+[fifteen]+

Tomorrow is our 15 year anniversary.

This past week I asked Doug if I had permission to begin calling him Noah as a nickname.  He squinted sideways at me as he drove.  I explained that just as every nail and board that Noah picked up and drove in was a testimony of his Beliefs and Commitment, so too is Dougs life.  But also, just as Noah, Doug is as slow as the day is long!  It took Noah 130 years to build that ark!  Really?  130 years?  Come on...get the lead out, I think. 


But in the end, what really mattered, was that God wasnt as concerned with Noahs schedule as He was with his heart.    There was already a Sovereign timeframe in place.  There is much for me to learn from that, be reminded of in that...so I now call him Noah, to remind myself.

Doug and I have many a scratched patch under the table of our marriage.  We do things very differently but mostly for very heartfelt reasons - he slowly, I quickly.  We have not learned fully to dance well together; we still step on each others toes every single day.  Every day.  We miss each other a lot in our trying to stand and serve one another and we sometimes even kick each other in process.  Yes, our floor is well worn.

As I sat alone yesterday and contemplated where we are in this season of our lives together I found myself staring at this spot on the floor.  Its nothing special, just a place under a table at a French bakery where I now hide from the world.  The two chairs (Doug and I), the scratched floor that somehow has more character and interest to me from the well worn spots (our marriage) and the absence of people sitting there all drew me in. 

My prayer for our marriage in this next year is that there will be less and less of us to be seen - like the empty chairs in this picture.  But more and more of God.  And that these worn places will not be seen as something to detract from the value of our relationship, but rather to be an inviting testimony to others - to symbolize a realness, a depth and a lack of unneeded glossing or covering. 

We do not have it all together.  In fact some days, many days, it is only God who holds us together.  And yet, I wonder if that is not the very place where His glory will shine most fully.   Our story continues, it is not over - for that I am thankful.  We could have both gotten up from this table many times and walked.  And though we may have pushed our chairs back or shuffled our feet, we have stayed.  And somehow in that staying there is less and less of us still sitting there.  May that continue.