Have you ever stopped to think how many miles you’ve traveled with your spouse over the course of your marriage? Whether you’re on your honeymoon, love to take cruises together, or even serve at mission points across the globe, you’ll likely have a hard time competing with the distance Ray and Wilma Yoder have racked up. The couple, both 80, have spent their marriage pursuing an ambitious goal: visiting all 645 Cracker Barrels in the United States. It’s taken them 40 years to get it done.
That is a lot of biscuits and cornbread.
If traveling isn’t your thing, Ray and Wilma still have some great lessons to teach. Here’s what we learned from them.
- Set big goals together as a couple. Do you remember being young and first married and wanting to take on the world together? Somewhere along the way life happened, didn’t it. Mortgages and jobs and so many other things take the wind out of our sails if we’re not careful. Don’t give up on making big plans together. No matter how busy life gets, chasing a common goal will keep you sharp, engaged, and close as a couple.
- Pursue your dreams together. Sure it’s great to have your own things. She wants to run a marathon. He wants to visit every big league park. Do those. But make sure you don’t go your own way all the time. In fact, the shared experiences that come from being interested and pursuing as many common things as possible will help you relate, communicate, and even weather conflict in much better ways.
- See your dreams through. Wilma suffered an aneurysm a few years back. A tough blow, indeed, but it didn’t stop the Yoders. They set their quest aside for a while and got back to it when things settled down. Don’t lose heart when the weight of the world causes you to set down your dreams for a time so you can shoulder other burdens. They won’t last forever. When you’re load is lighter, pick up your dreams again and chase them like never before.
- Enjoy the ride. One of the things Ray said about their adventure was that at first he didn’t really like Cracker Barrel’s food, but the environment was so great he wanted to go back. What a great way of looking at life. Marriage isn’t always easy. In fact much of the time it’s downright tough. But learn how to embrace the bittersweet taste of marriage. There’s benefit even in the trials you endure. They make accomplishing the dreams you have as a couple that much better.
What have you and your spouse always wanted to do together but haven’t had the time, or made the time, to get started?
What could you do this week to take a step toward that goal?
It’s good for couples to be intentional about spending time together, no matter what you enjoy doing.
Ray and Wilma have had a few decades of fun and covered a few million miles together in pursuit of a good meal, friendly surroundings and what some might consider a peculiar goal. Enjoy their story while you dream about what people will write about yours.
What’s your big dream as a couple? Comment below. If you want to learn how to grow together in your marriage, check out one of our nine week courses Dynamic Marriage or United.