Thursday, February 28, 2008
The last guest (Grandma M) left yesterday. The laundry is all caught up. All the extra sheets and towels have been put away. Sleep is mostly caught up on. Grocery shopping still needs to be done, but in the mean time, the leftovers are going a long way! Quiet is slowly descending on the Erber home again... momentarily, of course, but for now things are all settling back into place. And it's time to pick life back up again!
But how can we just "go on" quite yet? A wedding is an important and exciting event and we've hardly touched on it here since the event. We'd love to create a post filled with pictures for you, but that will need to wait until we have pictures to share! [I have included a few that we took, or found 'blog surfing', or were given by friends...]
In summary, God blessed us SO much all weekend long! From the moment our first guests arrived, through conversations with relatives, hugs with old friends, help just when we needed it, a church family cheerfully pitching in wherever needed (like cleaning up after us)... I think we've been smiling and laughing for a whole week! God is so very good. Who are we to deserve such grace and blessings?
The forecast was not wrong this time, and Saturday was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL winter day - and for northern Illinois in February that is so extremely rare. I honestly cannot think of anyway in which the weather could have been improved (I hear they got some good outdoor pictures, too).
The church - after getting all decked out - was beautiful and nearly every chair they had in that building was filled. We had to create extra rows in the sanctuary from chairs in closets and in the choir loft. The organist commented that they haven't had the church that full in a long time and the singing was wonderful! Not only was the church filled, but each one of the guests meant so much to us, and to Josh and Abbey. We thank each of you who came for sacrificing your time to travel (bright and early!) to the wedding, to witness their marriage vows, and to celebrate with us! It was such a wonderful, happy day and each of you contributed much to making it so!
The music came together beautifully, the flowers and bows and candles and greenery and all went up without a hitch and adorned the sanctuary gracefully. Nobody fainted or tripped. The groom's entrance was slightly delayed because... yes, even on his wedding day, Josh was called upon to asses a microphone issue. But a moment later it was resolved and in came he and his men - ready and waiting for the lady of the hour. Then in came the bridesmaids, the ring-bearer and the smile-wreathed flower girls carefully carrying out their duties. And then the bride on her father's arm!
Oh, how wonderful weddings are! How delightful to see God work in the lives of two families, in two people, for years, and then at the perfect time bring them to each other! How glorious are the rich blessings of our Lord! To Him be great glory, for He has done it!
Of course, the bride was lovely, and neither she nor the groom could stop smiling for a second - and I didn't hear anything about cheeks hurting from the smiles, either! I strongly suspect they are still smiling! We bridesmaids constantly checked in with them to make sure that there wasn't anything they needed, and they always said - quite convincingly - that they were just fine!
The reception was beautiful, too. The sun streamed in the windows warmly and cheerfully. The food was hot and tasty. Smiles, hugs, and cheerful conversation filled the room. Then, after several hours of celebration, came the time to say goodbye! With hugs, shouts, bubbles, a very decorated suburban, and many waving hands, they were sent off into the evening - and into their new life together!
After the wedding and reception, we had several of the out-of-town guests back to our home for the evening. We put out pizza, leftovers and other snacky things, and just enjoyed a laid back evening together visiting with these dear friends who traveled from their distant homes to be with us.
Sometime well after midnight the house became quiet. The wedding day was over. A new chapter had begun. A new family had been created.
Yes, God has been very good to us. And His mercy endures - forever. Great is His faithfulness!