Saturday, June 23, 2012

Yesterday's Anniversary

Our sixteenth wedding anniversary. Sixteen years of good times and bad, sickness and health. And five completely new human beings, created by God. On the day we were married, none of them existed. But God knew them. He brought us together not only for each other, but also for them. The miracle of creation is happening all around us, and through our cooperation. How can we look at life and not be amazed!?

The Janaros in current form
My dear Eileen Janaro, I love you more than I can ever adequately express, and I love the adventure of the life we share. Thank God for you and for the miracle of our family.

So what did we do on our anniversary? We spent the day taking a long trek to visit some family. And a bunch of us went out for pizza. It was worthwhile and it was fun, but it was very tiring. Ack, I get tired too easily!!

We had about ten minutes alone, enough time for presents. I gave her a pendant of a small butterfly with mother of pearl in the middle and made of some interesting local metals. I knew it would look good on her.

We'll get to go out together, just the two of us. It's not so hard to get away, now that we have "built in" babysitters. But today I'm exhausted. There are so many things we would love to do, but we have to adjust everything to the limits of my illness. And it's not that I'm dragging my feet. I've pushed my limits too hard many, many times, and it's not good. For now, slow and steady seems to work best

The Janaros, June 22, 1996

Things could be a lot worse. I feel pretty good. Somehow the gaps get filled, and life opens up new possibilities for us and new vistas for the kids (which they might not have if I were Superdad).

Still, it's not easy being married to a person like me, who has all these health problems. But we help each other to grow. Marriage is a vocation. That means that it is difficult but good, and that it always raises new challenges.  It also means that there is grace! It's not "cheap grace"--we have to ask for it and ask for it, again and again, day after day. Not because God is stingy, but because we have to keep making room to receive His gift.

The gift of grace is abundant. Grace is at the center of marriage. It's not "magic"--it doesn't "fix" the other person or the circumstances in such a way that everything becomes easy. It generates the possibility of love, even in the most difficult circumstances, and it builds (slowly, day by day) new ways of looking at everything: the trials and also the joys, the past, the present, and the future.

Of course we forget about grace, most of the time. Let us thank God for the moments that we remember, and ask that those moments might increase. In spite of how it may seem at the beginning, the grace that builds up married life is not a great wind or a roaring fire. It is the sound of the breeze, and the still, small voice.