Forty-five Years Ago . . .

Tonight, for the first time, we ate at El Maguey and the food was very good. The waiter did an excellent job of making sure our peach tea was always filled and he checked with us throughout the meal to be certain we had found our food to our liking. We were grateful it was a nice evening out, especially since we were celebrating our wedding anniversary, or at least the fact that forty-five years ago we were with the rehearsal dinner guests eating chicken kiev, kumquats, and watching a little ring bearer wear black olives on his fingers. Hard to believe how quickly those years have flown.

Screen Shot 2017-06-24 at 12.01.32 AMIt’s fun that the days this year kind of mirror that week back then. Friday night reminds us of incidents that happened at the dinner following our rehearsal. Our wedding was on a Saturday, so we’ll be thinking of that tomorrow.  Of course, we don’t have family arriving like they did all those years ago. Our parents who met at the rehearsal meal are no longer alive but we look back on all the times we were blessed with our many visits. Our siblings, who were part of the wedding party, all live in different states.

In our forty-five years, Paul’s work has taken us to several states and ministries. Paul was finishing his doctorate when we married, so we lived in Illinois before taking an associate pastorate in Wisconsin. Some of the people we met there are still our very close friends, mostly because we did a lot of praying together in our small Friday night group. From there, we eventually moved to four more states as ministry opportunities arose.

The Lord has been very good to us. He’s never failed us, which doesn’t mean all things went exactly as we’d hoped they would. God’s wisdom surpasses ours and while we have a few questions without the “why’s” answered, we’ve learned to trust the Lord. We are extremely grateful we have been blessed with children and the families they’ve added to ours.

Tonight, at our dinner out, my husband thanked the Lord for me (I chimed in with my thank You for my husband), for bringing us together, for keeping us together, and for blessing us with our children and their families, and for the privilege of growing old together. I would “Amen!” that prayer.

Every marriage has a few moments when it requires “intention” to be loving or to look beyond an unexpected or disappointing response. Things come up we weren’t thinking we’d hear or see when we were dating all dreamy eyed or soberly listening as we promised to spend our lives together before God and the witnesses we’d invited to our wedding. I’m certainly not perfect so grace has to be a part of our marriage. My good man would tell you he’s not perfect either, but moving from having a lovely wedding to having a healthy marriage is worth the effort.

Way back then, we starry-eyed lovers said we wanted to have 70 years of married love and life together. Forty-five is a good start toward that goal. Some counselors summarize their wisdom by telling individuals not to find the right person but to be the right person. I’m still a romantic, so I like the idea that I found the person I was to marry, or that he found me.

But there’s something more that’s been part of our marriage besides the loving hugs, good laughter, and compassion for each other. While I was growing up, I’d often see a saying on wooden plaques or plaster of Paris molds. They’d be in homes or truck stop gift shops or just about any place you can imagine. I think we should get those up on walls again. My aunt and uncle’s plaque read: The family that prays together stays together. I think we are people who believe there’s a lot to that statement. If your marriage seems to be on shaky ground, do ask the Lord to be a partner in it. Screen Shot 2017-06-24 at 12.04.34 AM




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