Living in Florida we have an advantage over every other state in the union; we have an east coast and a west coast. This gave us an idea for a unique date day; we have yet to do it because of schedules, but it is on our radar, or should we say MAP?
Before we had a chance to post about it we heard the testimony of a divorced friend who shared the following story with our church as a way to encourage married couples to make the most of romancing your spouse. We believe you will enjoy her story as much as her idea!
My pastor asked this past Sunday for those who are married or in a relationship to share a Valentines story. I’m not married nor am I in a relationship, yet I do have a Valentines story that is a very fond memory from when I was married.
The story depicts our love of adventure and the serendipitous things that can be found along the way. We lived in Orlando, and the plan for the day was to see the sunrise AND sunset from the east and west coast of Florida. So before dawn, we left home and headed east to Titusville. We arrived just in time to see the sun begin it’s ascent above the ocean. What an amazing sight, as the water reflected the ever growing light and warmth of the sun.
From there, we headed south to “Alligator Alley” which then took us west across the state. Along the way, we’d stop at any place that caught or eye (shops or restaurants that weren’t nationally known) just to keep the adventure exciting.
At dusk, we were at the beach in St. Pete and watched the reverse effect from earlier in the day. As the sun set, the colors went from warm to cool until it was the moon that illuminated the sky. We drove home having experienced both of the daily sights that can be taken for granted. To be fully present, observing the miracle that God orders every single day is a reminder that He does the same for each of our lives.
You may be asking, “Why are you sharing this story since you are divorced”? I share it to encourage those who are in a relationship to be intentional about spending time with their loved one, to both deepen their love for the other AND their Heavenly Father. It’s the 3-cord aspect that EVERY relationship must have to withstand the trials of life. I’m not bitter, just sad that my husband chose to forfeit what he had. My Heavenly Father has cared for me in ways a human husband can’t. So in a way, everyday is Valentines for me. (Psalm 17:8 and 15)
I trust this will encourage others whether they are married, in a relationship, un-married, widowed or divorced.
We would like to thank Jodie for her willingness to share this idea with us, but even more so for her desire to encourage married couples to be “intentional,” as she put it.
Jodie and her husband took a path across the southern part of the state. The route we are planning to take is a more north/central route. We’ve broken it down in bullet form for your convenience. We can’t wait to do this–hopefully soon!
- Drive to New Smyrna Beach before dawn in order to see the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean. Serve breakfast and hot coffee on the beach while enjoying a quiet time together to read God’s Word and pray.
- Drive west on SR 44 through Deland. This is a small college town, home of Stetson University.
- Drive west on SR 44 to Eustis. Another quaint town situated on the shore of Lake Eustis.
- From there take 44 west through the Harris Chain of lakes to another small town known as Wildwood.
- Take 44 west to Inverness.
- Continue west on 44 to Homosassa Springs where there is a State Park worth visiting.
- From there take 98 south towards Weeki Wachee State Park. This is a true Florida theme park having been in business long before the Mouse opened his house. 🙂
- Take 19 south to Clearwater Beach.
This trip covers 187 miles and takes approximately 4 hours and 10 minutes to complete. So you can see a leisurely drive across the state, stopping wherever you want along the way, is quite feasible. Enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the parks and then end up by days end for dinner in Clearwater Beach while the sun sinks into the Gulf of Mexico. Following dinner you could choose to drive home, or stay the night at one of the many hotels in the area.