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  • Sarah Beth Dippel



Last night, Cris and I went on our first date night since March. Our favorite sushi restaurant offers take-out dining and beverage service on their outdoor deck in the evenings. The tables were well spaced, we placed our order online, and the server brought out our drinks and dinner. While I understand that many people are ready to spend time dining in, which is a high-risk environment, keeping our outings low-risk is important to us.

I grew up in South Louisiana, where we do everything around food, so I understand what it means to share a meal with someone. I love to cook, and to prepare a good meal for my family is something I honestly enjoy. When I was a kid, dinner was a time when we all sat down together. Once Cris and I were married, I wanted our dinner time to be sacred time together. However, it wasn't until last night, dining out at our favorite restaurant on a lovely Wyoming evening, that it struck me how much joy I get from those date night evenings. If I overthought the moment, tears would begin to fill my eyes, and that's when I realized those same tears were my reaction to going back to Mass. The Lord has given me Himself in the Mass, during which, we gather around the table to receive Him in the Eucharist. The Lord has also given me Himself in the gift of love I receive through my husband. Date night is our time alone to focus on one another and rejoice in the gift the Lord has given us.

I hope that during this "time-out" of the pandemic, you, too, are learning to appreciate the ordinary moments and discovering the joy of the Lord in them.

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