Anniversary 37 2018 (2)

Shawn and I celebrated Anniversary #37 this week, and our choice of festivity may surprise some readers. We ate a hearty breakfast (bacon and fresh eggs from our daughter’s chickens) then headed for the North Carolina Farmer’s Market. Any day becomes a celebration when one visits the Farmer’s Market, right? I am always amazed at the variety of colorful vegetables, luscious fruit, and of course, the hearty plants just waiting to be adopted and carted home.

Given the sparse customer base on a rainy morning we had a chance to talk with some of the folks who invest their lives feeding the rest of us. Shawn got advice from a seasoned farmer’s wife on preparing the sugar snap peas we purchased. We shared our expertise with a worker who sells plants but is just starting to garden for herself. In addition to the peas we purchased plump blueberries, new red potatoes ready for the pot, 2 pentas plants, a flat of marigolds, and a Mouse Ear Coreopsis “Nana”.

Anniversary 37 2018 (1)

We returned home ahead of a storm and raced like mad to get the plants in the ground. Cool rain drops invigorated our sweaty brows as we cleaned up and stowed the tools. The plants were thoroughly watered in by the subsequent showers. Now we wait to enjoy the benefits of the work, both ours and that of the workers at the greenhouse who tended the plants at the start.

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Gardening creates connections, a theme you will often read in my words. The strongest connection is between me and the Creator. I marvel at His genius and His whimsy as I survey the plant kingdom and discover His new wonders at every turn. That strong connection with God plays a major role in my connection to Shawn and stands as the reason we can celebrate thirty-seven years of growing closer and loving one another more deeply.

As our wedding day approached in May of 1981 Shawn and I adopted a life verse, one we review and remind ourselves of each anniversary. Take time to read the uplifting words of Psalm 127 and the one right after it, Psalm 128.

Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. Psalm 127:1 NASB

The verse reminds us that our best efforts at nurturing and building may fall flat unless we acknowledge God in our dealings. Whether that work surrounds our children, friends, neighbors, home projects, the gardens or the various ministries we’ve been blessed to serve, we’ve learned the importance of knowing and applying God’s Word to everyday life.

Does God’s Word really offer advice for marriage? Practical directions for making a relationship work? What about instruction for a husband on how to treat his lady as someone special no matter how many years have elapsed since the vows?  After thirty-seven years on the job, I can tell you the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

Men, if you struggle with the best ways to honor your lady in the long-term take a look at Quest for the Perfect Wife, and tap into the counsel of others who have walked the same path. The book was designed for busy men who prefer to avoid three-inch thick relationship manuals with all the syrupy touchy-feely stuff. The practical lessons in Quest for the Perfect Wife get to the point.  Ladies, Father’s Day is just around the corner and the book might be a gift your man would appreciate.

Shawn and I give thanks for the time we’ve had and pray for many more years together. We’ve much nurturing and building still ahead of us. And then there are the gardens…