Our 25th silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party

Ray & me at our party
Ray & me at our party

Ray and I recently had our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary and bought our home. I wanted to celebrate with our children, grandchildren, and a few friends who prayed for us to buy the house.  God answered my prayer and our 3 beautiful daughters were there. Our grandchildren being there were the cherry on top, and I believe it is what God wanted, displaying His glory of what He has done for us. 

Table set for party
Table set for party

I was so happy to have our three beautiful daughters and four precious grandchildren (with one on the way) at the party. This made my whole day and filled me with joy.

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” – Isaiah 55:12, ESV

Our family, from front to back, L to R: our grandson Jacob, granddaughters Annabelle & Violet, our daughter Leah, Our daughter Heather, granddaughter Piper, me, Ray, daughter Eden, Ray's parents Charles & Sue Jones
Our family, from front to back, L to R: our grandson Jacob, granddaughters Annabelle & Violet, our daughter Leah, Our daughter Heather, granddaughter Piper, me, Ray, daughter Eden, Ray’s parents Charles & Sue Jones

 

Since the party was on Mother’s Day, I gave our daughters a hand-written, floral note card and little yellow roses inside a teacup that reads, “Live, laugh, love” to tell them how much I love them and thank them for the honor of being their mom. I’ll post more about Mother’s Day and the gifts they gave me in a separate post.

Me giving our daughters their yellow roses & card
Me giving our daughters their yellow roses & cards
Pretty yellow roses I gave our daughters
Pretty yellow roses I gave our daughters

Ray’s dad and his stepmom Sue Jones drove in from N. Little Rock, Arkansas for the party and to visit us. We enjoyed their stay.  I’m not so sure his dad enjoyed it as much, as he was busy fixing things around our house, like installing an electrical plug by Ray’s work bench in the basement (he’s a licensed electrician) and helping Ray reattach the evaporator to the furnace, which had fallen off last week suddenly (this was quite a job!). Sue blessed me so much with encouraging words to minister to my heart. 

Ray's stepmom Sue & his dad Charles Jones at party
Ray’s stepmom Sue & his dad Charles Jones at party

I bought wedding bells, silver and aqua decorations at Dollar General for our “silver” 25th wedding anniversary. I thought they were really pretty. I still have the original cake couple topper in white and red that was on our wedding cake, and set that out, too. 

cake topper
cake topper
wedding bells
wedding bells
silver plates
silver plates
silver and aqua napkins
silver and aqua napkins

I also set these out as decorations, too, on the bar at the party:

  • my wedding album and original wedding guest book;
  • the blue roses carried by one of my bridesmaids;
  • my black garter (now faded black and purple);
  • the 7 silver, one-dollar coins a friend gave us as a wedding gift;
  • a gorgeous sunset-colored rose I received at church on Mother’s Day with the other women from the pastor;
  • a white candle and anointing oil from Jerusalem, Israel, that Ray’s friend sent us as a house-warming gift;
  • and the Mother’s Day gift Ray gave me, an “Our Home” picture.

I asked our guests to sign the original wedding guest book, and said that if Jesus tarries, guests can sign it again at our 50th anniversary! (Grace, God!) I also bought bubble wands for our grandkids to play with at the party. 

Wedding album, guest book, rose & Our Home picture
Wedding album, guest book, rose & Our Home picture
The rose I received at church for Mother’s Day
Ray's gift to me on Mother's Day
Ray’s gift to me on Mother’s Day

The “Our Home” picture reads:

“God chose this very house for us, to be our special home. A place that we can fill with love and call our very own. This house will hold our memories, our laughter and our tears, and it will be a place that’s safe to talk about our fears. And so we pray that God will make this house into a home, and we will give our praise to Him, Our Cornerstone.”

Our children bought us beautiful cards and gifts: a card on papyrus paper about the hummingbird, a large flip flop picture, white candle with a shell, and shell picture for my ocean-theme bathroom upstairs. The papyrus paper card was very pretty and unique!

I love the flip flop and shell pictures and candle; they went perfectly with my bathroom colors! The pic reads, “Life is always better in flip flops.” Amen! Although I love high heels (which I wore to this party), I am a sneakers and flip flop, beach kind of gal!

Papyrus paper card
Papyrus paper card
Flip flop pic that our children gave us
Flip flop pic that our children gave us

 

shell picture
shell picture
Shell candle
Shell candle

My in-laws bought us a beautiful silver and purple card with money inside and a lovely glass 25th wedding anniversary picture frame with a picture of Ray and me when we were by the Sea of Galilee on our Israel trip several years ago.

silver purple card
silver purple card
silver anniversary picture frame; Ray & me in Israel
silver anniversary picture frame; Ray & me in Israel

Our friends Dan and Liz bought us a really pretty silver card  with red hearts (I love hearts!), with an Olive Garden gift card inside it. OG – yum! Ray and I will have to go on a date soon! 

silver card
silver card with red hearts

All of these were very thoughtful gifts and I loved them!

Here’s some pics of us with our guests:

Piper feeding her mom Eden at party, haha
Piper feeding her mom Eden at party, haha
Jacob at partry
IOur grandson Jacob at party
Ray with our friend Dan Zacharias
Ray with our friend Dan Zacharias
Our friend Liz Zacharias with Ray's stepmom Sue Jones
Our friend Liz Zacharias with Ray’s stepmom Sue Jones
Dan getting food, me making sure all is ready, Ray
Dan getting food, me making sure all is ready, Ray
Our daughter Eden talking as usual, lol, Ray, our granddaughter Piper handing Ray his pushup handles
Our daughter Eden talking as usual, lol, Ray, our granddaughter Piper handing Ray his pushup handles
Ray holding our granddaughter Piper--precious!
Ray holding our granddaughter Piper–precious!
Us singing happy birthday to our granddaughter Violet & friend Dan
Us singing happy birthday to our granddaughter Violet & friend Dan
Violet opening her birthday gifts
Violet opening her birthday gifts: a pretty summer dress, an anklet & toe rings, and daisy flower hair bands
Violet not knowing what an anklet is, lol
Violet not knowing what an anklet is, lol
Violet in her dress
Violet in her dress
My friend Liz opening a gift from me at the party
My friend Liz opening a gift from me at the party: a decorative box & pretty necklace
Our tall granddaughter Annabelle (standing) and our 3 daughters with Piper
Our tall granddaughter Annabelle (standing) and our 3 daughters with Piper
Our 3 beautiful daughters with their yellow roses in the teacup I gave them
Our 3 beautiful daughters with their yellow roses in the teacup I gave them
Me giving Ray his gift - sterling silver cuff links
Me giving Ray his gift – sterling silver cuff links
Me & Ray opening gifts at the party
Me & Ray opening gifts at the party
Me & Ray - 25 year silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party
Me & Ray – 25 year silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party
Ray & me and our 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Leah & Eden (and Piper, our granddaughter)
Ray & me and our 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Leah & Eden (and Piper, our granddaughter)
Our family
Our family: I’m so thankful they all were there! Thank you, Jesus!
The party cake with a silver border & purple flowers. It reads, "25 years & a home. This is God!"
The party cake with a silver border & purple flowers. It reads, “25 years & a home. This is God!”

The cake says it all. It’s been a long, hard journey. But by God’s grace and mercy, Ray and I are still together, married 25 years, and we are now home-owners. This truly was the work and miracles of God!

*******
You can read about our very difficult marriage in my book on our marriage, Stained Glass & Marriage: Reflections of Light & Hope by an Imperfect Wife, at Amazon that is on sale now for just 99 cents, by clicking here:

 

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Our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary

The sterling silver cross necklace gift Ray gave me for our 25th "silver" wedding anniversary
The sterling silver cross necklace gift Ray gave me for our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary

This week, April 11, 2017, Ray and I had our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary. It seems like just two years, and then it also seems like it’s been forever. It has sure been HELL.

But as I pointed out in my Facebook comment, never a dull moment!

Despite our LOUD, INTENSE arguments for 25 years (yes, the WHOLE marriage; we had one tonight!), we’ve been married longer than many of our family members and friends, watching in grief as they divorced…while we have determined to fulfill our covenant with God and each other. It hasn’t been easy, and we’ve had to look to the Cross for help.

Jesus on the cross
Jesus on the cross

We’ve survived unfaithfulness to each other (both of us), bankruptcy, foreclosure of our home, stepfamily conflicts, financial crisis after crisis, multiple moves to new homes/cities, health issues, ministry failures, and much more. 

What is our greatest strength, though? We’ve never quit. Like runners in a sprint or a marathon, you keep moving forward, no matter how tired you are.

sprinters

We’ve never thrown in the towel, although we have both wanted to  many times through the years.

Ray has actually been to divorce attorneys three times because he was so fed up with our marriage! (And I’ve thought about going to one many times!)

Ray & me Holding our "faith" stone, as we wait for final approval of the VA loan for the home we're buying this year
Ray & me
Holding our “faith” stone, as we wait for final approval of the VA loan for the home we’re buying this year

By God’s grace, we’re still together, hopefully until death do us part.

  • Ray can still make me laugh more than anyone else;
  • Every time he prays over me and holds my hand, saying, “It’s going to be okay,” I know it is going to be;
  • He still turns me on;
  • He still cooks the best Cajun grilled chicken I’ve ever tasted;
  • He still loves me–which is quite a feat, considering how I am!

25 years and still going…please pray for us. 

Here’s what we did for our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary. It was a fun date!

Ray bought me a very funny card. It features a married male and female dog couple and says “It’s our anniversary.” The card seemed hand-picked by God, and made me laugh because it was so much like us.

anniversary card
anniversary card

For example, it showed the couple wanting to watch a movie together. The husband dog asked, “How about science fiction?” and the wife dog asked, “How about a love story?” Ray is a sci-fi fan, and of course I love chick flicks! 

Another hilarious thing about the card was that it read, “We still like to write each other little notes…although the subject matter isn’t always love.” It showed a cartoon of the wife posting sticky notes to her husband on a cork board with notes like, “Call the dentist,” “Grocery List,” and “Toilet keeps running.” The husband dog has stooped shoulders, and is looking at the sticky notes with an exasperated , tired expression. (Ray feels this way about my sticky notes!)

Ray said the card “nailed the notes.” (I’m addicted to sticky notes and often leave Ray little notes around the house for his “honey-do’s.”)

sticky note
sticky note

On the card, they were at a drive-through restaurant, with the husband getting the wife some food. He is asking her, “No fries, honey?” and she is saying, “No, just a cheeseburger.” Ironically, a couple of nights before Ray gave me the card, I’d asked him to go get me a Sonic cheeseburger. The card amused us both. 

Ray also gave me a beautiful, sterling silver cross necklace as my gift. Silver for our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary, and a cross as he said it is the foundation of our marriage. Amen! Ray did so good on my card and gift!

necklace
sterling silver cross necklace gift

For part of his present, I bought Ray a straight razor soap cup, that he had been requesting to go with his straight razor I’d bought him.  You put soap in the cup, and whip it to make a  good lather, then apply the soap to the face before shaving. When Ray was a little boy, he used to watch his granddaddy Hutchins shave at the bathroom mirror with a straight razor.

Recently Ray said he wanted a straight razor, from the good memories of his granddad, plus straight razors are supposed to give men a better shave. I didn’t really “get” it, but it’s a guy thing, so I bought him the straight razor, the black strop to sharpen the razor, and the soap cup.

I also have something special to give him for our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary party, which I will blog about soon!

straight razor and brush
straight razor and brush
soap cup
soap cup

For our “silver” wedding anniversary, I bought pretty silver heels for our anniversary date. Love them!

my silver shoes
my silver shoes

Ray wore a silver shirt with a silver pattern tie, black slacks, and his cowboy boots for our anniversary date. Looking good!

Ray in his silver shirt & tie for our "silver" wedding anniversary
Ray in his silver shirt & tie for our “silver” wedding anniversary

Here I am in my black dress, black wrap, the silver shoes, and wearing the sterling silver cross necklace Ray gave me.

me in black dress, black wrap, silver shoes & silver cross necklace for our "silver" anniversary
me in black dress, black wrap, silver shoes & silver cross necklace for our “silver” anniversary

For our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary date, we ate lamb gyro sandwiches with tzatziki sauce (made with cucumber), pita bread with hummus, and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves with rice and beef). Ray also had a Greek salad. It was DELICIOUS!

lamb gyros
lamb gyros
pita bread & hummus
pita bread & hummus
dolmades
dolmades

After our date, we came home and prayed together for our marriage, our children, and our grandchildren, asking God to bless us and our family and for us to walk in obedience to Jesus, and that the latter days would be greater than the former. (Haggai 2:9) It was a great 25th wedding anniversary!

*******

This book In PRINT at: https://www.createspace.com/6099550
This book In PRINT at: https://www.createspace.com/6099550

If  you are hurting in your marriage and you’d like to read about the 25 difficult years of Ray’s and my marriage, but how with God nothing is impossible,click here.

 

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A girl can dream

Our beautiful, oldest daughter Heather
Our beautiful daughter Heather

It’s finally spring here in Kansas City, Missouri. The birds are so happy lately, chirping and singing, and my daughter Heather is happy, too, because it’s her favorite time of year. I love it, too. 

The trees that had been gaunt, barren skeletons this winter, stripped of their autumn glory, are now clothed in emerald green leaves. Flowers are blooming: Virginia bluebells, pale-pink geraniums, yellow Black-eyed Susans, white hydrangeas, and one of my favorites, the sunflower.

sunflowers
sunflowers

They’re such a simple thing, but fresh flowers give Heather and me joy. In fact, Heather’s name means a flower, the mauve or white heather plant that is found widely in Europe, usually in late summer. It’s an usually beautiful flower, just like Heather.

heather

This morning the streets were still damp from last night’s rain. The mourning doves were cooing, as I drank my creamy coffee and talked with God

sunflower coffee cup

So many things going on right now. I prayed Psalm 18 over me and my family, especially for Heather and her girls Annabelle and Violet, who were coughing badly last night. Heather went through a painful divorce several years ago and is basically a single mom–the hardest job in the world. I was one with Heather for nearly 10 years. Heather has important projects this week, so she can’t afford time off.

Annabelle & Violet
Annabelle & Violet

So I pray for them: “The Lord thundered from heaven, And the most High uttered His voice. Hailstones and coals of fire, He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, Lightnings and in abundance, and He vanquished them.” Please pray complete, speedy healing for them.

Our beautiful daughter Leah
Our beautiful daughter Leah

Our beautiful daughter Leah is continuing to practice her violin and her art, and is now looking for her first job. Please pray God’s favor upon her to get the right job, and courage for her to apply and at interviews. 

This morning I quickly glanced through my avalanche of emails; it’s time to clean it out and delete, delete, delete, and unsubscribe (again!) from newsletters I don’t even read. Time’s a’wastin’, as Joaquin and Reese sang in Walk the Line. I love the advice to apply the 4 D’s to email as soon as you get it: do right now, delegate it to the right person, defer (by adding to a to-do list, for example), or delete it. 

Your time is gold. I’m hearing about more sudden deaths lately, especially with younger people, and Ray is seeing a lot more deaths lately at his work as a paramedic; yesterday three patients died on his calls, which is unusual as Ray usually saves lives. I believe these unexpected deaths are because it’s the end times. Jesus is coming back soon, and we need to be ready to face God at any time.

My husband Ray at work
My husband Ray at work

One of the emails I saw today was from Home-Away with beach rental houses for a bargain. A girl can dream, right? Ray and I both desperately need a vacation.

Beth Jones on Jacksonville, FL beach
Beth Jones on Jacksonville, FL beach

I love the ocean. When I was growing up, my family went to the beach every summer for a vacation: Jekyll Island seemed to be the most common spot, since my dad’s Civitan Club conventions were held there. We also went frequently to Daytona Beach and even the gulf, Panama City. 

Pat & Kim Weber & their adopted Chinese baby Hadassah
Pat & Kim Weber & their adopted Chinese baby Hadassah

Several years ago, I visited my friends Pat and Kim Weber and their family in Jacksonville, Florida, where I tried boogie boarding for the first time at that beach. It was a blast!

Me in the Bahamas
Me in the Bahamas

The most beautiful ocean and beach I’ve ever seen were in the Bahamas, when I spoke at Tony Robinson‘s Women of Destiny conference on a cruise ship to the Bahamas.

Coconut shrimp at Grand Turk
Coconut shrimp at Grand Turk
Pina Colada
Pina Colada

The water is an exquisite blue-green and so clear, and the sand a soft white with no shells or rocks to hurt your feet. It was truly like paradise. When I ate coconut shrimp, drinking a pina colada with a little umbrella in it, I thought, “It doesn’t get any better than this!”

The beach is calling my name!

But work calls, too. This week I’m working on a new book, the second book in my Storm Tossed fiction series, entitled Afflicted. The main character, Rachel, gets kidnapped while on a mission trip in Africa. This book was inspired by the powerful story of missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham, In The Presence of My Enemies, but will take place in the Congo in Africa instead of the Philippines.

In The Presence Of My Enemies

I have written several chapters and already have the image for the cover from Istock, where I usually buy images for my book covers. (You can be the first to hear about the new book’s release by signing up here at my website on the right-hand side at the top of the page.)

Karen Wells, Doreen Penner, Beth Jones
Karen Wells
Doreen Penner
Beth Jones

I just spoke at a virtual event with my peers Doreen Penner and Karen Wells, Walk Free Summit. We’re working on creating a bundle product of audios and handouts from our speaking presentations at the event. Stay tuned for details!

That’s about it for now. How has your week been? What are you up to? Leave your comments below.

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