I have to be honest and give a statement before I even write out this post: My husband and I are homebodies. After being forced to have date nights at home a few times due to not having a sitter or lack of extra spending money, we realized that date nights at home were a lot more fun and relaxed than going somewhere. This is actually our preferred way to spend a date night together now… Though that’s not to say we don’t enjoy escaping the mad house from time to time to engage a little with society. 😉
At home date nights definitely take a lot more time/creativity to plan. Well, scratch that, not all of them. There’s always old faithful of dinner or a snack while watching a movie or playing a board game snuggled on the couch. But if you want to do something out of the ordinary, it can become a vortex… sucking up all of your time and boosting your excitement. So beware, you might have too much fun doing this and neglect everything else going on in your life. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, it can be even more fun! Start out by making a list of things you don’t want to forget. Are there certain snacks or items you want to be sure to remember? Outfit you need to remember to clean? Shopping list that needs to be purchased?
Once the kids are in bed, it’s time to turn a small area of your home into a “date night stage”. You’ll want to do this quickly so that you both aren’t too tired to even spend time together by the time you are done. If you plan to have dinner without the kids, prepare it before they go to bed so that you can start your date right on time. If you change clothes, do it quickly. Plan the day out ahead of time to make the most of your alone time together.
So, now for some quick ideas that didn’t take a lot of prep or creativity that my hubby and I have enjoyed:
There are so many more ideas, but these were just the ones that were on the top of my head. What things have you done for Valentine’s Day at home a regular at home date night? Any new ideas you haven’t done yet? I’d love to hear about them. I’m always looking for more ideas!
This post begins the 2013 Valentine’s Day Blog Hop! Feel free to hop around, link up, and join right in!
“Tell me, when did I lose my first love? Where did the fire and passion go? Burn in my Your holy fire. Give me back my lost desire and restore in my the love I felt for You.” (Lyrics from “First Love” by Avalon)
Remember when you first met your spouse? Your heart would leap at the mere sound of his voice. You didn’t mind talking on the phone for hours, even if the conversation was about nothing in particular. You just longed for the conversation. You would jump at the chance to spend time with him. Not only that, but you would take your time to get ready for him. Before date night, you would make sure your hair and make-up were done properly and that you had the right outfit on. You wanted everything to be perfect for the night ahead and you wanted him to be proud to have you on his arm.
Come on now. I know I wasn’t the only one!
First comes love, then comes marriage, then here you come with a baby carriage. Life happens. You still love him and you still enjoy spending time with him, but you’ve lost the zeal. You have become comfortable with him, knowing the ins and outs of who he is, so the excitement has dropped off. The telephone conversations have dropped to lasting a few minutes with a quick, “LoveyouBye” before you hang up. He has seen you at your worst- hair in a blobby mess, no make-up, sloppy pajamas, and *gasp* unpainted toenails. Therefore, you tend not to spend the time to prepare yourself for date night like you did before. That is, if there even is a date night. Yes, you’re still in love with him, but life has taken over. If you want the zeal and excitement back, you have to be willing to work on adding some spice into the recipe:
1 c. make-up before your next outing
2 pinches of spontaneous love letters
1/4 tsp. butterflies in your tummy
3 heaping tbs. giddiness
A big dash of remembering what drew you in the first place.
Okay, okay, so I’m preaching to myself here. Corny as it may seem, it’s true. Whether you want to admit it or not, it’s true. And although you may not have meant for it to be this way, it’s true. We may be able to get away with this in our marriages (unfortunately), however, when it comes to our relationship with God, this is a big NO NO. Today I was reading in Revelation, and was struck with verse 4 in chapter 2, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love.”
So let’s start over. Remember when you first met your Savior, Jesus? Remember how you longed to spend hours in prayer, in conversation with the Lord? Remember the passion you had, wanting to soak up every bit of His word? Remember your desire to be in His presence, preparing yourself to get to church and worship amongst other believers? Yes, we love Him, but we have lost our zeal. We need to get back to a place where we earnestly yearn to seek the Lord and cannot wait to be with Him. We are His bride and He desires for us to desire Him. It’s time that we repent and return to our first love. He longs for us to make Him our number one priority (even in our crazy busy lives) and become passionate for Him yet again. And in doing this, we’ll likely see it reflect on our marriages, too.
13 Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit;14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.15 Instead you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.
Within the last few weeks I’ve known quite a few people who have had loved ones pass away. Time slipped away so quickly. Some were old aged, but some were not. At the same time, I’ve had a few close friends that have been diagnosed with serious conditions.
All of this is brought many things to light for me. For one: Death knows no age. I’ve known this for years, but it seems every few years something happens to remind me that no one is exempt. As James said, life is but a vapor and we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Second: What are my priorities and what am I putting first?
Lately I’ve been TOO busy. My pastor noticed this before I did. She asked me one evening, “Do you ever say no?” “No” I replied, and we giggled. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing things for others and helping them. I am in no way complaining nor will I stop doing this. But sometimes, I need to just stop and focus on my family. I realized this a few weeks ago after my two year old son came running up to me with his arms out for me to hold him. “Just a second chubby cherub. Mommy is really busy.” Suddenly, like a slap in the face, a still small voice inside of me said “Busy doing what?” Hmm… Nothing is as important to me as my children. What could I possibly be doing that is keeping me too busy? Then the second slap to the other side of my metaphorical face “I’m doing this to God, too.” Ouch.
When life is over, will I be remembered for the fact that I made aprons? No. If I actually got my house to look perfect and kept it that way, will I feel achieved in Heaven? Not at all. When it’s all said and done, all that matters is that I served an almighty God and raised children with integrity who knew without a doubt their mother loved them and would drop anything for them in their time of need.
I’m not saying that any of us should let our homes go, stop doing things for others, sit back and let life fall apart just to snuggle with the kids a little longer. But by all means, stop and smell the roses! Enjoy those babies while they’re young! Play a board game with the older kids. Make your husband’s favorite meal just because. Plan a date night beyond his expectations and show him you love him. And if today’s to do list doesn’t get done, don’t sweat it. Trust me, it’ll be there tomorrow.
A special thank you to my dear friend, Rena, for her inspiration in writing this post.
You know how it is. You spend every single day in a rush. You’re doing your best to keep on top of the kids, the house, the errands, the meals, Bible reading, the finances, work, etc. Your husband is exhausted from a long week at work himself, especially if he has a high demanding job like all the ladies here at Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven do. The last thing you think you can possibly find time for is a date night, right? I mean, sure, you have time for you know what here and there, but I mean a real date night.
“But I don’t have a sitter for the kids, and we don’t have the money to go out! And even then we can’t hear each other in the restaurant or we just sit at the movies and stare at a screen, how are we supposed to connect?!”
I’ll tell you how. Have a date night at home. Yes, you read that right. At home.
My husband and I began doing this a few years ago. We feed the kids their dinner at the usual time, put them to bed, and then we have date night. We have a quiet dinner alone, mostly uninterrupted, and then we plan something for the remainder of the night.
Sound like a lot of work? I promise it isn’t. It’s usually a group effort, which makes it fun. We’re working together to aim towards something we will both benefit from! Sure, it takes a little bit of sacrificing. For instance, we usually stay up almost all night when we have date night, meaning it’s a LONG day the next day. But we both agree that it is worth it.
So how exactly do we plan this out? Well, it’s different every time. Usually one of us makes dinner and the other one plans an activity. By activity, I mean something creative and fun. Occasionally we will have a “theme”. (Oh, and the activity is kept secret from the other one usually… unless we just have a night of music and talking. Then we’re upfront.) One night I brought in Scrabble and set the rule that the words could only have something to do with our relationship. Another night he set up our living room to feel like we were in a cabin in the mountains. We’ve had “casino night” and “truth or dare”. Once I even planned a beach night! It goes on and on… The key is to keep it light, fun, and flexible. You never know when one of the kids might wake up, so be cautious of that also.
I can’t take all the credit for this, I did get the idea from a book/kit that we purchased. I’ll post some links at the bottom of this post for you to check them out, but I wanted to still give you some ideas just in case you couldn’t afford to buy the products… (Though if you can, I seriously recommend them. Yeah, some of the idea cards are a little cheesy… but they’ll help you come up with your own ideas and the questionnaires will help you get to know each other better.)
So, if you and your hubster are in a rut, bored, or everything is great but you just think this sounds fun, go for it! And if you want, come back and tell us what ideas you had! (Keep the personal details to yourself, please. 😉 ) And remember, having a date night with your husband does NOT make you a bad mother. It makes you a good one! (And for the single mommies, you’re all still excellent moms. I hope you find no offense in this post.)