Monday, July 8, 2013

Wedded Bliss?

Saturday dawned beautiful, sunny, and HOT.  Yet, not even the humidity and heat could ruin the day.  Dan & I renewed our vows for our 25th anniversary in front of family and friends.

What a special day.  It was fun.  Everyone had a good time.  I loved being able to see my extended family again.  The only thing missing was Dan's side of the family (too far for them to come) and Nathan, who was in bed with a 102 fever.  

I was able to do the bulk of the food myself, as well as the decorations and I really enjoyed. it.  

My brother-in-law officiated.  Two friends who were fellow ministers participated.  My children played a part.  It was wonderful!   

One of the comments that someone made was how well Dan & I compliment each other.  And we do.  His strengths balance out my weaknesses and my strengths compliment his weaknesses.  God truly knew what he was doing when he brought us together.

But, it hasn't always been wedded bliss.  People think we have a good marriage because we are lucky or because Dan is easy-going and helps around the house or because he is a pastor so OF COURSE, he must be perfect! (that one makes me laugh).

We have a good marriage because we work very, very hard to make it that way.  There are times when we are both demanding and selfish and self-centered and we really get on each others nerves.  There have been times when Dan has been insensitive to me and I have been insensitive to him.  There have been days when we've been rude and unkind.

The difference is that we recognize it and work hard to ask for forgiveness and try to change.  We work hard at not constantly picking apart the other.  We work really, really hard at not telling everyone else about our spouse's faults.  I don't bad mouth Dan to my friends and he doesn't either.  
We say, "I'm sorry."  "Please forgive me."  We don't go to bed angry.   We both try to show humility in admitting when we were the one at fault.

Marriage is very hard work.  It isn't all stars and romance and gushy feelings.  Sometimes it's picking up dirty laundry for the five hundredth time and putting up with the other person's annoying habits that make you want to pull your hair out.  At times, it is overlooking a slight or even a deliberate unkindness.  

However, when God is at the center and you work hard at it, it is good.  Very good.

Saturday was a day where we celebrated that sweetness.  It was a reminder of all the things I love about my husband.  It was a reminder of all the things he loves about me.  

Celebrations are good because they are reminders of exactly what is bliss about marriage!

I read the following poem to Dan as part of my vows and it expressed so much of what I couldn't articulate myself.

I love you
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what you are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over,

All the foolish weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern,
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach,
But a song.

You have done this
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

Wedded bliss?  Not always.   But, I am thankful when I see how far God has brought us and His hand on our lives.  I am hopeful when I see glimpses of how He is using us and where He is leading us.  I am peaceful when I turn over the conflicts and struggles and place them in the Lord's hand.

And that makes me blissful.