Anniversaries: a Time to Focus – Marriage Message #87

Dollar Photo Happy Anniversary card with two red wooden heartsYep! It’s that time again for us. We just celebrated our Wedding Anniversary (we got married in 1972, so you do the math). We’re still going strong and love each other more than ever before! Many years ago we couldn’t have said that. It would have been doubtful that we would have made it to year 3 or 4 the way we were headed. But praise God! HE woke us up and keeps waking us up when we start to lose focus and head towards selfism rather than marriage partnership.

So to celebrate this event with you, we’re going to share a variety of ideas concerning romance and tips to help you celebrate your anniversaries.

The first idea from an article titled Anniversaries: A Time to Focus on the Marriage Relationship by Jill Savage. She gave quite a few tips on ways to celebrate your anniversary. Here are 3 of them:

•  “Trade years for planning the celebration. I have a friend whose husband handles the odd years and she is responsible for the even year celebrations. This keeps both husband and wife involved in the process.”

•  “Be careful about surprises if your spouse does not like surprises. If you are going to sweep your spouse away, and you know he/she doesn’t especially like surprises, at the very least tell them you are going somewhere. This allows them time to process the trip and the preparation.”

•  “If your spouse likes surprises, arrange for something fun and make it happen!” So, celebrate away …but don’t get stuck doing it the way the world tells you. Simple can be nice too.

 

You can find more tips on how to celebrate your anniversary by gleaning through an article written by Amber Wright, posted on the web site for Blackandmarriedwithkids.com:

NEED IDEAS? 10 Thoughtful Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary

A few more tips posted on Thehappywivesclub.com web site gives tips you can definitely afford to use:

25 Free and Frugal Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary

And an additional “frugal” way you can give a nice anniversary gift to your spouse (this tip is also given by The Happy Wife’s Club):

25 Awesome Anniversary Gift Ideas for Under $25

And then, here are a few tips from the book, Random Acts of Romance, a Hallmark book published by Rodale. These MAY be for an anniversary, or something you can surprise your spouse with, but some are just for other times together:

• “Re-create a great date from your past or your partner’s. Whether it’s your senior prom or your very first date, try to recapture the evening.”

Cindy’s brother did this as a surprise to his wife on one of their anniversaries and it was a HUGE hit… she loved it!

“Throw a dart at a map of the area you live in. Wherever it lands, drive there for a day and find something interesting to do together.”

“Have a picnic indoors. Gather around the plants, light candles, play your favorite romantic music, and sit on a blanket on the floor while you feed each other crackers, cheese, and strawberries” (or any other food that sounds romantic to you).

“Feed the kids first and then share dinner alone with your spouse.”

• “Create a secret “I love you” signal —a clasped hand, a raised eyebrow, a half-smile —and use it often when you’re in public, especially when you’re each talking to different people.”

Steve and I have our own signal and it’s fun to catch each other off-guard by giving it sometimes when we’re alone or in a crowd. It always brings a smile to both of our faces and in our hearts… of course, we also TELL the other we love them as well… and often.

“On a warm, sunny day, arrange a picnic outside your honey’s office, complete with blanket, umbrella, and gourmet lunch foods, so the two of you can lounge in front of everyone who’s madly working through lunch.”

“Put a note somewhere obvious in the car, instructing your spouse to look in the glove box or trunk, where a small present awaits.”

“Tuck love notes around the kitchen (or around the house) where your spouse will eventually find them. Hide them in the flour canister, a box of cereal, or the silverware drawer.”

For those who are love note “challenged” — not knowing how to write one or what to say in one, here are a few tips (with a link posted on our web site for more). They come from an article titled “Tips for Writing a Notable Love Letter” put together by Family Life Today. Here are a few:

“Make a list. Start with three categories: Things I like/love about you, things you do for me and our family that I appreciate, and memories.

“Tips: Try to think both in detail and about the bit picture.

  • Include the past, the present, and the future.
  • What do you see in your husband or wife that he or she may not see?”
  • How is your world different because you have this person?
  • What did God create in your spouse that makes an excellent match for you?
  • What sets your spouse apart?
  • Remember times when you’ve been emotionally moved by your spouse, what was it about your spouse that prompted such feeling, and how you’d describe that emotion.

Friends of ours told us that part of their anniversary is spent with each composing love letters they give to each other —ones that express their love and appreciation and also re-caps the year they’ve spent together. After exchanging them, the letters are then put into a “Remembrance” album, chronicling each year of their marriage.

From the Marriage Partnership Magazine article, “Don’t Wait — Celebrate,” Jeannette and Robert Lauer wrote the following:

“Celebrations don’t have to be expensive, elaborate or exotic. To be sure, we had a few that were. …However many of our celebrations were quite simple and virtually cost free. Once we assembled a jigsaw puzzle together. When our kids were still at home, we often had a family puzzle in the works. So we decided to honor this tradition and try one as a couple. We ambitiously chose a puzzle that took a couple weeks to complete. Our struggle to find the right pieces gave us many hours to reflect and talk about our life together.

“Another inexpensive celebration tapped into one of Bob’s loves —cartoons. We took a recent issue of the New Yorker, which featured cartoons about marriage and relationships, to our local Starbuck’s. While sipping coffee and munching cookies, we discussed the various cartoons: Why did or didn’t we find them funny? Which two did we like the best? What did our choices day about our sense of humor? We had a fun afternoon and it cost little.”

Remember:

“A 35 year marriage does not guarantee year number 36. Take nothing for granted just because you have it today” (Jim Smoke).

May our prayer always be: Lord, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom(Psalm 90:12).

And that leads us to our last point. Anniversaries (and every other day as well) can be a good time to pray for your marriage. Focus on the health of your marriage for the upcoming year and pray a blessing over each other.

From the article, Pray Big Prayers for Your Marriage a Crosswalk.com article that Whitney Hopler put together, the following are two great points to pray about, which the article points (with more you can read about in the link provided):

• Pray for emotional intimacy. Ask God to make your marriage a safe relationship and help you and your spouse cultivate openness, honesty, and trust. Confess your sins and talk to God about your deepest fears and longings. Pray for God to heal the emotional wounds that may have damaged your ability to be authentic. Ask God to help you and your spouse enjoy meaningful and intimate conversations.

• Pray for your marriage’s mission. Ask God for the ability to see beyond just the two of you to the greater world and how your marriage can be a blessing in it. Ask God to use your marriage to touch other people’s lives in positive ways, contributing to God’s kingdom on earth. Pray for a vision of how God wants to use you and your spouse to serve others. Ask God to show you a group of people, a part of the world, or an area of life that you and your spouse are both passionate about and could impact together. Then ask God to lead you to a ministry opportunity in that area. Commit your marriage fully to God and ask Him to constantly show you and your spouse how you can best leverage your time, resources, and skills for God’s kingdom.

We hope what we wrote in this message helps you to focus on your marriage, and celebrate it as well, EVERYDAY!

Cindy and Steve Wright

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