Friday, July 28, 2017

Sweet 16

It was a hot, sticky July day. The weatherman insured us that thunderstorms were imminent. I could feel it in the air, and my hair was a fuzz-bucket, so I knew it was on it's way. 

I was thinking about the night before...  and all that happened at the church. Walking through the rehearsal, having some pizza in the fellowship hall and afterwards seeing Shannon, his brother Lamar, his cousins Josh and Adam, Bry, Myles and Tom off as they went to watch, "Planet of the Apes". The girls and I finished up modestly decorating the church with pink roses, white candles, and twinkle lights. It was a vision of loveliness when we were done. 

My Sister and I got to the church around lunchtime when the bottom dropped out.

 The weatherman was right. Here it came with a fury. Thankful we were all safe inside the church, we fixed our makeup and touched up our hair and took some pictures. Not with smart phones or even flip phones, mind you. Those were not around sixteen years ago. Selfies were just a great guess, in hopes that if you held your arm out far enough maybe... maybe you wouldn't cut most of your head off in the picture. You wouldn't know til you went to Revco and paid $5.95 to get them developed and then you threw out at least half of the pictures that you took, because they stunk. 

We had friends and family who made food. We had a cousin take our pictures. Aunt Grace who is now "I think" nearing 95 years, made our cake.
 And precious Gran-Gran made the gallons of banana punch for the reception. Ferns from Mom, Aunt Deb and Dona's porch gave the stage the finishing touches of natural beauty.
Family. It was what we started that day. Family who pulled together to make a special day even more special. Family who got out in that horrific storm. Family who cheered us on. Family who came to see us as we made a covenant between us and The Lord.
Shannon knew what a sap I was, so he helped keep my mind occupied while sweet songs were sung and played. I agreed to play Fantasy Football with him that year and while we stood together on stage, he whispered to me questions of who my running back, quarterback, and receivers were. If you ever wonder what the couples are whispering about on stage during that time in weddings... I'm pretty sure that's it. ;) 

After we lit the unity candle, his candle fell over and I got tickled. 

As we made our vows, the storm began to rage again.  Tom announced us man and wife, and the biggest thunder clap in the world happened just as we touched lips for the first time as husband and wife.
The church full of our friends and family burst out in laughter as did we.
 Of all our memories, that may be my favorite because I love laughter. And to be there and hear that beautiful sound ring through the church that we love, with all the people that we love,  and the love that we share being joined together... well, I don't think it could have been any better. 

We made it over to the fellowship hall where we talked with everyone and snacked on veggies, punch, and the world's most delicious chocolate Groom's cake. 

When it was time to leave, the rain ceased and everyone was able to stay outside with us and blow bubbles. Cousin Josh decorated our van in shaving cream and my kids still want to this day know what "Shaggin Wagon" means. 

We pulled out of the church only to pull back in again, because we wanted to help clean up a little... After a little bit the family shooed us away for good. So we met up with our closest friends at the new Krystal down the mountain. 

Shannon... these past sixteen years have been a beautiful testimony to me of God's precious grace. He has blessed me more than I will ever understand. We have had highs and we have had lows, but God's grace holds us strong. I'm thankful for these years with my best friend. I'm thankful for the precious children He has given us. I'm thankful for the love we share, the home we share and the work for the Lord we do alongside one another.  I'm thankful for the journey thus far and I am happy to continue on with you. That day we had a lovely wedding... but I am so thankful that it was more than a wedding, we have made a beautiful life. 
Thank you Lord... and thank you for reminding me of that stormy day sixteen years ago. The storms may come along again today, but just as we did then, we will do again. We will laugh, we will love and we will continue on. 

I love you, Shannon....
Happy Anniversary. 

1 comment:

  1. That's a beautiful memory. I'm sure you had to ask Shannon to get all those details. (You know us burrells have that Steele clad memory).
    But in all seriousness, you two have been an example of what a couple that strives for godliness looks like. Keep up the good work.