Sunday, June 17, 2007

First Class Anniversary

Yesterday marked Steve and my 23rd Anniversary. How did we celebrate? I'm glad you asked!

We had spent the week in St. Pete's Beach, Florida where Steve was a presenter at a Church Planters' School. Brianna and I were blessed to accompany him. The girls enjoyed the week in the HOT Sun and HUMID Air by swimming, walking on the beach, sitting by the pool while viewing the Ocean. And I didn't have to cook ALL WEEK! WOO HOO!!! Steve was able to join us when his schedule allowed.

On our anniversary, we were flying high...on the plane home! The plane was full and two of us were going to be upgraded to First Class. So, my wonderful, chivalrous, husband kissed me and said, "Happy Anniversary, Honey."

And he proceeded to the back of the plane to row 35...

...and settled in the window a couple with a baby in the other two seats.

Brianna and I had first class food, first class space, first class foot rests,

and first class conversation with this couple,

John and Noelle.

They were returning from their HONEYMOON and were also bumped up to first class. She was reading the BEST BOOK EVER on marriage, LOVE AND RESPECT. Of course, I had to comment on that and we struck up a conversation.

As we chatted, I learned that Noelle had grown up into her early 20's GOD background. 18 months earlier she and John decided to check out the Free Methodist church Noelle's family had started attending...and where they committed their lives to the LORD. Now, John and Noelle are serving the LORD and starting their marriage out with the GOD factor. They prayed that at their wedding all of those who didn't know Jesus would feel the presence of GOD and they believed that was accomplished. This couple has many friends who don't know the LORD and are looking to John and Noelle and their new venture in marriage to see how this Christian thing works.

We talked about how AWESOME it is that they are forming a new heritage and legacy for their children and grandchildren...changing the course of their family future. Who knows, their son could be the next Billy Graham, their daughter, the missionary who brings the gospel to the last unreached people group...a family of believers who reach their friends and neighbors for JESUS.

I was so energized talking to them. Their excitement and love for God and one another was contagious. What a testimony of God's love and grace for us.

Relaxing in my spacious seat, I reflected on our 23 years of marriage. As we are entering the mid-years of marriage...the excitement and love I saw in John and Noelle caused me to think about how blessed I am to have married a man who loves the LORD with all of his heart, soul, and mind, who has given his life for the ministry of the gospel, shares his faith regularly, loves our kids, loves me unconditionally...even when a little HRT is needed...and always prefers me before himself...

A FIRST CLASS husband.

Thanks, Sweetheart, for 23 years of commitment, love, faithfulness, and fun...and first class.

Anticipating 23+ more!

John & Noelle, we pray God's blessings on your life together. You will have to keep us updated how GOD is using you, your marriage and your future children to share HIS message of hope.

by the way...a BIG THANK you to our friends Jon & Lori for buying our anniversary lunch on the way to the airport...

AND...we are hoping to get away later in the year to celebrate our marital bliss!


Steve Bradshaw said...

I'm looking forward to the next 23 years as well.

Love you.


Tammy said...

Happy Anniversary MaryBeth and Steve!! You are a First Class couple. We love you guys!


Tammy and Nino

Sherry said...

Wow-23 years……….seems like just yesterday huh!?

Hey-I just want to let you know that I have been very impressed with your Blogs. You really need to write a book! You have a gift!


Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!!! Thank you for being a good statistic!

Love you both,
John and Kerry

Lois said...

I knew you would have a posting after a week at the beach!


Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary Steve and MaryBeth. Our 24th is today! I had forgotten that you all got married only a year after us. Great memories.

Love, Reginna and Tim

Terri said...

Happy anniversary Steve & Marybeth! 23 years awsome!!!! Great to see you when you came over.I love our talks and the GODLY WISDOM you give me. Keep up the good work! Love, Terri

Gram Clay said...

Awesome blog Mary...I am so glad that you are able to see all the positive things in life and the opportunities that come even out of some of the negative.
Happy anniversary....
You are both loved dearly
Sis Clay

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary! I loved the blog, that was great! John and Noelle made me think about when we were first married...I had a similar testimony. Isn't God great!

Jon said...

Thanks for letting us join you on your special day. You have a great family!

Jon and Lori

secretary extraordinaire said...

Happy Anniversary! Sounds like you had a great time! That was an awesome post and sounded like an awesome experience. You have such a wonderful hubby! We did have him for a class, but it wasn't supposed to be him. He did a great job, tho.

Jeff said...


I have to share this right quick... I was on a job interview this last week and was asked "What are you most proud of inside or outside of work?" I quickly replied that I was most proud of my children and my fourteen year marriage. The guy then asked, as if he were a little confused, "You're 'proud' of your marriage?" I said, "I sure am. In this day and age when divorce is so rampant, you're doggone right I'm proud to be able to say that I have been married for fourteen years."

I was offered a job with them two days later... LOL!!!

Happy Anniversary and I cannot WAIT until Michelle and I can say we've been married for twenty-three years...

Kathy said...

Wow! Has it been 23 years already?!

Congratulations and Best Wishes for another 60 or 80 years of blissful marriage!

I love your blog and read it right along with Sister Clay's every day, looking for some morsels of Spiritual application!

We miss you guys.

Tonya said...

Congratulations! We're about to celebrate 15 years, can you believe it? You guys not only married us but mentored us! When we grow up we want to be just like you!