28 years ago our hearts made a plan…

On June 8th, twenty eight years ago Danny and I got married.

me and Danny

Our hearts made lots of plans.

We planned to have children. We had two amazing boys. And then God completely surprised us with a daughter.  A most beautiful surprise that was not in the plan.

We lived on Long Island in New York.  We planned to have a nice house someday. And we do, but it is in New Port Richey, Florida.  A nice surprise since we both love the sunshine but that was not in the original plan.

We dreamed of having a business. We never imagined it would be selling (the best) chicken sandwiches and sweet tea! A great surprise but not exactly in the plan.

We planned to have Sunday dinners at my mom’s house as our children grew but sadly that ended abruptly when my boys were four and 1 year(s) old.

We planned on watching our kids grow up with their cousin Alex but she will remain forever 18 to us now that God has taken her to be with Him.

We planned on never speaking a harsh word to each other and always communicating openly and lovingly…well you know how that goes!

There is joy and heartache in every journey in every life and every married life. What has held us together and made this journey so beautiful is that even though we have made lots of plans and are still making them, we rely on the reassuring fact that God alone determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9

In his heart man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps

We still make plans. Lots of them. Exciting ones. But we hold them loosely knowing that there will be twists and turns and unexpected detours. We know that even though some of the bends in the road will be confusing, we will look back and see that they were leading us to the places that God intended for us to go.

Twenty eight years later by the grace of God, our love is sweeter, richer and deeper.

And we’re still making plans!

Love is patient, love is kind…

June 8, 1985

Last night my husband asked me if we could have a coffee date at Panera this morning to start off our Anniversary day. After sitting across from him and feeling all warm and fuzzy because his green eyes still make my heart melt after all these years, I posted a comment on Facebook about him being “the most loving, patient handsome man in the world,” to which I got an overwhelming response of well-wishers ~ so sweet!

I also got a private message that reminded me that not everyone’s experience in marriage is as happy.

I met a man the other day that was commending me on the length of my marriage and said, “Wow you must have a lot in common.” Although Danny and I do have a lot in common, there are many more ways that we are different. Having things in common is not the reason we are still together.

Danny and I both come from backgrounds where our parents were divorced. That is our history. We made a decision going into our marriage that that would not be our story and that we would stop that cycle in our generation. It is that decision that we have fallen back on on the days that his green eyes were not making me melt or when his patience was being seriously tried by me.

The reason that our marriage works and I believe the reason that our love grows is simply because we have made God the center of it. When an issue comes up and trust me we have issues …we are both committed to going to the word of God to see what it says and we use that as a guide to direct how we handle the situation. More times than not it requires dying to our own selfish desires in order to put the other person first and it almost always requires forgiveness on one or both parts that comes only from God. We are two imperfect people trying hard to live up to God’s standards, failing miserably at times but offering grace (not always immediately!) to each other when we do. The day that either one of us stops doing this we are in serious trouble. Marriage is fragile – we know that and we guard it fiercely.

I would have to write a book in order to record all that we’ve learned in 27 years and although we are not the starry eyed 20 year olds that took our vows that rainy day in 1985, our love is deeper and stronger than it was then and it grows more every year.

It breaks my heart that this is not the story of every married couple and I know the only reason that it works for us is because we both share the same resolve. I have watched many people that I love dearly and respect tremendously try to fight for their marriage by themselves but it takes both parties being fully committed. I wish I had the answer of how to make that happen. What I do know is that even when things fall apart God heals and restores!

I thank God every day for the beautiful gift that He has given me in my marriage. It is my greatest earthly treasure (including my amazing children who are part of the package deal) but I also know without Him we’d be a mess!