Tuesday, November 24, 2009

18 Years of being Married, and I'm still learning!

It's been over two months since my last post and I wonder what all I've done. I haven't given up being 'online' but I think I can say that Facebook has taken precedence over my blogging hobby. I hate that because what I love about blogging is what I get to glean from other people - their thoughts, suggestions and life experiences. I hate that I've been slacking....because truly, God has given me some really cool experiences lately that I could have shared with others as well. But...today, while I am at home (on my second pot of coffee) I thought it would be a great start or re-entry if you will to my own blog!

Sunday, November 22 I celebrated my 18th wedding anniversary. Amazing how the years fly by. We were both really busy over the weekend so planning a celebration was not in the forefront of either of our minds. I had been with 50 teenage girls over the weekend and Kevin was busy helping me and taking care of things at home. So,when I got home Sunday evening, our oldest already had friends over and had started a bonfire in the back and the other two boys were busy as well. Not the romantic night anyone would plan for their anniversary - but not too late in the evening,we were lucky enough to find that the teenagers had abandoned their bonfire and gone to a movie! Score! We found a place to have some quite time. I found two wine glasses and my favorite white wine and soon, the two of us were having romantic conversation and enjoying a beautiful fire. We enjoyed that for maybe 30 minutes before our youngest very excitedly came out asking so nicely "may I join you two". No kidding...that is what he said. Of course we said yes. And we enjoyed our time with him around that fire. We laughed, roasted marshmallows and enjoyed being together. And after he left about an hour later, we were left with smiles and laughter as we both had this amazingly blessed feeling. We looked at each other and shared our thoughts on how happy our life is. It is not perfect by any means. We get frustrated, hurried, mad, overwhelmed, stressed, angry (yes we fight) and sad.....but at the end of the day we are there to help each other through all of those feelings. We also get to share the craziness our boys bring to our lives, bonfires with friends and being active in our church family and other groups like teenage retreats with lots of girls or boys. I can't imagine my life without this man.

Some days all we can find is 30 minutes around a second hand campfire. I know that is not enough - and believe me, we would both love to find more time. I hear people speak often of having a date night no matter what.....and I wonder how in the world do they do that - when Kevin and I can't seem to make that work with 2 busy teens and 1 busy 5th grader in the house. Our volunteer schedule seems to always be packed too. And I'm not complaining, because we love our lives...and our schedules. But we do crave more time with just each other. So, we take the 30 minutes here and there and we try and take time daily....weekly to make calls and send texts to express how much we love each other. And how we love this life we share together. I love that my husband is the only one who can truly share my joy and sadness where my family is concerns. He can laugh at the same things I find incredibly funny about my boys...and the crazy chaos we share inside the Johnson home. He gets it. He gets me and the fact that even though he bought me a front loading washer and dryer last year to help me with my laundry...I still wait until its piled up and nobody has underwear to wear. That is just one of the many things that sweet man deals with. I won't go into the rest!

I've shared before how my husband is an amazing gift giver. Well, this year - he did not disappoint. I came home to find a beautiful conch shell sitting on my dresser. This may seem small to many of you....but it was OVERWHELMING to me. You see, we took an amazing vacation this summer to St. Marteen and my husband went snorkeling and found 5 or 6 beautiful conch shells. I fell in love with one of them and while trying to take it home with me, it was confiscated by the airport authorities of St. Marteen. I was devastated. Our family who flew out a week after we did, learned from our mistake and packed the shells in their suitcases and were able to bring them home. For our anniversary, Kevin had them send one of the shells back to us and surprised me with it. I just cried. The shell they sent was from one of our favorite days there. Kevin knew this. I could not think of a more special gift to receive from my sweet husband.
Is this shell not amazing????(Thank you Steve and Nancy for sharing!!!)

Marriage is an awesome expression of love. I love what 1 Corinthians 13 says about love. The entire 13th chapter is wonderful. I hope to love my husband in this way....and my friends as well. Sometimes, I'm sad to say its harder to love my husband than my friends. I seem to take out my stresses on him daily because he is always there. He should be the one I give my best to at all times, but isn't that the way we are at times. Offering others the very best and the ones closest to us, and know us best are getting the leftovers. My aim is that I offer my amazing husband the type of love that is found in 1 Corinthians 13. This version is from The Message. I love how it reads;

1 Corinthians 13
The Way of Love
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

How amazing would it be to consistently love someone like that passage explains. I am thankful for the last 18 years being married to Kevin. I look forward to walking through many more situations with him...laughing,praying,running,crying and anticipating.