This weekend Julie and I briefly stepped out of the rat race to realize that we have been married for 17 years and have a child that will be in high school. It was a typical Saturday in May and we were all at a swim meet from 7:00 a.m. to 12:30, our daughter had gymastics from 12:00-4:00, and Julie and I hoped to catch a 4:40 movie and dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Racing to get everyone at their places we arrived at the movie at 4:50 thinking we just missed the previews to find that the movie was sold out. Thanks to the internet and Blackberry we came up plan “B” and raced to another theatre where we caught a 5:30 show and then dinner at one of our favorite places, Goode Company Seafood.
Reflecting on how fast 17 years have passed and the fact that our children are quickly growing up we talked about the things we most value in our lives. We live a very full, exciting, and sometimes challenging life. Julie and I are in agreement that God’s most valuable gift of life is the relationships we share. Our life is not about the things we collect, but the memories and moments that we share with those we love. In today’s world in a city the size of Houston Texas the relationships we enjoy are rare. God blessed us with grandparents that lived into their mid-90’s, lived nearby, and got to know and love our children. We have parents that live within a mile and we see many time a week. My sister, husband, and 3 children also live nearby and our combined 6 children all go to the same K-12 school where they see each other every day. We have a community of friends that we grew up with and find ourselves 30 year later cheering our kids who now play together as we did on baseball, basketball, and soccer teams.
Celebrating our anniversary was to celebrate the relationships that God has blessed us with and re-dedicating ourselves to treasure these relationships by intentionally creating memories and planning experiences to share life together. These do not have to be exotic vacations, but simple events. This past Friday night my son Ben and I went on a 30 minute expedition to discover the prey of 20 vultures flying over and gathering in the field. Today, my daughter Summer and I went in the woods to pick dew berries together. This week my oldest son Drew and I shopped for a coat and tie for his 8th grade dance. These are the moments that we will treasure and these are the experiences that build life’s greatest relationships. I am so thankful for my wife of 17 years, our children, our extended family, and the many co-workers and friends that God has blessed us with. My prayer is that you also will recognize that life is fleeting and it is the relationships that God gives us that are to be most treasured. Celebrate these special people and be intentional to make the most of the small moments and greater planned events together.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.”