|Summer of 2013 After being gone from him for a month on vacation,|
this was a much needed reunion!
This week is flooded with memories! I'm not sure I'll be able to post on the exact days...so here is a conglomerate.
This will be one crazy busy weekend as Friday night I will be at my final set up for Bagels & Blessings and the Saturday my final B&B teaching (unless of course I'm invited to share again), right after that is my son's play at church and then Sunday is my 23rd Wedding Anniversary. Whew!
December 12th marks the 16th anniversary of the loss of our first son. You can read more about that in There is a Time For Everything. So I sometimes get a bit emotional at the memory of that, not that I'm still sad, but I just remember the time and how it really affected the rest of the month of December that particular year. I know I will meet with every single one of my babies again someday when we see Jesus face to face - and that actually brings me joy.
Then there is the closing of this chapter in my life. My final Bagels & Blessings at EAC. I will be stepping down as Women's Ministry Director after 5 years of serving, and actually announcing that my family and I have been worshiping someplace new. I've been very quiet about it. I guess I was thinking no one would actually notice that we've not been there on Sunday mornings. :) I have received several phone calls in the past 3 months...especially from the people that sat nearby. At any rate, this is a wonderful thing. While my heart is still not sure how to leave Bagels & Blessings, because in some ways I feel like it is my baby. I know it has grown up and it is fully functional and totally does not need me, but still, I liken it to when your child goes off to college. You've done well, you gave birth then you've watched your baby go through some growing pains, you've see it blossom and become its own thing...and then boom..its ready to stand on its own and doesn't need Mama anymore. :) I know it sounds silly. I have some friends who actually understand my silly heart - and I'm thankful. I've come to be very excited about what God is going to do...B&B is His...and so I know He's got the perfect plan for it! As for me and my family...well, we're His too and I know He has some amazing plans for us as well.
Still, I'm going to miss doing this - and I'm going to miss the women especially! I just have such an incredible love for the women who come to B&B. I know that is from the Lord...because even when women are new...I just love them so! EAC will always be a part of my family...we've been there 10 years and have walked through some very difficult storms personally and corporately, but we have rejoiced over many miraculous times as well. You know we bond through those times right?! So thankful for my relationships and friendships that will last for eternity! Such incredible gifts.
I'll be sharing on JOY! I think it is the perfect way to close this chapter!! I'm so very very excited and I think the Lord has big plans for Saturday!
Then there is Sunday. My 23rd wedding anniversary.
Last year I wrote a blog that talked about my wedding day it was called Holding His Hand. The year before that it was "I Still Do!" I've been blogging since 2007 how many ways can I express my joy of being married to my best friend?
Well every year it is just a little different. You reflect on the past year and so much happens. As we approach our 23rd anniversary we are both aware that we've been married for over half of my life.
The making of a great marriage is hard work. As we grow older together, there is a level of comfort, but this year I'm finding a new spark in the thought that we do this thing called life really well together. It isn't like everybody else..its the way the Engels do it and I really really LOVE it!
After 23 years, I still get butterflies when he holds my hand - it brings me right back to my college days. I love just sitting next to him. There is so much more behind a kiss after 23 years...it is deeper, more meaningful. I couldn't be more proud of someone in my whole life! I mean I'm super proud of my children, but I have to admit, I supremely proud of my husband. He is such a sweet and loving soul. Even when he is going through difficult times in his life I want nothing more than to be his cheerleader! I'm not shy at all when it comes to bragging about him! I love the fact that we are most definitely best friends. There are NEVER any eggs shells, NEVER any worries, NEVER any doubts....ALWAYS REAL!
Unlike some couples, we had a good 10 years before we were able to conceive children. I think that has made our lives, in some ways, a bit easier. Well, I said in some ways. I think parenting when we were in our 20s would have been a bit easier (more energy) but ... oh well, so we're old parents! That is why I color my hair!
Is my marriage perfect! I laugh....NO! I love him...the best I can here on earth and I know he loves me the best he can - but if you're looking for perfection...then that would be Jesus! We both know that...so I think that helps too!
Mike Engel - here's to eternity! May we continue to weather the storms together, walk on water together, share in victories together! May we continue to honor each other, look out for each other, love each other the best way we know how. May we never give up on learning new ways to show our love! May we raise our children to be mighty men of God! May we continue to make sure we have time together in the business of running a household of preteen boys. May we always remember to laugh! May we continue to lay each other at the throne of Grace...daily! May we cheer the loudest for one another! May we never stop praying WITH each other! May we never ever forget the priceless treasure God has given us in each other! May we hold each other's hand in the journeys ahead. I wouldn't want to do ANY of this life without you Mike Engel! I'm so eternally grateful that God loved me so much...he would have you choose me! Wow! May we continue to look at our stones and enjoy making new memories in the years to come!