Monday, October 26, 2015

DATE NIGHT DIARY

For many of the past six months, John and I have done a date night once a week.  This has been a survival mechanism for us, because we were drowning a bit and feeling disconnected in general.  As we looked at something to help ease the stress a tiny bit, we realized that having someone else feed our children dinner and put them to bed while we go enjoy an adult evening at least once a week would be a good thing for us.  I imagine that we won't always need to do this, but for now, with such very young children at home, it has been a real life-saver.

That said, I am realizing that you can't just do a weekly date night and think that your marriage is going smoothly.  Thursday night would be a prime example of that.  John likes to think outside of the box, and he looked up events in Little Rock and found a "Monster Modeling Chocolate Class" for us to take together.  Obviously, this is something that was right up my alley, and he found it and enrolled us in it, which was pretty impressive and incredibly thoughtful.

Not being certain of how long it would take us to get there, we had a babysitter scheduled for late afternoon, and she arrived, though John was still not here.  Rather than being gracious about this, especially in light of what we were going to do, I sort of bit his head off.  Even as a small part of me watched from outside of my mind, I knew that I was overreacting, but it was like I couldn't stop.  It started our evening off on a rather sour note.

We made it to the class with plenty of time and had a wonderful evening.  The classroom had a magnificent view of the sunset, and it was really fun to learn a new and quite useful technique.

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John and I made a "spooky tree" with a pumpkin patch, and it was really fun to work together on something so hands on.  Also, it will be a perfect centerpiece to our little Halloween party this weekend, and it is reposing in the refrigerator to that end.

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I was reminded of several things that night.  First off, I love learning new things, and learning with John by my side is certainly a gigantic plus.  Especially when there are no grades involved.  Secondly, going on date nights does not a good marriage make.  For us, a healthy relationship is built one day at a time and one grace-filled moment at a time.

We both fail each other regularly.  Things have sort of settled into place now that we are more than 10 years deep into this thing.  We know what to expect for better and for worse from one another.  We know the ways that we will disappoint one another, and it is hard to realize that some of those disappointments will be on-going.  We can certainly do our best to make amends and put one another before ourselves, but at the end of the day, we are both selfish.  We love each other fiercely, but the sad truth that I hate to admit is that deep down, sometimes I love myself even more.  It's my default state, and it has a way of wrecking other good things.

So, this weekend, we took time to talk through some of the small wreckings that tend to add up big and ask for grace and forgiveness.  It's nice to start a week with a clean slate, especially with this most important relationship.  Though I wish that being a grown up was easier, I'm thankful that I'm partnered with someone who is willing to do the hard work with me and loves me so well.

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