coffee-on-the-lake

In today’s world, staying connected with your spouse on all fronts is becoming increasingly more difficult.

Between busy work schedules, social media, cell phones, television and a rigid routine, it can be challenging to give your spouse all that they need from you.

Here’s what a typical day looks like for most newlywed couples:

Wake up early at separate times or with not enough time to have a proper breakfast at the table, hurry off to work in separate vehicles, spend a work day tiring yourself out and feeling mentally drained, only to come home to an equally tired spouse. You then eat dinner or go out, all the while, checking your cell phones for updates or emails, have brief conversation about what happened at work that day, only highlighting negative points. If you’re lucky enough to have dinner cleaned up by 8pm, you have just enough time to sit in front of the television, or leave the house for the ever growing list of additional responsibilities, get togethers, commitments, or hitting the gym.

By the time you’re in bed, you’ve gone an entire day without being able to truly connect with each other. How sad is that?! 🙁

We found ourselves slipping into a routine with limited time to engage in deep conversation. This is when we realized we needed to take a step back and clear some time in our calendar for some intentional time together. We needed to reconnect with each other with no distractions. Having this time was so vital to our relationship.

We never want to be stagnant or complacent in our marriage.

Clearing the way for some intentional time together helped solved three main problems that we saw creeping up on us. Busyness. Technology. Routine. We know that these three things can negatively affect any relationship, let alone a newly married couple.

Busyness threatens true conversation.

  • Busy schedules and days don’t leave enough time for conversations about emotions, feelings, and checking in on each other’s well-being.
  • We sometimes feel like we’ve talked a lot, but those conversations are boring, shallow, and don’t take much effort. Asking “how was your day” is simply not enough.
  • No one can recap the importance of their day in a 30-second answer. We need to be asking better and more specific questions; such as:
    • “What did you accomplish today that you are most proud of?”
    • “What made you laugh today?”
    • “Did you have any meaningful conversation with any co-workers, if so what about?”
  • Set aside intentional time for deep conversations with your spouse! It will make your marriage stronger.

Technology distracts us from our spouse’s needs.

  • When you are together, don’t let your phones become a barrier between you. We’re not perfect, but we make sure to keep our phones out of sight during our dates or dinner time. We always cringe when we’re in public and see a couple sitting or walking “together” but are both on their phones, looking down and not engaged at all.
  • Do your best to leave work at work. We know this isn’t always possible. But, if it can wait until the next day, do it. Thinking about work in the evenings preoccupies your mind and doesn’t allow you to give your spouse what they need from you, which is your full attention.
  • We love watching movies together at home, but we make sure being together doesn’t always mean having a screen in front of us.
  • Don’t let any form of technology hinder your time together.

Routine can hinder growth and spontaneity.

  • It is easy to get stuck in a strict routine. For example, I (Courtney) always try to go to bed early on weeknights, which doesn’t allow us the chance for late night spontaneity. There have been a few times where Forrest has taken me out on a whim late at night to grab an ice cream and I end up loving it!
  • Getting off track/off schedule can be a good thing! Different times in the day offer different opportunities for fun together.
  • You can simply get bored doing the same thing at the same time day after day.

We were lucky enough to have a clear weekend and a place to go that fit our budget (FREE!). We allowed ourselves the opportunity to get away from our busyness, our phones, and our routines and just be together. No plans, no schedule, no alarms, and no awareness of what time of the day it was.

It was awesome.

This intentional time together is something we want to always make sure we are doing. It can of course be hard to find time to step away. But, I strongly encourage you to put your marriage first and make this time a priority.

If you are not able to get away for an entire weekend, plan a day trip somewhere near by. Or take a long hike or a mini-road trip to a landmark, park, or a spot that has a special meaning in your relationship.

My husband and I got away for a whole weekend and it allowed for some much needed time alone together. We were able to step back, refocus, and reflect.

During this time, we made new goals for our marriage. One of which our new routine of morning prayers in bed. This has already made such a difference in our mornings. We also make it a point to sit down at the kitchen table in the morning and have a cup of coffee together. That also meant me enjoying coffee more, which I now do 🙂

We’re all busy, and we all have 100+ things to do on any given day. But, we want to challenge you to remember why you got married in the first place. If you’re anything like us, one main reason was because spending time together was something you couldn’t get enough of.

Return to that, and have some intentional time together ASAP!

We decided to share some photos with you from our intentional time together 🙂

intensional time togetherCould this be any more beautiful?!

intensional time togetherWe loved taking long walks in the quaint and beautiful back roads.

intensional time togetherOf course I have to talk about food! 😉 We enjoyed some yummy chips, guacamole, and salsa by the water!

intensional time togetherThese mornings could not have been more perfect. Just my husband, coffee and a gorgeous view. intensional time together

He took pictures of me taking pictures!

intensional time togetherMore morning coffee! I love how big these mugs are!

intensional time together

We spent some of our day browsing through some food magazines! We’ve got to get inspiration from somewhere, right?!

intensional time togetherIt is so funny where the sun sets now, because it used to set all the way to the right of this picture. I guess thats what happens once fall hits the lake…

intensional time togetherOur attempt at trying to take a picture of us making a heart with our sparklers…!

intensional time togetherThe view at night was just incredible. We could not believe all of the stars we saw!

intensional time together

I loved the morning fog over the water in the morning. So peaceful.

intensional time together

This is my definition of a relaxing weekend away with my husband.

intensional time togetherMore walks through the pretty woods.

intentional time together