1. It feels like I have been preparing for this moment at my beautiful sister Annemarie’s wedding forever- well… at least for the past six months – which was so long enough that I began pondering life’s purpose and found myself wondering--
    what does a great life look like? If you asked all 100+ people in this room what a great life looks like, you would probably get a hundred different answers- but certain answers would make virtually everyone’s list.
  2. Most people would agree, for example, that a great life includes something worth living for, maybe even worth dying for. A portion of a great life would be devoted to something bigger, greater, grander than yourself,
    something that inspires you, energizes you, pulls you forward, something that responds to your unique talent or touch and, ultimately, makes a difference in the world around you.
  3. A great life would naturally bring you more meaning, purpose, love, laughter, wonder and adventure to your days and, at the end of your journey you would look back on a life of significance, rather than regret- knowing in your heart that you left the world better than you found it.
    . Knowing that you made a difference in the lives of others, knowing that you got something wonderful out of it, and you gave something wonderful back.
  4. A great life, of course, is not something we experience, it’s something we create. That’s what this wedding is all about. Annemarie and Todd have created a family, one that loves unconditionally.
    . After contemplating what a great life looks like I was naturally lead to love. Annemarie and Todd have one of the greatest love’s I have ever witnessed. In admiration of their love I turned to the bible and was pulled towards the iconic- Corinthians 13:1-3: which reads:
  5. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
    Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always preserves. Love never fails…”
  6. Finally, my contemplation of life and love ended in reflecting upon the meaning of marriage.
    Marriage is a commitment. It success doesn’t depend on feelings, circumstances, or moods- but on two people who are loyal to each other and the vows they took on their wedding day. Marriage is hard work. It means chores, disagreements, misunderstandings, and times when you might not like each other very much. When you work at it together, it can be the greatest blessing in the world.
  7. Marriage is a relationship where two people must listen, compromise, and respect. It’s an arrangement that requires a multitude of decisions to be made together. Listening, respecting, and compromising go a long way toward keeping peace and harmony.
  8. Marriage is a union in which two people learn from their mistakes, accept each other’s faults, and willingly adjust behaviors that need to be changed. It’s caring enough about each other to work through disappointing and hurtful times, and believing in the love that brought you together in the first place.
  9. Marriage is patience and forgiveness. It’s being open and honest, thoughtful and kind. Marriage means talking things out, making necessary changes, and forgiving each other.
    Its unconditional love at its most understanding and vulnerable- love that supports, comforts, and is determined to triumph over every challenge and adversity.
  10. Marriage is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals… they are even better together.
    In the end, I realized… That a great life… looks a lot like yours!”
  11. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
    love you guys… and I wish you a lifetime of happiness!
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