20 Lessons in 20 years
Thoughts on our Marriage
Today, September 5, 2018, is our 20 year wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe we’ve been together now this long! When I think back on our 20 years together, sometimes it seems like we just met yesterday, sometimes it seems like forever, but mostly it seems like a blur!! In 20 years we have lived fast and furious. We have done so much and lived so much! Ever the enthusiasts, our quest together for adventure, learning, new beginnings and excellence has pushed us into the highest highs and sometimes the lowest lows. In our time together, we have lived in 2 houses, had 1 dog, 6 children (2 in heaven), 2 churches, multiple careers and innumerable experiences!
We’ve been to more church services and games than I could possibly count! In fact, if I think about our life together, much of it we could either be found in a church pew (now a chair) or on a bleacher seat.
Sometimes we escape our little radius of life by jumping in the car and driving the distance. It doesn’t matter where, just as long as we have lots of bags (me), a couple of pair of underwear (you), a pit stop at the gas station and good music and audio books. In fact, I think the duldrums of daily life are separated by these moments of freedom we find on the road and in our hearts.
Ever the champions, we work hard every.single.day. It’s our motto, “Play like a champion today.” When I look back on our 20 years together, I think of our diligence, our pursuit of excellence and our willingness to sacrifice. We have laid down everything on multiple occasions to do what God was telling us to do. When we didn’t want to move, we moved. When we were uncertain about that amount to give, we gave. When we were told to stay, we stayed. When it was hard to love, we loved. Our obedience has been heard in the heavens.
We haven’t been perfect. In fact, our passions lie in our power and also in our weakness.
Sometimes things swirl. We can’t find up. We can’t find down. We can’t find center. We just toss and turn as we seek to do the Lord’s will.
There have been some tough times. Loss of jobs, loss of family, loss of friends, loss of sleep, loss of money and loss of joy.
We’ve changed a lot (especially a lot of diapers), and yet we remain the same.
We are still here – together. We will go the distance because we always get back to home. It may be
messy but our first love is ever knocking. Please Jesus first. Go where He calls us to go. Forgive. Keep giving and receiving grace. Become brand new.
Here are 20 lessons I’ve learned in 20 years about us:
1. Laugh. A lot! – When we stop laughing, we
might as well stop living. If it’s gonna be funny later, it’s funny now. If it isn’t funny now, search You Tube. Immediately.
2. Grocery Shop and Cook Together! – Your wife loves this. This means she doesn’t have to do the work alone and she gets you all to herself whist in essence having you do her chores.
3. Keep bringing coffee, hugs and kisses! – Coffee is our peace offering. Hugs and kisses are the sweet life.
4. Take your vitamins! – This way your wife will not accumulate a cabinet full of expensive supplements that are not actually taken. I think Mr. Ziglar would agree!!
5. Remember those check in calls! – When our days are busy and we’re about our own way, to hear your voice brightens anything.
6. A Calm Castle is Everything! – classical music, clean counters, and something smelling good – this is my quest every night you get home. I fail at this often.
7. Buy the Shoes! – When we give up, we lose. Forever. When we are competing, we are fit for the game. This sometimes requires new shoes. Buy them and win!
8. Camp it Out and Talk it Out! – Stars need to be seen. Wonder keeps us fresh. Every now and then we need get to REI and then convene with nature. Alternatively, this also works solution also works in 5 Star Hotels.
9. Eggs and Bacon! – These are on our diet. Keep ‘em coming.
10. Cleaning supplies are the cure! – When life hands us lemons, keep cleaning. With Clorox.
11. Garage sales never happen! – Let’s face it. We’ve had 2 in 20 years and we will probably never have one again. Encourage wife gently to get rid of her stuff.
12. Dogs live a long time! -I mean really long time. Choose carefully and train them well.
13. Keep the blinds open! – Friends are the essence of life. When our blinds are open our hearts are too. We can’t ever close our home to those we love. We keep opening, we keep hosting, we keep listening. This is who we are.
14. Sing as loud as you can and cry if you must! – Tears are antifreeze for the soul and with an anthem, we can do anything.
15. There is so much more to discover with God! – Apologetics, Hermeneutics, Exegesis – whatever it’s called and however it’s spelled, as we keep pressing into the Light, we will dispel darkness.
16. 82 degrees is too Hot! – When your wife was young, she must have either been 1. Very skinny 2. Very crazy. Because. How did we ever live in that God-awful atmosphere? Bottom line: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
17. Let Gonzalo do the lawn and let Irma do the laundry! – Gonzalo and Irma make us happy. Boom!!
18. Celebrate Everything! – The small stuff, the big stuff. Keep hanging the signs, buying the balloons, gathering around the table inviting people into our lives and sharing our dreams. B.L.E.S.S. this mess.
19. Slow down in order to speed up! – Haste brings bumps ups, bruises, speeding tickets and garage door repairs. Take time to write some poetry, listen to the birds, look each other in the eyes and remember to say, “I love you. I forgive you. Today is going to be a brand new day.”
20. Dry Bones Can Live! – No matter how dead, how broken, how scattered or how surrounded, His spirit breathes life as we speak to them to live. Prophesy to those bones!
Thank you for ever supporting me, forgiving me, dealing with all of my crap and loving me into greatness.
We will do new things now. It’s time for new wine. Tomorrow is the beginning of the Jewish New Year 5779 – and everything symbolic of this season is about harvest and new wine. God is asking us to lay down the old to make room for something new that he wants to do. As we forget about the past, we can love like we’ve never been hurt. Can we press in together? I believe what we can produce will be the most time tested, purest, most beautiful wine He can give.
I love you forever,