Our church hosts the retreat every two years. The last one occurred in August 2011 and since we were not getting married until September 2011, we could not attend.
I heard so many positive things about the last retreat that I could not wait for this one to come. Although I was excited about the retreat and how it could enhance our marriage, there was one little issue. A 14-month-old issue named Christopher (I must admit he is a wonderful issue to have)!
A miscommunication caused a babysitter issue that almost resulted in us not attending. Up until this point I had never left my son over night and rarely left him with anyone for more than 2 -3 hours. As a first time mom, all sorts of things go through your mind the first time you know you are going to leave your child. Of course, you are going to leave your child with someone you trust, but you also feel that no one can love your child, or care for your child, as you do. When we ran into the babysitter issue, I thought maybe it was a sign from God that I should not leave my child and that we should not go.
God had a ram in the bush and the situation worked out for us to attend. I am so thankful to God now that I did trust Him to work the situation out and trusted Him with my child while he was in the care of someone else.
One of my good friend’s always tells me, “Your family is only as strong as the mommy and daddy.” If the mom and dad’s relationship is not tight, the rest of the family will suffer. In me trying to hold on tight and protect my son, I almost missed out on some much needed time alone with my husband. Time that we desperately needed to communicate some things to each other, rediscover some things about each other, discover some things about ourselves, to be reminded of what we loved about each other, and to grow individually and as a couple.
Therefore, I encourage anyone out there reading this to make sure you prioritize your marriage. Take care of each other so that you are able to take care of the entire family unit.
On a plane trip a few years ago, the flight attendant told us that in case of an emergency to secure the oxygen mask on yourself first and then put the mask on the child you have with you. Although I did not have a child at the time, that initially sounded crazy to me, because in the state of an emergency you want to make sure you save your child, right? As I thought about it more, it made perfect sense.
If I secure the oxygen mask on my child first and then I pass out who will take care of my child. However, if I secure my mask on first and then my child’s, I will still be there to take care of my child during the emergency.
So what am I saying? I am saying put first things first. Make sure that you and your spouse secure your mask on (or take care of your relationship) first so that you are in good health to secure the mask on (or care for) your family.
The reality of it is that one day your children will grow up and leave the house. You do not want them to leave and discover you and your spouse are now strangers. Alternatively, you do not want to wake up one day while they are still in the house and discover you two are so weak that you cannot keep your family together.
Photo Credit: Sunnycrest Photography took this lovely photo of my husband and I!