Thanksgiving is always such an exciting time for me, for so many reasons. Of course, there's the actual holiday and all the thankful reflection and good food. Then there's also the fact that, for me, it's the 'official' kick-off of the Christmas season (though this year I've gotten into the spirit a bit earlier than usual). But Thanksgiving also holds another sentimental element for me and that is my wedding anniversary. Yep, this year on Thanksgiving Day (technically yesterday since I'm writing this so late) my dear husband and I have been married for 16 years! I can hardly believe it...I mean, really - am I old enough to be married for 16 years?!?! (Apparently the answer to that is 'yes', though it doesn't feel like it!) We got married on 'Black Friday' evening, in a candelight ceremony, and left the church in a wintery snowfall. We spent our first night in our new home and headed off in the morning for a cozy, romantic honeymoon in Vermont. It was absolutely perfect.
In the past 16 years we've certainly experienced our shares of ups and downs, joys and sorrows. I've thought a lot about what I wanted to say to try and convey my thoughts and feelings about my husband, and my marriage, but I simply cannot find adequate words. Todd is my very best friend, as has been since 10th grade, before we ever began dating. I cannot imagine my life without him. (That's actually why we started dating...he was going to ask another girl out, and the thought of him with someone else was more than I could bear. I showed up in tears at his house and flat out told him I was in love with him. This was before we started dating, mind you!! What can I say...I just knew that I knew!! Crazy, looking back on it...) I've now been with him for more years than I was without.
I truly don't know where I stop and he starts, and vice-versa, because we are so meshed into one-flesh. We share everything from a home to children to ministry. I think we accentuate each others strengths and cover one anothers weaknesses. The other night someone said something to us that I felt was the ultimate compliment...he said, in reference to Todd & I leading Koinonia House, that we operated more like Adam and Eve did in the garden, pre-fall, flowing together in their mission.
We simply don't have a sense of 'him' and 'me' as much as we do 'us'.
It seems like a silly school-girlish thing to say, but I miss him when we are apart. I occasionally text or e-mail him during a work day just to tell him so. I look forward to time together, and can't seem to get enough. After all these years we can still sit for hours and just talk, or simply be together and say nothing, but still be connecting.
Of course, the most amazing product of our years together is our children. Occasionally, we sit at the supper table, look at the chaos and ask each other "where did they all come from???", as it seems like only yesterday we were newlyweds, just exploring the concept of Mr. & Mrs., and here we are "mom" and "dad" to 4 children (one almost a teenager!)!!!
In retrospect, time has flown by. (Of course, in the hard times it surely didn't seem so). God has brought us through more than I could ever recount here. We owe everything to His amazing grace in our lives. As I reflect on all of it, my heart feels like it could nearly burst. I am thankful beyond words for my precious husband and best friend.
Appropriately, just in time to celebrate our anniversary, I was able to make this addition to our bedroom wall. It's a great way to sum up how I feel:
And finally, I invite you to take a stroll down 'memory lane' with me. This is Us, through the years... (Please, keep your laughing and snorting to a minimum...I'm so totally showing my age here...be kind...)