It was like a holiday in our house. Whenever the 19th of July dawned upon the Turnbull house you could always count on a delicious breakfast being on the table. Cards would be shared. And, my, along with my two sisters, personal favourite – the video.
I couldn't wait for July 19th because that meant digging the video out from the cabinet and sitting around ooing and awwing as it played. Damarise, Sarah, and I would comment on the dresses, laugh at the goofy glasses "from the old days", and dance as 'Canon in D' was played by violinists.
The video was Mom and Dad's wedding day. And the 19th of July celebrates their wedding anniversary.
As the years went by, I realized that this special day had a lot more significance than getting to watch one of my favourite movies. It was a day to signify and celebrate another year of my parents' marriage and to thank God for all that He had done in the past years of their marriage.
Today they celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. The wedding video is buried in a box somewhere in Missouri, but this day is special even without the video. 25 years of marriage!
Today I'm thanking God for my parents' marriage. Their marriage has been such a wonderful example to me and my siblings of what a godly marriage should be. I remember when I was young watching my parents have "couch time". After dinner Dad and Mom would just sit on the couch and talk about their days with each other. It was nothing grand and spectacular, but it was wonderful to see how much my parents loved to spend time with each other and listen to each other.
I remember one anniversary when Dad called all of us into the living room. We sat down on our wicker furniture all gathered around Dad. I was sitting on a chair with my white Fisher-Price tape recorder on my lap and stared at Dad wondering what he was going to do. He pulled out his guitar and started to sing a song to Mom. I remember looking between Mom and Dad and seeing such love between them. It was one of the coolest things, and I remember telling Damarise afterwards that when I got married I wanted my marriage to resemble Mom and Dad's.
As the years have gone on I've gotten to see lots of those little moments. Like Dad and Mom packing up all of us up from our home in Arkansas and moving out to our little travel trailer. I had no clue what we were doing except that Dad and Mom trusted God and that this is what He wanted us to do. They both made the whole adventure fun and always included us in on what direction God was leading us.
I remember them both learning a language together. I still remember coming out into the living room in Mozambique one night and seeing them sharing earphones, the hand-cranked radio nestled between them, both of them trying to pick up some Portuguese words that they recognized. Every so often they would look at each other and smile. It was great to see the little ways in which they constantly encouraged one another to keep learning Portuguese.
And so, on this day I thank God. I thank God for the wonderful parents He has blessed me with and for the awesome example they have shown me of what a Christ centered marriage should be. I'm thankful for the love and care they show to one another. I'm thankful that together they have followed God with all their hearts. I'm thankful that they pray together. I'm thankful for the way they make anything fun, even long road trips. I'm thankful for the hospitality they show to strangers. I'm thankful for the way they welcome in my friends. I'm thankful for the way God has blessed their marriage.
So, Mom and Dad, Happy 25th Anniversary. I pray that God blesses you with 25+ more years!