My husband Brian and I celebrated our 11th anniversary this past weekend. Because we have had small children for the past five years, our anniversaries have been pretty short and most likely consisted of a nice dinner and possibly a movie if we were lucky. This year we were determined to make it really special and memorable. So Friday while the kids were in school we road bikes downtown and ate at a great cafe, enjoying the breeze and sunshine. I couldn’t believe we actually had time in the day to go have lunch by ourselves somewhere! That evening we hired a babysitter and went to a town nearby to a fine dining restaurant. The food there was to die for! Ask me if you are interested and I will let you know where we went.
Whenever we are able to spend alone time somewhere I feel like I can finally breathe and be myself again. Not that I am not myself when the kids are around, but the conversations I have are almost always interrupted and piece meal. I don’t feel the freedom to talk about what has been going on, about fears, about exciting news, about dreams, about the future. So being at that restaurant with my best friend and chatting about life was awesome. I think we spent two hours there and it felt like 40 minutes. (Why 40 minutes I don’t know. lol)
The next day on our anniversary we hired another babysitter for the day and hiked the ridge. It felt like we were dating again. Before kids we liked to get out into nature and have little adventures. When our kids get a little bit older we will have to take them there because it was just beautiful. It took us 40 minutes (there is that number again) to reach the top. We sat at a park bench and ate our lunch, looking out at the valley. We could actually see the church if we looked close enough. It made me realize how small we were down below, running from one thing to the next. It was so peaceful and set apart from the busy life of the city. Why do I make my life so complicated with always doing stuff when God provides me with peace, love and joy through nature? It is at my fingertips if I stop and go outside and be still. I realized I needed more of that in my life. We walked behind the ridge and found deer trails and a small pond with a single toad croaking his important speech to anyone who was listening = ). Brian and I had nice conversations about all sorts of stuff which helped us reconnect as friends.
Yesterday, Brian had a break from leading worship. It was a surreal experience to have so much time in the morning to go get the newspaper, go let the kids play at the park, sit and enjoy our coffee and finally drive into the church parking lot with everyone else before the service started. I saw people that I didn’t normally get to see and connect with. I also met someone new that I wouldn’t have probably met had I been rehearsing with the band. We sat together for the service which doesn’t happen very often and got to enjoy it.
I will remember this anniversary for sure. I hope it teaches us a lesson to venture out of the ordinary and be young again.