Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bind Us Together Love

In mid-2009 I began a journey with Bill and Laura, knowing that this would be a blended family. They were very much seeking ways to not only celebrate their marriage to each other, but to actively include and celebrate the fact that three young boys (Shawn, Hayden, and Cooper) are part of this new family as well.

I suggested to them that they include a "Celebration of the New Family" element in the ceremony, during which they would present to the three boys a family medallion to wear around their necks. The picture at right does not do justice to the piece that includes concentric and interlocking circles, symbolizing mom, dad, and children.

Today, more than 1 in 4 marriages involve children. Many brides and grooms come together with one or more children present from previous relationships. The Family Medallion was created to assist with the need for 'family weddings' and to provide resources for supporting family commitments.

Studies show that children accept a parent's re-marriage more readily when they are included in the wedding plans, and are given a tangible symbol of being embraced by the new family. Even on a sub-conscious level, this gives the child part ownership in this new relationship.

On a beautiful day in January of this year, Hayden and Cooper walked their mom down the aisle. Shawn was best man for his dad. Bill and Laura spoke their vows to each other, and then spoke their vows to the three children. It was an occasion for smiles and tears. I had both. Looking into the faces of those three boys as their parents put the medallions around their necks was a powerful moment that gave me a lump in the throat, which I had to swallow quickly so that I could get on to the business of pronouncing Bill and Laura as husband and wife.

Bill, Laura, Shawn, Hayden and Cooper--thanks for making a memory for me.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Big and Small, Short and Tall

...God loves us all

Got a huge grin from the latest picture of Liam and Henry (grandsons #2 & #4). Liam is 5 years old and, like his father, is tall for his age. Kind of towers over his friends. Henry, now four months old, is making up for his preemie birth and is growing like a weed.

Reminded me of a song lyric from one of the old "Kids Praise" albums:

We're all children of the Lord, every one.
Big and small, short and tall
And He loves us all
We're all children of the Lord, every one
He's strong when we're weak, He's humble and meek
And He loves us all.

Liam dotes on his little bro. I'm sure in years to come they'll have their share of fights but to see them together is a joy. Liam holds Henry so tenderly and as the second picture indicates, they watch football together, wearing the proper colors, I might add.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Unintended one-upmanship

...Niece Tori goes head to head with the pastor

So we're sitting in church this morning with our niece, and while Pastor Gary was speaking he asked, almost rhetorically, if anyone had memorized the Bible verse (Deut 6:4-6) that is the focus of the current sermon series. In his question, though, he mentioned only verses 4-5. Out of around 1500 people in the auditorium, only one hand went up--Tori's. One of the staff brings a microphone over, everyone looks at her, the tv cameras are on her, and she calmly asks if he wants just verses 4-5 or 4-6.

I nearly bit through my tongue laughing. Here's my twenty year old niece, jousting with the senior pastor of a 5000 member church. It made me so proud. Way to go, Tori.

If you don't have a Bible handy, go to and you can read the verses in question. The video is already up on (keyword: Heights) or on the church website at . Tori's big moment occurs about 10 minutes into the video.

To learn more about our church go to