Three decades ago! It doesn’t seem possible. On September 10, 1977 Sandy and I exchanged wedding vows at Marsh Lane Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. She was 19 and I was 21. September 10 we will celebrate our thirtieth anniversary! On Sunday, we will board the cruise ship Majesty, in Boston, and make way for Bermuda!
Many who know my wife would tell you that she looks like she is still in her thirties. Sandy is beautiful—inside and out. This, our thirtieth, has been a blessed and eventful year: Sandy finished a 4 year degree in 3 years, graduating Summa cum Laude from Columbus State University; she taught a semester of British Literature at Columbus High School; I resigned from Morningside; we are beginning a new adventure with our Savior at Christ Community Church; we are nearing the end of our first sabbatical.
God’s goodness and timing for the sabbatical takes our breath away. The first month our souls raced to catch up with our bodies, and when it did we had to go through the process of adjustment before the enjoyment. This last month has been a time of indescribable healing, peace, and recognition of the pleasure and sovereignty of God. Both of us are confident we have used this God given time the way He intended.
This is not our maiden voyage to Bermuda we were there for our twentieth anniversary. But this time every thing is so different as we prepare to leave -- we are so different. Peaks and valleys have only proven to give perspective, or burn away the dross. I am not sure you will fully understand what I mean, but Sandy and I see the weight and substance of God’s spiritual formation of the other. At our 30-year mark, all of life looks different.
Today we kayaked around the islands. Sandy glided with the current and paddled against it like she was born to water. Spotting an eagle in its perch, about 20 feet above the Penobscot, she quietly maneuvered until she was under it! After she watched it for a few seconds, it whooshed away on its 6-foot wingspan for the east bank. Around 5 this afternoon, I watched her pull in seven bass out by the big rock—one was over 3 pounds. This is the girl who grew up in Dallas, married a Maine boy, and followed him to Maine, BECAUSE she believed God was leading her and me--she still believes God is leading me and her -- a confidence many spouses never experience.
Friday morning, at 8:30, dad and I will cut down a big maple tree in his yard. Next summer it will be firewood for the cabin. Bailey is going to stay with my parents while we are in Bermuda, and my father wants to keep him permanently. My mother would disown me if I conceded. From mom and dad’s we will drive to Norton, Massachusetts and stay with our friends the Shannon’s for a couple of days. On Saturday we will rise early and drive to Boston and spend the day with Justin and Erika for the day.
Mark Twain said, “Everyone else can have heaven, I’ll take Bermuda.” Well, I wouldn’t make that trade, but for one week out of our life her on earth--it will seem like heaven!