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She Always Wanted A Christmas Wedding



This morning I did a little online study of Joseph and Mary, while contemplating life's blessings, as LaDonna and I celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary.


Wow, how different our journey has been than that poor young couple!


"The world of Mary and Joseph was a difficult and dangerous place, one whose harsh conditions were not fully chronicled in the Gospel accounts of their travails. Writers of the gospels of Matthew and Luke are so laconic about the [Nativity] event because they assume the reader would know what it was like. We have no idea how difficult it was.”


"Joseph and Mary’s hardships would have begun more than a week before the birth of their son, when the couple had to leave their home in Nazareth, in the northern highlands of Galilee, to register for a Roman census."


"They had to travel 90 miles to the city of Joseph’s ancestors: south along the flatlands of the Jordan River, then west over the hills surrounding Jerusalem, and on into Bethlehem. It was a fairly grueling trip."*


Many of you know our story, quite different indeed! Two ninth grade teachers who happened to be placed across the hallway from each other. She taught English and me, the Sciences. Well actually given my sentence structure, I guess she did teach English and should have taught me better!


I do know that she taught me how to love again, as I had become quite the maverick in life before we met.


Fortunately, after several years of hardship, my praying dad was used by the Lord to communicate a better way than I was living. LaDonna had long invited me to church as well, but back then, that was the last thing on my mind.


In early March, after my January 3, 1973 rebirthing at my dad's home, I asked if I might attend church with her. Afterwards I took her out for lunch, having by then framed what had happened with my unexpected "Living Room Epiphany" in a way that didn't sound insane.


By that evening a series of events had occurred such that these two teachers decided God might be up to something.

We both, by grace, called a halt to our old lives and decided to move forward under the star that was beginning to shine over both of us.


Now 50 years have past since that former Lutheran, now known by me and others as the Christmas Queen was married to this now revised standard version of a Pentecostal.


No easy road for her given my compulsive love for adventure, and personality type as an initiator. It seems I now have only a 5-6 year window of commitment to anything that I become involved in. This is not the guy she married, who at first seemed comfortable with the classroom, in fact for 15 years. I did love the kids, just not the constraints.


Something happened after our daughter was born in '81 that shifted my focus. First it was a Masters degree, then five years in administration. That led to another degree, a resignation and six years as an executive pastor, followed by seven years as a pastoral coach.


Once we seemed settled into our current home, six years as a local mayor, along with a plethora a projects from partnering in the founding of a small tech company, a couple municipal waste management projects and now a stint with commercial real estate development.


She meanwhile has journeyed along with my craziness, and with her own DBA, "Concepts By LaDonna," expressed her creative genes post retirement. Whether by way of accessorizing attractive offices or residential dwellings for others or designing homes, two of which we have now built.


Our current home, just across the creek from our grandkids, sits on a one acre lot with a backyard cabin that was a dream of hers, and a play area that dots the woods around it.


Oh, and also we have quite the showplace in Blowing Rock. Not bragging, just boasting of what God can do with two crazy teachers who fell in love!


We haven't done all that bad together.


We learned early on how to live frugal, debt free since the late 80's, and have always loved practicing generosity! Those two elements, and grace make up our secret sauce. Blessed beyond measure, the both of us truly are hard workers and she, fairly level-headed!


Again, our life and marriage has been quite different than Joseph's and Mary's, and for that, we are grateful!


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Happy Anniversary to you both. I had you in 1972 I’m so thankful god allowed our paths to cross

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