Friday, January 20, 2012


"Renew: to make like new, restore to freshness, vigor or perfection. Regenerate, revive, repeat, rebuild, replenish"
The definition of the word "renew" and some of its synonyms paints a picture of fresh life and restoration. Still I don't know that any of those words truly capture what our family felt as we gathered for a special celebration. In honor of twenty-five years of marriage my husband and I renewed our wedding vows in a small church ceremony.

For our children, who stood as our renewal wedding party, there was no sense of "repeat". They weren't there twenty-five years ago. Yet for them it was an opportunity to hear Tom and I restate the commitments we made so long ago. Hopefully for them it was a restatement of what they have seen us walk out throughout their lives.

For our parents there was a new sense of awareness of the passage of time as they remembered, not only our wedding, but our childhoods. Perhaps there was also a recognition that Tom and I have reached a milestone that they themselves have experienced and a new pride in us and our accomplishment. They know how hard it is to keep the marriage commitment. They have done it themselves.

For Tom and I there was joy and excitement. Joy in the celebration of our past journey with its trials and triumphs and excitement for where that journey may take us in the future.

Above all those emotions there was a deep sense of gratitude to God. When we said our vows the first time we believed our commitment was not only to each other, but to Him. There were times when keeping that commitment proved difficult, yet we both were aware that we weren't in this alone and His grace was going to be enough to help us through.

"Like new"? "Restore to freshness"?I don't think so. We have worked hard to keep our relationship fresh. For us I think our vow renewal is a celebration of victory for the past and recommitment for the future. As we have told young people we know: Happily ever after is possible. It takes a lot of hard work and an abundant supply of grace!

Friday, January 13, 2012


At this time of year everyone is thinking new. January means a new year, reflection on the year that's past and hope for the year to come. I've probably shared one of my favorite quotes before, but it bears repeating. It's from "Anne of Green Gables": Every day is fresh, with no mistakes in it." I love that! I expect that's why most of us love the New Year.

But with every new venture there is also an element of discomfort. We don't know what to expect. We may have to learn something that stretches us. We may feel foolish as we make mistakes. We may face unexpected challenges. We may face unwanted circumstances out of our control.

As exciting as new is, it helps to keep in mind that new also brings the unfamiliar. Yet, the unfamiliar ALWAYS brings growth. As I share this with you from my new smartphone, I realize how even a new piece of inanimate technology can widen my world and cause me to extend my reach. You will probably hear from me more consistently since I can blog on the go.

I look forward to sharing more time with you as I continue to stretch and grow. Why don't you come along, dear one?