(In this pic Matthew, Tracey, Pastor Rob, Kyle, Michael)
I love weddings. It is always an honor to be invited to join the celebration as people you care about cross that portal from singleness into marriage. Being invited to share in the celebration of renewed marriage vows takes on a whole different level of special. There is something wondrous about witnessing couples who have lived the day to day of married life and say "I still choose you."
I have been to several vow renewals, each one a cherished memory. I remember sitting with my friend, Carole, in a salon as she was getting her hair done. She was surprising her husband. He thought he was officiating as my husband and I renewed our vows. I sat in the chair next to her as the hairdresser was styling her hair into a beautiful updo. I was transfixed as I watched her transforming from my dear friend, into a beautiful bride. I thought I had never seen her lovelier, until I saw her standing across from her adoring husband, a total expression of love and devotion radiating from her face. Breathtaking!
My sister-friend Tracey (that's her and her family in the photo above) can "out Martha" Martha Stewart. I have seen her fashion beautiful roses from toilet paper (during a shower game!) She always adds these incredible touches to anything she decorates. I was sitting at a ministry meeting waiting to head out to my friends' house for their vow renewal. My cell rang and it was Tracey. "Can you come. I need you right now." I don't even remember if I said goodbye as I sprang from that room to go help my friend. Remembering that moment reminded me of how much I love this friend and how often she has come to my rescue. Tracey looked stunning. Again, she was transformed from my dear friend, into this beautiful bride. Her home was perfectly decorated, all these touches of flowers in just the right places around the rooms. I recall how much she had put in to this event, wanting everything to be special and beautiful and romantic as she looked in to her husband-groom's face and said "I still do!" Kyle choked up as he said his vows and I loved him for loving my friend so much that the thought of their union evoked such emotion.
This summer, one of my favorite couples, Amy and Craig, will be renewing their vows. Everyone can see how they love each other, how they take care of each other. A family with two children now, they haven't lost that sparkle in their relationship. I cannot wait!