844. A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time. ~Anne Taylor Fleming

We’re going to the chapel,
and we’re gonna get married…
Oh, but we already did that, didn’t we?!
The year was 1963, it was August 17th,
and Henry Mancini was singing our song.
~James and Natalie

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The days of wine and roses
laugh and run away like a child at play

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through the meadow land toward a closing door,
a door marked “Nevermore,” that wasn’t there before.

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The lonely night discloses,
just a passing breeze filled with memories

Picture 265

of a golden smile that introduced me to
the days of wine and roses and you.
~Lyrics by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer

As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. ~Isaiah 62:5   ✝

**First 3 wedding images via Pinterest, bottom image at our reception

756. Because the purpose of any descent is always in order to ascend. ~Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

Life is a song – sing it.
Life is a game – play it.
Life is a challenge – meet it.
Life is a dream – realize it.
Life is a sacrifice – offer it.
Life is love – enjoy it.
~Sai Baba

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So it was that upward and onward I went into my junior year–singing a new song, playing a new game, dreaming of Paris, and attempting to meet the challenges of life and school. But the sacrificing and loving part were still on hold. I had taken my mom’s advice about getting a teaching certificate.  To do that I had had to choose a second teaching field, and because French had always been so easy for me I opted to take Spanish. But wait just a minute. Ya know, since I really didn’t want to be a teacher, the sacrificing really had begun in a way. Nevertheless I began taking Spanish as well as learning more French.  In one of my 3rd year French classes we were having fun trying to read LE PETIT PRINCE, and when not in class or working for the Dean, I was continuing to have a great deal of fun playing bridge. Hmmmm? Now that I think back, around the time of my 20th birthday in October, my friend Danny was taking me home after a bridge game and we were philosophizing, as college students often do, about this, that, and the other. During the conversation the subject of marriage came up. Since I still had had no serious romantic love interests, I glibly replied that I didn’t think I would ever get married. Danny responded by saying that he had heard that if you bet someone $50 that you wouldn’t get married in the coming year, it would surely happen. I laughed out loud at such nonsense and met the challenge with, “Okay, you’re on, hot shot.” To be continued…. (2 weeks, 4 days and counting)

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. ~Psalm 51:17  ✝

**Images via the Internet and Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

570. It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child Himself. ~Charles Dickens

You’re never too old to be a child at Christmas.
Think back to your own childhood memories of Christmas –
not the gifts and the tinsel, but the joy and wonder
of a time when everything seemed so new
and nothing was impossible.
~William Saroyan, (1908-1981),
Armenian-American dramatist and writer

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Hey, it’s snowing! At least on my blog, little snowflakes are softly cascading. Okay, I’ll admit it; I’m delighted about that and gleefully squealed like a child when the WP support lady told me how to make it happen. And what’s more, if Charles Dickens and William Saroyan think it’s okay to be a child at Christmas, who am I to lack confidence in that stance? I realize Christmas is weeks away, but the snow on my blog was enough to jump start my enthusiasm about it. Christmas always takes me back to the time when I saw the world through the eyes of a child. That’s because my childhood was magical, not perfect nor without hurts, but magical nonetheless. It was the result of a Divinely engineered coming together of extraordinary people in an extraordinary place at an extraordinary time. I say that with a humble heart because I know it was and is a privilege not afforded all people. My childhood was so out of the ordinary in fact that I can recall the exact moment in time it came to an end. It was in the cessation of a beating heart that the reality of it shattered like the pieces of a breaking mirror. Not only was the magic and innocence of it lost forever at that moment, but the devastation left me fragmented and it severed my hold on the handle of anything that nurtured my faith. Then close on the heels of that life-altering experience, I was swept away into the uncharted waters of young womanhood and the inevitable trials that accompany aging and marriage. Those events added to the continuing and inconsolable sorrow of my father’s death left me turning a deaf ear to the Lord’s “still, small voice” as well as a blind eye to His abiding presence in my world. After nearly a decade of watching me, lost and brokenhearted, wander deeper into the “wilderness,” He sent an angel of mercy into my world. Ironically the Divine messenger was a child, my baby girl, who would and did touch my heart in a way no other mortal had been able to. In her smile, in the twinkle of her eyes, and in the beauty of her heart, a heart more loving and gentle than any I’ve ever known, I found my way, step by step, back into the Lord’s keeping. Oh come let us adore the Christ who finds a way to speak to the child in us all!

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. ~Romans 8:17   ✝

**The photo is a composite of my daughter from the age of 8 months to 18 years.