Paul and I recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.  To mark this event we decided to do something special every single month of the year 2016.  We have had a blast.  Since July is our anniversary month, we decided to do something special for it.  We took ten days and went back to our old stomping ground and the land of our birth.

We have had forty remarkable years together.  No, they have not all been smooth sailing, but we made vows to each other to stay faithful to one another through thick and thin.  Paul and I have some cherished memories over the past forty years.  We reflect on our lives on a daily basis and we always conclude with gratitude to Jesus for all He has done for us. 

This year has been one of going down memory lane.  We have talked about 'the good old days' and the 'bad old days.'  We have recalled our privileged childhoods, our wonderful parents, our incredible families, our wedding day, the birth of our two precious children, the marriage of Anna and Rich, Ava and Tylan's remarkable entrance into our lives.  We have also remembered some of the challenges and the faithfulness of God in the midst of them.  We are so thankful for Jay's life. I am eternally grateful for God bringing Paul through major surgery and giving me back the two men in my life.  So much gratitude fills our hearts.  We are thankful for the places of ministry to which we have been called.  Right now, we are reveling in our ministry here at Trinity Bible College and Graduate School.  We are loving every moment of our involvement.  

One of the most lovely memories of this year is the ten weeks my precious parents spent with us in the USA.  It was wonderful to show them our new home at Trinity, for them to see our two precious grandchildren and to spend lots of very treasured moments with Anna, Rich, and Jay. 

We have just made some wonderful new memories visiting our beautiful homeland and spending precious time with family.  The time went too quickly, but I do know that the memory of a night at Londolozi and seeing a pair of mating leopards just a meter or so away from us will live with me forever.  The days spent in the Drakensberg, reading by the fire and telling each other how happy we are that God brought us into each other's lives will linger with me for all time.  The special moments with Paul's brother John, and wife Ann, meandering through Natal and visiting the Mandela museum, chatting and eating, has shown on my hips, but will live in our hearts.  Spending a lovely evening with our niece Sian and husband Gary...meeting their two precious children, Gracie and Adam and hearing their stories, will remind me to pray for them every day.  Then topping it off with three days at "Ashbrook" farm with Paul's sister Den, husband Rich, and niece Laura, is a sweet memory that in moments of stress I will pull out of my memory box and bathe myself in each of those special moments...from seeing Richard's amazing skills as a farmer, sitting and chatting on the verandah, going on the lovely steam train through aloe countryside to eating all of Den's delicious fare. 

Life is short friends.  Reflect on the past with gratitude and ensure that on a daily basis you are making good memories.  When I am old and perhaps weary, I will sit in my rocking chair and pluck out of my memory box all the lovely memories of two weeks in our homeland.  I know that each and every memory will make me smile. 

I am thankful beyond words for forty years with Paul and all the memories we have made and will keep making until we see our precious Jesus. And then all those memories will be wrapped up for all eternity.

I am and always will be,

recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,