Thursday, August 23, 2018

Marriage Marker - 15 Years

Fifteen years ago today, the Lord granted Sue and I be married. Our fathers performed the ceremony, we appreciated our family and friends participating with us, and it was a joyous day!

For me, our marriage has been joyous, and Sue has made that possible. She is a godly woman. She is the most considerate person I know. She evidences God's graces in her all the time, and she would be the first to acknowledge those are none of herself, and loathes her own sin.

I marvel at her cheerful and uncomplaining willingness to serve others and me, especially in bringing her out from a life of comfort to something of a wilderness, with mud and poo everywhere, often on us. :) She never complains when hauling a heavy 5-gallon bucket of feed up to the goats to go milk them; she never complains when having to haul four 6-gallon water containers up to them in a wheelbarrow; she never complains when she has to carry two of them by hand from the cistern to the house to fill the Berkey and indoor elevated dishwater tank.

We have a ton in common, in beliefs and principles, and even had similar life paths growing up. For instance, we both had sung in barbershop quartets before. What are the "odds" of that happening? (100% when it's part of God's plan! :D ). We even grew up in the same general area, and attended the same church but at different times. We often wonder if we had ever crossed paths at any time. And then God brought us together in His perfect timing. By God's graces, we get along extraordinarily well, and she makes our relationship easy.

She has forebeared much with me, and has been a great help. I am ever thankful to God for her, and other than having been given God-fearing parents, she is the best temporal gift I have received in my entire life. If God could have designed a wife/help-meet in perfection for me, she was it!

We have always viewed each other as gifts from the Lord to each other, and in fact, this was the theme of our wedding:
Jam 1:17 - "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

It is how I felt when I asked her to marry me, and still do today.

I considered it so much so in late 2002, with anticipation of asking her for her hand in marriage (after graciously receiving permission from her parents), that I wrote for her a song to God about her as that -- a great gift from Him!

After the one time of singing it to her, the song has just been in my head all of these years, with a little help from some handwritten notes and the lyrics saved on the computer, and so for this fifteen year anniversary, I wanted to surprise her with having recorded it and putting it out in a blog post with my thoughts about her.

But, then I thought, you know, she's the only person who has ever heard this song before, and perhaps she would like to keep it as special only to her. And so, I surprised her with it the other day, and asked what her thoughts were about sharing it as part of our fifteenth anniversary blog post, and she agreed.


To get to that point though, we thought we'd share a little about the engagement day on February 8, 2003...

We spent the day in Carmel, CA, visiting the shops and then planning to end up at the beach later. Little did she know that two of my best friends at the time, Bob and Jeff, were running around purchasing dinner, and getting a table and chairs and table cloths and flowers and a cooler of food and a piano-type keyboard set up on the beach for us...

A couple of funny anecdotes:

At one point, Sue and I went into a shop that had mood rings. She's like, let's try them on. Well, hers was all blue, which means relaxed and emotional, and mine was black, which mean nervous and anxious. I thought, ahhh, this stupid ring is going to blow the whole surprise! :D Sue did wonder why I wasn't relaxed and romantic like she was. :)

And then, it was time to get down to the beach. Once there, Sue went into the restroom, and right then my friends came out of their restroom and said "It's not set up...we need more time!" I was like, ok, I'll try to stall her, and they disappeared before Sue came out. Whew!

And so, Sue and I walked down the beach the "wrong" way for a bit, and then started moseying back the "correct" direction, slowly as much as I could.

Well, as we got closer to the spot, I spied that my friends had completed their covert operations, and we headed toward the dinner table.

My friends video-recorded basically the whole event, and we took a few stills from the video:

Dinner time:

Engagement Dinner


Song time:

Engagement Song


Proposal time:

Engagement Proposal


Putting the ring on her finger after her saying "yes":

Engagement Ring


And right about then, we turned around to face the sun, and this is what it looked like, setting over the ocean! Wow wow wow! What a gift of timing from God!

Engagement Sunset


Then, Sue and I hung out on the beach for a while drinking sparkling cider, and left when it was darker, and my gracious friends, besides setting up everything and filming it, sat there until we were done and cleaned up everything. It was a wonderful time, and we thank the Lord for it!


To Bob and Jeff: I will forever have a debt of gratitude to you both for what you did that day, handling all of that, filming it, and just waiting there until we left, and cleaning up everything. A guy couldn't have asked for better friends!


What follows is the song I believe God specially granted me to write (besides that we can do nothing without Christ, I have never written a song with those kinds of chord progressions before). In it, I wanted to acknowledge God as God, thank Him for His many gifts, and then for the gift of Sue (my Love) specifically, my prayer for myself toward her, specific ways He used her to help me in bringing her to me, my prayer for us as a couple, and then bringing all to God's glory in the end.

These are our continued prayers. May God glorify Himself through us, and may we be godly servants of His and others! I am forever grateful to the Lord for granting me the gift of my Love, Sue!


(Click the play button on the inline player right below the title to listen to it. It was only recorded using the laptop sitting on a pillow on the piano, and I have a slight verbal fumble at the end which I wasn't going to re-do the whole song over after many takes, but you should still get the idea. :) If you don't see the inline audio player, you can listed to it by clicking this link.)

The Gift of My Love



Verse 1
Father, may You be praised
Here and now and in the heavens
Father, exalt Your name
Here and now and forever

We bow before You, holy Lord
Singing praise and worship at Your throne
Be magnified, oh Holy Lord
Praying humbly before Your throne


Verse 2
Father, I want to thank You
For Your many blessings to me
Father, Your endless love
Is shown each day to me

You give so generously
Beyond any of my dreams
You give so ever freely
Above all of our dreams


Chorus
And so I thank You, Lord, for the gift of my Love
I thank You, Lord, for her
I thank You, Lord, for the gift of my love
Please bind our hearts together

She's beautiful, gentle, wonderful, so special
A blessed gift of grace from You


Verse 3
Father, You gave a love,
A gift who sets my heart afire
Father, she's far beyond
My deepest hope and desires

Her beauty's endless as the sky
I melt when I gaze into her eyes
Her smile's as bright as the sun
She's come to me from above


Chorus

Break
May I cherish her, this Love of mine
May I honor her through the end of time
May I love her as You love your own
Thank You for this Love, from love You have shown
She's my Love, thank You for my Love

Who's helped break through the pain
Of hurt and sorrow, a broken heart
You've mended me back together
With her You have restored me

And set me free
To love again
Thank You for this love
May it never, ever, ever, ever end


Verse 4
Father, be glorified
By us, the two of us together
Father, our lives are Yours
May we worship You forever

We bow before You, holy Lord
Be magnified, oh Lord
Singing praise and worship at Your throne
Our love eternally before Your throne


Chorus

Chorus

Fine
For Your glory forever
Be glorified forever
Through us be glorified forever
Praise your holy name forever

Amen

© 2003

Amen!

-- David

6 comments:

Jerry and Anne Sifford said...

As your parents, this blog brought us joy beyond words as how God worked this out to bring honor and glory to His name forever. I would be the desire of our hearts that all marriages could be like your story. Your Dad and mine was "Since God gave me you". And as we celebrated our 55 years this is a reality in our lives, that honoring God in all things and giving Him the glory as we seek His will for our lives, God WILL honor a marriage. Thank you Dave for sharing. We love you and Sue very much and makes us as parents heart rejoice to see your love for God and each other and giving Him the honor and Glory.

Dad and Mom

Ellen said...

Beautiful, the story and the song, thank you for sharing and happy anniversary!

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hi Dad and Mom,

Well, thank you both for your kind and loving words, and amen. We thank the Lord for granting the time He has for you all as well.

We love you both very much as well!

-- Dave & Sue

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hi Ellen,

Thank you much, and we are just very thankful to God.

Thanks for taking the time to say hello!

-- David

Stewart & Shannon said...

Thanks for sharing the story! :-) May the Lord continue to bless you both.

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hi Stewart & Shannon,

Thank you, and you all as well! Thanks for saying hello!

-- David