3 Things I Learned at Weddings this Summer

Wedding sursees

Summer is for brides and weddings, and I have been learning a thing or two at the ones I have attended this summer.  Indoors and outdoors, Texas and Alabama, big cities and small towns.  Hot nights, dancing on the dance floor, frothy white dresses with lace and sparkles and sage-green chiffon, like Grecian gowns flowing in the southern breeze- all memories of joy and celebration and a few new things to noodle.

Recently I had a vision of why God uses a wedding to begin and end the Bible.  We were seated in a field in Alabama, down the hill from a barn, with our paper fans trying to get a smudge of air to blow on our necks.   The attendants and moms and grandma had all made their way down to the front with the groom standing still with his attendants.  As the violin started playing Be Thou My Vision, the double doors of the barn slid open and there she stood with her dad, the beautiful bride, a vision of sweetness and purity and joy.  Absolute joy!  My breath caught and I teared up as the holiness of the moment grabbed me, and I wanted to worship.  The  vision was so beautiful,  so absolutely pure and holy;  I had a small taste of what it is going to be like when Jesus comes for His church and the wedding celebration begins. Wow!

As she gracefully walked down the hill with her daddy, I turned to see the groom who was also overtaken by the beauty of his bride and the serious holiness of the moment.  I was overtaken with joy and happiness for this precious couple.  What a moment.  It is etched on my eyeballs and on my soul.  A beautiful picture of things to come for us as believers.  . Worship. Celebrate.

Next up I heard a charge.  I sat in a wedding venue out in the country and watched the beautiful bride, giddy with delight, almost run down the aisle in her frothy confection of a dress to her sweetie who was about to bust open with a  big ‘ole smile. Again my heart was so full of joy!  Young love.  The sun was setting, bringing a golden haze to the room and the faces, and the pastor called on all the bridesmaids and groomsmen to take a charge.

“You are not just pretty decoration for this bride and groom, you have something to do.”

The pastor reminded the attendants that they had a job to do that extended forward into the future for their friends.  A very special charge to hold that darling couple, their friends or sibling, accountable to the love they were pledging that day.  To do all they could in their power to help that marriage and not harm it.

It was sobering to me. How many weddings had I been in?  I lost count a long time ago.  I began to think of the weddings I have stood up in and I wondered how I could reach out to those couples today to say,

“I am here. I am willing to hold you to the vow you made. I am here in sickness and in health.”

We need each other- the community of believers- to help us through this thing we call life and marriage.   How can I reach out over miles and in real life to remind couples that I am here and that their marriage matters to a watching world?  Good things to ponder.

So in these weddings I have attended, I have had a vision and a charge.  The last thing I have learned is the importance of marking the wedding with a Celebration.

At the end of one wedding ceremony, the pastor invited us all to join the family for the wedding feast and celebration.  Yes, sign me up.  Celebrating to me includes feasting and  dancing. We are talking about the life-giving, hands in the air, feel the beat dancing.  And the best thing is, everyone can do this kind of dancing.  No special skills needed.  I think there is going to be loads of dancing and singing in Heaven and we should all dance a little more here.  You?

A vision of things to come as seen in a beautiful bride on a hot summer night, a charge to love those in community with us and a reminder that we all need to celebrate and dance a little more.  Perfect ways to end this month and go into the last days of summer.  Oh, and I have one more wedding in August.  Can’t wait!  What Sursees are waiting there?  I’ll be looking, will you?

 

The Summer is a great time to CREATE

FLowers from ELlen

 

I love being around creative people.  All of us are creative in some form or fashion.  Creativity looks different on everybody, but everybody is creative.

I know this is true because God is creative.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

And we are created in His image.

 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. Genesis 1:26

I want women to embrace this.  I want you to become fully alive doing the thing that makes your heart sing.

But you might ask, how do I know what makes my heart sing?

Maybe you could sit down with a big piece of white paper and brainstorm everything that makes you Happy.  Don’t leave anything off or think anything is too silly.  Write it all down and start seeing how God made you to add color, zest and life to your little corner of the world.

In the garden God told us we get to bring order and subdue the earth-

 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.Genesis 1:28.  

You get to bring your creative juices to the little corner of the earth where you live.

Your little garden is not going to look like anyone else’s. But whatever you bring to your garden- it is good.

Do your thing today.  This summer.

Hanging out with creative people helps me to get my creative on. We need each other.  We need to see God working out of each other.  It inspires me.

This weekend I listened to a friend sing in a venue downtown.Helene Cronin

Helene Cronin is the reason we showed up.  Go listen to her here.  For three hours we listened to her and two other musicians sing and play and tell stories in song.  It was wonderful and helped  release something inside of me that was trying to get out.  When I see or hear someone create and be the creative person God designed them to be, it makes me want to create and sing and dance.  It releases something inside of me and it feels Free and Wonderful and Rich and how I think God wants me to live- with no fear.

So what can you do this summer to release and create?  Maybe you need to go back to that chalkboard or whiteboard or a piece of paper and figure out what your jam is. How do you work? What makes your heart sing?

Write it down, then you need to do it.  Surround yourself with people who are also doing the creative thing.  Ask them what makes their heart sing, and it will encourage you to tune your heart and get some serious singing going on.  Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the fullest.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Creative endeavors help us to live abundantly.

Remember it is not just the simple things like painting or singing.  It could be that, but maybe it is gardening, cooking, running, teaching, sewing or reading a book.

Maybe you organize or love people well by listening or you like having people over.

Whatever it is, embrace it and be the gal fully that God created you to be.  No one can be you.  God made you to fill in the cracks in this world and to bring a little more of Him into the world to reach the people with whom you are connecting.

So what is your creative jam? Can you dive in this summer?  Do share as it encourages us all to sing the songs God gave us to sing. xo

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be curious

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makeup gals

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white pitcher collection

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good egg

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For you Isaiah 6

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Light switches and the quirky

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Cheesy sliders

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flip flop a room

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