Another Layer

This is the view outside my window right now, dear ones:

We left New Orleans yesterday morning (not a moment too soon—this old lady needs some rest!) and arrived at Pensacola Beach in the early afternoon. We were able to stop and visit some sweet friends along the way.

Our former Pastor, George Bendall, lives in Gulf Port, Mississippi. George was instrumental in Jeff’s conversion. Jeff’s baptism was the last one he performed before leaving our church in the wake of a sea of conflict and ugliness. He will always have a special place in our hearts.

Here Jeff is with George in his new church office:

We love you, guy!

The red flag was up when we arrived, warning of dangerous surf.

Jellies were sprinkled over the beach, but that didn’t stop us from taking a little stroll and finding some treasure.

But it’s living treasure that’s on my mind today.

We came here on our honeymoon, almost sixteen years ago. That was a magical time. I remember I found about ten tiny sand dollars on that trip; all pristine and whole. The ocean here is usually very calm, but the winds created a rough surf today. There were no whole sand dollars to be found, but we saw many pieces strewn about.

We’re looking forward to relaxing, and taking in the beauty of the white sands. Special memories abound everywhere we look, and I believe I am falling deeper in love…I never knew it possible.

Last night, we walked down to the ocean, faces turned into the wind. Clouds settled on the horizon, but stars danced overhead.

I buried my face in Jeff’s shoulder, whispering prayers of thanks.

“Are you happy?” He asked, not breaking his gaze.

Am I happy?

Could there ever be a greater understatement?

We stand in this place that marks one of our beginnings, and I marvel at the years gone by. I marvel at this love that grows richer and deeper with each passing year.

In those early days, I distinctly remember waking up each morning and thinking, “this isn’t real.”

I kept waiting for something bad to happen.

For Jeff to leave, or be unfaithful.

This kind of happiness doesn’t happen to girls like me.

God is so good, sweet friends.

And I am grateful.

We’ve had some difficult times, but God knew. He knew what a good thing He would make in this marriage.

And it is beautiful.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.

Here are a few scenes from my birthday trip so far.

Enjoy!

Jeff and I at the Crescent City Brewhouse:

A view of Jackson Square:

Inside St. Louis’ Cathedral.

Scenes from Cafe du Monde:

Music.

Comments

  1. says

    Are you happy? Seriously?! I’m so stinkin’ jealous right now. Not just because of your trip but because your hubby asked you that!! *I* am happy FOR you! What a lovely trip…to return to your honeymoon spot? Awww!

    Lovely, just plain lovely 🙂

  2. says

    Life – a full life – yours and his together! Rejoicing with you in the blessing of the journey you began together so long ago! May this “la vita dolce” grow sweeter and stronger in the years to come!

    Awesome pics! I wonder what the ladies are talking about Cafe du Monde!

    Blessings,
    Denise

  3. says

    Congratulations on your celebration!

    I was just in New Orleans last month…I had Biegnets at Cafe du Monde and ate dinner at Mother’s. We only spent one evening in downtown however….We spent most of our time in Challmette, St. Bernard Parish.

  4. says

    Laura
    How wonderful! I think that a marriage firmly grounded in Christ brings a joy and comfort that is a tiny glimpse of what heaven will be like. So happy for you and your beloved.

    God Bless,
    Tina

  5. says

    I love this my friend… just love it.

    I can so relate to you. I remember the first week in our new apartment wondering when David would wake up and realize the mistake he had made by marrying me. I couldn’t believe anyone could really love me. Now 26 years later I am more in love than ever….

    I love your heart. I am so glad you are having such an amazing week… You deserve it!

    Hugs & Love sent your way…
    Sure wish you were coming through North Georgia!!!

  6. says

    Oh how I wish I was at the Florida beach with you!! One of my favorite places to be sure…I see pieces of you scattered like the sand dollars…your treasure shared with many along your journey…broken but very, very beautiful. Only in brokenness can the treasure inside be shared.

    Happy day!!

  7. says

    What a wonderful testimony to God’s goodness! The photo of you and hubbie is wonderful – your eyes both shining and blue – perfectly matching. In Jesus, Nancy

  8. says

    Oh Laura… it sounds so wonderful. I am so jealous that you guys are off from home having a great time…

    Can’t wait to hear more.

    I hope you are enjoying your CDs still. I know I have been so blessed through them.

    Stop by my blog… I am having a giveaway.

    Blessings my friend,
    Lynn

  9. says

    How fun!!! Thanks for sharing this with us. I loved what you wrote here:

    We came here on our honeymoon, almost sixteen years ago. That was a magical time. I remember I found about ten tiny sand dollars on that trip; all pristine and whole. The ocean here is usually very calm, but the winds created a rough surf today. There were no whole sand dollars to be found, but we saw many pieces strewn about.

    What came to my mind is the purity of a new relationship and how it was just the 2 of you then life happens and now you have many pieces what make you whole…makes you one.

    Congratulations on falling deeper in love.

    love,
    Lelia

  10. says

    I’m so very happy for you Laura. May the Lord continue to bless and grow the beautiful gift of love He has given you.

    Keep cherishing every moment,
    Joy

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