Why we remember | Renew | Repurpose

30 March 2021

Why we remember

“If you want to use the cabin to think and talk this over, you’re welcome to it,” said our good friend who was standing right there after Dan got the news of his escalating cancer.

Two days later, on a cold spring day, Dan lit a fire that would begin warming the cabin. We donned layers and walked upriver to the spot where we said, “I do,” beneath towering trees.


The wedding site beside the Metolius River
Wedding headquarters

We remembered our wedding and how it turned out exactly as we’d hoped—this small gathering of mostly kids and grandkids beside a clear and cold river.

Tiny snowflakes fell as we turned and hiked downstream, crossing the bridge near a campground before winding our way back to the warming woodstove.

We remembered where we were standing in the cabin when Dan told me he loved me for the first time and asked if he could kiss me. (Yes, he asked!)

And where we were standing—weeks later—when he asked me to be his bride.


Here is where he proposed

You can see why this is a special place to us.

We lit a candle and heated tortellini soup and ate our sandwiches and smashed an avocado and dipped tortilla chips into the guacamole and peeled mini-oranges and bit into chewy molasses cookies.

Over mugs of cinnamon spice tea, we talked. About Dan’s growing cancer. About our house add-on and remodel. About the timing of surgery and moving back into the house. About our future and what we’d like to accomplish.

It was a magical day of remembering—earlier hikes along that same river, falling in love, reminiscing about the details of our wedding day.

And remembering God’s goodness down through the years. Reminding ourselves that this cancer did not catch Him off guard. That He’s got this.

And I marvel—still—that I get to be married to this man. That we were both given a chance to step into a later-in-life love. Risky. But so worth it. For better, for worse. In sickness and in health.

Right after the giving of the Ten Commandments, Moses instructed the children of Israel:

“Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

– Deuteronomy 6:12

Moses admonished the people that when things were going well for them in the Promised Land—after wandering in desert places for way too long—they needed to remember where all this goodness came from, who brought them to this Promised Land, why they were here.

Do not forget the Lord.

I will never forget the wilderness years of job loss and cancer and financial strain. And I will never forget what I learned in that hard and bleak place, and that it was God who brought me out into this present Promised Land.

I will never stop counting all the ways God has shown His love to Dan and me—here in the now, and in whatever the future holds.

Side note

We were married in Camp Sherman, which has exactly one general store, one post office, one chapel, one restaurant, and the tiniest, cutest little schoolhouse you’ve ever seen.


Camp Shermana two-pump town (my kind of town)

Oh, and one community bulletin board.


So if you come across any stray cows …

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About Me

Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson Lawry. I’m a speaker, award-winning writer, and Chai latte snob. I love getting outdoors—would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. I have a passion for encouraging people to live well in the hard and holy moments of life. With heart wide open.

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