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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

40 Years

JEAN SAID:

A few days ago, Lord, J. and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. That's a long time. A life time for many people. We've had some wonderful times together. You've blessed us with 3 great children and 5 wonderful grandchildren. They are all so much more than we ever expected or hoped for.

But not all of the times have been good, God. A sizable chunk of these 40 years has been difficult, painful. You know better than anyone that there have been a few times that the only thing that held me & J. together was our commitment to each other & to You.

40 years ago we knelt before a minister, before our friends & family, before You, to say our marriage vows & to make a lifetime commitment. We meant it. We thank You that You have honored that grit-your-teeth-and-hang-on-in-the-bad-times commitment. Sadly, too many couples we know haven't been able to do that.

It's been a gift from You.

J. bought me an extravagant gift to celebrate these 40 years - a new wedding ring set. It's a real sparkler. He's like that - his love language is giving gifts. I get to be the happy recipient of his generosity. Thank You, Lord, for all J. has given & done over the years to me & for me.

I want to thank You, too, for the rare & precious gift our daughter gave to us. She gave us her appreciation expressed beautifully in a card. We made so many mistakes raising our children, Lord. But we are grateful that in our floundering we did some things right. The card says:

Mom and Dad,
I've seen a love of family,
I've seen loyalty.
I've seen compassion and companionship.
I've seen working together and working it out...
I've been watching the two of you.
Thank you both for all of the life lessons you've taught.
Thanks for showing me how a marriage works.

I'm humbled. I'm grateful. I'm amazed. I remember all the mistakes we made in our marriage & in our parenting, Lord. Yet, this child of ours, this precious young woman, has been able to see the good we tried to do. She's been able to winnow some grain from the chaff of our mistakes. I remember past years when both our adult sons expressed the same thing - gratitude to us for sticking it out through the bad times.

Thank you, God, for Your merciful kindness to us for these 40 years.

GOD SAID:

Isn't it amazing that those little eyes & ears pick up most everything you do & say in your home. And those tender hearts store it all up & sift it all out. T. has kept the best of your efforts & is using them in the family she & M. are building together. I'm keeping my commitment to You, Little One. If you will honor Me in your home, I will bless your future generations.

You see, I keep My commitments even better than you do.