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I’ve never shared this before.

It is hard to believe that my husband and I have been married for 35 years!

What? How did that happen? I remember looking at couples married for 20 years and asking, “How did you do it?” It felt like a mystery that I had to figure out. (I was raised by divorced parents, so growing up I never learned how to have a good marriage.) BUT GOD!!!

Just recently I mentioned to a friend about our upcoming anniversary, and it got me thinking and I finally answered my own previous question… How did we make it 35 years?

Here is what I said:

Love God & each other, be kind, and work things out!

Something I know that definitely helped our marriage was that I learned early in life … that life is short. That helped me not take people or life for granted.

My early losses in life served me well… they helped me to hold on to and cherish the ones I loved.

Tom and I knew we wanted to be married weeks after we started dating. One of the best things we did was to get pre-marriage counseling. I only remember one assignment. The Pastor asked us to write out what Love is. He told both of us to answer that one question. We were not supposed to talk about it or share our answers.

After he read our answers, he looked at us and said, “I think you two are going to make it. Your answers show that the two of you understand what love is. It is not always easy or fun. It is selfless.” He assured us that he had great hope that we would do very well in our marriage based on our answers.

Honestly, it made me laugh when I reread my own Love Is statement.

I have never shared our answers before, but I want to share them with you, in celebration of our 35th anniversary.

Tom and Dawn’s Love is… from our pre-marriage counseling

Dawn’s Love Is...

Wonderful, terrific, spectacular, beautiful, spontaneous, happy, fast moving, caring, sharing, crying, laughing, smiling, hugging, holding, proving, respect, giving, giving 100% of yourself, helping, practice -- discipline, communication, dreams, ideas, thoughts, success, failure, commitment, serious, fun, security, hope, dependent, dependable, excitement, relief, forgiving, forgetting, accepting, understanding, hurting, bright, honest, life, death, surprises, smiles, suffering (as Jesus did) believing, trusting, unconditional, always and forever, light, needed, wanted, special, peace, and coming before our Lord to become one.

Tom’s Love Is…

Love is more than just an emotion or a feeling it’s an entire state of being. It is having someone who believes in you and you in them. It’s having an inner-peace a feeling of well-being and happiness.

Love is having someone to teach new things to and someone to learn new things from. It’s taking two separate people with different experiences, with different dislikes and merging them into one new person, a new person better than either was alone. It’s having someone to grow with.

Love is having somebody to share everything with whether it is good or bad or happy or sad. It’s having that one you want to share your last popsicle with. When two people are in love, they can be totally comfortable and always be themselves whether they are together, apart or with a group of people.

Love is having somebody to work for, and to motivate you when you need a little boost. It’s having someone who is as proud of you as you are of them.


Now Tom’s answer just made me tear up. Those were our early thoughts on marriage. Although they were different from each other, they were insightful into what we both thought love is. And yes, Tom does share his last popsicle. As a matter of fact if he thinks me or the kids want the last of anything… he saves it for us. He’s precious and selfless!!! I love him so much!

I am very thankful that God led us as we tried to figure out what love is. It has not been easy, but it is worth it!

Thankful that God is the center of our marriage!

Thanks for celebrating with us,


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