I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic. It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together. We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
This week's (and last week's) theme topic is LEAVING A LEGACY.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children... Psalm 2013:17
I had every good intention to write a Spiritual Journey Thursday post last week, but I quickly realized, since it was the day before the wedding and the day of the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, that it wasn't going to happen. Thank you to my SJT friends for understanding! Please feel free to link up any blogs that you wrote last week to this week's post!
I originally chose this topic because of a graduation gift Libby received from my mom. It was a gift I knew was a year in the making. When Mom told me about the idea, I was amazed. I thought it was so lovely and meaningful. She told me she bought a C.S. Lewis Bible because she knew Libby loved and respected the writings of Lewis, and she was going to take Libby's senior year of college to read through the whole thing daily and annotate it as she went along. She would underline scriptures that meant something to her, write notes and personal stories, and infuse it with prayer. I asked Mom to give it to her at the bridal shower Libby's "Honorary Aunts" (my best friends) threw for her over Memorial Day weekend because I wanted the guests to see it. I thought it was so special. Mom had written a letter to her explaining what she had done. I won't share the whole thing, but here are some lines:
You will see underlined words which I think of as messages from my heart and faith to yours. Where something is underlined it's because I thought it was extra-important, it touched my heart, or it was especially meaningful to me. In other places, you will see notes in the margins. They are what I hope are promptings from the Holy Spirit, through me, to you.
When I began this journey with you, I didn't know you would become engaged and begin to prepare for a lifetime with Jamie. It was so neat to realize that shortly after you graduated, you would become Mrs. Stagnaro, and this book would join the shelves of your new home together. How happy that makes us!
She ended the letter with this prayer:
Heavenly Father, from Your Word to my mind, and my mind to Your world, may the Word go forth to bring glory to You, and blessed hope to people everywhere. Amen.
There wasn't a dry eye in the house after Libby read the letter aloud! I thought about what a great legacy gift it was - a grandmother passing down her words of faith and wisdom to her granddaughter.
Then the legacy theme seemed to seep its way into the wedding weekend, also. At the rehearsal dinner, the love and support of Jamie and Libby's family and friends was palpable. There was such joy present, and I know it was because the presence of God was clearly among us. Both families were coming together, families who had been built upon strong marriages and love for God and each other. We were both huge fans of the marriage and were bringing our legacies of faith and family to it. Jeff, Jamie's father, presented such a heartfelt toast, followed by Ed's father, and a few others adding their own words of encouragement and validation. It was followed by a slideshow chronicling Libby and Jamie's wonderful relationship during their four years of college.
The wedding, too, was full of legacies. Libby's youth pastor during high school, who meant the world to her and helped her face some difficult trials, traveled from Georgia to officiate the wedding. Chris Pipes, a college friend, sang the Hillsong song "Rise" during the unity candle lighting, and filled the room with the Holy Spirit, even prompting the bridesmaids to sing along in worship. Family and friends from both sides filled the simple, rustic room, and scripture verses from Colossians and First John fortified our gathering. The applause and smiles demonstrated how happy everyone was when Libby and Jamie sealed the deal with a kiss.
The celebration continued at the reception, and the three toasts - Ed's, Hannah's (the maid of honor), and Jeffrey's (the best man and Jamie's twin brother) - gave further evidence to how happy everyone was for this couple. I tried to take in the impact of having all our dear friends from various walks of life there along with family from all over the world (my cousin, Russ, came from Costa Rica!) and Jamie's family of 12 (+2 brothers-in-law, one nephew, and two babies on the way, and now his wife!), and all their family and friends. We sent them off (originally at the wrong exit - ha), through a tunnel of sparklers and well wishes, and with a legacy of family, friends, and love, to a life together.