Monday, December 27, 2010

Time Away and Layaway

   Every couple needs to take some time...for just the two of them. It doesn't have to be an expensive trip, or include a plan to do something exciting. When The Husband and I were younger, we used to do all of our Christmas shopping together on Columbus Day in October...crazy, huh?!  Nope. It was actually a huge budget saver and a lot of fun. Back in the day, we used something called "layaway" to pay for Christmas for our children. We would pick everything out on Columbus Day and make payments every two weeks until we had it paid off. We found it was the only way to survive the "Year of the Bicycle Christmas" which rolled around every so often for all four of our children. We tried the hand-me-down bike thing and that worked for a while, but our kids played hard and rode their bicycles hard so they were usually not in a condition that allowed them to be passed down to a younger sibling.
     Back to Columbus Day--since The Husband worked for a financial institution otherwise known as a bank, we could always count on him having Columbus Day off. Sometimes we would get a babysitter and eat dinner out after shopping and there were even a couple of memorable years when we managed to farm everyone out and get away to a local hotel to spend the night. Those were the best Columbus Days on record for me and were something that I dreamed of all year long.
     It wasn't that I got a lot of rest...because no matter how hard I tried to sleep in, I was always wide awake at no later than 6:30 a.m. However, I still felt refreshed and rested because of the simple fact that I could leisurely drink my coffee in a hotel lobby and read a newspaper without someone hollering, "Mommy," at the top of their lungs at least 100 times before breakfast (okay, that's a slight exaggeration!)
    But as I said, time away from the children doesn't have to be exotic. It doesn't have to be costly. One year dinner out was not in the budget, so on our way back home we stopped at our favorite frozen yogurt shoppe for a treat. As our family expanded, the time away became infinitely more precious and important for me. As a mostly stay-at-home mom, I longed for that time with my husband when we could have an uninterrupted conversation that did not revolve around children's schedules, disciplining issues, trips to the dentist or doctor, or figuring out who needed new shoes.
   Now I have the time. It's just the two of us. We really enjoy being able to sit together quietly in the same room. We don't have to fill our space with conversation. After thirty-six years, we can really communicate without words. It's the nod of the head..."It's your turn to let the dogs in!" Another nod, "Are you sure?" Yet another nod with a firmly raised eyebrow, "Yes, and puhleeease do it now before they scratch all the paint off the door." Then some more eye-rolling accompanied by even more pronounced eye-rolling. And if the chair potato (both of us fall into this category in the evenings) does not move, there will be all manner of body shifting accompanied by loud sighs. The house is empty save the two of us and the two family dogs. It means we have plenty of opportunity now for deep and meaningful communication, can't you tell?!

    Seriously...despite the good and the bad moments, the great and the not-so-great days, the glorious and the difficult challenges, and the divine and the mundane aspects of life here on earth, as believers The Husband and I are still managing, by God's grace, to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy and where thieves cannot break in and steal. It's the secret strength of our marriage and it has nothing to do with either of us and everything to do with our great God.

1 comment :

  1. i love the layaway idea..wish we did more of that these days!! and you are so spot on...marriage only has the capacity to be beautiful when you realize by grace go I...go all of us.


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