JD's trip lasted an entire three and a half weeks. That's 24 days.
I had to come up with something that would make it seem like I was there in spirit. I wanted to do more than just Face Time every day (which was still incredibly refreshing); more than a card every day; and more than just a picture every day.
So I started digging through all of our "love" keepsakes and found this oldie but goodie...
I sent this little "scrapbook journal" to JD during his summer on a mission trip in Mobile, Ala. It is filled with quotes, lyrics, pictures, random facts about me, encouragement and sweet drawings I tore out of old books.
And I thought, "Of course. I will make another one of these for him except I'll give him only one page per day, and he can put the journal together himself!!"
So I did.
I made a page for every day we were apart from each other and stuck each one in an envelope. I also included two binder rings and my favorite pen so he could assemble it and write back, when the opportunity arose.
Day 2 was awesome. I was in the grocery store, unable to Face Time with him, when he got home from work and got settled into the hotel room. (Seven hour time difference is not cool.) In honor of our tradition of putting our hotel slippers on as soon as we get to the room, he sent me some awesome photos of him pouring coffee in his hotel robe and slippers.
may have started falling down my face in Publix at this moment.
I reminded him every single day, "Don't forget to send a postcard back!!" He must have gotten tired of it by Day 21... But at least he remembered to send one back!!
We love dancing. Like. We. Love. It. We dance in the kitchen, at weddings, in the car, in the pool. You name it. We dance there. Needless to say, I was super bummed at the fact we weren't able to celebrate National Dance Day together on July 27th, so I asked him to dance in the hotel room in honor of me. But he worked 17 hours that day, Face Timed me and fell straight to sleep. I guess we'll just have to celebrate it during Date Night tonight. ;)
I begged JD to journal while he was over there. But he was honest with me and said, "I may journal like the first couple of days, but I'll get burnt out." So, I knew if I made him journal because of the journal we were putting together, he would do it. :) And he did. I made it easy for him though. He only had to "write me back" a few days and I would give him questions so he wouldn't just be saying, "Day was good, but I miss you," every day. It's not like he had much to write about, besides work, anyways.
For example, the question on the other side of this card was, "Have you done anything cool where you are? See any shows, ride a camel, visit a museum? Write about it on the back. I'm really missing you. I love you sooo much!!"
His response: Cool architecture. Ate baby camel tonjia and Moroccan harrico soup.
Simple and concise. Obviously, the complete opposite of my style, but that's just one more thing I love about my man. ;)
The finished product.
It is absolutely crucial to be intentional with one another in marriage, especially when you are physically apart. I hope this gives you a few ideas in case you and your love have the unfortunate event of being separated physically for a while. This journal served as a tool for us to communicate things we might not have been able to otherwise, and gave JD something to look forward to every day!