This past weekend Martin and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. We had planned to go out for supper, with the kids of coarse, because Jackson still gets stressed when we're not around. However, our weekend was a whirlwind of activity and by the time Saturday rolled around we were more than happy to have a low key family supper and movie at home. Yesterday we managed to sneak away for a few hours in the afternoon while the little ones napped. (Insert looooong sigh!) It felt so good to grab an icecap/coffee and go for a stroll along the beautiful riverbank in Saskatoon. The air smelled of poplar trees...as they only smell in fall. The air was warm and the sun was shining. It was just what we needed!
I know it sounds cliché, but our wedding day feels like it was only a few years ago and I usually feel just as young, although the pictures tell a different story! lol. Time has flown by and what an adventure it has been!
According to statistics, our marriage should have ended many years ago. We married young. (At least I did! ;) We had very little in the way of finances. We have renovated/restored several homes...one still isn't done after 10 years! (It drives me crazy!!!) We've experienced many major changes in our lives, all which are considered huge stressors. In the past 7 years we have lost both my parents to cancer, left a church we attended for 12 years, adopted 3 kids, experienced major financial stress, dealt with many surgeries and illnesses, and began homeschooling. Yes, according to statistics...our marriage shouldn't be happy. However, we are happy!
Yesterday I asked Martin what has made our marriage work. His response was a simple, but true answer..."We love each other!" Corinthians 13:4-7 says "Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always "me first", doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel. Love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end." Perfect love looks like this. Unfortunately, our love for each other isn't always perfect. We fight. We hurt each other. We're downright rude and mean sometimes. In fact the past few years have been downright hard! Sometimes we don't even like each other. But at the end of the day we are determined to make it work. The neat thing is that we complement each other. One is more willing to ask for forgiveness. One is more willing to forget about the incident. One can't sleep until things have been made right. One focuses more all the good times and intentionally talks about them. One is the gas and the other is the brake. One is a dreamer. One is a realist. Both of us are 100% committed! Add an immeasurable amount of God's grace and mercy and somehow it works! We are each others best friend and we still love each other after 22 years!
This man of mine never ceases to amaze me! He does what is right. No matter how much it costs him. He has been "a reluctant spouse" each time we have adopted. But somehow he puts his human selfishness aside and loves on our children with his whole heart, working hard to bond with each one. He puts family before work. He is quiet in all he does. In some circles he is seen as less than "a godly man" because he isn't vocal about his love for God and he's not one to pray in front of others. He'd rather live out his love for God. He regularally visits with the down and out...those the church generally sees as a failure. He comes home weekly with stories of how someone has shared their heart with him. He listens with a caring and loving heart. He comes home from work exhausted, but still pitches in and helps with the dishes, household chores, the kids...whatever needs to be done...without a complaint. I am blessed to have him in my life!!!
"You know when you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." — Dr. Seuss
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
PS: Thanks to Chantel Klassen for the wonderful photos!