It Was 20 Years Ago Today

(This post was written to be published yesterday but has only just been posted due to there being no easy access to Internet where I travelled in Bangladesh.)

On a hot summer day in 1992 said, “I do”. I was standing with the most incredible woman I’ve ever met and we’re still standing together twenty years later.

It’s an unusual anniversary for us because we’re many thousands of kilometres away from each other. I would desperately love to be spending this very special day with Pauline but circumstances have me half a world away.

I could never have imagined spending my life with such a beautiful woman and yet twenty years on and the dream continues. And Pauline’s not just beautiful, she’s smarter than she’ll ever admit, far cleverer, more caring and much more fun to be with than anyone I’ve ever known or will ever know.

How can words express how I really feel about this amazing woman who chose to share this journey of life with me? I still can’t get over how blessed I am to have Pauline by my side.

Pauline, thanks for walking down that aisle two decades ago. Thank you for saying, “I do”. Being with you still brings me the greatest happiness I’ve ever known. How about we stick at it for another twenty?

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What is it about certain time periods that add extra significance to remembering our life history? Why do we celebrate milestones differently to anniversaries of events in other years?

I clocked up another year of life a couple of months ago but it wasn’t a milestone birthday. Next year, however, I’ll be hitting the half century so I’m already starting to think about what I need to do in the coming months to reach that occasion in better than reasonable shape.

While my birthday this year wasn’t a milestone, 2012 is a significant milestone year for other reasons.

Next month it’ll be 25 years since I first cycled across Australia, riding about four and a half thousand kilometres in five weeks to make my way from Perth to Canberra. I’ve cycled across the Nullarbor another four times since then but that first trip was obviously a significant life event. Each of those rides was part of Australia’s Bike for Bibles program which began in 1984, and that first ride in 1987 was the first ever crossing of Australia by a Bike for Bibles team.

It was 20 years ago last month that I flew out from Perth to go cycling amongst the Rocky Mountains in Canada. It was a short trip but I was there for the first ever Canadian Bike for Bibles ride. I was part of a small group of Aussies who made the journey to commence something wonderful in an amazing country.

While those milestones are significant, they don’t even begin to compare with three other events that changed my world irrevocably for the better back in 1992.

Event One: Twenty years ago, at the beginning of 1992, I met the most amazing woman I have ever known.

Event Two: Later in 1992 she agreed to marry me.

Event Three: In December of that year we were married, which means that this year we’ll be celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary. 1992 was a big year.

Are you someone who takes note of milestone occasions? What milestones are you looking forward to celebrating?

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It’s Never OK …

… that’s why it’s called “cheating”.

I found it interesting to see a web-poll today being run by Channel Ten’s The Project today asking the question, “Is cheating on your partner ever OK?” The choices were ‘Sometimes’ and ‘Never’.

After clicking the ‘Never’ option I was pleased to see that results were saying that over 96% of respondents agreed with me. Unfortunately, when I checked back later I noticed that those thinking it’s OK to cheat ‘Sometimes’ had increased to over 12%. As more votes come in I guess that number will change around a little more but it concerns me that some people think it’s OK to cheat on their partner in some circumstances.

While I can’t excuse it, I understand that there will sometimes be circumstances that make cheating a fairly attractive option and that some people will follow through and cheat on their partner, but to say it’s OK is a little too much of a stretch for me. Haven’t we all seen too much of the devastation caused when cheating partners are caught out? How difficult is it for those affected to move forward in life after having their trust betrayed so totally?

I make a point of building a hedge around my marriage. While cheating is the furthest thing from my mind, I know that anyone can be caught in a weak moment so I take steps to avoid being caught in a compromising situation.

If you have been the victim of a cheating spouse or you have cheated and you want to find a way forward, let me recommend a blog called Marriages Restored. It’s written by Ben and Ann Wilson, a married couple who know the pain of infidelity but who have overcome its effects and are now helping others.

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I Absolutely Do

WeddingBW.jpgAmongst the frantic pace of this time of the year I’m taking a little time out to reflect on the last couple of decades. It was almost twenty years ago, in January 1992, that I met an incredibly beautiful woman. I don’t know that I believe in ‘love at first sight’ but I certainly believe in ‘overwhelming, all consuming, attraction at first sight’. That attraction was the beginning of the best thing that has ever happened to me.

On a hot December day back in 1992, I married an amazing lady.

Pauline and I met in the January of 1992 and were married on the 12th of December the same year. Once we got engaged, half way through the year, we couldn’t stand the thought of having to wait until ‘next year’ to be husband and wife, so we picked a date in the last month of the year and started planning.

I’m still hopelessly in love with Pauline and plan to stay that way for the rest of my days. I really can’t recall a day in the past nineteen years that I haven’t told Pauline that I love her. I guess there have been a few times when I’ve been travelling and we haven’t been able to talk but we’ve talked on the phone on most of those days.

It still amazes me that such an incredible lady would choose to spend her life with me. She’s clever, intelligent, funny, thoughtful, wise, remarkably beautiful and so much more. Words really can’t describe how I truly feel about Pauline and how I adore her.

On that day nineteen years ago I said ‘I do’ and today and every day I still do.

Happy 19th Anniversary to the most wonderful woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

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Can Love Last?

In an age where we’re told that we shouldn’t hang around in a relationship if it’s no longer working for us, and that life time commitment is a concept from long ago, FamilyLife Australia co-founder Rex Campbell believes that love can last. He joined me in the studio this morning on 98.5 Sonshine FM.

You can listen to our conversation by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

I started by asking him why he thinks we have lost faith in long term love. We also talked about some of the practical steps we can take to ensure that our relationships can last the distance.

Do you have any advice on keeping love alive and making it last the distance?


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