Friday, October 22, 2010
MARRIED THIRTY-NINE YEARS AS OF TODAY
Today is a day to reflect, I suppose.
The little Methodist church in my home town was the perfect setting on that Friday night. Friday night was chosen because the honeymoon had to be worked in over a three day Veterans Holiday weekend. There was no time or money to invest in anything on a grander scale. To say that we have come a long way baby is an understatement!!
At the time I was perfectly content to live in the mid-west surrounded by family and the familiar. I expected to be there forever. Why would anyone want to leave comfortable?
Comfortable lasted only a few years before we were thrust into a lifetime of adventure and uncertainty. We've shared eleven houses, eleven cities, umpteen automobiles, lawn mowers, and furniture styles. That's just the STUFF! We've met and befriended hundreds of sweet people of all races, sizes and ethic backgrounds. (My Christmas Card list is corporate size!) We were given two fabulous sons that brought incredible joy, baseball games, boy scout camp-outs, cars, girl-friends, car wrecks, illnesses, basketball tournaments, college fraternities, graduations and weddings into our lives. Those sons brought two wonderful daughters-in-law into our hearts. Our girls fresh young spirits bring delight to our lives.
We've traveled the world, stared down a moose in Alaska, negotiated with a Bedouin in Petra, snorkeled in Hawaii, and climbed to the top of Masada in Israel.
We've attended weddings of loved ones and funerals of others. We've taught the Bible in several churches and para-church organizations and led corporations in good and bad economic times.
The icing on the wedding cake is now GRANDCHILDREN, eight at the moment and another expected next spring! No one could have prepared us for the world-stopping, heart-pounding love we would experience for those little ones! (Maggie, age nine, now pulls my wedding dress out of the cedar chest and parades around in it. It's a little long, but FITS otherwise!)
We are NOT the same people pictured in the wedding album. We've learned much and grown up.
We've learned "the best things in life aren't things" and God's Word and people are the only things of eternal value.
We've learned there is room in the human heart for new friends all the time and no one need be crowded out.
We've learned we can best experience God's grace and share His glory married to each other rather than not.
We've learned the brevity of life and the promise of eternity.
We've learned the beauty of practicing "instant forgiveness," holding back harmful words and the discipline of solitude.
We've learned to honor others by being on time and not wasting theirs, to listen long for the things that are not being said.
We've learned to take God very seriously but not ourselves.
We've learned to live the motto: Be flexible or be miserable!
We've learned the satisfaction of giving ourselves away for the good of others and that contentment is learned.
We've learned the necessity of offering grace to people that don't see things as we see them and the joy of celebrating our differences.
We've learned that nothing is more important than surrendering control of our lives to the ONE that gives life and breath and numbers our days.
Thirty-nine and counting! We've got MUCH more to learn and MUCH more to enjoy. I'm looking into the future, preparing a bucket list and planning on squeezing value from every moment.