This past weekend my husband and I attended a reunion with guys and their wives from his basketball playing days from 40 years ago.  People came from all over the country and we had the most amazing weekend catching up, listening to crazy stories, laughing until we cried as the guys were ripping and razzing each other, and sharing memories that had been tucked away in the memory banks for far too long.  We squeezed every moment and never wanted it to end.

Today my husband and I spent the day on Lake Minnetonka cruising in a pontoon with our kids, their spouses, and the grandkids in celebration of my daughter’s 24th birthday.  The music blasted, the sun was bright, the water was warm, and the food was plenty.  We willed the clock to slow down and the day passed too quickly.  At the end of the day my husband and I took the grandbabies home for a nap so the adult kids could head over to Maynards and grab a bite to eat outside by the lake so that they could squeeze in a little bit more fun.

And in between all of the fun my husband and I celebrated 35 years of marriage.  35 years…

After 35 years I love him even more than I did the day we stood at the altar as young kids.   Sometimes I almost feel embarrassed to say – I married the man of my dreams.  Many of my friends didn’t make it, or are unhappy.  I love my husband.  I love being married.  I just do.

Want to know our secret?  What did we do to achieve this?  Was it divine intervention? Was it something good that we did?  Was it just luck?  Was there something that we right?  

There was nothing that I did..I can tell you that for sure.  Well, actually, maybe there were a few things that I did right – I think.  I have tried to live up to the way that I loved him in in the first place.  Somehow I never wanted to let down those kids who looked each other in the eyes on July 19, 1980.  I wanted to keep our love alive the way that we promised each other we would.

Did I deserve him?  NO.  Unequivocally NO.  He was a catch.  I was just – average.  The only thing that set me apart from the rest is that I sought to follow Jesus…and he seemed to notice.

So what are our secrets?

#1 – Jesus is at the center of our marriage.  

After 35 years I can attest that Jesus is real – and that He has played a major role in our marriage.   When each spouse seeks to honor the Lord – the Lord blesses the marriage in a big way.

I have discovered that obedience is a critical part of faith and it also contributed to the success of our marriage . Obedience to the Lord has cost me in the secular world, but it has profited me in my personal life and in my marriage  We seek to follow Jesus and His Word.

After 35 years I can tell you that it is worth missing out on a few things in order to protect your family.   And it is worth following Jesus to find the best that life has to offer.  It is worth following Jesus even in those moments when you look odd to the rest of the world.  After 35 years of marriage I can tell you that there is no better way.

#2 – We talk.

We share our day – we share our feelings – we share our victories – we share our disappointments – we share our heartaches – we ask each other advice – we give each other advice – we talk for hours until we work out a conflict – we debate and argue until we come to a mutual agreement – we compliment each other – we encourage each other – we tell each other when we have seen the Lord show up – we dream together –  we pull each other up – we speak our minds – we are each other’s checks and balances – we spend lots of time with just the two of us – we share what we are learning about God’s word – we dig deeper – we work it out – neither of us is the dominant one – sometimes we turn off the tv in order to talk – we pray together – we go on dates to talk – we talk about how much and why we love each other – we reminisce about the past – we make plans for the future – we are best friends.

#3 – We squeeze the moments.

We seek to be happy and we try enjoy all of the moments we have been given.  We appreciate today – knowing that 35 years passes quickly and we can never go back and do it over again.  We cherish each other – our marriage – our kids – our days – and our Lord.  We try to NOT let a day be ruined.

Now I asked my husband what he thinks are the two secrets to our successful marriage.  And this is what he said…

#1 – He thinks that God intended for us to be together.

I like that.  This is divine intervention.

Each of us should marry the right person in the first place.  We should seek the person that God has prepared up for us – someone with character qualities that will last for a lifetime.  We should seek a spouse who seeks the Lord.

#2 – He thinks each of us wants the other person to be happy.

I like that too.

In a marriage – rather than whine and moan about what he/she isn’t doing for you…think about what you can do to make them happy.  And you know what guys really, really love?  They love wives who are just plain – happy.

This man of mine is the reason I blog.  It’s because of him that I think I know a few things.  It’s because of him that I think  that I know  how to be a good parent.  It’s because of him I think that I know about love…and about dating…and marriage.  It’s because of him that I feel sure about all of the things that I believe in.  It is because he believes in me.

Listen to me.  Please.  Listen to me.  I am 57 years old and inside of my heart I am still the 16 year old girl making her way through the cold, lonely, halls of high school.  I am still the girl in my 20’s  who is wondering who my prince charming will be and what my lot will be in life.  I am the 30 year old mom with little toddlers realizing that having little ones is not- all- that -I -heard- it -was- supposed -to -be.  I am the mom of the kids who the other moms were worried about their kids hanging around with.  I am the mom who thought she would die when her kids left her nest.  I am the woman who wants to live forever and never grow old.  I am the woman who is trying to work out her faith. Yes…I am just like you.

I am an ordinary girl with an extra-ordinary marriage.  It can be done.  Start with your daily time with the Lord.  Talk every day.  Squeeze the moments out of each day….let a few things go….have fun.  And make each other – happy.



“You can’t have a happy family, if you don’t have a happy marriage.”

– Jeremy Sisto

Until next time,