Monday, August 22, 2005

Birthday Bash! and Sarah's Covenant.

Yesterday, we invited the family to come to Heather's house for a celebration of Rick's 54th and Sarah's 19th birthdays. We convinced my eldest daughter, Adeena, that we were planning to celebrate her 30th birthday on Labour Day weekend. Little did she know that we were hatching a devious plot...

When Adeena's husband Jeff turned 30, Adeena planned an "Elvis" party for him. Jeff *hates* Elvis - doesn't like his songs, never watched his movies - just wasn't interested. So, we surprised him with a party which included Elvis posters, Elvis clock, Elvis bulletin board, Elvis calendar, etc. Elvis was singing in the background the entire evening.

Jeff thought it was great fun, but he was wanting to return the favour for Adeena's 30th party. Adeena has always hated spiders, so we planned a spider party.

I went to the dollar store and was able to get all kinds of spiders! We hung 36 mini-webs with black spiders all around Heather's shop. We hung a great web over the door, so guests would have to go through the webbing to get in. We had a HUGE spider sitting in that web, at least 7 inches in diameter. There was a web with a tarantula on the tree and one on the door, and the "piece de resistance" was the 8 foot spider hanging from the ceiling!!

Aunt Sandra made two salads, and she fashioned a red spider from a red pepper and a black spider from a black plum to sit atop the salads!

Adeena walked in, and she realized what was going on immediately. It was fun to tease her about being thirty, and she really didn't mind all of the spiders, because she knew they weren't alive. Now, if I had had real spiders all over the place, I doubt she would have stayed!

Heather and Steve have a great yard, perfect for children to run and play safely. They have a sandbox and a swing and slides, and a cement pad for riding toys. The adults were able to relax and visit while the kids played with minimum supervision in the fenced in yard.

'Twas a lovely day.

The most emotional part of the day, for me, was watching my husband give Sarah her Purity Promise Ring. I bought her a heart shaped ring made of white gold, with a small diamond in the corner of the heart. Rick told her that if she accepted the ring, she was entering into a covenant with her father, to remain pure until her wedding day.

We made a certificate:

This is to confirm that on this date, August 21, 2005,
Sarah Kathleen Billson
entered into covenant in the presence of family and friends,
to follow the commandments of God
to remain pure in body, mind, and spirit.

A ring was presented as a token of this promise, to be worn until marriage.

The ring, chosen by her parents, has special symbolism.
The heart represents Sarah's heart,
which she is giving to her father for safekeeping.
The diamond represents Sarah's first kiss,
which she is covenanting to keep until her wedding day.

It was signed by Sarah and her father, witnessed by her mother.

Sarah loves her ring! She gladly gave her assent to the covenant, because her heart's desire is to remain pure, so she can be presented a spotless bride to her husband, if the Lord chooses to give her one.

What a blessed day it was!

This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Wedding - July 16, 2005

This is the day that the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!!

What a day it was! We woke up fairly early and went to the lobby for coffee/juice. It wasn't long before we had to start getting ready. Rachel, my hairdresser daughter, did my hair (and her sisters') and make-up. All of the grandkids were bouncing on the beds, watching tv, waiting to be ready. The hotel made us vacate two of the rooms, so we ended up with 17 people in one little room! It was a zoo. Normal, for us.

Adeena left to take Becky to get her hair done by the hairdresser Joanna had hired to do the wedding party. We got all of those little boys into their suits, and we adults got all dressed and spiffy, then we headed to the church.

I sneaked into the room where Joanna was waiting with her maids. She looked beautiful and poised, not nervous at all. She was ready.

Just a few minutes passed, then it was time for the mothers to enter. Darlene and I walked sedately (no small feat - I was wearing HIGH heels for the first time in my life) down the aisle, then lit our candles. We sat, then the wedding party began to enter. Each couple looked elegant; they all did their job beautifully.

When it came time for Christopher and Rebekah to walk down, Critter took Becky's hand, but Becky was very shy. Her shoulders were up around her ears, and she had a bit of a frown on her face. Yet, she walked nicely until she saw her daddy, then she stopped dead. Daddy and Mommy both told her, "Keep going, Becky", and she did. Christopher remembered to stop at the end of the aisle before turning to go to his spot.

The music changed, and Ray started down the aisle with his beautiful daughter. I watched Matt's face - he was grinning from ear to ear as he watched his bride approach.

The ceremony was lovely. Pastor Bob gave glory to God in his message, proclaiming that marriage was God's design, a picture of Christ and the church. He addressed the young couple, exhorting them to keep Christ at the centre of their marriage. It was a messaged designed for Matt and Joanna, but a blessing to the rest of us as well.

Vows were exchanged. Then we parents stepped forward, and the dads gave their blessing to Matt and Joanna as they kneeled before us. Pastor Bob pronounced them man and wife, then Ray stepped forward again, and said to Matthew, "You may now kiss your bride!"

We have a picture of Matt and Joanna's first kiss - the look of joy on our pastor's face is priceless. Their example of purity during courtship was a blessing to our entire church and community. It is possible to remain pure , even in our age of promiscuity, if one is committed to honouring God and one's parents.

Every detail of the day was ordained by our loving heavenly Father; He even held the rain off until all the pictures were taken!

The reception was so much fun. Joel, Joanna's 19 year old brother, was Master of Ceremonies, and when he found out that dinner would be delayed because the potatoes were not yet ready, he opened the mike up to anyone who had something to say. He threatened to spray the speakers with a spray gun if they went on too long.

My friends, Tillie and Isobel, got up. Isobel was carrying an umbrella, and Tillie informed everyone that the umbrella was for protection, because she intended to talk as long as she wanted to! She talked about her friendship with our family, then Joel made threatening gestures with his spray gun, and Isobel was quick to put the umbrella in the way. Lots of fun.

One of Matt's co-workers got up and SANG a song that he had made up when he was labouring for Matt, who is a bricklayer by trade. Matt doesn't like anyone to crowd him while he is working, and he good-naturedly threatens them if they do, so Scott made up a song that was hilarious!

If you know the song, you'll get the changes:

Sometimes when we touch, the honesty's too much,
and I have to close my eyes and hide;
I want to hold you, Mortar Guy,
Till we both break down and cry,
I want to hold you, till the fear in me subsides!

What really warmed my heart was hearing the many speeches that praised Matt and Joanna for being godly, serious, young people with a desire to glorify their God. So many people spoke of the character of these two, and of the example they set for their peers.

My daughter Linda got up and told Joanna how very much she loves her, and how glad she is to have her for a sister-in-law. Anyone who knows Linda knows how shy she is, and how difficult it is for her to speak in public, yet she was poised and articulate. I was so very proud of her.

Heather got up and talked about Matt and his antics. Sarah also spoke about both Matt and Joanna. Daniel chickened out, but wanted to say that he has always considered Matt to be his mentor, and that he loves him very much.

Jared, my gentle giant, was hilarious. He said that he could stand there and look dumb - "I'm good at THAT!" but that he really should make a speech. He didn't speak long, but he had the whole audience in stitches. I wish I could remember everything he said.

All in all, it was a marvellous day. Matt and Joanna got up and thanked everyone. Again, I was amazed at the poise my son had in delivering a speech to close to 200 people.

Children truly ARE an heritage of the Lord; the fruit of the womb truly IS His reward.

In Christ,

Matthew and Joanna Billson Posted by Picasa

Steve & Heather Ryan & children

Steve and Heather and their children Posted by Picasa