No other soul is outdoors on this early morning near the Columbia River. I’m planted at a sturdy picnic table, journaling and sipping cinnamon tea made by my husband—yes, I have a husband!
My new name is Marlys Lawry.
“It feels so surreal. No more going home every evening,” we say to each other, grinning like a couple of teenagers. You can cut the happiness and peace with a knife—it’s that palpable.
My son-in-law, who officiated at the wedding, spoke briefly about the ABC’s of marriage:
Affirmation: a reminder to recognize the power of our words for tearing down or building up.
Bravery: it takes courage and trust to step into the unknown of marriage, giving our hearts fully to each other.
Contentment: as we choose to count the good things in our lives and speak gratitude, contentment shows up.
A couple weeks earlier, my friend Allison handcrafted a card for my bridal shower. In it she wrote:
Prayer is powerful …
I know this because I’ve prayed for you and Dan long before you were aware, long before you were ready for another person in your life.
Love is powerful …
I know this because it was the emotion that removed the doubt and fear that once clouded your mind. Allowing you to try again, to trust again.
God is powerful …
I know this because He answers prayers. He is the manifestation of love. He heals broken souls, unbearable loss, and the hurts of this world. He joins total strangers together in the bond of marriage through His amazing grace, love, and mercy.
Your marriage will be powerful …
I know this because God is the force that binds you two together.
When two hearts join together—determined to love and serve each other, and to serve and give and make a difference wherever they can in the world—the two joined together with God … well, that’s powerful stuff.
This thought from John & Lisa Bevere:
Marriage was never meant to be a power struggle. It was meant to be a power union.
What if we asked God to make our marriages and families strong and powerful—not for the sake of having power, but for the sake of making a difference on this wildly spinning globe while we can?
This is what Dan and I want for our marriage.
Side note: Someone graffiti’ed the honeymoon carriage while it was waiting to carry the bride and groom on their adventure. (I don’t want to mention any names, but their initials are Mac & Allison.)
The beginning of a second love story! Congratulations to you two!
Thank you, Lovay. My cup overflows.
Barbara & Peter.
As the beginning of your ‘togetherness’ starts to become your precious memories, we pray your love flourishes into moments of ‘beyondness’, experienced by you and you alone, cherish each moment. Our love to you and yours, from me and mine. Bx & P.
“Cherish each moment.” And excellent reminder, Barbara & Peter. Thank you!
Congratulations Marlys! I’m so excited for you! Grand adventures surely await. ????
“Grand adventures surely await.” I like how you said that, Stephanie!
Your joy is contagious! Sending hugs!
This is us, spilling joy all over northern Washington and Idaho and Montana as we explore in our honeymoon carriage! Hugs back to you, my friend!
Congratulations Marlys. You are a beautiful loving woman and I can’t wait to meet the man you love. He must be amazing to have won your heart. Bless you friend. Love to you always.
Thank you, Tracey! He is amazing, and yes, he won my full heart.
I am so happy for you!! Dan must be somebody really special!! Your happiness will spill wherever you are and the world will be a happier place!
Oh, Ali … I love what you wrote: “Your happiness will spill wherever you are and the world will be a happier place!” Thank you.
Stunning bride! Handsome groom!
Wishing you happiness forever! The cord that binds you is comprised of your love, Dan’s love and held together with God’s love. Blessings!
Beautiful, Barbara: “The cord that binds you is comprised of your love, Dan’s love and held together with God’s love.” Thank you.
Totally beautiful! The wedding… The Bride and Groom… The love that is so obvious… and the mere fact that God put this altogether for you both. Wishing you many many great adventures, piles of smiles, tons of happiness and many many years of wedded bliss….. Glad that you are continuing your blog. It is your gift that you have be blessed with and a ministry to so many. May God bless you both richly… Looking forward to meeting Mr Dan at some point when our lives cross. He is a very blessed man! 🙂
Thank you, Darrell, for your generous and kind words. Yes, God put this together!
Beautiful words from your friends – just beautiful…. I am so very happy for you Marlys!
Oh and I neglected to say – your words too are simply beautiful!!!
Thank you for your happiness for us, Sally!
Hi Marlys. My name is Joe Albert.
My wife Diane and I were on the trip with you to Switzerland. We were so impressed with you then and we’ve grown to respect you even more through reading your newsletter over the years. We are so happy for you and Dan! We hope one day to see you both in a future trip. Best wishes to you both. Joe
Yes of course, Joe, I remember you and Diane. Would love to see you two again, and have you meet Dan!
Stan and I are beyond thrilled at what God has done! He turns our mourning into dancing!!!
We love you, Marlys.
Dan and I are dancing, Julie! Love you.
Oh, Marlys! I am so thrilled for you! What a beautiful story for a selfless, lovely, God-filled lady. I love the way you wrote that. Your writing is going to take on a whole other level of enthusiasm—I hear it already.
Thank you, my writerly friend!
Congratulations, Marlys! I’m so happy for you. I was just thinking of you the other day, up at Three Creeks Lake, kayaking and looking up with fond memories of hiking Tam McCarthur Rim and all the other wonderful hikes we took.
So many excellent memories with you and that wild, crazy cancer hiking group, Mary!
A little selfish here but I hope you will continue to write. You have been such an inspiration, sharing hope when it seems to run out, a beam of light when the day gets dark, a chuckle or two to lift a heavy heart, a new perspective….and the list goes on. I know you have ministered to me many many times. Thanks so much Marlys. Wishing you and Dan the very best. You deserve it!!! God is so good.
Blessings to you both,
Absolutely, Roxanne. God put writing in my heart, and a new husband who understands that!
So very happy for you both. I have no doubt that you will make a difference on this wildly spinning globe of our world. And much more than that you will and are bringing our Heavenly Father and Almighty God much Glory. That is what marriage is meant to do. Shine that light to the world and how God meant marriage to be.
You said that so well, Tricia. That’s exactly what we desire. Such powerful and encouraging words … thank you!
Thank you, Michael!
I’m sitting here with huge tears of happiness, heart full of faith and love for a friend who has found a soulmate to move through life with and, alongside. Congratulations to you both. Many happy adventures (and, hiking) ahead. Blessings along the journey ~ hand in hand ~ heart to heart.
Have fun!! Laugh much. (and, what a gorgeous wedding!)
Awww … thank you, Brenda! I love your words of admonition to have fun and laugh much!
Every blessing for a wonderful new life.
Thank you for your kind words, Marilyn!
christine h jones
Congratulations — I’m so happy for you
Thank you, Christine!
You have been a blessing and inspiration to me and so many others with your words of faith, wisdom and encouragement! My husband George and I are sending our warmest congratulations to you and Dan on this wonderful occasion of your marriage, and pray for continued peace, joy, good health and purpose in your new life together.
What ann awesome prayer, Paulette: “… for continued peace, joy, good health and purpose in your new life together.” Thank you!
Marlys and Dan,
May God bless and protect you both as you live for Him and each other! Your journey has given me hope that, in God’s time and perfect will, I will find what you have found. Love, Julie
Julie, that’s one of the nicest compliments you could pay to us – that our journey has given you hope. I’ll be praying with you to find the priceless gift that Dan and I have found.
Best wishes to you and Dan, Marlys! And Mac & Allison did a lovely job on your honeymoon carriage!!!
All the best,
Tanya and Will
Tanya – Yes, Mac & Allison were responsible for quite a bit of our love story … not just the honeymoon carriage graffiti!
Allison — Dan and I thank you for your part in our love story.
There’s that impish grin. I can see you both grinning impishly as you graffiti’ed both sides of our honeymoon carriage!
Congratulations to the two of you. God is a God of Second chances and makes them so beautiful. What a good God we have!
You said that so well, Joan: “God is a God of Second chances and makes them so beautiful.” Absolutely!
I am so happy for you two! Congrats and many blessings!
Thank you, Kristen!