It has been a very full month, but a very silent month for this blog, then today as I was reading Psalm 16, I found just the right words to summarize the past five weeks for me. “I say of the holy people who are in the land, they are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” (Ps. 16:3) Who are the “noble ones”? It is so many of you who read this because you care for us. It is the family and friends we have seen over the past five weeks while in the U.S. who have so welcomed, affirmed, graced and hosted us. As I looked back over the month I realized what stands out to me more than anything is the relationships, the people who we’ve spent time with and enjoyed (even if it was only for a few hours). How amazing and wonderful!
A recap–we returned to the U.S. for “se mariage” of our son, Ian, and his beloved, Jenny, at the end of June. We had a wonderful week in Seattle participating in a myriad of pre-wedding activities–flower arranging, making cupcakes, cleaning/preparing the theater site for friends of the bride and groom and finding clothes for the wedding. I marveled at the friends and relatives of Jenny’s family who participated in all the preparations because the atmosphere was so inclusive, participatory and fun for each undertaking. I don’t know if Ian and Jenny planned it this way but their wedding had a lot of similarities to the theater. Just as in a play there is lots of preparation building up to the opening night and the curtain going up, so too there were lots of groups of people doing things to prepare for the wedding, such that half the fun of the “big day” was the gathering of groups of old and new friends the few days before to make cupcakes, set up tables, arrange flower, etc. even as it rained every day. Then the sun came out on Friday, so the rehearsal dinner could be outside with Bubba’s Bar-ba-que.
The day of the wedding was so sunny and gorgeous, the setting on the shoreline of Puget Sound with the Olympic Mts. in the background was stunning. It was only eclipsed by the beautiful ceremony Ian and Jenny had written, affirming marriage, their commitment to one another and the gift of love because of God’s love for us. There was much participation of others in the ceremony and the reception just as in a play its the audience that really brings out the best in the play, the actors and the experience. We could not have asked for a better day or a better partner for Ian. They are truly meant for each other and it was a joy to see them wed.
After the wedding we visited family and friends in California. Then Randy went onto Cincinnati while I visited more family in northern California and Oregon. Randy left the U.S. to return to finish the semester of French we were missing while I moved onto visiting Cincinnati and Charlottesville. For two weeks I was greeted, housed, feed, affirmed, loved, enjoyed. I was reminded that I am loved by others who know me. I was reminded that I have affirming things to communicate to others as I interact with them (not a small revelation when one usually can’t put two words together to say “Good day”!).
As I was preparing to pack my bags to return to France, for the first time in over a month I was alone–dog sitting for the weekend–and it hit me how rich this time has been with people. I was struck by how encouraged, affirmed and strengthened I’d been in the presence of friends and family. Thank you for affirming me, if you are one of the ones I was able to see. I will remember your hugs and verbal affirmations when I am feeling overwhelmed by change, transition, language learning and any other thing that tries to bring me down with failure and inadequacy. You are the noble ones in whom I delight!
May the love of the Lord bring you joy and affirmation as you trust in him.