Because life is a series of edits

Welcome Back, Half Pint House

In Thought on June 25, 2006 at 2:00 am

After spending most of yesterday afternoon (and evening) celebrating the wedding of Clif and Corrin with my substitute wedding "date," Tom, I went to church this morning (helpful message from Greg on "The Ministry of Presence"), and then watched the Cardinals get shellacked again by the American League (0-6 on this last road trip – the Redbirds have no pitching). During the game, I addressed about 75 print versions of the digital newsletter we sent out last week (let me know if you'd like to be on our email list), and am now about to leave for a 30th birthday party for friend and Hebrew study-buddy, Mitchell.

For those who know me, this amount of social interaction is more the exception than the rule. But, every now and then, I "cut loose" (relatively speaking, like in relation to a herd of turtles).

Tomorrow, Megan and the girls get home from their "Go West, Red Van" Colorado trip, so the amount of noise and activity is sure to pick up. As I know they've had a great time on their 12-day excursion, I think it's okay to say the same about my time here. It's been enjoyable and quite productive as I had planned it to be.

As Megan and I have been married almost ten years now, we've spent plenty of time away from each other before: various conference weekends, assorted week-long ministry trips, as well as a couple of 10-day mission trips to Uganda that I've taken. But unless I'm forgetting something (and Megan will remember if I have), this 12-day trip may be the longest we've been apart since we've been married, not to mention the most impacting on her, as she is the one doing the traveling this time (and with four little girls – my trips have usually been alone or with adults).

A respected friend of mine who travels a lot in his ministry says he tries really hard not to be gone from his wife and kids at any one time longer than ten days. When I asked him why, he said studies have shown that after ten days, the effects on a couple from being gone from one another become more than just felt but damaging to small degrees in terms of the marriage.

Though he didn't go into detail or give his sources, I trust his perspective (you would too if I dropped his name) and his experience (twenty-plus years on the road); as a result, I thought long and hard with Megan on whether this trip was a good idea or not. In the end, it seems to have been okay (I know it's been fun for her and the girls to see so many of our Colorado friends while sharing that experience together), but I'm not sure I want to do this all over again next week (or even next month). It's too disconnecting and, as a husband and father, I'm feeling it.

Thankfully, during the course of our marriage, I've never had the kind of job that ever required me to be gone too long from my family, but I know many who have and I feel for them (sometimes I even think to pray for them). Maybe I'm just a homebody (okay, no "maybe" about it), or perhaps I just get nervous when the five most important women in my life are in a single van driving across the vastness of Kansas, but I will gladly give up the quiet and freedom of these past eleven days to see them pull up in the parking lot on Day 12.

Godspeed, ladies. See you tomorrow.

  1. We miss you. All of us do. Honestly. We’re looking forward to being home tomorrow.
    Skip Hebrew???

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