Dates · Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route

The Most Scenic Route Date EVER!

My husband is a man who loves to surprise me. He loves to wait until the last minute to tell me where we’re going and what we’re going to do. I’ve learned to patiently wait, and also go prepared for any type of adventure or any weather change!

This past Monday was our 41st anniversary and we had discussed taking the day and spending it in nearby Pigeon Forge. We love it there and had several ideas of things to do. However, on Monday morning my husband told me to be ready to leave the house at 11:30 and be ready to head to an undisclosed lunch destination. He also told me I might want to wear a summer dress. I had no idea what he was up to, but I put on a summer dress, but also brought a denim jacket, shorts and casual top (just in case!).

Continue reading “The Most Scenic Route Date EVER!”
Dates · Refreshment in marriage · spring

Springtime Dates

It’s warming up pretty consistently here in East Tennessee.  These are perfect opportunities to have a fun date with your spouse!  Need some ideas?  Here are a few fun ones to get you started:

bike riding
  1. Get outside and work in the yard together.  Clean up any leaves from fall.  Mow the grass, sweep the sidewalks and driveway.  See if you could use some new shrubbery.  Celebrate the beautiful yard with a Frosted Lemonade at Chick-Fil-A or an ice cream cone at Dairy Queen!
  2. Take a bike ride on one of the local trails.
  3. Go for a breakfast picnic.  Be aware of the morning dew and take a towel or blanket to sit on or wipe down the table.
  4. Take a hike on a mountain trail.
  5. Take a drive in the country with the windows down.
  6. Go to Lowe’s or any other paint store and pick out a color for a room in your house or a piece of furniture that needs some refreshing. Do the project together.
  7. Build a fire in the fire pit in the evening.
  8. Play a yard game like croquet, Frisbee, or badminton.
  9. Wash the car together.
  10. Go to the park and fly a kite.
  11. Sit outside and watch the sunset from your porch swing.
  12. Take a walk around the neighborhood hand in hand.
  13. Go to a local drive-in like Sonic and enjoy lunch in the car with the windows down.
  14. Go to yard sales and find items you need to make your porch inviting!
  15. Find a little town you’d like to spend the day investigating and have a whole day away shopping, having coffee, and just walking its streets.

There are some ideas to get you started!  What springtime dates have you planned?  Remember, most times together won’ just happen!  You have to be intentional!

Happy Spring Date night!

Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route

Memories On the Scenic Route

Why travel the busy interstate, full of traffic, construction zones and high speeds when you can take a gorgeous, slower paced scenic route?

That’s the philosophy my husband and I have taken on! Oh, the gorgeous scenery we have enjoyed on the Scenic Route! Beautiful old barns, kayakers on rushing rivers, rainbows over country churches, and hot air balloons skimming open fields are just a few of the sights we have seen.

Our third week of Sabbatical was not without more scenic routes and beauty! I’ve pictured some of them here in this post.

Travel can really be an illustration of how we approach every day of our married lives! Sadly, I believe too many marriages are daily on the Interstate. Both the husband and wife are each in their own “cars,” driving over the speed limit, hurrying to the next thing on their agenda.

Occasionally they may pass their spouse and give a thumbs up as they keep traveling independently on their journey. Every now and then their lives may merge onto the same road, but not long after, a construction zone interrupts their unity and it’s back to stop-and-go once again.

This is not a fun way to travel, and it’s an even worse way to live out married life!

When you’re on the Interstate, it ‘s necessary to get off at a rest area when you’re weary. Marriages need restful times, too! I’m thankful for the rest our sabbatical allowed us. Not only did it strengthen our ministry, we were also able to pour into our marriage. We did lots of reminiscing – thinking back to the days when the Lord brought us together.

We even had the blessing of spending time in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, because, like many young couples, part of our honeymoon was spent there. We were thankful for time to sit, to talk, to dream about the future, and thank the Lord together for the blessings of the past.

Is your marriage on the high-speed Interstate, or have you taken the time to get off and enjoy the scenic route recently?

You don’t need a sabbatical to travel the scenic route! Find a spot where you and your spouse can watch the sun set. Go to the lake with a picnic supper. Drive together down a country road with the windows down and your old love songs playing on your Amazon app. Make some new memories on your own scenic route.

It’s your choice which route to take – both as your travel and as you live out each day of your marriage.

Interstate or Scenic Route. Which are you on today?

Dates · Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route

Stress-Reliever Scenic Route Date

I’m so thankful for a husband who is my sounding board. He listens so patiently as I share the things that are burdening my heart. This week I said,

I’m feeling really stressed over several things that are coming up in the next few weeks. I’m really going to need your help to think right!

He nodded, knowing already the truth that I had just shared. He lives with me. He knows what triggers my wrong responses.

That night after supper, I asked if we could go for a ride. We live in the country, and we often just hit a country road, enjoy the scenery, watch the sun set and come home refreshed. We jumped in the car and he headed towards the interstate. Hmmm, this was no “drive in the country – I sensed we were having a Scenic Route Date/Adventure!” We headed towards Bristol, Virginia, about 30 minutes from where we live.

After driving into town, we headed downtown where all the cute shops are, but also our favorite local bakery – Blackbird Bakery! Excitement was building!!!

Blackbird Bakery (@blackbirdbake) | Twitter

Dale parked along the street and we made our way into the bakery where we carefully deliberated over their expansive dessert selections. Their donuts are outstanding, so my husband had one with Peanut Butter filling and a Chocolate glaze. I enjoyed a cute little chocolate tart filled with a light, fluffy mousse and topped with a raspberry.

20181023_170044_large.jpg - Picture of Blackbird Bakery, Bristol -  Tripadvisor
Here’s the Mousse I enjoyed.
(Picture from Blackbird Bakery site)

Taking our treats to a small table, we settled in where we carefully enjoyed each bite of our treats. Then my husband pulled a small cardboard box out of his pocket that contained a game. My heart melted at the fact that he had thought ahead to bring a game! It was Scrabble Slam! A card version of Scrabble. It’s face-paced and of course, “wordy” and so much fun. We played the first round. I won. The second game delighted him because he beat me! So of course we had to have a tie breaker!

Scrabble Slam Cards

We were there about 45 minutes before we headed towards home. It was such a fun time, and a great diversion! I enjoyed it so much that I failed to even snap a picture! The date was relatively short and very low-key, but it was just what I needed, and just what our marriage needed. It’s proof that it doesn’t take lots of planning or lots of money or time to invest in your relationship. It was also a reminder to me about how much I need my husband and what a treasure he is to my life!

Oh, in case you’re wondering about the tie-breaker Scrabble Game, let’s just say, it was close, but my love for words won out!

What fun, yet simple outing could you and your spouse enjoy this week? Perhaps he’s the one who is a little stressed. Your response to him could be the blessing my husband’s thoughtfulness was to me. Take the Scenic Route and enjoy a simple date together!

Help for busy moms · Marriage · Motherhood · Overwhelmed

Six Suggestions for Stressed-Out Moms

playroom a

Sticky floors, piles of laundry, emotional meltdowns, food battles, dirty diapers, frequent illnesses, limited outside activities, bedtime squabbles and marital strain all point to one thing —-

an overwhelmed mom.

Did I just describe you?  How did I do it?  I’ve been there.  I remember the days of wondering Continue reading “Six Suggestions for Stressed-Out Moms”