October 15, 2010

On the Road Again

Thanks for your insights and heartfelt comments to my last post. It was a tough issue and I truly appreciate your honesty and passion for friendship. God spoke to me through each of you.

Just after midnight he opened the door and drug his tired, weary body into the house and heaved his overstuffed suitcase onto the hallway floor.

"Tough trip, huh?" I asked.

"Yeah, the storm delayed our takeoff for two hours and when we finally landed we sat on the tarmac forever because there wasn't a gate available."

But instead of sitting down to relax he started scurrying about unpacking and repacking. Confused at the flurry of activity I asked, "Why are you doing all that now?"

"Because I have to leave at 7:00 tomorrow morning?"

"But you just got home! I thought you weren't leaving until later." My warm feelings at his return quickly chilled.

Such is life with a husband who travels. The ups and the downs. The comings and goings. The schedule and the complete lack of it. The swirling unpredictability.

Business travel is part of Dan and my life. It's the path we journey on. I'm proud of my husband and what he does for a living. I try to be a loving, supportive wife—really I do—but sometimes it's just plain hard to be "the one" on the home front 24/7. Sometimes the tensions build and I act...well...not quite so loving and supportive.

As was the case last week. It was not my finest hour. Or the finest hour/day/week in our marriage. Let's just say things were kind of tense.

A while back (when all was relatively calm) Dan knew he'd have a free weekend during his West Coast travels and suggested I come to Seattle for a visit. I'd never seen that part of the country jumped at the opportunity. But last week as I simmered, I wondered if the trip was really such a good idea.

I waited for God to miraculously answer my prayers for a softer heart. But departure day neared and the hardness remained. Yet, despite the fog of emotion even I could see that staying home was a foolish choice. So I packed my bags, kissed my kids and headed to Seattle.

And boy am I glad I did.

Amid the backdrop of a fantastic city, wonderful food and beautiful scenery God did answer my prayer, slowly. And then on Sunday Dan and I walked to the downtown campus of Mars Hill Church and God used that place and their pastor (Marc Driscoll) to reach into both of our hearts and leave us breathless. Shaken. Convicted. "Wow!" we exclaimed as we left.

No marriage is easy. Some seasons are more challenging than others. But I have seen time and again how important it is to take time to get away. Together. Even when it's not convenient or all that desirable. And more recently God has shown me (and I think Dan, too) the truth of His words:
"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

So with the lemons of business travel we've made lemonade with some great trips together. Here's a look at our latest... 

The original Starbucks!
Totally enjoying Pikes' Place Market...and our one afternoon with sun
Will you?
A walk around Bainbridge Island
Do we look as cold and wet as we were?
A brief but awe-inspiring peek at Mt. Rainier

Do you need to get away with your spouse? I encourage you to make the time and just do it! Where will you go?


Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, if it helps you feel any better, you're not the only one who doesn't always act loving and supportive... Yep, we all have our moments, personally and in our marriages. So glad you went to Seattle and enjoyed that time with Dan. Blessings to you both!

Amber Ford said...

Your pictures leave me a bit homesick. I'm from Portland, Oregon. Ahhh, Mt. Rainier. Wet drizzly weather. Coffee.

I'm glad you got away Kelli. My husband and I are on opposite shifts again and so I get the "resentment" bit. Instead of serving him gladly, I serve him with a side of bitter and sarcasm. Never helps things and led to our marriage nearly falling apart over a year ago. You'd think a girl would learn. But I'm so glad for God's grace and loving guidance and whisperings (and sometimes undeniable screaming) in my life. We are planning a four day weekend away to a B&B and we've determined nothing will prevent it! :)

Soul Writer said...

I so understand where you're coming from! My husband's job takes him away from home for three months every summer (which is my non-busy time at work). I get angry and bitter and unkind toward him. It's by God's grace that we're still married.

I would love to go away with him, but my daughter is still nursing. We're planning to go out to a nice dinner this weekend--our first "date" in over a year. This time next year, we hope to take a longer trip.

Seattle looks like a great city! I listen to Mark Driscoll's podcasts and would love to attend a service at Mars Hill someday.

Terri Tiffany said...

Throughout our 33 years of marriage, my husband and I have always planned getaways together. It strengthened our marriage like nothing else could.
My daughter lives outside of Seattle--have been there many times and you are so right about the sun and chill!

Sue J. said...

I definitely need to get away. R and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this past week. We were grateful to have had a date night Saturday before. He wants to return to Canada (someplace new, this time); we honeymooned in Vancouver, not far from Seattle and much the same atmosphere and backdrop.

Definitely struggling with leaving the kids, as I always do. Hoping something around Christmas break will work out with my family so we can take a little more than a weekend. We'll see!

All that chill and rain just increase your stops at the myriad coffee shops, no? :-)

Peggy said...

I'm glad you got away with Dan and were able to renew your together life.
Never give up the chance to share some alone time with your spouse just as you are renewed with your alone time with God and are renewed.
After 27 years with my husband and now almost 9 since his death, I'm sorry for the times I didn't take off with him, but am blessed for all the great times we took-off....
Blessings and Love....Peggy

Dan said...

Let me say this about that...appropriately enough, from the road (beautiful downtown Fresno, California today). First, Kelli was quite gracious in her description of recent events. Second, it takes two to play the "should have been more loving and understanding than I was" game. For all you men who spend time on the road...I know you're working hard for your families; just take time to appreciate what it takes to keep the cave running smoothly while we're out hunting the wooly mammoth.

Susan S said...

My husband planned a murder mystery dinner for our upcoming anniversary. Hmmm, should I be worried?

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

BEAUTIFUL pictures! I've never been there but would love to go.

I work with my husband (a chiropractor) and that presents a whole set of its own challenges! Sometimes we need some time apart lol! Expecially now that we're empty-nesters and aren't running here and there with kid's activities.

We do always seem to enjoy our time when we are both away from home.

Blessings to you and that sweet husband of yours
I read his comment :)

Carmen said...

Well, we've certainly been there in our marriage! Although my husband is a shift worker..which has a whole set of problems of its own.

I love all the beautiful photos, and I'm so glad you decided to go. There's nothing like concentrated together time, especially after too many seasons of drought, to remind us of why we're together.


Welcome to my city, Kelli. (At least for two more weeks, until we move to Chicago.) Glad you got one day of sun . . . it is incredibly beautiful today.

Appreciate your honest chat about the difficulties a travelling husband and the joys of time away.
Blessings on you, dearest, as you parent alone - part of the time.



Julie Gillies said...

Hi Kelli!

I so appreciate your honesty here. We all have our moments, don't we? I know I sure do. *sigh*

I'm glad you went ahead and flew out to Seattle. The pics are gorgeous and it looks like you had a good time. We were there as a family about a year and a half ago (it snowed!) and enjoyed it.

I would LOVE to go to Colorado with my hubby. Some day. God willing. :)

Jennie Allen said...

That is so cool- we just had a trip alone to Seattle too!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Thank you for taking the time to live out your marriage vows... to love even when emotion lags behind.

You're creating a beautiful legacy for one another and for your family. And yes, I need some time away with my man, but we'll wait until the spring. In the meantime, perhaps a meal out on occasion will suffice. Either that or an uninterrupted night of several episodes of "swamp people."