25 years ago today i got married.  we, got married. to each other.  i was 19.  my husband, Brian, was 25.  and even though we knew we'd be together forever, this massive, miraculous milestone, our SILVER wedding anniversary, still comes as a sort of surprise.  i will be crying my way through our wedding video this evening.  to relive those moments of commitment and promise and hear our own voices reiterate the vows will be a beautiful reminder of the passion and depth of young love.

and it's good because now we kind of have not-so-young love. it's not old love, yet, but a stronger, wiser, better love.  because it's been tarnished. and roughed up.  those vows we said 25 years ago today, those have been tested.  there have been days when we've pushed and shoved each other up against their walls.  and they've held. they've proven to be strong. not because the vows themselves were so tough but because the promises we made were uttered before God... and though we couldn't have known what 5, 10, 15 years worth of life and love would bring... we meant them. we meant them no matter what.  and the gravity of God's grace has maintained it's pull on us,  even on days when there seems to be so much tension it feels like the last little sliver of heart string might snap. here we are. happily.

we are having a family dinner celebration tonight.  my daughter and her boyfriend are cooking all the food (and presumably doing all the dishes) but i couldn't help get my hands in the mix and at least set the table.  i'm bringing out the china. THE china!  i love our china! we received it for our wedding and so, obviously it has extreme significance this evening... on multiple levels.  one being that it's SILVER!  as it's our SILVER anniversary, it's only perfectly apropos.  in addition to our SILVER-trimmed wedding china, i set out our heirloom set of Tiffany's silver.  SILVER.  and life stared me in the face.  look at the beautiful shine in the forks and knives:

and then... look at those sad spoons.  all tarnished and discolored.  i clearly dropped the ball in the maintenance department on those.  i mean, i suppose you could say they've got a nice patina. a lovely worn-in look.  but i think that's typically just an excuse for careless indifference.  the life lesson is glaring.  things get tarnished when left uncared for.  this extends to homes, clothing, cars, pets and most importantly people. relationships.  we can't let them go, we can't ignore the care they require.  putting off maintenance is the first step in eventual demise.  with anything.  it's always far more difficult to repair something that's been neglected than to just take great care of it from the beginning.  maintenance and care take time, effort, elbow grease, money, attention, putting your self aside and commitment.  

the obvious difference between maintaining things and relationships is that relationships involve human interaction. it requires 2 people working toward the same goal.  2 people caring, investing, trying, forgiving, letting go, holding on.   our hands have been weary and weak, but we hold on.  and the longer we hold on the stronger we get.   i pray today for God's grace to hold YOU.  for His mercy to strengthen your resolve.  for His love to infuse your heart and help you to hold on too.