Daily Reflections From My Window

October 24, 2021 Sunday: Wedding Wrap Up

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“God has pulled out all the stops.”

The Reverend Thaddeus B. Allen

This was the last of many weddings for a little while and each one has been very special but in its own unique way. Whether it was the circumstances, the venue, the service or just something else, they all were amazingly profound in their own way.Yesterday, we were blessed to be part of pretty much a close family wedding, complete with the most beautiful display of hard work, mad baking skills, and yes, love, known as the Pittsburgh/Johnstown Cookie Table. It’s really unique to western Pa, the cookie table. So much love and blessings go into each speck of flour, ounce of dough, chip of chocolate, grain of salt, and dollop of cream. It was an incredible display of not only baked goods but also of just how much this young family are loved by us all, and no, I was NOT among the bakers!Family members were a part of this whole celebration. Family friend Michael and Melissa Lux provided the music during the ceremony. Aunt Colzee (that’s my spelling of what the kids and we have called her forever) gave an appropriate Irish Blessing, along with the traditional readings by other family members, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more God-delivered-through-a-person Homily than the one presented by Rev. Allen.

Let me back up. These are my words and not the Rev’s. I’ll give you a heads up when I return to his. The groom and his bride met 5 years ago when he was managing the Hardee’s restaurant where she worked as a young single parent of one. Something called love ensued and she became a stay at home mom with BJ at the helm and before we knew it, little Carter and then Brooklyn followed. With the most loving grandparents to guide them, in our friends Tammy and Brian, they navigated their way to this point of getting married, through a pandemic and a lot of delays. Another backstory: Tammy and Brian were our backyard neighbors when we lived on Shelburne Place and we all quickly became lifelong friends. Jack and BJ would meet in our backyard and as little guys, dig holes to China and think big dreams. First we moved to another property and then they did to another state and though we didn’t see each other as often, still maintained our friendship. I’m going to declare this a Godwink, but Brian shared with me that they BJ and Kaula rented an apartment from the minister. Did they know him before? I don’t know. But he’s a good family friend now.Now back to the Rev’s homily. He began by stating the obvious. With the kids part of the ceremony and pretty much everywhere, he said that God sent His only Son to a family here on Earth, and it wasn’t the perfect family either. None is. He said that though he didn’t have the same gifts that the Wise Men brought, there were three precious gifts before us, named McKenna, Carter and Brooklyn and the evidence of that was not only before us with their presence but also in their tiny handprints that were on his purple stole. The same purple stole that he wrapped around the new couple’s joined hands as he proclaimed them husband and wife which he said represented God’s hands around theirs. Did I know that was what that meant? I do now and love the symbolism. Then he mentioned that he happened to have a little bit of Frankincense on hand, and before we knew it, 3 baptisms happened and a “Family” was formed. Oh yes, grandad B was bawling his eyes out. Tammy likes to say that he’s the emotional one.Why did THIS wedding strike me as so special? Well, we might be hearing the rumblings of one in our family in the future, and as all things, you see what the style is and what has become “expected” from the wedding planning gurus. Things like keeping to a schedule, staged photos of perfection, treat bags and favors for the guests, video of the Bride and Groom walking through a field of flowers in their wedding attire before the actual wedding has even taken place have been required it seems lately. It’s made for many discussions about what’s really necessary. Is this generation all about the social and perception and not the reality? Back in our day (yes, I said that!) favors were little bundles of mints wrapped in tulle and tied with a fancy ribbon. Pictures happened with the bride and her family before the wedding but with the groom after. Our wedding was on a tight budget, but still nice. We’ve been talking a lot about how to make for a unique experience to the wedding couple and stay true to your own heart and not what’s expected for social media. Each wedding we’ve been to has done that, and then our minister at this one made it clear. GOD pulled out all the stops here. He always does. Just like parents and families make sacrifices to pull out all the stops, by choosing the perfect dress, the venue, the food, the right photographer, the music, and yes, even the treat bags and favors, and guests make arrangements to travel, to bake, to dress up, to BE there, it’s because we all share the love for this young couple and their families and that’s what it’s about. Our outward declaration of our love for them.

When Melissa started to sing Hey Babe, I Think I Want to Marry You” as the Bride and Groom stood before the minister, I almost started to bawl too! They didn’t HAVE to get married like in the old days, they WANTED to get married and become that little family. That’s part of our family and the family of God.

The kids were every part of this wedding and their cousins were all here dancing and having a great time! It isn’t often that our state representative doubles as the DJ at his nephew’s wedding! He played lots of great dancing music too! Even Granddad B took a turn playing guitar.So here’s my takeaway which I learned from the LAST wedding. Dance while you can and enjoy every moment because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Show someone you love them. Pull out all the stops. God always does. We just have to accept it.

Oh and this, that strikes terror through my bones! Jack says that they want to have a cell phone free wedding! What would I do without my camera? I guess I have time to wean myself away. For now, enjoy the few pictures I’ve taken at this wedding. In the meantime, do something you’ve never done before. Find your passion and explore it. Every single day is a gift. For me, I LOVE to sing while we’re driving if I know the words. It’s not Jay’s dream, but he tolerates it. Thank goodness for him, we’re almost home! “American Pie” just ended. If only “Stay” and “the Load Out” would come on!

Have a blessed day!