Today the June issue of Portland Bride and Groom came out. Right there in the middle of that slick, picture-laden magazine were photos of our daughter’s wedding! Peter and Susannah kissing in front of the taco booth, Susannah’s rainbow shoes, the donut cake, the game booths, Peter swinging at the pinata.
And at the end of the article, a short little list of vendors appears — a short and very inaccurate list. It had to be. The real list would have been too long.
Yes, the ring came from a jewelers, Peter’s suit came from JCPenney, the dress from David’s Bridal, the cotton candy machine from a rental company.
But almost everything else sprang from the loving generosity of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The florist, the hair stylist, the makeup artist — all church family.
The dress? It might have started with David’s Bridal but a dear friend altered and added and rearranged to bring Susannah’s vision to life.
The macaroni and cheese, the tacos, the falafel? All loving gifts of time and energy from our brothers and sisters in Him.
The venue? Transformed by an army of friends who fell trees, hauled logs, tore apart buildings and turned them into benches, planted grass, installed sinks, and worked their tails off over and over — just because they loved Jesus and us.
The magical lights everywhere? The wizardry of a couple of very smart, creative, and generous people.
The game booths? Manned by families who wanted to help make the day special.
The music? Other brothers and sisters in Christ, using their talents to glorify Him and bless us.
The cake? More delightfully crazy and loving people who know how to celebrate because they know why we celebrate.
The vans shuttling over 300 people down the winding, hilly, one-lane gravel road through the forest? Driven by more church family.
Beautiful, imperfect, loving, fellow-sinners-saved-by-grace. All coming together to create a glorious day of joy.
These are the same people I just spent a week of family camp with at the beach. (Our 26th year!)
The people who almost made me cry every time I tried to play the piano while they sang In Christ Alone and dozens of other psalms and hymns.
The people who blew me away with their talent and their humor at the annual Family Camp Talent Show.
The people who ate together, played together, learned together, worshipped together, and threw up together (the great 2014 Family Camp Plague with at least 75 having succumbed so far).
I love these people.
They have blessed me in so, so many ways. God has used them to shape me, and He has loved me through them.
I’m glad I’m going to spend eternity with all of them.
The singing will be even better. The celebration will never end. And the flu will be no more.