It makes me happy. It makes me smile. Sometimes it makes me cry, but these tears are good tears. They're happy tears. Tears of belonging, of joy, and of love. Not necessarily of the actual process of planning a wedding, but the overflow of feeling that's shown between two people who truly love each other.
To me, love looks like this...
rather than this:
To be quite perfectly honest, despite my love of detail and all things pretty and gorgeous, I would quite happily get married in what I'm wearing right now. (What you don't know is that while writing this I'm actually sitting in a stunning white evening dress... no, not really) And I know that that may shock more people who know me. But really what I'm trying to say here is that the wedding is not a celebration in itself. A wedding is a celebration of the (hopefully) many, many years that a couple will spend together. Sharing with each other, and loving each other. On bad hair days, on days when the make-up has run out and you've forgotten to pop down to Boots/Superdrug to buy some more, on days when nothing looks right on you, on days where you really don't want to get out of bed. That's what marriages are made of. Unconditional, pure love. That's what I'd hope to show in any weddings that I helped to plan. (Maybe not literally...) It's about the two people who are committing themselves to each other. And let's be honest, they've done that in deciding that they want to get married anyway. So should the publication of such a decision really be surrounded in so many trimmings?
At this time of year I can't help but compare a wedding and marriage to Christmas and Advent. Obviously there are several parts where the analogy doesn't quite bear up, but keep with me. The wedding is like Christmas. Everyone's happy, smiling, and excited. Admittedly, some *small* details, such as Christ's birth and the fact that you now have a lifetime together may be overlooked. Advent is like a marriage, but rather than the waiting, the preparation and the watching, there are shared experiences, shared memories and time together. The forging of something new, together. It excites me.
Recently I've been thinking a lot about calling. John and Matt have both blogged about this recently, but I think that their's is more about a "What now?" element of calling. What I'm talking about is a general calling. As in, "What's all this for?" and "Why am I doing this, again?" kind of thing. My question is simply: Can we be called just to love?
Purely, simply, wantonly, wastefully, fully, completely? And if so, how do we fulfil that call?
And what on earth am I doing, studying my degree if that's all I really want to do?