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Monday, March 5, 2012

Loved To a Path of Wholeness..31yrs.

To this community of giving thanks…to this place where I have come alive…

to this place where I have learned to count… to treasure…all His gifts to me…
I rejoice once more.
This week it only seems fitting to count with a shout of thanks for the biggest earthly blessing given to me…My dear husband.
This week we celebrate our anniversary…
We have been married 31 yrs. but have known each other 40 yrs.

This tribute to my husband is not to make him sound perfect…
or make other’s in hard relationships envious…
but I have been richly blessed with a husband that loved me to a path of wholeness.

When I met mark…my first thought was…no one is this nice…
He intrigued me…so I watched him…and that was not hard to doJ
Even as we started interacting…I was still skeptical. 
We were the most likely but unlikely pair…he the athletic star…me the cheerleader…
He the Christian…me not.  
(one of those times you tell your kids…
do as I say not as I didJ

To be honest…he was the kindest, most caring person I had ever met. 

We spent hours talking in “our” Pizza Hut booth. 
He listened to a young girl who had everything going on the outside…
while inside was full of insecurities.
He was patient…I would tell him…I don’t deserve him…
he needs to date other girls…girls who went to his church. 
He continued to be my friend…to show me such respect and love.

In God’s mercy we went to different colleges…separated for 4 yrs..
I had much growing up to do…and I had to find what I was so hungry for…
and that was Jesus.
He never forced me…never made me feel shame…
He really just walked the walk…
he fit the saying, ”Preach the gospel - use words if you have to.”

Coming to Christ cost me everything…It was a hard summer…
He listened…he cared…and he came back home to help me move out of my house when I was kicked out.   With every step…I brought more of my baggage with me…
one large bag was anorexia and all the broken, wounded places that attaches itself there.

He married a girl who did not know the Old Testament from the New Testament…

 he taught the books of the bible through songs as we drove to our honeymoon…
                   I was so new to the kingdom…so much to learn.

I looked to him for much…too much …
but he did not crumble under the weight…
He continued to lead by example…a true heart of a servant. 
His love covered so much…he continued to stand in the gap for the family until I could stand stronger in Christ. 

Like all marriages, over the years we had our ups and downs …
we had many trials…four miscarriages…
the dark tempest of  body life being torn asunder…
He walked away from a job he loved…for the love of the Lord…the love of his family.

When did I know how much he loved me?
When he walked out our vows…”In sickness and in health”

Through seven years of chronic illness…He served me…he took care of the kids…
in many ways…he lost the vibrant, energetic wife he married…
he laid his desires aside…he never complained…
never once did he make me feel guilt over something I could not control…
In this upside down kingdom…through the years of sickness …
this is where I learned how much my Father in Heaven loved me…
 and much of my receiving this truth came from Mark’s example of this love.

Aren’t marriages supposed to be a microcosm of God’s love for us…
Jesus being our Bridegroom…us His bride.  
The Bridegroom lays down his live for the bride…
the bride responds with the giving of herself to the groom…
 and this cycle of love drives the love between husband  and  a wife…
Savior and Saved …
deeper and deeper until the fires of love melds the two into one…
a bond of love that is inseparable.

Over these 31 years we have allowed this cycle to take young love…friendship and lovers to a depth of oneness I could not have imagined in my first ten…
even twenty years of marriage. 
I feel blessed and honored to finish the course…to grow old and gray together (we are well on our way)…continuing to grow deeper in love with Christ and therefore each other.

I encourage each one who reads this…
be willing to ride out the storms…breathe another breath…
the times when you feel like you can no longer breathe or take another step…
allow the lonely times…
to draw you closer to the ONE who meets all our needs…
the ONE who is faithful to fill up the empty spaces first…

Allow God to continue writing your story…
even after 31 years, He is finishing pages…starting new chapters…
writing more in our hearts about this journey of love.

This is my special gratitude journal...where I give thanks for all the ways...big and small... my husband loves me.

my thankfulness this week is overflowing as I recount God’s most gracious gifts to me…
~My Savior
~My husband
~My children
~My grandbaby
                                   I have been richly blessed!!!

Join me at Ann’s , Jen @Soli Deo Gloria, Shanda for On our hearts... and Kd@Journey towards Epiphany.                You will be blessed and encouraged.


  1. Thank you for commenting on my post and bringing me here! This is the most encouraging, lovely post I have read for the longest time!
    Bless you both!
    And Happy Anniversary! :-)

  2. Oh my goodness..fanning my face...blinking back "I get it" and happy tears...
    what a great post.
    thank you for sharing it.
    iii yiii yii...
    I have no words... just a lot of fanning away teary eyes.

    Be blessed.

  3. Eva...your words bless me...oh to Glory of Him who made all this possible..thanks for stopping by...

    T...oh blessings to you my friend...so glad you get it:)

  4. What a beautiful picture of Christ your marriage is! Your husband has helped you grow spiritually and been your spiritual head - always - I love that. Mine has, too! And I echo your advice to others to brave the ups and downs because, with the Lord's help we WILL weather those storms and be all the more braver. Happy Anniversary!

  5. Rebecca...by His Grace...yes strong loving husbands wit humble hearts to lead...this is my prayer for my sons...for all young men...thanks for stopping by...blessings~

  6. Oh my... this is so amazing... there is something wonderfully powerful when a man truly loves his woman... a husband truly loves his wife... as Christ loves... thank you so much for sharing memories and experiences so intamate and beautiful...

    I love this.. "I have been richly blessed with a husband that loved me to a path of wholeness."

    I know that love too... blessings...

  7. michele...so glad you too know this kind of love...to love the broken places to wholeness...blessings to you...

  8. Thanks so much for sharing your very personal story, Ro! It's beautiful and inspiring! *Hugs to you*

  9. This is a beautifully written love story! So glad to have come here to read it! Happy Anniversary!

  10. Happy Anniversary, friend! You have much to celebrate!
    What a blessing.
    Thank you for sharing a bit of that with us. I had to read it twice due to the tears fogging my vision! :)
    Hugs to you,

  11. Thank you Beth...God is faithful...blessing and hug to you...

    Amy...so glad you stopped by too...blessings~

  12. Nikki...I touched by some many people tender responses...hugs to you too...thanks...

  13. Happy Anniversary! What a tribute to God and to your husband's Christlike love for you & your family...made me teary in the best way...thank you so much for sharing so beautifully and giving glory to God...so glad I have met you online..hugs to you, if that is okay :)

  14. happy, happy anniversary! how beautiful you were that day, and how beautiful you have continued to be. love these stories of strong and faithful love.

  15. Oh Dolly hugs always welcomed here:)...glad to meet you too...blessings~

    Tara....thank you for your kind words...blessings to you...

  16. thank you Diane...blessings to you...

  17. Wow, thank you for such an encouraging and hope-sharing post. This was beautiful and I teared up as I read it. What a good God we have.

  18. oh thank you so much...such kind people come here to read...oh yes...such a good God we have...blessings~

  19. This was the most beautiful dedication I've ever read! This may be one to keep in my Bible - for those times when I grow impatient in my relationship and purposefully neglect seeing all the wonderful qualities in my husband. Thank you for this - thank you for sharing your heart and your experiences. What a precious gift to your readers! Many Blessings!

  20. Congratulations! Marriage is hard and full of ups and downs, but when God is the center, it is a beautiful reflection of His love for us. Thanks so much for sharing this testimony of His faithfulness in your marriage.

  21. Ohh... what an amazing and beautiful love story you have! Thank you so much for sharing. Happy Anniversary!

  22. Carrie...wow...I am humbled...thank you...God's grace is wide and deep for all...blessings to you...

    Christina...Yes...He must be the center of each life and than He is the center of the marriage...blessings~

    Jennifer...thanks for stopping by...many blessings to you...

  23. Awe this is lovely...Happy Anniversary! I see God's hand all over this post. How blessed you are!

  24. Theresa...I am indeed...blessings and thanks for stopping by...

  25. wow you guys are so beautiful together... there is such love in your eyes... this made me teary. congratulations on 31 years!!! thank you, friend, for all of your prayers and encouragement. it means the world to me. love you, e.

  26. wow. what a powerful testimony. 31 blessed years of discovering the love of God through your marriage. thank you so much for sharing your story. i am so encouraged by it!

    my recent post starting to feel better

  27. Emily...there is such love...by God's grace...thanks and blessings to you my friend...

    charis...so glad you could find some encouragement here...blessings ~

  28. ells, I love this! Happy happy anniversary- It makes me so happy for you to know that you've been so loved- guess what? I'm married to a Mark too & (although not perfect either) he is perfect for me. He too has lived his love out loud - through sickness and in health. 6 months after our first boy was born was when I got sick- we had gotten pregnant on our honeymoon- so precious little time has he had with me as the woman he fell in love with. God knew what He was doing when He gave us our Marks. :)

  29. Bless you for sharing such an encouraging, precious post.

  30. Kelli...so thankful that you too have a man who can faithfully love...even when it is hard...thanking God for Marks today...blessings~

    Denise...thanks for stopping by...blessings to you...

  31. 31 years is amazing! Thanks for leaving sweet words yesterday!

  32. What a beautiful tribute to the man God gave you. Happy anniversary!

  33. beautiful, Ro. i loved the pictures of you and him when you were young--what a beautiful bride you were and are! wow. love the friendship that i see in y'all--running a race together--it is so wonderful to see couples who enjoy life together and stay together, bound in Christ. i absolutely loved this story--so glad you shared. i loved "loved to a path of wholeness"--this is a special love that comes from God--so thankful for this reminder today. {and thank you for your comments--you are so sweet!}

    love you!


  34. Melissa...yes...I am blessed..thanks for stopping by.

    Nacole...friendship has been the foundation of our relationship since we were teens...and that race..it was extra special...I had always been a runner but after I became ill...i did not run for about 10 yrs...Mark made me a shadow box of that race...the scripture he put in there..the years the locus had eaten...running again has been such a sweet gift from God to me...thanks my friend...blessings

  35. I found you via Amy - and it's my good fortune to visit you at your blog.
    How wonderful to see all your gratitude for your husband.
    And I love your wedding photo - you look radiant, just as a bride should!

  36. Thanks for hopping over:)...oh thank you...I was so happy that day...and by God's grace I still am...blessings to you...

  37. Congrats on 31 years. I loved the mr. and mrs. mugs.


  38. Thanks for stopping by...I bought a whole"kit" for my son and daughter in law...it had the mug...journal...and "gift cards" to give each other...i loved the mugs...so i got us some:) blessings~

  39. Absolutely wonderful post! How heart-touching! Loved the pics of you and your sweet husband. Happy Anniversary to you both! Thanks stopping by my blog, Simply Cornish, and leaving your comments. Yes, you do have beautiful non-graying hair! Blessings to you! Joined your blog and hope to spend lots more time here.

  40. Gen...thanks...look forward to seeing you around...blessings~

  41. happy anniversary!! and thank you for this beautiful post!! we need examples of love like this in todays world!!

  42. My prayer is that the body will understand how important marriages are...the very foundation that God builds society on...if families are fracturing...so will society...thanks for stopping by...blessings~

  43. Congratulations on 31 years! Such a gift that you are sharing these words.
    I love this part from your story:
    "this is where I learned how much my Father in Heaven loved me…
    and much of my receiving this truth came from Mark’s example of this love."
    What a beautiful story you have to share!

  44. thank you...Oh doesn't God make all things beautiful...so thankful for His Grace and mercy...thanks for stopping by...blessings~

  45. God is good and you have given tribute to His deep love and faithfulness through your marriage. Beautiful and touching Ro. I feel blessed this way too, by an unselfish man who loves God more than anything. True grace. And thank you so much for your comment on today's post at Painting Prose. I felt the Holy Spirit in your words, they made me emotional.

  46. I am so blessed to have been able to read your blog, which I never would have found if you hadn't commented on mine! Thank you so much, you write beautifully; all the while pointing to the Savior. God Bless! And Happy Anniversary!!

  47. Shelly...so glad you know this blessing too...thanks for stopping by...blessings as you move forward with Him.

    your words are so kind...thank-you for stopping by blessings to you~

  48. Yes, you have a marriage that exemplifies His love for us! How fortunate you are!