The retreat was in Reno at an all inclusive place where we were able to eat amazing meals that did not include the phrases 'take your next bite of food or you will go to timeout' or 'get your fork out from between your toes'; sleep in and not wake up 3 or 4 times during the night to a certain 2 year old who wants a hug and to be carried back to bed (her name may rhyme with Fara); go to the pool without spending 34 minutes lathering up tiny bodies in sunscreen and floaties and actually be able to READ A BOOK POOLSIDE (one of my favorite things ever); get a massage, eat frozen yogurt for dinner, and watch tv in bed.
And Brenner made me go on one of those giant swing rides that takes you 180 feet in the air and then lets you go and you swing back and forth like a pendulum. Yeah, I almost barfed all over Reno and never opened my eyes. Not my favorite part of the weekend but at least Brenner loved it.
All that awesomeness was nestled in between some really great marriage talk though.
Brenner did an amazing job talking about biblical marriage and what that should look like in our lives.
He talked on respect, honor, forgiveness, honesty, expectations, leadership, and more. There was also so much time just to sit and talk with your spouse.
And for me, when I take the time to pour into my marriage a little, it makes me realize how much I want to make my marriage and my relationship with Brenner grow.
Brenner has really loved being able pour into other people's marriages as part of his role here as a chaplain. He did some marriage counseling and weddings before entering the Air Force, but being able to lead these marriage retreats are something he really loves.
Y'all, we had some hard times early on.
Most marriages have been through tough times.
Our tough marriage times coincided with our tough individual times too, which I also think is not that unusual. When you are going through something hard personally, it is going to affect your marriage. Getting married young, just as everyone tells you (but you refuse to listen), really does make some things a lot harder. I was still in college, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, who I wanted to be, and all of a sudden I was supposed to share everything about my life with another person. Brenner and I walked what felt like separate paths with separate goals for a long time. We would go through ups and downs but looking back, a lot of the ups were not really what they should have been, nothing compared with the closeness and strong relationship that we have today.
We did agreed on the goal of our marriage (to glorify God together) but we did nothing for to move closer to that goal.
We did not work on communicating our needs, our hearts,
our desires for what we wanted our life to be.
And now, I as hard as those years were, where we were focused on ourselves and on our separate desires, they have made these years, the years where we openly talk about our hearts, where we communicate deeply, where we work towards our life goals together and where we have learned to respect, honor, and cherish each other deeply so much more sweet.
Our commitment, to each other and our marriage, never wavered.
I am thankful for our struggles because they have made us so much stronger. I am so thankful for walking this journey with Brenner, that his passions have become my passions, that my heart is shared with his heart, where together we can work on bringing glory to God together and raise our kids to do the same.