Julie D. from Happy Catholic is not kidding when she says it's a good kind of tired! She's lucky she got a nap - that hasn't happened for me yet! She and the other couples that put on the Beyond Cana marriage retreat this weekend that my husband and I attended did a fabulous job. I thank them for all of the dedication and hard work that went into putting this retreat on. My husband and I got so much out of it and brought home tools for discussing issues that we can (and hopefully will) use forever. I don't feel all mushy gushy in love like I thought I would upon coming back. I do feel more in love with him but it is more as a result of the fact that my marriage is strengthened in a way I never thought possible. I feel that we have a direction and purpose for our marriage and our family that I didn't even realize we were lacking!
My dad brought dinner over this evening which was a huge blessing as I was not about to cook anything. While I was cleaning up, some of those little refrigerator alphabet magnets that the kids love were on the floor in my path between the dining room and the kitchen. As I brought plates back and forth I kept stepping over them and being annoyed by them. I kept thinking that if I stepped on them they could really hurt. For some reason it didn't occur to me to pick them up until I was almost done cleaning. Once I did, it made getting the rest of the job done a little bit easier without that little annoyance in the way.
Those magnets on the floor are a lot like some of the issues in our marriage that we dealt with this weekend. Issues that have existed for a while but we just kind of kept stepping over them. They weren't exactly problems in our marriage but they had been little annoyances for a while and some had the potential to really hurt if we had not have gotten them out of our way.
The tools taught to us by the wonderful retreat leaders showed us how to put these issues "back on the refrigerator" if you will. We didn't get rid of them completely but it gave us a safe environment for talking through these issues without our usual tendency for defensiveness and hurt feelings and allowed us to actually come up with some ways to deal with them. Now we're going to be able to get to some of the positive things we agreed that we wanted (and both have for a while but didn't know it). For one, praying together more as a couple and a family!
And, to top everything off, the girls had a great time at their grandparents house! They were asleep when we met them halfway and traded cars so they were quite surprised to see mom and dad in the front seats when they woke up. One seemed happy to see us, one was obviously disappointed to realize that Grandmom and Grandad were gone and that she was on her way back to reality. I think we all felt that to some extent. But upon arriving home she perked up and I got several hugs and even a kiss (this is my non affectionate kiddo) throughout the afternoon! I think overall we are all very happy to be home and I know my husband and I are anxious to see how our "new" relationship will work over the next few weeks and months.