Friday, September 30, 2011

From the Mother of the Bride to the Mother of the Groom

I should have gotten up to write this entry at 3:30am when it flashed to the forefront of my mind.  Instead  I laid wide awake for the next three hours. Being a writer, I usually get up in the middle of the night if I need to purge some great or new idea for my book. But... this is just a BLOG, right?

So now, not only am I experiencing restless nights because I'm planning a wedding, but because of what I said or didn't say in my BLOG! The thought that kept me awake ...well, think about it (I'm assuming you read my last entry)- how many parents of the Bride can you recall ever spending the night at the Parents of the grooms home? For me...1! That would be us. I realized that our circumstance is most probably unique. In fact, I have really good friends that don't like to stay in the homes of their best friends much less the homes of people they hardly know. They always prefer a hotel. And not every woman has the gift of hospitality, and that's okay! So my intent was not to make some poor Mother-of-the-Groom fret over not having an extra room, much less stressing over flowers and a goody box. I hope you're laughing!

There is no etiquette or rule that says you have to invite the parents of the Bride to stay in your home. If you live in another city, and your friends throw a shower for the happy couple, it is perfectly normal to suggest a near by hotel.  The point- when it's possible I highly recommend the parents should try to get together; whether in a restaurant or in one of their homes. You find out a lot about the Bride and/or the Groom when you spend time with their parents and I think it's healthy for everyone involved. Most importantly, the parents of both the Bride and the Groom should work together for the happiness and well being of their adult children who have made one of the most important decisions of their life- To get married! It's an added bonus, a huge blessing if the parents get along. With all that said, I am thankful that the Oler's and the Peele's are enjoying getting to know each other. I have to say it's most probably the Jesus in us-a kindred spirit that comes from knowing the Lord. 

One of the most traditional readings from the Bible at weddings is also one of the most beautiful.
Ruth said, "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." (Ruth 1: 16) I was recently at a wedding where the Pastor continued with verse 17, "Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." Perhaps more couples should take their wedding vows this seriously. After all- it is a vow made to God and each other. Marriage is hard, especially the first year when the couple is learning to live together. For this reason, they need the support and prayers of their parents.

Bruce (my husband), has worked for a wonderful Jewish family for thirty years. We love the Stein family and have witnessed the closeness they have through the years. When a Jewish couple gets married, not only does the brides family welcome the groom, but his whole family. Instead of families dividing-they unite. Again...not every situation is the same but I like the idea and hope to adopt it.

Remember your vows.
I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

Marriage is a gift from God. Marriage was not designed for convenience but for three distinct purposes.  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Genesis 1:24)

This one verse is key for every happy couple to be.

Tip for the day-
The leave and cleave part is MAJOR. We parents need to recognize it's not what's best for us but what is best for the Bride and Groom. We will need to be selfless at times to keep harmony as our children begin their own family. They will take a little of this and a little of that from both families as they figure out their own way. Believe me...I'm finding out for my self ; I have to step back when I sooooo badly want to step up. "Lord, help me let go." is often my prayer.

We are rejoicing! Our daughter is getting married!!!

The Mother-of-the-Bride

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Mother of the Groom

One of my fondest stories in the Bible is the one of Ruth and Naomi. If you aren't familiar with the story, Ruth listened to the advice of her mother-in-law, Naomi, not just because she was older and wiser but because she was trustworthy, kind and had Ruth's best interest in mind. Because Naomi was kind to Ruth the feeling was mutual and they had a loving relationship.

We are excited that Lindsey has been blessed with Nancy Oler, future Mother-in-law, who already loves her. You know what they say- how ever your future husband treats his mother, is how he will treat you. If he respects her- he will respect you. If he helps her-he will help you. If he is kind and loving toward her-he will be kind and loving towards you. Well...Bryan treats his mom with respect and loves her dearly. Wahoo! Praise God..and thank God!!!

I know our story isn't unique; there are many of you who might say, "My story is very similar." And I'm so glad! However, after talking to both Mothers-of- Bride and Mothers-of-the Groom I have to say...not everyone has a fabulous relationship with the in-laws. Did someone say-that's for sure! So my advice to you...when it's your turn to be one, be sure you do it right. We can learn from the mistakes of others AND the good example of others.

The past three week ends we've had so much fun going to wedding showers; celebrating with friends and family. This past weekend the Oler's friends gave the happy couple a shower so Bruce and I drove to Corpus Christi and stayed in Bryan's parent's home.

The Mother-of the Groom had flowers in our room with a goody box. The bed was comfy, the bathroom had all the necessities, her house was clean (that was a plus!) it smelled nice with candles burning, she had good snacks (ha) and most of was obvious they love the Lord. There's just nothing sweeter, is there? The walls had pictures of Bryan and his brother from when they were younger. The pictures on the refrigerator door seemed to tell a story of their life. Bryan's PaPa, Calvin Nevels, had been a Pastor and is now with Jesus. The beautiful grand piano in the front room had been Bryan's dad's fathers, who played the piano professionally. It was obvious that family is important to the Oler's just as it is to us.

That first night as I laid in bed snuggled up next to Bruce, I said, "Feels kind of funny doesn't it? Sleeping in the home of Lindsey's future other family. It feels right though, doesn't it honey?" Bruce agreed and said, "They are really a nice family. I think we can share." We laughed. "Thank You Lord!" We both said, "Amen!"

Bryan and his dad took Bruce fishing while we ladies went to the shower. Nancy's friends were kind to host the shower and once again the Father's love was reflected by all.

My advice to you if you will one day be The Mother-of-the-Groom; Take Note!

Next time- Advice and encouragement for moms with boys during the season of wedding planning.

On my way to a dress fitting.

Much Joy!
The Mother-of-the-Bride

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Engagement Dinner Celebration

The night of the proposal Bruce and I, Jhan and Nancy (Bryan's parents who drove in from Corpus), Blake and Chelsea (the newlyweds), Holly-(sister of the Bride to be and her boyfriend) Caleb, met the newly engaged couple at Lupe Tortilla for a fun casual evening of celebration! Nothing fancy; just a celebration with the couples favorite people and favorite food- Mexican food! When we arrived there they stood with a smile as big as Texas and a glow all around them. It was precious!
(I'll post a picture as soon as I figure out how to.)  

Lindsey was dying to share all the details and we were dying to hear! You see, Bryan thought it would be funny to propose at school, in the middle of the day so Lindsey would have to wait four hours before she could broadcast the news to the WORLD.  So finally...Lindsey got to tell us.  Afterwards, the dad's made a toast. Jhan (Bryan's dad) went first and then Bruce. The place was so loud that Bruce, who sat at one end of the table, couldn't hear what Jhan, who sat at the other end of the table said and they both gave the exact same toast. "First we give thanks to God for answered prayer. Here's to a long happy and healthy life together. To Lindsey and Bryan."

So sweet! I have to admit the tears of joy rolling down my face were also tears of repentance. Strange, I know, but if you remember I tried to control the situation. Only months earlier I had even asked God-  what He was doing? Now, seeing Lindsey's face right next to Bryan's, I'm so glad His plan was revealed in His perfect timing. So as I raised my glass, I wiped a tear, and could just imagine my Heavenly Father saying, it's okay...bask in my favor and extravagant love.

The parent's of the groom are so sweet! We had met them a couple of times before. In fact the first time I taught in Grey Street (the singles Sunday Bible study class) The Oler's came because Bryan was sharing his testimony that same morning. Another time they were actually in our home when Bruce and I hosted Blake and Chelsea's Couples Shower. Now here we sit a few months later with our kids engaged! Boy- when God sets things in motion change can come quick!

You know...we moms don't get to say I told you so as often as we would like to, so I'll take this opportunity. I had told Lindsey and Holly (months earlier) that if they would get involved in a group of friends from church that their new friends would introduce them to other friends and it wouldn't be long until they had a lot of friends and that's exactly what happened. Chelsea, one of those new friends became one of Lindsey good friends and was dating Blake (Bryan's brother). They were in small group Bible study together, played co-ed softball and were always doing something with the class.

 One day Chelsea asked Lindsey what she thought of Bryan, Blake's brother. Lindsey didn't have much to say because although she and Bryan had been at some of the same church events, she didn't have any thoughts, one way or another. Well...Chelsea began to match-make; to drop comments to Bryan and then to Lindsey so next thing we knew, they were talking a little more, then the talking became flirtatious which developed into that first date.

What a blessing that Chelsea and Lindsey will soon be Sister-in-laws.

Now flash forward to September 24th and we, Bruce and I, Lindsey and Bryan are in the car driving to Corpus where the Oler's friends will shower the happy couple with gifts.

More to come-

If you are lonely, need friends or want to serve others...get involved!

The Mother of the Bride

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Proposal

We knew it was coming for weeks but still the excitement was almost uncontainable! After weeks of looking at diamonds, Bryan finally had "the ring" and it is beautiful! Just what Lindsey had always wanted. A large diamond on a platinum band. Simple. Elegant. Shiny. She also wanted the engagement to be a surprise and Bryan was about to pull it off.

First- let me tell you that on May 5th while playing church league basketball, Bryan tore his Achilies heel. After surgery the doctor told him it would be a long recovery and that he would be in a cast, then a boot, for months. So when Bryan proposed he had on a green cast.

Back to the story.
It was June 1st, the last day of school and Lindsey was in her third grade classroom.  If you remember third grade, you know how crazy elementary students act on the last day of school. Needless to say it was hectic and loud. Bryan had never been to Lindseys school so the night before he told her he would bring her lunch and meet her students. Although frazzled, Lindsey was glad to see him and so were the children.

After meeting the students and chatting a bit, Bryan made his way over to the Teacher's Chair. Lindsey had told the students if they were good they could sign Bryans cast. Of course what third grader wouldn't love that! Lindsey instructed the students to sit down and she would call them up if they were quiet. Bryan said, "Miss. Peele, I have a better idea. Let me see if I can remember thier names and I'll call them up." The kids cheered and sat quietly in their seats hoping to be the first one called. While Lindsey turned around to get a sharpie (marker) from her desk, Bryan slowly began to pull up his pant leg. As he did he said, "Let's let Miss. Peele be the first to sign it." And as she bent down, as Bryan pulled the pants higher it revealed someone had already signed it. Lindsey said, "Wait...someone already.....!!!" Oh my goodness!!! On the cast was written -"Will you Marry me?"

The children went crazy! Lindsey, in total shock quickly removed her True Love Waits ring from her ring finger as Bryan got down on one knee and said the words himself.
"Lindsey, will you marry me?" "Yes!!! Yes!!" she answered. The children, some parents and a couple other teachers were now in the room to see what all the commotion was about. The children were saying, "Miss. Peele's getting married!" "Miss. Peele kissed Bryan!!!" So cute!

At 11:57 I got a text- "Mom!!! I'm engaged!!!"

The children never signed the cast that day but I'm sure it will be a last day of school they will never forget.

Pretty creative Bryan!

That day as the new's flashed across face book and ran through phone lines I was reminded that I.. am The Mother of the Bride.

More to come...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Answered prayer

Before the girls were born we prayed that each of them would be healthy both physically and spiritually all the days of their lives. Isn't that what every parent hopes for? I can remember rubbing my big pregnant belly as I wondered who  will she look like? What will her personality be? What will she want to be when she grows up?  One very specific prayer of both Bruce and I was that our babies would grow up under godly instruction and fall in love with Jesus as they journeyed through life. We prayed they would have fun childhoods, that they would feel loved and beautiful and grow up to be confident young ladies. And yes...we prayed that one day they would meet Mr. Right at just the right time.
Fast forward, the girls are 23 and 25 and it's July 1st, 2010. Bruce and I are in Jerusalem at the Western Wall. If you don't know what that is let me tell you. The Western Wall is the holiest shrine in the Jewish world. It is the western side of the wall that Herod the Great built to enclose the area around his temple. The foundation of the temple goes all the way back to the time of Solomon. Yes, King Solomon of the Bible. Jews were not allowed (I can't go in to all of the history) because it is located on the Jordanian side of the city. After the Six Day War, it once again became a place of worship for the Jewish people. Sadly, even today they are not allowed beyond the Temple gates.

You may be wondering how in the world does this go with my BLOG theme - The Mother of the Bride. Well...Lindsey graduated from college in December 2010 and moved back home. For the first time ever that April she shared with me how she was so ready to meet Mr. Right. You see Lindsey had been on a few dates but had never had a boyfriend. With tears in her eyes she asked, "Mom, what am I doing wrong? What's wrong with me? Why doesn't God answer my prayers?" If you are a mama, you know what I wanted to do....I wanted to fix it!

That night me and Jesus had a little talk. As if I was in charge I said,"Now Lord, what are you waiting for? Lindsey has loved You, served You, remained pure... what's the problem? This is breaking her heart. She's a beautiful girl who desires to be a wife and a mom. And I've given my life serving you, telling others about your great plan for marriage, encouraging students to obey your Word. So Lord...what are you waiting for? Where is this godly young man we've prayed for all these years?"  As if He didn't know every detail about Lindsey and as if he needed my suggestions.

So...on July 1st as I stood there in the Western Wall Excavations, which is twenty feet or so beneath the wall where its common to see the Jewish people praying, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me to write a prayer, put it in the wall, and in faith believe that the Lord would answer my prayer. Quickly, because we were with a tour group from our church, I found a tiny piece of paper and wrote, "Lord, bless Lindsey with a godly husband and soon! And Holly too!" Please understand, the wall isn't magical but I believe my obedience; my faith, was what God wanted to test. From that moment on I had a new found peace and I BELIEVED He would answer my prayer and hers!

Little did I know God was already at work and Lindsey had already met this Mr. Right, she just didn't know it. She and Holly had gotten their own place and had become very involved in serving, Bible study and socials at Second Baptist Church Houston. In October they went on their first date and soon after on June 1st, 2011 (eleven months to the day that I put my prayer in the wall) Bryan proposed to Lindsey! God is good and He answers prayer in HIS PERFECT TIME! Thank You Lord!!

Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart's desire. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence as clear as the dawn, and the justice of your cause shine like the noonday sun. Psalm 37: 3-7

Trust, delight, commit and wait...and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Next time - The Proposal!

The Mother of the Bride

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Welcome to my BLOG

 I'm so excited to finally begin writing my first blog! Perhaps I should tell you that I am a very excited, joyful, blonde that loves Jesus and I've been told I use way too many exclamation points. My life is busy (whose isn't?) but I'm going to try my best to post at least three new blogs a week because there is so much to share...expecially if you are interested in wedding planning. I've been doing a lot of that the past few months! I have two daughters Lindsey, 25 who is getting married November 5th; that's in 7 weeks! And Holly, my 23 year old daughter, is dating a godly young man and who knows what the future may bring.

In the midst of all this planning, life happens. I am an Christian author and speaker and the 2nd book of my latest Bible Study series for teen girls is due the end of November. Even more exciting is that my first inspirational book for women titled Church Lady-Freed To Be A Woman of God will be released March the 6th.

I've never written a blog before but this seems like the perfect time to start. I'll be transparent- you'll hear about the good times and the not so good times as I tell my story of happily ever after from the Mother of the Brides perspective. This should be fun and just might be material for my next book.-God willing.

If you want to get in on it from the beginning join my blog and tell your friends.

Until tomorrow,

The Mother of the Bride


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If you have confessed with your mouth and believed in your heart that Jesus is Lord, the very Son of God (Romans 10:8–9), then you have been forgiven from every wrong and made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). By grace (the free gift of God) you have been saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9). So remember, God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord (2 Timothy 1:7).