On September 2nd I’m getting married … for the third time … again. What I mean by that is after going through two divorces, my soul mate found me and we got engaged on the Twelfth Day of Christmas at the beginning of this year. To make a long story short, since we’d both walked this road before, we joyfully decided to get married at the end of January at my sister’s house with a small ceremony. September 2nd, then, is our big wedding ceremony and celebration. We’ve dubbed it “Wedding 2.0”. 🙂
Naturally, this leads me to Jesus (the more you know me, the more you realize pretty much EVERYTHING leads me to Jesus 🙂 As a Christ follower, I find it remarkable how seldom we talk about how Jesus was a bit of a party animal. True story! The Christ ate and drank with people so often that the religious establishment said he was a “glutton and a drunkard.” (Matthew 11.19) What is more, Jesus first miracle according to the Gospel of John was turning a whole bunch of water into an huge amount of wine … after the celebrants were likely already tipsy or more.
In coming to bring us thriving and flourishing lives (John 10.10), I think Jesus modeled what it looks like for us to live that way. And by frequenting parties, dinners, and other festivities, I think the Christ shows us a fantastic way to be alive is embracing each and everyday as a celebration. To be like Jesus, then is to name each day a party.
This leads me back to Lisa and my Wedding 2.0. Celebrations, holidays, and parties don’t EXCLUDE work, sorrow, hurt, and loss. Instead, they’re INCLUDED, while becoming infused with joy, touched by bliss, and carried by a sea of celebration. Will Lisa and I work to get ready for the wedding? Of course! We’ll be part of setting up, tearing down and getting ourselves ready. Work will be involved, but the bliss will make it easy.
Likewise, there’ll be sorrow for our friends and family who can’t make it, there has been and will be stress leading up to the big day, and I’m guessing here’ll be some frustrations over the things that don’t go how we wanted. ALL of those have been and will be felt and moved THROUGH … ONLY we’ll do it with a sense of wonder and delight that’s brought by those being threads of the tapestry forming a magical wedding. Much the same, I think most every bit of our days can be seen as individual brush strokes coming together to form the artistic masterpiece that each of our lives are.
(Lisa and I in Wedding 1.0 🙂 <3
While you may be married, engaged, hope to be married, divorced, never want to be married, or some combo of those, I think you and I can live EVERYDAY like it’s our wedding day, and it’d be AMAZING. How can everyday be a holiday? When we choose to see the abundance of goodness all around us all the time. When we notice the miracles around every corner. When we take time to savor the Love that saturates all reality. When we decide to celebrate one another, creation, and Creator at EVERY opportunity. When we’re completely ourselves, unafraid, open, naked and unashamed, so to speak.
Along those lines, let me just list a few things I practice noticing that have changed my life, filling it with joy and beauty:
– Every breath is a gift.
– Sunsets are magic.
– Sunrises are art.
– Bird songs are poetry so profound it surpasses words.
– Every step we take is a miracle of millions of cells somehow working together in harmony.
– Every kind word is a blessing.
– Each loving touch or word is to be cherished.
– Food is fantastic.
– Beverages are tasty.
– Rain is refreshing.
– Mountains are miracles.
– Friends make the world go round.
– Family is fantastic.
– Each of these and so much more are all signposts pointing to the Artist behind all this goodness. They direct me to the Being worthy of being named AWESOME and leave my mouth regularly agape (literally or figuratively) in awe and wonder. Because, while I frequently name people “awesome”, as my daughter is quick to remind me, “only God is really and truly awesome.”
On our wedding day Lisa and I will stand before each other in our wedding garments, yet in a True sense we’ll be completely naked. We will chose to commit our lives to each other and pour our love into each other, EXACTLY AS WE ARE. We will celebrate one another in all our beauty, bruises, and breaks.
Lisa is easily the kindest, most affirming, and most supportive person I’ve ever met. Her love is SO life-giving it blows my mind. I could detail how gorgeous and hot I think she is … but you probably don’t want to read a blog that’s as long as the Bible :).So, suffice it to say her smile lights the room, her eyes shine bright, her face glows, and I love every part of her being. Her care for me, and others, blows my mind. She regularly and earnestly asks how she can better love me … and she already easily loves me better than anyone else ever has. She leaves me love notes, compliments me all the time, loves to cuddle, and fills my heart with joy on so many levels.
STILL, I could easily focus in a negative way on umm my less favorite aspects of Lisa, but hat wouldn’t be living a joyful and celebratory life, now would if? BUT, it is tempting for all of us, isn’t. If? We have a standing “rule” in my family that the cook doesn’t do the cleaning, YET Lisa cooks more than I do and consistently tries to clean up after herself. Why? Partly because she’s so kind, caring, and giving, and partly because, as she frequently says, “I’m super messy.” I don’t disagree 🙂 … and I wouldn’t change her at all. She has scars from her life and past loves. And I think she’s perfect as is. It’s easy for me to hurt her because her heart’s so wide open. And I LOVE her for it. Please note, these are CHOICES you and I can make, and I’m not perfect so I sometimes “fail” here, AND wedding day type celebration, joy, and bliss are pretty much always available to us when we choose them.
What I’m trying to say is on your wedding day you take, hold, cherish, and love your partner JUST as he/she is, and vice-versa. You celebrate each other … ALL of each other … PERIOD. Please note, harm, abuse, and the like are NEVER okay and not to be celebrated, but hopefully you get my point. I’m a bit OCD and Lisa’s a bit messy. Yet, while these traits could drive us crazy and/or we could never grow in these areas, instead we engage each other playfully. We laugh and hold each other lightly (mostly anyway, we’re not perfect 🙂 , and this wedding day type mentality allows us and frees us to move toward each other and continually grow into the best versions of ourselves.
Everyday is as precious as a wedding day. Every step you take is as joyous as a precession down the wedding aisle. Each breath you take is as magical as the one before a couple’s first kiss. Every flower is as glorious as the decorations at a wedding. Each meal is as celebratory as a wedding feast. The music on the radio, of birds, and of the wind is as beautiful as a wedding’s first dance. Every word can be as loving as wedding vows. Everyday can be your one of a kind, amazing wedding day … if you choose it. What practices and ways of seeing things do or could help you live this way? What would you add to my list above?
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Grace and peace,
I am truly grateful to be walking alongside you and Lisa. One of the greatest gifts of mine this year…