Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Signing Off

So, I decided to check in just one more time before Blair and John Samuel's wedding.  We're only a couple of weeks out and things are coming at us fast now.....almost as if we were standing in the middle of a I don't see myself having a lot of time to write between now and then.  So, I'm just going to sign off with a few last minute moments to share......

1) As the wedding nears, I suppose it might be normal for the mother of the bride to have dreams about the big day.  Some might be pleasant and storybook-like yet others could be more of the nightmare variety.  Last week, I dreamed that, on the wedding day, as we drove up to the plantation with its 1/4 mile oak tree canopy lining the front walk, we gasped as we learned that October is coincidentally the month in which they prune the 350 year old oak trees back each year.  As in all the way back.  To the trunks.  And someone had failed to mention this to us.  So, in my dream, this.....

Had become something like this.......
We won't even get into the dream I had in which I couldn't find my shoes on the day of the wedding.  After looking in all the closets and under the beds in the old mansion, I finally had to borrow some random person's tennis shoes hoping that my dress was long enough to cover them.  Now, I'm no dream interpreter, but I'd say this might indicate some deeply buried concern exists that something could go wrong.  But, that's just a shot in the dark.   

2)  As the wedding approaches, friends from my Bible study gave me a fun party to help ward off any mounting anxieties that might exist and they showered me with pampering gifts such as a certificate for a full body massage, some baths products, aromatherapy items, etc. 
It was a night of hilarity as they'd "hired" an etiquette advisor from the Mother of the Bride Consulting Firm to allay any questions that I might have concerning what is proper.  She said the number one thing to remember is that the Mother of the Bride has supreme authority over all of the wedding.  I liked that part.  You see I capitalized my title above since she assured me that I held such an authoritative position.  But, then, when the male dancer, the Geriatric Gigolo, came out, well, that was just more than a girl could ever hope for from her friends. Needless to say, bladder control was tested that night.  Some people might think that Christians don't know how to have fun but they'd be wrong.  Very, very wrong.     
3)  As the big day was nearing, at last, I got the call to come for the final fitting of my dress. It fit me perfectly.  Perfectly as in like a glove.  Perfectly as in no room for error.  At this point in the game, it is more important than ever to stay the course with my exercise, so my friend, Laurie, gave me a shirt which serves to remind me that the finish line is near and I mustn't stop now.
4)  This is the point in the process at which the mother of the bride will want to shop and make her final selections in the foundation garment department.  Y'all know I've had my eye on these for a while now.  My hairdresser warned me from her experience that, sometimes, those things can just push the muffin top upward because, well, it's got to go somewhere.  Well, when I came home, I immediately tried my new one on to see if that would be the case and, sure enough, just over the top of the girdle-like contraption, resting comfortably on the tight, elastic band was a puffy ring which had once sat around my midsection.  It was a ring kind of like Saturn has except this ring was more jiggly.  I suppose, like a tube of toothpaste, if you cinch something up at the bottom, it's invariably gotta come out the top.  So, you must pick your poison as supreme authority of the wedding.  Want your muffin top high or low?  These are the choices a mother is given as she marries off one of the reasons she has the fatty ring to begin with.   

5 ) During the last couple of weeks before the wedding, everyone will want money from the bride's parents.  Everyone.  Just give it to them.  At this point, what is money, anyway?
6)  And I'd just like to sign off by saying that I appreciate you all hanging with me through this.  I know I've been in and out a lot with all the preparations and festivities but I look forward to being back on a more regular blogging schedule after everything is over.  This weekend, we go to New Orleans for bridal portraits.  Next weekend, there's a bachelorette weekend and, then, we're there a few days later! 

I'm thankful that Blair and I have enjoyed this journey together.  I can honestly say that it's been an experience with no major disagreements or testy nerves.  Pretty much everything has come together with ease and we've really enjoyed working on her big day as mother and daughter. 

I'm most thankful that my daughter has found the love of her life.  I'm thankful that when her Daddy and I were praying for her spouse when she was little that God was preparing a little boy to capture her heart.  He was setting the stage, even back then, to cross their paths at just the right moment.  He knew, of all the little boys, which one she needed most and which one needed her.  And for the peace of knowing that she's found the one who was chosen for her by the real Supreme Authority, well, that is a gift to her mother's heart.   

For now, I'm signing off! 

Talk to you all later. 




Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Like Justin's

Today, I went to my closet to look through my selection of black dresses.  It was cool today with the lingering rain bands of Irma still circling so I went to the back of the closet where the forgotten long sleeves were hiding.  Davis put on a suit and we headed out in the dreary mist to our church for a funeral.  The weather seemed to fit the somberness of the day.  We arrived to find parking to be impossible and seating inside was just as scarce as people lined the walls, shoulder to shoulder, and squeezed into every conceivable spot in sight.

It wasn't surprising at all.  It was one of those deaths that seemed to shake the whole town. A dear family in our church had suffered a sudden and tragic loss on Saturday. A young father, husband, son taken without warning. One of those tragedies which causes everyone to stop and think about their own mortality.  The fragility of life and the incredible speed at which it travels.      

Being absent from here, all last week, my plan was to start this week off with a Sunday post about the joy of this cooler weather and possibly some college football and maybe even a new foundation garment update as the wedding is drawing so very near.  But, then Saturday happened and posting about such trifling matters became inappropriate considering the fact that one of the couples I most admire had unexpectedly lost their son and a sweet, young family had lost their husband and daddy so I found it more suitable to honor him, this week.  

We sat in that church filled beyond capacity with dark suits and black dresses surrounding us and I know that what I was thinking probably wasn't too different from everyone else there.  Of course, I thought about what a loss had been dealt to our community.  Of course, there were the questions bouncing around in my head of why someone incredibly gifted who was busy doing so much good would be taken at such a young age. Of course, there were overwhelming feelings of sympathy and sadness for his family, too.  But, there was something else.

The packed crowd listened to the preacher talk about what this young man had accomplished in his short life.  His achievements.  His degrees.  His awards.  His becoming a judge.  Nothing short of impressive.  But, above all of that, the faith he professed in Jesus and the kind of life he led as a result of that commitment. 

So, as I listened, along with those packed in the church with me, I was reminded that, inevitably, we'll all have our turn to be the one at the front of the church with flowers surrounding us and our family members standing close by.  People will gather.  A preacher will speak.  Music will be played.  Just like today.  Death doesn't forget anyone.  No one slips through the cracks.  Nobody sneaks by unnoticed. There will be a day for all of us when we will have to turn in our work.  Whether we feel like we're finished or whether we want to make some last minute changes or whether we regret not putting forth our best effort.  In that moment, I was reminded that we'll all have this day when time is up and pencils are down.  It was one of those cold water in the face moments that happens when a younger person dies. What am I doing with this passing time I'm given?  Is it wisely invested in things that make a difference or am I spending it frivolously?   

At the end of this momentary life, it only matters that you got one question right.  Did I ever confess that I'm a sinner who was without hope of ever being saved if not for Jesus, the Savior, who died on a cross to pay the price for my sins and offered me the gift of salvation?  And if I get that question wrong, well, it really doesn't matter about all the others.  The degrees or the careers or the nice deeds I did or all the pretty stuff I gathered up.  As hard as it is to believe, all the things in this world will, eventually, be forgotten except for the ones that had eternal value. The relationship we had with Jesus and how our lives showed that to other people by the way we treated them, every day.

That's where true peace is found. 

It's the only way our lives can make a difference for eternity.

Like Justin's.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16