I just returned home from a long weekend away with “the guys” on our annual bowhunting and camping trip. We don’t travel very far away, and the cost is minimal, but we do enjoy the chance to get together each year and spend some “man time” hunting, sitting around a campfire drinking beer and just doing manly things.
As she proves time and time again, Bethany is a total saint and doesn’t even complain too much when this trip comes up year after year. It might help that her Dad is part of our group and she likes us to have some time to bond, but I think she really just smiles (and probably cusses just a bit under breath) and wishes me good luck because she knows how much it means to me. She’s cool like that. 🙂
As much as I enjoy this experience, I have to say that I start to grow quite homesick after a few days away. While sitting in a treestand for hours on end this year, I started to find my mind wandering to thoughts of hanging out with Bethany and guessing what the kids were doing at that moment. I was definitely ready to drive straight back to our house today to spend as much time as possible with my family.
Even though I write about marriage and family life on a regular basis, I find it’s really easy to take our blessings for granted. As I shared my time away with a close friend who recently lost his wife to cancer and other single guys that don’t have families at home, I was reminded of just how awesome my life really is and how special we have it as a family.
And I really missed it.
My first few hours at home were filled with extra hugs and a longer attention span for the kids along with some extra kisses and touches for my wife. It’s unfortunate that it takes time away to make me realize that I should be doing these things anyway, but I guess that’s human nature.
It may seem strange, but I truly believe that these short stints apart from our spouse can provide a little boost and add intimacy to our marriage as well as energy for our roles as parents. I know my heart feels a bit “fonder” this evening.
As we celebrate Veteran’s Day this week, I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to our military veterans along with their families. While I felt the pains of separation after just a few days of recreation, our military families endure months and even years apart in service to our country.
This degree of sacrifice is amazing, and it’s evident that the bond between military members and their spouses is particularly strong. We would all do well to emulate the self-sacrifice and faithfulness exhibited by these remarkable folks.
Thank you for all that you do and the way that you do it.
Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.