Thursday, June 29, 2017
Forty-nine and Celebrating!
Joel and I are celebrating our 49th anniversary tomorrow. Forty-nine years together with God walking with us every step of the way. After all, He ordained our marriage.....we were brought together through prayer, a story I have told often and can be read HERE.
Our 49th had me thinking back about our first anniversary, celebrated at a small place in Champaign, Illinois. First dinner and then a movie ~ a big deal on an airman's salary. I was also about 4 weeks pregnant and sooooooo excited that I was already wearing maternity clothes. In those days everything was stretchy in the belly and flowing on top. That night I wore navy pants and a red white and blue stripped top. I certainly did not need them (giggle) but was eager to show off being a mama-to-be. Of course I did not realize I would carry both of our birth children 10 months instead of 9 or I may have waited on the maternity wear!
There have been so many anniversaries since then. All of them celebrated together, in sickness and in health. Too many in sickness, but, still, we have treasured every single one together. Often I tell Joel how thankful I am for him loving me.....he always responds....."it is the easiest thing I do." I feel the same way about him. Keeping God in the middle makes it so, I expect.
When I was having surgery last week, my doctor asked me about Joel. He had met him when he went in for a body scan and the nurse had told him before entering the room..."There is one feisty retired pastor in there!" I don't think he knew what to expect. So, during my surgery he asked me questions......about our faith...how we met......I was able to share our faith journey in response to his questions. Then he said, "Well, he must be pretty good, since people look past how he dresses....as a cowboy." I could have been offended, but considering this 33 year old doctor was from L. A. and had lived in Manhattan, I saw him as naive, so I just let that go. Poor kid, he has never experienced the country I expect. I did share that we were celebrating our 49th anniversary and that Joel is an amazing man of God, who is kind and good-hearted, loves to laugh, help others, and preach the Gospel.
Those boots, vests, and hats he wears are how he likes to dress.....for himself not others. He is not trying to be a "cowboy" he just likes boots, hats, and vests. This man of God who sits across the table from me, who holds my hand when we walk, who cares for me when I am sick, who fills my heart with joy ~~ This "cowboy" preacher as others and now myself have labeled him ? I am so blessed to call him mine. I often say that I know how much God loves me because He brought Joel into my life.
We have been blessed to spend so many years walking through life together. We met at The Lutheran Bible Institute often nicknamed, The Lutheran Bridal Institute! Always and forever thankful for the prayers that united us. We were married two weeks after graduation and have raised 7 plus kids, hugged on a dozen grands, and welcomed in-loves into our family. What an adventure in faithful living! Happy Anniversary Joel! I will love you from here to eternity................