I dreamed of being Emily’s mom before I dreamed of being Ken’s wife.
The earliest memories I have of who I would be happened long before my first days of Kindergarten, in the little girl days of giving my Baby Tender Love doll a bath in the sink, swaddling her blankets just right. Emily was lodged in my heart, this burning little star of hope and joy I followed my way to motherhood by.
Emily Elizabeth. Born into a name I’ve know all my life, to EXCEL as GOD IS MY OATH. I have learned the meaning of motherhood, of excellence and God as my oath, through the grace of this only daughter.
We gave her with courage and in faith, to a man we’ve only spent company with a total of 23 days. We know the gift she is. We know the gift they will become together. And we gave her away in the only way we knew how. A way that glorified the Father we’ve prayed to since she was born, a faith and assurance that the apple of our eye is His treasure first. A way that proclaimed the man we’ve prayed for since he was a baby was the one to take her hand that day and follow the Lord of the Dance with her throughout a lifetime.
and I joined him at the crossing point.
We took time to answer to the pastor, to Timothy and to everyone who had ears to hear just who was giving this woman in marriage.
Her father spoke of apples and what it means to give things away. Whether it would be easier to give an apple away if you had a bushel versus just one. His one little girl. And ultimately he decided, easy or not, he could give Emily away for three reasons. First, that Timothy loves God more than he loves our daughter. Second, the way he looks at her with love. And finally, recognizing the way Emily looks on him from our own years of marriage, the way she loves him.
A cord of three strands is not easily broken. Ecc. 4:12
Then I talked to Emily about joy, singing, and dancing. That she has been singing since before she could speak in full sentences. She has been dancing since she could barely walk. And that her source has been an unusual center of joy that I know comes from the sweetness and grace of God. God tells us in Jeremiah 31
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
And that as He builds the Timothy Kohler house they will pick up their tambourines and go out and dance with the joyful. I told her that joy she’s known all her life will be what adds to every success her man has. It will be what adds strength to the long hard places. It will be what her children smile on as they witness a friendship in marriage as it was designed. And then I sang to her.
I have always made up songs for my kids. When I was driving ballet carpool days in Minot, ND I sang this for her. I finally wrote the last phrase for her wedding day, and those present joined me to sing them on to their vows.
Little dancing girl, dancing on your toes
Where did you learn that ballet pose?
Did you learn it in class with all the little girl,
Wearing their tutus and lots of curls.
You dance so high, your spirit so free,
His song in your heart, your dancing melody.
You’ve danced through our lives, our gift from above
And into Tim’s arms, your one true love.
and all voices joined with
Dance then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the dance, said He.
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
I will lead you all in the dance said he.
Who gives this woman? “Her mother and I do.”
Dance then. Pick up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.
You, who now are both the apple of our eye. You are loved.