Tag Archives: wedding anniversary

Is your marriage white, chocolate or lemon?

I traveled this weekend to say goodbye to the family farm. It has been in the family for over 150 years. My great-grandfather came from Germany and “pinned” the land. He gave each of his sons a farm. This gift meant a whole lot during the Depression. Our family didn’t suffer much because by then, we owned the land free and clear, along with the fact that growing food and livestock was part of the farm plans anyway.

Fast forward to the current generation of owners. My father and his three siblings jointly own the land. We have rented it to other farmers for decades. With the financial needs for medical care mounting for my elders, they have finally decided to sell.

So, we gathered for a “Farewell to the Farm” celebration. We also celebrated a 50th Wedding Anniversary, a 17th Wedding Anniversary, and a Wedding Engagement. Three generations of family celebrating the various states of marriage. My talented cousin whipped up one of her famous wedding cakes. It was a three-tier cake: white, chocolate, and lemon.

Isn’t that just like marriage? In the beginning, it’s white–pure and simple. Your love for each other helps you see just how wonderful that person is. Truly, your spouse is a gift from God. The white tier was the largest tier. That makes sense. Lots of people get married and love their spouse.

Then, as you progress through years of parenting, job changes, life changes, things can get a little murky. You begin to see your spouse’s faults so clearly, even while you ignore your own! But through this process, if God is the center of your marriage, love becomes much richer and deeper because it is a choice, not an emotion. This chocolate cake was the second tier and it wasn’t quite as big as the white cake. That also makes sense because many people don’t put God at the center of their marriage. When they finally see their spouse, warts and all, they want to divorce. Never mind that they have their warts, too! Yep, not as many marriages make it to the chocolate stage.

Finally, if you make it through the gauntlet, you arrive at the realization that you picked a lemon, but you managed to make lemonade! You’ve learned to take the sweet and sour of life together in stride. This was by far the smallest tier on the cake. Many people make it through those child-rearing years, only to find that they no longer know or care about their spouse. God was never the center of their marriage, and they were just getting through life, holding it together for the kids. Once the kids are gone, another portion of marriages end in divorce. Definitely, the smallest amount of marriages arrive at lemon.

All this to say that although “farewell to the farm” is sad, our family celebrates as it continues to grow and welcome new members with love. And yes, some marriages will not make it, but we pray that each couple keeps God at the center of their lives together and find that sweet spot called lemon.

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Sweaty and upset says “I do”

After 22 years of marriage, my husband is still a mystery to me. We are celebrating our wedding anniversary today and laughing about that day so long ago when we decided to marry forever. We both admit that neither one of us had any clue about how challenging being married and staying married could be. We look back and see all the marriages that ended in divorce, and are so thankful that we have made it through the gauntlet so far.

When we compared notes on our wedding day this morning, my husband recalls that he wasn’t nervous at all, until the entire church turned to look at him when he and his groomsmen proceeded out from the side altar. He was definitely unprepared for that!

I wasn’t nervous either. I definitely remember being hot. We were married in a church that had no air conditioning. It was an enormous structure and beautiful. It just happened to be unseasonably hot for mid May. I felt like a flower that was drooping. My lovely, professionally curled hair began to flatten like a mop. But that is minor compared to what happened before my husband and groomsmen arrived on the scene.

Like I mentioned, this church was enormous. The bride’s room was towards the church entrance, while the groom’s room was downstairs and towards the altar. When the organ began to play that was the cue for the groom and his groom’s men to come. The music started and duh, duh, da duh–no groom or groom’s men. The music continued. My father began to panic. He sent my younger brother to find the groom. My father started turning red all over. He actually accused my soon-to-be husband of leaving me at the altar! Now, I wasn’t only hot, I was angry! I couldn’t believe my own father had such little faith in my future husband. I began to argue with my father, telling him just how ridiculous his idea was. That’s when my brother arrives saying he cannot find the groom or any groom’s men. I seriously thought I saw steam begin blowing from my father’s ears! Oh boy.

As the organist was winding down the first song and my father is in full panic mode, in walks my husband and his groom’s men. Later, my husband explained that they could not hear the music from downstairs and were too busy laughing and enjoying themselves to realize they should be listening.

I whipped my veil over my face, grabbed my father’s arm, and put on the biggest smile I could conjure under the both sweaty and upsetting conditions of a moment ago. I think I dragged my father down the aisle. Everything was lovely throughout the ceremony and we were happily married. And then, there was the limo ride to the reception. That’s another story for another blog.

He Waited 16 Years to Get Me

On our 16th anniversary, I had an out-of-town business trip. Not a whole lot I could do about it, so my husband and I planned to celebrate when I got back. Little did I know that my calm, cool and collected husband had other ideas.

After riding the airport bus from the cheap parking spots, I made my way to the ticket counter, then boarded the plane. Right before the flight was getting ready to depart, over the intercom I hear my name and “Would you please press the flight attendant button over your seat so we can locate you?”

Immediately, thoughts of horror entered my mind. Are my kids okay? Was there a death in the family? When I push the button, the flight attendant says, “Does everyone see the lady with her hand up? It’s her 16th wedding anniversary and her husband wants her to know that he loves her.” I turned 20 shades of red. But, that was just the beginning!

At my hotel, they informed me that I had been upgraded. In my fancy room, there was a bottle of champagne and a huge bouquet of flowers with a love note from my husband. I immediately called him to thank him and also tell him he was in big trouble for pulling this one over on me. He assured me that he had waited many years to be able to pull this off without me “sniffing” it out. I had to admit, he definitely managed to do just that.

As the meeting began at the Conference Center, the PowerPoint screen read: “Happy 16th Anniversary” to me! In front of all the Conference attendees, the speaker had me come to the front of the room and told me that my husband wanted me to know just how much he loves me. She had all the attendees clap for us and even gave me a gift he had wanted me to receive. This was really getting out of hand!

Later, I learned there were many more “love notes” that I missed, like a giant sign at the cheap parking spot that I simply drove right past. Even today as I write this, I cannot believe what effort and work he went through for me on our 16th wedding anniversary. And all I had gotten him was a lousy card!!!

This experience made me realize just how much I love and appreciate my husband and how much he loves and appreciates me, even after our many decades of marriage. Now, I just have to plan a sneak-attack anniversary for him over the next decade or so.