Monday, July 4, 2016

# 567 - 30 Years of Marriage - An Edited Thought

On June 14th, just a couple of weeks ago, Sgt. David and I were married 30 years. I can't believe so much has happened over the last 30 years, but being married during all of it has defined the meaning of staying together better and for worse. We definitely know how to stick with it.

So, I wanted to mention this life-time achievement award category of a 30-year marriage under our belts. Plus, we clean up pretty well for pictures, so I better prove it while I have the opportunity.

Here we are the week of our anniversary eating at one of our favorite local restaurants.

However, the majority of time, since moving to the country in 2013, this is how we appear on most days...

Getting started in 2013 on our acreage, as full-time residents, was hard work. It's still a lot of work.

Yet, we always find time to explore local restaurants. Our mission is to try all of them.

Some days I am cold, tired and worn out. And I look it.

Other days I am able to get with it.

One of the things I've done with each room is to stomp the sheetrocked ceilings, this gives them texture in the style you determine via your stomping method. I find it humorous that I "stomp on the ceiling." Lol.

Sgt. David used the machine to texture the walls and he ends up looking as if he walked through a storm of baby powder.

When we're not working in the house or jobs, both of us love to explore.

One of my favorite things to do is to get supplies for the garden. Here we are getting two huge pallets of sod. It's a very good idea to water the pallet from top down, so the top layers of sod don't peel away and get lost on the trip home. If they are too dry for the trip, they are too light. Watering them makes the soil heavy and they stay flat while driving home. We stopped at a gas station with a water machine and watered the top of the pallets. On hot days in Texas, the top layer dries extremely fast while driving home. Some people cover them with a tarp, but we had already used the tarps on our furniture that was also being transported home.

We work on the land and get sweaty, covered in dirt and gross. But, we have times of rewarding ourselves, such as in the photo below where we are back at the Farm House Restaurant for lunch; it was delicious. This place is on Lake Livingston and you can also sit outside on the deck to overlook the lake and feed the hundreds of turtles that are looking for food.

A fun day was picking up the new tractor. In just over a year's time, that tractor looks 30 years old. The poor thing is used and abused. In our lifetime, we won't buy a brand new tractor ever again. That's a lesson learned. NEW is way too expensive for the beatings it gets.

And here is the day I was able to sweep out, pick up broken glass and bits of trash from the storage shed we'd stored our main household items in for nearly three years. It was a wonderful day to get our belongings out of this shed. Like Christmas.

Then, the tired days roll around again. We seem to have a LOT of tired days. Here is a day I couldn't find a ponytail to keep my long hair out of my face while I was working, so Sgt. Dave found a piece of copper wiring and he wound it into my hair to create a makeshift hair tie. It worked. And I became a "Copper Head."

And all that grey hair!!! Where did THAT come from? Yes, in my family, the women get grey/white streaks at a young age. They should magically disappear again, soon.

We try to have fun moments, on purpose. Sometimes planning a fun moment can be a challenge because we must take time out and pursue the fun; it can be hard to do when we have so much on our plate. But, once we do something different and have a good time, we're always glad we did it.

One day, Sgt. David will be able to retire and he will be a different man. With facial hair. On a rather recent extended vacation from work, he was able to give me a glimpse as to what the future will bring with his appearance. I like it.

And even on our busiest of days, we find time to notice each other and to say "I love you." Throughout my ENTIRE LIFE, those are words I've been happy to reserve for my most treasured family members...they are not words carelessly given to another. I must mention that we are warned Biblically that our affections are supposed to be guarded, and I've been successful in this goal. Most of us have seen the devastation that follows when someone does not guard their affections. So, I'm content with myself in knowing that my marriage and my love was always a priority.

There is peace of mind that comes with knowing my love had always been reserved for one person throughout marriage...for 30 years. To be honest, it wasn't difficult...not because my husband is phenomenal, but because I took my vows before God seriously, and I truly put God first. If I had put my husband first, I would have strayed, but God gave me this inner-strength to never give any temptation a foothold in my life. I'm grateful to the Lord for taking my dedication seriously and for meeting me halfway to give me strength where I was weak. If someone handed me their phone number or asked me to lunch, etc., I NEVER took the next step toward that person...sometimes taking the first step toward faithfulness is to not take a step or to take a step away, not toward, the temptation. But, we all have free will and people will do what they want to do; if they are interested in the temptation as being something they'd like to explore, they will take steps toward it and justify it all day long. We know it's a choice. All along the way, we have choices, and we are the whole of our choices.

Loving a spouse takes more than takes loyalty, faithfulness, honesty and the love that is given should never be forsaken for any other person. And when you do offer mature, meaningful love for your wife or husband, you understand that vows spoken to each other should mean something. Vows are more than a ritual of words...the very MEANING of take VOWS is to make promises to each other. And if you have a sacred wedding ceremony of saying vows to each other, before God, then you better know what those vows mean because God does not take broken vows lightly. He would rather we make no vows than to make a vow and break them. I suppose if God had a "pet peeve" that this would be one of them...according to His OWN words of having great distaste for those who break their promises. And this is another reason the Lord dislikes adultery and has it on His short list of TEN COMMANDMENTS that we should not break. God knows our vows are serious.

So, if vows don't mean something to you, then why should they matter to your spouse and in what way would the vows serve you, if you don't serve them? So, don't fail to remember that those vows are your glue; don't take actions that would disintegrate that glue because a marriage experiencing broken vows can be damaged beyond repair.

Boy, I've been learning lessons during construction of this house...lessons that apply to all areas of life. We cannot take our meaningful relationships for granted or they will fade away.

Relationships take diligent work. If pathetic half-a$$ efforts are made toward a marriage, then the results will reflect it. In marriage, you don't have to be Super-Woman or Super-Man, just don't mess up so massively that the damage is permanent. And be nice.

For those who have done everything they can and are not met with the level of commitment necessary to maintain a marriage, I'm deeply sorry for your loss and for the betrayal against you and the marriage. Sometimes knowing that everything humanly possible was done on your part to make it work is a beautiful truth that will eventually be a comfort. You hear advice to do everything "humanly possible" to make it work, but if you run out of "humanly possible," then it is were never destined to make a marriage work by yourself. That wasn't the arrangement. If one of the two fails the marriage in a way that is irreparable, then there is not a marriage left to repair. The choice avoid such damage should have been the priority; the repair of a damage marriage does not rest solely on the shoulders of the one who is betrayed. So, sometimes you must accept that a partner put the marriage on the chopping block. And miracles do occur, but if you have a partner who keeps putting the miracles on the chopping block to hack away at it again, then there will never be enough miracles to create a whole marriage with that person.

We see too many who think one partner is obligated to carry the important weight of the marriage...the faithfulness, the monogamy, or maybe one is too deep in addiction to be a dependable, consistent marriage partner and their addiction makes them a stranger who you didn't choose to many things in life can go sideways. And that's the reason marriage is not for the faint of heart or for the romantic-minded person who doesn't understand that dirty diapers, bills and cleaning the toilet isn't romantic. Being realistic is great preparation for marriage. Being a person who remembers and honors wedding vows during the strongest of temptations is a great way to make marriage work. However, for those who are left betrayed, I know God restores the broken and that He might even give you someone, eventually, who will restore your faith that vows and commitments can indeed be honored...that person might just be YOURSELF and your relationship with God. But, I do believe many brokenhearted people can be shocked to one day find themselves honored by love instead of hurt by it. If you are brokenhearted, be kind to yourself. Yes, you deserved better and God is watching.

Marriage is an unending puzzle, but the wedding vows make many things clear and easier to confront. If the vows are honored, your steps throughout marriage will take you to a higher and higher place...that's a sacred place few can reach. If you know the meaning of keeping your vows, then you will reach it, but if you broke vows and made excuses for doing so, then the steps have already crumbled beneath your feet and you just don't know it yet. I hope those who made vows will remember them and keep saying them to each other regularly, either with renewed vows in a ceremony or over an ordinary breakfast with just the two of you present, but vows should not be said just once on a wedding day and then be tossed to the back of the heart. Remember your vows to your marriage partner and keep them close to your heart before they can be callously or mindlessly broken.  

Love can hurt, but it's not supposed to be is supposed to be healing, kind and considerate. The best way to remain in a loving marriage with ongoing healing, kindness and consideration is to honor your vows, then the goodness of the rest will follow, naturally.

Last bit of advice, if you don't think you can stick with clear, traditional vows, then you better write your own that you know can be kept. If you can't keep promises, don't make them.

Anyway, that's my 30 year wedding addition I had to edit into this space before I could move forward with more posts.

Here we are at the tax office. Sgt. David is having a great time on his phone while I have a great time on mine...the joys of modern love.

If you can pay taxes together and enjoy yourselves, albeit independently via electronic devices, then you might survive life and maybe even marriage. Taxes are definitely not romantic.


LindaG said...

Happy Anniversary, Lana! I hope you are blessed with many more.

A safe, blessed, Independence Day to you all!

Karen said...

Happy Anniversary!!! 30 years, whoo hoo!!

The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

Beautifully said Lana. Thank you for sharing, and Happy Anniversary!!

Lana said...

Thank you! I'm just now trying to get back to posting and have seen my photos have magically disappeared from my posts! AUGH!

Thanks for the sweet words...working on anniversary #31 right now!