Well, wedding season has begun here in the south. Last weekend, we went to a beautiful reception for our friends, Amy and Ed. I actually had a hard time titling this post and deciding what to write. One side of me wanted to write about how much we love these young adults and how much they have blessed and enriched our lives. They have all become family to us!!! We have become local family to them. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by God's grace!!! So, I will just say that our refrigerator is covered with save-the-date cards and wedding invitations and it is not because we are "popular." Popularity has NOTHING to do with this. God's love and grace has EVERYTHING to do with this!! We are allowed to be a part of their lives because we are in relationship with these young adults that God has brought into our lives. . . .and Mark and I have been forever changed.
So on to the wedding festivities. Ed and Amy flew away to a tropical location and exchanged vows on the sand . . .just the two of them . . .no family . . .no friends. . . no big fancy wedding. A week or so after the wedding, Amy's parents hosted a lovely reception at the Capstone Club in a town about an hour from our home. You have to understand that the Capstone Club is located in the rival state football team town . . . and only someone who lives in another state . . .aw heck - probably no one else in the world can understand the football rivalry that goes on in the state of Alabama. Needless to say, it was a tad difficult for Mark to go into a facility that had logos for the other team EVERYWHERE!! But he did . . .because he loves Amy and Ed.
Amy looked beautiful in her gown!!!
We sat at the table with several of the young adults who used to be in our Tuesday night group (they are no longer with us because they left to help plant a new church . . .and some of them are married now). We also were able to visit with Dave and Angela and Leo (one of our former associate pastors and his wife and little boy).
This was my drink of choice for the evening - diet coke :-) I did have two sips of champagne during the toasting portion of the evening!! I just thought it was so funny when I looked at my two glasses . . .and then when I pulled the picture through to my blog, I realized that you can see all the glasses of beer in the background!! Suffice it to say, I sat at a table with a bunch of beer drinkers!
Amy (or her mom perhaps?) had decorated with just the right amount of white tulle and they had made huge vinyl initials to put on the glass.
It was a lovely evening of visiting with young friends!!!
Jump forward to this weekend. On Friday night, we went to the rehearsal dinner for Ray and Jannie, the son and now daughter-in-law of our good friends, Scott and Bonnie. The rehearsal dinner was in another small town about an hour away . . .in the same "neck of the woods" (very southern expression!!) as the wedding last weekend. I didn't take a single picture which is so not like me!!! The rehearsal dinner was in a barn and the tables were covered in red and white checkered cloths (the rival team colors) and the centerpieces were red and white shakers and houndstooth hats (former coach of rival team always wore this hat) and footballs. When we walked into the barn, Mark asked the lady in charge, "where is the Auburn table?" She said, "in Auburn!!" The menu was Barbeque and sides with cheesecake for dessert.
The groom's sister made a slide show for the bride and groom and it was so sweet. It was amazing to see how much Ray looks like his daddy at that age.
We drove back to Tuscaloosa on Saturday for the wedding. The wedding was in the part of the city that was hard hit by the tornado on April 27, 2011.
Read about it in these two posts - one about local damage and one about the week:
It is amazing to see the neighborhoods today - the tops of the trees are still gone - the trees are just standing there like silent sentinels. Houses are being built. You might drive down a street and see the concrete pad where a house did stand . . .but stands no longer. Forest Lake Baptist Church was the location for the wedding and it is right in the middle of an extremely damaged location . . .and yet every stained glass window was still intact. It almost looked like the tornado went around the church.
The wedding was sweet. Ray and Jannie did something I have never seen in a wedding ceremony before. They washed each other's feet to signify the servanthood of Christ . . .and to each other . . .and to others. The reception was in the church fellowship hall and the wedding cake was the best wedding cake I have ever tasted!! I love icing and I whispered to the lady serving the cake, "I LOVE icing" and she slid the knife down the side and put a huge scoop of icing on my plate - only in the south :-)
So . . .Mark went to Tuscaloosa and surrounding area three times in 7 days. That is a record. We had a great time - two weekends in a row - with wedding festivities!! We have lots more to go between now and August!!
Here is another line from the song . . just in case you haven't figured it out . . .
Oh the marriage of your spirits here has caused Him to remain
For whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name
There is Love, there is Love
Don't know why this song is in my head tonight . . .it is indeed an oldie . . .
there is love . . ..there is love.