This is a post I wrote a few years ago, but I wanted to re-post it as we will celebrate 30 years of marriage next month. Adult children are a blessing beyond anything I could have imagined when they were born. Praise God!
When our three kids were much younger, I got through the hard days by asking myself, “In twenty years what will it matter?” Well, Hubby and I have passed that 20-year mark on the life-long journey of parenting. Our two girls are in college and the little baby boy is 16 years old and 12 inches taller than me. We have passed through diapers, tantrums, and spilled milk at the dinner table. We are completely done with the heavy duty parenting of babies, toddlers, tweens… and almost done with teenage years. It is a great spot to look back and see how far we have come.
Obviously, the kids don’t know about the sleepless nights I spent feeding a newborn every 2 hours; the worry over fevers and finances; the loop in my fatigued brain saying, “Am I doing this right?” They remember an inflatable pool on our cement patio; donuts on Saturday mornings and wrestling with daddy before bedtime.
Now we look back at twenty years worth of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and realize there are no more bath nights and bedtime stories. The training wheels are done, tiny black tap shoes were sold at a garage sale and the tooth fairy will not visit anymore. They are having adventures on their own, but we still have a little more family time to treasure on our journey with our three young adults walking tall beside us.
Mr. K has been out of a job for 6 months. We never thought it would take so long for him to find a job and there is no way to know how much longer it will be. It is difficult to see a talented, hard-working man not be used to his full potential in a work-place environment, though he has been very productive at home and helpful to many others in his volunteer services.
The waiting is difficult, but the understanding of God’s timing is not. There are many examples of God staying his hand to answer prayer so we take comfort from these examples in the Bible. We believed in God’s faithfulness when Mr. K had a job, why would we stop now? We knew God loved us when Mr. K had a job, does he loves us less now? Of course not, that would be ridiculous! God is rich in mercy, overflowing with grace, giving us His best every day.
The other day, Mr. K drove over an hour to drop off a care package for The Boy who is working as a counselor at a Christian camp for the summer. They didn’t get to see each other there, but The Boy texted later to say thank you. He wrote, “You got all my favorites! How did you know I was almost out of gum?” A father knows what his son loves. A father goes out of his way to meet his son’s needs and to make him feel loved and special. There is nothing Mr. K wouldn’t do for the Boy and over the years he has proven his love, care, and sacrifice over and over again. God loves us the same way. We trust God knowing that our value is not in what we do but in who we are in Christ Jesus. The job will come when the timing is right.
Invest in your marriage and tend to it with love and consideration. Your devotion will bear fruit in time, like a well-cared for garden. Be aware of the worries of everyday life that slowly nibble away at the strength of your union. Distracting issues are like little pests and will damage even the most fruitful garden. May God bless your marriage, my friend!
When Mr. K and I got engaged some well-meaning married friends told us “This is the best time of your lives!” Mr. K and I were puzzled at their insistent declaration. We wondered, “If this is the best time of our lives, why should we get married?” Well, we did get married and it was bliss! We loved being home together in our tiny little apartment in Pasadena. Mr. K always capped the toothpaste and put the toilet seat down. I learned how to cook. We were a match made in heaven.
We laughed at the idea that our engagement was the best time of our lives. Married life rocked! Sure, we had difficulties like not having enough money, but God always provided for our needs. I finished college, Mr. K got a raise, and we talked about starting a family. It was around this time that our 17 year old nephew died in a tragic motorcycle accident. The next few years passed in a blur of mourning. When we started our family, time seemed to speed up even faster.
Looking back, I don’t agree with our friends telling us our engagement was the best time in our lives, but think I understand them now in a way I didn’t then. What they meant to say was while we were engaged we didn’t have many responsibilities or worries. There were no kids to feed and clothe and discipline. There were no house payments or home improvement projects. Our time was our own and we were free to revel in the euphoria of our young love. And yet…
The years of our marriage brought us a depth of love greater than anything we could have imagined. We supported each other through the births of our three kids and a heartbreaking miscarriage. We experienced the joys of church leadership and the betrayal of those we called friends. The financial stress and strain of mortgages and college tuitions were balanced by the sanctuary of our home and the laughter of our family. Through it all we were each other’s best friend, lover, and confidant
The best time in our lives was not defined by a lack of responsibility but rather by the shared triumphs and trials that made up the whole fabric of our marriage. What our married friends should have told us all those years ago when we were engaged was, “This is the easiest time of your lives.” Or better still, they should have taken us out to dinner and said “Congratulations! The best is still to come!”