Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Just us...

He came home from the church early yesterday.
I packed a picnic supper and we drove an hour north to the town he was raised in.
There's a beautiful lake with a park and walking path surrounding it in the center of his hometown.
The weather was cloudless, sunny and just the right temperature, not too hot, not too cool.
We walked around the lake, then drove to a store to get some rolls to go with the chicken salad I had in the cooler.

Back at the lake, we chose a bench to sit on.
We assembled our chicken salad sandwiches on the chewy pretzel rolls I had just purchased.
Two ducks waddled toward us and I was sure they were about to bother us, begging for scraps.
Instead, they found a piece of bread crust left on the ground by some other picnicker, 
and decided to leave us to our impromptu feast.
We sipped on cold diet Cokes and the Hubs helped himself to seconds of the sandwiches 
while I munched on some fresh strawberries we had brought along as a healthy dessert.

It was after we were done eating that something struck us both as funny.
We both got to laughing, the kind of laughing where it feels like you just can't stop. 
Tears welled up in our eyes.
It was then that I realized just how weary he is and how much we need a vacation.
It has been too long since we both belly laughed like that.
Our conversations are too full of church and challenges and people and problems.

It's difficult to find the balance.
It's all too easy to get so wrapped up in the lives and struggles of people in our congregation,
in the daily challenges of church leadership,
that we lose touch with ourselves.

Sometimes, it takes leaving the problems at the church office and coming home early.
Sometimes, it takes packing a picnic and driving out of town,
Sometimes, it takes sitting on a park bench in the sun, laughing until you cry.
Sometimes, it takes something as simple as that to find ourselves again.
For a few precious hours, we were more than a pastor and pastor's wife.
For a few precious hours, we were just us.

still following,


  1. Sounds like a precious time. Take time to get away or stay in for a day even. It will revitalize you both.

    I needed a new windshield last weekend. My husband drove me at 7:15 saturday morning. We talked so much during that short ride. I told him we should sneak off to breakfast every weekend while the kids are sleeping!

  2. Did you write this post just for me (us)?!?

    So glad you two enjoyed the hours together. Sounds really, REALLY healthy :)

  3. Aaawww, vacations, yes. Just that time of connecting again and communing too.

  4. You need to do this more often, dear friend. Laughter is so good for the soul - and I imagine your Heavenly Father joined you in your laughter!

  5. I could so relate to your beautifully worded post. Hubby and I will soon be married for 48 years and all but the last two (we retired) were spent in full-time church work. Hubby was a Minister of Music for 45 of those years along with also serving as Associate Pastor, Minister of Administration and Education. We laugh now about needing another "Call" every Monday morning. No one can fully understand the weight of ministry and the blessings without having served in that capacity. I am so glad we had that experience together, but we are now so enjoying the freedom to be away from that responsibility. Your little afternoon retreat sounds like a great way to distract while refueling.

  6. I read this post like a cool breeze.

    What you describe is exactly what we need around here. Just a picnic. Just us. And just some belly laughs.

    1. Do it, friend! Run away together, if only for a couple of hours.

  7. So glad you had that time together, Elizabeth! Hopefully you'll be able to plan more of these getaways for just the two of you.
    Mary Alice

  8. I loved reading this--I bet you two are the greatest pastors that ever were.

    Get some rest both of you.


    1. Oh my! Far from the greatest pastors I'm afraid. Leaning heavy on Jesus is all. :)

  9. I don't know exactly why this made me smile and then start to get tears, but it did.
    My husband is working and in nursing school,and with two little ones - we are exhausted and sometimes weary. But the other night we got laughing about something so hard before bed (I don't even remember what, it was so random), but it felt so good. Just to laugh. Just to be us.

  10. Dear Elizabeth
    This is something I feel strongly about. A body has many parts and each one has its own function to make the body work. It is supposed to work the same way in a church. You and your husband cannot be feet, arms, head, ears, eyes, etc, etc, etc. I know it is difficult, but he is still the most important one in your life, apart from God. Cherish him, sweet friend.

  11. Thanks for writing this story about simple time away, together. I've been worried that our vacation is too boring. we are just sitting together, on the beach, chatting, walking, doing nothing but being together. It's good. :)

  12. That time together to refresh is so needed. Blessings to you and your husband for all I'm sure you do for many.

  13. Elizabeth, so glad we're neighbors at Jennifer's-- led me to stop by here and read this sweet post that I needed so much. I often feel like my husband and I have lost "us"... with five kids and a crazy small town doc's life, our world becomes a spin. We need to laugh until we cry. I'm heading to the calendar to find a date for just us!

  14. Sounds like a beautiful time--and something my husband and I should do really soon. Nothing fancy, but nothing fancy needed. :-)

  15. Praying for more ----many more belly laughs for you and the hubs :)


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