The beautiful thing about not having a plan set in stone, is that it can be changed easily. Over the past few days we've talked about if we should stay longer, leave today, head in another direction and see what we could find. We've talked about driving back a different way, driving up to see our grandgirls, driving to another location and staying another few nights.
As of now, we're leaving today. There's only so much you can do in a hotel room, and it's too cold outside for me to be comfortable (our windy afternoon pics left me "breathless" - literally and figuratively - as my asthma flared). I know we're headed towards home, but don't know what we'll find along the way...so I can't say when we'll get there...and I'll enjoy every moment of the journey...and every moment we've spent here too...I'll continue to enjoy each moment we're together...for even though it still feels like we have a week ahead of us, I know how quickly these first 27 years have gone by.
Love is different now...I can find those starry eyed moments...passionate kisses that leave me breathless and amazed at how blessed I am to be married to Mark; but more so, I live in this "everyday love" of deep appreciation for all the little things - things beyond bringing home a paycheck (although I greatly appreciate that too!) but the everydayness of seeing each other first thing in the morning - when my hair had a party the night before, with morning breath and stinky feet, with asthma that renders me no fun at all, and aging bodies and receding hairlines. This is love.
Twenty years ago it was sick kids (and sick me!), and ball game schedules, and dirty dishes stacked in the sink...too many hours at work and wondering if it was worth getting out of sweats. Ten years ago it was sending girls to college, and ball game schedules, and wondering what was next on our horizon, and where...and juggling schedules for work and trying to make some time for us.
Now this is life: No kids at home, aging bodies, understanding work schedule, and nothing more important than finding time together. I know too soon what season looms ahead...and I want to cherish this season, since all the others sped by too quickly.
I'm so grateful for God's steadfast love for us all this time. How He has held us near, heard our prayers, prompted us to move when He opened the door, prepares our hearts for what lies ahead. Thank You God for these 27 years with Mark. Thank you for memories of difficult seasons, and happy days. Thanks for the joy of babies born and the times you grew our faith as we prayed bedside for "everything to be ok". Thanks for the seasons we were joined at the hips, and the seasons You've used us alone. Thanks for teaching us the difference between loving, and being in love, and growing both of them on the foundation of Your love. Solid. True.
I know that it doesn't take fancy gifts, or elaborate vacations, or even a ton of time together to build a happy marriage. It takes a heart that can forgive, a willingness to be changed, and living the way God's called us to live - in devotion to Him first, and in commitment to each other in marriage.
I pray that we'll cling to Him in the next 27 years, and survive whatever hardships we need to to be able to celebrate another year in another way.
Oh, and for the record - we never really took a honeymoon, never made a big deal out of our anniversaries all those years...there were things that came up, life that needed to be lived and things that needed to be done for work and so they got done. This is the first time I can remember specifically setting time aside for us to take an anniversary trip, and I'm not completely sure that this is what it is - but more than likely it just happened to fall into place for us to call it that now. That's ok. If we stay home the next 27 years on our anniversary, I know it doesn't mean that Mark loves me less....our love isn't like that. :)