Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A pencil, some graphing paper and 25 years!

The agenda was written in his neatest engineer's print on multiple pages of his graphing paper. The hours were broken down with the greatest of detail. It was clear that my Aerospace Engineering Groom was planning for us to get the absolute most out of our honeymoon to Walt Disney World (my first time there ever!).

"But what about spontaneity?" I asked. "Shouldn't we allow for just being spontaneous?"

The following weekend when he came to Tupelo to visit me from Starkville, there were some neat eraser marks on the graphing paper and the time slot from 3:00 - 3:30 had been changed to "Be spontaneous."

It was probably the first sign that we might approach life a tad bit differently.

Today, we have been living, celebrating, and minutely-planning the details of our vacations together for 25 years. TWENTY-FIVE!

Our ears say "Mrs. Shrader" and "Mr. Shrader" own design years before Disney started selling special ears for brides and grooms!

And while I still enjoy a good dose of spontaneous....I am the first to tell you that we have the most marvelous vacations because of my ever-faithful-to-plan husband and I am so grateful!

Today, as we celebrate the day we said, "I do," I can't help but smile at how much our life has reflected the plans for our honeymoon. Wade and I spent so many hours sitting outside the Chapel of Memories at Mississippi State minutely planning how our life would look. There were great job opportunities, a white picket fence and even a cool car. We did have a bit of a debate about whether we would have two or three children (he wanted two.), but for the most part our dreams for the future perfectly aligned and so we dreamt, planned and charted our life together.

Unbeknownst to us, God was gently erasing our graphing paper. There was a good deal of spontaneity He wanted to add in.

First, He would call Wade to leave NASA and go to medical school.  My engineer would become an Orthopedic Surgeon. We had never even scribbled that possibility in the margin of our plans!

Then God alone would solve the baby debate and give us THREE at one time -- and then smile from ear to ear and send us another! He would sprinkle in some special needs to keep us all on our toes and dependent on a sense of His provision, not our own neatly mapped out plans.

In 25 years, we have lived in a mountain-side apartment, a University of Chicago dorm (that season had 80 undergrads added to the three newborns to call us Mom and Dad! A few more than 2!!), a little blue house mostly covered in snow, an apartment in Texas, two stucco-covered desert dwellings....and today a sweet little house with a cute front porch and yet still, no white-picket fence. We have moved nine times to seven different states. 

Wade does in fact drive a cool car but the closest I get to cool is turning the A/C on in my accessible mini-van.

But can I just tell you that I will take God's erasing and re-writing every single day over what I thought was a perfect plan? I have been known to cry out to God demanding my own will...I have days where I question why God didn't allow my little perfect plan to come to be. But even in the pain, in the hard, in the days where I only see the challenges, I KNOW in my head that I would not trade our life for any. 

So here we are today, 25 years in to the erasing and re-writing and I can not wait to see what God has in store for us in the next 25!

Happy Anniversary, my wonderful Wade!! I love you!

Carol - The Blessings Counter