I’ll Grow Old with You

In light of this being our anniversary week, I hope you will forgive me for not posting something yesterday, and I hope you might indulge me today as I repost something I blogged a little while back for my sweetheart (as you will see by the “info” given). We celebrate 19 years this week, and I am more in love today than I’ve ever been! 😉 

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We sat in the empty house, the boys away for the evening. He sat at the computer playing chess. I sat in a chair opposite him, reading on my Kindle. He said, “Ya know, this is what old people do. This (silence) is what it sounds like to get old. … What are we gonna do when little bit goes off to college?” I said to him, “Cry…..Cry a lot.”
This started me thinking…

We’ve been together for over 22 years now…8,079 days of my life.

We’ve been married for 18 1/2 of those…over half of my lifetime.

We’ve lived in 2 states and, together, visited 10.

We’ve worked at 5 churches and gone to 2 colleges.

We have 2 sons, numerous “spiritual kids” and no daughters or grandkids.

We are both Southern born and bred, in 2 (technically 3) different states,

and we’re both very proud of it!

I love you more today than that first day I met you,

and even more than the day I said, “I do.”

Yet, I love you less today than I will love you tomorrow or even this time next year.

In a world where the rings come off too quickly, and the marriage vows become negotiable, I have decided our love is here to stay, and even if you wanted, you couldn’t get rid of me without a fight.

This love we have was birthed in wonder and refined in distance and time. All those years we said, “hello” each day, but only held hands once a week, deepened our commitments rather than making them shallow. This love we share has stood the test of time, and even though, I know that test will be retaken again and again during this lifetime, I believe we will remain true. For I don’t belong to you, and you don’t belong to me. We belong to the One who holds this thing together. He is the only One who will see us through.

So, I gladly look to tomorrow and cherish our yesterdays. I hold onto the present and love like it’s only the beginning. I treasure our times together and laugh at our silly mishaps. I glance over your failings and pray you’ll do the same as we reach together, hand over hand, to move beyond what could destroy and stretch our hearts toward the One who would restructure what could have been lost.

Love is not a feeling. It cannot be bought or borrowed or even stolen. Love is a choice that we each choose to uphold and to protect. Love is a choice that we can choose to embrace when we look past our own selfish ways and desires. Love must be cultivated, cherished and cared for. Love must be allowed to bloom.

Blooms do not happen instantaneously. Growth does not happen overnight. Love takes years of tenacity in trials, forgiveness of flaws, blindness to annoyances, perseverance with the little things that really matter. Love doesn’t fail when it is the love from the One who created love. Love lasts forever when it is the love of the Father.

So, today, I say, ‘YES.’

Yes, I will choose to love. Yes, I will choose to forgive.

Yes, I will choose to laugh. Yes, I will choose to cherish.

Yes, I will choose to live. Yes, I will choose to treasure.

Yes, I will choose embrace. Yes, I will choose to uphold.

Yes, I will choose to cultivate, nurture and protect this love.

Yes, I will choose you for life, for love, for laughter.

…Yes… I’ll grow old with you.

 

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Growing Old Gracefully

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I took this picture today after I had caught a reflection of myself in the mirror smiling. Earlier in the day, I had been at a wedding and ran into an old friend. We were sitting on opposite sides of the room during the ceremony, and she told me later that, when she first saw me, she hadn’t recognized who I was until I smiled. I’m not sure I’ve ever considered my smile unique; yet, after my friend said that, I started thinking…
They say it takes less muscles to smile than it does to frown; so, I enjoy smiling, sometimes, just for the sake of smiling. I smile at my love, our boys, other kiddos, babies, adults, the elderly and even animals. It only takes a second, and it’s like sharing a moment with a stranger without delving too deep. I like it when I smile as I’m introducing myself to someone, and I see the instant change that happens in the other person. That instantaneous change from fear to confidence, from intimidation to acceptance, from apprehension to warmth and welcome.
I love what an authentic, energetic smile can do for someone’s day. It can cause a baby to start cooing and tweens and teens to start laughing hysterically. (Watch it! That can be contagious!) It can make an elderly person feel loved and valued, and it can make a parent feel capable of surviving that never ending day when nothing seems to be going right! Smiles change the face upon which they are worn, and smiles can transform another person’s day! They can change the whole atmosphere of a room, and they can alter attitudes and predispositions. Smiles can change things.
That’s when I decided to smile deliberately for the rest of my days. I want to grow old gracefully; I don’t want to become an old woman shriveled up like a “prune” (metaphorically speaking), clinging to all of the bitterness of life rather than embracing the good. I want to be full of life and vigor up to my dying day. I want to grasp hold of all that is full of delight, peace and joy. I want to be like the 80+ year old ladies in our church who still have laughter in their being, who can give bear hugs that can break a rib and who always has a funny story to share about her week. I want to be one of those ladies who have such beauty within that it just seems to smooth away all the wrinkles without. I want to be full of laughter, joy, peace and love. I want to be like that until my last breath. I want to be remembered as one who captured the greatest moments in life and who seemed to forget the hardships and pain…or at least who learned from these and moved far beyond them!
I believe it’s all a matter of perspective. Life is hard. It is what it is, but we each have a choice to grasp the bitter or embrace the best. I choose to count my blessings, no matter how big or small they may be. I choose to be that little lady who, in spite of pain, turmoil and strife, sees the grace her faith provides. I choose to see, in the midst of the storm, the sunbeams peeking through the clouds. I choose to learn from the hard and live in the grace. I choose to live life deliberately, love deeply, laugh spontaneously.
I want to grow old gracefully. Lord, let it be true in my life.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come…Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:25, 30

 

Changes

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So many things take place in one small life

So many changes, so many dreams

So many achievements, so many failures

So many memories, so many cherished things

Events happen which seemed nearly impossible

Events fail to appear which were dreamt endlessly upon

Events take on a whole new meaning

And your eyes are opened like the early morning dawn

Things change; feelings alter, and people transform, too

Nothing can forever stay the same

Smiles turn to tears, happiness to sorrow

And friendships turn to anger and the game of blame

Love turns to hate and witnessing to silence

Sharing turns to gossip and truth into lies

We need to find our change in Jesus

It is only for us and our sins that He did die

He will never change

Penned – MG – 7/30/02

If These Walls Could Talk

If these walls could talk, what would they say? Would they groan over the hardships they’ve seen? Would they sway under the weight of change? Would they laugh at old antics and past traditions? Would they smile at the new lives and refurbished dreams?

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Would they share a solid faith? Or would they cry over faltered testimonies? Would they weep from years of lost souls? Would they impart wisdom beyond measure or reprimand our crooked ways?

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If these walls could talk, what would the tell us? Can you hear them? Are you listening? I think I hear a whisper on the wind…