It was a Friday night and I thought I was meeting my mom and her friend, Ramona, for dinner. In a complete state of oblivion, I walk all the way up to Ramona's front door COMPLETELY UNAWARE of the 20 cars in the driveway (because I was texting LeaAnn, who I will soon find out is inside lol) and find the following amazing women that I love so dearly waiting inside for THE MOST SPECIAL SURPRISE OF MY ENTIRE LIFE.
I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO SHOCKED OR SURPRISED! EVER. I had NO idea what was happening. My mom pulled off the best surprise ever, because I WAS CLUELESS. Surprised to the point I was almost OVERWHELMED WITH AMAZINESS.
And I think it was at this very moment that I realized EXACTLY what this was... not just an ordinary shower... this was "THE KAREN KINGSBURY SCRIPTURE AND MARRIAGE ADVICE FROM THE GODLY WOMEN IN MY LIFE" shower. When I read of Reagan's shower like this in Rejoice (chapter 22) I told my mom it was a must before my wedding. Four years later, my mom not only remembered, but made it happen better than I could have even imagined or dreamed.
Paulette started us off with explaining "Scripture Pie." Every woman put a special prayer for me in a jar that I'll keep in my kitchen. Apparently these ladies think I'll be spending some time in the kitchen!? Just kidding, Ryan. ;)
Ramona prepared the most perfect shower food... yum!
The mothers and grandmothers!!! I was supposed to be sitting there, but I was still too shocked to eat.
I love how my mom and my best friends have become BFF lately via all wedding communication. :)
These are a special addition to the shower from my mom who informed me at our floral appointment weeks ago that my favorite flower really didn't quite fit the mood of this formal wedding. Who knew that these things weren't "formal"... oh wait- everyone but me. :)
In case you haven't read Rejoice (seriously- who hasn't!?) but just in case-- this shower is not a traditional gift shower, but SO MUCH MORE SPECIAL, because everyone brought me a special scripture and precious advice from their marriage.
Mom started off with reading a sermon, I mean scripture ;) Atticus sent. It was perfect.
I COULD NOT BELIEVE MY WILLIAM WOODS FRIENDS ALL CAME!!!!! This was so amazing. Brittany isn't married yet, so she borrowed some awesome secrets of a happy marriage from who else but Elizabeth Baxter. I love that you did that SO MUCH, Brittany.
Ramona was reading Kathy's to me, because Kathy couldn't get through it herself. I've ALWAYS looked up to the loyalty and solid faith of Kathy Roach and this one was extra special to me. And oh yes- there were lots and lots of tears shed at this special special shower.
My wonderful mother-in-law sharing her words of wisdom. I love Brenda soooo much.
This was SO SPECIAL, because my mom found an old letter from Me-Me (my great-grandmother that passed away too soon) that was PERFECT for the occassion. Me-Me would have loved this shower so much, and it was so thoughtful and wonderful of my mom to include her words of wisdom for me.
Grandma Wanda wrote a poem (of course) and then shared such sincere and wonderful words from the wise.
The mothers and grandmothers with the bride! Love love love it.
All of these beautiful ladies were in my Bible study group in college... where we ALL READ KAREN'S BOOKS TOGETHER!!!! :)
The night continued where my mom had planned for me and my friends (THAT I NEVER GET TO SEE!!) to go hang out in Diane's hot tub. DO YOU KNOW HOW UNBELIEVABLY HAPPY AND EXCITED AND FULL OF JOY IT MADE ME TO HAVE ALL FOUR OF MY BEST BEST FRIENDS FROM COLLEGE WITH ME!?! OH. MY. GOODNESS. I seriously consider every single girl in this picture a BEST FRIEND. THEY ARE AMAZING, WONDERFUL, HILARIOUS, FUN... THE BEST!!!!!
OH and on the way from the shower to the hot tub, in all of my joy and excitement, I thought- "Why not just call my BFF Karen and let her know that we just totally had THE shower from HER amazing book!?" So I did. AND SHE ANSWERED lol. It was so cool hearing her being so excited for us!!! Ah, my life is a dream.
EPHESIANS 3:20- the verse of my life right now!! I could not be more grateful to God for blessing me with THE BEST mom, mother-in-law, grandmothers, women in my life, best friends, and new author friend. Wow.
Ahhh . . . now I feel like I was there. And how I wish I had been :) I can only imagine the amazing wisdom and precious moments shared this night. To think that God would put this scene in my heart - knowing that you all would live it out years later! Only He can do that . . . and when I'm there, you'll have to share all the best stories and moments with me. Until then, the pictures will do. I'm enjoying this so much! I'm even telling friends to stop in here with their teenage daughters to read this blog - that way they'll have something to aspire to, proof that faith works, and God has a perfect plan for them, too. Blessings and love to you all!
I will treasure the memories of this gathering in my heart forever! MOB
I can't begin to tell you how inspired I am by your shower. I was so excited when I read about the letter from Me Me. I to am a MeMe. My prayer for you and your future husband is that God will always be the center of your marriage. If this is true, it cannot fail. May God bless you both.
Erica, What a special and unforgetable night. You will treasure this FOREVER (allusion to Karen's book... ummm, YES!). How neat to be surrounded by such amazing women of God. You are blessed friend.
What a neat suprize to get your blog today! I needed it! What a descriptive and fun writer you are! I have a feeling this type of shower will start happening in our neck of the woods, too.
What a wonderful evening of listening to the true masters of marriage and family share their hearts with you.
I'm excited to see what the future brings your way! Also, how God will use you and your "Joseph" to bring life and light to others. :)
Godspeed and Love,
I have to admit that your "KAREN KINGSBURY SCRIPTURE AND MARRIAGE ADVICE FROM THE GODLY WOMEN IN MY LIFE" shower was the most meaningful bridal shower I've ever experienced. I'm so glad to have been a part of that! Rhonda
Wow Erica! That is so cool! I love those books! You have some really amazing things happening for you along with your wedding! I am so happy to see how happy you are! And especially how God-centered you are!
If you haven't worked out all of the details of the reception, your shower gave me an idea. What do you think of taking some of the actual verses or the central themes of them and naming the tables at your reception. So you could use James 1:2 as a table and fill it with guests who are battle-tested. All the tireless workers in your life could sit at the Isaiah 40:31 table and so on. I only ask that if you like my suggestion that I not get seated in the Seven Deadly Sins section.
I just couldn't hold back on writing on your blog after reading about the wonderful shower you had. I love your column in the Leavenworth times on the weekends, too. Keep wiritng you have an amazing gift! May God bless you and Ryan's marriage.
Erica, i just had to write this. i would really have loved to be a part of such shower. it must have been so great. when i get married am going to have a shower like that too. your mum is great only a special mum could give such a perfect blessing shower to her daughter. May GOD bles you and Ryan