My husband and I just celebrated our 21st year together. Truly something to commemorate. I’m not sure why I get to be married to him, and the rest of you ladies have to settle for someone else; but no one said life is fair.
We knew we needed to “get away”, but initially struggled with where to go. It’s been a while since we’ve traveled someplace interesting because…life. But after analyzing things like childcare, time and available funds, we opted for a practically free stay at my in-laws lake house. I must admit that, at first, I was kind of bratty about it. I have visited Canyon Lake many, many times in the last 21 years so the idea didn’t seem fun or special. But for us, for now, it seemed most prudent. Prudent. Isn’t that a romantic word?
No matter. The last couple of months handed us more on a platter than we thought we could handle. Family crisis, the death of a dear friend, job loss for friends and family, job changes and stresses for us and major insurance issues. We have cried enough tears to be dehydrated. So in the end, it didn’t really matter where we went. We just needed a break from our regular routine and an escape from the fruit of our loins.
That fruit didn’t make it easy. Allie had a youth retreat weekend at church, but had to work out transportation and other issues. And when she gets stressed, the rest of us feel it. And Shelby. Arranging care for a 19 year old who needs lots of help is not easy. Especially now that our parents are getting older. They are still perfectly capable and generously willing, but we often worry that it could be too much.
Chuck’s parents agreed to keep Shelby for two nights, and my parents stepped in to help with Allie’s logistics. Shelby started the weekend with an ear infection, two straight days of seizure activity, and multiple blow out diapers. If you think an infant’s blow out diaper is savage, you should see one from a 19 year old. But everything settled down enough for us to vacate and manage to relax.
My husband and I spent the whole first day playing. We shopped, ate pizza, and saw two movies in a row at a theater. With snack. Just because we could. Then we drove out to the lake house and had a romantic evening with no child sleeping in our room. Just what we needed. But I think our non-plans for day two excited me even more.
Sunday we agreed to sit still and enjoy a lot of quiet. As much as we needed to focus on each other, I desperately needed to spend time with my first love – Jesus. I spend time with Him every day. But just like I see my husband every day, our time together is often rushed, unfocused and crowded in with lots of other things. I needed time to savor my Savior. And I did.
I sat in a cozy recliner and looked at the lake through five foot windows while I prayed, read my bible and live streamed our church’s service. I researched scripture and I took notes. I took walks out in the world He created. And most importantly, I didn’t rush a thing.
Maybe we’ve started a new tradition. Maybe anniversary weekends will no longer be about what we can do, but what we can not do. I’m really not sure of much past just this minute. But I know this year I really needed to just linger with my first two loves.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[ Psalm 91:1 NIV
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