My gift to the bride to be…

The beautiful card lay on the table in front of me.
I twiddled the pencil. “Share your advice for the bride to be…”
What have I learned? In these six years of marriage, I’ve learned a lot.
Become a different person.
Have a new set of values and dreams.
But to fit that on a 4×6 card?
“Concise,” I told the girl holding the pencil, “be concise.”
So I scribbled.
Something about honoring him, valuing what he values, and delighting in each moment with him.
Cause he is a gift.

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Last week I sat in a circle of ladies, all celebrating a bride to be… Watching her open her gifts and exclaim over each one. She has poured herself into the lives around her. She was there for me in some of my bleakest seasons, was standing up front with me on my wedding day, and has shared sacred silence at Isaac’s grave. She is very dear to me. As I looked around the circle, I knew she was very dear to all of us. In unique and personal ways, she has been there for each lady here. A card, a quality conversation, a coffee drink and shared hearts. And now it was our change to try to thank her.
To express in some small way our gratitude for who she is…

It’s a year of weddings. In September alone, we have three weekends in a row where we are invited to weddings. California, Georgia, New York. It’s dizzying. And sad when you have to be down to earth and send a RSVP saying “0 attending” when you love the person and wish badly to be there on their big day. Never have I been invited to so many bridal showers in so little time. The man behind the bridal registry desk is becoming familiar with my face, as I have him print out not one, but two registries this time. I scan the shelves for something the couple wants, something I want to give.
Something practical; yet meaningful.

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What do I want to give these people?
A new family starting. Two people facing the unknown together.
What would I tell my daughter if it were her?
She’s two, and is content right now to play with her dolls and romp outside. But she is growing up so fast. Someday it WILL be her turn.
What would I wish to know, if I were doing it all over again?
I would say…

Love God more than anything.
Because God is what it is all about, anyway.
Because my husband is merely a man, and will fail.
Because in those moments I need to have Christ be my security, so my love for my husband won’t waver.

Honor my husband, in every way.
In every word, in every action, yes, even in my thoughts.
He needs to know that I believe in him, and am a safe place for him to be vulnerable.
To be real. To be weak and needy sometimes.
And to know that that is okay with me, yes, even treasured.
To know what he shares with me is in confidence, and will stay there.
Period.

Learn to love what he loves, and value what he values.
Even if it’s not my preference.
And guess what? I’ve learned to love things I had no idea I could.
Shrimp… Gardening… Camping…  Traveling… Using money carefully.
It’s quite freeing, actually. Make life simple, but delightful. Because it IS delightful.
Choose to see the beauty in each moment.

This list feels vulnerable. Vulnerable ‘cause as I look over these subjects, I see room for huge growth in each one. Why should I even share this if I haven’t tackled these points? Cause that is another thing I’m learning. It’s okay not to be perfect. Learning is a beautiful process. I have learned, still am learning and will continue to learn.

So cheers to each of my friends, whether brides already, or brides to be.

It’s a lovely journey.

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3 thoughts on “My gift to the bride to be…

  1. I’ve been reading your blog now for a long time, I never comment, but I was terribly sad to find it missing the other day when I went to the web.me.com link. So, today I decided to see if I could find you somewhere else, and I found this! Is this where you will be from now on? I just got engaged to be married a month ago and was thinking about your story and wanting to read it again. Will it be available again sometime?
    Thank you for this post, reading advice about being married means so much more to me now. 🙂 I look forward to reading more of the things you have to share. 🙂

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