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Today I am celebrating my  24th wedding anniversary! I have lived more years with Hubby than without him. It feels like a long time ago, and not so long ago.

A few years ago, I shared how my grandparents met and some memories of their wedding in 1948. I thought I had some of her memories about her honeymoon in the book she started to write for me, but she didn’t make it to the ’30s. Still, precious memories. I do remember that on their honeymoon, they spent a night in a little cabin and in the morning, woke to a cow peeking in the window. This was her nightgown, saved all these years, with tiny stitching, in a stiff, satiny fabric. The waist is ridiculously tiny!! 🙂

nanas nightie

I know their marriage wasn’t always “bliss” but they weathered the storms together and were still very much in love over 60 years later. I wish I could ask them for the secret of a long marriage, if one even exists.

I saved my own nightgown, which was special because my Mom made it for me, sewing at my Grandmother’s house so it would be a surprise!  It’s made of a semi-sheer fabric with wide lace, with a matching robe.

Jenns nightie

I entered marriage with dreams of a whole and happy family, the white picket fence, etc.  As anyone who has been in a serious relationship will understand that the honeymoon doesn’t last. I joke that the first 15 years of our marriage was the hardest 🙂

I planned to pack it next year when we celebrate our 25th. I had hoped to wear it and kiss my sweetheart under the Italian stars. Now I’m not sure we’ll even make it, but I will content to just be together.

There was a time when I feared we wouldn’t make it. I seriously considered separating at one point, but I would stay married. I sought counsel from a pastor who, though I didn’t know well, I knew I could trust.

After I spilled my heart, she asked me one question: “Do you still love him?. “Yes,” I whispered through my tears. She smiled and replied, “then there is hope”.

I can’t imagine anything simpler or more profound to encourage me that day. I began to pray with a renewed spirit, for my family and  husband, but most of all for me. I asked God to help me see my husband as God saw him. I prayed for love. I prayed for wisdom to be a good wife – to know how to communicate with him, to build him up, to show him I loved him in ways he’d understand. And I prayed for a new heart and attitude.

Little by little, we both changed. God is good!

He still makes me laugh and has taught me to laugh at myself. I still catch myself watching him sometimes, the way he chews his lip when he’s concentrating, the way his eyes twinkle just before he smiles. And I could go on. I am certainly not quite the same girl he married, but perhaps a better version of the one who captured his heart. I have learned to hope.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13