Clumsy Bows and Beautiful Unions

An Amateur Bow. August, 2011. 

Make Something Beautiful and Strong: In Honor of my Bonus Daughter’s Upcoming Marriage; In Honor of our Fourth Wedding Anniversary

My cousin Janene could take three pipe cleaners, two bent paper clips, a penny, and some ugly tissue paper and craft them into a centerpiece that would raise good money at a charity auction. She has a real knack for crafts.

Crafting is not my niche. So I’m not sure what possessed me to make a bow for my bonus daughter’s bridal shower gift, instead of buying one already made, sturdy and beautiful. But there I was, on a Saturday morning, wrestling with two lengths of organza ribbon and my fingers, which were behaving like thumbs.

As I struggled with the ribbons I thought about it. Deep down, I wanted to make something strong and beautiful for her. For them. But I was discovering I couldn’t do it by myself.

My husband wandered in and peered over my shoulder. With both my hands tangled in the filmy, iridescent ribbons, I asked, “Rich, can you pull right there?” He reached and gave a tug in just the right place. The bow was done. It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty enough, in its own fashion. And it was sturdy. This bow wouldn’t disintegrate.

And it’s just like that, trying to create a thing of strength and beauty. It takes work. Sometimes we struggle. Sometimes our efforts disappoint us.

And sometimes, an extra hand reaches in and makes our efforts pretty enough, solid enough.

It can work for bow-making.

And it can work for marriages, too. Four years ago today, I married her father. We’ve needed an extra hand more than once.

Our marriage is strong. And beautiful.

They’ll have to create their own marriage–their own thing of strength and beauty. It’s work that no one can do for them. But Someone can reach in and smooth their efforts, provide just the right tug to make it pretty enough and tough enough. I pray they’ll remember to call on Him.

17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17 (NASB)


  1. I’m such a sucker for a wedding story, and here I find two lovely, lovely ones–and about someone I care for so deeply! Blessings to your bonus daughter (love that title).

    BTW–I am extremely bow-challenged. That’s why I need a friend like Ethel.

  2. Aww, thank you, Nancy!

    I too am bow-challenged. I’m not sure whatever possessed me to just make one.

  3. Congratulations on your upcoming Wedding anniversay and your ‘bonus’ daugheters wedding.

    My oldest daughter is gifted with being crafty and artful. From the time she was small, she did all the christmas wrapping for me. I would hide her gifts with some tissue and let her even finish wrapping her own presents. Your BOW is beautiful and your daughter will love it.

  4. Hey sweets, that bow ain’t clumsy AT ALL. It’s lovely. As is this post, as is your thoughtfulness for your bonus daughter, as is your anniversary and the reason for it. Hope you have a GREAT time in our neck of the woods – it’s been gorgeous up here this week (fog in the a.m. and lovely clear blue skies and temps in the 70s in the afternoons. Ojai will be much warmer – but come on out to the coast, if you can. (Or were you already here?? Can’t keep the dates exactly in my head, but know it was early Sept…)

  5. Hazel,
    Thanks for your kind wishes. Aren’t you blessed to have that crafty one in the family?

  6. Diana,
    Thank you! We are here–arrived yesterday about 2 pm. And it is gorgeous. Everything is gorgeous. Our room, the grounds, our balcony, town….just terrific.

    We will be heading over to the coast, but I’m not sure if it’ll be today or tomorrow. 🙂

  7. Happy anniversary, Sheila! I think your bow is lovely. And for what it’s worth, I never could make one of those things either!

    So much love to you, lady.

  8. Thank you, Laura! Love right back to you! I saw the most cunning tiny little nest today in an antique store, made of some kind of spun metal with a tiny bird perched on its edge and three cabochon stones nestled in its center.

    It brought you to my mind, that little nest did.

  9. I like your bow, too. And I like your simple application of this verse. Sometimes we forget that verses from the Bible can be applied to small, ordinary, everyday experiences.

    Thanks for all your encouraging comments at the Moonboat.

  10. Cassandra,
    Thank you.

    Funny: I have many, many more small, ordinary, everyday moments than I do big doings in my life–it bends me towards looking for life applications in small things. 🙂

    And you’re welcome. It’s my privilege.

  11. My 4th wedding anniversary was July 15th! I’m so glad for your 4 years of happy marriage, and for our 4 years of happy marriage, too!

  12. Brandee, Yay for us and our husbands!!