It’s been a couple of months since I have blogged or podcasted or added any content to social media. A lot has happened during that time. Tara and I have moved from the cornfields of Indiana to the mountains of North Carolina! What a change that has been! Every day we are taken aback by God’s beauty all around us. There’s no question that moving is stressful. I’ve seen it listed several times as one of the top five most stressful situations in life. Packing up a house we’d been in for 20+ years… moving to a home 30% smaller, having to make tough decisions on things to purge, the physical effort of packing boxes all take their toll.
That was nothing compared to arriving at the new location. Boxes, boxes everywhere. “Do you know where my ratchet set is?” “Have you seen the pizza cutter?” Nothing is in its normal place, because frankly – there is no normal place yet! I have actually run to the local Lowes store multiple times to buy things that I know I own somewhere, but needed them to assemble or fix something from the move. Having now been here for a couple of weeks, I have set up my office (though it is still crowded with unpacked items) and beginning to recreate a rhythm again.
This whole experience has been a mixed blessing for our marriage. The move itself was trying and I know we frustrated each other with our different styles and approaches to the project. But far more important is the blessing that we are now experiencing as we explore and discover the new area in which we live.
We have made it a point to include enjoyment most days (in addition to the unpacking and arranging). As an example, we drove to the local recycling center to drop off a mini-van full of moving boxes (one of seven or eight trips in total) and realized it was right next to a lovely mountain winery. We felt obligated to check it out of course and found it to be absolutely delightful. The wine is delicious and the views are incredible.
Whereas we were in long-standing routines (dare I say ruts?) at our last home, we find ourselves doing and going to new places on a regular basis now. We have eaten at delicious restaurants, hiked on some challenging trails, rented kayaks, visited waterfalls and shopped at cool little general stores in the middle of nowhere. In some ways it still feels like we’re at a VRBO on an extended vacation.
I love what we’re experiencing together. I also love the energy and the passion that has come back into our marriage. I wouldn’t say that we were in trouble as a couple, but boredom certainly has a way of creeping in to any relationship. This new life we’ve chosen has really reinvigorated us in a lot of different ways.
I’m not suggesting that you need to move across the country to enhance your marriage. But I would encourage you to seek out new experiences together. It could be going to a new place for vacation, a get away weekend to a city you’ve not seen, or sharing an experience that is new to the both of you.
Don’t let routine and complacency eat away at your marriage. Be proactive. Get out there and do something new together. You’ll be amazed at what it does for your spirit, your attitude and your relationship!