Thursday, October 09, 2008

I can't believe it's been that long ALREADY!!

While I am gone, my husband and I will be celebrating our anniversary (tomorrow). I can't think of one new thing to say, so will re-post my favorite called "Fourteen Years and Counting". Now it is SIXTEEN years, but the story and the struggle and the realities are all the same. Of course, there have been some changes. Company folded, new employment sought, new baby on the way, eldest child at a school far away. But the substance is the same, and I am grateful for it.

Fourteen years ago, I was nervously enduring photos. My mother and me, my father and me, my brothers and me, my 3 closest friends and me. In the other room, I knew there was someone whose stomach was just as jumbly, whose hands were just as clammy, whose mouth was just as dry.

Later, as I walked down the aisle, I felt an "out of body" disbelief that I was really going to do this. I was really going to make promises FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, not knowing what I was going to experience along the way.

My dad was teary-eyed, which I had never seen before. My mom was misty as well. My betrothed looked like he was going to throw up, pale, but bright eyed. And then I hugged my dad goodbye, and I turned to the man who was to be my partner for the rest of our days. I had the same feeling as the one time I went cliff diving. Ready or not, JUMP! Fear, but exhileration.

We have had some very productive years. Seven children, 3 moves, a company begun and continued.

We have had lots of fun together ~ one of the main reasons I even went out with him twice was because he made me laugh so often.

We have had lots of hurts. It is amazing how you can wound and be wounded by the love of your life. We have needed every day of these 14 years to realize that our personal happiness is not the point of being married. That love really is giving til it hurts, and then forgiving the hurt and being willing to give again. And we have not always been in sync with this notion of mutual self-donation. When both people are equal in their sacrificial love, it isn't so difficult, really. But when you are out of sync, and one gives while the other one takes, and then you switch off because now "it's my turn to get", well, love suffers.

We have had joy beyond words welcoming each of our seven children, despite the fact that many times they were not "planned" and therefore caused us worry and fear. The Saturday mornings when we have a passel of children in our bed, or when we are eating dinner and we look around the table and see the abundance of our lives, these are the times we have no words for our gratitude; we look into each other's eyes across all the children, or the long table, and share a deep gaze of amazement.

We are two first-born children, who always think we are right, and yet rarely have the same ideas. We have many opportunities to practice negotiations, and as we get older, being right isn't quite as important as it used to be. We have learned the hard way that being right can come at a heavy cost. It is rarely worth the price our love pays.

We married in our late twenties, and had for the most part assumed we would never meet someone who "fit". It all happened quickly; met in January, engaged in March, married in October, became homeowners in April and parents in July. And then another baby the year after that, then another, and another, and so on.

It is only just recently the whirlwind has slowed enough for me to really look at my life. How did I get from Professional, Single and content to Married, mom to many and truly filled up? So quickly. Where did all these people come from, and how did they get so deep in me, so deep that I am changed forever?

And our story is just begining in so many ways. The idea of "True Love" has changed dramatically for me, anyway. I am realizing just how much of a burden I put on him to create for me the perfect romance. How disappointment can poison a relationship. How fear of suffering and sorrow can limit the amount of love poured out.

Love is a mystery. The love that endures when the "feelings" are low, the love that grows when there is much sorrow, the love that holds us together when we are so upset. That is a mystery. That is grace, and without it, we would never make it.

Love is easy when there is joy and happiness, and completely taken for granted. The love that I am the most grateful for is the love that binds us together when all wordly forces are pulling us apart. It is in this love that I know Christ, I believe in Him, I trust Him, and I love Him. He is the only person that can make sense out of real LOVE. And I thank Him every day that my dear husband loves and trust Him as well. When my husband and I are exhausted and hurt, we can seek refuge in Christ, and Christ always leads us back to each other.

So, that is our story, in a way. We believe that God led us to each other and will hold us together. We believe He sent us our children as gifts and lessons. We believe we are each other's "path to heaven". We look forward to being old together and then praising God together for all eternity.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Anniversary Post! Have a GREAT one! Enjoy your family trip, and have a great visit with number one son!


October 09, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary tomorrow and have a great trip! We are celebrating #6's 6th B-day tomorrow. I always remember John's poem for your anniversary --10/10/92 is the day I married you. And it works for our B-day boy, too. 10/10/02 is the day I gave birth to you. :)

October 09, 2008  
Blogger Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Happy anniversary! May you have many more happy, healthy years together!

October 09, 2008  
Blogger owenswain said...

Peace and blessings to you on this 16th anniversary

October 09, 2008  
Blogger Mimi said...

Happy, Happy Anniversary and Many Years!

travel safely.

October 09, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many years to you and yours, and a Happy Anniversary tomorrow. Thank you for the lovely post.


October 09, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary,may there be many more years to celebrate together! Have a great time visiting your eldest, prayers going up for a blessed time together and a safe trip.

God Bless you!

October 10, 2008  
Blogger Rosemary said...

Happy Anniversary! Great post.

October 10, 2008  
Blogger Kitchen Madonna said...

Thank you so much for this outpouring of your heart and soul. It is such an encouragement and testament about the real nature of marriage.

Over the past years you have said so much that is true and beautiful.

And now a baby on the way!

Blessings dear friend, for you and your beloved and your gorgeous family.

October 11, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on your annaversary. I have always felt the same way you do in your post. Loving my pastoral husband was easy until I found out he was having an affair with on of the church members. I don't mean to poop on your party but sometimes it is not what it seems

November 19, 2008  

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