If you follow Joey and me on social media, you probably know I recently accompanied him to the Society of Biblical Literature Conference (SBL) in San Diego, CA. Before, during, and after these trips I get so many questions about why in the world I would choose to attend. I’m almost always the only wife anywhere around. I’m almost always the only one at dinner that is not a professor or PhD candidate. So why would I choose to be there…
1. I love spending time with my husband.
In case you don’t already know, I’m married to a really great guy. He’s pretty much been my person of choice since I met him in first grade. This man of mine is crazy smart and more than a little nerdy. SBL is the highlight of his year and I love seeing him enjoying himself in his element.
2. I want to be interested in what he is interested in.
To be sure, I don’t always understand what interests him, but I try. Joey is passionate about biblical scholarship. I make an effort to show interest in what he is reading, writing and talking about. Most of the time it’s way over my head but I think he appreciates the effort. Sharing each others’ interests is an important aspect of our marriage.
3. He likes having my introverted self around.
One reason we work so well is that we balance each other. I’m introverted and Joey is extroverted. Introversion is a very common trait in the world of biblical scholarship. I help Joey navigate this world.
3. Back to being an introvert…I like being on my own.
Considering we have 6 children and homeschool, I don’t get much alone time. When Joey is in sessions and meetings I get my introvert on. I drink coffee, read, run, people watch and generally recharge my batteries. It’s heaven.
4. We get to see friends.
Granted, it’s usually just the husbands, but I still like catching up. We also get to see former students and professors that are working or studying all over the world.
5. I can’t remember the last time we took a trip that was not work/ministry related.
It’s what we do, and we like it. We are very fortunate to be able to travel as much as we do. We often get to take our kids and make fun, family holidays out of it. God provides us great opportunities to serve, teach, and learn and we take these opportunities as holidays. SBL is one of these opportunities. Joey teaches at a wonderful university that supports his passion and provides for him to attend such conferences. This makes it relatively inexpensive for me to tag along.
7. We have AMAZING children and parents.
During this trip my parents volunteered to keep all 6 of our children and our dog! You see why I say they are amazing! I’m so fortunate that my parents are willing and able and enjoy keeping our children. I love that they get to spend quality time with our parents. I will brag a little and say our children are well behaved. They get along well and help each other when we are not around. I am very thankful. We are open and honest with our children and our older kids understand how important it is for our marriage, and my sanity that we are able to get away every once in a while. Some couples take anniversary trips or baby-moons, we attend conferences.