I sent this message to my children this morning and decided to share it with you:
“Today would have been our 45th wedding anniversary had your father lived. We were actually married on a Thursday, the day BJU dismissed for Christmas vacation. While almost everyone was scurrying off campus and heading home, we were hurrying to be at Dr. Bob Jones, III’s office by 4 p.m. for our wedding. After the ceremony, there was a small reception held on campus in the home of Bill and Flora Fulton. The guests threw rice as we got in the rented Pontiac to start our honeymoon. The weather was gray and drizzly as we drove up through the watershed area to the Colonial Inn in Brevard. We spent Thursday and Friday nights in Brevard and returned home Saturday to set up our apartment before going back to work on Monday. We turned in the rental car and walked everywhere we needed to go. Bi-Lo was just across Pleasantburg Drive, so we were able to keep your dad supplied with pickles. It was many months before we had a car of our own.
The absolute best that came out of our union is you – our children. Each of you has been and continue to be worth every sacrifice and investment two very imperfect parents ever made. To see your heart for the Lord in your service to others is a joy and blessing beyond words.
Last year about this time, I even got to take the cruise your dad always wanted to take for our anniversary. But ever since November 18, 2009, he has been on the trip of eternity with Christ. Somehow I don’t think he misses never having taken that cruise down here. The Lord be praised! Love, mom”
Keneth and I were married on December 19, 1968. Choosing that date meant that almost every year thereafter our anniversary was celebrated at someone’s Christmas party. That was just fine, because those parties were usually nicer affairs than we could ever have afforded on our own. How gracious was our God to give us those blessings.
Many have commented that they enjoyed the stories from my childhood. The story did not stop there. God continued to shed his grace and mercy throughout my life in leading me to Bob Jones University, bringing my life partner, and sustaining us through some dark and challenging days. As God gives grace and utterance, we hope to share more of his goodness. There will be things hard to write, but we write in praise to the Lord for sustaining grace and overcoming power.
Since starting this blog, there have been times when I was tempted to stop. In the face of so many other bloggers and millions of words, I feel very intimidated. Just when I get to that point, someone will tell me what a blessing the posts are and I am encouraged to keep sharing. The goal in the beginning was a weekly post; but the reality is that a meaningful post is better than a weekly-for-the-sake-of-schedule post. It takes time for a thought to weave and develop before it can be shared effectively. My sincere thanks to loyal readers (both of them!) who have patiently endured the lapses.
At this Christmas season, I pray the true miracle of Christmas will be reborn in our hearts. Christ had to be born supernaturally for the expressed purpose of dying an inhumane human death for our sins. As we look at the beautifully decorated trees in our homes, may we visualize a naked tree cut and shaped into a cross onto which Christ’s body – an ornament as of a pearl of great price – was hung for our redemption. Truly, the Lord be praised!