FAFF, New Love, Anniversaries and Life Lessons

Happy Friday and next-to-last-day of April friends. How is it almost May already?

Okay, before I go further, please indulge me while I digress briefly and address those of you in the Union, NJ area: I’ll be sharing a table with fellow Wild Rose Press author M. Flagg at Union High School’s vendor night from 7-10 PM! (I’m awful at promo, people, and didn’t consider this an ‘appearance’ until Ms. Flagg reminded me. :)) I hear they’re vying for table space and will have all kinds of great wares–just in time for Mother’s Day (and wedding anniversaries ;)–are you paying attention, hubby?

Speaking of wedding anniversaries, how can it be #16 at my end? And sixteen years ago, who would have ever thought I get to share the date with a royal couple? (Best wishes William and Kate!) If I read her comment yesterday, author friend Laura Hogg and her husband share the date with us, too. So in the spirit of romance, weddings, new beginnings and couples standing the test of time…

I picked my wedding song long before I met my husband. Kept it a secret, guarded it closely for a very long time. It wasn’t popular or a secular standard. The song would be a unique choice (or so I thought) for that day when I committed myself to someone else for the rest of my life.

About twelve years ago I read a powerful biography: that of Mary Kay Ashe, founder of the much-familiar Mary Kay Cosmetics (skin care that I swear by as those of you who read my most recent guest-post at Chris Redding’s blog on 4/15). As per Mary Kay’s book, this remarkable woman lived a fairly hard life very much on life’s terms but somehow made the best of whatever situation came her way. One chapter in particular (named You Can’t Outgive God) stood out.

Seems Mary Kay was a stickler for being prepared whenever she had to address a group publicly. Due to unforeseen circumstances the night before she was to address a church group about fundraising possibilities for the church’s new building, she was unable to prepare her speech. The next morning, Mary Kay honored her appointment. In an off-the-cuff moment, she felt inspired to match dollar-for-dollar the amount of money the congregation raised. She never imagined the amount that was presented her—somewhere approximating $1 million—during a time when her assets were tied up in other projects.

The woman had faith and for good reason. As Mary Kay sat there wondering how she’d honor her promise, her son called, his voice laced with excitement. Seems an oil-well she’d invested in came at exactly the right time and the cash Mary Kay needed became available exactly when she needed it. Her message to the congregation when she told them about her miracle? “You can’t outgive God.”

How does this tie in to a life lesson of mine? I’m married sixteen years today. Girlhood dreams of my wedding morphed into more concrete possibilities as I progressed through my twenties (and with no prospects, lol). At age thirteen I picked my wedding band; I was bridesmaid for my cousin and saw it on the back of one of her bridal magazines. (Can you believe I thought twice about it when it was time to pick rings? The jeweler looked at me and said, “You’ve wanted this all these years now you’re thinking about it???” Good thing she said something!)

And you already know my wedding song was chosen, Steven Curtis Chapman’s I Will Be Here. (Good thing hubby liked it, too).

Our first dance as Mr. and Mrs.

Enter one of my co-workers of the time, a departmental assistant who tended to be moody and not necessarily the best-liked person in the department. She had an upcoming wedding but expressed ambivalence about her song (the wedding, too, I think—but that’s another story…). She was probably the last person I would have ever considered sharing the title of my song, but something moved me to do so. She loved it and chose it for her first dance with her new husband.

Of course, I met my honey very soon after that. The rest, y’all already know and once again, I, like Mary Kay before me, am convinced that “you can’t outgive God.”

         

Shall we talk similar experiences? How has God, Higher Power, Universe–whatever force you feel active in your life–outgiven you? I’d love to read your story (and if you think it’s too long for the comments section, email me privately and we’ll set you up with your very own Friday post!)

Have a great day,

Joanna

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