My niece Sarah's getting married in October!
Sarah's mom, Lisa, lives here in Connecticut now, too. And our mother-in-law and father-in-law are here in Connecticut visiting both of us for a few weeks. So Lisa took her younger daughter, Samantha, and I took my van that seats eight, and my oldest daughter Norah, and we took Mom, and we hit the road. We stopped in New Jersey for like, a minute, and picked up Michelle, my husband's sister, and then kept on going.
(My little girls stayed home with their dad and Grandpa for the weekend. My nephew stayed home with my brother-in-law. So, basically, all the men were given the responsibility of keeping all the other children alive. They did well.)
We arrived in Virginia the night before and settled in. (We did lots of stuff like eating at restaurants, swimming at the hotel pool, exercising at the hotel gym, and shopping, of course. But we were really there for one thing.)
The shower was lovely!
There was a ton of delicious food and a bunch of fun games. (I even won a bag of prizes!) And it took the bride-to-be forever to open all her gifts, she had so many!
I thought the amount of gifts really must speak to the bride-to-be's character. And it speaks to the character of her fiancé Justin, no doubt. These are two outstanding young people, and I am not that easily impressed.
I thought the amount of gifts also speaks to the abundance of upright people the couple has surrounding them, encouraging them, and celebrating their union. This is another young couple that is already involved in church, not waiting to start that sort of thing until they are "older." I love that they are so wise beyond their years! It makes my heart sing!
And all the gifts also just speaks to me of the abundant love of God and His great provision for a new family just starting out.
As I sat at the shower, watching, laughing, making jokes, I found myself thinking of my own marriage, naturally, now sixteen years in, and thinking how fast those years have gone by, since I was that young bride opening all the gifts. I, too, was marrying a really, really good man. We, too, were in church and surrounded by so many good people.
I enjoyed it all again, but this time, it was through someone else's joy.
Then I began to wonder if that's just exactly what God intended all along. Did He plan it this way? That we not only experience our own joy, but then we get to repeat our joy again and again through other's joy.
Like the flowers in spring repeat the same joy over and over, by growing up in the same patterns over and over.
Boy meets girl...
The flowers of spring never disappoint us, no matter how many times they come back again.
And, like that, watching a new couple start out right really never fails to bring joy.