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Margin and Marriage

Just said goodbye to my wife Toni a few hours ago as she flies home to reconnect as mom with our boys and back into our world at home.  I’m here for a few more days until the Drive Conference wraps up.

It’s been a full year since Toni and I have have gotten away together for a vacation with just the two of us.  As we were driving around Atlanta yesterday it just kind of dawned on us: these eight days together have been the longest the two of us have been away together since we had kids, which in our case is 16 years. While we’re both crazy about our boys and love our home community, I can’t tell you how good it was for us to get away together.  I’m so grateful my parents were willing to move in and do life with our guys for a week so Toni could come with me! 

It made the Orange Conference so much more meaningful for me.  We had a few days to hang out and go hiking (one of her favourite things) in the North Georgia mountains, and a few days to hang out with some of our Atlanta friends. 

The one thing these eight days gave us as a couple was margin. Yeah, I had a bunch of talks to do, but we actually had several days where our huge agenda for the day was NOTHING.  It was great.  We got to talk about things we don’t usually have time to talk about thing.  And we did this really novel thing: we just enjoyed being together without the pressures that usually arise when we’re at home.  It moved us well beyond the place of surviving (which is what life can feel like sometimes) and into a place of thriving.

As I was driving her to the airport, we realized how important our date nights are (usually just a few hours out for coffee, a bike ride or dinner).  We saw so clearly how important it is for us to get away with just the two of us even in small snippets.   

I know life is crazy (and not everyone has parents nearby willing to help), but even applied to your context, here’s my question: what kind of margin are you making to nurture the most important relationships in your life?

1 Comment

  1. Casey on May 3, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Carey, this is the most important area of my life and ministry where I must be intentional about building margin. We have a weekly date night. We've done this regardless of our time and financial pressures. This may have to change a little if we move (we now live very close to our family), but we'll still figure out a way to do it somehow. And we put our kids to bed early. Partly b/c they need the early bed time. And partly so my wife and I have some one on one time every day. Even as our kids get older, we'll work our nightly schedule so we have this time.

    This area of our lives is so important to everything else.

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