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!
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This week's theme topic is FAMILY.
"But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-- " - Psalm 103:17
"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." - Proverbs 22:6
The theme topic family came to me this week because I attended a bridal shower for Libby hosted by her fiancé's mother and sister. As I walked in and saw them busily putting finishing touches on the beautiful room - the sunflower-adorned "Mint To Be" favors, the game instructions, a vase of red roses with attached love notes from Jamie, a tower of chocolate strawberries, champagne punch, sunflower and "S" shaped cookies, etc., all lovingly arranged and planned, I was overwhelmed. Here was another family about to love and welcome Libby into their fold, full of joy and acceptance.
They are a large family - 10 kids! We've gotten together with them several times, and each time I've thanked God that this is the family I will share Libby with - the Christmases, the Thanksgivings, the birthdays, the Easters, the vacations, the ordinary moments, and even future grandchildren. We are truly blessed that God chose this family for her. She's not just getting Jamie, she's getting the whole gang, and they are amazing. This is a family who loves Jesus, who cares for orphans in Guatemala, who likes to laugh and play games, who supports each other's endeavors, who are kind and gentle, who pursues learning and service, and who cares about each other and the world deeply.
Marriage can be hard in this current cultural climate. Not everyone believes in it or supports it. Not everyone applauds 22-year-olds making this lifelong decision. However, this is a couple whose families are behind them 100 percent, who have enjoyed their own marriages (started young) and parenting (they did it us times 5. ;-)) , and who know that God chose them for each other and will not forsake them. Family is such a strong force and bond, and she's so blessed that she has two of them who are watching out for her. I hope Jamie knows we are watching out for him, too, and feel incredibly blessed that she chose him. We know he is going to be a great husband and trust him whole-heartedly.
Ed and I enjoyed the same acceptance and support from our own families. We are each blessed with parents who have enjoyed long marriages and are continuing to enjoy life together and who were (and are) happy we chose each other. They provide us with examples of faith, commitment, and joie de vive every day. It is a legacy that blessed us, and we know it will bless Libby and Jamie.
Libby on spring break vacation with her new family. She's in red. I think she fits in! ;-)
Libby (in blue) at the bridal shower with her sister, Katie (right) and