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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

She's a Pablo

My twin sister is married.  One event has forever changed our family and it doesn't seem "real" yet. Perhaps because they are on their honeymoon. Perhaps because I am still physically, mentally, and emotionally recovering.  Perhaps I am simply in denial?

Today I am posting my maid-of-honor speech and tomorrow (or soon,) I will post a few more pictures with stories. :)
Thank you everyone for coming to celebrate with Jessie and Aldean! Don’t they both look great? I have no idea where Jessie’s thoughts are wondering, so I will take this opportunity, for her, to thank those who traveled so far to come. To the photographers, musicians, caterers and bakers, hair stylists, sound man, videographer, ushers, pastor, guest book attendants, bridal party, parents, sisters, and friends, to everyone who made this wedding happen so beautifully… all for Jessie and Aldean!

For those who do not know me, I am Jewel. The bride’s twin sister and the groom’s twin- sister-in-law.  I’ve been thinking about this wedding for a number of weeks and months, and I’ve been thinking about this speech for over a year. Why did I accept the invitation to be maid of honor? I don't think Jessie ever asked me to be the maid-of-honor; I think I simply assumed that I would be the only choice.  If it’s not because Jessie and I shared the womb or because we’ve known each other since we were much smaller than limes, it’s because of 24 years of shared experiences with my twin sister – starting at birth, when we were separated into our own baby boxes and she cried and cried and cried until they put her in my box, and then she promptly sucked my nose!

Aldean… I have known Aldean for a sum of two weeks. Granted, I have known about Aldean for perhaps two or three years. In the last two weeks, I’ve learned much about Aldean. I’ve seen first-hand that he loves my sister. Why else would he follow her to Hobby Lobby 8 times in 2 weeks? Why else would he spend his afternoons gluing beads and ribbons to seashells? Why else would he leave his home, his family, his culture and everything that he know… just to spend his life with her?

Though I now have my husband, and she has hers, this bond of sisterhood, this “twin thing,” is one that is irreplaceable. Though I still want to call her ‘mine.’ Though I still need her presence, word, and investment in my life, I give her to Aldean, but he better keep everyone single one of his vows or I’m taking her back!
Typically the maid of honor gives some marriage advice. I am not yet an expert on marriage, and my husband might agree, but I am an expert on Jessie. I know that Aldean will not only be your husband but your new best friend. So Aldean… I would like to share some insights from Jessie’s very old best friend to her new very best friend.

1. Aldean, if you ever upset Jessie, just remember that she loves chocolate. And if you really upset her, try some kind of chocolate coffee.
2. If you ever get tired of her talking, just send her out to coffee with me or one of her other friends. Chances are, it will keep her out late and she will come home “talked out.”
3. Jessie is very clean and organized and very methodized. Most things in your life will seem to run very smoothly if you let Jessie continue to operate this way.
4. Give her just enough space that she isn’t overwhelmed, but be close enough to convey that you want to be near you.
5. A happy wife is a happy life and a happy Jessie is less messy!

As her sister and as a newlywed myself, I tried to come up with advice for Jessie, and bride and new wife, but here continues my advice for Aldean, the new husband:

6. Say, “I am sorry.” It might hurt your pride a little bit, but the benefits of pleasing your wife will be much greater than your temporary pain.
7. Some husbands make jokes about their wives, with little put-downs that are supposed to be funny. These are bad jokes. They cut, they wound, and they destroy trust. A marriage can die the death of a thousand tiny cuts. Avoid negative humor. It is not funny.
8. Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord” and “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord” (9:14).
a. Jessie is God’s gift to you. “She is worth far more than rubies” (31:10) or any other treasure.
b. Honor that treasure. Jessie is God’s daughter… treat her like it!
c. Never allow any earthly thing—not a ministry, not a job, not a basketball game, not another friendship—to take priority over her.
9. As unlikely (or perhaps still likely) as it may seem today, you will have disagreements. But the Song of Solomon refers to these as “little foxes” that ruin the vineyards. (2:15)
a. When you are arguing, you have a choice: You can be right, or you can be happy.
b. Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half-shut afterwards. (Benjamin Franklin.) There are too many things not worth fighting or fussing about.
i. Keep short accounts with your bride; keep short accounts with your groom.
ii. Never walk away while she is crying.
iii. Never lay a hand on her except in love.
10. It would probably be best if you don’t try to get inside Jessie's head; you’ll just get lost in all the twists and turns in there. Instead, concentrate on getting into her heart; try to feel what she’s feeling and you’ll probably end up understanding her much better.
a. Simply observe what pleases her and what irritates her and work tirelessly to increase the former and decrease the latter.
11. Proverbs 5:18, instructs you to “rejoice in the wife of your youth”
a. Spend time with her. Pray with her.
b. Soak up her words.
c. Keep dating her after the wedding. (You have lots of catch up on anyways!)
d. Say “I love you” every day and try to say it before she does!
e. Never to miss an opportunity to tell her she’s beautiful.
f. Ask her for forgiveness when you need it, and ask her for advice even when you don’t need it.
12. And finally, remember that the biblical model for a husband. Love Jessie “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
a. Love her
b. Give yourself up for her.
c. Lay down your life – day after day – for her.
13. Strive always to be the man she deserves, and you’ll be amazed at how she remains exactly what you desire. (I read that in a book.)
Aldean, you are now prepared for what lies ahead. You have chosen a wonderful woman to be your wife and all I ask is that you protect her, honor her, and cherish her from this day forward, until you die.
And to Jessica, thank you for being the best friend and sister a girl could ask for. Always remember that I, along with the rest of your friends and family will always be here to support you.

Love, Love, Love,