My grandmother never had a wedding dress... or much of a wedding really. Things were tough in 1951 in after-war Soviet Union. They registered their marriage, ate a simple dinner... Even though they were legally married, Grandma's dad still made his new son-in-law sleep on the couch... They had nowhere to go when they returned back to the city where they used to live (they both previously lived in dorms). Walking the streets of the city, looking for someone who would rent them out a room...
Life went on. Kids were born. Then - grandkids.
Even as they got older and got their own 2-bedroom apartment, they sacrificed for their kids. Up until I was 11 my grandparents slept on the pull-out couch in the living room while the 2 bedrooms were occupied by my family (my parents, my brother and myself) and my uncle's family (my uncle and his wife).
Only in 1992 - after 41 years of marriage - their kids moved out and settled and my grandparents finally had their own place.
At times they disagreed, at times they argued... yet they were deeply in love.
At times they wished they had more... yet they were always generous with what they did have.
My husband and I have chosen the life of ministry. That means we have to make certain adjustments, deal with a few inconveniences. At times I look at my life and focus on the things I think our family needs...
... then I am reminded of my grandparents' sacrifice and love for each other.
All these things that I think I need are not that important. So what if we have to sleep on the floor for a while? So what if my house does not look like the cover of Better Homes and Gardens? So what if we have to do our laundry at the laundromat? Does that really define life?
What is really important in life is the love and the understanding, desire to sacrifice what's important to you for the benefit of another, openness, and forgiveness.
Today do not get caught up in what you don't have - focus on what's really important!
"Do not let what you do not have
stop you from making a difference
with what you do have."