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by Sue Detweiler
How To Be the “Mother of the Bride” Twice in 6 Weeks…
My mom who is 77-years-old ran through the house shouting “Wedding Bells are Ringing! Wedding Bells are Ringing!” We all laughed and gathered around the see the table setting that Rachel had prepared for her wedding reception that took place on April 12th. We all laughed that day as grammy looked at Angela and sang out, “It’s not just 1 wedding- it’s 2!”
I had to catch my breath and smile as our home over the past 6 weeks has been filled with wedding plates, napkins, and candles. As the mother of the bride I am feeling the sweetness of my daughters each choosing wonderful grooms. I am in awe that my daughters are moving out of our home and into the next season of their lives.
My favorite solo to sing when I was a teenager was “Sunrise, Sunset” from the Fiddler on the Roof. I memorized these words:
Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday
When they were small?
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears
As the mother of the bride, not only are these 2 beauties moving into the next season of their lives, so am I. So how do I survive the changing of this season which is “laden with happiness and tears”? Here are a few notes I have made to myself.
1. Celebrate Each Moment
When Rachel and I drove to David’s Bridal to pick up her dress, we shared the sweetest moment. She talked about her trust in God to lead her and Dustin in the days ahead. Then as she put the dress on, she had me close my eyes so that I could see her walk out. Of course, my eyes filled with tears as I saw the glow on her happy face. The moment is captured in the special snap-shot-in-my-mind.
2. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Two days before Rachel’s wedding, her wedding coordinator called and said that because of a “family emergency”, she would not be able to be at the wedding. Now, this may not seem like the “small stuff.” In the over-all-scheme of what is happening, this is small. The awesome and mysterious reality is that God performed a miracle on April 12th when Dustin and Rachel became husband and wife -the miracle of being ONE.
God came through! A family friend stepping in as the wedding coordinator. Her presence made the day full of peace and joy. She was able to capture the beautiful moments of love and celebration. She became a part of God’s miracle – just like Jesus turned the water into wine in response to his mother’s desperate plea at a wedding.
3. Embrace the New Season
Having 2 weddings in six weeks has just multiplied the joy. Rachel and Angela, although close in age, are so different in their approach to life and their choice of weddings. Part of the joy is releasing each daughter to be who she is called to be. Enjoying the uniqueness of her choices. Trusting God to lead each one into their unique destinies.
In the middle of these two weddings, my youngest daughter graduated from high school. Towering over her sisters as a 5’10 beauty she held her diploma and laughed. I had this “snap shot memory” of her as a 4 year old when I was attempting to homeschool all of the girls around the table. She got bored with the process, grabbed a marker, and turned and colored the wall.
HOW DID THE YEARS PASS SO QUICKLY?
Moments from today, my daughter Angela will walk down the aisle as a radiant bride. Today, as I hi-light Angela’s hair for the wedding, I remember the years that I have been laying my hands on her head doing this simple task. I remember back to a moment in time when Angela was a baby being dedicated at the altar to God. Now, in a few days she will take the arm of her husband Bryan and drive away as a married woman.
Tears are streaming down my face as I prepare my heart for the days ahead.
From the moment that our children are born we begin the task of releasing them to their destinies. The sunset of this moment, will be the sunrise of the next day.
The Dawn of a New Day
As I walk into this next season, I don’t walk alone. Not only do I walk arm-in-arm with my husband of 30 years, I walk side-by-side with my lover, and bridegroom Jesus and surrounded by the beautiful bride-of-Christ. He is a lover that never disappoints. He is the ONE that we trust. In each new season He awakens me with the fresh joy and delight of the dawn of a new day.
Sue Detweiler is a mother of six, author, speaker, and radio host with over 25 years of experience in leadership, ministry, and education. Sue’s book 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom hit #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases for Christian Women’s Issues when it was released on Kindle during Mother’s Day Weekend. You can order her book here. 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom will be in bookstores everywhere beginning October 2014.