Read Part 1, The Husband
Read Part 2, The Groomsmen
Read Part 3, The Letters
Read Part 4, The Bride
Read Part 5, The Bridesmaids
Read Part 6, The Details
Today, I am thanking my God for my parents, and parents-in-law, for sooooo many reasons.
Starting with my momma.
Who looked absolutely breath-taking as always, might I add. I had a lot to look up to all my life, with a momma like her.
My mom put SO much fun time, effort, love, thought, and energy into this wedding day throughout our engagement. Championing me with love, I felt her warmth, true, genuine, invested compassion, and caring as I have through my whole life in the way she devoted anything she could to helping me in this time. We cherished every moment, from wedding dress hunting to decor and cake banter to the order of speeches. There may have been some disagreements along the way – but the important things all came together in what was a day that my mom stood out as such a beautiful human being.
I know this expression so well, and it brings tears to my eyes. My momma is a natural-born championer of others. She is the greatest encourager I have ever met. With three girls who all had such unique and passionate interests, it didn’t matter what they were – my mom would be genuinely invested, and speak her love and pride for us so loud and clear. There was never a doubt in my mind that I was so fully loved, seen, and accepted by her.
She was there for some of my most guttural and painful tears in the months that I accepted my weight gain – my healthy weight gain, the weight gain that I knew was good, but that still came with emotions that I had to work through. My mom didn’t judge me. She didn’t tell me how to feel. She didn’t berate me. She didn’t spew a bunch of Truths that I already knew. She just listened, let me cry, and advised me. She’s amazing.
My mother put her heart, soul, and mind into loving me and my sisters. She gave us the greatest amounts of her energy, love, and devotion possible. She is my hero. Momma – I love you to the moon and back. xo And, boy, so does Johnny!
All right… time to talk about my daddy.
My dad is a man of few words, but the best listening ears. I could talk to him for hours about something he didn’t have personal investment in, and he would listen intently because he knew that I cared about it. He has been, all my life, the dad I hugged every single day before he went to work and got excited to see when he came home. The dad whose “Hello everybody!” when he came home was ALWAYS joy-filled, and whose heart and kindness and compassion and empathy are so, so pure.
He has the best sense of humour ever. Seeing him smile is, like, everyone’s favourite thing. And he loves and serves and works hard every single day without an ounce of complaint. I have LITERALLY NEVER heard my dad complain or grumble in my life. And he works harder than anyone I know. He hasn’t had the easiest life, but he makes a daily choice to react with love, gratitude, expectancy of greatness, joy for all that he DOES have, and seeing the beauty in EVERYTHING. He taught me to enjoy the present moment. He taught me not to stress about the future by savouring each and every second. He taught me that love isn’t always just with words – though he’s really good with them, especially as the only man in a house full of girls for the past 25 years – but also with actions.
On my wedding day and leading up to it, he offered me several honest, open, and beautiful words of advice from the depths of his heart. These words meant more to me than I can express.
And that he walked me down the aisle meant EVERYTHING. Thinking of his father, my grandpa, watching over us, and, most importantly, of Jesus, with His arms around both of us… looking from my first amazing care-taker to my husband, who was now promising to take care of me… it was truly as special as they say.
I can’t write this post without also talking about my amazing new parents-in-law, starting with Jenn, Johnny’s mom. Jenn, from the moment I met her, has ALWAYS welcomed me with open arms – in every sense of the phrase. She has put every ounce of effort in to truly getting to know me, my interests, how I came to know Jesus; my sisters, my parents, my friends; she has demonstrated the genuine compassion of Jesus in her selfless love, and I feel absolutely and wordlessly blessed to know her – and now to get to call her my mom!
She has a true servant heart of Jesus, serving everyone who comes her way with joy. A busy, full-time co-business owner, she still devoted so much time and energy to helping us with our wedding day, and offering such meaningful advice, endless prayers, and devoted wisdom. I am indescribably blessed that I get to call her my mother-in-law, and get to continue to learn from her.
And Johnny’s father, my father-in-law, Jim. Jim has also shown me nothing but love, unconditional acceptance and compassion, and understanding. He has welcomed me with intentional and devoted words and actions into his beautiful family, and has offered, throughout our relationship, wisdom emboldened by the Holy Spirit, prayers of intercession, and whatever was on his heart that might mean more of Jesus. He is constantly joyful, incredibly funny, and a gifted leader, and he uses all of these things that his God might be glorified. I could not be more blessed to call him my father-in-law.
I know that these blessings are from above – from our Friend and King and Sovereign Jesus, for His good glory. I thank Him for these incredible leaders in my life each and every day.