Web-4711 [dropcap]I[/dropcap]t's amazing how driving down back roads can rejuvenate a tired marriage.  I was spent from the hustle and bustle of the season, he with his many responsibilities.  As the days on the calendar inched closer to 365, we took some much needed time to rest and restore.

He loaded my bags in the back of his truck and opened my door as we left the fuss behind for a weekend alone. Cranking the engine, he smiles at me; already at ease.  We begin the familiar path to the lofted space that faces water farther than the eye can see.  The cab is filled with laughter and words as we begin to be us again.

He asks the questions on his heart and I share my fears.  Instead of coiling back, he offers his hand in assurance that everything is going to be okay.

I believe him.

Yes, everything is going to be okay.  Because we trust and we jump together into the new year.  He and I are united; his flesh mine and my flesh his.  Passing the Piggly Wiggly, my heart swells with love and adoration for this boy that has become a young man.  As we approach eleven years together, I thank God that his hand is still holding mine.

Over the years, I haven't always understood his ways.  I've spoken too soon and have slammed one too many doors.  Driven by emotion, I haven't always been the best example of a loving wife.  Often after these incidents, I wish I could rewind and handle myself better.  Even in my worst moments, for some reason he always accepts my apologies.  Just as Taylor Swift sings, he always stays, stays, stays.

Staying in love isn't the easiest thing in the world.  After five years of marriage, I have a new appreciation for the word commitment.  Last year, I didn't even realize how exhausted I was until I got to the point where I just wanted to quit everything.  Have you ever been there friend?  He and I had loaded ourselves with so many things that we barely had time to focus on the one thing that mattered most in our marriage: each other.

I need my husband's love to be good at the rest of my life.

I depend on his love because Christ gave him to me to feel secure.  In The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman states, *"Psychologists have observed that among our basic needs are the need for security, self-worth, and significance.  Love, however, interfaces with all of those."  When I feel loved by Raleigh, I feel more significant and successful in other parts of my life.

Raleigh not only helps me feel more significant but he has also learned (through trial and error) how to love me.  Reaching the beach house, we dropped off our bags and spent the afternoon strolling through shops and had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.  He allowed me to purchase items without feeling regret and we even chose to wait for a table instead of eating quickly at the bar.  We savored our time together - just me and him.

Our weekend away filled both of our love tanks.  Taking time to fill up before the start of this year was one of the best choices we could make - for each other and our marriage.  2013 has already started out with deadlines and responsibility but neither of us are running on empty.

Loving your spouse is the art of marriage.  Just like the winding roads that we traveled on our weekend away, marriage is about navigating through the twists and turns and coming around the bend holding hands. 

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

*The Five Love Languages, Chapman, Garry. Page 143

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