God’s Grace

I woke up this morning and immediately thanked God for the way He ironed out every detail concerning the wedding of Brave Heart and Beautiful Soul. It was beautiful, wonderful, special, amazing, spectacular, and memorable. Directly after my prayer of thanks to the God of the Universe, I looked at my phone and saw a text from Brave Heart saying that they are at the airport leaving for their six-week-long-China-to-Japan-to-Thailand-to-Norway-to-Sweden-and-other-places-honeymoon and immediately burst into tears. The first ones I have shed during this four-day wedding extravaganza.

The reason for the sudden tears? I had erroneously thought I still had one more day to talk to Brave Heart before he left for Asia and, in my 52-year-old-mother-who-worries-a-lot-mind which forgets about Facetime, videochat, Instagram and other social media sites, I envisioned not seeing or hearing from them for six weeks straight. Even though I was still half asleep, I shot him several quick texts just to let him and Beautiful Soul know that we would be thinking of them and praying for them.  I told him via text that I had burst into tears when I saw his message that they were leaving and, suddenly, the phone buzzed and I answered it amidst the tears.  Brave Heart assured me that they would be fine.  I told him I would be praying for them and we talked about their beautiful wedding again for a brief moment. I spoke with my precious, new daughter-in-law and, all of a sudden, the flight attendant approached her and asked her to hang up the phone. She quickly hung up before I could tell Brave Heart goodbye, but knowing me like he does, he quickly sent me “Love you mom!”  My heart was full.

I am thankful for so many things on this Memorial Day. Thankful for the veterans of our country and, today, thankful for an unexpected day of rest and recuperation after the past months of wedding planning and preparation. Thankful for a son who is patient with my over-mothery-worry-wart-ways and calls to reassure me even though he knows he can talk to me via Facebook chat and other ways all along their journey. Thankful for our three ( four including my new daughter-in-law) children who love my husband and I in the best ways possible and try their very hardest to honor us and listen to us even though they are all, but one, technically adults. Thankful, as well, for The Outdoorsman, who literally moved mountains without complaining in order for the wedding festivities to go on as planned.  I’m pretty sure he put over a thousand miles on his car in three days while picking up children, ordering and picking up food for the bridal party, picking up and returning table linens, and delivering lost car keys during the peak moments of the wedding weekend.  His constant willingness to serve our family for the past thirteen years has been nothing short of incredible to behold from my vantage point.  I am truly beyond thankful for the way God crafted his mind and heart.

For weeks, I have been pushing myself and living on adrenaline due to the fact I am a teacher and had to miss three of the final six days of school.  For teachers, this means intense planning and communication because finals and grades are happening.  Awards ceremonies, grading, creating final exams, making copies, cleaning your classroom, handing back projects and papers, and just finalizing the year are enough to keep a teacher on her toes, but when you add your son’s college graduation one weekend and his huge wedding the following weekend, it feels like you are running behind a speeding train trying to jump on the back steps of the caboose. God has sustained my energy level throughout the past couple of weeks. My friends have been praying for me to be “in the moment” at each of the occasions and for me not worry about details and things that may have been left unfinished.  Their fervent and faithful prayers were answered.  I felt alert, happy, and relaxed at the graduation, rehearsal dinner, wedding, and dinner party for out-of-town guests after the wedding.  All four events were even better than expected and created opportunities that were special and memorable for our entire family.

The wedding.  It was everything any of us had hoped or dreamed.  The bride was stunning.  The groom was handsome.  The bridesmaids were radiant.  The groomsmen were dapper.  The venue was beautiful.  The decorations were elegant.  The food was tasty.  The cakes were delicious.  The music was fun.  The crowd was energetic. The love was palpable.  The friendships were evident. The memories were priceless.

But God.  He was spectacular.  He orchestrated people, events, and conversations that were divine.  He provided people “out of nowhere” who specifically asked me about things that had been forgotten, how they could help, how they could serve, and how they could pray.  They volunteered to order cakes, make cakes, pick up cakes, shave extra wax off of the too-big-for-the-vase votive candles, polish smudgy mirrors, bring beautiful table decorations from far away, pick up things for us, deliver things for us, and even feed our 80+ farm animals while we were out-of-town.  I did not even seek out people for most of these things.  They actually came to me.  God sent them to me “out of the blue” to meet needs that we had.  He heard my prayers of concern about the timing of everything and how this was going to work.  He knew that the desire of my heart was for this day to glorify Him.  We wanted to glorify Him and thank him for His faithfulness to our family during difficult times and His grace in healing our broken hearts amid divorce, death, and the challenges of managing a busy, separated-by-miles-and-miles, blended family of five.

Before the wedding, one of the many concerns in my mind was the weather.  It is extremely hot right now in this part of Texas.  Unusually hot and humid even for Texas.  My imagination kept picturing people getting sick from the heat during the wedding.  After weeks of worry, I decided to take it to prayer.  I prayed for a cold front or a breeze or something.  I prayed it, but just kinda smiled and laughed inside when I saw the temperatures rising on the weather channel.  It was over 90 degrees on the day of the wedding.  Hot and humid all day.  As the wedding began, huge billowy clouds rolled in and completely eclipsed the sun.  Then, during the ceremony, a sudden refreshing breeze blew through the venue.  It was God.  I have no doubt He was reminding me to trust Him.  He’s got this. I had spent days fretting over the comfort of our guests and hoping they weren’t uncomfortable in the heat and God knew, all along, that He controlled the winds and the weather yet He was still patient with my worries.

One more God-is-awesome story.  Months before the wedding, Brave Heart asked me if I would host a party the day after the wedding for our numerous out-of-town wedding guests.  He was concerned about the fact that they would purchase plane tickets or travel to Houston just for the wedding, but he would not be able to visit much with them.  He was wanting to have another get-together so that he and Beautiful Soul could visit with them in a more relaxed setting after the wedding.  To be honest, I was concerned about my ability to carry out this plan due to the fact that I knew how tiring our schedule was going to be leading up to that day.  In some ways, I was flattered that Brave Heart was that confident in my ability to host a party.  He was way more confident than I was, to be sure.  He had been partaking in our frequent family and friend get-togethers  his entire life, but what he hadn’t considered was my level of exhaustion from the events beforehand.  In walks God.  Two of my closest friends of over twenty years offered to help me throw the party and my brother and sister-in-law graciously agreed to allow me to host it at their beautiful, always-party-ready house.  It honestly ended up being a perfect day.  On the day after the wedding, my body had responded exactly as I had predicted.  It didn’t want to move.  The spirit was willing, but the body wasn’t cooperating at all.  I had hardly slept at all during the two nights before the wedding so my brain was fuzzy as well.  I had that stayed-up-all-night-cramming-for-an-exam groggy feeling as I went through the motions of the day.  Thankfully, my mother had graciously volunteered to decorate for the party and provide all of the tables, chairs, and party supplies for the evening.  She arrived earlier that day and had the house set up for the party when we arrived.  My brother helped her carry things in and set things up as well. My best friend from college met me at the grocery store about four hours before the party began and, through our divide and conquer technique, we were able to shop for all of the groceries for a sixty-person dinner party in under an hour.  We proceeded to my brother’s house where my other best friend met us and they completely took over the preparation of the food.  I had planned the menu and had all of the necessary equipment, but my body and brain were making it hard to function well.  No worries.  My two friends along with my brother’s sweet wife made my day extremely fun and enjoyable while we all talked and joked in the kitchen preparing food and drinks for everyone.  They were literally my hands and my mind that day.  In addition to making tons of sweet tea and queso, they gave me simple tasks to complete as they made sure every other detail was taken care of before our guests arrived.  The party was a wonderful success and several “God-stories” transpired before my eyes as guests who previously had never met made plans to reconnect over things they had in common.  I love how God does this.

We are so thankful that our son, Brave Heart, has met and married his person, Beautiful Soul.  Their love is beautiful and was reflected in their exquisite wedding.  We pray God’s richest blessings on them as they embark on the exciting journey ahead of them.  God is with them and will lead them along the way just as He has brought them together through His divine intervention.   We are so thankful we serve such a faithful, loving God who knows our needs before we even know them ourselves.

“The Lord has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes.”  (Psalm 118:23)

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