Paul and I sat at the restaurant last night, celebrating the anniversary of our first date, talking and laughing about our courtship and his offer of marriage after nine days of dating. Anyone who really knows my husband knows that he makes decisions very carefully, and weighs all of the pros and cons before acting upon an idea. He is a typical engineer in that regard, and has a tendency to take his time. Therefore, we still marvel that after only nine days of knowing each other, he asked me to marry him. While raising our children, we told them that we would probably not have the courage to give our permission for them to marry anyone after a nine day courtship.
As I was getting ready for my first date with Paul, I was standing at the mirror putting rollers in my hair when I remembered that I had told him our name was painted on the mailbox, and it suddenly occurred to me that the paint might have faded after many years. Paul had never been to my house in rural Michigan. I had given him directions and used the name on the mailbox as a way of locating which house I lived in. With half my head in rollers I went out to my mailbox at the end of the gravel drive to find that only faded letters remained and they were no longer readable. I quickly ran to the garage for black paint and my artist brushes and painted our name on the mailbox. With only a few minutes to spare, I finished getting ready. I heard Paul drive up and went outside to greet him. With a sheepish grin he said, "I drove by earlier in the day to be sure I could find your house, but I don't remember seeing your name on the mailbox." That whole scene is so typical of us. The combination of Paul's careful planning and my resourcefulness has blessed our marriage on many occasions.
I liked the fact that on our first date Paul talked about his family, their faith, and interests. I liked that he had goals and plans beyond college; he was planning a life. At some point during those nine days I had baked him an apple pie, which he still tells me was the best he ever ate. On one of our dates we went into the corn field to pick and shuck corn for my family's dinner. None of that seemed strange to him. We seemed to fit into each other's lives as though it was something planned for us long before we met. Most of all I like the fact that we share a love and respect for God, and have both been able to confess our sins and ask forgiveness from Jesus, Who died to save us from the powers of death and destruction. The relationship we share with Him has seen us through the times that were not so laughable; when we had nothing to cling to but the sustaining grace of God. He brought us together, then taught us from His word how to live out the vows we made to Him. When we lit our Sabbath candles tonight, it was with a great deal of joy, because He is our rest. Enjoy your Sabbath Day to the fullest; casting all of your cares upon Him, for He cares for you and your marriage.