We flew to Chicago and stayed with a friend of Rory's from college. Tony and his wife Glenda had just had their first baby, Luke. Luke was little...like maybe a month or two old. We walked into their house with love and happiness overflowing, giddy with joy and dreamy thoughts of our life to come. And in the most perfect way I could ever imagine, Tony and Glenda sort of counseled us on what was to come. Not the bad and the ugly...but the real stuff. The exhausted moments, the rough patches, the stuff that gets forgotten when you're trying on big white dresses and taste testing beautifully frosted cakes.
I look back at that little getaway with so much thankfulness. Conversations were deep and honest and each night Rory would come into their home office where I was staying and we'd talk about our marriage that was coming after the wedding.
While on that trip we made a list of Date Questions. These have become a cornerstone in our marriage. Intended to be brought out once a month, these little questions were written in response to the honesty Tony and Glenda were speaking.
Our first year of marriage Rory kept these questions in his wallet and we referred to them often. Eventually they were taped in a kitchen cupboard in Minneapolis. And we talked about them once in a while. But then we stopped using them.
On Valentine's Day I opened my card from Rory and there was the little paper that has been with us for eight years now.
So over heart-shaped sushi rolls and Hibachi chicken, we took it from the top and discussed all ten questions. It was so good. These questions are pretty awesome. They get you talking about things that might not come up naturally, but should be discussed. And they are proactive. They don't leave you stuck and frustrated. They help you make a plan for the month ahead.
So here they are. (We decided we would look at them at the beginning of each month...even if we aren't out of the house on an official date.)
1. Does the way we spend our time reflect our priorities (God, each other, family, friends)
2. What have we done outdoors in the last month?
3. Did we speak each other's love language last month?
4. Can we schedule in intentional downtime this month?
5. How have we served others in the past month?
6. Is there something unique we could plan this month?
7. Are there any special demands, deadlines or events the other person should be aware of? How can we support each other?
8. Highpoints/Lowpoints- Is there any way to avoid the low points?
9. Is there anyone in our lives who could use some special TLC + prayer?
10. Do we need to plan any getaways for vacations this month?