Take a long walk

Usually when you go to the beach, you are with family so you are taking adventures as a group, planning the next meal, and reigning in small children. The long walks on the beach as a couple or alone have been filled with noticing and wonder! We woke up to a windy morning that made the temperature feel cooler than it was. We decided to dress warm, ride our bikes, and walk the beach. Almost three hours later, we were home with two bags filled with sea shells and unique finds.

My husband is a “stop and smell the roses” kind of person. We notice and wonder in different ways, and the combination of us together makes for a fulfilled experience.

We used the word “create” today! “Let’s create today!”

He pointed to footsteps that showed the use of some kind of walking stick. We tried to walk in the footsteps to figure out the stride with the stick. We assumed it might be someone with a wider stance, so probably tall. We didn’t know if the stick with a “round ball” like imprint was a tennis ball on the end of a cane, or just a large stick someone found. Out of nowhere, someone enters the beach from an access point with a gazebo. He walked away from us, and we did not want to frighten him, so we didn’t rush in with our story. I tried calling out, but no luck. We smiled and just thought that the mystery was solved until he came walking back our way. We stopped and said hello and shook his hand. He was hesitant due to a visual impairment. He asked us our names and we told him our story and how glad we were to meet him. We exchanged pleasantries and said goodbye. I shared with Parish, that he seemed cautious. Without being able to see body language or our faces he must weigh intentions of strangers. His connection to the world is unique. I was curious and appreciative of the conversation.

Later on, I dropped a package off at the local post office. I waited in line longer than expected because a dad was mailing his daughter a package in China. It cost 75.00. He exchanged conversation with the clerk about his daughter being able to see the world and gain experiences of a lifetime. I’m third in line and have plenty of time to imagine the experience of world travel. It’s on my wish list for myself and my children.

We head to the grocery store to pick up a few items to make a recipe we both selected–a comfort food dish. We decided to try something new and cook together. I ended up cleaning more, assisting, and making some cookie dough you can freeze to use later. We created our own dish from several recipes so we could use most of the ingredients we already had and the dishes we had access to. We hope to share the recipe on the blog soon! Look for it!

I told Parish we should write a marriage book on how to connect low budget style and have fun. We are simple, complex people. In our simplicity, we can have fun pretty much anywhere we go in life, whether it be an actual destination, or a season of life. I think most couples know how to do this especially if you’ve been married for awhile. The years give you practice. At times, you want to disconnect due to relationship challenges. I work on my pride in those moments and give myself grace. Grace to take a break and be alone to work things out, and the practice of letting your feelings catch up later. Feelings are so fickle and sluggish and sometimes they are too quick to respond (I love the word “pause”). They take their sweet time catching up to the logic and cognitive brain. My cognitive brain has actually nudged me in the midst of strong emotions. It usually says something like, “Um Anna let’s bring it down a notch”. I’m laughing as a write this. My daughter and I often share similar stories and laugh. “It’s like I’m standing outside of my emotional response asking myself what the heck are you doing?” And, then we laugh. Yep!

Before I close with an activity, I wanted to share a meditative thought from my book Gentle and Lowly by Ortlund. Chapter 5, “He Can Deal Gently” shared perspective on the verse Hebrews 5:2

“He can deal gently with the ignorant and the wayward.”

“Look to Christ. He deals gently with you. It’s the only way he knows how to be. He is the high priest to end all high priests. As long as you fix your attention on your sin, you will fail to see how you can be safe. But as long as you look to this high priest, you will fail to see how you can be in danger. Looking inside ourselves, we can anticipate only harshness from heaven. Looking out to Christ, we can anticipate only gentleness.” (Ortlund)

Activity:

Below are words for your marriage or special relationship in your life. Take a word a day, a week, or whenever it works for you. Take the time to write them down on slips of paper, put them in a jar, and pull a word out when you are ready. You could also print the list and select a word that works for your day or moment. It’s okay to select a word more than once. Each one of these words has been an event or two in our week together. It’s amazing how one word can spark your day. Each of us would use the word in our own special way. Don’t want to do this with someone else? Do it for you! I’m a huge supporter of self-compassion. Take care of YOU. Would you like to bless someone else? Select a word and do something for them that represents the word. Loving others is a beautiful thing. You can also add your words to the list! Be creative!

Notice

Wonder

Curiousity

Create

Pleasure

Aromas and Scents

Conversation Starters

Cook

Walk

Dance

Laugh

Listen

Forgive

Grace

Pause

Nature

Music

Happiness

Worship

Plant

Pray

Adventure

Cherish

Communicate

Write

Seek

Discover

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