"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
June 13, 2012
Jon and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary next Monday, June 18th. We are constantly amazed at what God has done in our lives and the opportunities He has opened up for us since we got married. It is truly astounding!
When we said our "I do's" that Saturday afternoon, we never dreamed what the future would hold in store for us. But we never imagined that God had such an adventurous life planned for us. In fact, I'm sure that we both believed that we would likely live a very sedate, quiet life.
At the time of our marriage, I was still working in banking and Jon was working for his dad. I didn't really see any of that changing until Jon's parents retired. I assumed that I would probably have to work full-time until I was retirement age. We really had no idea what Jon would do when his parents sold their business, but in 2005 we had no idea when that would occur, so weren't really worried about it.
We had no idea the journey that God had in store for us. I was able to "retire" (as Jon calls it) in 2007 and become a full-time homemaker; and I love it! Jon's parents decided to retire and sell their business in 2008. Jon looked at the want ads and got called in for an interview at the first company he applied with. He was offered a position the very next day following the interview. That job has been a God-send and such a huge blessing. It's a wonderful company with a christian owner and great co-workers.
Because of Jon's job, we have had the opportunity to travel to Singapore and Germany. Jon went to Brazil last year. I've had a lot of big daydreams, but it never even occurred to me to dream of ever traveling internationally. Neither Jon nor I had even entertained the possibility of us being able to travel together to other countries. It feels as if God has blessed us with unexpected life bonuses. We have loved being able to travel to new destinations together and experience the adventure that each of these places have held.
When we first got married we had daydreamed about possible vacation destinations and two of the places we both wanted to someday visit were Sea World and Yellowstone. Our first vacation was in July 2009. We went to Houston to NASA, spent an afternoon in Galveston, then headed to San Antonio. We went to Sea World there and thoroughly enjoyed it. The following year in June of 2010 we took a week vacation to Yellowstone and absolutely loved it. We had such a great time in Yellowstone, that we are hoping to be able to go back again in a few years. Both Sea World and Yellowstone were as great as we thought they would be and we're thrilled that we've had to opportunity to enjoy both places.
After we got married, we moved into a house that Jon's parents owned, which is the home that Jon grew up in. We rented for 5 1/2 years, then were given the opportunity to buy it from them in January 2011. So for a year now, we've been paying mortgage instead of rent, and are enjoying planning and dreaming about how to individualize this home to put our stamp on it and make it uniquely ours.
When we got married I brought into our marriage a 1999 Nissan Altima, which we're still driving. Jon had a 1993 turquoise Ford Thunderbird. I really didn't care for Jon's car; although I'm sure it was great back in the day when he bought it. It was two door, had seat-belts that automatically went across you when the doors closed... and the paint was faded and it was getting rust spots on it. We decided that we would like to have a truck, because there were several occasions when we really needed one. We found a great deal on a 2007 Ford truck; and used Jon's car as a trade-in. We bought the truck in 2009 and it only had around 2,000 miles on it. We had saved up for several years, so even though we financed it with a 5 year loan, we had it paid off in about a year and a half.
We have seldom been sick the past 7 years. The most major things that has happened is that I had to have my gallbladder removed and Jon had to have his wisdom teeth extracted.
Over and over again, God has taken care of us. We feel as if we've been blessed far more than we deserve. I'm not writing this to be boastful of what Jon and I have accomplished or to brag about what we've done or what we have, but to give thanks to God and give honor to Him for the favor that He has given the two of us.
Looking back over the past seven years, the blessings have far outweighed the trials and times of hardship. And yes, we've had our share of those too. But we choose to focus on the marvelous things that God has done for us and not make those difficult times our focal point.
We have no idea what the next years have in store for us, but we look towards the future with anticipation and excitement. Honestly, it doesn't matter what happens in the world around us and how our economy does. What is of much greater importance is the fact that we both have Jesus in our lives and we have each other.
We choose to not live in fear of what could and might happen. But we choose to enjoy life together and make the most of our time together. We hope to share many, many years together and enjoy excellent health and be able to do things together. But we don't have that promise. But we do have today, and we choose to make the most of it and not dread what may or may not happen down the road. Worry and fear is a waste of time.
In conclusion, let me brag on my husband for a minute. Ephesians 5:22-33 gives instructions on the type of love and respect that a husband and wife should have for one another. A lot of women seem to have a huge hangup about the command here that wives are to submit to their own husbands, because he is the head of the wife. But there is a flip side to this. Further down, the husbands are commanded to "love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her". In other words, the husband should love his wife so much that he would be willing to lay down his life for her, if necessary. That's a huge commitment! If a husband truly loves his wife with that kind of love, then she should have no problem submitting to his authority because he's going to respect her and not ask her to do anything that would be harmful.
With all my heart I believe that Jon has that depth of love for me. He has shown nothing but respect for me these past seven years. I know that he would do anything and everything in his power to protect me. He has been a wonderful provider. He spoils me and lets me buy shoes and purses and clothes, when he doesn't understand why I'd need more than what I already have. Jon is intelligent and creative. He respects my opinion and listens to my ideas and daydreams. He never puts me down or humiliates me and has never intentionally embarrassed me. Never has Jon criticized my size, but has consistently told me how beautiful he thinks I am. Jon's encouragement has led me to try new things that I would never had tried otherwise. When we try a new adventure and I get nervous or afraid he calms my fear and is willing to stop right then and there and not continue, if that's what I choose to do. Because of that, I have the confidence to overcome my fears, knowing that Jon will be by my side. Jon has never pushed me to do something that I really don't want to do. He still opens the car door for me, holds my hand, and tells me that he loves me. He is also very tender-hearted and sensitive. Jon has never given me a reason to doubt or question his faithfulness to me and our marriage. I know that I can fully trust him. And if the occasion ever demanded it, I know that Jon would do anything he had to do to protect me, even if it meant laying down his own life. I am so blessed to have him as my husband and thank God for our marriage.
Therefore, I (usually) have little problem submitting to Jon's authority and allowing him to be the head of our household. He never flaunts his authority or demands my submission. But he loves me so deeply that I want to please him and honor by respecting his God-given authority. I try to be as good a wife to him as he is a husband to me.
I realize that not everyone has been blessed to have experienced a strong, loving relationship that Jon and I share. Not everyone has a spouse that is unselfish and caring. I wish that everyone was blessed with a loving marriage such as what Jon and I have shared. If you have a strong, loving marriage, then never take it for granted. Let your spouse know how much you love and appreciate them and give thanks to God.
Happy 7th anniversary, Jon! These years have been a joyride, full of adventure and blessings! I can't wait to see what the future holds for us. I love you!
There's a great modern song with the lyrics, "I will make my boast in Christ alone." Loretta already mentioned that we aren't trying to brag on our own account. We're grateful for how much God has blessed us with.
It seems odd how we can be proud of the blessings He has given us, but be humbled by His grace and love at the same time. We usually think of pride and humility as opposites, but we can be proud of someone else while humble of ourselves. When we look at all God has done for us, and we know without a doubt we don't deserve it, and didn't earn it, but God has given it to us anyway, we can't help but feel humbled.
Make Ahead Muffin Melts
(I have made these and both Jon and I really liked them. I halved the recipe for the two of us and it was enough for breakfast for two mornings.)
12 slices bacon
12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup (real) mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
5 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
6 English Muffins, split
Fry bacon until chewy and slightly crispy. Use a knife to chop it up. Peel the hard-boiled eggs, then give them a rough chop. Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Fold the ingredients together, then give it a taste. Add more of whatever you think it may need (actually how the recipe reads!). Preheat your oven's boiler to low. Spread a good amount of the mixture on the halved English muffins. Place them on the lower rack of the oven and broil them for 3-4 minutes, being careful not to burn them. The topping should be hot and the cheese melted.
You can make the topping ahead of time, keep it in the fridge, then just spread it on the English muffins and broil them in the morning whenever you're ready for breakfast. Makes a good make-ahead, easy breakfast for company, too.
When Jon's parents were first married, Stan told his new bride that he liked mayonnaise on his sandwich. She took that literally! The next time she made him one, it contained mayonnaise -- minus the meat.
My nephew and his wife had been married only a short time when she decided to try to fry chicken for dinner, which she had never tried before. She apparently got her grease too hot and it caught fire. She panicked and couldn't think what to do so threw the buttermilk, which she had dipped the chicken in and was still sitting on the countertop, onto the fire. That bought her a few minutes time to calm herself and she could think of what to do. It took a long time and lots of cleaning for them to get the smoke residue off the wall of their apartment kitchen.
Another nephew and his wife hadn't been married long. She was making potato salad for dinner and put the potatoes on to cook. She needed to run to the grocery store, so left her husband in charge. When making potato salad, she always puts her eggs in the same pot of water as her potatoes, and when the potatoes are done the eggs are boiled. This way she only dirties up one pan. Anyway, after leaving the house she remembered that she had forgot to put the eggs into the pan to boil with the potatoes so called her husband and asked him to put a couple eggs in with the potatoes. When she arrived back home and checked the potatoes she found that her husband had indeed put the eggs in with the potatoes -- only he had cracked them open first.
Let the wife make her husband glad to come home and let him make her sorry to see him leave. - Martin Luther
We love you!
Loretta & Jon