14 April 2013

40 Years!

40 years ago today John Michael Atherstone and Sallie Catherine Pastula tied the knot... I wasn't there! But I also wouldn't be here if that event in history never took place...

As a child I heard the stories of them meeting around Halloween... being engaged by Christmas... and being married by Easter! For all the rush to get married those crazy kids have done an amazing job sticking together...

No one sees a marriage closer than the kids and for 18 years Jen and I got a first-hand look at what made our parents marriage click...

I will forever be grateful for the example the I saw from them...


I get my fire and my passion from my dad... I've never seen a harder worker... and a more committed father... for 18 years he left for work before we woke up but there was never a morning where we wouldn't find a hand written note from dad... I've come to realize as a dad that sometimes the words love and encouragement don't come easy but when I take the time to write I can truly feel and express the deep love I have for my own wife and kids... my dad was always the life of the party and my mom always seemed to enjoy him the most as he was making people laugh and making everyone in the room feel welcome and loved!

My dad is the reason I understand Ephesians 5:25... It seemed the older we got... and the longer they were married the more my dad traded in fire and passion for gentleness and care... he traded disputes for serving and he traded arguing for understanding... he is much quieter than when I was young... but he still has a gift of making everyone in the room feel welcomed and loved!

I get my deep love for family from my mom... mom was all-in all-the-time... she was our teacher, room mom, soccer mom, team driver, field-trip monitor, VBS leader and constant fan...our friends loved coming to our house because they knew my mom was waiting with hot food and warm words of encouragement..  Long after we left the house our friends were still visiting mom because they also knew she cared... Mom was always on our side... even when we were wrong... unconditional love for family is the legacy that my mom shared with me!

In another month Christine and I will be hitting 12 years... anyone who has ever been married knows that marriage is one of the greatest joys as well as one of the greatest struggles in life (being that half of all marriages end in divorce)... this year we have watched her parents reach 35 years and now see my parents reaching 40... I am so grateful for the example they have set... marriage isn't easy but the journey is the reward... the longer we are together the sweeter the journey gets... we've seen it first hand in our parents... and now we are experiencing the joy ourselves!

Mom and Dad... here's to another 40 years! I love you both and I am so grateful for the model of love and commitment that you have shared with me!

4 comments:

Joseline Tindimwebwa said...

Wow!interesting.Jeff, as your parents have been a model to you, so you are now to others.It was in your house in 2007 that i changed my attitude towards men.i had wished never to get married in my life but because of you and Christine being my best model in marriage, am joining the same journey of enjoying another side of life on June 29th.2013. Pray that i will cerebrate many years in marriage, God being our helper. Thank you as well for being like your father to father others with the words of encouragement in and out of seasons.

God bless you.

Joseline Tindimwebwa said...

I treasure such testimonies

Unknown said...

Jeff, I just found your Blog as my husband and I are planning a trip this summer to Uganda and Mozambique. When I saw this post with your parent's names I became excited! Are you the same Atherstone family that went to North County Christian School in Atascadero, CA? All three of our daughters went there. Stephanie, Ashley and Kelsey Paulus. I taught journalism at the school for a short time. What a fun discovery of mine if that is the case. We are so excited about our trip. I will continue to read your blog and definitely begin to pray for you and your family.
Blessings,

Serena Paulus

Jeff said...

Hi Serena

Let me know when you and your husband will be in Uganda. It would be great to connect if it works out... Believe it or not you were my Yearbook teacher in 1995!