For months we have been planning Ali’s graduation party.
For months we’ve been working around our home updating, fixing, sprucing up, and organizing.
For months we’ve made lists, crossed items off those lists, and had many discussions about food, decorations, and details that seemed to overwhelm me at times.
For months I’ve had Ali’s graduation party on my mind.
And today, I can say all the planning, all the thinking, all the details, all the work was all worth it. Ali’s party was a wonderful time of celebrating her, her accomplishments, and the future that’s ahead of her.
This morning I thank God for giving us a beautiful day, for bringing those to her party who blessed her by their presence, and for reminding us how good He is to us.
Her party began at 4pm. It was warm and breezy out. But by the time the party started, the wind died down and off in the western sky, I could see it becoming darker and darker. Within a couple of hours, a gentle rain began. Thankfully we arranged for a tent, which was set up by a kind man earlier in the morning. (If you need to rent a tent in our area, this worked out great and was inexpensive. Message me and I’ll give you the details!)
Between the garage and the tent, everyone stayed dry. And actually, the rain blessed many who came, as we desperately needed the rain in this area, and many who were here were somehow connected to farming. No one left because of it. And Ali kept a good attitude, despite the rain too. 🙂
As I stood back and watched Ali greet her guests, tears often filled my eyes. What a beautiful young woman God is growing her up to be! She talked freely with her guests. She was so outgoing and personable. She smiled and shared many times what her plans are for her future. She loved seeing those who came to celebrate her.
I was reminded that God could have taken Ali home in December when she was in her car accident. Thankfulness and gratitude welled up inside of me once again, and I praised Him again for saving her life. I can’t imagine my life without her. As all kinds of emotions ran through me during her party, the overriding emotion was joy. It truly was a joyful celebration of her entire life to this point!
Of course there were those we invited who we never heard from. She was disappointed that some she thought would come, didn’t. But she didn’t let that rob her of her joy. She focused on who was there and was thankful they were. My brother Marty blessed Ali by leaving his daughter’s softball tournament a few hours away to come, he stayed for a little while, then turned right around and drove back to the tournament.
As the party was winding down, the sun began to appear in the western sky and a beautiful full double rainbow appeared in the east! It was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen! And the timing of it all reminded me of God’s faithfulness to us. How many other graduation parties this year ended with a beautiful sight like that?!!
And this party couldn’t have happened without the help of some very special people in our lives….
…Tina, Mike, Gracie & Liv for helping us the night before decorating, organizing, planning, bringing table & chairs, power washing the house, making cakeballs, picking up the brownies & cookies, coming early, staying late, cleaning up afterwards, serving & being friendly faces during the party, praying for us and for being my best friend through it all.
…Pat, Stacie, Patrick, Bennett & Reagan for making cakeballs, being a “sounding board,” coming very early, staying late, helping Bill get all the outside stuff done before the party, making fruit kabobs, being our photographer, keeping me calm amongst the pre-party chaos, cleaning up afterwards, and for doing all they could to help.
…Marcia, Doris & Bruce for baking brownies the day before, encouraging me often and for staying late to help clean up.
…Kathryn for baking the cookies and for sharing her pulled pork and baked bean “secrets.”
…Mike, Brandon & Campbell for pulling out our front bushes, mowing, helping the day before and the morning of with outside work.
…Don & Peg for coming the morning of to help set up and for making the yummy pasta salad.
…Steve & Kelly for helping us clean up afterwards.
…Family and friends who let us borrow roasters, trays, utensils, pans, etc.
…Patty for sending me texts of encouragement and love just when I needed them most.
…Everyone who came and blessed Ali with their presence. That was such a gift for her and for me.
…Everyone who prayed, who sent wishes, cards, love & who was thinking of Ali and our family during these last few weeks.
…And we are thankful to God. He orchestrated it all, and I feel was glorified through it. His presence was felt here, and it was shown through Ali. So many examples of His faithfulness were witnessed by us. We are so grateful.
Today I am at a much more relaxed pace. I am cherishing the beautiful memories that were made Saturday at Ali’s party. And I am very thankful. I’m also wondering what I’m going to do with all my time, now that her party is over??!! I’m sure I’ll find something to fill it…afterall Zach started driver’s education this morning and soccer tryouts are tonight. 🙂 I guess it’s on to the next great adventure in our lives!
Thanks for joining me through it all!
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