The Most Important 20 Minutes

We woke up early this morning to a beautiful crisp March day. Both of our To-Do lists are a mile long with all those things that have to be done on our “day off”. There never seems to be enough time during the week to tackle those bigger projects. My list would have me outside tending to the long-neglected yard and Andee’s list includes catching up on a pile of paperwork. Although today is Saturday, and we will actually be in the same zip code, our projects will have us geographically thirty yards apart. Having a Saturday to do our own thing is good, unless we neglect connecting with each other. It is so easy to let a whole work week pass, only to realize we haven’t had a meaningful conversation all week. We’ve had this happen in the past and we don’t ever want it to happen again. Saying “Hello” and “Good-bye” and talking about our schedules as we come and go is not enough to sustain a healthy marriage. We can’t allow the calendar page to flip, only to realize we haven’t talked about the things that are really important.
Johns Shoes Looking DownThere is a place just to the right of our kitchen sink where the flooring really should be worn out. I don’t know why it isn’t. It is a favorite place of mine. True, it’s where the coffee pot is located but that’s not the reason. That spot is the place I stand and lean against the counter when I come home from work at night. Andee is usually busy preparing a meal. As soon as I come home, I put away my jacket and computer and go stand in my favorite spot. That is the place I learn about my wife. She tells me about the victories and blessings of her day. She also tells me about the struggles, technology problems and family news. I even get a little update on her Facebook friends. Sometimes I leave my sacred spot to take care of a “quick fix” that has been concerning her all day, if it takes less than a minute. Then I hurry back. I don’t want to miss anything. Conveniently the plates and silverware are right behind me so I can set the table while she puts the finishing touches on dinner.
Hour GlassThrough all the years of raising a family, the first twenty minutes I’m home we’ve spent together. Now that our children are grown, and on their own, we still do this. It helps us feel connected. Gone are the days of homework and diapers, but they have been replaced with meetings, projects and other commitments.
Gift of TimeThe bible tells us to redeem the time because the days are evil. (Eph 5:16). Every day will provide enough challenges to keep us too busy for each other…if we let them. But instead, let’s build healthy habits of staying current with our spouse. Then when our projects have us working in different locations, we will still feel “together”. That is much better than being together and feeling all alone.

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About John Paladini

John Paladini is a husband, pastor and author. He has been happily married to Andrena for 34+ years. They have three adult children, six grandchildren....and counting. John has devoted hundreds of hours to marriage counseling, conferences and bible studies that strengthen marriages.

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