Thursday, July 24, 2014
Sixteen Years of Wedded Kind of Blissfulness
Last week we celebrated our sixteenth wedding anniversary. Every year we make the necessary sacrifice and arrangements to be able to spend the the whole entire day together, just us. One year we had a three month old baby so we spent the day in our picturesque home town of Kalama, Washington so that I could stop in and nurse her as needed. It doesn't matter what we do.....as long as we are outside and together. In the past we've hiked up a smallish (to some) mountain in The Columbia River Gorge, we've explored canyons and creeks in The Cascade Mountains, we've eaten ice cream cones, picnicked, lain on a blanket under the blue sky holding hands and just been. We've been romantic and laughed and been in love. The day has never disappointed us. This year we traveled over an hour to a beautiful wooded hollow, a place that made me forget for the day that I am a prairie girl. A place that had a crystal clear stream, birds singing, lots of trees, a blue sky.....and for us, there was love, not the girlish young love that I sometimes find but the love of a woman and a man. A love that is mature and faithful and says, "Let us look together and examine what we have here. Let us make sure that the foundations of our marriage relationship are strong and able to weather the inevitable storms of life. Let's make sure that we are not only a two stranded rope, but a three fold cord that is not easily broken."
Lately it seems like Satan is on the war path against marriage. Marriages that have ten years on ours, couples that ministered to us when we were young, that I thought were strong, falling apart. It's left me feeling....shaken. Like as if everything good is so fragile. And I wonder how did they get to this place? It makes me feel like wrapping both arms around Blue eyes and never ever letting go.
I've been thinking about it a lot. While visiting my family in New Hampshire, attending the church I grew up in, traveling across our great nation, his hand would find mine and I would think, this, this is where I belong. Here with him. Beside him is my spot in this world. All I have to do is find his eyes across the room and I am home again, grounded, reassured. Could we ever loose that? The other day my daughter asked me, "Since you and dad are married is it like you're related now?" I told her, "No, it's more that that. We are one. We have become one and now as a single unit we are traveling through life together."
Our marriage has had its share of struggles. We both came into this covenant relationship with baggage. Things from our pasts that were painful and potentially toxic to a marriage. But you know what? Every time those things have reared up their ugly heads and become over whelming to us, Blue eyes has led the way, sometimes literally, to falling on our faces before God. That's all we've needed to do and EVERY SINGLE TIME God has raised us up with a renewed hope and vision. Every single time. HE has been faithful and He is the strong third cord that holds it all together.
This morning we got up in the wee hours, our two little girls because the bed wasn't quite so cozy with out dad and mom in it, followed us sleepily down stairs. He made them toast and snuggled them down under blankets on the couch, while I made his lunch. They fell back to sleep by time he left for work and I sat there for a few minutes looking at them. Tousled blonde hair and pretty little faces, Lucy still with a half eaten toast in her hand. My heart swelled with thankfulness for this tender, lovely season of our life. This time when we are too busy to think of much outside our home and family. He's busy providing, coming home to happy kids running out the door to say hi, eating supper, reading the Bible, saying prayers, brushing everyone's teethe, hugging, kissing, and tucking in all seven of them, hopefully singing them a song or two. Then crawling into bed, usually too tired to talk to me much. Sometimes I massage his shoulders and back and talk to him. Sometimes I see his mouth moving but he's too sleepy to make the sound come out. I laugh and he smiles and says,"O, honey, I'm sorry! I'm just so tired." He works hard all day. It's ok. I think he is the best guy in the whole wide world. I am thankful for all our babies that the Lord has given us. Every time we have a new baby our hearts are bound more closely together, with a purpose and love bigger than ourselves.
I hope we always feel like this. I hope that we will be able to find our way through the new seasons of life that will come. Shhh....don't tell, but, sometimes I really look forward to the days when our kids are all grown up and we can just go hiking and have picnics with a thermos of coffee on nice fall days. I don't know, but through the eyes of faith sometimes I see us, Blue eyes and me, old and wrinkly, holding hands on our picnic blanket in the sun, we'll be talking about our years as parents and our eyes will fill with tears and our hearts will swell with praise and we'll say, "Hasn't the Lord been faithful and good to us?"
"I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, with my mouth will I make known His faithfulness to all generations!"