Monday, October 10, 2011

Date Night "M"

"M" brings us to halfway mark.  Thinking back, we started off slow but determined and along the way we've had some delays, a few clunkers, and some great memories.  It's hard not to stop and reflect here---in the center of the alphabet.   Where to begin? So many lessons learned already.

"M" was my night to plan and I went with "Memory Lane."  We started off our evening a little unsettled as we had two new little ones placed with us through Lydia Home just a few days prior to this date night.  We were given a two hour window for our date by our babysitter for the evening.  Two hours seems like enough in theory, but by the time you orchestrate drop off and pick-up complete with tantrums and tears, it's really more like an hour and a half, maybe less.  So, short and sweet is how we played it.  Still summer, air conditioning in full throttle, we set off to have dinner at the restaurant where we had our first date.  Ironically, it's the same building but now has a different name, appropriately starting with the letter "M"!
In my humble opinion, not nearly as wonderful as the restaurant that was there thirty-some years ago, especially on this night when their air conditioning was on the fritz, our salads were lukewarm and our waitress was full of sarcasm.  Being the date night troopers that we are, we rose above all of that and headed to a park up the hill for part two.  I had packed up our old photo albums and we carried them to a picnic table in the shade.

It was still HOT, but it also was a beautiful summer night and we enjoyed looking through our old pictures even if our most frequent comment was, "Look how skinny we were!" Although I had brought several photo albums, our attention pretty much zoomed in on our wedding pictures as we each shared memories of that day.
We both got lost in indescribable feelings and thoughts as we scrutinized those photos trying to recapture that special day and absorbing the undeniable fact that the years have flown, just absolutely flown by.

As for lessons learned at the halfway mark?  Well, for one, marriage takes work, sometimes really hard work.  I don't know why that continues to be a surprise to me. We still fight. We still laugh. And we still cry. But, surrendering our marriage to God is one of the best decisions we've ever made.  God has honored that decision over and over, in spite of the days when we are our worst enemies, when we slip and struggle, and especially in spite of our selfish selves.  Every day we're getting a little better at seeing this new thing He's doing in us and in our marriage--and that is truly something to behold!  (Isaiah 43:18-19)

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