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Friday, July 14, 2017

Thirty-nine Years: Where Did They Go?

We were married in my home church on a steamy day in July. Mostly, the wedding went without a snag. I was a glowing bride. Not enjoying being the center of attention, my husband wanted the wedding to be over as soon as possible. We held the reception at my home, and before we knew it, we were driving away in our little red Volkswagen Beetle. My cousins and the groomsmen did a thorough job of rigging our little car with cans, pebbles in the hubcaps, and a few other interesting surprises. It was all in fun, and we drove down the highway, clanging and losing cans as we went. People stared and we were laughing. Our first stop was a car wash, and our second was Lloyd’s Steak House. After a hardy meal, we drove to our honeymoon spot, a rented cabin.

A few months later, our car’s engine blew a rod. We didn't have a car, and I still needed a job. (No one ever told me an art degree wasn’t practical without experience!) We bought another car for $200. It was worth even less than that.

Two years went by, and my husband was an ordained gospel minister and had earned his master’s degree in Bible. Both of us were working full-time and searching for God’s will. We were volunteers for the mission field. Our problem was that the world’s a big place, and we didn’t know where God wanted us.

Through open and closed doors, the Lord began to show us His way. It was incredible to watch even while it was happening. Soon, we were on deputation to work with veteran missionaries. The die was cast. It took us two years to raise support, and then we left for Spain, taking our deputation baby with us.

Near the JFK airport, the day we left for Spain
In 1984, Spain was much more primitive than it is now. The highways were only two lanes, and there were lots of potholes and trucks. The cars weren’t very comfortable, either. (That’s an understatement!) We jostled along in our co-workers’ Siata van and began the eight-hour trip to our new home. We’d lost two whole nights of sleep and said good-bye to our families, and we still had eight hours ahead of us! I’m surprised we made it through that day. We ended up in our co-workers’ bedroom, while they slept on their foldout couch.

In our thirty-nine-year marriage, we’ve lived in eight different homes, five of those in Spain. We’ve parented and homeschooled two delightful children. We've had the joy of seeing them married to wonderful spouses and having children of their own. We learned Spanish from zero, served in two churches on the field, and have remodeled two of the places we lived—while living in them. We’ve tent camped in fields in Europe (back in the days when you could legally do that), and our family  laughs about it. Oh, the memories!

at the Roman aqueduct, Segovia, Spain

My husband and I have learned a lot together, especially about yielding and kindness. We’ve found out that fighting isn’t worth it; it’s much more pleasant to live in peace. We enjoy being together and appreciate comfortable silences. Over the years, we’ve almost switched roles. A lot of times now, my husband is the funny one—and I’m the one that needs the levity. We understand each other so well that we finish each other’s sentences and translate the other’s thoughts (a bilingual issue). And now that we’re older, we try to take care of each other. It’s almost cute!

We love the same atmosphere—quiet, trees, beauty, and birdsong. There’s nothing like walking through towns with hundreds of years of history. We enjoy beautiful architecture and cobblestone streets, antique shops, and interesting people. We both also love smiling dogs.

It’s a funny thing to be married this long. You look back over a lifetime. In our case, we had a “life before Spain” and then most of our lives (coming up on thirty-three years) here. 

My husband has proved through the years to be kind, faithful, and a servant to all. He’s consistent and constantly growing and maturing. He’s wonderful! I am so privileged to go through life with him.

This is one of the Bible verses that was printed on our wedding invitations:

O magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together.
(Psalm 34:3)

This is still our goal as a married couple. With whatever time we have left, we want to magnify the Lord's name together.


  1. Happy, happy anniversary! I enjoyed reading your history together.

  2. Loved the beautiful pictures and backstory . . . Love you both! And . . . .Happy Anniversary! (I love smiling dogs, too!)

  3. What a wonderful testimony of your life together and a nice tribute to your honey. <3
    Happy Anniversary and many more.

  4. Muy muy feliz aniversario!!! Cómo os amamos!! Hemos vivido cerca vuestro en cachito de vuestra vida, hace años! Cuántos recuerdos!! Cuántas luchas tuvisteis también!! Un privilegio para los vascos, teneros. El Señor os bendiga muchísimo!!

    1. Muchas gracias, Hermana! Ha sido un privilegio pasar mucho tiempo contigo. Un gran abrazo.


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