I Love Some Lively Discussion

Oh how much fun I had reading through your comments about Couple Time!

I want to make it clear that Luke and I don't regularly jaunt to fabulous locations. We go once a year to Florida and this only because our friends have a FREE condo and Pastor Appreciation in October usually gives us the extra money to buy really yummy seafood. (Luke's worst nightmare since he hates anything ocean borne.) We also have wonderful grandparents who actually come stay at my house to take care of the kids. There can never be enough heartfelt 'thank you's to our family and congregation. You have no idea how much your graciousness towards us restores our energies in ministry. I hope that excellent crab stuffed chicken I ate shows in the vigour with which I serve and love you!

We also do not have regularly scheduled date nights. We just take them when Opportunity knocks. Believe me, I'm feelin' ya on the expensive babysitters when you aren't near family and have multiple children. And yes, I understand going out is not a prerequisite to a great marriage. The point I was getting at was the motivation for not wanting to leave, not the inability of doing so. For fun, I thought I'd give you a few ideas Luke and I have used in the past to spend time together on a budget.

* Trade out child care with friends.

We have several families with whom we are friends that I have no doubt I could call on to watch my kids in return for watching theirs another weekend. We've also split them between two homes before because my no. 3 boy is a mischief-making, fight-instigating, momma-missing fiend. The key to not feeling guilty about asking is to be the first to offer this for someone else. You could say, "Hi Friend. You and hubby could use the night out and my kids would love some company for Friday. Why don't you go out and let them come over?" Do this without expecting the favor in return and you'll be surprised by how often it IS returned.

* Eat dinner at home but go for a great dessert or movie.

Can anyone say Starbucks or Marble Slab Creamery? I also love going to the movies but avoid concessions. I sneak in my chocolate and buy a coke to assuage my guilty conscience.

* Rent movies.

My favorite times with Luke are when we watch a movie together. I absolutely loved
Melody's twist on this by having a 'No Parents Allowed' party so the kids can watch a movie in one room while the parents watch another. We split up like this sometimes but are plagued with someone coming in our room every 5 minutes to see what our movie is about. Melody's idea is ingenious and you'd better believe I'll be trying it out this weekend! Just a note: Luke and I recently watched Sandra Bullock's 'Premonition'. Are we the only people who have seen this who wanted to jump off the roof when it was over? Talk about terrible endings!

* Read together after the kids are in bed.

I love reading and especially reading in bed after the kids are asleep. This is the time I can ask Luke a zillion questions about what I'm studying or he can tell me what he's planning on teaching at church.

With all that said, I believe we can conclude Togetherness isn't a place but a State of Mind.

But, it sure helps my State of Mind to be Together at The Chop House.