The Party Is Just Beginning

Mr. & Mrs. Everett!!!
A few pictures thanks to Peyton Hoffman…more to come! 
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
   our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
   “The LORD has done great things for them.” 
The LORD has done great things for us,
   and we are filled with joy.  
Psalm 126:2-3
(written on the back of Mr. & Mrs. Everett’s wedding program)

Well, the parties are over….in the past five days, we have celebrated a bachelorette party, bridesmaids luncheon, rehearsal dinner, post-rehearsal dinner party, wedding day brunch, THE WEDDING, an 85th birthday/60th wedding anniversary brunch, and a mini-engagement party/4th of July party.  I have had such joy celebrating, but I’m exhausted.

The. Wedding. Was. Perfect.  Cally was a radiant bride with a deep peace, contentment, and exceeding joy.  As a big sister, I’m just elated that she has found a husband who is truly exceedingly more than my family could ask for or imagine.  Not only does he love her, but he adores her, serves her, understands her, laughs with her, and challenges her in the best of ways.

For the family and guests who had the privilege of attending, the wedding is over, but for Cally and Marshall, the marriage is just the beginning.  With the intensity of wedding planning, it’s easy to neglect the big picture and see beyond the wedding, but the wedding is only the beginning.  The wedding is fleeting no matter how many hours you put into planning the flowers, the menu, the playlistall of those fabulous details will only live on through the incredible pictures taken by the fabulous photographer you scoured high and low for, but the marriage is what continues long after the wedding.  I was bit emotional during the ceremony and to keep from crying too hard, Abby and I had to whisper jokes to one another, but one thing I think I remember our minister Andy saying is that for Cally and Marshall, their marriage may be the only Jesus some people ever see.  Referencing two of the passages they selected:

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 
1 John 4:12″

“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:16   

As Cally and Marshall begin to work on their marriage, loving God and loving one another, God’s love will be made complete in them.  As they serve each other, pray together, and figure out life together, others will be drawn to the Lord simply because of the Light that they exude. While our parties may be over, theirs is only beginning.  Marriage is certainly not easy, and it definitely takes work, but as they rely on God’s grace, strength, and guidance to begin to figure some of it out, I can’t wait to see what He has in store for these two newlyweds.  The best is truly yet to come!