Layne’s wedding is just over a month away. It seems surreal because the planning started a year ago when she became engaged. Or, actually, for Layne like many romantics, the planning started when she was 12.

I saw this cool idea on social media of taking one’s wedding dress and having it made into something for the bride. So, ever since JT asked if he could have my blessing to marry Layne, I’ve been planning to have that done for Layne.

I knew this wouldn’t be free . . . but was a tiny bit surprised at the price.

But, justifiably so, because it was a “one of the kind” creation, and creating a memory from a memory. Pretty cool concept, huh?

For once in my life I did something on time. Sent it off, had the consultation call, and yesterday opened the package in anticipation of giving it to Layne at her shower this weekend.

Now, on the consultation call, I was very clear.

“Please do not make it frilly or fru-fru. She leans toward minimalism and does not like a bunch of “stuff” on it. My dress had a bunch of “stuff” . . . . she would not want or like that at all.”

The lady on the other end argued with me.

“I know you think that but all brides like the frills.”

“No, I”m telling you . . . she is not like all brides. She doesn’t own one thing that says, “Bride” . . . .so please, the least you put on this, the better.”

Much to my dismay, they did not listen well. So, I, who has no seamstress skills, will be trying to take things OFF the gift. All because folks didn’t listen.

Over the course of this week as you’ve read the meditations you’ve reached out asking how to approach friends who do not approach scripture, religion, faith, etc. the same as you. As irony would have it, I found myself DEEP in conversation with a complete stranger who was convinced they are right and that any other line of Christian thought is completely wrong. It was an uncomfortable exchange, I’ll tell you more about it on Sunday.

The bottom line is the importance of listening.

There are no examples in scripture (that I can find) where Jesus refused to listen. He was always willing to hold space for others. Sure, at the end of listening he would weigh in, but he always allowed others to speak/share.

As we really dive deep into scripture, history, God, and Jesus the Christ over these next few weeks, I invite us to a space of deep listening. No judging. And being open to hear where God leads. The point of this series is to offer you tools for listening and developing.

Trust me, that’s what I am doing as I study.

I look forward to being with you on Sunday!

Grace and Peace,


PS – Please don’t say anything to Layne until Sunday re the gift. I’m going to give it to her later today.