Sara and I just got back from a 48 hour getaway in Des Moines. No agenda, no schedule, and no Lylah. Two days where we could do pretty much whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.
And I was tempted to stay home.
Lylah was already with her babysitter, we were getting ready to leave, and it was late on Sunday night.
“We don’t have to go,” I told myself. “We could stay at home and relax just as easily as we could in Des Moines, and we’d save money spent on a hotel and all those meals in restaurants. It’s just not worth it to spend all this money.”
But I decided not to say anything to Sara. And we went on our trip.
I’m so glad we went.
We didn’t have the most epic time ever. We didn’t do tons of amazing things. We spent close to half our time away just sleeping or lounging in the hotel. We went out to eat a few times at some sit-down restaurants. We went shopping at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and PetCo, and read in a food court in a mall. Drove around expensive neighborhoods in West Des Moines while Googling housing prices. And we ate the only Chick fil A in Iowa that isn’t inside a shopping mall.
But it was just what we needed.
So often I look at my Instagram feed and it looks like everybody else has a cooler, more exciting life than me. I see these pictures from people in cool parks, going on bike rides along waterfront cliffs, people at lake houses, others eating at fancy restaurants, or people traveling across the world.
Then I look at my own feed which has a ton of pictures of laptop screens, coffee mugs, pictures of family around the house. Occasionally there’s unfiltered sunset or artsy airplane wing photo.
But the only thing stopping me from adding excitement in my life and marriage is me.
Nothing magical happened on our trip to Des Moines. But it was a good reminder that Sara and I can exist apart from our roles as parents or as pastors. We could hang out together with no agenda and enjoy one another’s presence. And we created memories that we’ll always share together.
Having shared memories like these will help sustain us when marriage doesn’t feel as adventuresome or exciting. When it feels like everything in the world is working against us, we can remember getting stuffed on bacon garlic fries at Zombie Burger and that we had a great time doing it. We can remember how much we love just being together.
How has continuing to date your spouse strengthened your marriage?