Saturday, February 18, 2006

Valentine's Day Fun, part 4 - How did we do it?

What does it take to make a Valentine's Day, wedding basket, give-away happen?

It takes a fun-loving, guy with creative ideas - Jim Priest. The baskets were not only his brainchild, but he arranged for permissions, helped acquire funding, and arranged for publicity.

It takes someone who will drive all over town, looking for the right items at the best price and then ask people to even give them to us - Millicent Gillogly, who also has the taste to know how to put them together to look great.

How did we do it? cont...

It takes friends who believe in marriage and think that anytime a group gets together it's fun. Thanks to the willingness of Cyndi Curry and Heather Berry (not pictured) who were willing to get down on the floor to work. Thanks to June Cromling and Marlene Glass who have faithfully helped me through many years.

How did we do it? cont again ...

It takes guys like Mike Jestes and David Dunn of Oklahoma Family Policy Council and Chuck Douglas of FamilyLife (not pictured) to get us some great resources.

Mike adds energy, ideas, and enthusiasm to everything we do. David is one of those dependable, thoughtful, behind-the-scenes kind of guy that always find what we need and uses his skills to get the message published.

How did we do it? final....

It takes a husband... like mine... Ed that supports me, helps with the logistics and finances and believes deeply in the value of a strong marriage.

Then it takes someone who can coordinate everyone enough to get it done... I guess that would be me.

Together we were a TEAM!!!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Valentine's Day Fun, part 3

Even with all the excitement of the weddings, I have to wonder about the future of each couple. How many will be married a year from now or five years from now? I wonder how many of them took their vows seriously or had thought much ahead of time about getting married.

One couple had been drinking a lot, one had been living together for 12 years, another one already had a child together. But they were getting married; that's commendable! Will they get divorced without much planning, just as they got married?

Which brings me to another thought .... there are two proposals being discussed for the Oklahoma legislation. One will make it harder (or more expensive, $175 for license without premarital counseling/classes) to get married and will make it harder (or take longer) to get a divorce. Which one is going to encourage people to be married and stay married? Being a strong proponent of premarital education, instinctively, I would want to give people more of an incentive for premarital classes. But as I think about it, would it only discourage the low-income, low-education, young couples from getting married at all? If couples without children have to wait 90 days to get a divorce, instead of getting an instant divorce, would it discourage them from getting a divorce or would they have a change of heart?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Valentine's Day Fun, part 2

Sparks of joy were shooting around the room. The couples varied in age, description, and color creating a collage of marriages.

Ed and I give a basket to a young couple.

Jim Priest, Living Well board member, presents a basket.

Mike Jestes, executive director of OFPC,

congratulates a couple.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day Fun

Instead of sitting in our office, guiding people through their marital and emotional morass, we went down to the county courthouse to give out gift baskets to couples getting married on Valentine's Day. The exhilaration of dozens of couples starting out a new life together seemed to fill the whole courthouse as several people stopped in, just to watch.

We asked several people why they were getting married today. They all said it was because it is a day of romance, what better day! Several guys inferred that it would be easier to remember. Sounds like a great to economize your efforts - card, gift, dinner once instead of twice.

The most interesting story of the day was a couple who had been married 12 years ago. Recently the husband started a new job and was trying to get his wife on their insurance. The company asked for a copy of the marriage license. They found out that the courthouse had no record of their marriage. So, they were doing it again for the sake of legality. They were part of the group wedding ceremony and the only one I saw crying during the ceremony. She was very touched by "renewing" their vows.

The event drew lots of media attention, channels 9 and 25, KTOK radio. We were thankful for the opportunity to talk to the public about the importance of strengthening marriages.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Preparing for Valentine's Day

The day to express our love - Valentine's Day. Why do we wait for tradition and the greeting card business tell us to express our love? Life is too uncertain to wait even a moment to tell those you love the most how important they are to your life. And the joy is so much greater in the expressing of the love than in hearing it. We know the depth of the passion of our own heart. Our husband/wife, kids, parents will never know how deep the love flows. To Ed, Jacque, Zac, my mom, my sister, my dad .... I LOVE YOU!