|The three amigos saving one of them from a gator's toothy grip|
One of the things I'm so blessed by with my family is how much love my kids have for each other. I have a brother-in-law whose words echo through my mind frequently when I think about my kids. He was telling me once how much he enjoys being around my kids and he said quite simply, in part awe and part genuine fascination it seemed, "They're so kind to each other."
The way my family breaks down is there's little groups of my kids that are naturally closer to each other because of being born so close together, as well as other factors. Our three older boys, Brenton, Taylor and Ethan, comprise one of those groups. When we get together and they start telling stories about the things they did back in the day it's hilarious. Apparently the "10-year rule" -- where they can finally talk about the crazy things they did 10 years ago and not worry about getting in trouble -- comes into play. Their bond is strong and lifelong.
I've often thought about the nature of their love for each other and I always come back to it's a reflection of their faith in Jesus. They model the kind, compassionate, loving, serving heart of Jesus. For me, it's a joy to watch and be a part of.
I saw examples of this love for each other over the weekend at the wedding of Taylor & Bethany. The kids stepped up serving in so many different ways. Evie painted an amazing portrait of Taylor & Bethany she gave to them as a wedding gift. Brenton and Ethan served as groomsmen, taking care of a ton of little details and big ones as well to honor their brother. Claire, MerriGrace and Madeline were absolutely lovely as they played and sang songs as a trio at the start of the wedding as people entered and got seated. And all of the kids pulled off their parts in the wedding without a hitch.
And as best man for Taylor, Ethan gave a speech at the reception. I'll link to the full speech below that is up on Youtube, but I loved it. He talked about how Taylor has become a remarkable man over the years and he said that love is the strongest force in the world. As he closed the toast and raised his glass, he spoke the words that he told us had came to him in a dream:
"My final hope and my prayer and my blessing to you all Bethany and Taylor, is that your love would be faithful like the rising sun, that it will be as lasting as the mighty mountains, it will be strong like rushing water, as precious as silver, passionate like a raging fire, sweet as a robin's song and richer than a thousand kings. I love you both. Here's to Taylor and Bethany."
Youtube link: Ethan's wedding toast