Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Celebrating 46 Years of Marriage...

Yesterday was the 46th wedding anniversary for my husband and me. Our wedding took place in John's home church in Madison, WI.  I had lived in Madison for 3 school years and was a regular in attendance with John and his family at Faith Baptist Church by then so it was a logical choice for the wedding.  It also was more centrally located for many of our friends and family who would attend. 

John wrote the marriage vows we memorized and shared that day.

of John Worden and Linda Groves
August 20, 1966
John:  Linda, before God and these witnesses, I take thee to be my wedded wife and so covenant as the head of our home to faithfully love and care for you alone through all of life together, to share with you that depth of love that comes through knowing Christ in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health until death shall separate us or until Christ returns.
Linda:  John, with God and this company in witness, I take thee to be my wedded husband, and so covenant to faithfully love and care for you alone in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health so long as we both shall live.  With confidence and deepest love, I commit to you all that I am and have and hope to be till death shall separate us or Christ returns.
John's family provided much support for our special day which I have only come to really appreciate with time and maturity.  John's mother had been raised in the home of a florist.  She offered to make all floral arrangements for our wedding - bridal bouquet, attendant's flowers, corsages, boutonnieres, altar arrangements and flower girl's basket.  John's parents also hosted many of our extended family members.  Friends of theirs on the block where they lived offered enough bedrooms to house everyone saving lots of money which was very tight for many of us at that time. 
Faith Baptist Church, Madison, WI, August 20, 1966

The female attendants were our siblings.  John's sister, Cindi, is on the far left.  My next youngest sister, Kathy, was my maid of honor.  My sisters Barbara and Margelyn were bridesmaids.  All of us were university students at the time except my sister Marge who was still in high school.  

The male attendants were both family and friends.  John's younger brother, Jim, was the best man.  His sweetheart who would become his bride the next year, had opened the service with flute music.  Groomsmen were a 1st cousin of John's, Robert Stiles, and UW friends, Everett Peterson and Philip Bays.  

The flower girl, Joanne Montie, and ring bearer, Jerry Montie, were the children of the family from whom I rented a room during my third year in Madison, WI.  Part of the cost of my room was provided through some childcare so I had become close to these sweet children.

John and I were not very happy with the photo taken of the two of us in August so our photographer did a retake in early January of 1967.  Again my mother-in-law provided a duplicate of my bridal bouquet in silk flowers which very closely matched the August bouquet.

Early January - still happy to be married.
So with the passage of 46 years, there has been so much that we have shared.  It has not always been easy but we have remained committed to each other and to the Lord.  We give him credit for the many blessings we celebrate together.

We have recently returned from our 8th mission trip together to the country of Moldova.  Last year, we had this photo taken of us while we were there so it's pretty close to what we look like at this point in our lives.

La Taifas Restaurant, Chisnau, Moldova, Auguest, 2011
Several years ago, I participated with multiple family members with the creation of a document entitled, THE TEN BEST... or The Wisdom of the Most Important Women in Your Life, for a niece who was getting married.  My contribution was entitled, THE TEN BEST DECISIONS OF OUR MARRIED LIFE.

I will share those ten decisions on this blog in the future days.

For now I close with great gratitude to God for the deep joy I have in my life that comes from a marriage that is strong and settled.  Knowing that I am loved by God and my husband provides me with growing confidence to be the person who hopefully honors both of them.

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