Another Wedding

You would think after four other weddings that the fifth one would be a breeze.
Our fifth son married a girl whose family was from Russia.
Their wedding customs have a lot to emulate.
The ceremony included prayers from each of the parents for the couple.
Here's mine:

Dear God
You gave us Jacob.
He entered our family with a statement—a month later than expected. 
I should have known then, how he would change our lives.
But I wasn’t ready to know.
His entrance brought change. 
Things I couldn’t do anymore.
Jacob brought me before you God, to ask, how do I train him?
How do I form this arrow, from You, to bring truth to the world?
You didn’t answer with a seminar program.
Nor a magic trick that would someday snap into place.
But it was every day, seeking Your face to know what You wanted me to do today.

But God, You gave me the strength to discipline a toddler who must fight me every morning and receive his morning spanking before he could be happy.
You taught me to listen to his stories for they often told of his heart.
You showed me this child has a different learning time-table and he’d never fit into any mold.

You showed me I couldn’t protect him from every hurt, but that You could walk him through it to see Your outstretched arms on the other side.
You helped me step back and be silent as he learned trust in You.
You’re most tender to those looking to You.
You give only what is best. 

Thank you for walking us through the steps needed to bring Jacob here today.
You always make obedience worth it.
Bringing Inna into Jacob’s life is proof of Your love.

Precious God, I ask You to continue the work You’ve begun in Jacob’s life, to unite Jacob and Inna as one.
To help them learn of Your love through self-sacrifice, 
Your trustworthiness through obedience,
Your faithfulness through hardship, 
Your forgiveness through repentance,
Your strength through acknowledging their weaknesses.
It is only through Your enabling power and their obedience that can be accomplished.
May they know You.
May that three string cord You’ve started today please You.
May they reflect You to a world that needs You.
I commit Jacob and Inna into Your hands for You are good and will work exceedingly and abundantly more than I could ask or think.

At the reception dinner they again allow blessings to be given for the couple.
Parents, siblings, visitors are all included.
Again, here's mine. It's more like going down memory lane...

Ever consider birth-order?
Children develop birth order characteristics by coping with the next older child, except for the only child and first born.
The only child has to deal with being by himself.
The first born copes with the loss of attention to the second born.
The second born must compete with the attention-seeking first born.
The third born must cope with a perfectionist second born.
The fourth born must deal with a strong-willed third born.
Then we have the fifth born.
Books and articles write nothing specifically about them.
But they have some unusual traits.

If you ever ask large families about their fifth born, you’ll find some interesting characteristics. 
When we’ve met people with these characteristics, we’d ask, “What birth-order are you?”
And sure enough, they’re fifth born.
They are special. 
In fact, based on the Current Population Survey between 2017-2021, only 1% of children were fifth born.
Geniuses in their field.
Unique in the way they handled problems.
Perhaps because as the mom, I was exhausted by the fifth child,
When Jacob was born, I switched from using cloth diapers to disposable.
From washing dishes to paper plates.
From cleaning the entire house weekly, to maybe trying to clean it all in a month or so.
From making bread to buying it.
I gave up my “standards” and expectations to allow for childhood happenings.
I was stretched energy-wise, time-wise, and resources.

Because of all this, the fifth child, Jacob, must push his way into an already established family to be noticed or heard.
He must be resourceful, independent, inventive, creative and determined. 
Because he doesn’t get the attention like the older child nor the devotion the baby receives, he blazes his own trail—almost not caring what others think. 
He’s the entrepreneur. 
He’s sensitive, reflective, secretive—not openly sharing his thoughts and feelings.
Because of his sensitivity, he’s intuitive toward situations, feeling all sides of a situation.
He makes a natural salesman. 
Has a large social circle, engaging, affectionate, and loves surprises. 

See if these characteristics fits Jacob…
For his tenth birthday, he invited a couple Joey and I didn’t know for dinner. 
His selection for dinner? Something we’d never tried–Sow belly.
We had a delightful time meeting the couple and enjoying the rare meal.

When our first born left for school, Jacob took over as the family photographer.
Only the younger siblings didn’t want their pictures taken. 
He turned to landscapes.
Now he takes those landscapes with his truck for “perspective.”

When the family weedwacking crew left early every morning, there was a whirlwind of activity as everyone prepared the equipment and lunches for the day, while Jacob made his coffee and sauntered to the truck as it rolled out the driveway. 
I watched, wondering if I was praying for his future wife enough.

After showing no interest in music through high school, he learned guitar. And practiced at midnight A LOT.
When he was teenager, he was frustrated telling and re-telling me where he was going and what he was doing. 

I couldn’t convince him the importance that a mom knows her boys were safe—especially driving a motorcycle.
I prayed a lot for his wife then.
But my prayers got through and he learned to touch base with this mom.
Not because he needed to, but because I needed him to.
He’d call once a week. 
Three hours goes by fast.

He wanted to drive truck more than anything—but went to school because we requested it.
He hated school.
He figured out what percentage of homework he’d need to complete to pass and adopted his efforts accordingly. 
Didn’t that take more work than just doing the homework?
He approached writing papers with a similar, unique perspective.
Instead of researching and writing a paper, he’d total the number of “the”s he’d need to make it long enough, and filled in the blanks for length.
Seemed like more work than just writing it—to me.

Jacob loved the ag program.
Thrived with the business courses.
Loved working for the junior college farm. Being outside. Doing something different every day. Working with his hands.
Came home instructing me on how to kill my bugs and weeds.
But he didn’t want to waste his time on a degree.

How a man treats his mom indicates how he’ll treat his wife.
With Jacob, she’ll get flowers and chocolate and lots of hugs.
And long calls when he’s gone. That go on for hours.
When I rode with him trucking, he enjoyed treating me to small food places he’d found. And talking about his truck and how it works.
I enjoyed his passion.
I learned more about trucking than I ever thought possible.
Gave me a greater respect for all those truckers out there.
How do they do it?

Jacob throws his whole heart, soul and body into what he does, especially relationships.
He works to make it happen. 
He’s found the hard way that although it takes work, they shouldn’t be work— both should want it—a mutual sharing of hearts—not one-sided.

When a relationship betrayed him, he spoke of remaining single.
I knew that’d never happen.

I prayed that experience would help him to treasure the wife God would bring him.

A woman often marries to change a man into what she envisions.
Woman fail to see being the helpmeet for her man means accepting all of him, the way he is.
And helping him to reach that perfection God is striving for us all.
If she doesn’t love who he is now, there’ll be no change.
A woman can’t change a man because she loves him—a man changes himself because he loves her.
There’ll be changing for Jacob. But he’ll want to.
Because of his love.
And it will be God’s doing.
God will change them both as they work together to become complete for Him.

I told him, “Some things he’d understand in hindsight.”
When the girl is worth the wait—Waiting isn’t hard.
Wait for the girl. 
Don’t pursue.
When you’re focusing on God, and she’s focusing on God—
God will bring you together.

No one will have any doubts.
It will not be work, it will be right.
That’s what he did.

All the details fell into place—no shoving or pushing to make the relationship happen.
No guessing what’s she thinking.
No wondering where’s she at.
God’s in the details.
God prepared Jacob, even long ago as that fifth born child who experiences those especially hard lessons of life—for this time.
For this girl. For this life.

Inna is proof — God answers prayers—
Not just for Jacob but for this mom who prayed—not just for any girl,
but for the girl who would complement her fifth born son,
who had needs he didn’t know and had strengths that needed to be appreciated and sharpened.

God knew Jacob would need someone who loved adventure and spontaneity,
Who could be flexible with his schedule,
Gentle with his feelings,
Could organize (maybe he doesn’t know yet how much her organizing will help him, but they’ll work that out),
Who thrived around people,
Who appreciated his music, and could even add to it,
Who loves what he loves.
Who loves him.

Jacob, treasure the gift God has given, because Inna, indeed, is a gift from God.
She has his heart.
And he has hers.
But their hearts belong to Jesus.
And regardless of what birth order they are and the struggles they experience, God makes them complete.

Another son marries.
I've already said enough.
And here's what you've been waiting for—the pictures.
Don't have many yet, but here's a few.
Their photographer cut off his finger the week before the wedding.
Another invited them with her family to Monterrey the next day to take more.
I'm not sure I'd want to re-dress in wedding clothes for the day after,
but I'm glad they did.


Displaying all 3 comments

What a gift you have for expressing a mother's heart. Each child of ours is special and unique, and in need of that spouse who can complete them. What a blessing for the couple and for the parents as God brings the right two together. Thanks so much for sharing again, I've especially enjoyed your articles on your sons' marriages.

Beautiful couple, the ladies and young girls all looking beautiful all dressed in white.
Your story and prayer was so sweet.
I really admire you for your gift to write interesting and sincerely.
Thank You for sharing. It is a blessing to know you.🙏

Very nice... a pleasant read.

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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