happily ever after

In the Middle of an Ordinary Life

Hey y’all… how’s your mama and ’em?

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 1.42.42 PM“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.

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Our 2013 Vow Renewal

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.

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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!

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The Truth of Happily Ever After

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We’re taught from an early age that one day our knight will ride in on his white horse and then – and only then, life will be perfect.  Then and only then will we live happily ever after.  The dream of such a possibility is a delusion.

The world constantly tells us that  ‘happily ever after’ is only attainable when you marry the perfect spouse, drive the best car, have the most beautiful home, and the dream title at your dream job.

Happily Ever After is not a state of being.  It is an attitude.  It a choice of the heart that no matter what life throws your way, you are content.  It is living at peace with who you are, where you are, and with what you have.

Philippians 4:11-12 tells us,

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Our happiness should never be dependent on another person or set of circumstances.  True happiness is found only through a relationship with Jesus.  Jesus told us in John 14:27,

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

When the peace of God dwells in your heart, happiness abounds there as well.

One day the Prince of Heaven and Earth will return on a white horse to rescue all of those who call on His name.  He will set us free  from the chains of sin and death.  At that time eternity will become our happily ever after.  And that’s better than any fairytale ever told.