Christmas is now officially less than a week away. The gifts we’ve made and bought for one another will be wrapped this week. We’ll celebrate at home, with extended family, and with our church family. We’ll sing. We’ll eat. We’ll make a point to remember why we’re celebrating and why we give gifts.
We have spent much time preparing and anticipating the celebration of Christmas, knowing that it has been and will be a very delightful celebration indeed!
But, starting in December of 1998, Christmas preparation began to be “interrupted” each year by another event. That first year, it was a wedding. Six days before Christmas.
It was a bright, sunny, rather warm day. And, in typical Arkansas fashion, it was five days before a nice, big ice storm hit the state. But, for that day, we got to enjoy the warmth. Not only the warmth of the weather, but the warmth of the love of a very young couple and all of the family and friends who came to celebrate this new marriage together.
Now, thirteen years later, only two of us still celebrate the day annually, although we always receive many well-wishes from our wonderful family and friends.
So, today, in the middle of all of our Christmas preparations, we’re taking one day to celebrate one of the most amazing gifts Christ gave to us next to our salvation – our marriage. Thirteen years of it. It seems such a short time, but every year has been precious. Every year has been a victory. Every year has marked the faithfulness of God to us and the way He has increasingly bound us together with Him.
I celebrate the fact that an amazing man has chosen to love me faithfully for thirteen years.
I celebrate the three children our marriage has produced.
I celebrate the growth we’ve seen together as a couple.
I celebrate the faithfulness God has shown to us, growing us, molding us, providing for us, using us.
I celebrate the encouragement we’ve received from other couples and have been able to pass along.
Thank you, my beloved husband, for thirteen years. You are not the man of my dreams – you are the man who so greatly exceeds my dreams that it seems ludicrous that I ever desired such lesser things. I am so thankful for you! I love you!