Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

This was my mom’s signature line every single time I had to be away from Nathan for more than a day when we were dating.  She thought it was a bit ridiculous that I would get so sad if  I had to go 1 day without seeing him.  Looking back, it was a little ridiculous.  We pretty much knew we were going to spend the rest of our lives with one another but still…a whole weekend was a LONG time!  The concept of a weekend seems to be getting shorter and shorter these days but I’m hoping this weekend lasts a little longer somehow.

Forget date night my friends…Can you say date WEEKEND!?  That’s right!  This weekend I get to go to my favorite place on earth with my favorite guy on earth…me and my husband…just the 2 of us…together!  I.cannot.wait!  It’s been 3 years since we last made it to Traverse City…long before we knew there would be a Baby #3…it is long overdue!  Nathan surprised me Tuesday night by inviting me on a romantic get-a-way that I certainly couldn’t turn down.  Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa we’ll be northern bound in no time!

In our adult congregation at church we recently interviewed our mentor couples and asked them their best advice for a healthy marriage.  In an effort to be intentional about time together in their marriages many of them suggested scheduling date nights and weekends away ahead of time…some people schedule a year in advance!  The rule of thumb seems to be date nights twice a month and weekends away at least twice a year.  Clearly for us the weekends away are tough but date nights we’ve learned don’t always have to mean dates out of the house.  Aside from our intentional alone time each evening, my husband will purposefully ask me to just simply watch a movie with him after the kids go to bed, or he’ll bring a bottle of wine home just because he knows I like it.  Sometimes he’ll call on a random Friday afternoon and say “Hey beautiful, do you think you can get a babysitter tonight?”  I always say “YES!” because I’ll move heaven and earth to have a night out with my husband…I don’t get out much you know!  It means SO much more to me that HE takes initiative to spend time with me and you know…we probably do that more than twice a month.  For a planner like me…believe it or not…the spontaneity is so exciting!  To schedule out a year’s worth of date nights makes it a chore.  For an already over-scheduled task master it would take all the fun out of it…it would be just another thing to cross off my list, line up babysitters for and try to think of something “fun” to do.  To which I am so thankful God gave me Nathan…just another little way He shows me that He knows what He’s doing!

I was just in Traverse City 2 weekends ago on my annual girls trip and it was very nice to get away for some girl time.  It was a much-needed break for this uber busy mama.  I had a marvelous time with so many of my favorite things…no schedule, long morning walks, shopping at outlets and small boutiques and shops, great (and surprisingly healthy) food, engaging and relatable conversation with genuine and sincere ladies, and my most favorite…sitting my tushie in the sand listening to the waves with a fashion magazine and just.doing.nothing.  However, I didn’t find myself as captivated by the breathtaking views.  It wasn’t as wistful and charming.  I came to the realization that so much of what I love about Traverse City and my fondness for its beauty is because I love being there with Nathan.  I missed the familiar romantic atmosphere that the magic of his presence creates.  While I very much enjoyed my trip, it just wasn’t the same there without him!

The phrase absence makes the heart grow fonder has a little different meaning in this season of life.  While I see my husband every single day, in the chaos of life I often miss the uninterrupted extended alone time with him I so easily took for granted before we were blessed with children.  Whether it’s a date night, be it unconventional or a night on the town, or a weekend away…as infrequent as they may be…it makes me appreciate the time we do get to spend together..much more so than when we were dating.  I am elated to get to spend a WHOLE weekend with my love in my most favorite place because it’s been such a long time!

Take me away with you—let us hurry!  Song of Solomon 1:4a

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