At 4:00 AM, my eyes shot open and my heart started pounding.
No. I forgot to lay out the pork chops for tonight's dinner. Smile.
Most of the extended families will have arrived by this evening and we plan to grill out at John and Joy's. Kristin will help us organize everyone. (Can I get a big "Amen!" for the blessing of adult children who are comfortable hosting large parties?!)
My job, making sure the pork chops defrost, pales in comparison to the rest of today's activities. But it's necessary all the same.
Unfortunately, I can't dig around in the freezer because a certain groom-to-be is sleeping on my couch. (Pretty regular occurrence over the last two years. Ah, the sacrifices of young love.)
Only a couple more days, Nathan. Then that season of your life will be past.
Yes, only two more days and many things will change!
Becky (Nathan's mom) and I tend to stand close together every chance we get since her arrival on Monday. We sense the flood of emotions rolling around in one another.
- Extreme Joy. Look at how happy our children are. Both serving God. Both excited about the future with someone they love.
- Extreme Sadness. Where are the two little blond-haired, blue-eyed babies that were sitting beside us just yesterday?!
"Aww, you must be so happy!" they say naively.
No, not happy. Joyful.
Happiness is fleeting. Happiness changes like the clouds on a summer day; it fluctuates depending on moods and circumstances.
But Joy? That's abiding. Joy sticks with you in celebration and in sorrow.
A dear friend also has a daughter getting married this weekend in Virginia. She wrote to me the other day expressing thoughts that sounded so much like my own.
"Did I teach her to stand when the waters are high and to trust God through the dry times of marriage? Have I lived a good example before her of honoring her husband? How can I be so excited and happy for my angel and at the same time feel like my heart will surely explode?"
I think most M.O.G.'s and M.O.B.'s can relate.
Thankfully, Becky and I have located small tissue containers which we hold more closely than our cell phones right now. We cast furtive glances at one another regularly and offer comforting pats. What a blessing.
I typed out the official "Meganate Wedding Schedule" yesterday. Six pages long and that did NOT include the ceremony itself. Thursday AM to Saturday PM. Names. Times. Assignments. Locations. Right there for everyone to see.
So this evening (at approximately 6:15), we will pass out schedules to all family members present. They'll need to flip past the three pages that were Thursday.
I'm following the example of my mentor Sandra Bass-Palmer. She always arrived at events with a complete play booklet ready for every participant. I thought she was joking when I received my first booklet.
"Sheri, you can flip on over to Friday. You'll see that at 2:45 you'll need to set up registration tables in the Magnolia Room. Cindy will help you."
I came to refer to those booklets as the lifeline!
Even though we worked hard, those booklets allowed us to relax a bit and enjoy the conferences. We were confident that Sandra had already thought through everything. And if we had any questions at all, the answer was probably in the book.
That's why the schedule is important. We will work hard over the next couple of days, wrapping up loose ends, finalizing details. But we can relax knowing that almost everything has been thought out and planned for.
Hmmmm. Come to think of it, that's how it works for my M.O.B. friend and myself too. We've worked hard to live before our daughters the best life we could. Now we need to relax and enjoy these weddings.
If our children have any questions (and they will), the Heavenly Father has already thought it through. The answers they'll need are in HIS BOOK!
That brings a sigh of confident joy!
PS - This will likely be my final entry until after the festivities. But let me thank you all for each comment and expression of love. You have made me smile and given me thoughts to cherish.
Thanks too for all the prayers. We're living like ducks right now. Sailing calmly on the surface and paddling like crazy underneath! Smile. Blessings!