Monday, June 30, 2014

Marriage tips, wedding anniversary ideas and 30 things I love about my man Stan.

Celebrating our 30 year wedding anniversary! 

Time flies when you’re in love! Compared to men and women who’ve been married 60 years, Stan and I are only half way.

 My sister Emilie was organist at our weddingThe Recessional, God of Grace, Manz
Video organist Erik Geilenkirchen, 2008 Casavant Pipe Organ, Concordia University, Seward, NE

Elizabeth Ann and Stanley Warren Knaus, June 30, 1984
Approximately 11:30 am at Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS), Appleton Minnesota.
The wedding dress had been my mother’s. Mom and I went to a seamstress to have the gown professionally re-fitted, cleaned, pressed, a new veil fashioned from her original head piece, and a satin-covered arm loop created to carry the long train. 30 years ago, I wore the pearl necklace she’d worn 34 years earlier. All in a day… we had a reception lunch in the church basement following the ceremony. The party moved to my parent’s farm for gift opening. Stan’s parents helped us move our gifts 100 miles southwest to the house in Brookings. We celebrated the evening with a live band at Danceland by Lake Campbell. The next day we started a honeymoon trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota.

My parents, Ruth Margaret and Walter Christoph Frederick Busse
November 11, 1950, Appleton, Minnesota

I met my husband, Stan, the day a friend from my hometown came to Brookings, South Dakota, where I’d taken a job at a print shop, beginning my career as graphic designer.

I knew no one in the city except for my employer and co-workers, so I was happy to receive a call from this old friend who was on his way with his friend, Stan’s brother. In my little upstairs apartment across the street from Taco John’s, the three of us had chicken for dinner and then went to Stan’s home. He was hosting a few of his friends who were in town for Hobo Day, the SDSU homecoming celebration. When I first met Stan, I saw his blue eyes and the fact that he is 13 inches taller than me. Love at first sight is a silly concept, but it seemed that’s what I’d been struck with. This guy liked Norman Rockwell and collected antique Saturday Evening Posts … huh?!?

30 things I love about my man, Stan
  1. Stanley is manly
  2. Beautiful blue eyes
  3. Hard-working
  4. Artistic
  5. Generous
  6. Conservative
  7. Kind
  8. Respectful
  9. Ambitious
  10. Tall, Gray and Handsome
  11. Creative
  12. Thoughtful
  13. Genius (pronounced with a G like goofy)
  14. Sense of humor
  15. Supportive
  16. Spiritual
  17. Father to our children
  18. Friendly
  19. Helpful
  20. Romantic
  21. Responsible
  22. Integrity
  23. Sensitivity
  24. Faithful
  25. Dedicated
  26. Handy Mr. Fixit
  27. Mr. Right (for me)
  28. His confidence in believing he is always right
  29. Ability to admit [when he can see] he’s wrong
  30. He’ll love me forever

In a perfect world, I would see only positive virtues all the time. 

Utopia wouldn’t allow me to focus on things that aren’t going “my way”. Stan would be telling the truth when he jokes, “It’s been 30 years of pure wedded bliss!” I may be a dreamer, but this is not a perfect world. Life on this side of heaven is full of sin which brings out ugly junk in our hearts and actions, whether we realize it or not (and sometimes we don’t). In our real world, from time to time, every married couple experiences some form of misunderstanding, dissatisfaction, disappointment or loneliness as a result of sin.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23

How do we deal with this junk? How do we recognize it? What makes us content? Where do patience and peace come from?

The officiating minister of our marriage service required pre-marital counseling. We scheduled a date and drove 200 miles to learn from Reverend Buchholz at Trinity Lutheran Church. I highly recommend all engaged couples to seek “help” from the pastor before the wedding. He described a higher form of love necessary in a marriage. The word agape means a self-sacrificing covenantal love, the kind of love that God has for us in Christ. Every marital challenge and tough relationship situation I face in life brings me back to this concept and helps me cope.

Stan and I have a date at least once every week. 

Every Sunday we get together with a group of other people who personally confess their own junk and are eager to learn about agape love. Together, we hear a sermon prepared by an ordained minister—a well-educated theologian with a master of divinity degree. Our souls are filled with the Wisdom of God which convicts, shapes and forms each of us. As we commune at our Savior’s table, through Spirit led confession/repentance, we receive forgiveness. We pray, sing and give thanks to our Creator. We’re fueled by the Good Shepherd’s counsel, pointing us in the right direction! Every week we need our faith to be refreshed, over and over again.

Stan is an antiquer, dumpster diver, American picker and junker. 

Many nights he stayed up late cleaning and fixing “one man’s junk” to turn it into “another man’s treasure”, dedicated to help pay for our children’s college tuition and contribute to our nest egg. Fascinated with history—the story each item contains—he appreciates the utilitarian potential these items hold to be re-used, recycled, up-cycled or simply to enjoy for decorative beauty.

Compare this interest in antiques to the love God has for us in Christ. 

Stan picks up obsolete, forgotten, discarded, rusty, broken pieces of junk and restores them to fresh merchandise. Jesus suffered, died, was buried and rose again in order to take away the sin of the world. Sin makes us rusty (weak), broken (damaged), obsolete junk (worthless). By hearing the Word, we’re picked up by The Spirit, led to repentance, washed clean, restored for eternal life through our baptism into Christ—built up with potential to share this Living Good News which draws others to faith. God’s essence is grace and mercy. Out of thanksgiving, we seek to improve and do beautiful things.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:3

Nathan and Laura playing with blocks
Nathan and Laura playing with antique building blocks.

In 30 years, two of our greatest blessings are named Nathan and Laura. 

The Lord’s help, through support from our extended families and community, enabled us to nurture these babies into adulthood. What a wonderful opportunity to love and honor each other and God. He placed us and our children here!
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28
yellow bunnies hug salt and pepper shakers
I found these sweeties while we were vacationing in Park Rapids, MN.
Definitely a gift for Stan—he loves hugging! They also remind me of my parents who had a gray set of salt and pepper shakers like this, tucked in their china cabinet. Bunny hug, yellow bunnies, designed by Ruth Van Tellingen Bendel,
circa 1947, made by Regal China.

Designed to compliment each other, we are not alike—we’re unique.

Opposites attract. Physically and psychologically, God created us differently, uniting us in marriage with His blessing, for His design.
  • Man and woman
  • Salt and pepper shakers
  • Connection and adventure
  • Catsup and mustard
  • Hamburgers and buns
  • Bride and groom
  • Security and freedom
  • Garbage and trash can
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Left and right—gloves, shoes
  • Ascending and decending—flight patterns
  • Husband and wife 
  • Support and challenge
  • Flowers and vases
  • Sugar and spice
  • Paper and pencil
  • Tooth brush and tooth paste
  • Father and mother
  • Comfort and intensity
  • Car and gasoline
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Swimming pool and diving board
  • Wine and cheese

Faith is a gift of The Spirit—we’ve also been given the free will to think for ourselves.

We can reject faith (failure to trust in Christ alone for forgiveness and salvation) or we can regularly receive it’s power to strengthen and mature us so we may share spiritual intimacy. Our selfish human nature is contrary to God’s plan. Holy and True love turns adversity into character-building function for His name’s sake. When we receive our Heavenly Father’s involvement, healthy balance, confidence and positive growth are brought into our relationship.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17

At our Bible-based church we are in agreement and fellowship with other believers on “God’s design for marriage”. 

We are in disagreement with certain church bodies, politicians and individuals on the topic of what they call “gay marriage” or same-sex civil unions. I was pleased to see action to protect our religious liberty at the Faith Lutheran Church Quarterly Voter’s Meeting, March 30, 2014, when an Amendment of the By-laws of the Constitution was made by adding:
ARTICLE XII – MARRIAGE: (passed by unanimous vote) The marriage policy of Faith Lutheran Church, a member congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, is and always has been consistent with the Synod’s beliefs on marriage. We believe that marriage is a sacred union of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24-25), and that God gave marriage as a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride the Church (Eph. 5:32). The official position of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, as set forth in 1998 Res. 3-21 (“To Affirm the Sanctity of Marriage and to Reject Same-Sex Unions”), is that homosexual unions come under categorical prohibition in the Old and New Testaments (Lev. 18:22, 24; 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:9-10) as contrary to the Creator’s design (Rom. 1:26-27). These positions and beliefs can be found on the LCMS website, along with other statements, papers and reports on the subject of homosexuality and same-sex civil unions and “marriage.” Our pastors will not officiate over any marriages inconsistent with these beliefs, and our church property may not be used for any marriage ceremony, reception or other activity that would be inconsistent with our beliefs and this policy.

Anniversary Card printable from
Anniversary card I designed—this plus other occasions printable art and blank stationery is available at FreshRetroGallery. Past posts you may be interested in: How to make cards on the computer and Wording ideas for handmade cards.

How to celebrate a wedding anniversary

  • Thank the Lord for taking us through this year. 
  • Confess shortcomings. 
  • Forgive one another.
  • Pray for myself and my husband.
  • Reminisce about the past, learn from experiences.
  • Celebrate present moments.
  • Talk about the future.
  • Re-commit the vow—the promise we made to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.
  • Pray that by the grace of God, we continue to accept each other’s unique individuality and ask the Spirit to lead us to love as Christ loved us.
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2


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