Marriage, Year 18

IMG_9586Today, 18 years ago, I said: “I Do”. It was a hot summer day in late August. What was I thinking, and to top it off it was in Charleston SC. The venue that we choose was a beautiful little chapel in the downtown section of Charleston. We were young and had no clue to what God would have in store for us in the future. All we knew was that we loved each other and felt that God put us together for a reason.

The weekend started off with family and friends coming in from out of town and the weather was just gorgeous, my best friend and her boyfriend came in from Illinois and wanted to go to the beach. The four of us went to the beach the day before the wedding, looking back now that was probably a mistake; or maybe the mistake was not having sunscreen. Whichever, Todd and I got so burned that we glowed. The next day when it was time to dress for the wedding, my pretty ruffle dress hurt my skin. I could barely walk let alone bend over and get my shoes on. I managed with as little pain as possible, and we left for the chapel.
As we were traveling down interstate 26 we encountered a traffic accident, that was causing a delay of course. All I could think about was that I was going to be late to my own wedding. We ended up getting there in the nick of time, I arrived at the chapel entered the back and waited for the music to begin. I was so nervous my body was literally shaking, I thought I was going to faint right there. My dad took me by the arm and away we went down the aisle. It was not a very long walk, but to me, at the moment I felt I was walking miles. I looked up and saw my family and friends all looking at me as I was shakily walking down the aisle; wondering if I was going to trip and make a spectacle out of this whole thing. I saw my groom standing there smiling and a glow from his eyes sparkled. I knew what I was doing was the right thing, I was just so nervous. The ceremony was perfect, we said our vows in front of family, friends, and God. I meant them then, and I still cherish the vows I took. I work hard daily on my marriage, some days it is hard as hell, others are easy. wedding 1999

Todd and I have not had a fairy tale marriage, we have had rough waters that we have crossed, tough times, separations and issues with the children. I feel that a marriage is God’s creation and that once you say “I Do”, then you should do all you can to fix anything wrong. Do not give up easily. “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” Mark 10:9.

I am in no way saying that if all is done to your power and there is no other way than that is between you, your spouse and God. I am not judging. I just know for me I work daily on trying to keep my marriage stable.
Each year, in my world, is special. 18 years is a lot of time together, and I want to cherish each moment that I have with him. As our children grow and move on one day, it is just going to be the two of us. Life is short.

So as  I celebrate my anniversary  I pray that I will have many more with the man I love with all my heart.

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Changes

Summer is coming to a fast end, yes I know it is only August 1st but in many places school has begun or will begin soon.  Though it is still warm and summery skies, summer is practically over once the daily routine of classes begins.  This is bittersweet for me, especially this year. I always seem to enjoy the summer coming to an end because by this time my kids are usually bored and fuzzy and I am sick of hearing; “I’m bored.”  This year is a little different for me, I have three children and they are all in high school. The youngest is a Freshman, then I have a Sophomore, and my oldest is a Senior. How did this happen?  It seems like just yesterday that I was holding this little guy for the first time, scared and unsure of really what to do.  We parents grow right a long side our children when they are babies we are baby parents and we learn daily just as they do, so when it is time for them to leave the home we are prepared. Well, that is the theory, right. I am excited for him because in nine short months he will be on a new journey like no other; adulthood.  Buckle up son, it can be a bumpy ride.

I, unlike some of my friends, I will still have two other children at home. I am sure in three years when my youngest is a Senior I will be singing a different tune. Life is all about changes, some are good, some are bad but without change, the world would be a boring dark hole. 29465-01062016-Ecclesiastes-3-1-2-social“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing,” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. God tells us to embrace change and be not afraid, whether the skies are clear or stormy.

One of my favorite verses in the bible is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  This gives me confirmation that even in bad times, God knows his plans for me and it is just part of the journey called life.jeremiah-29-11

As for my children and their journeys; there is no doubt that each one will be different and unique to them individually.  I always tried raising my children to understand that life is not always fair, and at times it is downright spiteful. I tried instilling in them that they earn their way in the world through hard work and dedication. The world does not owe you anything and you are not entitled to something just because you want it.  I worked hard for ten years to get my college education; I spent many all nighters just to finish my work on time and still getting up to care for my family. I did not always succeed, a few classes I had to repeat. It was all just part of the journey.  In the end, I earned not only my Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, but I also earned my Master’s of Art in Human Service Counseling.

I am not a perfect mother, but I always tried my best. I modeled my parenting after what I knew. f0c1bd9e6f2b4225e7615f056c97eacb--change-is-good-wind-of-changeMy mother was a caring and loving mother as my sister and I grew up. She still displays love to us each and every day.  She never was a touchy feely kind of women, but we knew she loved us and that is what counts.

As this new school year begins, embrace change and allow it to a part of your life. Whether your child is entering kindergarten, middle school, high school or college, let the wind of change take you to new valleys and hills.