27 Years – What God Has Joined Together

If I could name one blessing in my life that has exceeded my every hope and expectation, it would be my marriage to Russ. This morning he pulled me close and before I opened my eyes he whispered in my ear, “Thank you for 27 years – happy anniversary, babe.” He is so much more than I deserve and my life is so much more than I could have imagined – in every way, the blessings, the sorrows, the challenges, the joy.

The beauty of Christian marriage is that we trust Jesus who is leading and orchestrating our lives. We’re on a journey that has a final destination of Heaven, but in between, we only see a very short distance ahead. 

When we met in high school, Russ planned to become a pastor. It seemed like a good idea to me, but I could not imagine myself as a pastor’s wife. Apparently God couldn’t either because once Russ finished his degree in Religion and Greek, he jumped whole heartedly into engineering and found his calling.

We thought we knew our future –  but we didn’t.

We planned to have a few children and both pursue amazing careers. My plans for graduate school were put on hold 24 years ago when we had Sweet Pea. Two years later we had Mimi, then Noah, then Samuel, then Rusty – although some may think we were foolish, those were fruitful years. Nearly four years later, Rusty was followed by Ladybug and four years later again, Sunshine was born. My plans for graduate school are still on hold and may never come to fruition, but the fruit of our children far exceeds any degree I will ever earn.

We thought we had a plan – but His plan was better.

When Sunshine was three years old,  good friends opened the mysterious world of international adoption to us.  We set out to adopt two little boys, which soon became two little boys and one little girl. Ultimately, the Lord brought a second little girl to our family, four children in 16 months – our sons and daughters forever.  We knew we would love them with our whole hearts.

We thought we knew what life as an adoptive family would be like, we thought we knew what this calling entailed –  but we didn’t.

The adventure of our lives has taken us from Enumclaw, WA, to Seattle, to Ithaca, NY, to Boulder, CO, and finally to Idaho. Our world has grown larger as Africa has become a regular destination for us. Who would have dreamed?

God did – He dreamed, He knew, and even now, He has a plan that is bigger, wilder, and different than we can imagine. What will life be like on our 30th anniversary, or our 35th? I could guess, but looking at my planning history, I am pretty sure that it will be more, much more than I can imagine.

Best of all, I am blessed so richly to be on this adventure with Russ, my true love, my best friend, the one I trust with my whole heart. He knows my failures, faults, fears, and yet he loves me.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, the author of my life and giver of good gifts and most especially today, the gift of marriage.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Melissa
    June 9, 2011

    Congratulations!!!! Your faithful Christian marriage is evident in your blogging. Praying for God's blessing on you and Russ.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 9, 2011

      Thank you, Melissa.

      Reply
  2. Mimi
    June 9, 2011

    This was a beautiful post. Thank you 🙂

    Mimi

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 9, 2011

      Mimi dear, you are part of the story of our lives. We love you.

      Reply
  3. Dawn
    June 9, 2011

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! What a dear refuge God sends when our husbands are a rock for us 🙂 LOVE THIS POST!!!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 9, 2011

      Dawn, you are so right!

      Reply
  4. Kendra
    June 9, 2011

    We just had our 15th anniversary yesterday! You make me really think about how it will be in many more years. When we let God lead there are just sooooo many possibilities. Thank you for sharing. Love is stronger than anything, right?

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 9, 2011

      Kendra, when we had been married 15 years, our sixth child had just been born, we lived in Colorado, and were thinking about moving west to be near our families. We knew very little about Africa, homeschooled all of our children, and thought our family was complete. There are so many surprises still in store for you! Congratulations on your anniversary.

      Reply
  5. mommafoster
    June 9, 2011

    Amen! What a blessing a godly husband is. Congratulations!!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 9, 2011

      Thank you – Russ is such a blessing to me.

      Reply
  6. Emily
    June 9, 2011

    You rock. 🙂

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 9, 2011

      Thanks, Emily! It's been a great day and a memorable anniversary.

      Reply
  7. Mary
    June 9, 2011

    Thanks Lisa,

    After getting an email that says three months down the road, we may lose our foster baby to a rough situation, this is great news to hear and be mindful of. God alone sees. God alone knows. We just hang on for dear life and ride :). Happy Anniversary!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 9, 2011

      Mary, I'm sorry that you may lose your little one – such sorrow. Yes indeed, we hold on tight, yet rest in the knowledge that God will never let go.

      Reply
  8. Paula
    June 9, 2011

    Congratulations! We just celebrated our 25th anniversary on Tuesday.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 9, 2011

      Paula, 25 is a milestone! Congratulations to you.

      Reply
  9. Heidi
    June 9, 2011

    I hope this will be me one day and if not, I know His plan will be just as glorious. Congratulations – the world needs more marriage stories like yours. 🙂

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 10, 2011

      Heidi, wouldn't it be great if we could hear more marriage stories? We tend to think our lives are not that interesting and people won't care, but in reality, when we look back over the years, it is really quite amazing to see the Lord writing the story of our lives.

      Reply
      1. Heidi
        June 10, 2011

        Absolutely! My parents were married 27 years before my the Lord ended my dads 3 year journey of cancer. I think it is important to hear that marriage can be done…and done right. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

        Reply
  10. Cat
    June 10, 2011

    What a beautiful gift you both have… thanks for sharing it with the blog world. 🙂 Many congrats.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 10, 2011

      Cat, thanks – marriage is a good gift.

      Reply
  11. Lauren
    June 10, 2011

    Happy anniversary! God is so good to put our marriages together for us. It makes me wonder what God has in store for my husband and me over the next 20 years (married 8 years next week). Thanks for sharing your special day with us.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 10, 2011

      Lauren, I'm sure the Lord has big plans in store for you. Enjoy your anniversary next week!

      Reply
  12. Leslee Matthews
    June 10, 2011

    What a beautiful, beautiful post. The sovereignty of our Lord is so amazing!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 10, 2011

      Leslee, really grasping God's sovereignty has been my life lesson these past ten years. It is a great comfort to me.

      Reply
  13. Andrea
    June 10, 2011

    Thank YOU for blessing us with this lovely post!! Happy Anniversary!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 10, 2011

      Andrea, you are welcome. It's a testimony to God's grace in our lives.

      Reply
  14. Lisa H.
    June 10, 2011

    We celebrated 28 years on the 4th! I enjoyed your perspective on your marriage and related wholeheartedly to your post….Thanks for sharing your heart. And you never told me Russ planned to be a pastor….Something else for us to chat more about!

    Lisa H.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 10, 2011

      Lisa, I didn't know you had been married even longer than me. You must have really been a baby when you got married!

      Reply
  15. Marlene
    June 11, 2011

    It will be 29 years for us on the 20th. Just this week I was reflecting on many of the same things that you wrote so eloquently about. His plans are often greater than we could ever imagine.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 11, 2011

      Congratulations, Marlene! Next year will be a big anniversary for you. Blessings on your marriage.

      Reply
  16. learningpatience
    June 12, 2011

    What a sweet, sweet post – Congratulations on 27 years!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 13, 2011

      Thank you – I'm so thankful for the years and look forward to growing old with Russ.

      Reply
  17. Sweet Pea
    June 12, 2011

    Congratulations on 27 years, Daddy and Mamma! Thank you for setting an example of a strong loving marriage for your kids and for giving us a rock-solid home to grow up in.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 13, 2011

      Thank you, Sweetie. We love you.

      Reply

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