Taking Time for The Most Important Things

IMG_4977Dad’s Life Can Be Crazy!

We wake up early, work tireless hours during the day, come home to family, try to connect with our wife, and before we know it we’re snoring away another day, all to do it again tomorrow.

Like a hamster on a wheel, life just keeps going round and round and round, until I suppose one day you find yourself at the end of your days on earth wondering where all the time went?

And when you look back on life, what will you assign to your life “the most important things?”

Sure money is important, that’s how we eat.
Work is important, that’s how we provide.
Finishing that project is important, that’s how we feel accomplished.

But what about….
The relationship with your wife, the way you spent time with your kids, or how you focused on those friendships closest to you?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as guilty as the next guy at giving my attention to the things right in front of me. The Tyranny of the Urgent is something I fight almost every day.

It’s just so easy to get caught up running through our day without taking time out for one another. We have to run to this event or that, finish our work here or there, and many times we find ourselves looking at each other, “You ok?”
“Yea”

“You ok?”
“Yea”

“Ok, see you tomorrow.”

And that’s the sum total of our conversation for the day.

Time Out
I decided to stop this rat race and make sure we took time out for us. A year ago, Jamie (my wife) and I decided we wanted to make sure we were paying attention to the most important things. Just us. No kids. No work. No obligation. Just her and me. We made a conscious decision that this Time Out had to be planned, and on the calendar a year in advance to get ahead of any scheduling conflict, and we decided to get away.

This last week, we had the chance to get away and laugh!!

Imagine that. Eighteen years ago at an alter we said, “YOU are the most important thing” to each other, and we’ve never really taken time to show each other, “nothing else is more important than you.”

With 5 kids, 4 jobs, A Master’s Degree Program, and life swirling about, there’s just not enough places to laugh. I found my wife this week to be full of joy, witty and fun, and incredibly insightful to what I’m interested in.

To all the Dads out there, I can’t overstate this point enough, TIME OUT is important for you and your lady.

ADVENTURE
As soon as I wrote this, I had a crazy pit in my stomach. “Not all people are into adventure, so why write ADVENTURE?” But I’m going to go ahead and include this in the recipe for most importat.

Marriage is about adventure. From the first I DO, through all the craziness of life, everyday is adventure. So why wouldn’t we try to create memories that will last through adventures of our own?

When you start planning your TIME OUT, be sure to look for something that you and your partner can enjoy together!! Golf is fun for me, but Jamie doesn’t care for it much. Reading is fun for her, but that’s a one man sport. We both like exploring new places and new cultures with friends, so we decided to take a few days to explore together.

I can’t write enough chapters to tell all our stories, but I can tell you, we explored on our adventure. Jamie got to read. I got to golf. But when we were together, we had a blast sharing new stories together and learning new places to eat, new places to walk, new sunsets to enjoy together. It was amazing.

I re-discovered my wife’s adventurous spirit, and it was so much fun to experience these new adventures together. It’s almost like we found that thing that brought us together so many years ago, and it was standing right in front of us. But it took effort, intention, and a denial to all the things of the world only to focus on US!!

FIGHTS
Every marriage has fights. After all, we’re all human. But when it’s time to take the TIME OUT, we both decided that grace was going to be the driving word.

This time was about us, not me. It was about re-connecting, not about her. This last week was more about how can we come together and enjoy each other more than how can I win an argument, or for her; how she can show me that she’s right.

So with a plan in place, we decided that if we found ourselves in disagreement, GRACE was going to be afforded to the other. And WOW!! How quickly can we forget the GRACE concept while we’re trying to meet all our deadlines, and finish all our work. GRACE is an unbelievable way to live.

Dad’s, if you haven’t already employed a little grace in your relationship with your wife, try it. GRACE, GRACE, GRACE!!!

Which brings me back to the spiritual.

One of the reasons I believe so deeply in the way that Jesus walked with people on the planet 2000 years ago, was the way He afforded so much grace. As someone who could have come to judge and make right, Jesus was about meeting people where they were and serving them inside the coming Kingdom of God. (Phil. 2)

So to say this last week was a success would be a gross understatement. Our TIME OUT was well needed, and now we’re ready to go back in the world with a renewed paradigm of The Most Important Things.

Thanks Jamie Jo, for reminding me again how much I love doing life with you. You’re an amazing friend, an incredible wife, and I look forward to seeing what kind of adventure we can dig up going forward….Together!

2 Comments

  1. What do I think…I love this. Great article Andy. Moreover, I love that my wife read it and shared with me that she loved the article. It’s really awesome to think what profound results can come from simple, intentional actions. My wife deserves that, and more from me, and I am happy to do it…just need the occasional reminder. Thanks for causing another moment of reflection.

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