Will and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary two days ago. Since we are on vacation in Florida, the boys were with us for our anniversary dinner. And I think their presence added to the magic of the night. We went to a restaurant in Islamorada called Morada Bay. It is on the bayside of the island and sits on acres of sand — as pictured above. There was a live band playing Marley and other festive, beachy tunes. And even though it was the 29th of December, it was almost 80 degrees at five p.m. Kids who love the spotlight, like Sam, danced around. Sporty types like Will and Nate threw the football on the sandy perimeter. Will and I had drinks in the Adirondack chairs and watched the sky change colors as the sun went down. We waited for a table for over an hour, and this is the kind of place where you are thankful to wait. It would be a shame to rush.
When we did sit down, we were all ravenously hungry. We ordered lots of seafood: from conch chowder to conch fritters, from fresh mahi mahi to ceviche (which, for me, is the pinnacle of food). Everything was fabulous. Almost right when we sat down little Will, who is reliably thoughtful, started a great conversation.
“Okay,” he said, “So tell us some of the best laughs you guys have had from before we were born.”
Totally delightful night: celebrating and remembering.
After all, what is there to celebrate without remembering? People may go out tonight and mindlessly party it up, but without the intention to remember what they are thankful for, the celebration is empty. One of the overarching themes of the Bible is to remember — the word “remember” appears hundreds of times.
One verse says, “May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you” (Psalm 137:6). What a picture! Put your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Now try to talk. You can’t. In other words, the Psalmist is saying if I don’t remember you, Lord, may I never utter another word!
Think about how marriages would change, my own included, if we adopted this attitude about remembering. What if I was so intent on remembering Will’s goodness that I would rather never speak again than to forget how good he’s been to me? And we always have the option to be grateful. For example, Denver Moore, a homeless man had the practice of gratefully acknowledging, “I woke up!” each morning (Same Kind of Different As Me). Convicting. I will never be without something to be grateful for in my life and in my marriage. May the Lord help me to be grateful, and may I carve out time to celebrate.
So on this last day of 2012, I’m praying that God richly blesses you and your marriage in the New Year!