T+1: You Can Only Imagine

May 22, 2011

Faith, Family

I don’t know where to start.  So I’ll start with the only phrase that makes sense: praise God!  I have a new son-in-law, I hope. [More about the hope below.]

Yesterday is a complete and total blur.  I think I’ll be blogging about it for a while.  But here are the highlights:

  1. Meredith was more beautiful than I have ever seen her.  She smiled all day long.  If you knew my eldest daughter, then you might be surprised by the fact that she was calm, poised and almost regal.  While she can be a full-on (though un-certified) PMP, she set aside her ‘directorial duties’ and choose to be the leading lady.  And she was wonderful.  She trusted her plan.  She trusted her team.  More importantly, she took the time to speak with everyone at the reception.
  2. My new son-in-law is amazing.  Meredith is (normally) a compulsively talkative fuss-budget.  Josh is her absolute antithesis.  He is a rock.  I don’t think anything can disturb his zen-like calm.  More importantly, he is truly devoted to my daughter.  He cares about her so very much.  What is so very special is that he doesn’t have to shout it aloud because he wears his heart on his sleeve.  His devotion is inspiring.  I can’t wait to see the shared mission that the two of them will have.
  3. Cindy was amazing.  She radiated joy for our daughter.  She helped to coordinate everything – and she was there whenever Meredith needed her Mom. The interplay between them was positively overwhelming for me.  I will never be able to fully express my gratitude to God for the gift He gave me when I married Cindy.
  4. Meredith’s siblings were phenomenal.  They helped to set up the ceremony site.  They helped to break down the ceremony site.  They helped to set up the reception site and they helped to break down the reception site.  They were there throughout the day and night.  Bailey spent several hours making sure that the chuppah looked positively perfect.  Bailey was also moved to pay special tribute to her older sister during an unexpected toast to the bride and groom.
  5. My granddaughter (and her fabulous Mom) were a treat.  Yes, Jayden was the precocious two-year old during he ceremony.  But she was also the hit of the party.  She got out on the dance floor and she had a blast.  She danced with anyone and everyone.  And she actually has a great sense of rhythm for a two-year old.  And Dana deserves special recognition: she saw her older sibling get married.  Yet she is the one who already has a child.  I am sure that there was some very bittersweet feelings rolling around through her mind.  But throughout the day, Dana was poised – and positively ebullient.  And she made sure that Jayden was allowed a little running room – but still knew when she needed to restrain her daughter.  This was especially true when Jayden would run from the dance floor and try to get into the kitchen.
  6. Bailey’s fiance (Daniel) gets all sorts of special kudos.  First, he is a caring and dear young man.  He danced all night with Bailey (though he seemed a little uncomfortable with dancing last night).  But he was also a fine dance partner for Jayden.  OK, everyone was a fine dance partner with Jayden – including Adam.  Daniel took special care to engage Jayden.  When he and Bailey are married in July, I pray that they will some day be blessed with children.  God has certainly blessed this young man with an amazing heart for kids.
  7. I would really like to thank all of the “vendors” that Meredith pulled together.  The photographers were fantastic.  Yes, they took lots of pictures.  But that is what the bride wanted.  Despite being everywhere, they were very good at being less “visible” than they actually were.  The DJ was terrific at setting a great mood during dining.  Also, he was able to get everyone onto the dance floor.  The wedding planner was nothing like the JLo version.  However, she helped keep Meredith focused – and that was a blessing.
  8. My daughter has some awesome friends.  The entire wedding party was bright, excited, thrilled (for Meredith) and willing to help out wherever they could.  When we were at the site, they were all there, eager to put a shoulder to the wheel in order to make the day so very special for Meredith.  While I would like to name everyone, I’ll control that inclination.  But I will give a shout out to one specific man: Sam Sharp was amazing.  He was not in the wedding party – though his brother was.  Many years ago, he and Meredith had dated.  Meredith had the good sense to keep Sam (and Kyle and Wes) as friends – despite the fact that they were no longer dating.  Sam epitomized what the term ‘friend’ truly means.
  9. Finally, I want to wholeheartedly proclaim God’s awesomeness.  Every prayer we lifted to Him, He honored.  He allowed peace to reign in everyone’s heart.  He withheld the rain until after the outdoor ceremony.  All of the equipment worked.  All of the decorations were special.  And everyone had a heart for the bride, the groom, the solemnity of the occasion, and a desire to share the joy that Josh and Meredith share in being married.  As for me, I am so glad that God honored my prayers concerning the homily.  Not only did I remember enough of my thoughts to have a coherent message.  But God also gave me the grace to see how uncomfortable my new son-in-law was becoming.  So God helped me find a path to modify (i.e., shorten) my message without missing the content that He placed upon my heart.  In truth, He prepared me and then He re-directed me to where He really wanted me to be.  Thank you, Lord Jesus.  Thank you for your Spirit.  Thank you that I was in a place where I would listen to your words.
I could go on and on.  But God was so gracious and beneficent in everything that happened yesterday.  Now I must ask for His continued assistance.  One of the bridesmaids was supposed to bring the wedding license to the reception.  Unfortunately, no one can find it.  Lord, can you help us find the license so we can get it signed, sealed and delivered?

-Lorin Olsen (a.k.a., Father of the Bride)

[Note: The photo above is v1 of Meredith’s chuppah decoration.  I’ll post the final version (with tulle that reached the ground) when I can find it.  That little chuppah represents the construction capabilities of a bunch of men who had to use lashings rather than modern screws and glue.  BTW, Bamboo is a lot harder to work with than you may think!  Also, the original and final versions of the tulle were Bailey’s inspiration.  She wanted the chuppah to be an expression of her love for Meredith.  So she worked it until it was perfect.  Folks, I love the spirit that my family showed to one another.  Stress be darned. This entire day was magnificent.]

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