Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Celebrate!

***Update: For those of you that told me you couldn't wait to see the rest of the pictures from Hollie's wedding.....they are up on the photographer's blog at Vue Photography. There are two posts here and here so do not miss any of the gorgeous photos*******




This past weekend we celebrated the wedding of our niece, Hollie to her man, Wesley. We traveled outside of Athens to a gorgeous place called Tucker Plantation. The property has an old barn that they have renovated for special occasions. Hollie and Wesley have known each other all their lives. They grew up across the street from one another. They started dating in the 10th grade. Friday Night's rehearsal dinner was a celebration of each of their lives and their families.



Wesley's mom pointed out during her toast the legacy of commitment each of them had from their grandparents and parents. There is over 200 years of marriage between them. How precious and how rare! What a great heritage of commitment and faithfulness as each of the couples have chosen to make the Lord the center of their marriages.

Saturday's Bridesmaids Luncheon was a celebration of friendship.


With her grandmothers, aunts, sister, Mom and soon to be grandmother in laws, mother in laws and sister in law all by her, Hollie told her bridesmaids through smiles...


and tears how much they meant to her.

They celebrated relationships that had been strong through many ups and downs for many years.

Saturday night's wedding was a celebration of love.
It began with the Chiming of the Hour being played by our 3rd son, Barrett.


He did a great job and was sooo precious. We were awfully proud of him.

In memory of Brock, the ring bearer and flower girl walked down the aisle to Jesus Loves Me. Then Drew and I sang a beautiful song by Matthew West called When I Say I Do.

Asa, Mason, & Barrett played the part of the handsome cousins. They played the part well!

As the minister spoke, he reminded the happy couple of how body language is usually one of the first ways we let others know we love them. Our hands holding and hugging. From their parents who first reached out to hold them, to coaches, teachers, ministers, friends, and families whose hands all had influences on their lives. He reminded them of their hands that hold one another and now wear these rings of commitment. Then he talked about the hands that stretched out on a cross for them, bled for them and now will hold them and guide them through better or worse.

I had braced myself for the weekend...family gatherings are still so bittersweet as I wish so desperately that Brock were there joining all the fun with us.


The Lord kept reminding me that what I was experiencing in this celebration is just a foretaste of what Brock is experiencing now and what we will experience together forever.

This summer I read a book called, Your God is Too Safe. In it Mark Buchanan has a chapter entitled, Let's Party. He talks about the discipline of JOY. As Christians, we have joy in our hearts from knowing Christ and what He did for us. He calls it a discipline because"true celebration is deciding purposefully to rejoice and make every effort to do so." He says, "We celebrate in order to tear back the veil that keeps us from seeing heaven."


The Old Testament is full of God commanding his people to celebrate. There were feasts of all kinds from Harvest, Unlevened Bread and Passover to name a few. These were celebrations that lasted for long periods of time. And someday soon, Believers are promised a grand feast fulfilled when Christ, our groom, returns. If you do not know Him, He invites you to the party too!

Paul reminds us all over the New Testament to Rejoice in the Lord always... (Philippians 4:4) He writes, Be joyful always (Philippians 5:16). Jesus gave us His Joy so that our Joy might be complete. (John 15:11) Jesus' first miracle was turning water to wine at a wedding celebration so that the party could go on.



I kept thinking throughout the weekend of Jesus referring to himself as the bridegroom awaiting expectantly to come for his bride, the church. What a beautiful illustration as I watched Hollie and Wesley all weekend with the expectation and delight of taking each other as Bride and Groom.

On Sunday before we left town we went back to Tucker Plantation to help Hollie's parents, my brother Mike and his wife Kathy, take down and gather decorations. We had a great time with just my family - my sister, her husband, all my nieces and nephews, and even my great nephew were also there. Hollie and Wesley even came as they didn't leave for their honeymoon until Monday morning. There are kids of all ages in my family. It is always so much fun to see them all interact with one another. My boys have a blast with their "older" cousins. But once again, my heart ached as I wished Brock were there to giggle and laugh as a cousin tickled him while he was being held upside down.

His cackle was contagious; how I long to hear it again! His crooked smile was mischievous; how I long to see it again!


We had a great time as we worked and recalled the fun of the wedding celebration. Sort of like an after party. When we finished working, we even pulled out the food the caterer left in the fridge and enjoyed wedding leftovers.


When we got home that night the boys asked me if I ever got sad when I had to leave my family. I told them of how I usually cry the length of the road that leads to the interstate from my parent's house. They admitted that they felt a little let down from all the fun of the weekend. I reminded them that what we had experienced was a taste of Heaven and that when we all get there it will be sooo much better, and we will never have to say goodbye or stop the celebration!

Buchanan closes his chapter with a quote from a scene in C. S. Lewis', The Last Battle of Chronicles of Narnia. As the children have arrived in Narnia after a loud noise from the train they were riding...
Aslan turned to them and said: "You do not look so happy as I mean you to be." Lucy said, "We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan.... you have sent us back to our own world so often." "No fear of that," said Aslan "have you not guessed?" Their hearts leapt and a wild hope rose within them. "There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are - as you used to say-dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream has ended: THIS is the morning."

Oh, what a morning that will be!

....so let us throw off everything that hinders.. and let us run ...the race marked out for us - that we might endure and not lose heart and not grow weary. {paraphrase of Heb. 12:2}

Let's Celebrate!!!

3 comments:

Henley on the Horn said...

Precious post. Just missed seeing you & Drew too! The pictures are beautiful and I loved all that you wrote.

{ jamie } said...

Beautiful. :-)

Kim said...

You look like sisters!!!! If I read right, this is your brother's daughter. WOW! Beautiful bride, beautiful post!