It is an exciting time in the Stanford household! A wedding is taking place at the end of January. The months of preparation, planning, anticipation, and pre-marital counseling will come together as our daughter, Anna Beth, and her fiancé Chris become husband and wife. Anna Beth and I have gone to countless dress fittings, florist appointments and we have squealed in delight more times than I can remember. After years of watching TV shows about other people’s big days, it is now her turn.

This is a month of reflection for me. I am so proud of the young woman she has become. Anna Beth is thoughtful, kind, caring, and compassionate and displays a strong work ethic. She has always shown an independent spirit. I remember her first day of kindergarten when she insisted that she could walk herself to her new classroom. Petrified is an understatement for how I felt. Could she find it on her own? Did she really not need me to hold her hand? I needed her to hold mine.

In high school Anna Beth showed an amazing heart toward people that others would call outcasts. There was a long line of people who would show up at our home to hang out with her and to watch her dance! In fact, there would be hours spent in the front yard with her teaching friends the latest dance moves. Then they would pile into her car and head off to youth group at church. She continues to love large and is held in high regard by those who know her.

Christopher appeared on the scene while they were in high school. She recognized almost immediately that he espoused many of the values that she held and they became friends. Many times, Chris found himself in our front yard for those dance lessons! He mirrors her adventurous spirit. After six years together they still light up when the other enters the room. It is delightful to watch. My husband, David, and I consider ourselves blessed to have Chris joining our family.

Our family reflects a strong support system for one another. It is an advantage we enjoy that our household is one of love and encouragement. But support systems come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it comes in the form of a church family, or neighbors, or co-workers. Sometimes they arrive in our life unexpectedly and other times we need to actively look for people who will walk beside us.

So, I’m excited!! January 31st is just around the corner. David’s tuxedo has been ordered and my new dress and shoes are just waiting to be worn.  The family is gearing up to travel from as far away as Texas to celebrate the love and commitment of this young couple. As the years go by we will reflect on this time as one of our happiest memories. The only thing left to say is Congratulations Chris and Anna Beth!! You are loved and celebrated!!


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