I took this picture on September 3, 2011, 7:00 am. We live in south central Florida and this is the scene as I stepped out our back door. I thanked God for the beautiful picture He had painted me this morning.
This scene set the stage for a day of reflections. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven….” Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV. I love the book of Ecclesiastes as I reflect on life and the past. But really, what is the purpose of life? For us, the answers are in the Bible and summarized nicely in Ecclesiastes, but more on this later.
So as I reflect, I am excited about a wonderful day planned, a nearly three-hour trip to see old friends! Another visit with our former Pastor, Terry Gentner and three of his five daughters, two son-in-laws and seven of their nine grandchildren! This family is very special to us and if you have read the early chapters, you may remember Pastor Terry performed our second marriage ceremony on August 19, 1989. His wife helped with our reception and his second to youngest daughter, Tabitha, was becoming one of our daughters best friends. So am I obsessed with our second wedding or even our marriage!
Let’s just say we should never take anything for granted! Our reconciliation was nothing short of a miracle and we now cherish our marriage and thank God every day for it.
So back to reflections, Tabitha and I had a special relationship for many years. She said I was like a second mom to her and she was definitely like my other daughter. She went everywhere with us and fit right in.
How exciting to hold Caleb, her
two month old baby! Why did I have to wait two months? Tabitha lives in New York and was at home with her parents for a week-long visit! Thus this special day!
I love babies, but especially newborns. And now to see Tabitha, not only a mom, but she is also a nurse, BSRN, in a NIC unit (Neonatal Intensive Care). Babies are so pure, so trusting and full of love. And now I see that between Tabitha and Caleb! She can’t love on him enough!
So visiting with the Gentners, we had to reflect back 22 years ago. The youngest daughter, Terri Marie was about 6 months old when we began attending Laurel Hill Bible Church. She is now happily married, in college and a beautiful Christian woman. She was unable to be with us, but we always have to talk about the first time we saw her. She was crawling under the table in a church classroom as her mom prepared for Vacation Bible School. It is funny how life gets imprinted in our minds!
So we reminisced a bit more about weddings in general. Tabitha and her husband gave each set of parents a beautiful book of pictures from their wedding. Bill finally was able to see and learn more about her wedding. Jessica was a bridesmaid so of course, I attended and left Bill in warm Florida. It was fun reliving the fun times we had while there.
The girls created a beautiful “shutterfly” book of Pastor Terry and Kathy’s wedding! What a beautiful bride and handsome young man! We also tried to remember the last time we were up in Ocala with them. Kathy remembered when we came to attend Terri Marie’s wedding (nearly 2 years ago), but then Bill remembered it was just about six months ago! Ah, the aging memory! This is why it is good to reflect.
Today, wanted to write about the seasons of life, but really, everything comes back to the miracle of our reconciliation, and marriages. Bill and I wrote our own wedding vows, but they are lost and now we can only recall a few words, which we took right out of the Bible: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 KJV. Interesting, part of today’s sermon even mentioned this fact and a silly movie we watched this weekend (Four Christmases) reinforced this as a fact!
So back to Ecclesiastes, the lessons I learned were that all of life is vanity, but there is one purpose, to serve and love our Lord and Savior. And this is in part why I am blogging. But why is my topic always on marriage? And why do I want to expose our intimacy to the world? Well, one friend recently read my last blog, “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” He is also a Christian and a believer, but he said he did not think he could let his ugly be out there! I think God wants us to hang our ugly out there to help prevent divorces! Divorce can be prevented or healed. But it may take a miracle and God is in the miracle business!
If you have not read my past blogs, and this is your first or second, I encourage you to go back and see why I am putting our ugly out there, for with the ugly is the good, the better and the BEST!
Chapter 1 We love the beach! How we came together and stay together!
Chapter 2 So why share about our marriage? Self explanatory!
Chapter 3 OK, we forgave each other, now what? Our most read blog and most important one. If you don’t read any other blog, this is the one!
Chapter 4 Love Life for EVERY Married Couple! My favorite one for it is in the chapter, God showed us how to restore our marriage and how to make it His BEST!
Chapter 5 Just what is love anyway? Did I say Chapter 4 was my favorite one? Now this is my favorite one! After we divorced, I asked myself, “Just what is love anyway?” And as a trained investigator and a broken-hearted woman, I found the answer and here it is!
Chapter 6 What destroys marriages – or at least destroyed ours? Self explanatory. And another favorite of mine!
Chapter 7 – RX for the BEST marriage Here is our secret to success! This RX gave us the tool we needed to overcome our bad habits that destroyed our first marriage!
Chapter 8 “Being married to you is like riding a bull!” What a day this one was! This was the second most popular post!
Chapter 9 The Good, the Bad, the Ugly Ewww, this was my least favorite and hardest to
write….but it needed to be written. This was the third most read blog.
Chapter 10 – Reflections! And here we are!
The Conclusion of the Matter
Ecclesiastes 12:9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.