So, we both blog, and we decided this year we’ll blog together, separately. We call it He Said, She Said. I write my perspective and memory of an event or circumstance and she writes hers and we post them at the same time. We each take our own photos, and tell the story our way.
So this is Wednesday, and Wednesday is date night. It’s something I won’t surrender. It’s so easy to lose connection with people if you’re not intentional. It happens to me all the time. Last year was way too busy — I lost a lot of people. Hopefully we can rekindle some of those relationships. No major falling outs, didn’t fight with anybody, just couldn’t stay in touch as closely or often as I would like because I was going flat out full speed keeping a schedule. Being music pastor at 2 churches at the same time really took it out of me, and I loved it and I am also grateful to have more time to focus on family and business this year.
No matter how busy life gets, there are a few people I simply WON’T ALLOW myself to lose connection with, can’t even settle for kind of almost connection. Not 1 bar, not 2 bars kind of connection, needs to be 4 bars working on 5 all the time or as often as possible. With that in mind I say over and over to myself, “never surrender date night!” Busy will happen, let work go around, let ministry go around, let business go around, but whatever happens, NEVER surrender date night.
Ok, off my soapbox. I may repeat it one last time at the end. Yes, who are we kidding — I’ll definitely say it again, but here’s a little about tonight’s date.
Dar and I are doing this thing called 40 Day Pray. For details, check out www.40daypray.com. I heard about it from the co-founder of our company and she’s really all about it right now, so I looked into it. Dar and I started it last Wednesday, on a date night, actually. But then I traveled this weekend and we weren’t face to face for a couple days. Technically, we could have prayed together via FaceTime or Zoom, but we didn’t so we just started over this week, so … 40 Day Pray, Take 2.
I’m loving it so much, I don’t want us to stop at 40 days. I just want this to be a thing we do.
After we prayed together this morning I had this idea to take Dar to the beach this evening. See, I would usually wait until summer when it’s light out until 8pm and we could get there with a couple hours to hang out before sunset. I figure what’s the point of going there with only minutes before the sun goes down? Plus, it’s a rainy day, and then we’re looking through rain at the gray coast and that’s not very awesome, is it? Turns out it is!! And turns out she likes going to the coast when it’s rainy and stormy and I had no idea! So yes, I learned a few things about her this evening that I didn’t know and we had a great time.
I had planned on going to Lincoln City but she has memories of this place in Depoe Bay, called the Sea Hag.
I got to play around with the camera bit and that’s fun for me. I love taking pictures. I don’t set aside time to pursue photography so instead I just take the camera everywhere and shoot when I have a spare moment and something catches my eye.
It was after sunset when we arrived. So I got to play around with low-light photography. This is the front of the restaurant with aperture wide open and a long exposure. You can see the people inside, but the neon sign is glazed out.
This is the same facade shot with small aperture and fast shutter. This way I get the neon sign but can’t see the interior.
Once we got inside and seated, I had to get a shot of this light fixture because I think it’s gorgeous!
Internal dialog: “Smart move putting in a glamour shot, Lenn.” “Why thank you Lenn… thinking ahead, want there to be other date nights, you know?”
Obligatory food pic, proof of roughage, and beets…
I was talking with a friend recently about what it takes to build good close relationships. That conversation wasn’t about marriage or even romantic relationships. That was actually about church community.
These four ideas will apply in any case: VIP?
VULNERABILITY — I’m learning a lot about it in theory, from the work of Dr. Brene Brown. I’m learning a lot about it in practice, from my life includes a new marriage, a blended family, 2 teenagers, a toddler, a newborn, a daughter-in-law, a 20 person worship team, a marketing organization, and a plethora (yes I got to use that word) of unforeseeable situations. Take 12 or 25 learning curves, stick them in a bottle, carbonate, shake vigorously, that’s my life right now.
INTENTIONALITY — I meant to be in touch with people last year, but what you meant to do isn’t what feeds your relationship. It’s what you actually do. So it’s super important to be intentional about quality time. For us, it’s starting every day in prayer together and having date night once a week. One of my friends always reminds me “You schedule what you value.” Seems like a great place to say this again: Never surrender date night!
PROXIMITY — Nothing beats face to face. No substitute for closeness. Even though I live in the same house as my wife, this 40 Day Pray thing has us looking into one another’s eyes on a daily basis for a minimum of 5 minutes, and that definitely increases proximity. For non-romantic relationships, take church or business relationships for example, there’s still no substitute for face to face. I traveled to California with one of my business partners and his wife last weekend and we got to sit next to each other on the plane and then we spent a couple days in close proximity. Although I speak with Mike 4-6 times a week, and although one of our weekly connections is a video chat, it’s still not the same as being able to see him face to face.
? (QUESTIONS) — I’m learning how important questions can be in building relationship. John Maxwell, in his book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, talks about the importance of Curiosity. People are complex and many-layered. I found out things about my wife this evening that I never knew before and we’ve been best friends for over a decade! You just never know what you might find out with a few well placed questions. Stay curious about other people. Also, stay curious about yourself. The better you know yourself, the better you can grow yourself and share yourself. That’s the Law of Reflection.
It’s been a great evening. These are some of my thoughts. Darlene is right next to me blogging her perspective on the evening, which will likely be a much more beautiful, inspiring post than mine. Thankfully, it’s not a competition, unless I’m winning.
You can find her post at: She Said — Sea Hag
Blessings to you, friend.