Water Into Wine Version 1.1

Let’s go with the “Getting Ready” dreams as our theme for this post.  The significance is what moves me to preach today.

Emotions rolled around in my heart like a ship at sea from the moment I woke on wedding day.  I didn’t cry when she slipped into the beautiful dress. I didn’t cry as I spoke words of comfort and peace when she became overwhelmed with the magnitude of the day just before walking down the aisle. I didn’t cry when her dad placed her hand in Spencer's. I didn’t cry as she and her groom spoke their vows and read the words they had lovingly labored over.  (I will post vows after permission) Who could cry as the happy couple came prancing back down the aisle to Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered?  

Sitting real close to the spot where, on another September day long ago, I was tragically burned in a farm accident, and the maid of honor stood to toast her sister, then did the tears flowed unashamed.

A terrible, horrible, accident that did NOT scar me for life.  Oh, there are physical scars and a crooked little finger, there’s my love/hate relationship with sleeveless dresses and make-up.  But there are no emotional scars. No bitterness, no anger, no strife,  In a way, that accident molded and shaped me into the woman God intended me to be. (Not saying He caused it)

As I passed the marriage/wife baton on to one daughter today as I did 5 years ago to the other, the tragedy and it’s ramifications were passed along to them, as well.

I know I’m a little off my  “Getting Ready” theme, but bear with me, I can post as long as I want cuz I’m the mother of the bride for the last time.

So yeah … getting ready. When 2012 rolled onto the calendar we were sure Melissa and Spencer would say, “I do”. 

If I coulda done the choosing we’d have rented The Michillinda Lodge just north of Muskegon and had a hometown bash with a simple centerpiece on each table and guests could have actually rented their very own guest room.  If I said it once, I said it a 1000 times, "Melissa I’d like to just pull into the venue driveway. I don’t want to worry about where the forks, knives, salt shakers, and bathrooms came from."

But she can be a little bit stubborn (another trait I’ve passed along) and frugal and sentimental and so they chose grandpa and grandma’s family farm for their wedding venue.

And then the “getting ready” started. Getting ready to marry the bridegroom. Preparing a feast for the bride, bridegroom and their guests. Doing the work necessary to host an intimate dinner party to celebrate the covenant God ordained from the beginning of time.

I can NOT minimize the cloud of witnesses, which came alongside us towards the end of this feat, and they will for sure get their own blog post.
And I definitely will not ignore the hard work Melissa and Spencer put in to making their relationship and marriage start out strong and God honoring. Of course, they will get their own post.

But for now, and then I’ll try to not speak of it again, I (we) gathered every fork, knife, salt shaker, and restroom. Some planted and some watered. Some cleaned out the hayloft and some sewed the aprons. Some hung the lights and some hauled the horse wagon through the poison ivy. Some prayed and some prayed some more. Some helped pick out the dress and some helped pick-up the dress. Some hosted showers and batchelorrette bowling parties. Some babysat and some fixed food. Some shared their chandeliers, gators, chicken coop cardholders and videography equipment. 

We worked hard to prepare, and so sitting right in the middle of the deep end, in what used to be her grandma and grandpa's swimming pool, was the only spot for her and her groom to say their solemn vows.  The shed where I was burned, was the only place sacred enough to host the dinner, dancing, and celebrating. A bride preparing to meet her bridegroom. Through it all, I firmly believe  my "getting ready" dreams are more significant than just hosting a wedding.

From the book of Revelation as written by John the Baptist from his dreams and visions.
Then a voice came from the throne, saying: 
 "Praise our God, all you who serve him 
 and all you who honor him, both small and great! Then I heard what sounded like a great many people, like the noise of flooding water, and like the noise of loud thunder. The people were saying: 
  Our Lord God, the Almighty, rules. 
 Let us rejoice and be happy 
 and give God glory, 
 because the wedding of the Lamb has come, 
 and the Lamb's bride has made herself ready. 
  Fine linen, bright and clean, was given to her to wear." 
(The fine linen means the good things done by God's holy people.)
 And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who have been invited to the wedding meal of the Lamb!" And the angel said, "These are the true words of God."
Then I bowed down at the angel's feet to worship him.

One day the Bridegroom (Jesus Christ) will come to meet his bride (believers). There will be a grand celebration and a marriage feast the likes of which no one has ever seen or imagined.

So live this earthly life. Be happy. Fall in love. Believe. Make and keep families. Have faith. Trust. Show grace. Forgive. Be kind. But first and foremost, get ready to meet The Bridegroom.

Now including reception slideshow:

Spencer & Melissa from Julee Ann on Vimeo.


Her Mother and I

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one. Ephesians 5:31 The New Testament.

I'll betcha I can count on one hand the number of nights in my life when I couldn't sleep. Tonight was one of them.  The dreams are always about getting ready for a major event, but never quite getting everything done.  And that is literally how completely general they are.  Every night.  No further details appear.  No Moody gym in a Tri-County High School hallway surrounded by friends from Mona Shores.  Nothing.  Just me preparing for something . . . anything, and waking, only to fall back asleep so the preparations can continue.

The other handful of nights were probably waiting for Melissa to arrive home much later than her reasonable "curfew" allowed.  Technically, she didn't have a curfew. Caller id was in place by then, and when she'd call and say, "we're gonna watch a movie or I'm gonna spend the night here . . ."
we knew she was where she said she was.

Only once, on a cold winter night, when I woke around 4am and noticed her car missing from the driveway, did I wake up the Wiseman's and ask them if, possibly the bug was in their driveway.  It was one of the few times she got grounded. 

When I write my book, there will be a whole chapter on grounding your teen-ager.  It will talk about effective discipline, reaping what you sow, making good choices, consequences, letting them fail and very little about punishment.  We can't always be grounding children, we should be teaching them to fly. 

Melissa would say in 2010, she heard God calling her to Himself and old things passed away and all things became new.  She caught the faith we tried to instill. We would say, you can only teach children about faith and pray they get their own.

And so tomorrow we push her from the nest. Actually, she jumped out in 2005 and has learned most of her lessons through trial and error and the hard way. Another chapter in the book will be on children being under their parents covering, letting them make mistakes so lessons can be learned . . . sigh. Tomorrow she and Spencer start building their own nest. A covenant with and ordained by God since time began. 

She was never one for dressin' up and worrying about what she saw in the mirror.  One of our worst moments as mother and daughter was in a department store dressing room. But one of our best will be when we catch eyes as she walks down the aisle, on her dad's arm, to meet the love of her life, in her beautiful dress.

Melissa always said she wanted to get married in a hoodie, jeans, and barefoot. 

Two outta three, ain't bad, Tootse.


Because We're Goin' To The Chapel

I should not even be here today.  Here, as in blogger, not life itself.  But I feel the "before" pictures deserve their space in time, as well, so here are just a few.

And then a couple of engagement ones.  Never have I seen"straight out of camera" shots the likes of which the talented and creative Jennifer Grace captures.

The countdown is on ... I'll be back here when we have a 10-day forecast!  I've ordered the perfect autumn day, so I'm sure we'll be fine.

Hold on little flowers, hold on!

Grandpa Frey, Tony, and Max getting a ride in the John Deere.

Oh, and one more thing... I have the best parents, family, and friends in the whole wide world, and I absolutely can NOT wait to celebrate with you all.

Love ya like a sister,