"I Do"

This week, my husband Randy and I will be celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary. He is four years older than I am, and when you are in high school, that's quite a bit. He treated me like a queen; opening doors, helping me with my coat, kissing the back of my hand as he said 'good night'. On our first date, I saw him hold to his standards and I knew he was the one I wanted to marry.

His sense of timing has always been perfect. I had moved to Bucksport just before my senior year, and so it was hard for me to get excited about all the graduating activities. I missed my old school. The day before graduation, I finished my last final and was able to leave early. Randy picked me up and took me to Sears Island, a place full of childhood memories for him. After a walk on the beach and a lunch on a grassy bluff, he asked me to marry him. There were no sad, self-pity emotions on graduation day, when I could show off my new diamond ring!

The following summer,on July 11, we promised to love each other for the rest of our lives. My mother made my eyelet dress. The bridesmaids were a rainbow of pastels and carried homemade baskets filled with wildflowers. Trumpets played "God of Our Fathers" as a fanfare. Loretta Watt sang "There Is Going to be a Wedding". My brother Jonathan and his violin teacher played "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us". The whole ceremony was a picture of the future wedding with Christ and the Church.

There were ups and downs of emotion that day. The ringbearer dropped (and found) the rings. I cried in the receiving line because I was touched by how many came from all over the country.(Almost all of my father's brothers and sisters and some of his aunts were there, and I was leaving for my honeymoon and didn't get to visit with them.) Since it was a hot summer evening,(and our funds were very limited)we only served punch, sherbert, and wedding cake. Randy and I opened our gifts right there. When I threw my bouquet, it hit the low ceiling and fell right behind me. We spent our first night in our own (unfinished) house, before heading up to Prince Edward Island.

As a young person, I didn't all that would make a good husband for me, but God did. We've had a good times and bad times, as all marriages do, but through the years our love has grown deeper and stronger. We've laughed and cried together. We've seen friends come and go. We've seen our church grow and change. We've seen our eight children grow and move away and starting their own families.

We celebrated our 25th anniversary by having another wedding, to renew our vows. We had our children stand with us. Caleb was still in a brace from falling from a tree and breaking his back. We wrote our own vows. (As a writer, mine was a page long and Randy's was only a few lines....but he said more.) Randy spoke first, promising to follow Christ's example, to love me, protect me, guide me, etc. It made me cry and I could hardly remember what I wanted to say. Stephen and Anna sang. We gave each of our children a keyring, incribed with Joshua 24:15, 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord'. Then we held hand and sang the chorus of "Lord, Bless Our Home".

Now that the kids have left, Randy and I are getting to know each other and falling in love again. I enjoy fixing his lunch and being here when he comes home for lunch. We can take walks or ride on the motorbike or watch a movie or whatever we want. We are finding out new things about each other, because we've changed over the years. Our likes and dislikes are different than they used to be. We are able to "read each other's minds" more and more. I'm enjoying this and I know it's just going to get better and better.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me just the right husband that was best for me. I pray that I will be a loving and helpful and supportive wife. I pray that our children will look back to their childhood and know that Daddy and Mama loved each other and loved You. In Jesus' Name, Amen


Joanne Sher said...

What lovely memories. You put me there. A very, VERY happy anniversary to you and your wonderful Randy. You are such an example to us younger couples.

Oh - and I love that you said Randy's vows were shorter, but he said more. Isn't that the case so often?

Lydia said...

To Add to "now that the kids have left..." there has been a tiny role reversal. I find myself worrying about my parents when I call the house and no one answers; and will leave messages saying "what on earth are you doing out past nine on a week night?" ha ha

Now, a serious comment... Mama, I am so happy that Don and I have you and Daddy for an example of a godly, loving, committed marriage!I feel very blessed to have been brought up in a house where, not only did I know and love both my parents, I also knew that they loved each other!

Thank you for that!
I love you!

Scarlet Carter(S.Harricharan) said...

Wonderful memories, Vonnie! Thanks for sharing this-it reminded me of a Jan Karon novel with the sweet thought that it was real. ^_^

Patty Wysong said...

Happy (early) anniversay, Vonnie! Wonderful memories here, and I LOVE Lydia's ps here! I gave up wondering about my parents a few years AFTER they got their cell phone--which is NO help in keeping track of them!! LoL

Dee Yoder said...

Awww...your love for each other is rich and real, Vonnie. Love your daughter's message to the both of you; what a gift for all of you! Happy Early Anniversary and may God bless you both with many, many more happy years together.


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