Saturday, May 21, 2011

17 Years

I have now officially been married for half my life.

Today Mike and I celebrated our 17th anniversary. I use the word "celebrate" loosely. We did spend a lovely portion of the afternoon laying on the floor together while the little girls used us as a jungle gym.

Then we watched our wedding video...on VHS, of course. Yes, we still have a VCR. We try to watch it every year. We must have missed watching it last year because it really struck me hard when I saw my dad. I wished there had been better footage of him walking me down the aisle.

It was a lot of fun to see all the old friends who I recently connected with on Facebook. Before that, there were very few of them that we heard from on a regular basis.

It was so hot that day. It was in the 80's. I had a long sleeve dress. Mike was in a full tuxedo with tails. The church was not air conditioned.

We were married in my Catholic church but Mike's Lutheran (woman) pastor co-officiated.

Afterwards, we went back to the house we were renting and played volleyball, bar-b-qued and opened presents. We couldn't wait to change into shorts and t-shirts.

We were so young. We still are so young!

It hasn't always been easy. It still isn't always easy.

It has only been by the grace of God and the great love He has shown for us that we have enjoyed so many years together and look to the future for many more.

At the end of the video, the priest's final blessing was something like this,

May the love that you share, Mike and Katie, be a sign of God's love in the world."

That means so much more to me today than it ever did on that day. The love that we share is not the fluttering romantic feelings from those days, but the deep gift of love that comes from God's forgiveness for our wrongs against Him. That is the gift and inheritance that we share on a daily basis when we forgive each other.

As I'm writing this, I just realized how uttering that blessing is a lot like praying for patience. You know, if you pray for patience you'll be given lots of opportunities to practice. So, if God's love is all about forgiveness, then praying our marriage would be a demonstration of God's love, I'm just asking for opportunities to forgive him. Hmmm.

Ah well. So be it. :)

May the love that we share be a sign of God's love in the world.


Lynnette said...

Happy anniversary! Our 12th anniversary is in a couple of weeks. We're still young too, but we must have been much, much older and more mature than you when we got married. We were 20 and 21. :)

Isn't it funny how you felt so old and mature and responsible when you got married, but then you see people who are that age now and think that they're just kids? Or maybe that's just me...

The Henrys said...

Happy Anniversary! 17 years is a wonderful example of a strong and happy marriage, especially in the times that it is not easy:)

A Family of Love said...

Happy Anniversary!!!

ali @ an ordinary mom said...

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! What a blessing!!