Retreat! Retreat! | Family Focus Friday
No, no I’m not referring to parenting today. Today’s Family Focus Friday actually refers to a different kind of retreat. A marriage retreat. For the first time since before my daughter was born, my husband and I did a little getaway to focus on our marriage. Quite fitting with our 10 year anniversay closing in soon. We both came home feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the years ahead…together. What makes a marriage last? Here’s what I learned:
1. Family Means My Husband Too
I think it’s easy as a mom to put your kids first. Their needs are more immediate. More eminent. More life changing. Focus on the kids, focus on the kids, focus on the kids. You feel so drained that by the end of the day you barely have the energy to think about yourself, left alone your husband. But family means so much more than my children. It includes the man I fell in love with and still fall in love with everyday. His needs are just as important. Family means me, kids AND my husband all wrapped up in a single package. It was so great to be reminded of that.
2. Don’t Let the Years Go By
When was the last time I had a meaningful, fully attentive conversation with my husband…that didn’t include my kids? Even thinking my hardest, I don’t know that I can pinpoint the day. But then that day turns into a month, which turns into a year which turns into a decade. All too soon I can find myself living with someone I don’t even know anymore. Don’t let the days go by where you see love fade into friendship that fades into roommates. I don’t want that for us.
3. I Married An Amazing Man
I met this guy in 2001. That’s more time spent together with this guy than anyone else on this planet. He knows my quirks. I know his. And with the blinders of life I can easily see him more as a dumping ground for all of my problems than to see how he’s grown as a person. From a cute college guy to an amazing husband then an amazing father. I
4. We’ve Still Got It!
I giggle looking back at one of our ice breaker games. Basically taking the newlywed game and rolling into all of the couples in the room, we had to see how well we “knew” each other. 10 questions in and an embarrassing moment in front of the whole group, we ended up winning with the final “What did your wife wear on your first date?” It was amazing to realize how well we really did know each other!
5. Turn Off the Internet
I think the hardest thing as a blogger is turning off work. I have access to it any time, any place. It was so refreshing to leave the laptop at home and turn the phone to silent for a weekend. No pictures. No status updates. I was focused on my husband, our marriage and really listening to what he had to say. It felt weird and different. But it was also so refreshing to have all of those distractions gone. How differently I could talk to him and him with me.
6. Vertical Relationships
We had been to many marriage conferences before. But this was a new concept for us. Realizing that my relationship with God makes me a completely sinful and awful person even before approaching my husband who is also a sinful awful person. How much more humility I should have for being a wrong and broken person, trying to demand things of my husband. And how much more does God love me that I should love my spouse? Vertical relationship with God completely affects the horizontal relationship I have with my husband. I don’t want to be another divorce statistic. I want to be humble, forgiving and loving.
7. Quality Time
I can’t remember the last time we had quality time as a couple for more than a few hours. It felt like an eternity with my husband. A Glorious 48 hours with no kids, no work, no stress. I loved it.
8. We All Survived
It was the first time we had ever left our 2 year old toddler overnight. We were both terrified of what grandma would have to endure with our daughter’s never ending nightly visits. But we all survived. They had a great time away from mom and dad. We had a great time away form our kids. And when we were all together again? Amazing. The snuggles felt so much more rewarding.
Retreat doesn’t have to mean giving up. Retreating in the humble sense can also mean winning. Sometimes we have to take the time to stop, say we need something, keep on LEARNING during our marriage and actually put in the work. Our 2015 Marriage Retreat was humbling in the Family Focus sense.