“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
I’ve discovered over the years that wise admonition is so very true. Life seems just so much more abundant when I bless others by giving, not just the gift of money, but through gifts of service – time, energy, friendship, love, and devotion – as well.
This past month, I’ve encountered that feeling of being incredibly blessed. It’s as if these words written by American essayist Hamilton Wright Mabie have sprung to life – “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”
There is much talk of love – true love – and marriage at our house as hubby and I witnessed our middle daughter’s marriage to her only one in June and will watch our son marry his betrothed next month, while our oldest daughter will wed her beloved before the end of this year.
For our family, it does feel like the whole world is engulfed in a conspiracy of love, a season of love…and bridal showers…and weddings. And many, many blessings. Showers of them.
Since she is not from our area, she doesn’t personally know many of the people we included on the wedding invitation list.
So I wanted to give her an opportunity to meet and be blessed by some of my closest friends and family here and for them to see for themselves what a wonderful addition she makes to our family circle.
This sounds hard to believe but when my future daughter-in-law came to our home to meet us for the first time over a year ago, I knew she was different from the other girls my son had dated. She immediately fit into our family in that easy way that seems like she has always been a part of us.
This bridal shower prepared with much thought was one of the ways I wanted to show her how much she is accepted and loved. I’m pretty certain I succeeded.
So I incorporated an Italian theme with her wedding colors of purple and black and white damask into the bridal shower. Grapes and grapevines with lanterns and candles completed the decorations.
Small corked bottles, which I filled with olive oil and tied purple ribbon tags on with the printed message, “What did [son’s name] say to [fiancée’s name] on their Italy trip? O-live you!” served as guest favors.
The menu was simple. Linguini salad, warm from the oven garlic bread sticks, fresh fruit salad, pods of grapes, Italian crackers with three kinds of cheeses – one with basil, a herb my son relishes and one which symbolizes love in Italy. The story is that when an Italian suitor wants to demonstrate his love, he places a sprig of basil in his hair to win his heart’s desire.
Desserts included Italian style cookies: cream wafers, clothes pin cookies, and almond and lemon pizzelles. White and purple grape juice mixed with ginger ale proved to be a tasty and easy to make punch.
As a special dessert, I baked brownie cups in damask cupcake wrappers and served a purple scoop of black raspberry ice cream topped with a piece of Godiva dark chocolate. Check back tomorrow for my Wordless Wednesday post and you’ll see a picture of them. They were a big hit!
But even more important was the love shared that day, shown in so many ways:
When fiancée’s mother and sister joined us in the celebration. When two of my friends who’ve held 50-year-old friendships with me attended. When guests shared their thoughts about my son to his beloved.
When my daughters warmly welcomed their new sister and catered to her every need. When my sister and my cherished friends bestowed beautiful gifts upon the bride-to-be.
When one of my mother’s best friends, a sweet 95-year-old lady, shared her lemon pie recipe (which our son loves) with the soon-to-be wife. When my treasured friend gave the loveliest and heart-felt prayer of blessing over the upcoming marriage.
Love permeated the air in my house on that day. I could see it. I could taste it. I could feel it. And as I gave thanks for it, showers of blessings poured over me like refreshing rain over a dry, parched land.
“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessing.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher
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