Listen! My beloved!
Look! Here he comes,
leaping across the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
Song of Solomon 2:8
I'm sitting at 9000 feet above sea level today, embraced by the peaks of the western Rockies as I perch at the breakfast table before a panoramic window displaying an intoxicating view of sunlight and mountains, aspens and awe.
We are in Telluride, Colorado.
In the home of precious and generous friends.
And, as of today, Mike and I have been married 23 years.
Mountains and marriage.
Both God's idea. Both beautiful. Inspiring.
We climbed a beautiful trail a couple of days ago, heading toward a waterfall. Most of the kids took off like eager jackrabbits, churning up the trail, snapping pictures, tossing around jokes. The twins tended to hang back with the adults, holding our hands, asking for the next snack time, giving us up-to-the-minute details on their fatigue levels, their thirst levels, their queries about how much longer we would be hiking.
For 7 of 8 in particular, it was at times tough going. The way she throws her left foot and the uneven terrain made her work hard. We began having her set 'goals', visually picking out the next place on the trail she was headed for, whether a particularly large tree or a notable boulder. She climbed, she worked, sometimes we carried her, sometimes she whined and cried.
But ultimately, she conquered that trail.
It was the furthest she has ever walked.
And it got me thinking about the trail Mike and I have been on, this climb of 23 years of marriage. There have been times I've joyously scampered up the trail. There have been many times I've whined. We struggled over the rough terrain of moves and job changes and parenting a large brood. I've stood at the base of my strong personality and had to figure out what needed to be chipped away to allow us to continue our journey.
But oh the view.
The history, the memories, the laughter, the shared vision. It has not always been an easy trail.
But it has been worth it.
Thank you for marrying me, Michael. Thank you for scaling the mountain of marriage covenant with me. Thank you for being the man you are.
Thank you for staying on the trail.
Mountains and marriage. Both God's idea.