It's very difficult, especially with kids our kids ages not to have something church related to take care of even if it as simple as dropping them off or picking them up for an activity and thereby having at least a 30 minute conversation with somebody in the church parking lot. To other parents, it's just a friendly conversation but for us, it can often turn into just another day at the office, with people stopping to ask, "hey, did my curriculum come in up at the office building?" or "Can I talk to you for a minute...something happened this past week..." and it's never just a minute...in fact usually it's at least 30 or 40. In trying to have our true day off I have sometimes dropped my kids off at Sunset Market next door and let them walk over to the church but when they have things to load or unload it's hard. (not that I don't love people, I just want a break at least for a few hours a week.) Everybody needs a sabbath. With that said...
Friday is our "date" day - at least our official one. We have another date many times during the week, but Fridays are a definite date. Larry and I just love to spend time together and we don't tire of it. We usually go to lunch or breakfast, or we'll sleep in until noon. The best time is when the kids are in school but even in the summer we still treasure Fridays though we are not given as much time with the house to ourselves. We've learned the importance of constantly not just giving maintenance to our relationship but doing things to help us grow. Many marriages "grow apart" and the reason is, the couple is not growing together. We can grow as people, as individuals but a couple must also grow in their relationship together and learn constantly. The only way that happens is through a lot of time together. It doesn't have to be something extravagant, in fact sometimes it's as simple as laying there together close watching a movie or taking a walk. The important thing is to stay close, and keep growing in relationship together. Fridays are an important key for us in making that happen.
On Fridays we go out somewhere together - anywhere from lunch to consignment stores (my favorite), to Home Depot, to taking a walk, going to the beach, or meeting up with our friends who are couples in ministry to spend time together. Fridays are a rejuvenation time....a day to refuel. Sometimes (at least twice a year) I just have "PJ day" where I don't get dressed and stay in jammies all day. That's when I'm really fried and just need special rest. As my family knows well, after work I'm usually in pajamas too, or sometimes my customary home uniform (t-shirt and underwear)...which is why I tell people in the church not to drop in on me unannounced. I truly LIVE and relax in my home. I invite people over all the time and extend hospitality constantly but aside from invites, it's not a good idea to drop in.
So today we got up early and Larry went and picked up the rental car. We took Dustin over to the Teen Driver Challenge program where he spent many hours today driving with his very own personal police officer. He actually LOVED it. He wouldn't admit it to me but he did privately admit it to his Dad. He had a blast. He feels so much more confident. Larry said, "why don't you tell your Mom that?" He said, "because when I don't let her know that I'm not really mad anymore she sometimes softens up and buys me something." (Is that true? Well, I kinda think it might be because right when he was saying that to me I was out at the grocery store getting the ingredients for the sweet rolls he loves to make them for him in the morning...I guess I really do that to a degree. When I know we've had a blow out and I've stuck to my guns on something and been hard line on it, I try to balance it out with a little extra love on the other hand...) But anyhoo, Dustin did great and I can tell he is so glad he went. Now he will also get an extra percentage off his car insurance for having taken the course.
After Lar and I dropped him off we went to breakfast at "The Breakfast Nook" - a very quaint place here in Tampa. We sat there and tried our best not to talk shop, but we inevitably sometimes do although we always make a practice not to discuss anything stressful, just good stuff. Today we talked about the principles in the book, "Go Big" which I just got Larry...it's by Bill Easum and Bil Cornelius. It's an incredible book about church growth/ministry. I heard about it from another blogger, immediately ordered it and haven't been sorry. We have gotten so much from it. So we sat there and discussed what we're discovering through that, and just personal good stuff.
Then we went and looked at cars again. I test drove a Sebring Convertible and absolutely loved it. That could sway me from a Mustang, perhaps. It's the only thing that came close, at all. It was a great car - but it was from Carmax, and honestly I don't like Carmax because there is no negotiation and after all, my beloved is the master of negotiation and usually comes out of the deal incredibly on top. He's walked out of a dealership before leaving the dealer literally having made only pennies. It's amazing the deals he's able to swing and how far he's able to talk them down. (He starts to walk out about 5 or 6 times, AT LEAST and won't hesitate to leave - and has. He always realizes there's another car available and if he can't talk them all the way down on this one he'll talk somebody else down to rock bottom.) When we came home he found what looks like a good deal on a Mustang at Brandon Ford. Since it was after hours he e-mailed them to call him first thing in the morning to talk about it and see if they still have it and we'll go take a look. The one at Ernie Haaire wasn't my cup of tea - I went and looked at it today. It was silver but an ugly silver- like a dark smoky silver and the top wasn't at all complimentary to it. Then they had a red one but IMHO it had too many miles on it for the price. So we'll see. We're not at all in a rush so the beauty of it is, we can just take our time and make a wise decision.
We picked the kids up from camp and they came home and took naps while I worked on the house. Larry made dinner tonight and Stephen came back. (yeah!) His sister emailed me last night and said how much she misses him. But when he leaves here we miss him too. So he was here for supper and we watched Lost with Dustin, (which he is now addicted to), bringing our whole family into unity as official LOST fans. The kids went to the youth group discipleship meeting tonight and Larry and I headed out with Savanna to get stuff for Britney's birthday gift tomorrow and then for me to get stuff for Sunday night's home group meeting. I know it's my "day off" but the fact is, I don't feel like getting it tomorrow.
The kids will probably watch LOST late into the night and that's fine with me because pretty soon Larry and I are going to cap the night off by getting into our own little world in the big tub with all the candles lit. And that, my friends will be a spectacular ending to a 'fun friday'!