Thursday, March 8, 2012


that 's how many years 

we've been man and wife

I love this picture of us.

more than any other ever  taken

I see so much love and joy in my husband's face.

We are truly at peace with each other.

I wish I could say that we have it all figured out

and that everyday is like that moment


it is 


There are many days when I see this face

I see a man with sad eyes.

 My heart breaks for him

and misses the man he used to be.

(his story is told here~he lost his twin brother to suicide)

Then there are the days when I am not the wife I should be.

I may be a bit too opinionated.

In fact, we are having a hard time of it right now.

Last year I wrote this post.

I have gone back to read it 1, 2 , many times

over the past year.

to encourage me.

 Love is  always will be a choice.

I love this man


I count him as one of my greatest gifts.

I always hesitate to write a post like this. 

 I want to be real

want to share my life with you. 

 my real life.  

I don't want you


think for one minute

 that it is all white paint and roses over here.  

And that all I  do is  dream up a project 

and that my 

husband does it.  

No, we are real people with real feelings that 

often get hurt, 

real people with tempers that often are set off,

and real people that desperately need a Savior.  

A real Savior to teach us grace, forgiveness and mercy.

And so today, even though we are struggling,

I give thanks...because...

all is grace.


Blessed Serendipity said...

You truly shared your heart today Renee. No one ever said that life in general was going to be a walk in the park. Your love for your husband shows in posts like this. The fact that you ask God to help you shows how much you trust and rely on the Lord's help and how important your marriage is to you both. I love the pictures of you and your husband. Happy 32nd anniversary!


Anonymous said...

{{{{{ sweet blessings }}}}}


Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Thank you for such a beautiful post. You are two very lucky people to have each others love.

Blessings to you both.


Donna@anangloinquébec said...

I absolutely love these photos of you and your husband...simply heartwarming. Marriage is real work, and I am always so intrigued by those of us who have chosen to put in the work or in fairness to others have been lucky to find work that has provided such moments of happiness... and sadness. I really believe that it takes all those moments, the happy and the sad. Félicitations!

Lisa~A Cottage To Me said...

What a Lovely post! Those are great pictures and ones that you should always cherish and look back on when times are not as you'd like them to be. I am fairly new to your blog, so I will go back and catch up on your story. Thank your for sharing and by the way, Congratulations....32 yrs says Alot!

Rebecca said...

Thanks for "keepin' it real"! May God continue to bless your marriage and keep you both "real".

Amy Kinser said...

Thank you for being real, for being sincere, for sharing your heart. God bless you and your husband.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Gracie and husband ~ Happy 32nd.

I know exactly what you mean. Marriage is made up of ups and downs, good times and bad, feast or famine, joy and sorrow, but IF we CHOOSE to love, encourage, and forgive, that relationship can only grow stronger.

Those are wonderful pictures of the two of you.

Each day is a gift, our love for each other is a gift, and I continually want to be a better wife and friend. My DH is my best friend. He knows me better than anyone else, besides God, and I am thankful for his love and all that we have together.

We have to remember that 'God's grace is sufficient' no matter what the circumstances or what day it is.

We are all sinners saved by His grace, and Love covers a multitude of sins.

Love and hugs to you both and may tomorrow be a better day.


NanaDiana said...

What a blessing to come here and find that you are so real. Life is NOT the fairy-tale portrayed in so many blogs. It is not all sunshine and roses and gardens that flourish and vignettes that seem perfect...and untouched by any trouble and/or strife.

I come here because you are real and I like that. You are brave...braver than I am on many counts because I hide behind my humor.

You are a blessing here because we all feel connected to your beautiful home and the renovations that you have done...connected by your talent that you so freely share...and connected by the fact that in spite of life not being rosy and beautiful every moment, you carry on...and do what needs to be done. I, too, believe that love is often a decision and NOT a feeling. A hard decision sometimes but one that I feel God asks of us.

God bless you and I hope the rough patches are soon over and the road will smooth before you and your husband. xo Diana said...

Those are the most beautiful pictures, I have goosebumps. Ups and downs are in every relationship. I love that you keep it real. You have no idea how much I enjoy your wonderful blog. I am sending you and hubby big (((((HUGS)))) and prayers.
~Debra xxx
Capers of the vintage vixens

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Beautiful post and so very well said my dear friend..I'm praying for you as God does hear us..Hugs and smiles Gloria

Pamela Gordon said...

Beautiful post and words. I'm glad you kept it real because nobody is perfect and no relationship is either. We are also thankful for a Savior who guides us in our marriage. Wishing you many blessings on this special day and for the year ahead. God Bless! Hugs, Pamela

Stephanie said...

I love all of these pictures! Congrats!

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear you are struggling. Life is not made up of all rose and chippy paint and keeping it real is right and good...because you are real, we all are. It is important to share the great things as well as the struggles we have so we all know we are not alone in our struggles and others know how we feel. I hope your days fill with laughter once again on a more consistent basis and you and your husband heal from your losses...finding strength in each other and in God. Kindredly, Lynnie

ThereseMarie said...

Amen! You set such a good example by being real. I appreciate those days when I want to make faces behind his back (sometimes I do), then I laugh because I love him so much and he is so good to me. Thank you for sharing your wonderful humanness with us!

chateau chic said...

Lovely post on your commitment to marriage and to the Lord to protect your marriage!
Mary Alice

Angie@vivalacottage said...

How lovely to see this post. The tides do ebb and flow, don't they? After 28 years I can tell you that when we are good, it is amazing. When we are bad... well I can't believe it has happened all over again.

Thanks for your honesty. After all, this is marriage. For real.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I am learning more each day about God's amazing, life giving grace. Your quote at the end of this well shared, from the heart post, says it all. Happy Anniversary to the two of you! I found this post so interesting and so real. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us today. I wish you more years to enjoy each other. You are both so talented in what you create together.

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

I love real!
I understand the "wilderness" that God takes us through in life ~ We have had that time these last few months ~
But....I do know that the Lord promises growth through these times ~ If we seek Him we will feel Him in our lives like we never do during the "easy" times ~
Happy Anniversary to you sweet girl!

Privet and Holly said...

Love these pics and
your sweet words, too.
What an extremely
beautiful couple ~ and
I sincerely mean that.
The love is palpable in
these images. Yes, there
are highs and lows, but
if the core is friendship,
then the relationship is
more likely to not only
endure.....but to bloom.
Happy Anniversary!

xx Suzanne

Holly @ Bella Nest said...

Wow. I love this post. It spoke directly to me! My husband and I will be married 13 years on the 19th of this month and we have had more downs than ups lately, but God is still on the throne and has proven faithful time and time again. Thank you for being real and for sharing your heart. I'm a follower of your blog for a couple of reasons... you're a sister in the Lord and an incredible decorator.

FredaB said...

I know you will both be fine. If you have made a committment of 32 years you will just keep on getting better as the years go by.

It will be 53 for us come this August so I know what I say. Life is good when you are married to a good man.



Unknown said...

I admire you for speaking about your 'real' life. It is not easy to do on these blogs. One feels like they stick out like a sore thumb...but we are human, we need to be real, we need to share with others. I commend you for reaching out and sharing your 'reality'. Thanks, it will help so many others, who look at all these blogs and think 'how perfect their life must be'! It is no different than any other persons.

marie said...

These are wonderful photos! Happy anniversary to you both.

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Any of us that have been married for any real length of time, know there are seasons in a marriage..some are beautiful sunny days, and some are difficult cold days....But the love of Christ, and each other will get us through..again and again!

Diane said...

So nice to read your post Rene. It's so very hard to write "real" things and yet we all wish we could share that with each other but are afraid to.
You are Christians and you have that to help you through the hard times as well as the good.

Happy Anniversary and many blessings to you both. Diane

Angela said...

Congratulations on 32 wonderful years. I love these photos. I think the first time I remember visiting your blog it was to see these pictures. You can just see and feel the love in these photos. Oh my friend all of us who are married know its not always easy just worth it. Mr. P and I will be married 39 years in July and could write a book on our ups and downs, but through it all there has been love. Marriage is a job worth working hard for...the rewards are priceless. Loved your post.

Sue said...

Congratulations to you both on such a beautiful marriage all these years! I made it to 22 years before my divorce and thought that was amazing ;0)

Take care,

trash talk said...

This entire portfolio is probably my favorite set of marriage photos ever because of the passion it represents. Not passion in the way others think of it, but a deep abiding fire between two people who truly do want the best for the other and will move heaven and earth to make it happen. That's what I see when I look at them...that and unity. I can't explain that one, but I know it when I see it.
I wish every young couple could read this post before they step down the aisle.
P.S. That one photo is a hoot. Can't have a good marriage without a lot of laughter to offset the missteps.

Faded Charm said...

I, too, love this photo of you two and we all know that marriage isn't easy. I think we all go through times where things are less than perfect.

Take care my friend,

ShabbyESP said...

Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby!!!
I love these pictures of you both, you can tell the love you have for each other.
May you have many more!!!
Suzann ~xoxo~

Leena Milligan Lanteigne said...

Whatever your struggles, cling to each other. There is no stronger bond than true love! When hearts are meant to be together, nothing can tear them apart! Thank you for sharing your private life. Hugs, Leena

Kathy said...

Happy Anniversary Rene, What sweet pictures and even sweeter words. I had no idea the grief you have been through. I just assumed all was as lovely as the pictures. We too have seen life's challenges and i am so glad we have a perfect and awesome God that we can go to for strength at all times. Blessings to you today

Stacy's Shabby Shoppe said...

Aw Rene ~ this is such a heartfelt post. Marriage isn't all roses that's for sure, some years...months...days are better than others. I hope you both continue to be blessed! ~Stacy~

Unknown said...

Oh Rene, how beautiful . I know what you are talking about, it is like it is me talking. 26 here, long years, many weary ones, only the grace of God. The one thing is that love, the one in Corinthians 13, the one hard to achieve but real, so much that God talk and let us know about it. May God continue to hold, nurture and blessed your marriage, I'm placing it in the palm of His hand. Marta.

Dawn E. Brown said...

What a beautiful and honest post. We too will be married 32 years on June 7th of this year. I could have written this myself. blessings to you both as you keep on for Him, the author and Finisher of our faith. without Jesus, it is all nothing. Love to you, Dawn E. Brown

HillHouse said...

Thank you for being so transparent, I think we all could learn to be a little more. Not to uncover one another, but to grow and learn from eachothers lives. May the Lord truly reign down mercy and love on you today.
In Him,

aarond said...

I can see the love on both of your faces for each other. Just remember everyone has troubles at one time or another. You will get through the rough times. I can tell that the two of you are in love and deep down that's all that matters. The pictures are a treasure for sure. We had some done this winter. I will post them sometime.

aarond said...

I can see the love on your faces for each other in these awesome photos. Just remember everyone has rough times at one time or another. I can see the two of you are in love and that's really all that matters. Congratulations on 32 years!!!

Sandi said...

This post could have been written by me {except that we are going on 35 years}. Every bit of it is so US and so true! We all need a Savior!!
Blessings ~

Mammabellarte Rita Reade said...

To be True, to be Real is very important. Do you know what's important too....that you are still together and did not give up!
Happy Anniversary to you both. Ciao Rita

Santie said...

What a beautiful post. You touched my heart. Thank you, and blessed be.

Curtains in My Tree said...

Being married was the hardest thing I have ever done in life

I have been divorced and now a widow


Anonymous said...

that was great and very real. we will celebrate 34 this summer. my husband also lost an identical twin but they were only six. God has provided much grace to us through the years, we understand. God bless this new year!

Gloria said...

What a beautiful post! Happy Anniversary! May God bless your lives with His peace and love. The photos are amazing. Thanks for sharing.


Victorian1885 said...

Thank you for sharing your Personal struggles with all of as. Everyone goes through these up & downs and I believe they do make the bond of marriage stronger. The photos show such love between you.. hold onto that. Beautiful post..take care!

Sharon said...

When I looked at the post of when your husband lost his brother, it caught my breath. I lost my own brother 4 days before that. It took the police 4 mos. til they called it an accident and not foul play. His wife and 3 daughters went into a spiral of losing him, their farm and the only way of life they had known within the following 4 months. This world is a cruel place for a widow with no income. There is no time limit on grief...the pain is still fresh and raw for all of us. All we have to do is open to that page and it's all still there. We'll never know the reasons why things happen as they do...but we CAN survive each new step we take each new morning by asking the Lord to carry us through. I'm so thankful I'm a Christian and have the Lord to pull me up for all the millions of times I find myself drowning in the grief. That's also why we need each others help us through our struggles. "Pray without ceasing" is my life goal. The best thing we can do for each other is pray, daily....for strength....and for the Lord to fill us with Joy that only He can give.

❁Velma ~Down Our Country Road❁ said...

Congratulations on your anniversary! Thank you for being real and honest. Even the best marriages have their 'moments'. We celebrated our 39th a few months ago and have had people ask me how do we make it work? The answer is always that we go back to the commitment we made BEFORE God. He is the center of it all and it is He whom we rely on when times are tough. It's not easy by any means but we are so blessed for persevering and loving each other in good times and bad. I pray for God's richest blessings for the two of you!!

White Lace and Promises said...

What beauty beyond description!

Anonymous said...

First time reader here:

Two thumbs up (plus the big toes) ;-) :-D

You're so very right: relationship/life can be as hellish as it can be heavenly.
Not to give up hope can get you a loooong way!

Chin up and plenty of luck,


Dianne said...

Thank you so much for keeping it real! Marriage is a COMMITMENT!
Love is a choice we have to make everyday!!! To love the Lord, to love our spouse, to love our children and the hardest of all to love ourself(especially because we know how we are!)
I am so thankful for our Saviour, Jesus Christ who took all our sins upon Himself, so that ONE day I will have "Perfect" love!
Happy Anniversary!!!

Adrienne said...

Thank you for having the courage to share your heart. Taking a risk isn't easy but you've been real - where many of us live. Belated congratulations on your years together. Wishing you the best yet to come!

Unknown said...

Dear Renee:
I don't visit as often as I'd like or comment every time I do, but this post deserved a comment. So touching and real. Raw and true. Beautiful. Real life, real love, real faith.
Happy Anniversary.
Peace to you and all those you love.

Barbara Jean said...

Wonderful post sweet lady.
And all so true. Love is a choice.
Marriage is a commitment.
We all change over the years, and learn to work through the hard times, and enjoy the good times.

And without Jesus, we could not do any of it.

Sweet blessings to you both, and sending up a prayer.

barbara jean

Shabbygal said...

What a wonderful post! I just discovered your blog and it really touched my heart! I went back and read your other post about grieving and how hard it is on a marriage I needed that! I lost my mom in Aug. and It hasn't been the same! My hubby doesn't know what to do with me,but I'm trying. Thank you for sharing it's nice to know other people have problems too. Traci

Cindy said...

I have tears in my eyes, dear Gracie, because none of us have a perfect marriage. If we say we do, it's possible our husband has already gone off to meet his maker.:)
Really and truly, you sound pretty normal, dear lady. We choose each day how we will act and react.
Happy Anniversary.
Love and hugs, Cindy

The Green Pea said...

Thank you for the post. God blessed us with the Savoir. Congratulations to you and your husband. May we all be thankful for our Savoir. Many blessings to and your family.

Sheila Rumney said...

Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful, heartfelt post. Marriage isn't easy... it takes work and commitment. It just shows how much you do love each other.

Being a twin myself, I can't imagine what your husband is going through with the death of his twin.

Kathy McDonagh said...

You inspire me in sooo many ways!

Our Country Bungalow said...

I just stumbled across your blog and Oh My Goodness I love it! This post is beautiful! I am inspired and I will be back!

Anne said...

Being together so many years does bring challenges.I have been with my sweetheart for 29 years this March.We have been married for 23 years this June.He is my best friend.We have been through tough times.We pray and get through them.You are a sweet beautiful couple.I can see that in your photos.I will keep you both in my prayers.God will see you both through it.

the old white house said...

this was so beautiful, the pictures of you two are so sweet, you can just feel the love and commitment that you have for one another. Marriage is not always a walk in the park but on the days that it is, I am blessed to be walking with my hubby of 26 years. Our faith is what has kept us together, just like yours... we know that when the hard times come, we can get through them if we hold on tight.
You are blessed, you can just see that in your photos. Happy Anniversary! t.xoxooxo

Unknown said...

What gorgeous photos of you both, I so hope after 32 years of marriage my hubby & I will still be in love as much as we are now (only 9 yrs for us)
Sorry to hear that times are hard for you at the moment...hang in there,time is a great healer.
Happy belated anniversary
Gill in UK x

GennieG said...

Hi Renee! I am new to your blog and I am glad I came across it. I know I'm going to like it here. I love all your photos. The ones of you and your hubby are precious. Your farmhouse is a dream. I also love your realness. I love when people share their hearts and are transparent and genuine. I'm also sorry about your husband's brother. Many blessings to all of you!