I felt sorry for them. My daughters stood at the front of the building in “heels” (for them anyway) and cradling branches (yes BRANCHES) of lilacs in their arms. And the wedding sermon droned on. For over an hour. No joke. No exaggeration. Some of the girls shifted. Fidgeted. I didn’t blame them. #3Daughter stood there unmoving for the whole thing. I was SO impressed.
A couple of years later, we attended another wedding. The sermon there lasted maybe fifteen minutes–a homily, really, but just as rich and meaningful. One of my girls, still “scarred” from the never-ending wedding sermon said, “That’s it. At my wedding, I want it to be short and snappy–just like that one.”
We tease her about that even today. We threaten to pay the minister to just keep going on repeat until she figures it out and orders him to stop. That one has just enough sass to do it, too. I love that about her.
I haven’t been to a lot of weddings in my life., but I have learned one thing in that half dozen or so I have been to.
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Weddings Can Be Great Fun or Utterly Boring. It’s All about Perspective.
This is even doubly true about wedding sermons. Let’s face it. People are usually there for the couple, right? So when a minister can give a really good sermon in a short amount of time, it keeps from detracting too much from the purpose of the occasion while still giving the couple a strong send-off, too. Win-win, right?
Why am I writing about weddings and wedding sermons? Is my next Marriages of Convictions story coming? Actually, it is, but no. That’s not why I’m writing.
This week, Matchmaker’s Best Friend, the next book in the Independence Islands Series, released.
Guys, I loved this book so much. I loved a friendship so strong that a man knew what lengths he could and should go to in order to snap a woman out of her fears and into trusting the One who can help us overcome those fears.
I’ll be honest. If Kari Trumbo’s Mike hadn’t been her best friend, if he hadn’t known her as well as he did and didn’t know how far he could or should push to do what she needed him to do… for her, his actions might have been a little… unhealthy? Maybe. I don’t know. It’s fiction. In fiction, you can get away with things that in real life I might bop someone over the head with.
But in Matchmaker’s Best Friend, it doesn’t matter. Because they are those friends. In fact, they remind me of my Joel and Cassie in how well they know each other and what the other needs–in how much they’re willing to sacrifice their own wants and needs for what is best for the other.
There are so many beautiful things about this book. Friendship, love, self-sacrifice, trust… and of course, a fabulous wedding, because Pen Reese knows how to throw a party!
But I think the most beautiful thing about the book is that in a sense, it is a wedding sermon. It’s a reminder of giving ourselves up for another person, for loving someone more than ourselves, and for looking to Jesus when it seems like everything that can go wrong has.
For the release of Matchmaker’s Best Friend, the authors have gotten together to share their favorite parts of a wedding.
Obviously, mine was the sermon. It might seem a bit odd that someone who can’t stand preachy fiction loves a good sermon, but hey. I do. I think a wedding sermon tells a lot about at least three people–the bride, the groom, and who they chose to officiate.
You’ll want to visit the other authors’ blogs in order to enter to win one of the many prizes we have for this release! Kari Trumbo has been sharing some of her teasers this week and this one was one of my personal favorites.
Get your entries in (and find out the other authors’ favorite bits of weddings below:
Chautona Havig (That’s me!)
Melissa Wardwell (tomorrow!)
Sandy Barela & Celebrate Lit Publishing (Sunday!)