John and I stood on the 2ft x 1ft wooden platform on top of the 30 feet tall pole. My legs were shaking, which in turn made the pole shake beneath us. We’d just climbed to the top, one after the other and precariously went from sitting on the platform to standing. Hanging ahead of us was a trapeze bar, which looked just out of reach. We were harnessed in, so I knew if we fell that the belayers would “catch” us, but it was still scary. No other couple had successful jumped off the platform and grabbed hold of the trapeze yet.
John strategized for us to bend our legs and get in athletic stance. He instructed that when he counted to 3, I was going to jump and he’d follow a split second behind me. This way, he wouldn’t reach the trapeze bar first and push it out of reach for me.
1… 2… 3… Jump!
My hands grabbed onto the trapeze bar then John’s quickly followed. I couldn’t believe it! The other spouses below were cheering wildly, and even the instructors were impressed! We’d both managed to grab ahold of the trapeze at the same time, which we were told is a rare occurrence!
This was just one of the ropes courses – and the most exciting! – that John and I participated in last weekend at our Winshape Marriage Retreat at Barry College. We had a fabulous, relaxing weekend filled with amazing food, fun activities, good teaching, and lots of downtime to bike around the beautiful campus and lake.
Yet the highlight was that moment of catching the trapeze.
I was reminded how setting and meeting goals together is so exhilarating. John and I both have individual pursuits and goals, and it’s necessary and good to live out these adventures that we’ve been called to individually. Yet in catching the trapeze, I was reminded that our “individual goals” are still a part of our life together. When John accomplishes something, I feel as though I have too. And John feels the same way when I succeed. It’s exciting to dare greatly together, and I want to continue to look for ways we can cheer each other on and accomplish great things together!
I’ll end with some great discussion questions that were brought up at the retreat that you can talk to your spouse about too:
- What is our 30 year, 20 year, and 10 year vision?
- How can we create margin in our life (change pace of life, say no, slow down – what does this look like?)
- How can you recharge emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally? How would this affect you/your spouse?
- How do we look for opportunities to meet our spouse’s needs/speak life? How do we call out their gifting? How do we regularly celebrate?
- What do you tend to see when you look at your spouse? What is something amazing about your spouse that you see when you look deeper?