25 January, 2007

Launching Number One

“We’ll leave the light on for you” became an advertising trademark for Motel 6 a few years ago. It’s one of my favorite advertising campaigns because it demonstrates the power of radio to influence our lives… but I digress. 
This post is designed to give you a bit of personal perspective on the launching of our firstborn child into matrimony. We’re pleased to let you know that Alison and Daniel have returned from their honeymoon cruise to Mexico and are settling into life together in their apartment here in Little Rock. The wedding was truly a blessing, and the day annointed. The reception at FamilyLife was a true celebration and Christ was honored. We have included here some of our favorite photos from the wedding -God taught us many lessons through the process. 

We learned anew how dependent we are on friends to help carry the load. We learned the power of prayer to calm nerves and help us re-assess the situation with a more godly perspective. We experienced the Lord’s provision as we approached the entire day with a strong comittment to good stewardship. Some of the lessons were very hard. Like the lesson we learned eight days before the wedding when Alison had a fender bender right in front of her workplace. Watching Daniel respond to her needs there was refreshing. Then two days before the wedding, when someone backed into Alison in a store parking lot and Daniel left his bachelor’s party to care for her, we knew he would be a good husband to her! 

 At the end of the wedding reception, we were heading to our cars for the trip home when Dana walked toward me with Alison’s wallet – she had left it in our van. Knowing she would need that for the honeymoon, it fell to me to deliver it to the hotel. As I explained to the concierge, he smiled and said, “… So, you’re the father of the bride, huh? You’re still taking care of her aren’t you?” Hmmmm. 

 As our extended family gathered in our home at the end of the day, our hearts were full, our souls satisfied, and our bodies very tired! We rehearsed the day until our words were gone then said our goodbyes and goodnights. Being the “man of the house”, my nightly duty is to turn off lights, put out the dog, and lock the doors. This night was no different, with one HUGE exception. This is the lamp that sits on a table in the foyer of our home. 

For the last four years, the light from that lamp has served as a signal to us that Alison is home. If she would be late, she would call us; then upon her arrival home, she would turn off the light letting us know she was safely home. On this very special night, as I faced this lamp, the emotion of the day gathered on me as I realized that Alison would never be coming home again to turn it off. As I reached up to turn it off, the tears that had been held back for the day flooded my checks. For you who have been through this, I’m certain you’ve had a similar moment like this when the realization that “she’s gone” settled in. For you who have a daughter at home; get ready. You can never start early enough preparing your daughter (and yourself!) for a time like this! There are so many people who have gathered around us over these days… both physically, emotionally and spiritually. It has been one of our greatest blessings to know you’ve been there standing with us as we launched “Number One.” Three more to go!

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