Wow, August has done something to my blogging mojo! My rhythm has been interrupted and I am having trouble getting back into it. Nevertheless, here I am with very little to say for last week, except that it was a real treat. My husband and I got to spend three days traipsing around Pittsburgh, just the two of us!* Pretending we were young and carefree, we walked almost everywhere, ate loads of delicious food, and played around town like tourists. So much fun!
What really made the time special, was thinking about our history. On Monday we celebrated thirteen years of marriage. Each of those years has its share of delightful memories and dreadful moments. Married folks, can I get an 'Amen' on that? How many times have we laughed in those years? Too many to count. How many times have we needed to forgive or be forgiven in those years? Way too many to count!
Marriages are built day by day on the foundation of the commitment, the vow that was spoken before witnesses. Man, it takes a lot of work! Life never slows down. We can't put our feet up for too long before there's another decision to make together or another obstacle to face hand-in-hand. There are days we want to quit, because we're human. But there are days we're so in love and happy, because while marriage takes work, it is not always work.
The glue that really holds this operation together, however, sustaining and providing all we need so we can keep on loving one another, is "the third strand."
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
When it comes right down to it, neither Colin nor I, nor the two of us together, can take credit for these thirteen years. God alone has kept our strands tightly woven together and we trust Him to do the same for however many more years, decisions, fun, and obstacles we have ahead of us.
What does any of this have to do with being OPEN? I hadn't really thought about it in those terms last week, but I guess despite all that is behind us, I must be OPEN to pressing on in the commitment and to trusting the Lord to see us through whatever will come our way. One of my friends, (Hi, Kristen!), said celebrating Anniversaries is funny because while it seems like you have arrived at something worth celebrating, you still have to keep doing the same thing "till death does you part." An Anniversary is not an end, simply a milestone. Anniversaries offer an opportunity to awe and wonder at what the Lord has done in sustaining a marriage through all of the mess and beauty! What a time for thanks giving.
Time to take action: Married folks, I don't know where you find yourself on the marriage-feelings spectrum today. You may be in one of those blissful phases or you may be wondering if there is a way out. No matter where you are, stop. LOOK TO THE LORD and ask Him to OPEN your eyes to what He has done and what He is doing. SEEK HIS FACE, asking Him to show you where you need to repent and to fill you with faith to believe He has not abandoned you and your spouse. GIVE HIM THANKS even if it is hard. He has not let you go; He will not let you go.
Before this day is through, do something just for your husband or wife, any large or small expression of love that God brings to mind!
*A shout out of thanks to my in-laws who took the kids for us for those days so we could pretend we were in our twenties again!