Today is a happy day for me!
Today I am exploring the western side of Michigan along Lake Michigan. We have a hotel in the middle between Ludington and Traverse City Michigan. What a beautiful area! The lake, rivers, sand dunes, beaches, quaint shops and restaurants!
My heart rejoices because we are celebrating 35 years of marriage.
What a great love story we have.
Although Paul knew in his heart that I was the answer to his prayer, he still was nervous about asking me to marry them. We both had two children (Paul had four but the two oldest were already grown adults and on their own) – three of whom were teenagers. Blended families could be a difficult thing. I think he was also afraid of rejection as his first wife had walked away from their marriage after 20+ years.
So he had to build up his courage.
He took me on a picnic to Pere Marquette Park in Grafton Illinois. Several times that day he hinted at a more serious relationship, then before I could reply, he backed away.
A few weeks later he brought me a bouquet of flowers and took me to a nice restaurant. All evening I kept thinking he would now talk about a deeper commitment between us. But nothing happened. The next night he showed up again with another bouquet of flowers and again took me out to a nice restaurant. Again, I waited all through dinner for a more serious conversation – but nothing happened.
My thoughts were that this relationship was going nowhere fast.
But when we got to my apartment he asked if we could sit in the car and talk for awhile. What a surprise! He not only asked to take our relationship to a more serious level, he asked me to marry them.
During the 20 minutes or so this conversation took, our children who were inside my apartment kept turning the porch light on and off. Believe me you have not courted until you do with four kids watching your every move!
So we were married.
Since we both believed that God had brought us together – both as a couple and as a family, we wanted to emphasize that God would be the foundation of our new family right from the start.
After we said our vows, we had our children join us and we took communion together as a family.
Was it easy blending two families together? No! There were difficult moments. Paul and I each had different parenting styles. I had two girls, but I had no idea what to do with a son – and a teenage son at that.
But we stuck with each other and God made us a family.
From this blended family we now have twenty grandchildren (three who are deceased) and nine great grandchildren.
Looking back over these past 35 years, my heart rejoices in the blessings God has given Paul and I.
For those of you who follow my blog, you can be sure I will be posting lots of pictures when I get back home of this beautiful area.