|Year 10: from the shores of the junction between the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario, Kingston.|
I write from the Canadian Thousand Islands today, from a beautiful little cottage on Landons Bay near Gananoque. My husband and I traveled here, just the two of us, to celebrate a beautiful little milestone--ten years of marriage--and like a decade of marriage, we've never done anything quite like this before. My parents have our boys (thank you!), we don't have much to be responsible for this week, and we haven't felt this serene in...probably ever. Even on our honeymoon, we were learning how to be actually together for the first time ever, so "serene" only described bits and pieces of our three-week road trip.
We have had a good ten years, but you know what's interesting? It is only in this past year that I feel like I'm beginning to understand how this thing--this life of marriage and parenting and loving Jesus by loving people--I'm only just beginning to understand how this thing works. And in a lot of ways, prayer for example, I'm still taking baby steps.
When I think of it this way, fifty or seventy-five years of life and learning alongside this man doesn't seem improbable or boring. I'm beginning to understand that with Jesus and the good man He gave me, fifty or seventy-five years of life and learning really is a thrill, really is an adventure worth committing to, really is very beautiful.
And do you know how it happened? The gist of it is that I CHOSE WELL. There is a long version to the story, one that involves a couple of decades of the Lord setting me up well. But through those decades there were plenty of opportunities for me to choose poorly. Sometimes I did, and the Holy Spirit allowed me to experience the consequences but was faithful to work all things together for my good, because I love God and have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). But despite temptations of various kinds, when it came down to it, I chose the important things well. I chose to give Christ charge over my life, and later I chose to say yes to an important question asked by a very, very good young man.
This does not mean I am always "happy" about my circumstances. There are plenty of opportunities for me to realize what a selfish old grump I am, and the Holy Spirit allows me to experience the consequences. But as I continue toward Him, continue choosing the important things well, He is always faithful to work all things together for my good. He is worth everything, and so is my husband, and so is my family.
"Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
And it is well with me."
|Our wedding day: July 4, 2007.|
|Year 1: We reenacted our first date, hiking up Giant Mountain in the Adirondack High Peaks.|
|Year 2: A windy, rainy boat cruise on Raquette Lake.|
|Year 3: We welcomed our first son two weeks beforehand, and our pictures didn't usually focus on the two of us.|
|Year 4: I was office manager at Beaver Camp, and finally got a picture of our family near the end of the summer during teen camp Coffee House.|
|Year 5: Office manager again, teen camp Coffee House again. Two babies this time.|
|Year 6: 4th of July celebration with friends.|
|Year 7: A quick anniversary picture in the field while visiting my parents.|
|Year 8: Joining in the 4th of July Boat Parade on Pleasant Lake, visiting Andy's dad. Pregnant with baby #3.|
|Year 9: We periodically shouted things like "Hey, that guy over there is awesome!" while hosting our California cousins. We were in the thick of "doing life."|