One thing you learn in a long marriage is how many sneezes to wait before saying, "Bless you."
Aren't we cute? It's hard to believe that was 34 years ago.
Well, actually what's hard for me to believe is we're 34 years older than we were in that photo! We were newly pronounced man and wife, and eager to move forward together as one, beginning with a honeymoon in the Bahamas.
And that's how I still picture us in my mind.
One of the good things that come of a true marriage is, that there is one face on which changes come without your seeing them; or rather there is one face which you can still see the same, through all the shadows which years have gathered upon it.
Thirty-four years have passed in a blur of laughter, tears, frustration, relief, adventure, illness, challenge, excitement, celebration, perseverance, love, forgiveness, and blessings too numerous to count.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:7
I didn't realize it at the time, of course, but looking back it's easy to see that God directed our footsteps to each other. As I mentioned in my last post, I believe God gives us what we need to get over the bumps he knows we will encounter in our lives. I also believe he provides what we need to challenge us and make us the best 'us' we can be, if we let him.
And while I don't always see it or appreciate it enough, Tom has definitely done both for me, supporting and indulging me in my dreams ... encouraging, challenging, and believing in me when my self-confidence wavers.
Through him, because of him, I rediscovered my faith and God's great love. And I wouldn't have survived the past few years without that.
I can only hope Tom feels I've been more of a blessing than a curse in his life, too. I think too often he believes I have this philosophy...
I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
For all of you youngsters just starting out, wondering what the secret is to a long marriage, I'll confess that I'm still not sure. But I do have three tips:
1. Ask God to help you love your spouse with His love (because yours won't be enough sometimes!)
2. Procrastination can be your friend.
3. I didn't think of this one, but it's a good one: "To keep the fire burning brightly there's one easy rule: Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart — about a finger's breadth — for breathing room. Good fire, good marriage, same rule." ~Marnie Reed Crowell
Happy 34th anniversary to my amazing, crazy, gifted, stubborn, generous Tom. I give thanks every single day for you, and for all of the beautiful, tiny threads of our life that bind us together.
Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.