Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ten Years And Counting

There were many times in my single years that I never dreamt a wedding day was a possibility for me, let alone my tenth wedding anniversary. Now, I know ten is a drop in the bucket for a lot of people. I always loved it in church when the pastor would announce that someone was celebrating their 65th or some other large numbered anniversary. Such a blessing from the Lord. But when you get married in your thirties and you reach your tenth wedding anniversary, you celebrate! We celebrated with a trip together this summer and we'll celebrate with a meal out tonight, thanks to my friend Sonia who will watch the kids.

This is the layout I created to celebrate my ten wonderful years with Hubby. The background paper is from the Nancie at ScrapArtist from her new silver and gold kit. Swirls and snowflakes from Digizines by Teri (A Winter's Night), Poinsettias and ribbon from Silvia Romeo and evergreen branches from Verena Karolyi.

When we were planning our wedding, I considered Twila Paris' song, Bonded Together, but we decided upon Steven Curtis Chapman's I Will Be Here. Thousands of couples marry with that song, but we chose it because we both wore the scars of childhood where the people who were meant to be there weren't. When we chose the song, we never knew how much we would be challenged. Every time I hear the song, my tears well up in my eyes. And it is the one thing that I appreciate the most in my Husband - He shows up for the job! If you have ever been abandoned, you will understand exactly how important that is!

Tomorrow morning if you wake up
and the sun does not appear
I will be here
If in the dark, we lose sight of love
Hold my hand, and have no fear
'Cause I will be here

I will be here
When you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen
And I will be here When the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winning, losing and trying
We'll be together
I will be here

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I will be here
Just as sure as seasons were made for change
Our lifetimes were made for these years
So I will be here

I will be here
And you can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we're older I will hold you
And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here

I will be true to the promise I have made

To you and to the One who gave you to me

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up

And the sun does not appear
I will be here
Oh, I will be here

Here is a layout I made with Lynn Griffin's Cottage kit for the gallery at

Four days before our wedding, Hubby's Mom died of a massive stroke unexpectedly. I told Hubby we could cancel everything and just get married with the pastor, Shelley and my Mom and Jack in the Pastor's office. I was willing to go to the church and wait at the door to tell the people who we couldn't contact in advance, what had happened. But he did not give up. He knew, as did I, that our marriage was God's will. And now that I understand exactly how shy he is, I am amazed that he did that - standing in front of over 300 people, holding my hands and offering me the communion cup as we made a covenant with each other and God. We were sad. We were grieving. But on that day, nothing could keep my heart from bursting with all the joy that was a gift from the Lord. You can see it in the left hand picture above.

This layout is made with Julie Jorgenson's Vintage Bride kit paper and corners from Scrapbook Elements and evergreen branches from Verena Karolyi and ribbon cluster from Teri Hanson's Winter Wilderness kit.
The words on the bottom of the layout read "Sometimes dreas really do come true!" I felt like Cinderella that day! The ball is long over and there have been tragedies worse than losing glass slippers to face. Our journey of falling in love began in 1996. Our journey of growing in love began in 1998. Together we have:
*Lost a mother
*Lost a father
*Endured critical illness
*Endured chronic illness and pain
*Fought infertility
*Struggled financially
*Lost one of my dearest friends ever, to cancer
*Lost several cousins and other friends to cancer
*Borne premature children
*Faced our children's medical concerns such as congenital heart defect and two two year olds with glasses
We have also:
*Traveled up and down the I-5 corridor and many scenic places in northern California
*Photographed adventures
*Given birth to three beautiful children
*Nurtured each others' creativity
*Grown in our relationship with God
*Become even better friends
*Become a family
*Been blessed by God's providence, sometimes miraculously
*Been protected in our crazy neighborhood
*Learned how to enrich our relationship while surrounded by kiddos
*Seen the Holy Spirit working in our lives

This layout was made with Lynn Griffin's Warmest Wishes kit.
Yes, I did write "Happily Ever After" on that page! It's how I feel, but I do not take it for granted. All good relationships take some work and maintenance. You can't just sit back and let it all slide. My experiences cause me to be acutely aware of how quickly young love can fade and how even Christians are not immune to life changing and grievous divorces.
This last year I have started praying that God will help me love my Husband more. Love is not a feeling. Sometimes it feels good. Sometimes it doesn't. Love is a choice. I choose to love my Husband and God blesses me abundantly.

This layout is using Digizines by Teri's Faerie Holidays kit.
My wedding was one of the last few times that my Mom, Grandma and I were all together. This picture is so precious to me. Also important on that day, were my best friend Shelley, who was my maid of honor and my cousin Wendy who was my bride's maid. I don't have any other photos from our wedding scanned, so sadly I cannot show you. Standing up with Hubby was his big brother and our niece was the flower girl.
We wanted to choose a hymn that the wedding guests could sing along with us, to take part in our Covenant, to join us in our celebration. It was difficult to find the right one. Many hymns we cherish, but felt that for our wedding it should convey, not only love, but God's Love in sending His Son for us. We chose Love Lifted Me...

I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Love lifted me!
Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me!

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling,
In His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service, too, to Him belongs.

Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.

This last layout was made with Digizines by Teri's Winter Wilderness kit with Evergreen Branches from Lynn Griffin's Christmas Cottage kit at
We put a lot of thought into a Scripture for our wedding too. Not only should it reflect or admonish on the wedding day, but we wanted something that would be a guide for our entire marriage. With that in mind, we chose Colossians 3:12-17 and asked Jack to read it for us during the ceremony.
12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (NIV - Thank you

Lord willing (and the creek don't rise!) Hubby and I will have many more years together, growing in friendship, faith and love. We chose the following quote from Robert Browning to feature on our wedding program:
Come grow old along with me, the best is yet to be!

I love you Honey and look forward to finding out if that is really true!

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