The other day while sitting with Jim, I noticed our interwoven hands, his on top. The symbolism struck me. I’m thankful for my husband of all these years—67 this very day. We’ve had our moments—sometimes daily—but marriage is a great context for learning and growing.
We’ve plowed a lot of ground over those 67 years.
- A fast start on babies. When we married, Jim still had a year of college, so we planned to have our first child during his last year in seminary. People plan; God laughs. By then we’d had two babies and a miscarriage, having flunked birth control 101 and 201.
- A couple we knew in seminary later became our third child’s in-laws.
- Pastoring and the richness of those ten years. Christmas open houses, youth groups, choir, learning to live with humble saints.
- Camp Fireside. We spent two weeks of every summer in Barrington, NH, reaching out to kids through play, adventure, outdoor life, hiking trips—and teaching/living the Word of God. One of us loved it; the other did not. Your guess.
- Tree farming—a whole ‘nuther thing. We worked with the government tree-farm project, improving our 250-acre forest, acre by acre; making maple syrup; producing and selling our first timber crop; warring with mice. We grew as a family in life and work.
- Music—piano and organ, recorders, band instruments, assorted choirs and concerts, and listening to fine music, which served as the fabric of our life.
- Worship—Praising the Lord of Glory, the God of grace; drinking in the redeeming love of our Lord.
- Individual activities:
- Jim taught philosophy for 50-odd years at Northern Essex Community College. He now writes poems on Facebook.
- I shifted from music to writing—publishing assorted articles, short stories, and six novels. (Check my website for more on those.)
- Life in our latter days:
- Strong to weak—cancer (me), memory loss (Jim).
- Spiritually immature to being tight-bound to God.
- Waiting…waiting…for that call to come Home!
Our hands, tightly entwined, are also entwined with God’s loving hands—the top and bottom line of it all.
I’d love to hear your stories. Comment below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Just beautiful. Thank you for your perseverance which had its good work in you both, making you mature and complete in Christ Jesus ❤️
What a beautiful union! It’s amazing how a union of two individuals survives life’s challenges three score and seven years. It’s indeed God’s gracious presence in your lives. Your children, land and family friends are your inspiration, joy and blessings from Almighty God. Yes! with much anticipation to soujourn to heaven our forever home. God’s blessings to you Ellie & Jim Gustafson.
Thanks much, Hillary, and yes—we’ll be together forever and ever in that heavenly land! : )
You both are an inspiration! Happy anniversary! May God continue to bless you with his love.
A beautiful post. Thanks for sharing. My husband and I are coming up on 39 years – not all sunshine and roses, but I wouldn’t change a thing. And God’s been there the whole time! Blessings to the two of you.
Happy Anniversary Ellie & Jim! What a wonderful family legacy, 🎉
Ellie, thank you for sharing this story of your life and journey in your marriage. Life with children, your joy’s and challenges, especially now. You both have lived quite a wonderful life. I love you both very much. You’ve touched my life in a beautiful, loving way from day one, never changing. Fighting the good fight as Paul wrote, the good fight of faith. May God continue to bless you both. ♥️🙏
Ellie, you have certainly described the “ heart of marriage” . Chuck and I are going on 44 years and so much of what you relate strikes home! Thank you for not only for your gift of writing, but also sharing your Godly wisdom with so many of us♥️
Thank you for sharing your beautiful lives with us.❤️
Happy Anniversary to one of the most remarkable couples I’ve ever known.
I just love this, Ellie. Two people who continue to grow and do life together , aging as we do, loving God, intertwined.
Thank you ALL so much for your kind words. I sat here, crying over this tangible love that you poured over me. We as a couple have been held together by God’s love, yes, but also by YOUR love and encouragement. What a grand time we’ll all have in heaven!
What a glorious day to celebrate the wedding anniversary of two amazing people!! Congratulations on 67 years of togetherness! You both radiate the love of Christ through your hugs and smiles and wisdom. In fact, I can’t picture either one of you without huge smiles beaming! It always feels like God’s grace pouring down from heaven, through you and straight into my heart. God bless you both, Ellie and Jim. I hope you feel God’s grace powerfully in 1000 little ways today! Love you much… Sue Jenkins
You two have always been an inspiration to me…Bright lights in a dark world…Even though I do not see you often any more I think of you often and smile..Love and hugs Gloria & Gordon
Wow –what a great testimony to love’s staying power!
I love to read your thoughts… a touch of reality, touch of wisdom, a touch of warmth. It goes a long way to stabilize us in a topsy turvy world.
Your youngest son’s brother-in-law, Larry
Happy 67th anniversary, dear Ellie! It was delightful to read your well-written thoughts, and to see the photos. Please give Jim a hug from us. xo
What a story and testimony
Wonderful story of God’s grace in your lives, told with such endearing skill and language, both of you leaving a wonderful legacy when God calls you home.
To you both: Thank you both for your demonstration of
love and life through all these years! You have been a
beautiful example of God’s presence and guidance in your lives for us. Much love and gratitude always, another Ellie.