Russ and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary last Saturday.  We were twenty years old that June morning when we made a covenant before God, our families, and friends, that we would be married until death parted us.  I contemplate our vows – better and worse, sickness and health, richer and poorer, til death do us part – those are radical words, not simple platitudes.  We couldn’t even imagine what “better or worse” would look like, or what facing a life-threatening illness would feel like, as we stood at the altar that day.  We know those well now, and I thank God that because of his grace, even in the hardest of times, we’ve clung to the covenant we made.

We didn’t celebrate our anniversary together because Russ is in Kenya working on well projects in Kitale. I thought it wouldn’t bother me too much; we have plans to celebrate when he gets home.  But as the days have slipped by, I’ve been fighting self-pity that would love to settle in and stay for a long visit. Since it’s June,  Facebook is full of anniversary statuses, photos of happy couples, and glowing loving messages.  My husband was in Dubai traveling to Nairobi on our anniversary.

Serving Jesus requires sacrifice.  Of course, not having a romantic dinner on June 9th is not really the issue.  It’s when I think about Russ and Isaiah being gone for three weeks of the summer, and the time we miss with them, that I feel a little sad. Being on my own with the kids and the challenges that presents for our family is tough, and Eby’s tears at bedtime when his daddy isn’t here to tuck him in make my heart heavy.

Then I think of the sorrow of mothers whose children have died from cholera contracted from dirty water, of children unable to attend school because they gather water for their families, of elderly widows hauling water for themselves, and I know our sacrifice is small.  All over the world there are people who love Jesus and are laying down their lives for him.  Anniversary celebrations and summer vacations are minor issues compared to the extreme sacrifices made by others.

In Russ’ absence, I hope you will rejoice with me over 28 years of marriage.  It’s been a wild and amazing ride and our current season of life is the most challenging we’ve ever faced.  We’re working hard to cling together and out-love one another – because it is easy at times like this to become withdrawn and self-centered.

I am extremely thankful to report that the kids and I are doing well in his absence.  There were several days when Noah was in Minneapolis with Sweet Pea, and Samuel was on vacation with friends, which left me alone with the youngest six.  I was amazed at how God met my need for help and even gave me time for a little rest.  Dimples had lots to do and her days were full of activity and friends.

We have a new friend coming to visit us for the next few days and we are excited!  I plan to share an update on Kenya tomorrow and  Isaiah is going to put some pictures on my One Thankful Mom facebook page soon.

Have a great day, friends.



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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.


  1. Congratulations Lisa! My husband and I will celebrate our 28th anniversary next month 🙂

  2. Emily
    June 14, 2012

    The new friend is excited too 😀 about to head out!

  3. Laurel
    June 14, 2012

    Happy Anniversary, Sweet Friend!

    We will celebrate our 30th in August, and boy-oh-boy do I relate to the "our current season of life is the most challenging we've ever faced". Oh. My. Yes. But . . . God has been faithful to give us the strength to walk through even the darkest of days.

    Hope your next few weeks are BLESSED, as you await Russ' return.


  4. Tisha
    June 14, 2012

    How fantastic!! Happy, happy anniversary to you both! From here, I am celebrating right along with you. 🙂

  5. Traci
    June 14, 2012

    Congratulations! We just celebrated our 20th and our life doesn't look anything like those two young kids thought it would…it's a lot harder than we thought, but better than we ever imagined!

  6. Laura
    June 14, 2012

    I remember wanting to throw myself a pity party when Fred was at Philmont Boy Scout Camp in New Mexico on our 20th anniversary. But, my sweet husband left Madeleine in charge of playing a cd of music for me when a florist delivered flowers. That coupled with her joy when she and I went out to dinner helped the pity party not settle in…of course I was a bit embarrassed when she announced to the table next to us that we were celebrating "Mommy's 20th wedding anniversary" and they looked for the husband!

  7. MRK
    June 14, 2012

    What an amazing post from an amazing person…hoping you have a wonderful celebration when Russ returns.

  8. Mary
    June 14, 2012

    Congratulations Lisa!
    It is hard not having the "day" with the man, but a real treat to have the man himself. My husband is a coach, so we celebrate birthdays, holidays and anniversaries on weird days–whenever we can squeeze them in. Ruth Bell Graham once said, when asked about her husband's travel–"five months with Billy Graham are like twelve months with any other man." I like that and it helps me when I don't have my man in the flesh on a special day.
    Celebrating with you–28 years is miraculous!

  9. Anita
    June 14, 2012

    Happy Anniversary to both of you! Twenty-eight years is no small feat!! Thank you for your fine example of being a faithful and godly wife. Praying your husband comes home safely!

  10. Charlene
    June 15, 2012

    And the adventure goes on…we''re at Eagle Wing, looking at blue sky and snow-capped mountains. This trip (we were in Dubai also!) has been restful and even the 15-hour non-stop to Seattle relatively comfortable in economy. There are RESTING PLACES ahead! Hope we get to share one on Whidbey! Blessings.


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