He Spoke Huskily

Photo credit to Keith M

This morning, we woke to celebrate eighteen years together,
eighteen years of saying I do
Babysitter teen children watched the youngest as my man and
I strolled by rose gardens, tinkling fountains, and clanking sailboats in
mirrored city skyline lakes. He unfolded paper thin. 
“I woke up thinking these words this morning,” he spoke
huskily. “They flowed easily, and I teared up remembering.” 
20 years ago I met you, and thought you were interesting, Jennifer from
St. Cloud.
20 years ago I spent hours talking with you, getting to know you more,
learning who you were.
20 years ago I would wait to see you, hoping you would come to a common
place where we would meet.
20 years ago I looked into your eyes and you into mine, playing a game,
involving our hearts.
20 years ago we started dating, searching to know if this was the one,
enjoying a started commitment.
20 years ago we kissed, our hearts started to meld, our future started to
be realized.
18 years ago we kissed again, on a bridge, over a waterfall, ring on hand,
joy in our smiles.
18 years ago our future seemed to change, we wondered what was next, we
were together and God was good.
18 years ago our life moving so fast, we cried once on the floor, we held
each other, God held us too.
17 years ago we had John, then Morgan, now Daniel, family together.
0 years ago I remembered what was, we kissed, our lives together, we
wondered about the future, it was good.
18 years from now…..   I Love you.
My throat filled and
eyes blurred as I leaned close, kissing him beside the fountain, ignoring the
tourists nearby. 

It hasn’t been an easy road to get here. We have worked hard, apologized often, and needed God’s power for softened hearts and gentle grace. 
This week even, I argued with God in the shower. I argued with him in the
kitchen, slicing knife through tomatoes oozing red. Washing pasta spirals and
cutting sultry basil strips, I talked with God. In the silence, a Voice whispered, massaging my heart.
A turned off heart
was not allowed.
I obeyed.

Choices shape our
lives. They shape mine. 
Choose your promises.
Choose gentleness and grace. Choose to turn and invest again, anew. I chose
my marriage that morning, grimping toes on bare linoleum. 
Gritty grace conversations and leaning-into hugs followed,
but it started in my heart first. I chose my husband. In humble tones, we
talked this week, apologizing, choosing gentle grace, loving anew.

Thank you, God, for your patience with me; for perseverance, and your extravagant grace. 

Linking with Imperfect Prose…

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  1. Jennifer Dougan on August 31, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    With permission from my man… 🙂


  2. Houseofmills on August 31, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Neat post!!!

  3. Dontmissyoursunsetlady on September 1, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Beautiful post!

  4. AmyAlves on September 1, 2012 at 4:37 am

    Congratulations Jennifer! Praying for you both as you venture out into more years and new territory together! You're a beautiful woman of God. ~ Blessings, Amy 🙂

  5. LOLITA on September 1, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I wish you more married years of choosing your husband every time, with God's way of gentle grace, apologies and loving anew….together (GOD YOU & HUBBY with your kids).

    Beautiful words from hubby. I admire men who writes notes and letters to the wife. Not many do.

    More blessings from above to sustain you.

    Happy weekend and enjoy your renewed vow.

  6. Jennifer Dougan on September 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks, Liz!


  7. Jennifer Dougan on September 3, 2012 at 8:05 pm


    Thanks you. I need my Abba daily, hourly, for any relationship I'm in. He's good, isn't he?

    Have a good week, friend.


  8. Jennifer Dougan on September 3, 2012 at 8:05 pm


    Yes, more years, more territory! Thanks, God!


  9. Jennifer Dougan on September 3, 2012 at 8:09 pm


    Yes, a marriage needs God's help to be strong, I believe. At least, I sure need his daily strength and power.

    Thank you, Lolita. 🙂


  10. Anonymous on September 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    we are neighbors at Em’s…happy anniversary…beautiful post…keep doing this things…wrestling with God…choosing your husband…it is worth all the work…it only gets better and better. blessings to you~

  11. Anonymous on September 6, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Love that letter written by your husband. It's twenty two for me and like you, I'm so grateful we chose each other.

  12. Cara @ WhimsySmitten on September 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Happy Anniversary, friend. This? "Choose your promises. Choose gentleness and grace. Choose to turn and invest again, anew." Yes. It is ever a choice, a beautiful choice even on the hard and frustrating days. Celebrating your love along with you today. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  13. Jennifer Dougan on September 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm


    Nice to meet you, friend. Thanks for stopping by, and wrestling along with God wth me, and delighting in choosing marraige, choosing your mate.

    Jennifer Dougan

  14. Jennifer Dougan on September 8, 2012 at 7:55 pm


    Congratulations on 22 years! What an adventure and pirvilege, huh? Yes, that choosing of him every day…

    Thank you for stopping by.

    Jennifer Dougan

  15. Jennifer Dougan on September 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm


    Thank you. Yes, that choice, daily, weekly, choosing one's man… and I am so floored by God's transformational joy and love that he tosses into the mix with our obedience.

    Have a lovely week,
    Jennifer Dougan

  16. Mommy Emily on September 11, 2012 at 3:49 am

    oh friend. i love this tender peek into your life. what a beautiful tribute to a loving marriage… such a rarity these days. bless you both.

  17. Jennifer Dougan on September 18, 2012 at 2:28 am


    Thank you for cheering on the hard work of marriages. Hard, but so worth it.

    My man can write, can't he? 🙂 What a debonair man. He surprises me.

    Jennifer Dougan

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