It’s a Monday and in a normal week I’d be settled in at my desk by now, working on payroll, grant reports, or calling for a quote to fix whatever problem has cropped up with our office building that week.
Instead, I just hopped out of a shower with endless hot water and no interruptions from my toddler wanting to practice his “aim” in the newly discovered potty, all so he can get the promised one M&M for his efforts.
I’m all stretched out, my 33 week pregnant belly protruding as a reminder of what the coming year will bring.
It’s glorious, this lounging on a hotel bed with clean sheets in the quiet while watching my husband pack up our things as we head to our next destination, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove for the Christian Blogger Retreat.
At dinner last night at a local dive we visited 11 years ago during our first end-of-the-year retreat as a married couple, we sat together and began the process of reviewing our year.
This reviewing and reflecting together, it’s something we intentionally take time for every year.
We first share the highlights of the past year together, remembering exciting events like my daughter’s first day of kindergarten, finding out we were pregnant with baby #3, the growth of my husband’s business, being brave and stepping into this unique ministry of blogging, and my husband writing and launching his first book.
Then we move on to talking through the coming year. We talk about the things we’re looking forward to, the challenges that lie ahead, and the opportunities for growth we’d like to capitalize on. We talk about what we personally want to focus on and identify a focus for our family as a whole. We talk about relationships we’d like to foster and experiences we’d like to have.
It’s my favorite time of the year.
In the midst of the mundane tasks of the day-to-day, we often lose our spark. We forget the why in what we’re doing. And we’ve learned over the years that a re-set is important.
This time to reflect and renew our commitment to one another, to our family, to our pursuit of God, and to our own growth as individuals is not optional, it’s necessary.
Over the years we’ve had many married friends ask us how we’re able to get away and take this intentional time together. Honestly, we’re blessed with fabulous parents who love our kids and understand the importance of investing in your marriage. But even if we didn’t have such great family support, we’d figure out a way to make this time at the end of the year a priority. It’s that important.
What about you?
Do you and your husband take time away to reflect on the year almost completed and to plan and dream about the year ahead?
I’d love to hear about some of your experiences – what you’ve tried that works and what doesn’t. Do you use any particular resources to assist you in your reflections? If not, what would be helpful to you?
My husband and I are passionate about our end of the year reflection time and would love to serve you in the future with resources for doing just this thing. How can we help you? I can’t wait to hear!
Anita Ojeda says
What a fabulous idea, LeeAnn! We’ve never done anything this intentional before–but it’s never too late to start ;). When our kids were young, it was hard to get away because family all lived so far away. Last Christmas, we got to spend two weeks together in Hawaii–and he only had to take one or two business calls the entire time–it was wonderful to reconnect and celebrate 25 yeas of teamwork and love :).
I’m so excited for you and Chuck. What a gift to have this time together to reflect, renew and refresh! I’m praying with you that God leads you both forward in the grip of His love. Love you friend!
LeeAnn, thank you for shedding light on the importance of investing in your marriage. This intentional time is so often overlooked.
My husband and I have always had at least one date night a week. Now as empty nesters, that once per week has turned into at least 4x/week. : )
Great post! Glad you chose The Cove to spend some time together!
I absolutely agree that marriage is a commitment that needs renewal. I forgot this when I had kids and it is a deep focus now. Our love helps us better love the children.
Angie Ryg says
Absolutely LOVE this idea of very intentional planning and dreaming. We have done family year end goals and reflections, but somehow we never make time for just us two to dream together and to celebrate together. Thanks for this inspiration and for linking up with Inspire Me Monday! So glad to have you there and I look forward to reading more of your ministry here on your blog!
Love this idea! My husband and I had a “dreaming date night” recently and it was so…refreshing. I love the idea of making reflection a regular practice. Also love that you two got a chance to rest at The Cove!
Beth S. says
What a blessing your time together must have been. I really love the idea of making this a regular practice. Hubs and I recently had a getaway weekend at the location where we went for our honeymoon 24 years ago. I think primarily because of where we were at, it opened the door for time of reflection and time sharing our hopes and dreams for the years to come. It was a beautiful three 1/2 days together. Something I hope to have as more of a routine. Your post inspires me to consider this even more. We may be doing a marriage retreat soon through the Army. They offer is free for couples when a spouse has returned from a deployment.
Blessings to you, LeeAnn.