It’s Hard to Believe It’s Been 10 Years

Today is the anniversary of one of the biggest and most important days of my life. Ten years ago this happened:

wedding

Ten years ago today, we were standing on a beach with a handful of our family and friends and vowing to love each other til death parts us.

Cake

And ten years later it’s even better than I ever dreamed it could be. Don’t get me wrong. It’s been hard. We’ve had our ups and downs like anyone else.

Looking through the wedding pictures today, I can’t believe how young we look. Over these last ten years we’ve grown up together. We are still crazy in love. We’ve created two amazing little boys. We know that through hard times we can cling to each other (and God) rather than letting it pull us apart.

006

Ten years later, we have found that we’d rather spend a night at home with our little family than a night on the town. We’ve made each other better people. I don’t know what I would do without him.

Ten years ago I couldn’t have told you what we’d look like today. I couldn’t have come up with a picture of our life today in my wildest dreams. God made him for me, and me for him. I can not imagine my life without him.

I love you more today than I knew I could ten years ago and there’s no where else I’d rather be.

007

 

Blessings on my Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. I had a great day, spending the morning with my crazy little boys and grandparents working in a garden and the evening with my husband and boys. I reached the age several years ago, maybe after my 21st, where birthdays just aren’t that big of deal. I mean, everybody has one. 🙂

So this year for my birthday, I decided it would be a good time to focus on all of the blessings I have in my life.

I have been blessed with two amazing parents. They raised my brothers and I in a home full of love, and I have never doubted their love for us or each other. They are more in love today, after 35 years of marriage, than the day they got married. They have shown me what a  marriage should look like and I pray my marriage can be as good as theirs. Thank you, God, for blessing me with such amazing parents.

I have been blessed with two amazing brothers who have blessed me with two sisters-in-law and two nieces. I am so proud of the men my brothers have become and what they have done. I am so thankful for the women they have married who I am proud to call not only sisters but friends. I have two nieces whom I absolutely adore. They are amazing little girls that I am so thankful for. Thank you, God, for my amazing brothers and their families.

I have been blessed with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Even if we don’t see each other as often as we would like, I know I could call on any of them at any time. I know they think of and pray for my family as I do them. I know they share my joys and my pains, as  I share theirs. Thank you, God, for my amazing family.

I have been blessed with an amazing man to be my husband. Through good times and bad, I know that he will stick with me and by me. He supports me with all my crazy ideas (like starting a blog). He is the leader of our family. He gave me another brother, sister-in-law, 3 nephews, parents and even more extended family whom I could not imagine my life without. He works so hard so I can stay home with our 2crazylittleboys. He keeps us safe and makes us laugh. He brings such joy to my life. I love him more today than I could have imagined when we got married 10 years ago. Thank you, God, for blessing me with an amazing husband and the family that came with him.

I have been blessed with 2crazylittleboys. They are wild and crazy, oh so sweet, smart and funny. They bring me such joy each and every day. Even when they make me crazy or call me by my first name, they bring me great joy and love. I can see echos of my family and their dad’s family in their faces and actions, and sometimes they even get called by an uncle’s name. They keep me grounded and make me soar. They keep me serious and silly. Their dance parties are epic. Thank you, God, for giving me these two amazingly crazy little boys.

I have been blessed with all of this and so much more. I have some amazing friends that are more like family. I have those of you who take a moment of your time to read my words. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, my health, and more. Raging storms came through my area last night and all of my family is safe. I have so much, my cup runneth over. Thank you, God, for all the blessings in my life.

And most importantly, thank you, God, for Jesus. Thank you for loving the world so much that You sent us Your Son. I would have nothing if I didn’t have Jesus. Without Him, none of the other blessings of my life would matter.

This birthday I’m counting my blessings, and I can’t count that high.

Can we agree that the government doesn’t belong in marriage?

This week there’s been a lot of talk about a CEO being forced to resign from his position for donating $1000 to a proposition in California.  This proposition called marriage a union between one man and one woman and received a lot of attention all over the United States. Tonight I read what Matt Walsh had to say on this issue. My original idea was to share his post on Facebook with a little bit of my thoughts. Then I realized that my thoughts were too big for the little room Facebook would give me (or that my friends would read) and my  only choice to share my thoughts would be here.

So, for those of you who read my blog because I write about my faith, here is a warning. This post is a little different. I’m not including a bible verse (sorry, that was a lie. Go check out Philippians 2:12 which tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling). This post is not about my faith. This post comes from the libertarian side of me (which I believe I’ve always been but just recently learned what to call it.).

Almost 10 years ago, my husband and I decided to get married. I never dreamed of a big wedding (and my parents offered me money to go to Vegas to get married). I knew I wanted the dress, but other than that I wanted small. Maybe to get married outside, barefoot in the grass. Maybe in a small church (one that even in 2004 looked like the doors were always unlocked) like the one my parents were married in. My husband had a different idea. He thought a sandy beach in the Caribbean would be the perfect place to exchange our vows.

It turns out he was right. Once he said beach, I was sold. It was the best of all worlds. Our closest friends and family would be willing to make the trip, but we wouldn’t have to invite everyone we know. It would be outside. It would be intimate. And let me tell you, it was perfect.

However, it almost didn’t happen like that. My uncle is a preacher, and there was no one else I would have wanted to perform the ceremony that day. My uncle was more than willing to travel with our group of 17 to Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands and do the ceremony. We had a great wedding planner who handled all the details for us. There was one little thing we had to do when we landed on the island 36 hours before the wedding. We had to get the marriage license, and my uncle had to show that he was licensed/ordained to perform the ceremony and the judge had to approve it.

Less than 36 hours before my wedding, my preacher was told he could not do the ceremony and it be a “legal” marriage. There are not words to describe to you how 23 year old me reacted to this news. It was not pretty, and there were a lot of tears.

There was no one for us to call to step in. There was no one else I wanted to be a part of our day. I had been waiting 23 years for this day and the United States government told me my uncle’s pocket membership card with his official information on it was not good enough to perform my marriage ceremony.

Once I was talked down off the ledge, we started discussing options. We didn’t have another minster so just switching was out. We didn’t know anyone on the island (except the wedding planner who was amazing at dealing with my crazy calls). What we did have was each other and faith in God.

A decision was made. The next morning, less than 24 hours from the start time of my wedding, my uncle, my future husband and I would go back to the courthouse and ask the judge to reconsider. If the judge still said no, the wedding would go on as planned, and when we got home we’d go to the justice of the peace and get the official paperwork. And that ceremony would be just as Holy in the eyes of the Lord as if the judge said yes because that piece of paper from the government means nothing to God,

This is my point. I find it insane that the government has to “approve” a marriage. Had the judge said no a second time, we would have had a wedding, and we would have been married in the eyes of our family and the Lord. And it would have been Holy and beautiful.

That day the judge approved our request the second time, but that’s not what this is about. Why is the government telling us who we can and can not marry? How is it possible that one judge in a small family court had the power to approve or deny my marriage?

And why should anyone have that kind of power? Why have we given the government that kind of power over us? Why are they in the marriage business at all? Why should a judge be able to deny my marriage because he didn’t like the paperwork my minister had?

He shouldn’t.

I truly believe that marriage is between the people getting married and God, and the government shouldn’t be involved at all.

If you want to stand before your friends and family and God and vow to love each other until death separates you, then you should be able to. I don’t care if it’s a man and women, two men, two women, a man and three women, or you and your horse. And the government shouldn’t care either. As long as no one is being forced into it, marriage is none of the government’s business.

Again, this is not a faith based discussion, and that leads me back to Philippians 2:12. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. My personal beliefs and yours on this issue are not important. That’s for a different discussion. What is important is that the government shouldn’t be deciding for anyone who can and can not be married.

I won’t force you into my beliefs if you won’t try to force me into yours. And let’s get the government out of all of it.

There are three of us in my marriage: my husband, my God and me. I have no room in my marriage for the government, and there is no reason for the government to be in it.