The slight breeze coming through the open window brings in the sound of crickets singing. It's evening, and I'm sitting here on the couch, a pillow in my lap, and a journal on top of that, my pen idly lain on it's pages. The supper dishes have been cleared away, and the dusk is fading to night. Soft lamplight makes the two seated across the room seem to be shrouded in golden shadows, her earring catching the light occasionally, the rocking of his chair a steady, calming rhythm. It's a beautiful thing to watch, these two young people-committed to each other, in purity, committed to the Lord Jesus, and just enjoying falling in love with the other. She looks down with a smile and shyly back up again, then laughs, with a soft grin, at his words. His quiet confidence. He loves telling her things, and she loves to listen. They were made for each other.
This is beautiful. This is holy.
"And here" I take up my pen again and write "is the story."
"Some may think this story started two weeks ago, while others believe it's been years in the making, and still others know it really started when they came into the world. While all of these are true in their own way, the time it all truly started, was when there was no time at all. Before the foundations of the earth was laid, God had a plan. And now, in the year 2010, that plan, with all it's intricate wheels and parts, has finally come together, in His prefect timing, in a way that we can see now, with our own eyes. The people in the plan, those affecting it, some we know, some we don't, some are just names on a mossy tombstone-but whoever they have been and are, God knew, and knows, and continues to rule and reign in the affairs of men and in the lives and hearts of His children.
They began their roles in this grand plan, like most people do, as babies. Noah Edwin Sanders was born on the 30th day of September, 1988, to a steady, kind father and a vivacious, red haired mother, and one adoring big sister. He was to be the first born son, ahead of 7 more siblings that came as the years passed by in their Alabama way...
About one year later, in a small Georgia town, a 5th child and 2nd daughter was born on February 19 to a loving, incredible mother and a kind, gracious father. Right after she came out, the first thing this baby knew was the doctor lifting her high up in the air, committing her life to Jesus Christ...
So he grew, and she grew, and the years passed, and they were very, very happy.
Then one day, on a Spring afternoon at a butterfly garden in 2005, when Dorothy was 15 years old, she and her Daddy and sisters met three young ladies and their Daddy, who would help shape a lot of her story. A few months later, in a buffet line at the Smith's memorial day BBQ, she remembers seeing him for the first time in her life. She did not know he had already heard all about "Dorothy!" but was not sure who she was, just that she was an amazing girl. So, they filled their plates with BBQ, and kept right on keeping their eyes focused on the Lord and all that He had for them to do and learn as they were in their father's houses during their time of singleness.
That summer and then for many months afterwards, Dorothy's family, Noah's family, and three or four other families got together - it seemed like every weekend, and spent the days helping get relief down to New Orleans, building barns, playing cards, having sewing parties, bridal showers for big sisters, going on road trips together, eating chocolate, doing hair, learning to dance, staying up late at night talking, eating ice cream, watching fireworks, reading P&P around a roaring fire on cold winter evenings...So many special memories fill my heart as I write I cannot name them all...but ever since that summer, we have known and loved each others' families so dearly, and have been continuing to fellowship whenever we could.
So then, this year, on May the third, Noah Sanders called Dorothy's Daddy. After praying about it for about a week, and after Daddy, Mama and Dorothy went over a package of essays and letters Noah sent (so they could better understand his vision), Daddy called Noah and told him it was a go! The next step in the story, was a visit.
Noah and his three sisters arrived Tuesday at noon. We all tumbled out of the house, and ran and gave the girls good hugs...I was watching to see what Dee and Noah would do or say. That unspoken excitement and delightful suspense is delicious. :) After we all exchanged greetings, and the opportunity for them to give a personal one to each other had not presented itself, Mama said with a twinkle, "Y'all say hello, now." to which Noah made an gallant, exaggerated swoop of the arms with a slight bow and a
"Hello, Miss Dorothy!"
After she said some charming "Hello, Noah, sure am glad y'all have come down." we all proceeded to march into the house for lunchie! Daddy took Noah off for a bite, and we girls and Mama enjoyed soup and conversations about gardens and house building, etc.
Upon the men's return home, Dorothy and Noah began to spend one on one time together for the first time. They took a walk outside, looked at the garden, chickens, and later, worked on a brick path. We all watched from the windows and laughed and cried and stood in an odd and amazing, but good feeling. It's a whole new thing to see your sister walking with a young man, and sometimes it puts a strange lump in your throat. Then you're so excited you end up suppressing a squeal, too.
John dear was honored with first chaperon duty. :)
These darlings are just-well, darling!!
Shelling peas and laughing and visiting with folks on the porch...
"So, boy-we hear you're a wanting to marry our sister?"
Love this picture. :)