My husband and I love to travel.
This is slightly difficult to make happen due to the fact that my husband has a very rigid work schedule. In order to still do what we love despite the time constrains; we have wholeheartedly plunged into perfecting the art of the day trip.
Some of our most memorable adventures have been on our day trips.
We have explored lakes, waterfalls, mountains, dams (the Los Padres Dam was breathtaking), national parks, state parks, regional parks, national forests and national monuments. All in a day’s work!
Why we love to travel.
We love traveling together for many reasons, but the main one is the amount of time we spend together.
My husband is my closest friend. This did not happen because of proximity, based on the fact that we live together, this happened because of intentionality.
When we were first dating I was enthralled by my husband. I wanted to learn everything about him; his life story, his hopes, dreams, fears, how he processes and views the world. The more I learned, the more I fell in love with him.
That desire to deeply know my husband has not diminished since then and I never want it to! It is my goal to make a life study out of my husband. If I ever believe I know everything there is to know about him, I stop cherishing the growing, changing and ever developing person he is. I never want to be a passive participant of my husband’s life, but rather a vital source of connection and support.
I want these words from Timothy Keller in The Meaning of Marriage to be a banner over my marriage, “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”
I want that for my husband! I want to fully know him so I can fully love him.
I believe that knowledge produces understanding, understanding produces empathy, and having empathy for my husband fills me with kindness and grace instead of the frustration that results from misunderstanding and misjudgment. When I gain a better understanding of how he thinks and processes, I know how to communicate effectively and be understood. When I have a deeper knowledge of his insecurities and fears, I have the tools to see a deeper meaning behind his words. When I discover his hopes and dreams, I have the power to better encourage and support him daily.
I love asking questions.
I believe that in order to really get to know the deep places of a person’s heart; you have to intentionally seek them out. For me, this looks like asking a lot of questions. Questions we ask each other frequently include; “What are your hopes, dreams and goals? What are you actively doing to make that a reality? How can I support you best in that journey? What are you learning about yourself/ God / me? What are you working on? What can I be working on? How can I best support you in this situation?”
Alongside these deep questions, we also love quirky questions that inspire creativity and laughter. These include; Chat Pack Conversation (a stack of cards with fantastic questions), imaginative “Would you Rather” scenarios, and even searching Pinterest for funny/ random/ off-the-wall list of questions. You would be surprised by what you learn about someone with a question like, “Describe your day with a fruit (Bright like a lemon? Slightly pruny?).”
In order to be the vital source of connection and support that marriage has the power to be, we must be present in one another’s daily lives. That looks like setting aside the time to actively listen to the hard things, the funny things, and the seemingly insignificant things. When we are connected and present, committed to building our unity, we create a safe place in one another. This place is defined by freedom and transparency. A space we can be unapologetically ourselves, in all of our flawed and imperfect glory, and be received with an unconditional love.
I reap what I sow in my marriage. I want to sow the seeds of time, laughter and conversation and reap the fruit of a strong marriage, blooming with confident trust, raw vulnerability and the sweetest friendship we will find on this earth.
Spending hours in the car together seeing spectacular places has been such a sweet means of cultivating our friendship. Through traveling, we create physical distance between the stresses of life and our marriage. When we are able to step away, even if it’s just for a few hours, we gain the perspective necessary to see our lives with the bigger picture in mind. We are able to come back to the foundational truth of who we are and what our purpose is as a married couple. On our adventures we create valuable memories and experiences that sustain us through the dry seasons of a sometimes monotonous life.
I know my husband deeper than anyone else does and therefore I know how to show love, speak encouragement, and extend support better than anyone else. What an incredibly sweet gift and responsibility marriage is!
Join me on this joyous journey! Take the time to listen, seek to understand and celebrate the person you have the privilege of knowing better than anyone else!