We've had some delightful distractions going on here at the Troops. Fun projects that have occupied our time and thoughts - and we've enjoyed it tremendously. I'll post pictures soon.
Cleaning out cabinets to make room for new bookshelves in the "library" (so fun!) we came across our wedding video. VHS none the less. The kids insisted they hadn't seen it - forgetting that I used to make them watch it every December 17th, when the bigs were toddlers. I couldn't resist turning it on and watching it with them. I'm not sure how it's been almost 23 years. But it has. Son #1 will soon be 22. Maybe this is why I'm so tired. Well, ONE reason, anyway.
I had several thoughts while watching it. One... I'm STILL a little bitter that the videographers just put a shot on the candles during the prelude music - I would so love to have video of the PEOPLE coming in, forheavenssake. It's probably time for me to get over that.
Two... we were so young. And well-rested. When that camera zoomed in as the Coach put the ring on my hand... they didn't look like my hands at all. No spots or wrinkles! The funniest part may have been when Son (#4) said, "You got a french manicure?" Ok. So he knows more about nails than I would have thought. That's weird.
The kids (as usual) made fun of the Coach and I. Our smiles, the way we look so awkward and nervous - like we didn't know each other - which we didn't. So wonderful to see our grandparents - all five that were living when we married have passed away. The kids couldn't believe all of the uncles - and how young they were. Especially their aunt (who was 10) and uncle (who was 17) - who were in our wedding. Babies who now have full houses of their own babies. And our parents who were truly SO young, still.
The Coach has always been the right one. I knew it the first time we sat on the porch and talked and prayed together. He balances me and calms me and completes me in ways I never knew I needed. He loves me unconditionally - through weight gains (currently) and weight losses (soon, I hope!), through pregnancy and post-partum (so many times), through parenting babies, toddlers, middle schoolers, pre-teens (not my favorite, I'll be honest). Through watching our kids graduate from high school (Three of them now, how is that possible??) and leave for college. Always faithful, always loving me, even when I (often) don't deserve it.
But if I ever HAD doubted how thankful I am for the Coach and his steadfastness? The last 8 months have made it quite clear. God knew what He was doing when He led the Coach to pursue me almost 24 years ago. And the Coach, in his typical steady, consistent way... was so faithful to follow.
The hard things are what shape us. I wish that weren't true. I wish we could become more dependent on the Lord, more loving to each other, and more thankful for the countless gifts God gives us - without the hard. How I wish.
But I'm so thankful that IN the hard, God shows us his faithfulness in new and deeper ways. One of them being that He blessed me with the perfect match in the Coach. Even though we couldn't have imagined what the next 23 years would hold.
I'd say yes to him again in a heartbeat. I'd say yes to the 8 babies in 11 years, too. I'd choose the Coach through all of it, every day, every trial, every sleepless night, all of the tears, and all of the laughter, too.
And today? So. Very. Thankful. For all of them. God is so good to give us what we need, before we know we need it.
Such a good reminder to me in the NOW. The uncertainty, the waiting, the concerns. God knows. He's already been there and He's making a way. Even now. We can trust Him. His faithfulness to us will continue and we can trust Him. I'm so thankful.