June came and went in a flash. But in-between, God moved. In the lead up to June I’d been excited about the upcoming celebration of my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. When they met they were kids, literally. My dad was in the 8th grade and my mom was in the 6th. When they married they were hardly adults. And yet, 40 years later, they have a beautiful legacy of love.
Love is what highlights our lives. Love is what stops one day from rolling into the next without direction or meaning. Choosing love slows me down and helps me remember to live in the moment. Maybe I learned that from my parents.
Because of their choices I am part of a family who is founded in Christ’s firm love. And so we, meaning my entire family (Katie, Michael, and their crazy five kid crew made the trek as did my younger sister Emmy), celebrated them in the best way possible, up in the mountains. The mountains are love. They slow life down and help us know how much we are loved.
Being in the mountains gave us time to gather around a fire and laugh as we burned our marshmallows. It gave us time to have deep conversations about our struggles and triumphs as we built a 400 piece Peanuts puzzle only to realize at the end that the box only contained 397 pieces. The weekend was rainy but we made it outside for the hot tub and zip line. Spending Uncle time with my nieces and nephews was amazing!
I captured Emerson, the youngest, crawling for the first time. I told stories with Breck, in the story he was born a T-Rex but actually a Velociraptor. I played games and built puzzles with Addi and Linc. I even started a tickle fight with Treagan. Because my parents chose to love Christ and love each other day in and day out, I am blessed to be an uncle. But even more amazing is how my nieces and nephews choosing a life of love and freedom in Christ.
As June was rushing by, Linc, my oldest nephew, asked to be baptized. The morning of the big day he joined me in the living room as I spent time in prayer. He woke up early, came and sat on the couch, and asked me to help him start a Bible reading plan. I love that at eight he is making choices to live a life founded on love. His baptism was beautiful. I love Lincoln.
My parents’ love has given me the ability to love my wife. April and I are set to celebrate our second wedding anniversary on the 7th of July. We are off on an adventure to England, Ireland, Scotland, and Amsterdam. What an adventure! My prayer has been that this next month doesn’t flash by, but that God stops us, opens our eyes and our hearts so we can experience His love.
Love is not scientific and so I have no clear idea how my parents did it, but, I would bet it all came down to their choices. Years ago when my parents were younger my dad took Katie and me on a hike. I was a baby and my older sister was old enough to complain about how difficult the hike was. My parents hadn’t packed any food, nor brought any water. We were miserable. My dad, in all his wisdom, created this beautiful simile, ” Life is like a mountain. You just have to choose to get over it.” Katie stated the obvious, “I hate life.” Yet in love, there are times when it is difficult and you just have to choose to move through it. My parents’ love is not a difficult mountain, it is warm, open, and consistent, and it, like my favorite mountains, has stood the test of time. I am so proud that each day they choose to love even when it feels hard. What an adventure!
I am sure if you asked either of them, the 40 years came and went in a flash. But in-between, God moved.