Thirty-five years. How have we sailed three-and-a-half decades together on the ocean of life, all those years of marriage in our effervescent wake? After a magical Maui vacation celebrating our anniversary, here I sit in my white office chair at my overly-cluttered desk… my tan fading and those pesky peel-y bits flaking. I’m surrounded by books, to-do lists, a manuscript that needs writing, and a Frenchie who needs walking, but I’m taking a minute to pause and process these 3 things: marriage, music, and Maui. In my mind’s eye, as I stare out over turquoise waters, my husband’s arms wrapped around my waist, his unshaven chin resting on my sun-kissed shoulder, I pray for another 35 years, please… or maybe just come back very soon, Lord Jesus, because I now have rather a taste for paradise!



Lyndon and I love marriage. We just do. We’re involved in marriage ministry for engaged couples and with Alpha for those wanting to enrich their marriage at any age and stage. But today as I consider “advice” or ponderings on how I think our own marriage not only survives but thrives, I humbly offer these three nuggets:

  • Beach walks
  • Deep talks
  • Knives & forks

Stay with me here…

If you’re a regular, you’ll know that I started dating Lyndon when I was 14 and he was 16 years old. English girl and Welsh boy. Tiny Welsh village. High school sweethearts. Married the day after my 20th birthday because I didn’t want to be a teenager-bride (apparently, that one extra day made me so, so mature.)



At our wedding, we surprised the congregation by singing a duet: “Household of Faith” by Steve Green, where we declared, “We’ve got to love each other at any cost unselfishly…” Words we have taken to heart as we discovered selflessness was the only way for a marriage to thrive.

The background music on our wedding video (we were pretty hip to even have a video in ’88) was “Always” by Atlantic Star: “And we both know, that our love will grow, and forever it will be you and me.” Forever seemed like a really long time back then, but we both wanted to stay together forever. That was the goal. And yes, our love has grown and strengthened with the tides of time and the storms of life. With raising of kids and emptying of nest. With work and dreams and passions and ministries.


These musical delights of the 80s stood us in good stead, for sure, but we both know without a shadow of a doubt that we are still a “household faith” with “always” as our goal because of God. Because of His grace. Because of the beautiful couples and individuals he has placed in our lives. Because He taught us (and continues to teach us) to be selfless in our marriage.



“Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others.” 1 Corinthians 1: 5-6



Our first beach walk as a married couple was in Cyprus on our honeymoon. We looked like children playing dress-up.

I’m pretty sure we’ve walked a hundred beaches since then. The UK, Europe, Canada, North America, the Caribbean, and Hawaii… Maui being the latest, where we must have walked at least 10 different beaches, each of them labeled our favourite. It’s something we love to do… feeling our toes sink into the grainy, soft sand while the wind whips our hair and the waves lap the shore as a rhythmic backdrop to our words. Deep conversations, hysterical laughter, sorrowful stories, shared dreams… guards are down when you’re walking on the beach.



Perhaps your beach is a coffee shop or a city park or a mountain hike.

Honestly, it’s wherever the deep talk can happen. The non-judgmental, gracious, kind, encouraging, real talk. The chat about selflessness and forever needs to be a rhythm just like those lapping waves.



Enter the knives & forks. We’ve made it a family practice for better or worse (please don’t ask our kids their thoughts) to eat dinner around the table together whenever possible. A point of connection, conversation, and communication, as we nourish our bodies. And when our kids all gradually left home, we continued the tradition. The two of us catching up on the day, planning a date night, talking about said kids, checking on work, laughing at funnies, enjoying good food together. Just life stuff. But if we miss it, we miss out.



Selflessness does not come naturally to me (not one bit) and we are both very much works in progress—progress being key. It takes intentionality and prayer for me to ask how I can make my husband’s day better or easier or happier. How I can be sensitive to his needs. Anticipate what might stress him out. Love him well. And here’s the shiny bonus; when I actually practice selflessness, turns out that it’s a blessing for me, too. Win-win, friends!



My pearls of wisdom after 35 years of marriage and being more in love than ever: beach walks, deep talks, knives & forks.

Do you have a favourite beach or meaningful wedding song? Feel free to share in the comments…

Until next time,

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