A week ago, my husband and I enjoyed not just a Date Night, but a weekend away by ourselves. Except that, it wasn’t really away, as we stayed at home, and the children went across town to Grandma and Grandpa’s. (A “stay-cation” vs. a vacation.) It’s a lot cheaper that way.
There is a danger, however. One may be tempted to work on home projects and ignore each other, instead of simply enjoying carefree timelessness. But we didn’t, and we had a great weekend.
A Word About Date Nights & Weekends Away
If you’re married, when’s the last time you sat outdoors with your spouse and enjoyed a drink? Or played Scrabble together? Or hiked a nature trail? Or reclined under a tree and read a book aloud, without the children?
It’s time. You need to schedule it. Your marriage is more important than running around to baseball games or swimming lessons. It’s more important than mowing the lawn and scrubbing the kitchen floor. Shoot, it might even be more important than sleep.
After Jesus, this spouse of yours just happens to be the most important person in your life. Then your children. Many people mix this up and end up running themselves ragged, as the expression goes. Life is too short. If you can’t do a whole weekend away, surely you can manage a few hours on a Saturday night?
Our Recent Stay-cation
For those of you who’d like an idea, here’s what we recently did.
On Friday, I picked my husband up early from work with cappuccinos in hand, and we wandered around Menards. We had a great time laughing and shopping together for trees stakes, mouse traps (now there’s a story for another time), and Mike and Ikes – just the essentials.
Then we parked the car downtown and strolled around some more. We perused isles of used books at a local book shop and found a few good ones–Immaculee Ilibagiza’s Left to Tell and an authorized biography of Tolkien. Then we were thirsty, so we enjoyed a cocktail and an appetizer. Lastly, we made our way to a local pizzeria.
Saturday morning, we drove a mile down the road to Harmon Lake Recreation Area, and we hiked the 9-mile loop that we’ve always wanted to do, but never could because of the children. And here’s what we saw:
This single-file dirt trail was breathtakingly beautiful. It wove in and out of trees and prairie. We took our time, and quite literally, stopped to smell the flowers.
Like these prairie roses, which were everywhere in bloom, along with many other wild flowers.
We also saw patches of wild strawberries, and we tasted them.
We crossed a bridge over a swampy area and looked at bluegills swimming in the water.
We saw gnarled oak trees.
We saw cacti and yucca.
And there was so much more. We saw deer, bunnies, birds, and snakes. Yes, snakes. A garter snake and then a bull snake. The 2-3 foot-long bull snake was sunning himself on the trail and was not about to move for us. So we walked around him on the grass while my heart pounded away.
But more than everything we saw, heard, smelled, and tasted, we just felt God’s presence around us and experienced His blessing in our marriage. It was just the two of us, meandering along, not worrying about anything. Not necessarily doing anything. Just being together.
My husband is my best friend, but he wouldn’t be, if I never spent time alone with him. All relationships require time together.
Want my advice?
Make time for God in prayer every day. And make time for your spouse too.