Our oldest daughter gets married in August. This is our new reality. I would be lying if I said it was an easy thing to accept. It’s going to be an emotional year for all of us in a couple of ways. My biggest worry, with everything my kids do, is watching them make the same mistakes I have made. I want them to learn from my mistakes… not repeat them.
12 Months of Dates
With this in mind, I decided to give Cheyenne and her fiancé, Nic, a special gift this year for Christmas. It took me a few weeks to compile and figure it all out, but I gave them 12 months of dates. It was actually quite fun to put together and I was proud of the finished product. Here are the first 4 themed date nights and an idea of what I included for each of them. I also divided up the envelopes… 6 for each… with alternating months. They were in charge of the dates in their bundle.
Although this date includes a fancy dinner out with a gift card, the scripture is all about humility. It’s important to learn that in a marriage there is no room for a self-serving love. Besides, you must learn humility or it will be handed to you. It’s a tough lesson to learn the hard way. Colby and I have been there. I want them to be selfless in their service for others in order to be humbled in their love for each other.
Because February is the month of love with Valentine’s Day smack dab in the middle, I decided this was a month to getaway. I explained that, “Your relationship is worth every moment of your time together.” Understanding the need for intentional quality time is a must. It presents opportunities for growth. Growth is necessary in any relationship. They were given a voucher for travel (we will be looking for Groupon deals on hotels), luggage, and Southwest gift cards for airfare.
Packed in a picnic basket filled with 2 plates, utensils, napkins, plastic cups, and a blanket, I emphasized the importance of communication. The breakdown of communication in our marriage is what ultimately led to our separation. Therefore, we are now more intentional about how we communicate and are thriving. I want them same for them. I included conversation starters to get them talking on their date.
From the instructions I gave them, “Life is going to throw you curve balls. It’s inevitable. There is no telling what may come. Whether it is a wrench in your career, trouble in your marriage, or any other crazy scenario, hold on to the love you have.” A gift card to a local bowling alley, bag of Skittles, and printed list of instructions have them ready to go.
These are the first four dates of the year. Each month has its own envelope with a list of supplies, scripture, and any instructions. Plus, there is a letter full of my thoughts and how the date is meant to encourage a better marriage. That is my prayer for them both. An amazing marriage. Not expecting perfect. But amazing would be ideal.