Yesterday Diedra and I celebrated twenty years of matrimony. We went out to dinner at a wonderful place called Vera Mae’s Bistro. The weather was almost exactly like our special day twenty years ago–namely, perfect. Mid seventies, gentle breeze, bright blue sky, happy sunshine.

We were married in the church she grew up in. We had hundreds of guests from both our home churches, plus college friends and out-of-town relatives.

My grandfather and uncle officiated. My college friends provided gorgeous music. In a tailed tuxedo, I had the audacity to sing a solo to my bride–which, by some miracle, I made it through. Our vows were a mishmash of impossible promises that we cut-and-pasted together from a collection of samples. We cringe slightly at that memory–so now, with our middle-aged counsel, we recommend the traditional vows not only for their poetic beauty, but for their realistic modesty.

For the reception, we had a brilliant white tent, filled with tables and chairs. A hog roast with picnic fare, a tiered cake with delicious flowers that matched Diedra’s chosen colors. Homemade centerpieces, tear-laden speeches, and aching cheeks from ecstatic smiles.

Garter tossed, we escaped in a classic fire engine red Pontiac GTO convertible–the car turned more heads than the Happy Couple.

Twenty years makes one contemplative. We’ve proudly joined the ranks of folks who talk about How Time Flies. We thought we knew each other that day in 2001. And we did. But kind of like an acorn knows another acorn. We’ve been blessed to see each other grow as we’ve experienced some of life’s ups and downs. The Lord’s been good. We’re profoundly grateful.

One of our favorite candids, this sits framed on my desk at the office.