John and I managed to sneak out of the house unattended last evening. What a rare treat. Times are changing, and kids are growing so that we're able to get out for brief intervals for things that require the both of us. (We rarely go on "dates," these brief outings are usually matters of practicality.)
This time was no different. The school kids had all attended mass in the morning with their classmates, leaving John and I the only ones needing to get to church yet. We left a few minutes early and stopped by our local decorating store to choose flooring for the "apartment" as well. (*Side note: we're not sure if/when we'll ever stop calling that new space "the apartment." Hopefully someday it will be "family room"...but not yet...it doesn't sound right, yet.)
Anyhow, in just 20 minutes we had linoleum and carpeting chosen, thanks to a really great saleslady who showed us just the right stuff...durable, stain-resistant, and in the perfect shade of "dirt." Oh, and budget-friendly. Sweet. Sign us up.
We made it to mass just in time to find a seat...the place was packed. Awesome!
What a gift it is to attend mass as a couple. Truly a gift. Don't get me wrong...I love when our entire family sits together, over-filling an entire pew...all of us present for the Lord. But sitting with John, just the two of us...well, it's a beautiful reminder of how it all started. I couldn't help but think of our early years when we were dating, and first married, and had all sorts of dreams and plans and hopes mapped out for our future. And we'd bring them to God in prayer. And here we were, holding hands at mass again...just the two of us...no eye-rolling, or pinching or flicking or asking "how many more songs?" or climbing over pews (Johns's so well behaved when the kids aren't around.) This time with the knowledge and understanding of God's total love, and mercy, and providence. And how when we make room for him as the center of our marriage covenant, at the center of our families, first in our hearts...everything else falls into line. Maybe not as we'd mapped out...but certainly far greater than anything we could have hoped for. All is good and right.
It was a perfect way to start Lent I think. With that reminder to keep Christ at the center. To take time to look away for a moment at what we think we want/need, and reflect and listen to what Christ may be calling us to...first and foremost a closer relationship with Him.
A perfect date-night indeed.
Oh, and I'm pretty stoked about the new flooring too. It could be installed as early as next week already!! Woohooo! God is gooooood.