"When you lean on grace, you surrender control, and that's not very appealing to many people, including Christians."
Dave Burchett, Stay
When my son Joshua and his girlfriend Taylor became engaged, after three years of dating, starting in high school, we were very happy for them. It's wonderful knowing that a child, your child, has found the right person to be with for life. When Taylor converted to Catholicism, we were even happier. I think most of us will agree that the fewer issues a couple has that can become points of contention, the better. Taylor and Joshua are both pretty laid back, they rarely fight, and when one has an issue, the other is likely to give in, let it go. They are really one of the most perfect couples, as the compliment each other so well.
So, thoughts of a wedding ahead were fun, though we all, well most of us, agreed that with a wedding date two years away meant we were in no hurry to get the items on the checklists crossed off. The mother of the bride was anxious to get the ball rolling, but as the mother of the groom, I really felt my roll was to be cooperative and shut up. You know the old saying, "Wear beige and keep your mouth shut"? I admitted from the get-go that I was not very good at either -- I never wear beige, and I have been known to put my two-cents in rather frequently. I'm a mom. We do that.
Josh and Taylor decided they would be married at his high school, in the Mother of Mercy chapel, a "perk" available only to alumni (where Doug and I were also married). The school has a gorgeous Commons as well, which I proudly admit my husband raised the money to build. It is formerly the courtyard of the school, but when they built it, they closed in the wings of the building with an added a fourth wing (which is why in pictures it looks like the walls are the exterior of the building -- they used to be). It's three stories high with high windows and a glass roof. It's actually amusing to think of high schoolboys eating lunch in this space every day, as it is gorgeous for a special event. We scheduled the Chapel and the Commons, and Josh and Taylor asked one of my husband's classmates, who has become a dear family friend, to celebrate the Nuptial Mass. Those three tasks, which we agreed to pay for as well, started off the plans with what we thought were the most important aspects.
Meanwhile Taylor picked out a gown, and decided that she didn't like the dresses available off the rack as most of them were strapless, and she wanted a more modest dress for her bridesmaids. She had chosen most of her bridesmaids at the time, but added two more later, for a total of six adults, two junior bridesmaids and a flower girl -- quite a gaggle of girls. As she couldn't find dresses for all the different sized girls, and most bridesmaids dresses run in the $200-$300 range (outrageous!), I offered to help Taylor find a pattern and fabric and sew the dresses myself. Truly, I had no idea what I was getting into, but I wouldn't know that for quite a while.
"But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift." Ephesians 4:7
I had also offered to make the bride's veil, even before I offered to sew the dresses, so I knew I had to get my rear in gear, so to speak. The dresses slowly but surely were finished, and by early May the last dress was finished. I felt I was doing my part in the wedding plans, and God gave me the patience to get the job done -- an amazing feat I will say. I have always believed in God's grace, and I was surely shown that His grace doesn't come before you need it -- only when you do. It's faith that is required to set forth and know that God will be there to rain down the grace as needed.
Faith on right, and the other junior bridesmaid, Madison.
As the day of the wedding got closer and closer, I was busy sewing hundreds of beads and sequins to the bride's veil and trying to keep up with some of the tasks the bride's mother asked of me. But during those last weeks just before the wedding, I admit things got a little hot sometimes. The bride and groom came to me often because they felt the heat from the bride's mother, who herself was feeling the weight of the to-do lists. There were some very hot moments and I think on occasion we all lost it a little bit. The mother of the bride and I met one Saturday morning with Taylor and she gave me a list of things assigned to me, which were all manageable, but I admit after a 3-1/2 hour meeting, I really was starting to have my doubts if all expectations were reasonable. Somebody was bound to be disappointed, and it wasn't me.
"but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.' I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me." 2 Cor 12:9
To be continued...