Wednesday, September 17, 2008


August 9, 2008

You were a desire in your parents’ heart -

Our hope right from our marriage’s start.

God chose the timing of your arrival;

At times we questioned our sanity and survival!

With a household of nine before our first anniversary,

Our busy days included some adversity,

But mostly we sensed deep gratitude and joy

For our newly-formed family and our new little boy!

It took five days to select your name;

After much deliberation it finally came.

It so well suits you – Joel Barnabas –

The son of encouragement God has given us!”

We fondly called you our “group project”

To love and teach and enjoy and protect.

Your many interests and gifts and talents

We tried to encourage and build and balance.

God spared your life when you were just three,

Though it nearly scared the life out of me!

Sometime before the age of seven

You trusted Christ and became a citizen of heaven.

You were baptized in Burns Pond at the age of eight,

So committed and excited, you could hardly wait!

Your early schooling was at home with Mom,

You learned math and reading and flutophone songs.

You snuggled with Dad and watched him draw.

Now your artwork is the best I ever saw.

Your music has expanded to guitar and original songs

About your Savior, to whom your life belongs.

God has abundantly blessed your life,

And now, today, as you’ve taken a wife,

A new blessing has been added and responsibility too –

Someone you must take care of, and who’ll take care of you.

Michelle is a treasure – a gift from above –

An eighth grade friendship that blossomed into love.

We are placing you both, as you’re launching out,

Into the care of the Savior and know without doubt

That He will faithfully protect and guide

Our precious son and his wonderful new bride!

A Lovely Garden Wedding

On August 9th, our family and friends celebrated the wedding of our fourth son, Joel, and his bride, Michelle! The weather had been rainy for nearly two weeks prior to the wedding. This was no small concern to all of us, since both the ceremony and reception were to be held outside. The mother of the bride remained confident and adamant that there would be no "Plan B!" "It's not going to rain on that day!" she declared. Even the rehearsal had to be held at an alternate "indoor" location because it was pouring during the rehearsal and dinner. But the morning of the wedding dawned sunny and beautiful! The abundance of rain had left the grassy grove a lush green for the simple yet elegant ceremony in the yard of the bride's neighbors. Guests occupied the rows of white chairs, as the bride and groom stood before a white wooden trellis with my husband, who performed the ceremony. A slight breeze made it challenging for the mothers to light the two candles symbolizing their young lives. They did eventually light; but at the time for the lighting of the Unity Candle, there was no flame evident on the two individual candles. The couple moved to the candle table, and ... the flames reappeared on the two candles! The slight breeze that had almost extinguished them abated, and they flamed up at the precise moment they were needed! Joel's three brothers served as his Groomsmen, and his nephew - our five-year-old grandson - was the ring-bearer. Joel's two sisters participated; one shared a reading, and the other shared a piano and vocal solo.

Following the ceremony, everyone made their way across the street, with chairs in hand, to yard of the bride's family, adorned with a white tent sheltering the reception food. A focal point was the popular chocolate fountain! I read a poem I had composed early that morning to the bridal couple.

Following the cutting of the delicious chocolate wedding cake and the tossing of the bridal bouquet, the couple change into traveling clothes and depart for their trip to Acadia National Park and on Nova Scotia. Although there were reports of rain just a few miles away, there was no rain to dampen the wedding joy at our location!

This was the first occasion in several years where the whole family was present in the same location at the same time! Because we are somewhat geographically scattered (two families live eight hours and ten hours away in PA) it seems to be difficult to gather everyone - there always is someone missing! Although our time together was brief and busy, it was wonderful to be an intact unit once again!