As We Go Into Year 25…

As We Go Into Year 25…

(photo credit goes to my Prince Charming)
This week
my prince charming and I are entering year 25 of our marriage.  I always tell people that being married to my
husband is an adventure.  Not that it is
always easy and fun but it is an adventure. 
This year we celebrated by going for Sunday lunch at a resort near where
we live.  Of course, we were going for
the seafood buffet that we were told the resort had.   After some confusion and talking with the
staff, we did end up with a delicious barbeque fish meal just not a seafood
buffet.  It was a treat to dress up and
eat at a nice restaurant.   The food was delicious and perfect for an anniversary celebration.  Later that evening a friend brought over
dinosaur cupcakes left over from a birthday party to put a sweet end to our
Year 24
was a good year marriage wise.  The rest
of our lives seemed to be a roller coaster so it was a blessing to have someone
holding my hand as we went on this ride together.
August we became empty nesters leaving one child at college and the other at
boarding school.   It was strange going
back to Central Asia without them but we were doing it together as a team.  Then we moved twice.  One move was to a different city in Central
Asia, and the other move was to West Africa a little over a month ago.  But it was an adventure, and we were in it
together.  Yes, there were tears as we
felt loss but also joy as we went on long walks, read books together and
learned how to cook together.   We waited
together for permissions that never came. 
We prayed and talked as we figured out that it was time to leave Central
Asia and go someplace else.   Together is
such a beautiful word.
As I look
back on the past year, I have been thinking what made this year a good year for
our marriage.  There are past years that
if we had encountered the roller coaster that we did this year, we would have
been at each other’s throats.  What made
the difference?  Here are four things
that stood out.

1.     We were intentional in spending time together.

the kids left, we would always have a date night on the night they had youth
group.  We would keep things simple such
as spending time talking or listening to music or even watching a movie or TV
show together.  On occasion, we went out
to eat but that was rare.  This past
year, we took at least one long walk on the weekends through the hills and by
the creeks of where we lived.  The walk
helped us refocus but also gave us time to reflect on the week as well as
It also
included being intentional to take time to talk every day.  It is so easy to live with someone but not
connect with them.  It shouldn’t be but
it is.  Taking time to talk about life
and experience it together was a lifeline for us.  Communication takes work but hopefully we are
getting better at it.

2.   We were intentional in our
relationship with God

In Exodus
33, Israel has sinned and by the grace of God and pleas of Moses, Israel is spared from
destruction.  Now God and Moses are
discussing what comes next.  Moses says
“If Your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.”   I have found I don’t want to be anywhere if
God is not there with me.  He is my rock
and lifeline.  It sounds like a Sunday
school answer but it is true. 
Both my
husband and I know the truth of this, and so we were intentional in our personal
time with God but also in getting together with others for bible study.  A new thing for us this year was reading
books together.  These books often
encouraged us in our walk with God.  
Together we sought God’s guidance on our next steps after Central Asia
and thankfully God was leading us both in the same direction.

3.   People were praying for us

When we
went back to the states in the spring, we were so blessed by all of the people
who told us they had been praying for us. 
It humbles me and reminds me that I also need to be praying for those
around me-for their families, their marriages, and their work.  I am also blessed to have dear friends who
pray for me and hold me accountable. 

4.   We were intentional about serving
each other.

When I
focus on me and what I am getting out of something, that is  when things start to go downhill.  When I
focus on others and how I can serve them, I see things differently.  I find joy. 
In marriage, when we serve each other, love grows.   Each marriage is different but for us here
are a few things that make us feel loved. 
For my husband: Cooking his favorite foods, a foot rub after a long day,
or having clean clothes.  For me,
breakfast on the weekend, coming home to a clean kitchen, or a dark chocolate
marriage is not perfect but God is good.
I pray that this year, we can continue to do these things and that
whatever comes our way, we can go through it together.   What are some things or habits 
that have helped your marriage?  What makes you or your husband feel loved?