Monday, July 25, 2016

Seattle Memories

So many emotions as I've traveled with Mason to propose to Rebecca. The past few days have revealed so much. Twenty-one years ago, Reid proposed to me unexpectedly. He had bought the ring, and he had a plan for the perfect way to ask me to marry him. However, it all unraveled and he couldn't wait. Reid ended up proposing in a way he hadn't planned. It was not one for the "romantic proposal ideas," BUT he redeemed it 10 years later to-the-day as we were walking down the beach in SC. He bent down on one knee and re-proposed! And, I said "YES" all over again!!!!

Now, after spending the past few days with Mason, I completely understand why Reid couldn't wait! And, I think it's made me love my husband EVEN MORE! Wow! I'm on a plane home from Seattle, and so excited about seeing him and the rest of our boys!

I'm thankful for Reid who has loved me well. I'm thankful to his parents, Jane and Reid Beebe Jr., and my parents, Robbie and Janet Franklin, who modeled marriage before we said, "I do." Today, I'm thankful for Chris and Carianne Meystrik who have also lived out committed marriage. The vows, "For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer. In sickness, and in health. 'Til death do we part," were on display for Reid and I growing up, and now Mason and Rebecca have also witnessed Christ-centered commitment in marriage as they become engaged.

After Mason officially set in motion his plans to propose, there were many emotions within our home. Our boys are really tight, and adding a new sister, though very exciting, changes the dynamics of the family. On Sunday morning, Mason left a beautifully written letter on the table expressing his love for our family and acknowledgement for the emotions swirling in our home. That afternoon, all of our family wrote letters to Mason and left them on the table for him to read when he came home from work. In the letters written, everyone shared how excited they were and Braden even asked for me to take pictures! (That's one thing the boys usually despise!) It was precious to see everyone's heart fill with anticipation as words of blessing were left for Mason to read as he set off on this surprise proposal!

During his packing, Mason expressed how he wanted everything to be perfect. He laid out his "proposal outfit" from head to toe. He made sure that his belt and shoes matched. He kept walking through the house saying sporadically, "I'm so excited! I'm so excited!"

As I traveled with him to Seattle, God allowed me a glimpse into his love for Rebecca. Mason let me listen to his love song playlist on his iPod telling me which song was "their song." As we sat together on the plane, he said, "Oh my gosh! This just keeps making me break out into a smile! I can't believe I'm going to be engaged!" I couldn't help grinning alongside him!

On our long flight from Charlotte to Seattle, Mason pulled out pen and paper. All of this was going to be a complete surprise for Rebecca, and the reason for flying to Seattle was because all of her family was there to board a cruise ship today. Knowing that Mason would propose, then be separated from Rebecca for the next 8 days, he quietly wrote eight personal letters addressed to "my fiancé, Rebecca Meystrik. " She would have one letter for each of the eight days they would be apart. Oh my! As a mom, can I share how wonderful that was to see? Mason's desire is the same as his father's - to love his wife well! Precious!

Wednesday morning, Mason was nervous beyond words. He put on his tie and jacket, then asked, "Does everything look ok?" Driving to the hotel to pop the question, he recalled the line of a song in his "love song playlist" that talked about getting onto interstate 5 to go home - and we were getting on Interstate 5!

Once we arrived at the hotel, Chris Meystrik, Rebecca's dad came downstairs to meet us. (Mason and Chris have a wonderful relationship and Mason has sought his permission for each step of this relationship, from dating to proposing. It was fitting that he and Carianne help pull off this surprise.) Chris had found a perfect place in the lobby of the hotel, arranged for a wheelchair ramp to be set up for Carianne, connived with his JTV coworkers to record the moment, and tricked Jacob, Graceanne, and Jonathan into thinking that they were coming downstairs for a meeting about the trip! Unbelievable!

Everything was set to go... T minus 20 minutes.

Mason kept getting more and more nervous. Mason paced and paced. He sat down. He stood up. He went over what he planned to say. He said if he talked loud maybe his voice wouldn't shake. He paced some more. He went over what he planned to say one more time. He tried to call his dad and Franklin for moral support but left messages instead. He sat down. He got up.
Chris sent the text to come upstairs...

Deep breath!

Mason stepped onto the escalator. He walked up behind Rebecca and said her name. She turned around puzzled, surprised, and speechless. Mason said everything he had planned though his knees and his voice were shaking. His words were heartfelt, true, romantic, and beautiful. Again, as a mom, my tears rolled because of his honest transparency!

After Mason sank down to one knee, and asked, "Rebecca Rae Meystrik, will you marry me?" She said, "Yes!" They hugged and kissed and hugged! There was not a dry eye in the room. Then Mason gently slid the ring on her finger. Oh my! It's official!

Everyone congratulated and celebrated both of them! Mason glowed and Rebecca beamed! Young love ready to face the world together! Beautiful! Mason said to Rebecca, "Now I can call you my fiancé!" SO SWEET!

On this trip I've learned that Mason wants to have a wedding band tattooed on his left ring finger to wear under his ring because he wants something that will never come off. This will be a symbol of his lifetime commitment. As a mom, I've never wanted any of our boys to get tattoos but I sure can't argue with the meaning of this one!

Some people may wonder, why does Robin share these things? I want people to know there are still beautiful things in this world. There are still significant moments to share as a mother and son. There is still romance full of surprises! There are still moments when you don't need to have everything figured out, but can move forward with confidence knowing God is leading you! There is still enormous nervousness when marriage is viewed as a lifetime commitment. There are still relationships where the male makes no assumptions, but respects the role of a daughter's father to bring wisdom to the relationship. There are still Christ-centered couples that seek to honor God in all they do.

In this chaotic world, there is still beauty and much to celebrate!

"Every good and perfect gift comes from God, the Father of Lights, with whom there is no shifting shadow."

Congratulations Rebecca and Mason! We are thrilled for you!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Manhood - Saddened By the Current Message

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  I Corinthians 16:13

What happened to Chivalry?  Honor?  Dedication to country?  Courage?  

Last night, I attended a meeting about financing college.  As talk about the FASFA started, one of the requirements was shared and received a surprising negative response.  The requirement is for males over the age of 18 to register for selective service - previously known as the draft.  One of the males behind me said shrewdly, “If they want me…they can find me.” 

Honestly, I tried to wrap my head around the fact that all of the people in the room were trying to figure out how to receive the MOST money from the government to pay for college.  However, the overriding tone of sentiment was people did not want to register for the draft or have their sons do so.  Wait a minute…  Let me get this straight…  People want money from the government, but would not want to defend, fight or protect our country.    If there is a possible time where people are needed to stand for the United States of America, the people in the room last night seemed to desire to prefer to run and hide.  I don’t understand this.   What happened to raising men of courage over cowards? 

I was also very aware of the number of women seated on the tile floor, while men around them sat snugly in comfortable chairs.  As one of the women on the floor, I can honestly say that I noticed.  I realized how the respect for women has changed.  When I came home, I told my husband about it.  I’m thankful to be married to a man who would still always give up his seat for a woman.  Hopefully, we have sons who would do the same.  

Raising five boys, I guess I’m overly aware of the message these things send to them.  Our prayer for the men we are raising is that they will be godly men…  that they will always be willing to stand and fight for justice and righteousness…  that they would speak for those who have no voice…  that they would love others well…  that they would give up their comfort for another…  that they would lead with servant hearts surrendered to Christ. 

In the words of Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.  (1910)

"...There is not a young man in this country who has fought, or an old man who has seen those dear to him fight, who does not wish to minimize the chance of future war.”  (1919)