Three principles my parents taught me: sing little songs, try again, and pray.

Everything reminded my dad of a song he knew. Hearing him quietly sing little songs throughout the day made me feel like everything would somehow be okay.

My mother’s determination to work hard and never give up gave me hope and courage and a good work ethic. I didn’t like that she made us weed our yard and other people’s yards. As an adult I enjoy weeding.

My parents prayed. I love to pray.

Rick and I have been married for over 47 years. We’ve been through some difficult challenges. We can handle more. We’ve come this far. We can go the distance.

Sometimes we’ve handled our challenges very awkwardly, but we did it. We did it!

Awkward is okay.

We had our first four children in four years. We had seven children in 13 years.

We didn’t sleep very well for years. Our children are now wonderful parents of their own children.

We built several homes on evenings and Saturdays, while raising our children.

We didn’t understand teenagers. Sometimes we were too strict and sometimes we were too lenient.

We muddled our way through a lot of joy and a lot of anxiety and a lot of mistakes.

We had issues between us but we had decided early on that this marriage was forever.

We never gave up.

We lived in an RV several times for months at a time. Once we lived with five young children for about nine months in a combined camper/job shack. Every night we would read out of the Little House on the Prairie series and felt like we were living the story.

It’s been a very fun and very challenging adventure.

Through it all we have been happy, sad, complaining, angry, grateful, determined, crying and laughing.

We have handled a lot of challenges. We can handle some more.

(Actually, looking back, I realize it was not as big a deal as I thought at the time. Drama. 🙂

We handled it with lots of singing, trying again and prayers.

We’ve made it this far. We can go the distance.

So can you.