Friday, August 16, 2013

Summer Lovin'


To some it may appear as just another number.

To others, 40 pounds of trouble.

To me, a most important number.

                                    For 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness.

 Moses was on the mount for 40 days before descending with the 10 commandments...twice.

It rained for 40 days and 40 nights to cover the earth in a flood.

David and Solomon each reigned for 40 years.

Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness and also ascended to Heaven 40 days after his resurrection.

(See where I'm going here?)

All were periods of testing and challenges to be faithful.
~Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.~Proverbs 3:3

The same can and is true for marriage.

We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this past weekend with a gathering of friends and relatives.  We also renewed our wedding vows to each other, but this time around...we actually knew what the words meant and what we were promising to each other.

~To have and to hold~

Life can and will knock us all down from time to time, but if we're lucky...make that find the right someone, we're never down for long.  A husband and wife should take turns picking the other up when life gets to be too much.

Bad day at the office?  Offer a sympathetic ear.

Week going to hell in a hand basket?  Send yellow roses "just because".

Life as a couple is tied up not just in the big game changing details, but in the little irritations that can derail a marriage quicker than finding out you're 5th cousins...twice removed!

~For better or worse~

For you who are just married or about to get married, let me be the first to tell you sometimes it's gonna seem like there is a lot more "worse" than there are "betters".  You think you're prepared to handle it, at least I thought I was, but it's takes a lot of practice,  patience, and prayers.

What I've learned over a span of 40 years is there is only three reasons for divorce....and they all start with an A.

1. Adultery with no hope of reconciliation

2.  Abuse, be it physical, verbal, or neglectful.

3.  Addiction and by addiction I don't just mean alcohol or drug.  Anything that separates you or your spouse from each other is robbing you of intimacy and should never rule your life or your marriage.

It is possible with counseling and a lot of prayers, these obstacles can be overcome, but first there has to be a firm commitment from both.

Anything else is just a lot of words and excuses lawyers have came up with.  Truth is, sometimes it's just easier to walk away rather than stay and work through the problems...and there will be bumps along the way...that's the only guarantee there is.  But the end result is worth it.  Success doesn't come easy in life so why should marriage be the exception. 

(Don't hate me for this.  It's just my own personal opinion I'm spouting.)

~For richer or poorer~

It's up to you to decide the definition for poor or rich.

One can have deep pockets, but doesn't make them rich.

While standing on the gazebo with Cat Daddy, I glanced out at the faces smiling and crying with us and knew we were rich beyond words.

Our children are our success story and as they stood up with us, their children our living testimony, I knew he and I had wealth untold.  My beautiful sister's tears as she held my hand...sparkling diamonds of love.

Oh...our checking account may have a negative balance every now and then, but learning together to stretch our money, taught us how to bounce back when times were tough.

When asked if he had bought me a bigger diamond, I answered no.  I didn't want another ring.  This man I call Cat Daddy had spent weeks prior to our wedding date on crutches looking for the ring of my heart.  When we got married the first time and asked if it were to be a single or double ring ceremony, he had answered a "no ring."  But he never gave up and presented me with the ones I wear now about a month later.  That folks was the promise of the man he was to become...devoted.

This symbol of eternity I wear has only left my ring finger twice since he placed it there.  First when the doctors made me take it off for surgery and this past Saturday night for C.D. to place it on for the last time.  It has served us well.

~In sickness and health~

This doesn't mean just the couple's health, but that of their family as well.

It means comforting each other when a beloved mother, best friend, or little schnauzer has gone to the better world a'waiting.

It means a father, in the middle of the night,  holding his little girl's hair back as she throws up.

It means sleeping many nights in a fold-out chair in a hospital room, scared to leave.

It means holding hands while waiting for a biopsy result.

It means rushing to wrap a knocked out tooth in ice before rushing a 10 year old boy to the dentist.

It means always caring and always being there.

~To love and to cherish til death do us part~

Do I need to spell this one out for y'all.

Passion is fleeting but love and friendship is forever.

Wives forget how to flirt with their husbands.

Husbands forget wives need to hear she's the most beautiful woman in the world.

Both need to know they are the most important person in each other's life.

Wives lament their husbands aren't romantic...except on Saturday nights.

Husbands lament their wives never wear a dress except for Sunday mornings.

Both are honest complaints, but maybe if the wives would greet their husbands in something other than a mismatched set of p.j.s they might get that romance.

AND...if the husbands would try tuning in to their marriage rather than Nascar, their wives might be inclined to put on nothing but a smile and some music.

I used to fuss that C.D. never put the seat down on the toilet for me until he pointed out I never raised it for him.

Hmmm...good point. works both ways.

Give and take...that's the key.

 Well that and a sense of humor!

50/50 splitting only works on pies...never on hairs.  Someone is always going to skim a little off the top.

Love and cherish with every fiber of your being, even in those moments when you'd like nothing better than to smother them with their pillow.

When asked why we were renewing our vows, the answers were simple.

We weren't the same people we were 40 years ago.  We had grown and matured.  Changes for the good had came along the way.

We are no longer two strangers stumbling our way through a strange land.  We are as one, finishing each other's thoughts, sentences and dinners.

Neither of us were perfect when we married and we still aren't.

The difference is now we are perfect for each other.
'Til Death Do Us Part.


Debra@CommonGround said...

oh you're perfect for each other! Happy anniversary my friends!

Unknown said...

Happy 40th! Sweet post!

Sheila said...

Happy Anniversary!
What a beautiful post and an even more beautiful couple! I hope the next 40 are even better...CHEERS!


donna baker said...

Deb, I'm so happy for you guys. It looked wonderful and so did you. Congratulations.

Bohemian said...

Beautiful reminder and an eloquent Testimony of what Marriage means and that Love is a Choice, not a Feeling. Thank You for Sharing your Vow Renewal Images... it warmed my Heart at just the right time. Though I'm taking a Blog Break from mine, Visiting everyone else's a bit each day has been so Uplifting and Restorative during this difficult time.

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Bliss said...

You are such a wise lady.

Sisters Treasures said...

Congratulations, you two and what a beautiful tribute to your 40 years of marriage. I found a grin and a tear (as I often do when I read your blogs) as you related so eloquently what makes a marriage last!
Here's to many, many more!

The Domestic Fringe said...

Oh, my. I think this is absolutely the sweetest post ever! You brought me to tears.

You are an inspiration and encouragement to all of us who have been married fewer years than you. Everything you said about marriage is so true and I hope I remember every word in the moments when it gets difficult.

Happy 40th anniversary. I hope you two celebrate many, many, many more anniversaries.

You looked beautiful in your lovely white dress!


holli said...

I am sending this link to Todd right now. Its what we both need to hear and read as we prepare to tie the knot in 12 days. Gasp- Breathe.
You and CD are a beautiful example of a true marriage. Heres to 40 more years of wedded bliss. Love and hugs XOXOXO Holli
Oh that dress is so awesome.

Cassie said...

As always, beautifully said.
Congrats to you both...and cheers to 40 more years! You are inspiring in so many ways!

Kathy said...

And they lived happily ever after! Congrats and hugs from Ohio!


P.S. Always a treat to read your blog - you inspire...just sayin!

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Congrats! What a beautiful testimony about marriage and how life is richer for having that special partner by our side.

Love you both!
P.S. Cat Daddy is no dummy - he knows a good thing when he has it...and it takes a smart one to know how to keep it too.

junkerval said...

Loved this sweet but frank story! Happy 40th Anniversary!

Unknown said...

Truer words were never written! What a wonderful testimony to the what the true 'work' of marriage offers (because if you've ever been married you know anybody can have a bad marriage but it takes WORK to make a good one)Thanks for sharing the insight gained from those years. I wish you many more blessed years together

P.S. I'm one of those lurkers who reads but never comments and you have encouraged me to share the love. We really are out here

Much love,

Pam @ Frippery said...

Oh my gosh Deb, How absolutely beautifully stated.
Sorry I am just now wishing you the happiest of 40th's and many more to come. You my darling friend, have put the essence of a loving committed marriage into perfect words. More people need to hear what you have to say today. This is what love and family are all about. Life isn't always easy but that is no reason to quit on the partner you have chosen to spend it with. We must be an example to our children and a beacon to the sacrament of marriage. Shine on my lovely friend and her ever loving CD. LYttH and to the moon, Pammie

Mrs. Kelley Dibble said...

WHOA! I missed this beautiful celebration! Many belated Ruby Anniversary congratulations to you folks. I'm soooo happy for yous!