Good morning and welcome to Friday, December 16, 2016. This coming Sunday is a version of the Big One for us each year. We have our grandson Jimmy Jr. celebrating his birthday. We have our daughter-in-law Mitzi, our Rodney's wife, lighting birthday candles as well. We are very connected to these two birthdays because the wife and I will also be observing the 52nd year of our time together as wife and husband. That's a lot to take in but we are thankful for these birthdays and the journey together that God has given to us.
Happy Birthday to our Jimmy Jr. This upcoming Sunday he will leave the teens behind him as he embraces his 20th birthday. He currently is working part time and taking college classes. He has been blessed with ability and we pray that he will use it to honor God and pursue a life of purpose and meaning. He is our first grandson and we love him with all of our hearts. Happy Birthday Jimmy Jr., from your MiMi and Poppy.
Mitzi continues to be the model for an active mom, friend, wife, business associate, and her life is reflected by the blur of motion as she seeks to serve while wearing so many different hats. Devoted. That's what we think of when we think of Mitzi. Devoted and loyal. We are so thankful for her and the way she cares for our Rodney, Kyleigh, Lexie and Brady. May God continue to bless our Mitzi and we send her our love as we wish her a wonderful birthday. Love, mom and dad.
Last but certainly not least, I pause to recognize the wonderful woman God gave to me so many years ago. Fifty-two is not such a huge number. It's just a little past the halfway mark on the way to 100, but, in terms of marriage, well, it's obviously a pretty big number indeed. How do I know? We hear it all the time. When folks find out that our version of Santa and Mrs. Claus have been a married couple for over 50 years, well, the response is more or less consistent. We get the Wow! along with some sad commentary about how unusual this is in today's world. While this long run is impressive to many, we are well aware that it has not always been a tip toe through the tulips. We've had our ups and downs, and plenty of the downs along the way. The actual records indicate that couples busting up was fairly low throughout most of the history of our nation. As recent as 1970 the number was only 33% or one out of three marriages ending in divorce. Now it is pretty much accepted to be 50% or more that don't make it. I say that not to build us up, but, to express my thankfulness to God that despite the tough times, He has provided for us, and, I thank Him for the wonderful girl, and she was only 17 when we married, that He, through His grace and mercy, allowed me to marry. I used to think she suffered from selective hearing. I've come to realize that today we both have trouble and because of the years and wear and tear, there's nothing selective about it. But, it does make for a good laugh now and then. Oh yeah. People want to know the key. That's one of them. Laughing. Together. As usual, I sign off my statement of devotion of fifty-two years like this, "Baby, you're the greatest!" Happy Anniversary Sweetheart! Amen. ....More later.
Many years in this sojourn here on planet earth and I have the scars to prove it but I have been, am now, and will be blessed to have had the privilege of doing what little I've done to honor God and serve others.