Simple: date night. Date night is a time to reconnect, enjoy each other’s company, and let your hair down.
In the day-to-day routine of raising kids and working—and the commuting, meetings, errands and laundry that go along with it (oh, and hopefully a more or less adequate amount of sleep)—it’s not always easy to schedule quality time with the guy that sleeps next to you. It takes effort and planning to get alone time with your spouse – and sometimes the same can be said about “The Guy Upstairs.”
I’m a sub at the perpetual adoration chapel at our parish during the midnight to 6 a.m. window. This means I fill in for regular adorers from the graveyard shift. Though sometimes I’m initially taken back when my alarm goes off, say at 1:43 in the morning (just enough time to arrive promptly at 2 a.m.), then I remember: I have a date with Jesus! and I perk up.
Though the o’dark-thirty hour may seem less than desirable to some, it works for us. I see it as a time for Jesus and I to reconnect, enjoy each other’s company and let our hair down.
In the busyness of being a wife, mother, employee, and the other hats I wear depending on the day, I can often feel short on prayer time. I think that happens to many of us. And time and time again, when I do pray, I can find myself distracted, with my mind wandering from a “Hail Mary” to something like:
“Do we have clean uniform pants for school tomorrow?”
“I forgot to call the tree trimming guy. Again.”
“Did I take the chicken out of the freezer?”
However at 2:00 in the morning my mind is clear; and where could I possibly need to run off to at that hour? It’s a time when I can truly give Christ the undivided attention he deserves, and an example of what St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori must have been talking about when he said: “…in a quarter of an hour’s prayer spent in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, you will perhaps gain more than in all the spiritual exercise of the day” (from his book “The Holy Eucharist”).
The benefits of this prayer time far outweigh being a little tired the next day, (not to mention I generally do get to go back to bed for several hours). More than once during this time, in the wee quiet hours of the morning at the adoration chapel, I’ve received a clear message. Clarity in an area that’s been fuzzy in my life, a distinct reminder of a need to reprioritize, and every now and then He even provides something as practical as a lead for a Register story I’m working on. (Important: write it down. Right away. Or it will be long gone.)
Other perks of these date nights: I don’t need to arrange a babysitter, make a reservation, or figure out what to wear. Thank you Lord for this special time together—I’m grateful for the quiet, clarity and comfort in the wee hours of the morning.