It was Christmas Eve. We had a surprise gift that year- a little guy coming 9 weeks early while we were out of town visiting family. I had a picture of him taped beside my bed while he fought for his life in NICU. I remember being scared to death. Would he make it? Would he have a future? Would I lose him?
This 3 1/2 pound premie is now a Children’s Pastor. He is funny and talented and energetic and thoughtful. He has brought us so much joy the last 22 years. I never imagined that day in the hospital bed that it would all turn out this way. But it did. And today is his wedding day.
His fiance has been hanging around our home for almost five years now. They met in math class in high school- that first day he couldn’t take his eyes off her. So he pursued her like I’ve never seen anyone pursue someone. He was relentless. Somewhere along the way they fell in love.
And our family fell in love with her.
Last September he drove her up to Duluth, Minnesota and along the North Shore stopping at Shovel Point. He led her out on a path overlooking Lake Superior, got down on one knee, and asked. She said yes. Some kind stranger recognized what was happening and quickly recorded the moment.
Today they make it official but truthfully she has been a Goscha in our hearts for a long time.
It’s Wedding Day. The groom has left the house with his best men brothers and his groomsman cousin. My husband is upstairs- I can hear him moving around. And I’m sitting in a puddle of tears.
I’m overwhelmed with it all, I guess. How God has worked in our son’s life both physically and spiritually. I’m feeling like the most blessed mama in the world. I’m so full of gratitude for life and grace and love. I’m sad that our time with Zach in our home is closing but excited for the adventure he is beginning. I’m excited to welcome another daughter-in-law who has stolen our hearts. Sometimes it just feels like so much.
Today I will celebrate with incredible gratitude every single gift that God has given our family. It’s time to dry the tears. It’s time to move onto the next part of this great adventure of life and motherhood. It’s time to enter into this holy and sacred day with a full heart.
Later today they will vow to serve God together. I’m not sure it gets any better than this.
Update: So this happened.
Photo credit: Kallie Elizabeth Photography
Venue: Stillwater Historic Courthouse
Second shot with Jessica Stoe Photography
Supplies: Balloon and Hex Nut
Directions: Place the hex nut inside the balloon. Inflate the balloon and tie. Hold the end with the tie in one hand with the palm of the hand over the tie. Place the fingers and thumbs around the balloon. Move the balloon in a circular path until the hex nut starts spinning along the sides of the balloon, making a buzzing type sound. The sound will continue for a bit once the motion is stopped.
Spiritual Connection: Abundant Life
(Show balloon). This balloon is fairly lifeless. It just sets here. I am going to blow it up and see what happens. (Make sure the hex nut is already in the balloon. Blow up the balloon and follow the directions above to make it buzz.) This balloon is a lot more exciting now than before I blew it up.
Our lives are a lot like this balloon. Before Jesus comes into them, we are really lifeless. However, when we give our lives to Him, we find joy and hope. Not only did Jesus come to give us eternal life, but He also came to give us a full life while we are still on earth. He wants us to really live. He does not want us to walk through each day and grumpy. He wants us to be full of joy. We find that with Jesus we can have joy in the everyday things of life. We find that He gives us strength when we are weary. We find hope for the future. When Jesus transforms our life, we come alive just like the balloon.
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fullest.” John 10:10
How would you respond? Most people respond with dumbfounded gazes or incredulous expressions. Particularly when a fourth grader asks. Or a high school boy. This is part of the Value Project. The Value Project aims at connecting with people and letting them know that they are just as valuable any any famous person. This is a great evangelism tool that can be used at all age levels.
Using baseballs, kids can get out into the community by walking around lakes or parks, at sporting events, or walking through a downtown area. Kids begin by walking up to an individual with a baseball and saying something similar to…
“Can I have your autograph? You are just as important as a famous athlete or celebrity.”
This opens up a dialogue of why they are important and that they are valuable. This often leads to spiritual conversations, or a simple offering of praying for them.
This is a great tool to integrate at any age level. The Value Project can easily be adapted or expanded to fit the goals of your group. A way to expand the project is by baking cookies or another treat, boxing it up, and presenting it to community members and thanking them for their investment in your community and their hard work. Follow up with asking for their autograph on a baseball . Kids as young as second grade have decorated boxes of cookies and walked into local businesses (as a group) with a baseball in hand ready to tell others that they are valuable. You never know the impact a kind word, gesture, or asking for an autograph can have in someone’s life.