On this rock...
"Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means 'rock'), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it."
It's hard to believe that there could be more to our fairytale summer, yet there is. Our Silver Anniversary, celebrating 25 years of marriage with dear family and friends who we haven't seen in forever, Brandon getting to go have the time of his life at Camp Blessing, and then our "Happy Someday" trip of a lifetime to Maui -- where Matthew and Tiffany could join us. It's more than I can comprehend! At home now, even as I pour over the hundreds of pictures we took, I still can barely comprehend we were really there. We really did all those things!
I love that scripture above because it symbolized the life Todd and I have tried to live. Tried to instill in our son Matt. That if you build your life, your home, your marriage, and raise your children on the rock of Christ --- bad things may happen to hurt you --- but the gates of hell will never destroy you. We are testament that. Our marriage especially. Which finally brings me to the title of this blog series, "The Renewal of our Forever."
The part of this miraculous trip that I did manage to keep a secret from Todd - was that when I had the dates for our trip, and found out we were going to Maui - I asked our longtime friends, Bill and Kathy Bush, some things about Maui because I knew they had been there. In talking with Bill, I found out they were going to be in Maui the same time we were! What are the chances of that? That our once-in-a-lifetime vacation would overlap their vacation in Maui! It just proved again and again how "God" this trip was. We haven't seen Bill and Kathy for years. When we lived in Oklahoma, they were our dearest friends. They still are our dearest friends even though we've maybe seen each other 1-2 times in the last decade or longer. Their friendship, their mentorship, has been priceless to us over the years. Their marriage, their life, their Christianity, - truly built upon the rock of Christ. We love them so very dearly - and that we got to share a few days together in Maui was just a true miracle! They live in Oklahoma, we live in Texas, -- but it was in Maui where we visited and caught up!
I just marvel at that!
The day we arrived in Maui, Bill and I arranged to meet at a grocery store for us to get some things for our condo. It was planned for Bill to just "happen" to bump into Todd in one of the aisles. How I managed to keep that a secret is what's truly priceless, but this picture is pretty priceless too -- Todd was truly shocked to turn to the "thug" who bumped into him and see that it was his best friend Bill!
As it turns out, their timeshare where they stayed was right down the beach from us! That night they brought grilled burgers and hotdogs to our condo and we all had such a sweet time of fellowship! The whole thing was just beyond my wildest dreams.
So as we are all hiking along the trails through such beautiful scenery, Bill turned to me and said, "Whenever you are ready...." and we would do the ceremony. Earlier, I told Matt and Tiff the plan for Todd and I to renew our wedding vows -- Matt would be Todd's best man, and Tiff agreed to be my maid of honor. One of the places we stopped for pictures along our hike, was a huge rock along a waterfall stream. The scripture above popped in my head - and I knew I wanted us to have that little ceremony on that rock. So I told Bill, and we went back to the rock. I gave Matt and Tiff our "coconut wood love rings" and then let Todd in on the secret!
There we stood on that rock, renewing our forever...
Bill shared some words from scripture, renewed our wedding vows, then said a very touching prayer. It was such a sweet moment to share with our son and daughter-in-law, and performed and witnessed by our dear friends.
On a Wednesday, on a rock in the rainforest of Maui, we renewed our forever as we said "I do" again...
I can still hardly believe that.
Thank you Bill & Kathy, Jessica & Jimmy, for sharing that moment with us...