>I do. Again and again and again….

>Twenty-four times. 
We are celebrating our wedding for the twenty-fourth time.
Can you believe it?

Don’t laugh, we were like, 12, and it was the 80’s.  ’nuff said.

Well, I can. 
Though, as with any couple I suppose there were those years or eras where I wouldn’t have.
Believed it could be at twenty-four, I mean.  
Twenty-four years speaks to a life together. 
By which I mean, it speaks to so much more than a year or a few, more than a decade and more than a really big event and terrific party.
Twenty-four is, really, a lifetime.
Hopefully it is a but a beginning of a lifetime and we have many many more years to be together, but even so, it has been a lifetime.
I mean, it’s so much much more than counting. 
We have grown up together.  Really.
We are completely different people now than we were then.
And the really happy news is that we like each other better than ever, really LIKE each other instead of only put up with each other out of inertia.

But I don’t think you can really get to that point, and still be happy, if you are just going through the motions and just taking the path of least resistance: inertia. 

I think it’s SOOOO easy to fall into that pattern. 
But, rather than that, I think that you have to be intentional about marriage. 
Or else, sooner rather than later, it’s dead in the water.
Empty.
If you’re not intentional about marriage, that relationship that is snoring next to you or tapping their toes against the table, right there….then the “it” between you two is just empty, a shell. 
And that is just too hard.
We’ve been through our tough eras – phases where we were changing and it was so hard (because change is so hard) that it was only an extra-ordinary vow, actually said out loud long years after the wedding vows – of “Not now, this time is extraordinary, not real time, no big decisions now. period” that got us through it.  That and surely a heaping dumping truckload of Grace that we waded in,  unaware. 

Now, here we are. 

Twenty-four years of saying “I do” instead of “I don’t” or “I won’t.”
Not always easy that.
“I do” is a tough one to choke out sometimes; it can be a sort of sacrifice almost.
But not always, sometimes it’s just a gift given and taken as well. 
Twenty-four.
And we are different.
Not only older, grayer, saggier, more tired, but we are funnier, wiser, creakier, more comfortable, more forgiving, sometimes irritable, sometimes moody, sometimes quieter, more able to laugh at ourselves and each other, less serious and more.
But we are braver.  We are more determined.  We are more each other than we ever knew we could or would be. 
We have lived with each other longer than anyone else. 
Think about that…weird and yet, not. 
We are not only invested, we are part and parcel of each other at the same time that we each are more individually us than we began. 

Odd that, as we grow more together we grow even more into our own unique selves. 
Maybe that’s just how it’s supposed to work.

Even so.

I wouldn’t change a thing.
I do.
Twenty-four times over and over and over again. 

Happy Anniversary my Tom. 
I love you so. 

13 thoughts on “>I do. Again and again and again….

  1. >I have not yet been married three years. I will write out your words about "I do" and not "I won't", next to your wisdom of "no big decisions now" to add to the sea of grace on which our tiny, sometimes leaky boat sails.

  2. >Could you look any happier in your wedding photos? I think not.Congratulations to you and Tom, for this milestone, and for the many small, quiet graces that have helped you reach this point. May the blessings of the Lord surround you.

  3. >This is so beautiful, M. You do speak your heart. Marriage is a paradox, right? The more you grow together the more you grow into your unique self. I love that.

  4. >Wow, 24 years! Amazing. No small feat to maintain a good marriage through happy times and bad, through change and trials. Here's to 24 more years!

  5. >Love it!We will be celebrating our 29th this summer. So hard to believe. We both come from families with many, many divorces. We've been married longer than any of our relatives from both our generation and our parents' generation (parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles … all divorced). Only 1 set of my grandparents were married longer (and, I believe, one of my husband's 1/2 uncles is still married to his first wife).Congrats!:) 🙂 🙂

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