No kids allowed on the trail

By Cindy Koch

If you are reading this, it means that Paul and I are still out hiking the John Muir Trail. I wanted to leave you with a few thoughts while we were out of touch this month. Yes, that’s right, 23 days on the trail—no phones. By now, we have been out of communication with the family for about a week. Writing this ahead of time, I predict I am somewhere absolutely beautiful, missing my kiddos a lot right about now. Even though they are a little older, it usually takes me about four days and then I need to talk to at least one of them. It’s strange, like a new mom who can’t sleep through the night because she just has to hear the baby breathing to be able to relax, my angst to know they are safe doesn’t really go away.

But this is a very real tension in a marriage. There is a natural inclination for a mother to be near her children, and this is very good. She loves and cares for them as God has given her to do. But at the same time, a healthy marriage includes an intentional escape for a husband and wife to be who they were created to be for each other: one flesh, and this too is very good.

Something we have always done together is going out without the children. If you have time, read another blog I wrote years ago about this, here. We see this as our reset button. It is our opportunity to talk or just stare at each other. We can be mad, even fight, and I might cry. But it’s OK because we will be back out next week, laughing about the whole thing, or something else entirely.

When we go out we can’t hide from each other. We are in this together and we have to figure it out sometimes. We can’t ignore each other because it really is the two of us against everyone else. We go out because it makes us better for each other, for our kids, and for our neighbor.