Anyone besides me ready for winter to go away and spring to come already?! Don't know about y'all but this weather makes me want to hibernate ...in sweats, by a fire, with a cup of coffee! Yup! That sounds perfect! Going out in the cold sounds like a horrible idea, unless I absolutely must! So...the day after New Years, when my fella asked me out on a date (literally the coldest night of the year...the night it snowed in Florida!), I was not too ambitious to say yes!
We had just made it thru all the holidays (and my birthday) without my mama for the 1st time (tough!); I was fighting a nasty cold and going out was the last thing on my mind! Besides all that, I had another long list of excuses! Going out to dinner meant I had to come up with a dinner plan for our kids (1 of whom is gluten, dairy & peanut free...so ordering a quick pizza was not an option!), figure out what to wear, wash my hair, AND decide where we would go out to eat! Whew! The thought of it all was overwhelming (Did I mention I can get overwhelmed with life details easily?) It just seemed easier to stay home in my sweats, cozied up by a fire! (Do any other tired mamas out there feel me?)
So what's a husband to do when he pursues his wife but she gives every excuse imaginable? Well, he begins problem solving, of course! And that's exactly what my man did! He listened to my heart (you know...the emotions behind the jumbled-up words) and began figuring out what to feed the kids and then made plans for them and then decided where he would take me to eat! The only decision I had to make was what to wear! Whew! That sure made things simpler! I could handle even that small decisions in my grief! Okay, this was looking more promising!
So out the door we headed (into the bitter cold, but I thought maybe it would be a good excuse to snuggle at the restaurant hee-hee). I was feeling a bit more positive about this but still not 100% convinced it was a great idea. All that changed tho when we arrived in Thomasville, Georgia at none other than...Jonahs!!! Yum!!! What a perfect night for Jonah's Shrimp & Grits! And since it was a Tuesday night, it wasn't packed. Even better! We found us a cozy little quiet booth (usually hard to find at Jonah's since it's a hoppin place!). Oh...I forgot to mention that Allen had taken a week off of work and this was his last night off (we had "intended" to squeeze in a date that entire week bit something always came up). So this was our last chance before going "back to reality".
So, as we sat down to eat, my spirit lifted a bit (Yes...food has a way of doing that for us all, I suppose), and I began to be so very grateful that we got out! Then we began dreaming together and making new plans for the new year (this felt monumental as some days I'm so overcome by the grief of losing my mom that I don't know how in the world I'll ever move forward without her)! We jotted down a few of our dreams, goals and plans for 2018 and it was so very delightful and refreshing! As we talked, we realized something...this was our very first date since mama had passed (on October 25th)!!! Sigh! That felt monumental as well! BUT we did it! We are beginning to live again and move on with life (beginning 2018 without her felt so very hard just a day earlier). Then we realized it was actually our first date since early September (When mama got real sick). Even bigger! And even though we really just could not believe that we (the #marriagemondays couple) had allowed that much time to pass before dating, we celebrated this milestone! Yay for us!!! Props for being intentional to invest in our marriage on the coldest night in Florida/Georgia in probably 30 years!
As we left the restaurant, we breathed in the bitter cold air, snuck in a selfie (of course), then delighted in the twinkling lights of downtown (yall, downtown Thomasville is Bee-u-ti-full when decorated for Christmas!!). It really felt so magical! It was such a wonderful night...and I almost missed it!
I had absolutely no idea how badly I needed to get out with my man...how badly I needed to get fixed up, leave my grief at home & escape the daily mundane tasks...just me and my fella! We both realized it had been entirely too long and we vowed to be more intentional in our dating and Make -- It -- Happen! And way more often!
So...here's the encouragement part...
Husbands & wives, we want to urge you that if it's been a while since you dated each other, its time! Do whatever you have to do to make it happen! Hire that sitter, book that reservation and get er done! Don't let any more time go by before you invest in your marriage!
*Sidenote for Husbands:
Pursue your wife! They really do want to be pursued. They may just be overwhelmed and not have any idea how they will get out the door. They may need help planning some details. Maybe asking "how can I help?" as Allen did for me would be a good start!
*Sidenote for Wives:
You've got to LET your man pursue you & let him help! Let him plan the date, or hire the sitter (or both)! (After all, our guys are way more capable than we really give them credit for ;-) Trust me...you'll be so glad you did, ladies!
Working together to make that date happen is going to be key..it was for us! So go ahead! We give you permission to invest in your marriage! Put it first and your kids really will thank you one day (maybe even your grand kids too)!
Cheering you on,
Allen & Carol