Sunday, September 14, 2014

Anniversary Celebration

On September 15th, John and I will be celebrating 41 years of marriage.   It was an amazing miracle that this girl from central Florida and this guy from northern Minnesota ever got together.  I was a senior at University of Central Florida studying to be an elementary school teacher.  In all honesty, my greatest desire was to be a wife and mother over a teacher, but I had not met anyone I felt I was to marry.  Just before Christmas, I was standing in my bedroom and I spoke a prayer to God. 

 I said, "Lord, I KNOW you have someone for me and even if he lives in timbuktu, (somewhere far away) I know you can bring us together."

About two weeks later, my parents announced that our family would be driving to Minnesota over Christmas break to stay at a cabin my great uncle gave us in Buyck, MN and see what snow looked like.  My older sister would not be coming since she was married, so it was my parents, two younger brothers and one younger sister going on the trip.  At the last minute I invited a male friend to come along too just for fun. 

Once we hit Cloquet the snow started to fall.  We had stopped at a large department store to get some supplies and we all danced around in the parking lot with our faces lifted up and our mouths open wide trying to catch snow.  What a sight that must have been to other shoppers.  :)

It was quite an experience for us at the cabin, burning wood in a little pot belly stove for warmth, playing tackle football in the snow, having snowball fights and exploring the nearby woods.  Our neighbors informed us there was going to be an annual Christmas program at a one room schoolhouse nearby.  Being that my Dad is an extravert and wanted to meet everyone in the community, we decided to go.

After the program was over and we were enjoying some snacks, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a big hunk of a man standing over by the door dressed in outdoor clothing.  Soon he disappeared and I went to see where he went.  I discovered that my sister and two brothers were already outside gawking at his brand new Arctic Cat snowmobile.  We had never seen one of those before.  I joined the group as did my friend Niel.  

John was attempting to put on a face mask and then his helmet preparing to leave.  When he looked up and saw us staring at him, he asked, "Does anybody want a  ride?" 

There was a moment of silence and then I heard myself say,  "I do".
 I shocked myself as well as everyone else.  I didn't know this man.  How could I go off on a snowmobile with him?  Once I sat down behind him, he asked my name and where we were staying and then he took me for a very short ride.  I never expected to see him again.

The next day we heard a group of snowmobiles go zipping past our little cabin and down onto the Vermillion River.  One of my brothers ran outside to see if he could find them.  Then my other brother went out, then my sister and finally Neil and I followed.  John WAS in the pack.  In fact they drove right past my brother Rick who was then standing on the river.   The Holy Spirit spoke to John's heart to turn around and go back to that young man standing on the river.

So John left his friends and came back to talk to Rick and realized he met him at the Christmas program the night before.  Soon the rest of us came down to the river and also talked to John.  My brother invited him up to our cabin for hot chocolate and that's when our relationship began. 

We went on lots of snowmobiling trips together, had sliding parties with large inner tubes by firelight, went Christmas caroling with both our families and  went to his house for dinner to meet his parents.

We both knew the Lord had brought us together and three months later we were engaged. 

It's been quite an adventure being married to this woodsman from Minnesota who has now brought us to Canada.  We are so thankful for our three wonderful children and two grandchildren who have been the greatest joys of our lives.   And we look forward expectantly to all the Lord has planned for the future.