Monday, December 15, 2014

The Heart of the Matter

My daughter gets married in a little less than three weeks and I feel like I should be writing something profound. Instead I'm checking off scary long lists that include purchase eight cases of water bottles for the welcome bags, mail Christmas box to my mom, pick up spray paint, card stock, and gold frames from the craft store, wrap, don't eat too many Christmas cookies, figure out who is sitting where at the reception, call the breakfast caterer, pay the water bill, approximately one hundred and one other to-dos, and lastly (or rather, firstly) make time every single day to sit in the twinkling quiet of the Christmas tree and soak in the stillness and the hope.

Let it seep into my skin and permeate my soul.

The days are full here. They always are in December, but a wedding adds another dimension to the season, and I'm trying to find balance. Yes there is much to do before the big day, but I don't want to be so busy with all of that I miss the other BIG day. The day that comes to us wrapped in swaddling clothes.

I want Christmas. I need Christmas. The world needs Christmas. I know the holiday has been commercialized to the nth degree, and maybe it's because of that I find it easy to feel more focused on what's important right now. Maybe all the unimportant is so loud and big and everywhere this time of year, that it forces me to look harder for what truly matters.

In a way, preparing for Christmas and preparing for a wedding have something in common. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the stores, finding just the right gift, parking space, table scape, whatever...easy to miss the beauty of what Christmas day means for all eternity.

When preparing for a wedding it's also hard not to get caught up in the planning. In figuring out all the personal touches and little details you want in place on what is without a doubt a very special day.

But Christmas isn't about having a perfect tree-house-life, any more than a wedding is about having the perfect dress-band-bouquet. Christmas is about the hope for mankind that was birthed in a manger. It's a  single day that's about the rest of our lives.

A wedding is more than cake and flowers. It's the words you say and the promises you make. Words like love and honor, for better or worse, til death do us part. A single day that's about the rest of your life.

The months leading up to the wedding have not been without challenges. Oh sure, when you're planning a wedding you have to figure there will be a few bumps in the road, but we've encountered something a bit more, and it's that bit more God has used to remind us it's what comes after the wedding that matters.

My daughter has been trekking south and west and south again, before landing in the soft place called home yesterday. Home for just a little while longer. Home until she moves home. Her home.

So we're ticking off the wedding lists and sipping tea poured from a Christmas pot. We're meshing the holiday and the big day and all the days between now and then because love. It's at the heart of a wedding and it's the beating heart of Christmas.

We sit in front of the twinkling lights of a decorated tree and we celebrate that love. We celebrate all the hope a single day brings. May you celebrate that too.

17 comments:

  1. My younger daughter is caught up in all this planning, and my granddaughter's wedding isn't until May. So we get to slow down to enjoy the holiday season. Loved your words today.

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  2. How wonderful Joyce. A Merry time of year, and a joyous event too! This year we celebrate at Mandy and Matt's new home. We are thrilled for them and their beautiful home.

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  3. Very good thoughts and perspective Joyce.
    Praying for your family as The Day gets closer!

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  4. Just told daughter last night-it is the days, weeks, and years after saying your vows that are important.i feel like I am turning I to mother- of-the-bride Gozilla!

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  5. Praying for no more bumps ... and that you will continue to focus on the IMPORTANT in all your busy-ness.

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  6. Enjoy having her home and beng there to share those pots of tea together. The wedding will be beautiful whether the details all get done or not!

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  7. Wow, I can't imagine how excited you are. This is a lovely time to get married. I always secretly hoped my daughter would decide to have a winter wedding but since she's set on rainbow, I guess not.

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  8. I can't even imagine the stress.
    Someone contacted me about doing their wedding pics next December & that alone freaks me out with all the planning of Christmas

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  9. As always I love the words you write to describe SOO perfectly both this special time of year and special occasion in your lives. How fun in some ways to have a wedding this time of year, but also just has to add to the frantic feel in a way. You are doing such a good job it seems of keeping focused though. I remember like it was yesterday doing the seating chart for the reception for some reason. Maybe because it ended up being the source for soo many issues, lol. I worked on that thing, worked on it again and again, and then some more. And still on the day of the wedding had to make some changes. I think if I did again in the future I'd reserve a couple of tables for main family and let everyone sit where they landed, lol. Continue to enjoy it all!

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  10. So well said, Joyce. Brilliant.

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  11. I admire you for keeping your focus on those things that really, really matter. Enjoying your daughter, thinking of those vows, and loving Christmas. That you continue to blog through all the events going on at this time of year is mind-boggling to me.

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  12. Ahhh, I was wondering how you were fairing... I'm thinking I'm a bit overloaded and trying not to let the 'season' get the better of me and then think . . whoa, how about planning a wedding in the midst of all this? Yikes. Would you ever 'do' another Winter wedding?
    I guess it's about keeping focus and the in the spirit of a marriage and not a wedding.
    The Hubby's mom passed away on the 3rd of the month of our wedding. The funeral was the 6th and we got married the 9th. I distinctly still remember the day we both decided the wedding itself just did not matter. I recall telling my mom just to decide the rest. It still went on and the important thing was that we were married. That and spending the quality time needed with his mom. I still don't remember what was served for the wedding dinner. And look, we're still married! ;)

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  13. What a beautiful post! I think of you often and know all about those last minute details when it comes to weddings. I do pray that all will come off just as planned and in the meantime you and yours can really enjoy this one last Christmas as a family of four. Blessings abundant!!!

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  14. Beautifully written. I, too, find myself thinking of you and yours during this busy, blessed, whirlwind of planning a winter wedding right after Christmas. I remember being the bride three days after Christmas. The wedding was all that was on my mind.. I am praying that you only see enough snow to be very romantic for the newlyweds, but not enough to cause even a hiccup in the plans.

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  15. Love this post Joyce.....I so agree with you!

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  16. Love the questions this week! See ya tomorrow!

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  17. Seriously... probably one of the best posts you have ever written. Love this.

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