Marriage is a journey that takes work, especially once kiddos join the fun! One way we are keeping our marriage first is to take monthly family adventure dates. We include our precious E on these dates so she can see how we are called to love one another as we take intentional time to explore God’s beautiful world!
Joshua and I have been married for over five years now— what a sweet five years they have been. Yet when we look back to 2019, the sweetness lost a bit of its enticement. This was not anyone’s fault—it was circumstantial because of my pregnancy. But we have a solution—monthly adventure dates, which I will explain below.
Circumstances led to our dateless year
When I was pregnant with Baby E, I was sick the entire nine months. There were times the smell of Joshua’s deodorant would send me running to the toilet—you can imagine what the smell of food did to me. Because of this, we found ourselves living separate. Joshua became my caretaker and then retreated to bachelor life so as not to disturb me from my misery (by my request). This season showed me the servant-hearted man I had married, but it also left us dateless (and distant, in some ways) for nine months.
E was born in November, our families visited, flu season was upon us, and date nights were not very practical. Our parents did babysit for us so we could have a real date night— nausea free. But this left hungry for more time together.
I think these are two words we are all saying right now. When Covid hit we were once again sequestered without a way to really date. We knew we needed dates—an atmosphere to have fun with and learn one another—but we didn’t know how. We were hesitant to go out in public and restaurants were not an option.
So we took a road trip. A 55 hour roadtrip.
Road Trip Time
We traveled to Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Louisiana. Our parents welcomed us (and especially baby E) to their homes this summer.. This allowed us to work more efficiently in our new remote lifestyle. Along the way, we took our breaks from driving by staying with friends in Louisiana and Alabama. Never did I think a road trip could be so good for the soul—so good for a marriage.
It was like we were dating again, ready for whatever adventure life threw at us because we were together. This led to our new resolution—once a month, we will take an adventure together—a monthly adventure date. As a a family we will explore our city and the surrounding area.
Monthly Adventure Dates—getting rooted in our city
Our church is doing a study entitled Growing in Times of Exile. The series focuses on God’s call to His people to seek the welfare of the city in which you are planted—to settle down, have kids, and live your life in that city (Jeremiah 29). After visiting our friends in New Orleans, we realized we had not learned our city of Houston like they had learned New Orleans (and they have only lived there one year).
So we have decided to learn the city in which we have been “exiled” and date each other in the process—we are going to take a monthly adventure date. And Covid cannot stop us. E will join us for almost all of these outings because we want her to also learn her city and witness her mommy and daddy loving one another as they adventure together. And let’s be honest—babysitters are not much of an option right now with Covid.
So today we took our first monthly adventure date—we visited Sam Houston National Forest. It was stressful at times, but mostly sweet. The sweetness of the day was not made by a perfectly planned schedule—it was made by two lovers discovering new places and treking new lands (quite literally). It was made because we decided to find beauty in the ordinary, give grace in the mess, and discover some semblance of order in the chaos. It was made because we rediscovered life’s simple beauties as a family.