After about a month's worth of waiting, we finally got out on a date night. We almost didn't get to go after the original babysitters cancelled due to illness. It took several attempts to find someone willing to babysit at such late notice. But find someone we did, so with a little re-arranging of our plans, off we went. Where did we go on our hot date you ask? Well, we went to a prayer gathering. :)
I know that a prayer meeting may not make most people's top ten list of date nights. In fact, that might be considered a wee bit unusual. Steve and I have each been going to a weekly prayer gathering, just not the same one. Although this works best for our schedules(and probably for our personal growth), we do both enjoy and need that spiritual time together. Incidentally, another couple also made this their date night.
Although it was a slightly eclectic choice, both Steve and I came home feeling refreshed and energized. Tonight was particularly interesting, as the minister ran the gathering almost as a Prayer 101 class. He walked us through listening to the Spirit and then praying for each other out of what we had heard. It was an unique experience, especially for my husband. Although I am accustomed to listening to the Holy Spirit, I've never been part of a group where we were actually walked through how to do it. It's hard to explain, and this may sound very strange(sorry!), but it was amazing. Steve and I were singled out to be prayed for as a couple by our friends(the other couple who were having a date night). After they prayed for a bit, others in the room were asked what they were seeing or feeling. As others shared, we were then prayed over more specifically. I left feeling deep peace.
We decided not to go straight home. Instead we went to a coffee shop with our new friends. As we ate our desserts, we shared details of our respective courtships and amusing anecdotes. After a season of pulling away from friendships within the church, it is a blessing to begin to rebuild those types of relationships again. Leaving such fun conversation was hard, but our babysitters awaited. Thankfully our children had been little angels or so they told us.(They always say this. I'm not sure I believe them though). Having gotten scared, our oldest was sleeping in the babysitter's bed. Thankfully she transfered to her own bed without any problems. Seeing Steve carrying her was very sweet. It's been a long time since he's cradled her in his arms like that. She's rather big now.
I am thankful for a lot tonight. I'm thankful for a safe place where I can heal and grow, thankful for good friends who babysit on very short notice, thankful for new friends. I'm thankful for my husband who I am growing with on so many levels. And I am thankful for a great big God, a giver of good gifts.