On Saturday my house was full. Eight young ladies came over for a party. It was the biggest party I've thrown since my wedding, and it took weeks of planning. The table was set with finger sandwiches--chicken salad and cucumber. Strawberries, cookies and cupcakes brightened the setting, but not so much as the crystal bowl of punch in the middle of the table. It reflected bright pink off everything. My grandmother's crystal pitcher was brought out as well, and yellow lemonade reflected its own cheerful light.
We talked and laughed over food for longer than we should have, then moved to the living room for a time to focus on the Lord. We talked about redeeming the time, making the Lord our primary focus.
As these young women opened up about struggles they faced, I knew this was where I was supposed to be. The struggles they brought up are so fresh on my own mind--some I'm still facing.
I always unconsciously assumed that there were certain things that getting married would change. Struggles that would no longer be struggles after I had my own man. In some ways that was true--there are a few things that are much easier now that I'm married.
Overall, though, I find that the person I was did not change with the wedding vows and honeymoon. I'm the same person I was before I was married. Giants that were not conquered before marriage aren't easier post-marriage. If anything they are more difficult. This seems obvious now--and I'm sure someone must have told me it would be like this. But I didn't understand at the time.
As we sit around the living room in our party dresses, talking about the battles we face on a daily basis, I think about this. I tell the girls that whatever they are facing now must be conquered now--weaknesses and bad habits don't go away with a few words, even if those words are solemn vows.
All too soon our time is over and we say goodbyes. It's hard, there wasn't enough time. But there never is, is there? And we all are looking forward to next time.
Continuing on today to count to A Thousand Gifts:
208. Flowers on Valentines Day morning--my man actually managing to surprise me with them before he leaves for work
209. Evening spent together and quiet--I can never get enough of those.
211. A friend to teach me about makeup--and show which colors look good on me (no more guessing games!)
212. Pretty party dresses
213. a clean house
214. Unexpected help
216. food ready made
217. Feminine laughter
218. Encouragement over a punch bowl and chicken salad
219. Young women, my friends, dedicating to live with purpose
221. Impromptu invitation and games with family
222. A book enjoyed MUCH too late at night (especially a Saturday night!)
223. Sunday morning, sitting in the front row, waiting our turn
224. Answered prayer, at the last moment
226. An awards presentation for my girls--our first ceremony.
227. The Lord giving me words to say, when I'm too tongue-tied to speak in front of even a friendly audience