25 Years of Love, Diamonds and Umbrellas!

I was just being practical. I WAS listening to Noah when he said he needed an umbrella. Shouldn’t you give someone a gift they need?

Well, yes . . . but not as a wedding present to your future husband!

Twenty-five years ago today, I married the love of my life, Noah Archer. Maybe more surprising? He married me after receiving probably the worst wedding gift of all time – a brown umbrella. How was I supposed to know that wedding gifts to your future husband should be a little more romantic? How was I supposed to know that he was having his grandfather’s ruby and diamond tie tack made into a pendant necklace for me to wear on our wedding day?

It’s hard to believe that Noah and I have been married 25 years! I will not go through the entire meeting and courtship but let’s just say it was a God-thing. We met at Orange UMC. I was teaching school in Chapel Hill. He was a pediatric intern at UNC-CH. He was sitting behind me in church one day and after worship, I told him that he had a nice singing voice. Then we didn’t speak for another year.

By the next summer, I had resigned from teaching and was preparing to enter Duke Divinity School in the fall. Noah had survived his first year of residency as an intern and now had a little more time outside the hospital. I needed a pianist for the early service choir that I was leading. He happened to play the piano.

Sunday, Labor Weekend, 1990, early morning choir turned into lunch, an afternoon at the Symphony in the Park and by Thanksgiving weekend, we were engaged.

On August 10, 1991, at Orange UMC, we were married, surrounded by our family and friends.

Through these 25 years, our love has changed and grown in ways that we could never have imagined. Through the joy of the birth of Will, through the pain of miscarriage and infertility, through the challenges of busy professions or rather callings, through family and friend ups and downs . . . in everything, God has been the source of our strength and the foundation of our marriage.

Every day has not been rosy. Really, who has that kind marriage? But every day has been a recommitment to one another, to our love for one another and to our marriage.

Happy Anniversary, Noah! I love you and look forward to the next 25 years. Thank you for giving me your heart all those years ago – even after a brown umbrella!

P.S. Maybe on the 25th anniversary, I’ve done a better job with the gift. TBA

Emotional Rescue

“You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”          –  Psalm 16:11


As we pulled into the rental lake house, I laughed out loud when I saw the name of the house: Emotional Rescue. A blog post started stirring in my mind . . .

While Noah, Will and I are in Louisiana, visiting the Archer side of the family, we are renting a house on Lake St. John. The house belongs to Noah’s cousin who is a big Rolling Stones fan, thus the house is named after one of their songs. Since I’m not a Stones expert, I looked up the words to the song. Uh, no . . . the lyrics have nothing to do with the kind of rescue that I need.

The kind of rescue that I need is illustrated in my journal entry of July 27: “Lord, I’m so tired! I need to be rejuvenated. It’s not a tiredness of the physical – maybe a little. It’s tiredness of mind and spirit!”

Wow! Does Jesus know what you need or what? He even named a house for me!

I’m no different from anyone else. All of us get tired – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.   Family, work, hobbies – all good things but sometimes our lives are drained without any refueling.

I can so easily allow my emptiness to turn into a grand old pity party where I’m the only guest invited. Kindness, compassion, and joy are replaced by resentment, complaint, and grumpiness. I wrote a list of why I should feel drained for this blog entry and then there was the God whisper: “Trish, no one cares about your list. Everyone’s got a list of reasons why they feel drained. “

Yes, all of us can have our own pity parties. Everyone works harder than everyone else. Everyone has family issues. Everyone is more tired than everyone else.  Everyone _____________ (you fill in the blank).

For all of us, there is an answer.

Invite God to our pity party. Go ahead and get it out there. Admit our brokenness. But don’t wallow in it. What’s that saying? Misery loves company? I can’t make everyone around me miserable too!

Ask: what needs to change? What can change? Some things are beyond our control but what are the things that we do have the power to change?

Then look for ways to refresh, rejuvenate, and restore. We are blessed to be spending a week away in this lovely place (see picture) but Monday, it’s back to reality. What can I do to replenish when the phone starts ringing again, when the emails must be answered, when life comes back in full force?

I need a different rescue than the kind in the Rolling Stone song. I need the kind found in the song by Jared Anderson, “Rescue”:

You are the source of life; I can’t be left behind.

No one else will do; I will take hold of You,

‘Cause I need You, Jesus, to come to my rescue . . . *

Lord Jesus, may it be so.


* © 2003 Integrity Worship Music

Special thanks to Buddy and Betty Paul for their restful place, Emotional Rescue.  We look forward to returning!