“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” – G.K. Chesterton


This past Tuesday was Michael’s and my three-year anniversary.
On the Iowa-side of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

I spent the second to last week of May in Houston enjoying plenty of food, family and friends. Since it was a fairly quick trip, I actually created a spreadsheet beforehand to manage the time while I was there. OCD yes? But it did help me out making sure I got to see almost everyone. Over the years I’ve really come to treasure the relationships I have there and my heart is immensely blessed to be with them. I was able to pray for a few people while I was in town, but I was particularly burdened for the owner of a local coffee shop. Back in January, Michael and I stopped by a nearby coffee joint to “juice-up” before making the twelve-hour trek back home. We visited with the owner and she shared that her husband had just suffered a stroke and she was anxiously trying to close up so she could go to the hospital to be with him. We prayed with her and went on our way.

I went back to that same coffee shop this trip with a couple friends. After ordering our coffee I stayed by the counter to ask how her husband was doing. Knowing she didn’t recognize me at first, I wasn’t sure if she would remember Michael and I praying with her. But after I described Michael’s hair she remembered who I was and thanked me for asking. She soon broke in to tears and I learned that despite our praying for her husband, he died two days later. It broke my heart. They had been married for thirty years. Thirty years of memories, companionship, growth, love, children, good times, bad times… adventure. What could I say? All that came to mind was, “I’m so sorry” and I asked her if I could give her a hug. She came around the counter and we hugged while she continued to weep. The only comfort she finds is the knowledge he knew Jesus and will be in heaven waiting for her. I prayed with her again before joining my friends. As I walked away, I left thinking about Michael’s and my upcoming anniversary and how devastated I’d be if something happened to him now, let alone after thirty years of marriage.
It says that Jesus burst into tears at the sight of the Jews mourning Lazarus’ death. Jesus was God in the flesh, and God Himself knows the heavy cost of death. He knew that death brought separation to not only loved ones here on earth, but between Him and His creation. Horatio Spafford, well acquainted with grief after the loss of five children and his livelihood, wrote this opening verse to the hymn “It Is Well with My Soul”: “When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.” Thanks be to God that no matter our lot, we can still say death has been defeated that all may go well with our soul.
I got home Sunday and that Thursday Michael found out he would be working in New Mexico for the next two months. A little over a month ago he was asked if he would be willing to lead a team there, but after all the plans with India falling through we didn’t expect this assignment would come together either. At the last minute it did and Michael was asked to fly out the following Tuesday. So we went ahead with our anniversary plans and drove out Thursday afternoon to Omaha. It was a beautiful drive, but obviously our minds were focused on the upcoming departure to New Mexico.

Old Market

We spent the first part of Friday at the nationally famous Henry Doorly Zoo. The zoo is known for it’s research and successful attempts with artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization in tigers, gorillas and other species. We always enjoy visiting zoos in whatever city we travel to. Personally, God speaks to me lot through creation and I like admiring His imagination and design. After the zoo, we had dinner at an Indian restaurant in Omaha’s downtown Old Market. Old Market ended up being our regular “hub” for coffee, food and spending the evenings.

Saturday we bought tickets to the Pulitzer Prize Exhibit at Durham Museum. If I remember anything about this trip, it will be that exhibit. There were so many photographs capturing the darkest and the brightest in human nature. The song “How He Loves Us” was playing like a soundtrack in my head, and I caught myself tearing up as I read the stories behind each photo. At our worst and at our best, we were made in the image of God and Jesus still loves us. Sunday was our last day so we walked around Lauritzen Botanical Gardens and afterwards had some more yummy ethnic food down in Old Market. Lauritzen Gardens is still in it’s infancy and there are many more garden exhibits in the works that would make it a great attraction to visit again in the future. Unfortunately it was so hot though that we didn’t stay very long this time.

Michael’s Hario manual grinder and my Marc Jacobs Daisy parfume 🙂

We drove home Monday morning and decided to exchange gifts. I love perfumes so a while back I gave Michael a list of scents I like. Some people might not find this romantic, but we’ve learned that it’s equally unromantic to give each other gifts that we’re not really interested in. We’ve only been together a total of six years, so in the grand scheme of things we still have a lot to learn about each other. I think movies have had laid the unfortunate expectation that unless a man can figure out a woman’s mind and purchases the perfect gift on a special occasion, it’s not really romantic. But the reality is that the only man in my life who will ever be able to understand my heart and mind that intimately is Jesus. So in the mean time, Michael will get gift-lists.

Tuesday afternoon, the actual day of our anniversary, Michael flew out to Albuquerque. Since we were only given five days notice before he needed to leave, and at least four of those days were spent in Omaha, I stayed behind to make arrangements for while we would gone the next two months. One task I wanted to take care of in particular was baking. There isn’t an oven in the hotel room, so in order to have home-baked sweets for our time in Albuquerque I needed recipes that would hold up in a freezer. And since they can be frozen and enjoyed with our smoothies or coffee; I made several varieties of bran muffins and a double batch of chocolate chip scones.

Outside of Albuquerque International Sunport

After getting everything ready, I got up Friday morning and began the twelve hour trek from Kansas City to Albuquerque. The drive between Kansas City and Oklahoma City went by fairly quickly since I’ve taken it so many times going back and forth to Houston. After that, I wish I could say I enjoyed the drive west of Oklahoma City but it was pretty boring. I’m not a big fan of the whole dirt, sand, rocks and more dirt terrain. And it was sad seeing so many patches of burned ground near the interstate. I prayed for rain as I continued on, knowing that most of these areas are currently in an “Exceptional Drought”.

I finally arrived in Albuquerque that evening, and we’ll be here to stay for the next couple months. Michael and I keep comparing this trip to our first stint in India. Obviously the fact we’re in the country of America alone makes this a significantly easier trip, but we also have access to a basic kitchen and our own vehicle. In India we had neither, which meant we went two months without a home-cooked meal or being able to drive ourselves anywhere. But because we still lack an oven, I won’t be making my baking posts for a while. So until further notice we’ll have to make due with my experiments in crock-pot and stove-top cuisine. It’ll be just another chapter in the adventure of our marriage!

What are some ways you keep the romance and excitement alive in your marriage? Can you think of ways to make ordinary, day-to-day “inconveniences” into an adventure?

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