My soul is blessing the Lord today as I remember a benefit that has graced my life for nineteen years. On the afternoon of August 17th, 1991 in the Trinity Lutheran Seminary Chapel within a full blown LBW setting two festival liturgy, complete with three pastors, Bible and torch bearers, brass ensemble, tympani and choir, Lisa and I promised each other that come what may we would live the rest of our lives by the vows we exchanged that day. While the married life remains romantic, it is mostly about not forgetting, and I don’t mean anniversaries. It’s about an every day not forgetting that the benefit that is a blessing is found in living the vows. For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health I am yours and you are mine to have and to hold, to honor and to keep in a covenant of life long faithfulness. It is the ultimate act of surrender and trust and even when we don’t do it very well, when the worse obscures the better, when our own poverty forgets the richness of relationship, or sickness of soul the health that is found in warm embrace and tender touch, even then, especially then, the benefit not forgotten is remembering that “I love you” is as much an act of the will as it is the heart. We said it this way nineteen years ago, “in freedom and joy I bind my life to yours.” Of course sometimes we say it this way, “good thing I love you.” The blessing of the soul not forgetting the benefit is that after nineteen years you’d do it all again in a heart beat. Thank you, Lisa, for gracing my life with yours. In freedom and joy I’d do it all over again because it is a really good thing to love you.