A Happy Anniversary – Reflection

My beautiful wife and I just celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary yesterday. It was a very simple but great day. Started off by just hanging out around the house before we headed out to get our Christmas Tree. Once home, we got it set up and did a little shopping. Thursday affernoon we will do all the decorating and be set for Christmas.

I then put a second coat of paint on our front door so it’s looking all spiffy now. Then I relaxed by playing Battlefield V while Lisa was busy with on-line Christmas shopping. Finally, we got dressed and headed out to dinner at a place called Altobelis. Not only do they have incredible Italian food but offer live music each and every night. The atmosphere, dinner and music made for a perfect night.

Typically for us we like to travel on our anniversary so it’s very unlikely that we will ever celebrate in the same place in consecutive years. Our favorite place to celebrate is Nashville, TN. But we have celebrated on Marco Island, FL., Lake Wedowee, AL., Chicago, IL., Lake Lanier, GA., Highlands, NC., Oak Island, NC. and several times in Palm Harbor, FL.

Our journey together has been nothing short of incredible. God has given us countless blessings over the year and enabled our marriage to sustain no matter the circumstances. A huge part of these blessings have come through the relationships we have developed over the years with our family and friends!

As I was scrolling through Facebook reading through all of the congratulations, I was struck by the number of people who have enriched both of our lives through the years. Seeing the names of old high school friends immediately brought smiles to my face as I recalled all the great times and friendships I had in those early years.

Lisa and I married young as I was 22 and she was 19. As Lisa mentioned yesterday on her FB post, we had a lot of people that didn’t give us much of a chance to make it for the long haul. Luckily for us, God surrounded us in those early years with some amazing, loving people who supported us and quite simply, just loved us through some difficult times. I’m proud to say that several of those relationship have lasted through all of the years.

Two most notably are Glenn (Pete) and Sheila Carter along with Tommy and Bonnie McMillan. These four people have unconditionally loved and supported Lisa and I from day one! They each have modeled what a Christ-led marriage should look and feel like. Additionally, not only have they impacted Lisa and I but our children’s lives as well. Their legacies within our family will last for generations to come. We love you all.

As I think back on our time for a year in Jacksonville, FL and 6 or so years in Palm Harbor, FL. I think that is where Lisa and I learned to become one. Yes, we had the incredible support of our parents and siblings, but it was during this time that we truly grew in relying on God to be the leader of our family. For me personally, a great influence on my life during this time was a man named Dixie Glisson. He was the first “authentic” pastor I ever met. He taught me by being an example of what being a Christ follower truly looked like.

In 2003, we moved back to Georgia to the quaint little town of Sugar Hill. Literally from day one here, God blessed us in surrounding our family with a host of incredible couples and their families. Once again we were surrounded by people who simply just loved and supported us. It has been such a great privilege and honor to do life together with all of our friends here.

Over the last almost 20 years now we have been especially blessed to do life with those whom I affectionately call the “Usual Suspects”; Scott and Beth Willis, Kevin and Leigh Kotkiewicz, Steve Riley and Gay Yerman. Again, they have shown us unconditional love and support over the years! I simply can’t imagine what the last 17 years would have been like without you guys. We love you all!

Family. I’m not going to try and name everyone. I will say this, Lisa and I have always felt the love and support from all of our immediate and extended families. How blessed we have been to be a part of large families who have always shown us nothing but their love and support for us.

To Edwin A. and Charlotte Dorsey, not a day passes that I don’t think about you both. Your example of marriage has been my guide. Love you.

31 years of marriage. God has blessed us richly, far beyond anything we deserve but today, as we start the first day of the next 31, I want to thank all of you for walking along side of us thus far. It’s A Wonderful Life will always be my favorite movie. If for no other reason, it’s the one ending of a movie where I am reminded of just how rich I am! Love you all!!

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