Recently I have been thinking about all the gifts I have been given in this life. I can think of gifts I
received as a little girl, gifts I received from my children, gifts I have received as a thank-you or from friends. When I think of gifts, I typically think of a big box wrapped with a bright red bow. But have you ever thought about the gifts that we can’t fit into a box?
Working on this Blog Series, I have had such an overwhelming realization that some of the greatest gifts we are given are gifts we didn’t even know we were receiving or gifts we didn’t even know we needed. Relationships, conversations, encounters…all unexpected gifts.
Unexpected gifts are the gifts that change our life. They can change our perspective; they can change the direction of our life and it’s these gifts that I cherish the most.
I mentioned in my previous blog that as a little girl I never really dreamed of my wedding, but I knew that someday I would be married. I just thought it was what people did. Happily Ever After is a phrase I have heard my entire life, but I don’t think I fully understood the meaning until meeting the couple I am going to introduce today.
Stop and think about every romantic comedy you have ever watched. Typical story line. Girl is single, runs into guy unexpectedly, guy has stuff going on, girl has stuff going on and even though we know that eventually the movie will end, we love seeing the mess they go through to finally end up together. There is always a conflict or a wounded heart but guess what, in the end, you guessed it (dot dot dot) they live happily ever after!
I have always wondered what life for the couple was like after the movie stopped. Like moving in together, sharing chores or having to decide how to raise their children? That is real life and a real marriage. How many of us would love a sequel about the “untold story”? Sadly, that version of the story most likely wouldn’t sell.
You see people buy into fantasy and what marriage should be like based off movies or TV but not many people go into a marriage realistic and fully understanding that marriage is work, marriage is compromise and marriage is about growth. I honestly believe this is one of the biggest reasons people end up in divorce.
“I grew out of love” … “He/She isn’t who I married” …sound familiar?
If you are the same person you were the day you married (given you’ve been married a few years) you might want to stop and see why that is. We grow older, our opinions and values change. What a gift to grow old with someone! Which leads me into the introduction of our #committedcouple
I am so excited to share with you this love story! This one is personal and is close to my heart!
Chip and Lydia MacLeod will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this week! 50 years! Talk about gifts in life we never knew we needed; this couple has blessed my life so much in the few years I have known them! They are the parents to two boys (one of which is my handsome husband) and grandparents to four grandkids. Throughout their marriage they have seen war, career changes, cross-country moves, death, new life, and pandemics (had to put that in here). Yet through all these things, they are living their happily ever after.
I can’t imagine being married for 50 years! Can you imagine all the things they have witnessed during their marriage? All the adventures, all the late-night talks, all the planning, disappointments, and laughter? The world has changed so much in 50 years!
Chip was only 18 when he met Lydia (22). I think back on my life to when I was 18 and how marriage was not even a part of my thought process. But honestly, I’m a little jealous! While I am sure there were some interesting times figuring out marriage and life together, I think that IS marriage. It’s the privilege to grow up together and grow together in morals and faith and create a life together. I wish I had met Alex when I was 18! Chip asked Lydia out in a college cafeteria by simply sitting down and asking her for 5 dates. Anyone else wonder what was said after the fifth date?
Not long after Chip and Lydia got married (May 1970)-one month after they got married- Chip left for Vietnam. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been! As wives we worry about our husbands…literally ALL THE TIME! Think about being a newly married couple and then just like that your whole world changes. Supporting your spouse through all their career changes, career opportunities and career obligations is definitely part of marriage and if we are honest, it's not the easy part of marriage. Although miles apart their love survived. Their journey eventually took them to Japan before heading home to the United States.
Because of their commitment, my husband Alex was born. Because of their commitment, they made decisions that eventually brought them to Reno (where I eventually lived). I think of all the times they said YES in their marriage. Their commitment to one another has impacted generations to come. Let that sink in...generations!
I asked them if they were to give their children marriage advice what would it be:
· Have faith in God and faith in each other.
· Keep a good sense of humor
· Lots of laughter
· Unconditional love
· Marriage is compromising, listening to each other, enjoying each other’s company, sharing friends, supporting each other’s interest and learning to be forgiving.
No matter what find humor in all situations. After 50 years of marriage, they still enjoy each other’s company. I often joke and say that Chip and Lydia have more energy and more of a social life than I will ever have! It has kept their marriage fun and interesting. Learn to talk to each other and really hear one another. I really believe that one of the key ingredients to a healthy and long-lasting marriage is to be able to communicate.
Lydia and Chip have shown us that life isn’t perfect, life is full of changes, we all make mistakes, life can be really easy and life can be really difficult, we laugh together, we cry together and we can also all say things that we wish we could take back. But that is marriage. Marriage isn’t quitting, it’s a commitment and effort (daily). Commitment is always, its no matter what. Cheers to Chip and Lydia!
50 years committed….
Till Next Time-
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