One and a half months ago: July 17th 2009 marked the milestone – 5 life changing years of marriage and 5 x 50 000 lessons learned to date. The day approached and I was expectant. Jeremiah 29:11 began to ring through my soul “For I know the plans I have for you…” Then two nights before our anniversary I was awakened with this verse screaming at me: “You are a new creation the old has gone the new has come.”(2 Corinthians 5:17)
My heart began to feel dreams unfolding seeing the tips of the mountains and the hope flooding in…
and we talked………………..
We were mulling over the hard questions:
· What are we most proud of ?
· Worst disappointments /challenges?
· How did we handle crisis?
· What could we do better?
· What are we doing well?
· What about parenting?
· Etc etc etc
The conversations went on and on for days.
We felt a stirring of sorts. These years had definitely brought some crisis and crisis always means change.
Humorous memories of our wedding day filled late night talks. While reviewing old pics I thought that maybe I had gotten married in the dark ages. I mean really- “what are these brown square things”… “Oh that’s film”… you heard me right – our wedding was shot on FILM… yes 35mm film.
Needless to say I marched up to Walgreens with a million film packets in hand asking for C.D.s – DIGITAL PHOTOS thank you very much. Now I can edit them…in fifty years when I have that kind of time.
Through vivid imagery we watched a beautifully arranged video
listened to songs thoughtfully written for each other
recalling meticulous details and how important they were to me –
each detail had some significance.
I remembered how thematic I had been about the whole thing…
I was a kindergarten teacher. I planned with themes taught in themes and even thought in themes – I still do!
The video collage included footage from the rehearsal dinner. My memory began to un-cloud “Oh I had a theme for that night!” I recalled: “Harmonies of praise” – looking back it sounds more like the title to a 80’s Hosanna tape (I said “tape” – mind you). I can see the big worship leaders packet complete with lyrics and chord charts. I remembered the strong desire to create beautiful harmony literally and figuratively with my marriage and life. This meant the interweaving of two separate lives individually secure and rooted in Jesus coming together. The wedding memories served as shovels to dig out the true desires I had for our union.
I felt the revelation. The knowledge that I had a different plan of what our ministry would look like. As be toppled over bumps in the road and recovered the Lord began to reveal. I feel clearer about where we are headed and what we are doing. I am truly grateful for the disappointments and conflicts – they have only strengthened us. Our relationships are deeper. Our community is wider. We are better. We are becoming seasoned and are aging with Jesus. We had our own idea of where we were headed. As we have been in this refining stage our dreams have become infused with God’s. It’s a beautiful thing I think.
So eight weeks ago we committed to strengthening our marriage. Here are some of the ways:
· Regular date nights: I am having a blast with this. We used to say we didn’t have the
money. PSHAW! There are really great ways to have cheap dates but that’s
another blog entirely!
· Prayer accountability and devotion: we have been rising early to do Love Dare. We
pray that the children will stay asleep – most of the time they do. This has been
phenomenal. If we don’t get up early we squeeze it in some other way.
· Marriage enrichment: We each currently reading What every woman/man should
Know. Great books with some helpful insights. The one for men begins with a fold-out
chart and Shannon – with chart in hand – walked into the bathroom where I was
cleaning up and said “Hey Cyle – according to this fold-out you’re pretty normal!”
I’m normal! How encouraging!
I am honored and privileged to be married to my best friend and the best part? He never runs out of cool interesting fun-facts or stories to tell me! …. And there’s more – Im married to my favorite singer… Looking forward to the rest of life!
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This past Thaksgiving was unlike most from the past.