November 18-19, 1969
As Nate and I were in Champaign happily crossing off one more calendar square each night, Mom was in Wilmette wishing each square would last longer. Her kitchen was still unfinished, and new furniture hadn’t yet been delivered. The day before Thanksgiving, quite a crowd of people would be arriving to use her house as their home base – myself among them.
In addition to a handful of relatives and bridesmaids, my brother (right) would be coming home from his east coast college, too, and all of those arrivals were only a week away. That’s when Mom did something uncharacteristic of her. She began putting some heavy heat on her workmen and the furniture stores, as well as the men constructing built-in cabinets in her living room. And she terminated their coffee breaks — no more of her home made cinnamon rolls for any of them.
A couple of friends dropped by for a visit, and she put them to work. A few days later a happy note appeared in her diary. “All kinds of workmen here today! Furniture delivery, too!” Her pressure had produced, and just as she’d optimistically predicted those many weeks back, everything would be done before the wedding.
Down in Champaign, we received a last letter from Aunt Joyce, who was wrapping up her pre-wedding correspondence to us:
This new chapter you are entering is even better than the last, and opens the way to even greater, deeper, and more exciting chapters, each one a joy with the promise of even more to come as you and Nate commit yourself to Him and He does all the work! Our only effort is surrender!
She concluded with this:
I think about you so often and discuss you with the Lord also. And I hope I’ve remembered to answer all your questions and write about all the really important things – like I love you!
As the November days shortened and temperatures dropped, Nate and I sat on the floor in front of our apartment fireplace and counted blessings. It wasn’t hard to see how fortunate we were, especially having two supportive families who loved us.
Wrapped snugly under the same blanket, looking into the dancing flames, we felt delightfully warmed, both inside and out. It was the perfect time to pray together, asking God to show us how to give back to those who’d given so much to us. We also asked Him to teach us how to love each other as much as our families loved us.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you…. Write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Proverbs 3:3)