I didn't get a single picture of the fantabulous wedding. Drat. We had an outdoor wedding complete with hay rides and a bluegrass band. I have a sweet shot of me hitting a volleyball in my wedding dress. This was not that kind of wedding. It was much more formal... you know, in a cathedral with Trumpet Voluntary, etc. They wrote their own vows. We wrote our own vows, too, but they were nothing like this. These were very thorough and extensive. He vowed to have regular family devotions with their children. She vowed to make their home a pleasant and lovely place. We were both a bit surprised that he didn't specify the amount of time he would be spending by her bedside in the nursing home one day. Hey, I guess you can't get it all in there. =)
We looked at each other afterward and decided that our vows seemed kinda short and vague in comparison to all those we've heard since we vowed them. But, hey, we hit the high points. I think the best you can vow is to stay married no matter what. Most other things are just good goals to strive for as you go through married life, but you're going to slip up and break them in some form or fashion along the way. One day, our friend will realize he hasn't had family devotions with the kids in about 3 months... I think he'll be ok; he'll just start them up again. I tease, but we're very, very happy for them. They're going to have an awesome life together.
Oooh, but you should've seen the reception. Her dad paid for a sit down dinner for 350 people. There were beautiful centerpieces on every table. There was a prime rib carving station. The wedding cake had strawberries in it. After everyone got cake, they passed another dessert tray around the table. It was very nice and very elegant, and we were glad to be invited to celebrate with them. I love going to weddings and remembering how it felt to get married. I watch them pull away in their car and remember what it felt like to be leaving for our honeymoon. It's such an exciting time when you're beginning your life together...
Now I shall switch gears. We came back to town on Sunday night in time to go out to dinner with one of our single friends. She invited a group of us to go out with her for her birthday. We weren't sure how Seth would do, but we decided to give it our best shot. We've noticed that our single friends really appreciate it if their married friends with kids make an extra effort to stay integrated into their lives, despite all the changes, so we try to make that effort when we can.
We were at the end of the table, and we were the only ones there with a baby. Most of the other guests were single, and most of them we didn't know. We weren't sure how this was going to go, but then we started talking to Kim's roommate and a single guy friend of hers. It ended up being a good conversation about singleness and how singles fit into church culture and secular culture. David and I weren't single after college, so we know nothing about all this. I didn't realize that Christian singles often have the choice of either a) hanging out alone or b) going bar crawling on Friday nights. For some reason, it's not cool to go to the movies or bowling on a Friday night. Finding friends who don't want to go out and get drunk is a challenge for the Christian single. I need to take time to pray for all the singles I know who are faced with this challenge.
They also talked about how the church has trouble integrating singles into church life. The roommate said that single's groups are often mainly places to socialize. The idea is to get the singles hooked up so they won't be single much longer. I wondered why singles didn't work alongside each other, ministering in the church. After all, they're in a wonderful position to minister in ways that its harder for those of us with children to do. They were wondering the same thing. They felt that the church expected singles to be self absorbed, so they didn't attempt to get them more involved because they thought they wouldn't want to minister to others. Now, I may be misrepresenting some of this, but I hope I got the jist of it right. It was really interesting to me.
Our church is large. The marrieds do their thing, and the singles do theirs. I think it would be good if we found a better way to intermingle. I told the singles we talked to that they were welcome to come by our house. We don't want to hinder their social life, but we're usually around after 8:00. =) Maybe we can't do much, but I don't want to add to the problem. We're all one big family of Christ, and I want the single members to know that the marrieds are happy to have them around.