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Hamburgers and Wedding Bells – A Tribute to 45 Years Together

45 years togetherOn October 10, 1969, a plain brown dress, a McDonald’s hamburger, and a courthouse judge marked the unconventional beginning of a legacy of love.  My parents, Jerry and Bernice Powell, chose the less traditional route to marriage when they eloped and kept their new vows secret from family and friends for nearly three months.  In a world filled with much ado about elaborate weddings, theirs was anything but a fairytale celebration.  But the last 45 years have brought with them memories more precious than any glamorous gown or fancy wedding cake could give.  I’ve learned many things from my parents as they’ve journeyed together as husband and wife…here are just a few of the gems I’ve discovered along the way.

  1.  Laugh often. My parents have remarkable senses of humor and few things are more precious to me than watching my daddy make my mama laugh.  He once donned an apron full of kitchen utensils to help Mama entertain guests at a tupperware party.  He pranced around like a magazine cover model while my mom and her friends howled in laughter.  I treasure those moments still when Daddy’s eyes sparkle in mischief and Mama giggles like a schoolgirl at his antics.  Thank you for sprinkling my life with gems of laughter.   “A joyful heart is good medicine.” – Proverbs 17:22
  1.  Invest time together. Whether roasting marshmallows around a campfire, playing a game of kickball in the front yard, or sharing a sled down snow-covered hills, Mama and Daddy have always modeled the importance of spending time together.  Daddy worked rotating shifts, making his schedule anything but simple for our family.  Yet every single day, Mama adjusted mealtimes so that we could sit together at supper as a family.  Thank you for teaching me the investment of time together is worth more than gold.  “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time.”  -Ephesians 5:15-16
  1.  Say I love you…and say it a lot. My daddy never left for work without kissing my mama good-bye and telling her he loved her.  They never let me or my brother scurry off to bed without a goodnight kiss and reminders of their love for us.  Hugs, kisses, and spontaneous rounds of “I love you” continue to garnish my parents’ home today.  Thank you for a treasure chest full of warm hugs, precious kisses and a lifestyle of modeling what it means to love one another.  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God.” -1 John 4:7
  1.  Be willing to work.  In a world where divorce seems to be the popular choice when the honeymoon fades and marriage feels “inconvenient”, I’m grateful for the example of my parents staying together and faithful to one another.  In spite of challenges that may come their way, Mama and Daddy continue to guard the sanctity of their wedding vows and work to keep their marriage strong.  Thank you for showing me that the diamond of love is still strong enough to hold up under the pressures of life.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.”  – Genesis 2:24
  1.  Celebrate one another. On their 25th wedding anniversary, my brother escorted my gorgeous mother down the aisle of an old country church to renew her vows with my daddy.  I watched them both gaze at one another like newlyweds once again that day.  They exchanged new wedding bands, kissed, laughed and cried many tears of sweet joy as they celebrated the church wedding that had eluded them years before.  Today, the celebration of 45 years will be simpler and a bit more quiet, yet precious nonetheless.  I celebrate you today, Mama and Daddy.     “My beloved is mine, and I am his.” – Song of Solomon 2:16


Thank you for role modeling a beautiful marriage, Mama and Daddy.  Happy 45th Anniversary!


Love you forever,