Beauty off the Beaten Path

eagle-nest-2Last weekend hubby and I made a trip to Taos, New Mexico, and I will tell you, it took my breath away. That was the first time I have been in New Mexico or Colorado during the summer months, I think. I have gone to Colorado in the spring and later fall, but not in the summer. It was magical to me, the green atop the rocky mountain, wow, I could stay there forever! Hubby and I dream of getting to move to that part of the US! It wasn’t a perfect vacation, as we both had hoped, but it was beautiful and we grew closer to one another and found a deeper level of intimacy there. And, I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Our last full day there started out rough, we are both changing in the light of God’s original design rising up inside of us and sometimes we don’t give space for it. Both of us are still a little afraid of the old spouse rearing it’s ugly head and that day, it did in us both! We spent the morning talking in the back yard of the perfect little adobe home hubby rented for us, among the beautiful scenery and God’s glory, and it led to arguments that didn’t sound anything like God’s glory. It is so difficult to separate our personal from our business, and I was looking for personal conversation that day but it kept getting side tracked into business. Not only that, but hubby, on vacation, wants to be up and out early and gone all day. I, on the other hand, am perfectly content to wake up early and hang out around the rental for the morning, knowing I will be gone until dark once we leave. Those differences in us can lead to arguments. So, that morning we argued, a lot.

When we were younger, before I got sick, I was right there with him going and doing. We would go for 10 hours on vacation and once we got home, enjoy the night life of romance, today I don’t have that in me. I didn’t realize how worn out I was before we left, and I probably should have shared with him that I thought I might be slower paced this trip. But I didn’t, and he got disappointed that we “wasted” parts of our days. I was content with what we did and how much we saw, you can see one of the pics from our rental home to see I was in the Kingdom of Heaven there so I didn’t feel like I lost anything, but he did. We are so much alike in many ways, but so different too. His family was up and out by 7am on vacation, ready to hit the day hard. My family preferred the leisure of vacation and hanging out until noon wasn’t uncommon.  How do we bridge those gaps in marriage so that everyone wins? Can everyone win?

I said all of that to lead to how we got off the beaten path and how God showed me His Glory! On our way home, hubby asked me if it would be okay for him to take some back roads vs. the interstate. When I told him he was driving and could go where he wanted, he recalled to me that in the past my desire has been to jump on the fastest route home and floor it. That is so very true of who I was, and it wasn’t too terribly long ago. We had a nine hour drive to get home with all day to do it, so I said, “you’re the driver and route planner, take me home however you choose”. Funny thing, I may have offered that in the past, but my actions that followed (in the past) may not have matched up…this time they did. As we traveled this scenic route through hills and valleys, we listened to one of our favorite teachers, John Eldredge, talking about Hope in the Coming Kingdom. As hubby rounded out of a pass through some mountains, and pulled over at a gas station in a valley, I looked out at THE SINGLE MOST beautiful site my eyes have ever beheld! We were in Eagle’s Nest, NM, and standing out of the vehicle, gazing at the beauty, as I turned I realized there was not one direction that God’s glory wasn’t announced. The site was a 360 degree landscape of mountain after mountain surrounding this little town of 300 people and I was in heaven! The depth and height and color of this majesty sent me into breathlessness and tears were streaming down my face. It was absolutely the most breathtaking picture I’ve ever found myself a part of. A friend of mine told me I had seen beauty before and was curious why this beauty was different for me? I’m exploring that question with God because I know I have seen beauty, and I am not sure what it was about this valley that awe inspired me that day.

I know hubby and I are different, God made us that way. I also know that he isn’t wrong, he is just different. This particular day, when I would have probably routed us home the shortest way, I am so grateful that God has given me hubby so that I get to see some of life through his eyes too. When you fight with your spouse about wanting things to be your own way, think about the beauty I got to behold because I let hubby guide the car home his way. It made me realize that giving up control and resting in hubby’s vision of life can have it’s profound moments of grace that I would miss if I barrel through my way all the time. Life is short, arguing is painful, and love is forever. I pray I will slow down and take in the beauty God has given me, it’s those short moments when my breath is taken away. Those are the moments I don’t want to miss anymore!

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