"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
June 17, 2015
Jon and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary tomorrow. These past ten years have gone by quickly! Even though I didn't get married until I was almost forty, in many ways it seems as if Jon has been a part of my life for much longer than he has been. It is hard to imagine my life without him in it.
Not getting married until we were older, we mutually decided not to have kids. Honestly, not having children to think about and plan around, we've probably gotten to do and go more than most couples during their first ten years of marriage. If we had had young kids, I wouldn't have gotten to go with Jon to the various places he's been on business. In addition to that, we've had some fun vacations; and they weren't planned around where the kids would have fun or want to go. We've had adventures that we never dreamed of!! We have had a blessed marriage and a wonderful life!
Having said that, not everything has been perfect and we've gone through sorrows together. Daddy passed away suddenly after we'd only been married two years. Jon's dad was diagnosed with Alzheimers a couple years ago, and had to go into a nursing home for full-time care earlier this year.
Jon and I have laughed and enjoyed fun times, as well as encouraged and supported one another. We've traveled and seen things for the first time together and have experienced great adventures. We went from struggling financially with us both working full-time and pinching pennies (literally, with me taking a hand-held calculator grocery shopping with me so I didn't overspend), to me being able to retire and not have to work and Jon adequately supporting us financially. God blessed Jon with a job where he can use both his engineering and computer software programming skills; and I get to babysit and help out family, while taking care of our home and running errands, so Jon is freed up to be able to relax and rest when he gets home from work. We've experienced sorrows where we've held one another and cried and grieved. We have an occasional disagreement, get our feelings hurt, misunderstand, and get frustrated with one another; but those are all short lived because neither of us like to argue or be upset.
We have found what works for us! What we do for one another is not necessarily what works for other couples. For example, Jon still opens the car door for me. What's funny is, his mom told us recently that when she and Stan started dating, he opened the car door for her and she told him very plainly that she was quite capable of opening her own door and he did not need to do that for her! That worked for them for over 50 years. But I enjoy Jon opening my car door for me.
We had a pastor who once said that when he and his wife first got married, she laid out his clothes for him that first Sunday morning. He told her that she was not his mother and he did not need her to pick his clothes out for him. That has worked for them for over 40 years now. Before going to bed at night (during the work week), I pick out clothes for Jon to wear to work the next day and put them in the bathroom, so he'll have them after he showers in the mornings. Why?? I started doing that when we first got married, because Jon was not the best at choosing his own clothes and knowing what matched! I found it was easier to just pick his clothes out for him, instead of telling him that what he chose wasn't right. It's something we've continued over the years. That works for us!
One thing that we started doing on our wedding night, that we have continued to this day, is to have nightly prayer together. Right before we get ready to go to sleep, we will both take turns praying out loud. That's a perfect way for us to end each day!
Years ago, when I was single, I had people tell me that I was being too picky in trying to find a husband. I was determined that unless I found the right man, I wasn't going to get married. I refused to settle for less than God's best for me. I would rather have stayed single, than to be in a bad relationship and unhappy marriage. Thankfully, God moved both Jon and myself to Oklahoma within a few months of one another and orchestrated our paths to cross. Waiting for the right person is well worth the wait, regardless of how long it takes!
Psalm 37:23 says, "The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives."
When we pray and commit our lives to God, He takes delight in directing not only our steps, but in orchestrating every single detail of our lives. I like that! Too many times, I get impatient and try to go my own way, but when I realize I need help and am headed in the wrong direction, God will guide me back to the path that He has designed specifically for me. He will do the same for you, too.
The cool thing about God is that He doesn't give up on us, although we sometimes give up on ourselves. When we make the choice to dedicate our lives to Him, He is there waiting to guide us on our journey and get us headed back in the right direction. There's nothing quite like the peace that comes with making Jesus our priority and allowing Him to direct our steps.
I'm so grateful that Jon and I have God's blessing upon our home, marriage, and lives!! Whether you're married or single, I pray that God's blessings will be upon you and your home, also.
I think it was about our fifth anniversary that someone asked me and Loretta if it felt like we'd been married so long. I answered that "Mostly, it seems like forever." For some reason, it sounded to them like I was complaining about it, like it had been some long, boring time. But what I meant, and still mean today, is that the time before we were married is such a distant memory, that sometimes, it seems like there wasn't a "before".
I also mentioned that in some ways, it seemed like we hadn't been married long, too. But by the time I said it, it was too late. Even after ten years, it seems like we are still getting to know each other.
That's how it should be with our relationship with Jesus. It will take time, but eventually, it will seem like there was no "before". And there will also be times when we come to understand who God is better, as Jesus, The Father, and the Holy Spirit.
Instead of posting a recipe this week, I am going to post some of our favorite foods and drinks.
Our current favorite dish when we eat out is the stuffed fried avocados at Los Cabos. Our favorite is the chicken, but the beef is good, too.
For a really special dessert, our favorite is cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. My personal favorite is the Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake. Jon generally gets some type of cheesecake with chocolate in it. Every kind of cheesecake we've ever tried there has always been delicious! It is a little expensive, which is why we generally only have it occasionally for something special.
This summer we made the mistake of going to Andy's Frozen Custard and ordering the frozen custard bars. They come in a 4-pack. My favorite is the vanilla dipped in milk chocolate, and Jon likes the chocolate dipped in dark chocolate. They are both excellent! The hard chocolate covering is so very, very good and the frozen custard is very creamy. They are more expensive than the ice cream bars you buy in the grocery store, but are much better.
Hands down, our favorite tea is the sweet tea from McAllisters!! If only they had a drive-thru.... but that would be dangerous because we'd get it much more often than we already do!
The best dip at a Mexican restaurant is the creamy jalapeno dip from Chuy's. When they bring the chips and salsa to the table, you have to ask for it, but there is no extra charge.
A few weeks ago we discovered that the best fish tacos we've ever had is at Fish Daddy's; and they're fairly inexpensive. We get the fish taco combo, where you get either the house salad (which is wonderful) or a cup of their chowder or gumbo (also very good) and then a half order of the fish tacos, which is PLENTY!
Jon and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary on June 18th. I saw a variation of these questions going around on Facebook for the wife to ask the husband about herself, but thought for fun I'd revise it a tad and have both of us answer the same questions about one another. "Jon:" is his answer to the question for me and "Loretta:" is my answer for him. So here we go!
What makes your spouse happy?
Jon: Being with family.
Loretta: Having a day off work and getting to work outside at our Lampe property.
What makes your spouse sad?
Jon: Nothing really, other than a death or a bad situation regarding a family member.
Loretta: Watching his dad deal with Alzheimers.
How does your spouse make you laugh?
Jon: Loretta's "Missouri-isms".
Loretta: Jon's corny sense of humor.
What does your spouse do when you're not around?
Jon: Babysit, mow, run errands, clean, help out family.
Loretta: Catch up on Sci-Fi and Fantasy TV shows and movies that is recorded that he knows I don't particularly enjoy watching.
If your spouse becomes famous, what will it be for?
Jon: Singing or playing piano.
Loretta: Inventing something.
What is something your spouse always says to you?
Jon: I can't think of any one thing you always say to me.
Loretta: (Quoting Jon) "I don't understand why you need so many pairs of shoes!!"
What is your spouses' favorite food?
Jon: I can't think of any one thing in particular, but overall I'd say Mexican.
What does your spouse like most about you?
Jon: I'd like to say my ability to fix things around the house, but she'd probably say my tender heart.
Loretta: That I'm a good cook!
What is something your spouse is good at and also something they're not very good at?
Jon: She's good at cooking, music, helping family. Can't think of a thing she's not good at -- she is perfect!
Loretta: He's good at figuring out how to build or fix things; and he will always make sure it's done right. He's not very good at finishing projects that he starts. Oh wait.... I should have said, he is perfect and good at everything!!!
What was your spouse like as a child (even though we didn't know one another)?
Jon: I'm guessing probably very sweet and fairly quiet.
Loretta: (From stories I've heard) I'd have to say very intelligent, curious, a bit of a geek, and probably a tad of a know-it-all.... but very cute!
Where is your spouses favorite place to go?
Jon: Lampe or vacationing in places she's never been to before.
Loretta: Lampe or to an electronics store (Fry's Electronics in Texas being his favorite).
How do you know your spouse loves you?
Jon: She puts up with me.
Loretta: He tells me and enjoys spoiling me.
[Please keep in mind that Loretta typed this, and may be a little biased.]
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4,5 (NLT)
We love you!
Loretta & Jon