You have heard young women say, “don’t hate me because I am beautiful?” Perhaps it is said tongue in cheek or as a joke or maybe because they really believe it-or maybe they are! I have no idea. No, I am not beautiful. Today, I am asking you not to hate me because I have the most marvelous husband ever! People often ask me how I got so lucky to get ‘one of those’ or does he have a brother? Yes, he has four brothers, all taken. Yes, I am lucky. My theory is that after spending sixteen years married to the wrong man, God decided to bless me with the right one. All I can say is after twenty-seven years-he has only improved with time. Please don’t hate me.
Marriage, like most relationships, takes work. We don’t take our good marriage for granted-we invest time and energy into it! Not only do we find common interests, we have friends and outside interests also. This helps keep us fresh and interesting (we hope) so, when our church offered a couples event, we decided to take part in-
The event was arranged by Building Bridges, a local Christian Counseling Center. Selecting a date in the city, desert, mountains, or beach, you were given an envelope with your location which included restaurants, sights, museums, parks, maps, and ideas in which you could work with. The packet also had questions to be used throughout the day in order to connect and open conversation. Now I know many men might go running at the thought of having to open up and talk but it was actually fun-I promise!
We picked up our packet the night before and found a destination very familiar to us
Huntington Beach, California
Although I was a bit disappointed at the particular beach that was selected (since our kids live in the area), we decided to just go with it and see what happened. Bright and early that morning we set off on the familiar 45 minute drive. It was a perfect morning and our first surprise of the day was this marvelous sunrise.
Once arriving, breakfast was our first mission (especially since we were caffeine deprived). We immediately headed to the pier and on to a cute diner located at the end.
It was early so we only passed a few fisherman and walkers.
The suffers were already out
and it was a glorious morning on the water.
We stopped to appreciate the early morning quiet and then…
It was so early we had the place to ourselves…
…and picked a window seat to enjoy the unobstructed ocean view.
After breakfast we walked the shops and main street. Still early, most of the shops were closed.
We decided to sit in the sand for awhile and soak up the sun…
…while we opened our packet of questions.
The questions were non threatening like, “What is the best piece of advice you have ever received” and ‘When did you realize you had fallen in love with me?” Fun but not deep enough to make a husband go running for the hills (or throw himself into the ocean)!!
Soon enough the stores opened so off we went. Since it was a date, Thommmee humored me while I tried on shoes at the Croc shop.
If you have never been in one of their stores or know much about Crocs, they offer so much more than their signature clog. The shoes are so comfy and I needed a new pair of flip-flops anyway. I don’t know how it is in most places but in Southern California you can wear flip-flops most of the year! Oops…I got so excited about the shoes, I digressed. Back to the date!
The Surf Museum was not open until noon but we did venture into a quaint little antique shop.
A street faire and farmers market was setting up and we spent some time touring the vendors.
Although the sun was out it was a bit chilly near the water. We decided to drive to Bolsa Chica Beach which is about 5 miles north of Huntington Beach. I had packed a light lunch. After a short (and chilly) lunch on the beach, we changed gears and drove up the coast to Long Beach. Parking at the marina (and staying in the car this time)
we pulled out the lunch questions.
The lunch questions were a bit different but still designed to spark conversation. We felt questions like, ” If you didn’t have to work how would you spend your time?’ were directed at younger couples but we did our best to go along. By then we were ready to head home knowing that if we waited much longer the traffic would be horrible. After we got home we kicked back for awhile then resumed our date with-you guessed it-a game of Scrabble on the patio while barbecuing ribs for dinner…
…and dinner questions.
The day ended with two tired but happy people.
On Sunday, there was a luncheon for the dating adventurers. As I looked around the room at the other couples, I realized we were the oldest couple there. Instead of making me feel bad, I felt good that our marriage was important enough for us to continue to keep it alive and growing. The therapist who organized the dates was there. He talked about marriage and the commitment it takes from both. After chatting with each other and listening to his encouragements and thoughts, he passed out (what he called) ‘A recreational enjoyment inventory’ to encourage couples to find interests that they might share together. It was quite an extensive list with things like canoeing, archery, watching sports events, hiking, cards, coin collecting, and things I never would have thought of!
Even if you don’t have an opportunity for an organized adventure or even if you aren’t married-what I took away from this is that all relationships need a commitment. Friends will not remain friends for long if the relationship is one sided. Friendship takes time to cultivate and maintain. Parents and children need to keep their relationships growing as that child matures. Couples of all kinds need to put effort and commitment into their relationships. Finding new interests can help create new relationships as well as strengthen old ones. I guess that can be said for blogging as well. We need to be interested in others if we want to support a growing and caring blogging community.
At the end of the day it could be said that
We only get one chance at this!!!