My fellow bridesmaids, the groomsmen, and the wedding guests had all been bopping around for hours straight to JT’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, V.I.C.’s “Wobble” and the like when the DJ finally toned it down with a slow song. A handsome, funny groomsman asked if I would like to dance and I, of course, said yes because he is handsome and funny, and I like to dance. Soon after we started and it became clear to me that he actually knows how to dance—like literal waltzing maneuvers. Despite how difficult it was to walk much less dance in my 4-inch wedges and floor-length dress, this amused me. I (unknowingly) began trying to anticipate the next steps. “Oh, opps. Was that your toe?” I asked, more than once. To my dismay, I was not an impromptu Waltz master. Eventually I stopped asking if it was his toe and he said kindly with a confident smile, “Let me lead.” This surprised me. Had I been trying to take over!? I said something super-humble like, “Fine, but actually lead me. And whatever you do, don’t drop me.” I accepted that I am not a suave dancer and did my best to let him guide me. I wanted to dance; I just didn’t know the steps. Rather than continuing to awkwardly fumble along attempting to help us waltz, I let his comment remind me that he is the one who asked me to dance. And I had accepted.
In my family, cottage clean up is a mandatory, all-hands-on-deck kind of thing. We get the house looking all cute for summer because summer means visits from friends and grandparents, and that means appearing a touch tidier and more normal than we actually are. My task was to resurrect the garden. There were no flowers to plant. I was simply asked to yank out the weeds, mess up the soil, and spare the rose bushes that were somehow alive after a northern Michigan winter.
So, pretending I had a green thumb, I started attacking the gnarly weeds and old plant roots with my mini shovel. I yanked, raked, and dug until I ached all over. For those of you who are gardening newbies like me, don’t try this at home unless you’re prepared for a full-body workout! There were many, many weeds and they dove real deep into the ground.
Then it hit me: THIS IS MY LIFE, or what God has been doing in it this past season.
The Race for a Ring
Every day, more and more of my friends are buzzing about getting engaged. I wonder what order the proposals will fall in and how each one will happen, but more than that, I pray that the couples considering marriage will have what it takes to go the distance. The “Say Yes to the Dress” kind of wedding fever prevalent in our culture is toxic, because what really matters is that the marriage endures, not that the wedding day is picture perfect or that the couple remains smitten and crazy in love forever.
My boyfriend and I recently made it through several years of dating long distance during the school year while I was in Dallas for college. It is now a joy and a blessing just to see him every other day and know that this won’t change. When people hear we have dated four years, they ask, “So when are you guys getting married!?” Although I appreciate their enthusiasm, the truth is: when we’re ready.
The Best Kind of Dates
It was a little over a year ago today, my boyfriend’s 23rd birthday. After going out to a fancy dinner, we snuggled up on the couch to watch a movie. I passed off Aquamarine (the chick flick about two best friends on the brink of a colossal life change and their new mermaid friend) as a cute rom com and then quickly fell asleep on his shoulder. He is clearly a great boyfriend and I’m a horrible girlfriend because he watched the entire movie by himself so as not to wake me.
The end—just kidding.
Though we’ve had numerous butterflies-in-the-stomach moments like dinner at the Five Sixty restaurant with a 360 degree, fiftieth floor view of downtown Dallas and the best dragon roll you’ll ever find, or playing on the beach swings while eating salt water taffy and watching the sun go down over Lake Michigan, our best dates of all time have been those that we didn’t go on alone. Continue Reading