Gifts from My Father

Last night my husband and I made the trek once again to my daddy’s property to work, along with three strapping young men, on preparing it for Susannah’s way-too-fast-approaching wedding day.

She and Peter want their reception there. So we’re working hard — along with a mob of amazing covenant brothers and sisters — to make it happen. I’m quite sure more than a few people think we’re a bit crazy.

  • A roller coaster of a driveway (one car wide) weaves its way through fir trees and leads into the property where there’s room for maybe thirty-five cars to park around more fir trees. There will be more than 35 cars at the reception.
  • The one really flat area for dancing has been worn over the years of memory-making, into a bald rectangle of dirt and scattered weeds. There will be dancing.
  • There’s one bathroom on the place (unless you count the primitive outhouse my dad built years ago — and we’re not). We will need more than one bathroom.
  • We’re hoping at least a couple hundred people will venture into the place to celebrate with us after the wedding. We don’t own 200 chairs.
  • The RV shelter that Daddy built (again, years ago) was falling down, but not all the way. A cable, apparently designed to hold it together, was working hard to do just that, and no one was terribly excited about being in its path when it was cut. And when the RV moved on to someone else’s adventures, the shelter became the place to put stuff that needed somewhere to go. It was all still there, years later.

I’ve spent plenty of night-time hours praying for God to show us how to creatively (and cheaply) overcome these and other challenges. Nine days until the wedding day, I can bear witness to God’s faithfulness, even in the little things like prayers about dance floors and chairs.

Last night, before I started my very sleepy trip toward home, I looked at the place and actually believed a reception could happen there!

  • The RV shelter is gone. God made that big old cable snap on its own, and some rope and a young man with his four-wheel-drive brought the rest down. The junk is all in the dump, the brush is part of the at-least-10-foot-high burn pile at the end of the clearing, and another flat place has been uncovered that will accommodate three less-primitive “portable toilets” that will arrive the day before the wedding.
  • The civil engineer that leads our community group mulled over our driveway/parking dilemma for a half hour or so and came up with a brilliant shuttle plan that even addresses the car seat issue that had stopped us in our tracks for awhile. (I mean, how do you shuttle people into a reception, when probably a third of them need a car seat?) Freddy figured out how, and he’s my hero.
  • The power poles that held up the RV shelter, and the wood that supported its metal roof, have been transformed into a couple dozen very cool-looking benches to add to our eclectic collection of borrowed lawn chairs, straw bales, and garage sale finds. It almost looks on purpose.
  • The dance “floor” is a beautiful little expanse of fresh, green, flourishing rye grass sod that will probably be trampled to death by the end of the evening. But a rented dance floor would have gone back to the rental company the next day, and you never know, the grass might recover, and it was 1/6 of the cost! I’m dying to walk barefoot through it.

Some might think these are little things. I think they’re gifts from my all-powerful God who, while He sustains the entire universe, chooses to love me and delights in blessing me. He’s blessed me and my family through His people — people who have given up Saturdays and evenings and normal meal times and lots of energy to help us transform the place, just like they work every day to transform the world for God’s glory. He’s blessed me and my family by planting us in the midst of such an amazing body of people.

These miracles are also big reminders to me of my daddy, who also chose to love us and delighted in blessing us. I made the “mistake” of looking in Susannah’s baby book this morning when no one else was up yet — maybe not such a good idea after one night’s worth of sleep in two nights.

I came across the page that is pictured at the beginning of this post.

See that handsome man holding that sweet (scrawny) little girl? That’s my daddy (his 90th birthday would have been on the wedding day), and that’s my little girl who’s getting married. They are why we’re having theĀ reception on Daddy’s property.

Susannah and her awesome husband will love it, and my daddy would have loved it.

Thank you, Lord, for helping it happen.

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