My wedding was on one of the coldest days of the year -- somewhere close to minus 40 degrees Celcius! A lot of brave people defied the weather to join us in High River, AB, but none braver than my sisters, who exposed themselves to the elements for some gorgeous shots outdoors.
My sister Starla has since become a mother. She tells a story about correcting her daughter. As they got in the car to drive across town, Starla said, "I want you to be quiet and think about why you did what you did." So they drove the few minutes in silence, and when they parked, my sister called for my niece's explanation. Five-year-old Rosalie knew exactly why she had acted defiantly: "I think it's because we come from a long line of strong women."
Indeed! Our mother, our aunts on both sides, grandmothers several generations back: we come from a long line of strong women.
Interestingly, my sisters and my niece are all adopted, grafted into this tall family tree, with arms reaching to the future and roots delving into deep heritage. Whether by birth, adoption, marriage, or some other association, we all gain strength and wisdom from the women who surround us and those who have come before us. My sisters and I refer to the same woman as mother, even as they both have/had birth mothers. We share two brothers, even as they both also have other siblings by birth. We share grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, even as they have still wider extended families.
In spite of our differing birth origins, my sisters and I have come to share a lineage that includes family bonds, geography, faith, experiences, and so much more. We can name the strong women who have influenced us, who have shaped us into the women we are today, and who cheer and advise us in raising our own children. Jaime is not only a mother of four, but a mother-in-law and a grandmother! Are we really old enough for this? Even more, are we wise enough? By God's grace, may we be so.
How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. (Ephesians 1:3-6)
Some of the great women surrounding me before and on my wedding day: sisters, sisters-in-law, nieces, aunts, friends.