Spooning and Sulking -- Reflections on 30 years of marriage

I’m a sucker for a love story.

I remember watching Anne of Greene Gables for the first time at the ripe old age of 30. As I watched Anne and Gilbert’s relationship develop over several hours of videos, I became increasingly frustrated. It was obvious to all but Anne how much Gilbert loved her, despite the rocky start to their friendship (Never call a redhead names; they will hate you forever). One misunderstanding after another always seemed to push them apart instead of together.

“She should have known Gilbert loved her when he gave up his teaching position at the Avonlea School," I fussed. "He knew Anne wanted to stay close to Marilla after Matthew's death." My poor husband, already distressed after watching five hours of chick flicks, didn't know what to do with me. 

Several more plot twists and misunderstandings made it apparent that Anne was on the verge of rejecting Gilbert forever, and I was beside myself. A lover of happy endings, I called my friend Maxine, who had loaned me the videos, and practically shrieked into the phone, “If you can’t tell me that Gilbert and Anne finally get married, I’M NOT WATCHING ANOTHER MINUTE!” 

I felt the same passion when I watched Jo fall in love, unbeknownst to herself, with Professor Bhaer. And Elizabeth Bennett’s on-again-off-again relationship with Mr. Darcy. I suspect this is the heart of every woman who longs for a forever love. 

I think this is why a commercial, of all things, moved me to tears early one morning. I share it with you today:

 If you’re reading by email, you can click HERE to watch the 2-minute John Lewis Monty the Penguin clip.

Today is my husband and my 30th anniversary. 

On December 28, 1984, I promised to love David Glenn Hatcher until death did we part. 

So far, so good.

In thirty years we’ve experienced some of the greatest joys two hearts can hold. We’ve also endured some of the deepest sorrows. We’ve weathered financial trials, health issues, death, depression, and the daily challenges of parenting. We’ve cried ourselves to sleep, and we’ve laughed ourselves awake.

We’ve sulked on opposite sides of the bed, and we’ve spooned in the middle. We’ve shared a tiny mobile home and a three-bedroom house. We’ve boldly told people about Jesus, and we’ve chickened out. We’ve prayed with thankful hearts and with broken ones. We’ve fought over the stupid and the serious. We’ve called each other pet names and rude ones.

We’ve said, “You always . . .” and “You never . . .” We’ve said “I’ll love you forever.” We’ve eaten steak and soup, roast and Ramen. We’ve driven a land yacht and tiny Toyota. We’ve made minimum wage, but never millions. We’ve beamed with pride and wept with shame.

We’ve always loved each other, but we haven’t always liked each other. We’ve been impatient, selfish, and rude, and we’ve been sweet, sacrificial, and kind.

On December 28, 1984, we promised to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” and all the rest has been added to us. 

Our 30th anniversary is a testimony of God’s grace and love.

“We love . . . because he first loved us and gave himself for us" (1 John 4:19).

 Happy anniversary, Hubby. The best is yet to come.

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