, and this is supposed to be 5 Minute Friday’s post… so… I’ll stop there. (wink)
Linked in: Five Minute Friday – “Connected” (couldn’t have picked a better topic for me this weekend!)