One of my goals, especially as I've gotten older, is to keep growing as an artist and as a person. Landscapes are totally different subjects for me as is gouache as a painting medium. So when my sister sent me photos of their vacation in the western states of the US, I decided to stretch a little and try to paint one photo that was particularly inspiring. I also decided to paint it in gouache since I've only done a couple of gouache paintings so far. I know this isn't perfect but I'm especially fond of the sky and proud of myself for pushing beyond my comfort zone.
I want to do that as a person also. Yesterday was the 24th anniversary of my husband's and my wedding and I got to thinking about wedding vows. In this day and age, it's pretty common to go get a divorce at the least little provocation and for a marriage to last even a few years is getting to be very uncommon. Wedding vows, as well as other legal contracts, just don't mean much any more.
It takes a lot to make a marriage work. I'll admit I failed to hang in there with my first marriage. It lasted twelve years and fell apart when we left the support system and old-fashioned, small town values of our home town. We came from an area where we were expected to honor our vows and stay married no matter what. When we left that area, the pressure to stay married was also left behind. I won't go into the reasons for leaving my first husband, they were sufficient for me at the time, and I also don't regret it as I'm now married to a man with whom I'm far more compatible and with whom I share more goals.
But, even with the perfect mate (and no one has one!), marriage is definitely not easy! That's when you have to go back and remember your wedding vows, remember the words and also remember the solemn ceremony used to seal those words of promise.
Not only did we take communion at our wedding ceremony, but we also took a covenant of salt. Biblically, salt represents purity, seasoning and preservation or commitment. So, the words of our wedding vows were seasoned with commitment and meant to be preserved. That is not to say that a person should stay in a marriage that is damaging to them, but it does mean that you don't give up and run at the first little disagreement. It means you work together to overcome any obstacles and that you compromise to bring harmony into the home.
Fortunately, I have a husband with whom it's easy to get along! But mostly, it's to his credit that he puts up with me! He really is a wonderful man and I look forward to at least another 24 years should Jesus tarry!