by Glenda Lesher
Did you ever want to run away as a kid? From mean parents, homework, household rules, or other acts of “unfairness” that you couldn’t comprehend as an adolescent? Most of us didn’t actually follow through with it, or if we did we came back as soon as we got hungry.
Now that we are adults, there are more grown-up issues we would like to run away from: family problems, job stress, over-commitment, broken-down appliances, etc. You try to find some quality time with your spouse at home, but the kids have to be taken somewhere, the phone’s ringing off the wall, or the laundry keeps piling up. So what do you do to maintain your marriage and your sanity? Here’s how my husband and I run away in a healthy manner.
When our sons were still at home, we tried to take two short vacations per year—one with them and one without them. Thankfully, we lived in the same city as my mother who was overjoyed to keep her grandsons! Those times of refreshment helped us connect as husband and wife, not just as parents. We are not wealthy, but we were able to set aside some money in a vacation account and, at the time, my husband was receiving travel discounts. Of course, the vacation spot depended on the funds available.
During the last three years, we have needed our get-a-ways more than ever! Anyone who has aging or ill parents understands the commitment, time, and emotional strain of care-giving. I wanted to give as much as possible, but my husband and I just needed a break now and then. Having alternate care-givers in our extended family made it possible.
Once in a while, when everyone was stable and not in the hospital, we treated ourselves to a night or two away from home. In order to be able to get back quickly if we were needed, we didn’t venture any further than a two hour drive. A nearby resort city and a bed and breakfast in the Ozarks were usually our destinations.
It is amazing how rejuvenating a change of scenery is! Sleeping late, enjoying a leisurely breakfast, taking walks, combing through antique shops, or having dinner at a lakeside restaurant is relaxing and romantic. I remember one rainy afternoon that we just cuddled in the room and watched a movie. We also set aside time for prayer and to encourage each other with Scripture. Once, we were in the midst of a major conflict and being alone motivated us to forgive and seek peace. Those memories are precious to me.
So, if you feel like you are stressed to the limit, why not just run away? But take your spouse with you for an adventure! “Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country…there I will give you my love” (Song of Solomon 7:11, 12).
Excuse me, I have to pack.