Hey y’all… how’s your mama and ’em?
“Sometimes in the middle of an ordinary life love gives us a fairy tale.” Those were the words on the invitation to mine and Tommy’s vow renewal ceremony a couple of years ago, and they are just as true today as they were then. We aren’t anyone special. By the worlds standards, we don’t amount to much. Neither of us have degrees or titles. We don’t have a fancy house or fancy cars. But we have each other and four beautiful, wonderful children. For us, that is enough, and in our eyes, we’re the richest folks in the world.
When Tommy and I met, I was not interested in settling down. I was “state hopping” across the south in an effort to “find myself”. I had a cynical view of men and marriage and was not going to be tied down to someone who would ultimately cause me misery and grief. But Tommy was different than the other guys I’d dated. He treated me like a princess. More than that, he treated me like I mattered and was adored. I can never remember feeling more content, stable, or at peace than when I was with him. When I found him, I finally found myself.
Four months from the day we met, we eloped on my lunch break. That was twenty years ago today. In those twenty years, we have experienced “better and worse”, “richer and poorer”, and “sickness and health”. We have tested the bounds of the “worse, poorer, and sickness” on more occasions than I care to remember. In those twenty years, everything that has been thrown at us to break us apart, God has used to build us closer together. Through everything we’ve been, we’ve fallen more in love with one another.
My daughter’s boyfriend recently told her, “They are my goal,” meaning he hopes to have a relationship like we do when he’s at this point in his life. If he was trying to win brownie points with the parents, it worked; I cannot think of many better compliments. Tommy and I do not possess any great secrets that have blessed us with such great marital bliss. We simply follow Paul’s directions laid out in Ephesians 5:22, 25 that read, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (I know not everyone likes the word “submit”, but y’all, it’s easy to submit to a man that loves you the way Christ loved the church.)Tommy and I feel very blessed to have the relationship that we do. We both work to keep our love fresh and alive. On days that Tommy leaves for work before I wake up, I am greeted with a text message that reads, “Good morning, beautiful. I love you.” When he pulls up in the drive-way after work, I still run out to greet him and welcome him home. It is the giving and receiving that makes it work. Our favorite place to be is together and when we are together, we do the following: we hold hands (wherever we are); we play (sometimes as simple as thumb war); we talk (about everything and about nothing); we laugh A LOT (it’s the best medicine); we flirt (it’s our favorite method of torturing our children); we support each other’s ideas and interests (no matter how insane they may seem); we dream (we have so much planned for our future); we have each other’s back (he’s my number one and I’m his). To sum it up – we love. Love is not a feeling but an action. Love is putting someone else before yourself and choosing their good over your own.
So you see, it is true: “Sometimes in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.” I have now spent half of my life married to the man of my dreams, and I plan to spend the next half loving him and continuing to live “happily ever after each and every day”.
I love you, Tommy! Happy Anniversary!!
Have a blessed week y’all!