But God

We went through fire and through water;

But You brought us out to rich fulfillment. Psalm 66:12 NKJV

I thought that in honor of my twenty-sixth anniversary with the HH, I would write a quick post sharing some marital wisdom that we have gleaned through the years, some discovered nuggets that might encourage others in their own relationship journeys.

Yeah. that’s what I thought.

But God.

He had a different idea.

He seemed to impress upon my spirit that there are plenty of great books and blogs and Bible studies and audio listenings available with practical ideas to encourage others in their marriage journeys. A plethora of resources from folks far wiser and more gifted than I am floods the internet and libraries. My two cents are not needed.

That instead of attempting Marie Wisdom and Ideas I should share this amazing and powerfully transforming conjunctional  phrase: But God.

aScott and Marie22

See, the truth is, the HH and I were just a couple of messed up kids who fell in lust, and on little more than that and a whim stood with hangovers  before a Justice of the Peace who had remnants of powdered doughnut on her face. Heads pounding, we hurried through the quick version of our I Dos.   Although the HH was a little older and a little wiser, we both carried tattered valises with enough junk to sink the best of marital intentions.

But God.

God began to loosen our hold on the things we thought we’d carry forever, eventually casting them as far as the east is from the west.

Truth is, we were quite familiar with lust, but we did not have a clue what love looked like.

 But God.

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God began to show us, through His Word, and through the cross, and through His people, what unconditional love looks like and how it behaves.

Truth is, back then we thought we’d just tie the knot and if it didn’t work out it was no big deal; we’d simply go through the equally rapid divorce process.

But God.

God began to speak of lifelong commitment and perseverance even during a season when quitting felt like the most viable option.

Truth is, we were – and still can be – two self-centered individuals seeking our own pleasures and wanting to have our own needs and desires met.

          But God.

God continues to teach us that He alone is the one who can fulfill us and bring us the deepest pleasures;  He alone is the one who meets all of our needs and longings. This knowledge frees us to love without expectation. He has taught us that “two becoming one” doesn’t mean we give up our unique identities, or God-given personalities with our own strengths and weaknesse, but rather that we are one in Christ, one team, complementing, supporting and encouraging one another.

Truth is, back then, I didn’t believe in a passion that becomes stronger rather than waning and dying;  I didn’t believe that love is dynamic and grows when placed in the hands of its Creator,

(I didn’t believe that someone could know everything about me and still cherish and desire me.)

But God!

Oh, But God!

It has been twenty-six years.

Twenty-six years.

aScott and Marie

Six kids and two decades of homeschooling, nearly a dozen moves within two countries and a couple of states, financial struggles, surgeries and oncologists, laughter and tears, job losses and job gains,  we’ve certainly been through fires that nearly consumed us and waters that threatened to drown us, but oh baby, we’ve come to a place of rich, rich fulfillment. 

Thank you, Jesus, for your abundant grace.

I’m gonna keep living my life with that beautiful conjunction:  But God.

Happy anniversary to us!

It’s homecoming weekend for our kiddos, so we’ll likely do little more than go hiking, share a bottle of Cabernet. and lots of laughter and reminiscing. In this abundant land, that’s more than enough.

Here are some more fun photos from our friends at Fingerprint Portraits

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PicMonkey Collage

One of the sweetest blessings in this abundant land is our GRANDBABY!!!

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The Girls


The Original Boys


The New and Improved Boys 🙂

If there are two spouses willing to say “But God…” than any marriage can be made into something beautiful. We’re a walking testimony 🙂  Blessings!

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Grateful for this wonderful life,

Marie with a 🙂

12 thoughts on “But God

  1. It is always wonderful and amazing what The Lord can do with anyone who will trust him. His promises remain. He never said “And they all lived happily ever after” his promise is “I will be with you”. We all need encouragement and sharing our stories is encouraging others. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for these reminders that when we don’t think we’re strong enough, God is and does, exceedingly. I needed to read this on this morning. Happiest of anniversaries to you guys! 🙂

  3. Oh Marie, what a beautiful love story, I can relate almost to the “T” , except that my HH is not a believer, which makes things a little harder, but by the grace of God, we have made almost 38 years in October. Your pictures are beautiful and your so very lucky to have such a beautiful family. May our Lord continue to bless you and please continue your story, as we all need encouragement !! I pray everything is ok with you and the family and that the bad weather in Colorado has not effected you all..
    Hugs from Texas!!!

  4. What a lovely post. I’m wondering how you are coming along with your book.
    I can relate to Elwlee Henry, above, as my husband is also not a believer. I am told through the Good Book to just live by example, so I try not to harass or cajole him. I will pray for your husband, Elwylee, as well as my own.

  5. Thank you again, Marie, for your encouraging transparency! Years ago, I made a framed calligraphy of Ps. 66:8-10, 12b for my parents’ 25th anniversary, and made a similar one a few years ago for my husband for our anniversary. So I found your partial quote of the same Scripture quite personal. May the Lord bless you with many more fabulous years of growing in His grace together.

  6. Thank you for your story and Happy Anniversary ! Our 35th is in OCt. Feeling really blessed! So very glad to finally get a email from you again…it has been a long time since I have had one! 🙂 love reading your jottings!

  7. Happy Anniversary Marie! You have a wonderful story and a beautiful family. My own parents started their journey much like you — their intent was a lifelong marriage, but because my Mom was not of age to marry without parental consent, and because her mother would not give her consent, my parents eloped and married in a neighboring state where she was of age. Next year, they will celebrate 50 years wonderful years together. My father retired early and they have enjoyed the last 12 years together in blissful retirement. I was never fortunate enough to find that special person to share a life with, but if I had, I would have wanted the type of relationship my parents have–they are a stellar example of making a marriage work and being complementary to one another. Happy Anniversary . . . here’s to many, many joyous years ahead!

  8. On September 12th Don & I celebrated our 54th Anniversary. And I can testify to the power of God’s love also. We too have been through many of what you wrote about but for the grace of God we would not have been where we are today. God’s love is stronger than we are and can draw any couple to Himself IF they are willing to surrender themselves to Him. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to your marriage and God.

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