Saturday, May 17, 2014

Can't believe it has been 40 years....

These are my three favorite pictures from our wedding on May 18, 1974.  Yes, that's right, 40 years ago.  Where did the time go????  I was 19 (going to be 20 in 3 months) and Ken was just 22.  I really didn't care much about the wedding.  I was not one of those girls who had been planning my wedding for years and years.  In fact, I really hadn't thought much about it.  Our family did not have "BIG" weddings with sit down dinners.  As a matter of fact, I had never been to any wedding with a formal "reception".  So it seemed quite normal to plan a simple cake and punch reception at the church.  However, everyone in Illinois seemed to think it was very odd.   I could not imagine spending so much money on a wedding.  Yes, it was 1974, but it was still very unusual to order your wedding dress out of a "bargain list" from Montgomery Ward catalogue.  I thought nothing of this.  It looked like something I might like, it was on sale for $19 and it came in my size.  So I ordered it.  When it arrived, I loved it.  I never had a single alteration.  It was as if it was made for me.   I love daisies and planned to have them as my flowers.  And this dress had daisy trim all over.  I truly believe that this dress was not an accident.  My mom and I made candy and cookies for the reception.  We made mints and other small finger foods.   The church was the most important part for me.  For several months I had been attending a church several towns away.  I was not happy at the church my mom and dad were attending.  As a matter of fact, one of the first "adult" decisions I ever made was to go to a different church than my parents.  I loved the pastor.  He had been a campus pastor and it showed in the way that he related to both me and Ken.  It was a good decision.   On the day of our wedding it was foggy,  rainy and cold. Not the weather you expect in May.  Not much different than our weather this past week.  As we were all getting ready to go to the church, it became clear that there was no room in any car for me! So I ended up driving my own car (with my wedding dress beside me) to the church!  We never quite lived down the fact that the church roof leaked on the "Grooms" side of the church (and all over his relatives).  But just as our ceremony ended, the sun came out and it was a beautiful late afternoon. 

Today I was thinking about the last 40 years.  We certainly have had some "foggy" times in our marriage.  We have had our share of storms and rain and even some "out of season" times.  But I can truly say that the last years have been some of the "sunniest" and "warmest" years of our 40!  There is a lot to be said for having the very hard and very time consuming job of raising children over and done!  And now there is time and finances to travel.  We have discovered some interesting new hobbies in the last years (kayaking, biking, photography, scrapbooking).  On our 25th anniversary we took our first ever "alone" vacation to Florida.   That certainly was the beginning of some wonderful trips exploring every part of Florida.  Yes, the last years have really been quite good ones!  And now we are starting to think a bit about retirement and what those years might look like.  And while we can't quite agree - YET - I am sure that we will find new adventures ahead.  

I have a very bad habit.  At times, when I am reading a book, especially a very long book, I sneak a peak at the last chapter.  And sometimes I even read magazines from the back to the front.  Really!  Haven't you noticed that there is always a bunch of ads and meaningless stuff in the first 1/4 or so of most magazines.  The good stuff is always in the last half!  But today, I am really thankful that I can't jump ahead and find out what is coming ahead for Ken and I.  It seems to be going by so fast!  Actually, there are times I would just like time to slow down a bit.  I love exactly where we are right now!  We have two wonderful grown up children, both happily married.  We have four amazing grandchildren (and one more expected this year!)  Both Ken and I are happy to be working and yet also happy to know that there is an end in sight to our working!  Yep, life is pretty good right now!

Jesus, thank you so much for Ken and all that you have provided in the last 40 years.  Holy Spirit, thank you for guiding and directing us through every season and whatever came along.  Jesus, thank you for your plan and purpose for us that is still being revealed.  You are an amazing, loving God who planned for families.  Tonight I am so grateful for my family.   Amen

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