God’s Anniversary Present to Us

Written on

November 14, 2018

I don’t want to forget a thing about this past weekend.

It was absolutely perfect and a perfect reminder of just how good our God is.

Lemme explain . . .

Twenty years ago when we married, Wally and I decided that we would spend our 20th anniversary where we were blessed to honeymoon. Well, real life happened and a return trip to Maui was not in the cards this year.

But we couldn’t let our December anniversary date slip into the holiday fog of obligations and responsibilities, only to be procrastinated into a later celebration that may or may not happen – not this year, not for our 20th anniversary . . .

So months ago we began to plan and anticipate a weekend away from home, daughters and distractions. I suggested we do something we had always wanted to do, but never seemed to be able to make a priority . . . We would visit Neyland Stadium and cheer on the Tennessee Vols.

Wally made the hotel reservations and bought the tickets. I packed the girls’ bags and made the arrangements to spend the nights with their friends.

From the time we left the county every little detail seemed to just fall into place. At every turn we saw God’s goodness and His grace. The traffic was easy. The room was nice. The conversation between us flowed.

We ate delicious food at a couple of neat Knoxville places, sampling the dishes in front of the other without having to cut up anyone else’s food or coax them into taking one more bite.

Walking onto campus we followed University of Tennessee’s quarterback’s parents to “The Vol Walk” where we cheered the football players’ and coaches’ arrival to the stadium. We watched the band descend on the stadium and found where The Vol Navy was docked or anchored in the river under the  bluest sky we had seen in weeks.

When we made our way to our ticketed spots we found that “our” seats just “happened” to include the cushioned and backed stadium seats. We took off our coats and soaked up the heat of the sun for the entire first half.

Yes, the second half was a lot cooler but our guys were winning and somehow the cold didn’t seem so cold. We stayed for the band to play “The Tennessee Waltz” to the players after their upset win over a ranked rival team from the state north of ours.

As we left, the fans were still chanting and cheering. Our voices were a little hoarse, but neither of us minded. We walked into downtown Knoxville and found we did not have to wait for a table at this cool, hip, tapas and tacos place.

More than once over the course of our time together, we just kept marveling at how God seemed to be blessing our little trip will lots of little extras that seemed to just be that – little extra blessings.

Why would God do that? Why would He bless us with all these seemingly insignificant “extras” all weekend long?

He is still good, and most definitely still God, if we wait for a table or don’t have nice soft seats for our bums. Eternity is not altered by our enjoyment of His weather or how tasty the chicken biscuit was at breakfast.

However all weekend long, we both chose to acknowledge God as the Giver of all these good gifts. From the families that took care of our children to the unexpected win of our favorite team, we both were intentional to thank God for His provisions. He seemed to do immeasurable more than we had asked or imagined. (Eph. 3:20)

I firmly believe that God delights in giving us good things. Just as we delight in seeing our kids enjoy the gifts we give them, God loves to see us enjoy the blessings He gives us.

I firmly believe that there is no such thing as luck. Wally and I weren’t lucky on our trip. We were blessed over and over again.

I firmly hope that God was glorified over and over again as we acknowledged each blessing a long the way – that He was delighted in us as we delighted in Him.

Since returning, I have been asked several times about our trip. I honestly can’t imagine it going any better. I could not have written a better time. My expectations were exceeded by my God who gifted us with the best anniversary gift.

That’s my God – an amazing gift giver who is even greater than the greatest gifts He gives.

He showed me in countless ways that He loves us, pursues us and does good things for us.

I know we don’t deserve this attention from Him much less His attention to details in our lives, yet He goes above and beyond to see to all of the littlest things. If I open my eyes, I can see where He is at work everyday doing countless things to show me that love. I just had to get away to see it this past weekend . . .

Yes, I had an amazing time with my amazing husband. We experienced a lot and had the best time. We made some great memories – but I want to make sure I don’t forget the role God played in it all. That’s the memory I want to hold to the longest . . .

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