August 3, 2013. My maid of honor speech from the wedding of my dear sister Laura, and brother-in-law Jesse.
It’s good to see all of you, but before I start, I must admit something. Despite my calm composed appearance right now, I felt quite daunted while trying to compose this speech. The idea of capturing Laura’s tremendous heart and character in a 2-minute speech is like trying to dump a pool full of water into this 2 oz champagne glass; its just not possible. So, I decided to take a “Laura approach” to the writing process. I took a prayer walk with a paper notebook and listened to dubstep violin for inspiration. Laura is a good teacher, so her methods really work.
Rather than try and fit it all in, tonight I’m going highlight just 3 of Laura’s classic sayings, or Laura-isms and let you discover and share the rest.
# 1 The Peeve Pet
The first is the term “Peeve pet.” That’s correct, not pet peeve. A peeve pet is a term Laura and I coined back in middle school to signify any situation antonymous with a “pet peeve.” More specifically, anything that makes you unusually happy, even if seemingly insignificant. This is a term that Laura needs in her vocabulary and still uses today, because she refuses to let any of life’s joys, no matter how small, pass by without recognizing them. I did a recent mail inbox search for “peeve pet,” and over half a dozen messages from Laura popped up. Peeve pet examples ranged from a cool pillow on a summer night, Casting Crowns and Josh Groban playing consecutively on Pandora, a post-run ocean plunge, a thoughtful student, or even a thunderstorm. [By the way, Jesse, she likes to run outside in storms. Whether or not you want to join her is your choice, but proceed with caution).
#2 “Sooo Great”
The second Laura-ism is the phrase “So Great.” If I ask her how her day went, she will often say something like this: “It was SO great! I went to the beach with Jesse, and Mary, and home group, and they are SO great!” When she says this, it’s like she is genuinely blown away by the goodness and kindness of all the people in her life. Through example, she has taught me not only how to see, but also how to look for, the good in other people.
# 3 A Servant’s Heart
The third Laura-ism came up during the classic question game would you rather? Laura once said, “I would rather go to Bakersfield with you, than to Yosemite alone.” I mean no offense to anyone native to the central valley, but this is perhaps the most revealing of all her sayings. You see, Laura values her relationships with family and friends far more than any spectacular sight, fancy restaurant meal, or even “great experience.” Because for her, the people, and quality time ARE the experience. She lovingly and happily serves the others in her life without expecting anything in return. I experienced the nature of her servant’s heart first hand when she offered to be my “sherpa” before certain track or cross country races in college. She would do anything from hair braiding, hugs to keep me warm, transportation of sweatpants, and of course cheering from the sidelines. I used to hesitate to accept the abundance of her kind gestures until one day she told me with complete honesty: “I just love serving you, so stop worrying.”
When Laura went away to college, and then Spain and then Costa Rica, Marie and I would miss her greatly, each time. I hope that one day we can live closer in proximity, but for now, the occasional weekend getaways down to Santa barbara will do.
And so, To Jesse: You are beyond blessed to spend the rest of your life with Laura. But I know I don’t have to have to tell you this because I can see it so clearly in your eyes, actions, and words. As I referenced in song last night, “I knew you were smitten when she walked in.” You’re kindness and patience is remarkable; your approval rating is an A+ in my book.
And to Laura: Thank you for being you. Your love, support, and prayer have been incredible for our entire family– in fact, it has been SO GREAT.
I am truly happy for both of you and excited for the new chapter you are about to begin. I look forward to the years to come. Thank you!