Friday, July 17, 2009

Roadtrip Romance: 5th Anniversary

It’s been a heavy duty season of giving, of deadlines, of multiple pressures and loving on people who are at some of the worst crossroads in life -- and need just a little hug, an uplifting lunch, some hope.

Nothing pleases my husband Greg and I more than comforting others with the same sort of comfort we received during our darkest seasons. We are so grateful for what God has done with the messes in our lives. Our greatest ministry, indeed, has come from our deepest misery.

That said, I had no idea how much every cell in my body needed this three day road trip, alone with my Honey, to refresh, renew, refill and recharge my heart. Like a pitcher that has poured out every last drop of water to refresh others; I needed to Stop the World, get in the car with my wonderfully loving and calming husband (I call him Human Prozac) and be filled again. Just drive, stare out the window and enjoy married chit-chat between contented silences, together.

Yesterday we spent the day playing the music of our love as I read through the 2-inch stack of love letters we’d sent each other. Needless to say, by the time we reached the hotel last night we were newlyweds again. (Okay, yes, as we've been for the last 5 years.)

My world seems to be built of words, words, words. Reading them, writing them, speaking them, hearing them. Besides lots of face to face communication, I also read a big stack of books each week. Social networking – more words! – is fun and, if I am honest, sometimes addictive. I usually have a book on tape going in the car when I drive. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a world of words, unless – like anything --- it gets out of balance.

And I was beginning to feel very out of balance this past few weeks. Small things seemed overwhelming, my patience was failing, everything seemed more daunting. (See Greg’s post on Giver Overload on his blog I read it and saw myself squarely there.)

Enter this Getaway Road Trip from Colorado to Neskowin, Oregon: me, Greg, and a stack of CDs full of our favorite love songs. Hours and hours of them. I’ve been washed in nothing but his love, gorgeous scenery, and music, music, beautiful music!

I can feel my inner pitcher filling up… with every mile, every song.

We both teared up at the words to Perry Como singing “And I love you so” – particularly the opening lines, “People ask me how, how I’ve lived to now?… I tell them, ‘I don’t know.’” And the tears poured, unchecked at the words, “I guess they understand, how lonely life has been; but life began again, the day you took my hand.”

We grin at each other through Toby Keith’s “Rock You Baby” about a man who happens upon a woman who “wore her broken heart out on her sleeve,” but her loneliness can’t hide the beauty inside. And if he knows, if he can just get this “shattered lady” in his arms, he can rock her world, and love her like she’s never been loved before. Greg and I have danced to this song before, his eyes communicating confidence in my ability to heal within the safety of his sure and faithful love.

We listen to Elvis crooning “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You,” -- as take each others hands (and "our whole lives too"...) for some things indeed, seem meant to be.

This morning we turned up the joyously affirming song by Chicago, “You’re My Inspiration”, – full volume.

Greg played it for me before asking me to marry him.

“You know our love is meant to be, the kind of love that lasts forever.
And I want you here with me, from tonight until the end of time.
You should know, everywhere I go, you’re always on mind, in my heart, in my soul… Baby…
You’re the meaning in my life, you’re the inspiration,
You bring feeling to my life…you’re my inspiration
wanna have you near me, wanna have you hear me saying,
‘No one needs you more than I need you.' ”

We ended the day with “oldy but goody” worship songs. “Praise the Lord, for our God inhabits praise and the chains that serve to bind you, drop powerless behind you when you praise him…”

I love that we so easily move from sentimental to sexy to sacred and back again. I feel God’s smile on all of it.

So that is a taste of the musical journey we’ve been on today, our anniversary. And yes, I’m pausing to put it into words because I don’t know a better way to capture this precious day. I’m hopelessly … wordy. But its in balance again.

Greg’s pulling into a gas station somewhere on the outskirts of Oregon now. He needs a break so it is my turn to take over the wheel and drive. And pick out the next set of songs.

This is my brain on joy AND in love.

And finally, finally well-rested and at peace.

Hmmm… now to find the song, “My cup runneth over with love.”

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