JOY --- Jesus On the JourneY

Sunday, January 27, 2013

40 Years and Counting!

"Thank you for making us happy,these words  Campbell prayed at a dinner last night celebrating our 40th anniversary.  Yep, that pretty well sums it all up!  We enjoyed a wonderful feast prepared by Mat and Bethany.-- those two really know how to pull out the stops.  It was wonderful evening ---Marshall and Katie were sorely missed -- but he was presenting his research this past week in Miami and the Bahamas.

I have spent the last week scanning old pics to create our family history in pics.  I won't bore you with all of those -- but here's a few of my fav's --

40 years ago at our church wedding shower -- check out the pants!!!
After ministering to my home congregation for a year and a half we left Illinois for Harding Graduate school to the tune of our favorite song, "Please Come to Boston" blaring on the car radio --

Our family marks every occasion with food and a dessert -- the kids always make me a coconut cake for my birthday-- even Marshall has gotten really good at them -- and Bethany made me a scrumptious one for my 60th when she was 10 (???) months pregnant - a day before she went into labor.

LPCF Groundbreaking 2005

I like Moses' reminder to the people 

The Lord OUR God has blessed US in all the work of OUR hands.  He has watched over US . . .  THESE 40 YEARS the Lord OUR God has been with US and WE have lacked nothing.  Deut. 2:7  
Our favorite time in ministry is the drive home after teaching together
Family then

1988 On our way to Austria for Daddy's teaching sabbatical.

Dad made them a giant raft -- NO I didn't float on it

Disneyland in LA with Papa and Nonnie Neese

Christmas 1986
B's graduation 1998

2005 Marshall's OU Medical School White Coat Ceremony

Mazatlan 2006

and now . . .

Watching  our children find their forever loves and seeing their excitement as they build their lives together gives us joy as they begin their own stories. . . 

 I discovered a Matt Redmon song, quite by accident a couple of weeks ago.
 When I heard Never Once, I thought it really summed up our years together.

We were so touched to find that Mondo and Leeca had learned it to sing at dinner last night - they were even better than the original!

Standing on this mountaintop, looking just how far we've come,
Knowing that for every step you were with us.

Kneeling on this battleground, seeing just how much you've done,
Knowing every victory was your power in us.

Scars and struggles on the way, but with joy our hearts can say, 
yes our hearts can say . . .
Never once did we ever walk alone --
Never once did you leave us on our own --
You are faithful, God you are faithful.

Matt Redmon --2011

this is OUR story . . .  we
-Learned to parent together

-Laughed through the joyous times and cried together through the hard ones.

-Been on our knees for our children, our parents, and the Church

-Shouldered side by side through difficult times

-Guided our parents to their Heavenly Home and

            felt the pain of loss TOGETHER 
¨We began our marriage with a single purpose to love each other, and serve Jesus.  Faith and Family have been our core values.

¨We’ve nurtured two beautiful human beings whom we adore to adulthood and are now enjoying two precious granddaughters and waiting to welcome more.

As we built our forever family, we’ve been able to show Bethany and Marshall the Church all over the world.

¨They’ve seen that working with God’s people can be rewarding as well as sometimes challenging.

¨They’ve shared our successes and watched us suffer defeat --seeing you get up and go back to work the very next day.

¨They’ve watched you struggle with physical pain and yet fill each day with purposeful work.
                         Terry Bell -- I am so honored that God chose for us to 
                                              make this life journey together!

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