A Toast for All

Laura & Matthew

My oldest daughter, Laura, just got married!

To say it was a beautiful ceremony would be an understatement ~ though I imagine most mothers would say that about their daughter’s wedding!

But aside from being an honored guest at the an event celebrating the joining of two lives, I was also unexpectedly blessed to hear the powerful and poignant words from the best man (who happened also to be my oldest son) as he took the microphone at the reception and toasted the new bride and groom.  I won’t share all that Ryan said, but (since he left a copy of his speech on my computer desktop,) I will let you be privy to three short excerpts that I believe are particularly applicable to all believers.

First, Ryan said,

The Irish have a saying “never trust a sword to a man who can’t dance”. I think what they mean is that sometimes it is harder to feel than to fight, and sometimes it’s harder to keep your heart open, than shut it.

Leia & Ryan

In today’s volatile world, all believers could benefit from this ancient wisdom. All too often we allow our culture to dictate to us the flawed notion that simply fighting is more important feeling.  I realize the danger of basing decisions on too much emotion, but that’s not what’s meant here. The good and right motivations of compassion, forgiveness, love and mercy can be all too easily quashed by the need to be heard, seen, vindicated or validated. Jesus said As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34) and that often requires us to leave our ‘hearts open’ even when the easiest thing would be to slam the door and turn our backs on those who need us the most.

To his sister, Ryan said:

I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, Laura, but you are my model for what a Christian young lady should be as she passes into adulthood. In fact, the only thing you lack is the objectivity necessary to see what a masterpiece you are.

Laura & Ryan

Often sincere believers spend years in church, study the Bible, read countless spiritual books and develop a good grasp of the Gospel message, but yet cannot apply what they read to themselves. Instead of embracing the truth that ‘old things are gone, and new things have come,’ (2 Cor. 5:17) and there is ‘no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Rom 8:1), Christians continue be weighed down and oppressed by self imposed attitudes and thoughts that are contrary to spiritual reality! Just as Ryan said, we lack the objectivity necessary to see the masterpiece that we have been crafted to be through the transforming power of Jesus! If you are a believer in Christ,  you are a brand new creation as the result of your faith in His atoning work at the cross! Accept that wonderful reality and begin to “live a life worthy of the calling (you) have received”  (Eph. 4:1)

To Matthew, Ryan concluded:

“To say that you deserve this woman is the highest compliment of which I am capable. I trust you today with the care and love of my sister, one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given. I’ve seen your character over the past two years, and I know you want her to be happy as much as I do. Heaven knows there are a thousand people more qualified to give you marriage advice than me, so I’ll dispense with any under-fermented words of wisdom, save only to love Jesus and obey Him.”

I can’t help but wonder just how much pain and anxiety would be eliminated from our lives if we could take Ryan’s closing remark to heart. If you’re beginning a new family or building a business, if you’re teaching a classroom or training a toddler, if your serving customers or serving dinner, the advice is the same:  In all things, love Jesus and obey Him.

16 thoughts on “A Toast for All

  1. Suzanne says:

    What a beautiful wedding it was! Laura was absolutely stunning! You were so beautiful and elegant! But Ryan’s speech was one of the most heartfelt and moving speeches that I have ever heard! How proud y’all must have been to hear his spiritually mature words! I don’t have a way with words so will just plainly say that I could feel the spirit of God present there and was blessed to be a part of it!

    1. Karen says:

      Thanks Suzanne! I’m so glad you and Ken could be with us and doubly pleased that Ken took some extra amazing pix for Laura and us to enjoy. We were all ‘wowed’ by Ryan’s speech and yes, he has matured so much since his early teen years. It just goes to show you … never give up praying and waiting for God to work in someone’s life. He’s often doing things that will take years to see! And I agree. It was a beautiful ceremony and I was equally blessed to be a part of it as well!

  2. April Boyer says:

    What a wonderful, well-spoken, heart-tender young man you have. And what a beautiful, Godly daughter you have. You are well blessed! Thank you for sharing this great occasion!

  3. Lori Schumaker says:


    Congratulations on your daughter’s marriage! And, oh my stars! 2 things – what powerful wisdom from your son and what a beautiful relationship between your children. I can’t imagine your eyes stayed dry as you watched those moments unfolding♥

    Thank you, friend, for sharing such beautiful hope with us!

  4. Terri Potter says:

    Karen, I am so happy for you and Cliff in so many ways! I know you are both so proud of these wonderful kids you have raised. Good job! God is so Faithful and Great! Ryan is so talented in many ways. And what a godly young man 🙂 Congratulations.

  5. Joe Rodriguez says:

    Congratulations on the joyous occasion, but most important on raising a family that models the Gospel. You must be so proud. Should the Lord tarry, may your legacy continue to shine throughout your future generations.

  6. Lynne says:

    my Heart is Overflowing through my eyes. …This son apparently has Grown mightily in Sound Modeling from earthly parents’ sacrifices and due diligence. All Praises to the Great I Am. …and we Pray, Multiply in our Men Lord, Multiply Yourself.

    1. Karen says:

      Yes. All Praises go to the ‘Great I am’! He has done great work in both Ryan and Laura and has knitted them together as siblings in the most marvelous way. It is a great gift for which I’m eternally grateful!

  7. Crystal Twaddell says:

    Congratulations! What a beautiful bride! Oh my, reading this tribute brought tears to my eyes as I thought of my own boys with their only sister. What a blessed God wink you received!

  8. Dawna says:

    So many beautiful moments
    This one seems branded in my mind
    A gifted communicator-like his parents…

    1. Karen says:

      You are too kind, Dawna! The event wouldn’t have been the same without your graceful touch!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *