We met my in-laws for dinner last night...to celebrate Joshua's 28th birthday.
And we talked and ate and laughed.
I looked around the table. There were 3 generations of marriage represented. My in-laws...married nearly 56 years; Jim and I...married nearly 34 years; And Holly and Aaron...married nearly 3 years.
Logan and Morgan...not yet married. They've dated over 5 years, and are now looking forward to beginning their lives together as husband and wife in May.
I was content to have all 4 of our children sitting around the table. Listening to them talk to each other, and to their grandparents...I was overwhelmed with thankfulness. I tried to explain the feeling to Jim, but he gave me the *blank stare.*
I saw different parts of marriage represented around the dinner table. Jim and I...we were sitting in the middle, and we ARE in the middle. We are parents...we still are caring for and raising children. And we have parents who are going to need more and more attention every year.
Holly and Aaron...she rode with us, but Aaron was already at the restaurant. He saved a seat for her...right beside him. I just thought that was so sweet. Before I moved to sit beside Jim, I had taken a seat across the table beside Joshua. It's not that I love Jim any less than I did in that early married stage. In fact, I love him more now. But with 4 children and a life-time of days and nights and memories...I don't have to sit beside him every time we have a meal. I know in my heart that when push comes to shove...I've got a place...and my place is beside Jim. :)
My mother-in-law...she wasn't feeling well. Still isn't. She's got some sort of issue going on and we just aren't sure what it is. She's had some tests and will have more next week. Whatever it is has affected one of her eyes on her right side and it's drooping pretty bad. She's very self-conscious of it and kept putting her hand over it. My father-in-law...he's pretty gruff on the outside...and my mother-in-law is the softy. She pretty much does all the driving. Not because my father-in-law can't...she just does it so that he can relax. But last night? My father-in-law drove...both ways.
And when we were sitting there at the table, he poured a cup of coffee for my mother-in-law. Even some of my kids noticed that. My mother-in-law is the servant of the family. No one EVER does anything for her...she does it ALL for everyone else. She wants to...she loves it. Just seeing my father-in-law be tender and considerate of her...just in those very few minutes...it was such a blessing. In spite of all of the griping and yelling that he does, mainly to put on a show for the grand-kids, he does love Jim's mom.
Logan and Morgan...not yet married...they shared a large steak. Logan cut off the best part and gave it to Morgan. She cut around the part she wanted and gave the rest back to Logan. She said, "it has a little bit of fat on it, but I feel like you would still like it." Logan cut and cut...and gave her a smaller piece back. She said, "I said you could have it," and he said, "well, I cut all the fat off for you."
I told Jim that was a sweet picture of marriage. He knew what she liked. He put aside his own wants and desires and offered her the best part first. And, even after she gave some of it, back he still worked on it to make sure she would have enough to eat.
Again, I heard *crickets chirping* and got the *blank stare* when I tried to explain this to Jim.
I will never understand men.
"This is why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." Genesis 2:24