And I don't mean that in a negative way at all, it's just you finish something up and without a breather it's on to the next big thing.
Norm and I had a first for us this week, in our 30 years of marriage. Wow! I can hardly even think it, not to mention writing about it. That is a long time! (And I am REALLY old!)
We spoke together at a Fireside last Sunday evening.
Explanation for my non LDS friends and readers-
Firesides are informal gatherings of Church members and friends, often in
homes or other congenial surroundings, as if around a fire. The premises are
that the home is sacred ground and that all members are to "teach one another"
and share experiences and training, that "all may be edified of all and that
every man may have an equal privilege". Typically, firesides feature a single
speaker reporting new developments, insights, or interesting experiences.
And what did we speak on after our 30 years of marital experience but the importance of nurturing your marriage relationship. Frankly, we were wondering what we could possibly offer on the subject, and to be honest, I wondered during those first few weeks of contemplating the subject whether we would need "counseling" of some sort before we were finished.
We discovered there were many things we did rather well, yet there was much that could be improved upon. You would think with the kids all out of the house, we would have nothing to do but focus upon each other. (I know - I thought that once upon a time myself - what else is there besides KIDS??) Life pulls you in a million different directions - church callings, (that's what we call service in our church) both Norm and I serve in our church in positions that require a great deal of time, Norm is over all the Young Single Adults in our area (though he has many that labor along with him) and I serve with the women as the President of the Relief Society.
(Relief Society is the auxiliary of our church created for women. At the very
first Relief Society meeting Emma Smith, wife of Joseph Smith, exclaimed, “We
are going to do something extraordinary!” It is now one of the oldest and
largest women’s organizations in existence and has been doing extraordinary
things for more than 150 years.)
Then you have to take into account we frequently pass each other on the freeway in our comings and going from work as I work at night as an RN and my husband at his office each day. Meanwhile you try to fit in all the extraneous activities, yard, home, garden, cooking, cleaning, pets (we have many), children (we still DO have them :)
It's no wonder that marriage is like a canoe in the middle of the river, it seldom stays in one place, if not moving upstream due to the efforts of the partnership, it frequently strays downstream swayed by the currents of life that move around and over it.
Why am I mentioning all this prolonged rambling along? Now, I thought I'd give you the secret in a nutshell . . . . shush . . . you ready for this . . . it's time. That commodity that none of us ever seem to have enough of. And believe it or not the quality of the time is vitally important also. We discovered that . . .
- A little bit of nurturing goes a long way.
- Daily prayer and gospel study together creates a stronger spiritual bond
- Regular and frequent activities together as a couple go a long way to reduce the stresses of life, fatigue and overcommitment (a common situation today!)
- Regular expressions of "I love you" and "thank you" are not difficult. If they are, perhaps you're not practicing them frequently enough.
No big secrets here, just a need for commitment to make them a priority every day. It's easier said than done, but with a little bit of nurturing we can experience the time honored adage that "love begets love" and find ourselves in a stronger more enduring relationship.