Monday, December 28, 2015

Celebrating 19 Years of Marriage on the Feast of the Holy Innocents ~ AND ~ A "Purposeful" Year
 nineteen years ago today!
And really, we're starting not to look like these people any more.......
No, really. The you-haven't-changed-a-bit?
Thanks, but there's  middle aged, different looking  staring back 
from the mirror's reflection. You're too kind though. Ha.

You can't hit the  nineteen year mark without lows amid the highs...
Yeah we've had those.
Plenty of 'em. 
And thank God that we took our vows as a sacrament, because, well, 
mercy, patience, partnership and never-giving-up.
This verse, read at our wedding mass, has
come to life for us countless times.
When choosing readings, I felt it a bit overdone, overused,
one of those everyone seems to have at their masses too...
especially as we tied the knot in the midst of a three year span of time where
seemingly all our friends were as well.
It was wedding mass after wedding mass and 1 Corinthians 13 seemed to get,
well, I hate to say it, but.....old.
Thankfully my husband, whose opinion I overruled with most wedding decisions,
either due to his indifference on "trivial" matters (his words)
or my insistence that hey-I've-been-planning-my-
wedding-since-I-was-eight-and-this-is-not-how-it-goes-hon....stuck to his guns
and vetoed my tossing aside St Paul's beloved epistle, saying,
You can't get better marriage advice than that...what more are you looking for?

Since then,  many of those couples whose weddings we attending in that span of time
 in a church-reception hall-baptism of first baby whirlwind have, sadly,
divorced... but I know it is due in large part to
the words spoken at our mass within the readings
the fact that we were married within our Catholic  faith
that has kept us, from not throwing in the towel.
That, and the fact, that we do actually still like each other.
The essence of being 
patient, kind, not envious, proud, or boastful, as 
St Paul explained the meaning of "love" allllll those years ago....?
Smart man, that St Paul.
My husband too.

Did I mention that I temporarily lost my sanity  during wedding planning
and insisted we elope to Vegas
to  be married by an Elvis impersonator?
Yeah, that didn't fly with my husband either and so we stuck with the
church wedding.

Thank God.


Now, I loathe to admit this.... that  day nineteen years ago,
when we planned e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, every last detail down to the 
shade of ribbon chosen for the pew bows and the youthful
snapshots of each of us growing up as an intro to our wedding video....?
 We overlooked  a very important detail.....
perhaps the most important one.......
that we chose to be married, three days after the birth of our Lord,
the day  that we in the Catholic faith
honor the defenseless babes mercilessly and cruelly slaughtered by decree of Herod.
We call this day the Feast of the Holy Innocents.
The best...THE absolute  best reflection on this day is written by my friend,
Sue of Out of My  Catholic must must must 
click over and give it a read. Sue puts a   unique 
"spin" on the Holy Innocents that
I've never envisioned, in part, due 
to a reenactment at church in which her kids were involved.....

Oh, I casually recognized Herod's savagery in the Gospel readings;
I absolutely did.
But did I truly ever  feel the depth of compassion and remorse and,
well, anger...that I should have, that we all should have?
These were words that I read or listened to.
These were actions of a small - minded, threatened ruler two thousand years ago.
 I'm ashamed to say...........
they were just words.
Not until three years later, when I lost my own first...through
the nightmare of miscarriage, did the horror of those sweet babies' mass killings 
 genuinely become clear to me...... along with another horror......: 
My own apathy. And  indifference.  And insensitivity.
Happens easily doesn't it?
We need to work at it...becoming less self involved, more resolute, don't we?
Well, I do.
How  easy to get caught up in the day to day and become focused on self.
Or the unimportant.
I like to think that in nineteen years, given the ups, downs, smiles, tears,
losses, triumphs and general maturity and of course forced selflessness 
that comes with motherhood
.....that I've gotten better at being more 
focused, more determined about the important.
which is my "word" for the year.
not a resolution, but a word, which summarizes the direction I'd
most like to take...the way I'd most like to  think, act, live.
In so many arenas.
As the kids get older, recognizing that moments together are
 fleeting and while me-time is essential to a degree.......
there is a finite number of days that remain together.

.So while time spent blogging may seem attractive ( and emotionally beneficial!)
and running errands, cleaning,
or lesson planning are all necessary ( ! ) ,
purposeful minutes, hours, days spent.........
 in our homeschool,
or in joint endeavors as a family, 
or, even chauffeuring the boys to events,
playing board games, watching movies, raking leaves, washing windows....
anything together..... and purposeful.....
is time that is better.
Better spent. Better used. 
 Better time.

Every year, my friend Lisa,
of Home to 4 Kiddos, shares her word for the year.
I love reading her insight as well as that of the bloggers who join in.
This year, I'm finally linking up as well.
Please come on over and  visit Lisa at her One Word hop....
 be inspired and maybe share your word for 2016 as well!

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Until next time,



  1. Happy Anniversary Chris! Love your beautiful wedding photo! We had 1st Cor. 13 read at our wedding too :) And when my husband and I dated I gave him a personal license plate that we still have on our van..."1STCOR13" :) I read your friend's Holy Innocent post..WOW! Very touching! Happy new year!

    1. I know, Sue's Holy Innocents post is remarkable, isn't it?

      Tracy thanks for your lovely words! What a great license plate!! Perfect!!

  2. Chris,

    Congratulations on 19 years of marriage! I had to smile about your fleeting plan to be married by an Elvis impersonator. Oh yes, you had to have a church wedding! Andy and I weren't married in the Church at first. Later, when I converted, we had a sacramental marriage. We'd never have got through the difficulties of our many years of marriage without God. You are so right. We all need the graces and wisdom of the church.

    I will never forget your anniversary now I know it falls on the Feast of the Holy Innocents. You are very kind to link to my blog post. I learnt so much the day of the Epiphany play. Yes, like you, I never really appreciated Herod's savagery, the absolute horror of the situation, the grief of the mothers and the babies, until I saw the situation in a very personal way. Then it all touched me deeply. Perhaps we all need to be touched personally in some way in order to deepen our understanding of different events. Thank you so much for reading my post.

    May you and your husband have many more years together, loving each other and growing together. Happy Anniversary!

    1. Sue, lovely words.
      Thank you SO much for your insight.

      Your wisdom is the best way to perceive the brutality of the Holy Innocents....

      Thanks for visiting.!

  3. Happy anniversary! I just chose my word of the year today, it was a more difficult process than usual this year, but I'm happy with it!

  4. Happy Anniversary Chris, you have been married the same amount of years as me,lol. I hope you had a lovely anniversary together :) Thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop, Happy New Year..

  5. Congratulations on 19 years! Purposeful is such a powerful word to embrace :)


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