I thought 32-year-anniversaries were only for old people, but there we were yesterday celebrating 32 years of "us".
We are in a good place. Content. Connected. Changed.
If you've read my book God, Are You Nice or Mean? Trusting God . . . After the Orphanage, you know that has not always been the case - many, many hard years and much to learn, much to overcome. Loved my brother-in-law's comment on my FB wall, "Congratulations! 32 years! Wow! Now wasn't that easy?" Hardly! He knows far too much of our story for that to be true.
A 32-year miracle! That's us. Still bumpy sometimes, still keepin' it real and honest, still sticking together.
We revisited our wedding album and reflected on how young and thin we all looked. Ahem! We talked about my grandparents, Alan's mom and his special Aunt Corrine who have since gone home and how our family has changed through the years. We just enjoyed an easy day - a little work, a little play, a little walk down memory lane and a lot of thankfulness at how God has held us together.
So not wanting to do anything too fancy-schmancy or expensive, we decided for our casual anniversary date to have a nostalgic night at Edelweiss, a West Ft. Worth German restaurant near our old stomping grounds when we were newlyweds. We enjoyed some great brats and beef tips amidst the singing waitress and well-rounded accordion player who serenaded us with love songs and a bit of "Oom pah pa!" Delightful night.
Following dinner, Alan insisted we drive by the church where we were married. It was dark, locked, and quiet. But inside those doors, that church held the essence of our special day. It reminded us of us!
The drive home was sweet, kind of quiet, a bit of hand-holding and, of course, explaining our wedding memories to Tanner, my loyal service dog. We got home and remembered the cards we'd bought each other were still on the kitchen table - aging short term memory, so we forgot to take them on our date!
I handed Alan his and kept mine to open. As we opened them, Alan admitted his first thought was, "Darn. I opened my own card!" As we both looked at them, we realized with the signatures that we'd bought each other the same card - US!
It included all kinds of descriptors that seem like us. And inside this simple message:
When you think about it,
there are so many pieces
to our life that
make us "US."
I love every bit of it.
That's what it's all about in families, isn't it Folks? All the pieces that make us, "US."
Life can get so hard that we can lose sight of this. We can lose sight of "us" in trying not to lose "me" on a hard and difficult journey. A precious client family of mine has artwork posted that says, "Our Family Can Do Hard." I love that. It fits us too. We can do hard. But God can also bring us through hard. And we don't do hard alone. We do it in relationship, in connection, and in truth. And on the other side of hard can be contentment.
Not a perfect life. Not flawless kiddos. Not something so extraordinary.
But it's just US - sticking together, having fun, and forgiving the hurts we sometimes cause one another.
"For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name." Ephesians 3:14,15
What makes the "US" in your family?
P.S. If you'd like to get to know US and rekindle the US in you, we'd love to vacation with you on our PACT Parent Training and Respite Cruise.