Jake and I went to a marriage conference a few weekends ago in Fort Worth. I have to be totally honest; for the past four years our marriage has been pretty easy. There haven’t been a lot of fights, struggles, or tough times. We genuinely like each other and we really are best friends. It’s just been pretty easy, which is just so stinkin awesome!
However, we both know that there are always ways to work on your marriage to make it stronger. So off we ventured to far away Fort Worth so that we could soak up any unknown information from the Family Life Marriage Conference.
The first major lesson that I learned is that we are both really selfish people. Now, this isn’t just Jake and I. This is everybody. People are selfish and in marriage it can be a really big problem if you don’t learn how to be selfless. I think we both realized that this is an area that we could work on. For instance let me take you back to an argument not long ago…..about plants. By the way, our biggest fights are always about plants….seriously…like it is hilarious to just think about. How does a discussion about plants even get heated? Anyway that’s a whole other story.
So this argument from not long ago was about whether or not we should make a gigantic flower bed in our back yard. Jake likes doing this kind of stuff and I do not. So it isn’t easy to figure out that he was the one who wanted to dig up our pretty green weeds and make this massive flower bed next to our patio. On the other hand I was the one who was trying to think of every single reason why this was a bad idea. I came up with a lot of good reasons.
-It is going to be too hot and every plant we plant in said flower bed will shrivel up and die WASTE OF MONEY & TIME
-It took us forever to grow weeds in the potential flower bed location.
-Too much watering with all the other things we have to water. We will spend our lives watering this summer.
-I don’t really want a flower bed in the back yard
The best reason I came up with, which lead to my ultimate “win” (drum roll)….if you plant a flower bed I will not help you at all with any of the gardening. I will not pull one more weed or mow one more blade of grass. So this lead to my “win”. I didn’t necessarily feel good about the method used to “win” but I didn’t want any more stinkin work to do in the heat of the summer while being pregnant.
But when we got back from the marriage conference I told Jake that I thought we should plant the flower beds this summer. What changed? I realized I was being selfish. I wasn’t even considering how much Jake loves to do that kind of stuff outside. Do I care about flower beds? Not really! They are pretty but it doesn’t bring me joy in any way. I just see it as another thing that has to be kept up. But Jake really enjoys them, and I realized that taking the high road makes him happier and makes me a better wife. SOOO selfless lesson implemented.
The second major thing that I took away from this conference was how important time away with Jake is. This was our second weekend ever away from our daughter who is almost two years old. I know we can’t be leaving her for weekends all of the time but a strong, happy, healthy, marriage makes us a better parenting team. Taking a little time for just the two of us helps to maintain that strong marriage foundation. It breathes a breath of fresh air into our marriage relationship which in return breathes fresh air back into the family time. Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying that quick date nights (dinner) aren’t beneficial…..but you have to get some nights away or weekends away to REALLY get that quality time together that you need.
With this lesson in my mind I decided to plan a surprise camping trip for Jake and I last weekend. Now I don’t know how many of you readers are campers but I have not been camping since I was probably in middle school. My mom did all the preparation back in those days so I had NO idea how much work it was to plan out a camping trip. When I finally had a list figured out of everything that we would need I got to packing it all up in the car. I stuffed the car pretty much to the brim, dropped Kylie off at my parents house, and then waited for Jake to get home from work so we could begin our tent camping adventure.
An hour and a half after Jake got home we were pulling up to Possum Kingdom State Park, while it rained. Yes you read that right, rained. After all the planning, preparation, and packing it was raining. We were going to stick this out so we drove around and found an amazing site. To get to the site you had to walk a little bit up a hill. It was this completely secluded area with a covered picnic table, and a path that lead directly down to the lake. SO us! As we got out of the car to start unloading it quit raining….YEAH! We brought everything up to the site and decided to get the tent up just in case it started raining again. Now of course we had to argue just a little when putting up the tent. I don’t even think it is possible for you to put a tent up with another person and not each have your own way of doing it. Which just shows that lesson number one from the conference…ya know the whole be selfless thing…..yeah we need to work on that more!
It only took a few minutes to get the tent up and full with a mattress, sleeping bags, fan, and clothes. Then on to the campfire. It took us a little while to get it going strong but we did it. Thank goodness because we had a dinner to cook and we were both pretty hungry. We threw corn that was wrapped in foil onto the embers to grill and then cut up sausage and stuck it on a skewer to roast over the fire. I also had cold pasta that I pulled out to munch on. It was an amazing dinner! That night we just sat around the fire, talked, listened to music, and ate smores. I usually don’t love smores but I had three and they were the best thing I have ever tasted…I am pregnant! Don’t judge me.
Sleeping that night….the least favorite part of camping for both of us. We learned that sharing an air mattress is not a good idea unless you like feeling like you are sleeping on a boat in the middle of the ocean during a storm.
In the morning we threw our foil wrapped taquitos on the still warm embers, cracked open a star bucks drink, snacked on some strawberries and fished. I forgot how much I like fishing with Jake. It is cool to catch something but it is also fun to just fish next to each other. We saw a huge fish in the water but neither of us ever caught anything. After fishing we packed up the site, played a few hands of a card game, and then drove over to the hiking area. We did some hiking and decided we were ready to make our way back home because it was getting kinda toasty out. All in all it was a really great time! I don’t think camping is something that we want to do all the time but once a year sounds like a good tradition.
What I liked most was getting away from the house and just having some time to find out new things about ourselves because our entertainment was just talking. You talk while you sit around the fire, you talk while you fish, you talk while you play cards, you talk while you hike, you talk while you drive. We talked and I love that after almost 4 years of marriage that I still learn new things about my husband. I am so thankful that he is the guy that God picked for me to marry! I love him more and more every day and I still can’t imagine anyone better to spend the rest of my life with here on Earth.
Path down to the Water
|Gotta watch the sun go down!|
|Little ole Tent|
|Our Perfect Site!|
|Our breakfast in the morning! YUM!|
|What a stud!|
|Standing in the water to keep my pregnant self cool!|
|Last year Texas had some pretty bad wildfires and this park was damaged. On the hiking trail most of the trees were burned up but flowers (or weeds...however you want to look at it) were springing up everywhere!|
|I love the beauty and biblical significance that total death of this area quickly brought newness of life.|
|Makes me think of the Parable of the Sower.|
|Hiking up hill pregnant equals lots of stopping and breathing and thus lots of pictures haha!|
|The end of our hike...we decided that the climb down this way was a little too much for me so we turned around and hiked back the way that we came!|