One day last week I stumbled across my journal entry from our anniversary last June. How thankful I was that I had entered a memory from that day, even though it wasn’t one of the “Big” anniversaries, ending in a 0 or a 5! It was number 36 (how can that be possible?!). It was a blessing to be reminded of the sweet day we shared together and the fun we had celebrating another year the Lord had given us as husband and wife.
I had been sick with a nasty cough and body aches the week of our anniversary. I had gone to the doctor and had a shot and a prescription, but when our special day rolled around, I still wasn’t feeling well enough to want to go anywhere…totally unlike me! We had plans to go to a beautiful bed and breakfast, but had to cancel our reservation. My sweet husband was sympathetic, understanding and very caring for my needs. On the day of our celebration, he insisted I rest. I did, taking a nap in the morning and another in the afternoon. He kindly got take out for both lunch and supper meals, and though I didn’t have an incredible appetite, we enjoyed the food and ate outside on our patio.
When he left to go get supper, I set the patio table with framed pictures from our wedding and up through the years. I got out our wedding album and also my diary from the time when we were dating. Those things “decorated” the table, along with votive candles and the flowers he had brought me earlier in the day. After we ate our supper, we sat and looked through the albums and read my diary entries. We laughed. We cried. We reminisced over our early years of marriage, through the births of our three daughters, Ashley’s death, our years in ministry, our girls’ weddings and the countless blessings of the Lord that have made us so rich.
Our 36th anniversary was spent entirely at home. We had no fancy restaurant setting, no luxury hotel, not even a colossal dessert. It was just us and our memories and it was every bit as special as our time away would have been – maybe even more so because there was little cost, no stress from traffic or other people, and it allowed us to simplify the day and focus on one another and just reflect on the joy of being married to your best friend. After all, that’s what anniversaries are for!
There are lots of summer anniversaries (any other June brides?). If you have a year or two – (or ten!) that for one reason or another requires simplifying, enjoy it! Oh, and be sure to journal about it somewhere so you can look back on it in years to come and smile at its memory.
Here are some suggestions for a simple celebration:
- Take breakfast to a park and celebrate early in the day with muffins, yogurt, fruit and coffee. Bring your wedding album with you and look through the photos.
- Pick up lunch at a favorite place and eat at a beautiful spot – a lake, the Blue Ridge Parkway or a mountain view. Play the music you enjoyed while you were dating.
- Eat dinner at home with your children, lighting candles and using the best dishes. Let everyone dress up! After they go to bed, enjoy a special dessert in a quiet place, just for the two of you.
- Skip buying presents for one another and decide on one gift you could buy that you would both enjoy –
- a new coffee maker or espresso machine
- a hammock
- a picnic basket or cooler for dates
- passes to Biltmore or amusement park
- patio furniture
- a chair for your bedroom
- wedding photos that you haven’t purchased yet!
- enlargements of photos of your family from your phone that you could frame and hang
- a couples’ devotional book
Simplifying your anniversary celebrations can still be special and memorable. Make the most of every day the Lord gives you together!
Refresh your marriage,