My hubby and I took a road trip to the Hill Country in early July to celebrate our anniversary. The ride there was so enjoyable – we listened (and sang along with…loudly) to many songs (specifically those that didn’t help us learn our ABC’s or 123’s), had some uninterrupted conversation and reminisced on our eleven years of marriage. We even had some beautiful quiet time with just the tires humming on the blacktop and the sound of the A/C blastin’ (It’s so hard to hear those things with, uhem, our usual “background noise” coming from rows two and three.)
We arrived at our little getaway a couple hours after check-in (it takes awhile to get the kiddos packed and dispersed among the grandparents…who I am SOOOO incredibly thankful for, oh by the way!) There was a note on the office door of the bed and breakfast with a few numbers to call when we wanted to check-in. Hmmm. Interesting. After leaving voice mails on three different phones, I wasn’t certain of my “first impression” quite yet.
The innkeeper called back within fifteen minutes and explained that she had left her 14-yr. old son in charge while she ran to check on another property. So, we just hung out in the classy lounge and waited for her to arrive. Now, if we would have had our kiddos WITH us, that fifteen minutes might have seemed like fifteen hours and she might have actually paid us (to leave), but we were in “chill mode” on this trip, so nooooo prob.
We got our room key and went to check it out. It looked very inviting and relaxing, except I wasn’t so sure how comfy the bed would actually be without sheets or pillowcases? What?! Yes, I think the same son at the front desk was in charge of our linens as well. The poor owner apologized and quickly came with the softest sheets known to man – good things DO in fact come to those who wait! Oh, did I mention that the owner was a single mom of six children ranging in age from 14 to 20 years old (with a set of triplets in there)? Yeah, so we didn’t complain about a thing! ;-)
We had a chance to take a long walk on a nature trail beside Cypress Creek. We couldn’t help but notice the grand cypress trees outlining it – they must have been hundreds of years old! And, the majestic roots were simply amazing on these woody treasures. So, since I’m always thinking and it was an anniversary trip, I couldn’t help but compare marriage to these magnificent trees.
The trees started out as seeds so small and over time, could now withstand most of nature’s greatest forces. If we take the time to build strong “roots” in our own marriage, our love, too, is sure to grow deeper and stronger with each passing year…strong enough to withstand all the forces against it.
We recently heard that the real “Give 100% Rule,” as it applies to marriage, is more 120/80 or 40/160 because there will be times that one will “give” more than the other and the other spouse will need someone to lean on. We can’t give what we don’t have. As we looked closer at the cypress trees, some of them even leaned a little, too.
In addition to this tree parallel, marriage could also be compared to a white water trip. There will be rapids - the fast-paced-run-here-run-there part of our lives. And, there will be boulders that we come upon unexpectedly, without warning, and have to maneuver together. Finally, there are the calm pools that allow us the time to regroup and reconnect.
How can we start to build these “roots?” Take a trip every week with that special someone. What?! Are you a crazy woman?! No, not a road trip, boat trip, train trip or even plane trip. Well, heck, if you have the moola – go for it! But, I’m talking about a “T.R.I.P.” T – share with our spouse why we are thankful for them R – reflect on all the reasons we love them I - discuss areas that could use a little “tweaking” or um, improvement in the relationship P - pray and plan the next T.R.I.P.! Happy traveling…oh, and if there’s a “flat” along the way, repair it as soon as you can and get back on the road! Kiddos really love to see a happy mommy and daddy!