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Thursday, May 28, 2015

21

While 21 is the legal drinking age in the US, the name of a popular casino card game also known as Blackjack, the number of points you need to win a badminton game, and the name of a song the Eagles wrote, it also happens to be the number of years that Doug and I have been married. 
We're here in Minnesota for the first time since we got married to celebrate surrounded by Doug's family. It's bittersweet...wonderful to be with them on a day when we were all together 21 years ago, difficult that Debbie, Doug's oldest sister, is no longer with us, and even more difficult that his youngest sister, Jan, is failing daily. But even so, it's good to be buoyed by family during this challenging time.
We've always felt so lucky to have parents who modeled faithfulness and enjoyed a lifetime of love together. My folks made it to 55 years. A week ago we helped celebrate Doug's parents' 64th anniversary! That was a very special occasion as all of their kids were present to help them celebrate, something that doesn't happen very often mainly due to the fact that we were in Sweden on May 20th most of the time. Long love is pretty beautiful to see and while 21 isn't 64, we're understanding a little bit about the joy and depth of a long and lasting love.
When we first met. Doug has often had longer hair than I have throughout our relationship!
Doug is my one and only...he gets me, accepts me, and even loves and appreciates me...most of the time! Well, he loves me all the time...he appreciates me most of the time. We only drive each crazy a little these days! I'm really thankful that we share a spirit of adventure for life, a desire to love and serve God, an openness to learn and grow. When I consider the beauty of our life together over these 21 years, I marvel at all we've been privileged to enjoy. From the pyramids of Egypt many years ago, along the shores of Lake Lugano,

to the camel back ride through the Moroccan desert we enjoyed in January and most recently our dip in the dead sea and the privilege it was to lead communion with our group on the Sea of Galilee,  our life is rich. We have enjoyed being goofballs together, making others laugh alongside of us. Life is not boring.
We've just finished renovating our dream home and likely place of retirement. A new adventure awaits us, (more on that later), and the joy of sharing it together brings me peace. I'm thankful that we said I do so many years ago.
I remember before we got married I was daunted by the prospect of making a lifetime commitment. To say that I was nervous before we got married is quite an understatement. But I remember shortly after we got married, I woke up one morning and thought, "Wow, now I don't think a lifetime is enough time with him". And I still think that today...a lifetime is not long enough with you Douglas. You are the love of my life, the grounding I need, the laughter that sustains, the comfort that brings peace. Thanks for the joy and the sorrow the good times and the bad, the laughter and the tears...Happy Anniversary my love. I'm glad we promised those things to one another 21 years ago today.