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Daddy and Rika

It was more than a perfect wedding...more than a beautiful bride and a handsome groom. It was grace personified...God's kiss of mercy on our family. I could touch with my hands and see with my eyes the promise of, "above all you can ask or imagine".

Why did God choose to bless our family like this? I don't have an answer. All I know is that as I stood there and had the honor of watching my Dad make vows to his beautiful bride, I breathed in this sweet moment and whispered a thanks to God. He didn't have to do this, but He did...and I loved Him for it.

Some of you know my Dad very well. Some of you don't. I've seen my Dad change in many ways throughout the years...I've seen him struggle and succeed, weak and strong, angry and happy. But I know that the man I know today is a man who has been refined by fire...very heated fire, and he has come through it as my hero and friend. I'm honored to know him and be called his.

I really missed my mom...but I wasn't missing her in a way that thought "Life shouldn't have gone this way", but I was missing her in that it felt like she should be there to celebrate with us. That feeling you get that someone is missing at the table. I missed her in a way that felt like she needed to be there to say this was okay and to give my Dad's hand to Rika. But God gave me part of a verse in Psalms 68:8 that says, "God makes a home for the lonely..." and I knew it was good. I cried for my Mom that day...partly as a little girl that just can't stop missing her mom...and partly because I knew that if she could speak, she'd call us her little dollies and tell us that she loves Rika and for the miracle she's been and the hole she's filled for us.

Rika has been just that...a miracle. It's not hard to love her because it's so easy. I know that doesn't make sense...but before I met her, I thought I'd have to learn to love her. No, if you've met her, you know what I mean. She is easy to adore. Our conversations are limited, but there's an understanding and love shared that goes deeper than language. Yes, Rika has been a miracle...and I love her more than I could express.

There are two different quotes of my Dad's from the day that I think summed up the evening and how he was feeling. The first was when we were taking a picture of us 3 girls with him and he said, "This is my proudest moment, being with my girls". And the second was when he was with Rika about to cut the cake and with a big smile he said, "I feel like I'm 25 again!"

I know that some of you are anxious to see pictures...I have a couple weddings I'm still working on so I only edited a couple quick for Rika to be able to send to her family. I'll post more pictures and detail pictures of the dinner later on!






Sarah said...

Thanks for posting these, Tami! They are beautiful!

Leah gave me the play-by-play on the phone. :) Sounded like an amazing day.

Great pics!!!

Amber said...

Tam - I'm not sure how to say this so here goes . . .

But thank you. Thank you to you and your sisters for being so beautifully honest and transparent all these years. I feel stretched, grown and blessed in so many of my own ways by learning and sitting at your feet . . . and seeing God every step of the way provide above and beyond.

It looks like such a beautiful day - and we rejoice with all of you. Rika was an absolutely beautiful bride - and I love how proud and happy your dad looks with her. He looks like he feels 25. : )

As I cried missing your mom through your words too, I thought how appropriate what you said felt,

"I was missing her in that it felt like she should be there to celebrate with us. . . she'd call us her little dollies and tell us that she loves Rika and for the miracle she's been and the hole she's filled for us."

love you

Anonymous said...

What a beauiful post. The pictures were amazing, but your words were beautiful! I hope if that day happens for our family I will be able to see it exactly as you did. I miss you, and hope to see you soon. Love ya!

smw said...

a very moving post. wonderful pictures. i'm happy for all of you.

leah said...

man, tam...you're making me cry all over again!

wow...thanks for sharing your heart.

love you!

Ashley Baner said...

Your mom would have loved that day!! Your dad does look like he feels 25. Most men would if they got to call that stunning woman their bride! Thanks for sharing your heart.

Amanda said...

You and your sisters are some of the most beautiful, gracious women I know. You are a testimony to the faithfulness of God, and I am so thankful to know you!

Kait H. said...

tam those pics of uncle hisato and now aunt rika ;) are so sweet, and beautiful.
You captured the day so beautifully.
im so proud of ya :)

Bethie said...

tam. i'm weeping... in a good way. thanks for opening the window to give us a glimpse of the story our living God is writing in your life. it is a heartbreaking, miraculous, and precious story, and reminds me of a couple verses from my favorite poem. i may have given these to you when your mom passed away, back when the days ahead seemed uncertain and dark...

"Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head."

He is faithful and beautiful!


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