Twenty-five Years Ago Today

Riding away in a Model T Ford

Twenty-five years ago today, I married my college sweetheart.

We were young.

We were head-over-heels in love.

We had dreams.

We had goals.

We also had virtually no money.

We had a 1984 silver Volkswagen Rabbit which easily contained all our earthly possessions.

We rented a one bedroom apartment that ran $300, including all utilities, and we didn’t know how we’d swing that payment each month on our combined Youth Pastor & substitute teacher’s salary.

Friends & family furnished our little nest for us with hand-me down furniture.

We had a 17 inch black & white TV.

And a rotary dial wall phone.

But most of all, we had high hopes of staying married “til death do us part”.

Still bugs me that one of the candles on the left candelabra is crooked!!! Can you photo-shop a pic from the 80's?

Now, over the years, while we have had tons of memory-making special times and loads of fun (we really do love to goof off together) we have also had MANY trials, bumps in the road and knock-down, drag-out, flesh ball wars.

Todd calls selfishness, harsh words and other domestic disputes ‘throwing flesh balls’, since at that point, we are not walking in the Spirit with gentleness but gratifying the desires of our stinkin’, rotten flesh!! (check out Galatians 5:15-17 for more info on what I’m talking about.)

Not only the male-female differences in our make-up, but our polar opposite (I mean from the South Pole to Santa’s workshop kind of opposite) personalities are grounds for conflict.

We often joke that if we went on an Internet dating site and entered our personality profiles, the screen would show us all of the possible soul mates. Then, at the bottom, we’d see each other’s picture with a bright red warning blinking DO NOT DATE!! TOTALLY INCOMPATIBLE!!!

We’ve discovered that the hearts and XXOO’s and lovey-dovey feelings we had in college just aren’t enough to keep a marriage together through the difficult births of three kids and the loss of one, periods of unemployment, disappointment and serious questioning as to whether or not we’d married the right person.

We’ve wondered, “Were we too young?”, “Did we just feel pressure to get engaged before graduation at our small Christian college where there was as much pressure to get a B.A. as there was to get your MRS. degree?”, “Did we hear God wrong?”

So what has kept two babies-of-the-family, prone-to-selfishness-&-flesh-ball-wars, very-different-personalities people married for a quarter century?

One word: GLORIFY.

We, as Christ followers, are told over & over to ‘glorify’ God. That means to make Him famous.

Poor guy. The groomsmen had to carry him to the altar kicking & screaming :-)

And our marriages are to be a picture of Christ & the church. He loves us, gave of Himself sacrificially to us and will never leave us.

So, a less-than-perfect match-up in marriage gives the watching world a reflection of God if we treat each other as He treats us.

And it sure gives HIM all the credit for the old silver anniversary because, if left to ourselves, we might not have made it into double digits!!!

Yep, twenty-five years ago today, I had no idea what was really in store.

And just one year ago today, I remember wondering how we’d ever have any extra cash to take a little get-away for just the two of us on our 25th.

Well, our crazy kids–spear-headed by our 20 year-old Kenna– along with some family members and several friends (you all know who you are and we’re STILL writing thank you notes) banded together to give us this (pics by Kenna):

It was a vase full of five dollar bills!!!! A total of $860 for a get-away trip for the two of us!  And no, they didn’t come up with $860 because we were married in ’86. God did that.

We both were a bawling, blessed mess.

I’ll keep you posted with how we use it. (The hardest part is we had to promise NOT to use it for groceries or anything for the house or kids!)

We are seriously overwhelmed with not only the goodness of God but with the generosity of family & friends!!!

So, Todd Ehman, if you are reading this in your email in-box….

I love you.

I don’t always like you, nor you me, but together we love God & want to make Him famous.

And that, handsome college sweetheart, makes this crazy marriage work and makes you a lifelong keeper!

(And by the way, after 25 years, I still think you are hot!)

You said it to me then and it still holds true today…….“Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:3



  1. Happy Anniversary!!!!!!! Keep glorifying God! Thank you. I’ve been encouraged to keep pressing on and love my husband more.

  2. Happy Anniversary. My husband and I just celebrated 31 years of marriage. I thank God every day that he gave me a Godly husband and 5 children who love and follow him. We, too have had our ups and downs. We just went through a job change (after 20 years with the same company), 2 girls getting married and 1 son going to Germany in the fall for school. Consider yourself blessed today for all the Lord has given you and also for what he has in store for the future.

  3. Congrats you two!!! You give a wonderful example of ” For better and for worse!!” What a darling couple you still are!!! Have a great time at what ever you do!!! I hope and pray for at least 25 more for you two!!! Blessings,Barb

  4. Happy and Blessed Anniversary to both of you. We will be married 46 years in September. We chose from the very beginning to invite the Lord into our lives and to live as His people. We have had many good times and a few bad ones but never walked alone through it all. 6 kids and 9 grandkids later we still walk with the Lord. Sounds like you did the same. Enjoy your trip and keep us posted,

  5. An inspiration to us as we celebrate our first ‘double digit’ anniversary on Friday! God continue to bless you and your wonderful family! And, if you need to find a condo in Hawaii, call me!!! :)

  6. Twenty-Five years of marriage is a lot of walking down a hard-packed, bumpy road. Congratulations on sticking together in good times and bad, sickness and health, just as you promised back in 1986.
    May you have many more years to enjoy together. God bless!

  7. Happy Anniversary! Mr. Wonderful and I were married 26 years ago today. We have ministered in 2 states and 4 churches. I am still crazy in love and looking forward to dinner and a movie tonight.

  8. Happy 25th!!! Wishing you and your hubby a wonderful day together! May God continue to bless you both, your marriage, and your family.

  9. awwwwwww what a sweet gift. Have fun on your getaway. We tried to getaway for our 25th last year but God had different plans and sent tornadoes to Michigan on Oct. 26th…… I spent the day riding around with my sweet, overworked hubby while he took phone calls from the radio stations, state police and the emergency broadcast people and made sure that West Michigan was safe. We made a couple of stops at antique furniture stores but the anniversary trip didn’t happen. Maybe on the 50th…………….LOL

  10. Thank you so much for giving the real picture of a almost lifetime of marriage! So sweet and touching! And so very real! Happy Anniversary! Keep up the good work!

  11. Awesome!!! Have a wonderful anniversary celebrating all 25 years:) And many, many more to!!
    come! Many blessings to you both!

  12. I am sobbing, because I so wish that were my story. On Saturday we will have been married 34 years, together 35.We live together as apartment-mates, not lovers. Sometimes I wonder if we are freinds. We both know the Lord, my husband is even ordained. But the years have taken their toll and worn him down.
    Please pray for us, if we should come to mind.
    God bless you,
    Trece and Andy

    1. Oh Trece— I will pray for you!! May God wrap His arms around you and show you how much He loves both of you!!!! Marriage is hard and it is so easy to give up. Praying yours takes a turn for the better very soon!!! Cyber {{hugs}}!!!

  13. Karen, this post is beautiful! It brought tears to my eyes. To God be the Glory, great things He has done! I’m excited for the two of you to be taking a marriage celebration trip purposed by God – enjoy!!!

  14. Awwww! Blubber, blubber! Sniff, sniff! This is just TOOO SWEET! And what awesome kids you have! There’s just one way to describe you and your family: JOYfully Blessed!!!

  15. Oh boy, Karen! You have made me cry, girl!!! And you were a beautiful bride, BTW. What a sweet thing from family and friends! May the Lord continue to bless you both, your marriage, family and ministry. Looking forward to meeting you at She Speaks!

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