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Seven year ago, J and I got married. In New Orleans. With an outdoor reception. In August, in case you missed that detail. I wanted to have a heat stroke. Our wedding was the exact opposite of fancy. Pinterest wedding boards would probably cringe. We were poor graduate and Ph.D students. Our wedding budget, though more than many, was significantly less than what a fancy, Pinterest-worthy wedding costs. I wore my hair in a pony tail. A pony tail. On my wedding day. We handed some friends a video camera borrowed from other friends about 20 minutes before the ceremony and said, “Please document all the wedding things.” Because we are special, special people. But we had incredible friends who did the best they could with our limited resources and specialness. And, other than the whole hot-as-hades-bug-filled-cake-melting thing, I wouldn’t change a thing.

We have survived. We have survived 6 moves (plus the whole living in a hotel with a baby for a couple months). We survived a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. We have survived living in separate cities for a year. We have survived the death of our firstdog. We have survived the death of a beloved grandmother. We have survived the death of a loving father. We have survived foster children leaving our home. We have survived many losses.

By grace and grace alone.

We have celebrated. We have celebrated the marriages of our brothers and their wives. We have celebrated the birth of 1 nephew & 3 nieces (with our 2nd nephew on the way). We have celebrated the birth of our oldest son. We have celebrated the adoption of our youngest son. We have celebrated foster children joining our family for a season. We have celebrated 7 years of marriage. We have celebrated much life.

By grace and grace alone.

Our wedding day was less than fancy. With our homemade dance floor and borrowed tent with Christmas lights. But our marriage. Our marriage has been one for the books, dear friends. Last year on our anniversary, we buried Grandma Sam. Our anniversary has become a permanent reminder of both life and loss, joy and sorrow.  Our marriage tells a great story. Our marriage tells the story of grace through the beauty and the chaos and the life and the loss.


And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and The Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of The Lord. ” Job 1:21