Grateful for: A Strong Marriage

May 6, 2006 4pm

May 6, 2006 4:00 PM at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church

There are so many wonderful people in my life and the one I am most grateful for is my husband, Anthony. He’s been such a pillar of support, love and encouragement for me through all of life’s challenges. When I am least expecting it, he opens his heart and does something so kind and wonderful it renders me speechless. (I know…a big feat for sure, huh?)

As we approach the holidays and life gets a little more hectic, I want to take time to make sure my husband really knows how much I love him. Right now, he’s still establishing himself at a new job and for the past several months he’s had the added hardship of not having any Sundays off to worship corporately with us. We just found out last night that he’ll be working swing shift on Christmas Eve, making it impossible for him to attend a Christmas Eve service – something our family truly values and treasures. My heart broke for him when I heard that. It will be another month or two before he can even have the possibility of a Sunday off from work. I can already see the effects that this change has had on him, and I have been praying mightily for him.

First day on the new job

First day on the new job!

Anthony is a wonderful man and we’ve made so many wonderful memories together. As I pray for his needs to be fulfilled and met, I also am reminded to thank God for both the easy and the hard times we’ve had. Recently I rediscovered our wedding announcement that we’d clipped from the local paper seven years ago when it was published.

wedding announcement

How fun! So many changes have occurred since then. We are the same people, yet so different now.

 I’m grateful for the heartbreak of military life. It was tough to see any value in it during the six years he was enlisted, but there was a lot of growth in me and in us as a couple! I am stronger, he is stronger, we understand each better and we have learned to set limits and place each other first, behind God.

We learned the value of our marriage by not

always being able to be close to one another.

He was deployed 6-9 months of every year for the entire 6 years he was enlisted. We were only married for three months when he shipped out to boot camp. The day he hopped on the plane to fly to boot camp in Chicago, IL was the day I miscarried our twins during my first of 16+ pregnancies (we have two children to hold, 14+ in heaven).

military life

Anthony and I on board the USS FORD (FFG 54) shortly after it returned home from a long deployment. Anthony served as an Engineman on this ship for the entire 6 year enlistment (6 years enlisted, 2 years inactive ready reserve), finally being honorably discharged as a Petty Officer second class in August 2012.

Military life felt like death, but any time at all with Anthony felt like LIFE! And it still does.

happy together!

Happy Together

I am so grateful for my husband who is my best friend, lover, biggest supporter and a wonderful father to our two beautiful daughters. And I am most grateful that through all the heartache, challenges and pain…our marriage has not only survived, but grown and thrived!

We are back!

How fun! Back in the church we were married in, this time with our two beautiful daughters in tow.

A BIG thank you to angels everywhere who prayed for us, watched our kids when I was falling apart during long deployments, and who held us in their thoughts, prayers, arms and homes. I know many times it wasn’t easy, but wow – has it made a HUGE difference in our lives!

THANK YOU! 

And so now I turn the focus back to you, dear readers – who in your life are you most thankful for? Who is the person who has stood by you through thick and thin? What can you do this holiday season to stay close to them and thank them for all they’ve done for you? How can we be praying for this wonderful person in your life? Leave your answers in the comments below.

hugs and love from,

Mandy

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