When Your Marriage Cries For Margin
I excitedly packed my bag for an overnight getaway with my man in Seattle like I was leaving for a high-end trip for a month to another country.
Although I only needed a change of clothes, a hat, a book and my journal just in case - my heart was beating hard just like my 20-year-old heart did for him.
Just us... what does that even feel like? We both knew it had been way too long of a haul and our marriage was ready for a fuel up.
We've had a good routine of lunch dates and occasional get aways for a weekend, with a few big anniversary trips over the years - but the transitional year of wandering the west, left no space or trusted friends to step in to help us out for even one night.
Did you know that rest and making up for lost time can be as simple as getting away to a hotel only an hour from home?
So often we continue on feeling drained physically, depleted emotionally and suffering from the disconnect of the day-to-day grind.
In reality, we just need to wave the white flag and give ourselves over to each other and stop all the stuff.
I'm talking no words about work, no emails, phone calls, no lists of hard things to talk about, and especially no kids (and we love all five of them dearly).
After conquering down town and the coffee spots, we parked our mini-van at Pikes Market downtown and boarded the ferry on foot just to add to the adventure.
I wheeled my little carry on aboard and it felt as if we were leaving on a jet plane except with clam chowder in tow for the hour-long ride across the water.
We secured our spot at the rear of the boat with a stellar view of the Seattle skyline and Mt. Rainier showing off at sunset, taking the deepest breathes in a very long time.
You guys, sometimes we all come to a place in our relationship where things "feel" harder than they should only because we aren't operating on our strongest team game.
Time away together is mandatory for survival and thrival (my new word).
Our conversations took place face to face with no interruption (what?) while standing as close as possible and all tangled up (yes please) like ones in love want too, but don't get too often enough when they are running a large family operation?
Because we all know that there's the:
- loads of laundry to wash,
- meals to cook and clean,
- kids with lots of thoughts and questions,
- things to get done for church ministry work,
- a toddler in the mix making Momma constantly tied up,
- stress creeping in,
- kids needing to do things,
- trying to embrace moments,
- appointments to schedule,
- frustration building,
- the yard work,
- car maintenance,
- the juggling of budgets and bills,
- that very real enemy,
- that lack of sleep,
- and to do lists for years hanging over our heads.
Yep, that was us.
We took to the small towns that night around the big city and slow-ly put all of the weight and worry and busy on hold - with no chance of picking it back up for 48 hours.
Honestly, we needed the break in January but didn't know anyone (although had met loads of loving people) well enough to say, "Hey - we are dying for an uninterrupted over-night date, can you hang with our five kids?"
So we did what many couples do when no one is in our lives deep enough to help us carry the burdens...we waded through six more months of slowly fading into the "who are you" mode of marriage.
Those times when you look at each other and you know there is so much good in the one that you love, but the weight of life has drained the ever-loving grace and joy out of your lungs?
Thankfully my man shared honestly with a friend from church after a meeting, about how our marriage was running on fumes from the long journey to Washington and we really needed some space to just connect.
I love him for doing that for us. What a champ.
Before he even got home from the meeting that night (because that's how Jesus works), a text message was sent to us with an invite to care for our little kids - so we could check out. I mean how ridiculously kind of them.
Isnt it sweet how God steps in and redeems a rough patch?
Our time was so amazing that I grieved going home - even after just one night. All the feels and fireworks were with us and I even forgot about ALL the kids.
Totally forgot we had kids. Amen.
A lazy morning complete with our favorite late hotel checkout, cold pizza leftovers from the 1 a.m. delivery, and then sitting out on the docks dreaming about the days ahead was the perfect closing ceremonies to the weekend.
Closeness can heal whats been stolen during difficult days.
Your relationship is not beyond renewal - but you have to wave the flag and step into a break with great expectancy.
Go find your people who care about your marriage.
Go find your break.
Go find yourself.
Go find each other.