While on the phone with my good friend, Brian Groves, this week, our conversation turned to Covid-19. It is hard to have any conversation anymore without talking about the virus. When I voiced my opinion about the virus being biblical, Brian said he was sure God is not pleased with our lives. This was a strong statement coming from Brian. He and his wife Misty are Godly people. I have heard them pray together asking Christ to be the center of their home. As soon as he made the statement, I knew if God was not pleased with his life, He certainly is not pleased with mine. I already knew it. However, it is good to be reminded from time to time.
There is a country song by Trace Adkins called “Mind on Fishin’.” There is a line in the song which says, “But I’d rather be on a lake with my mind on God, than in a church with my mind on fishin’.” Yes. I know the optimal situation is to be in church with our minds on God. Covid has made church-going difficult. We are taught in the Bible to assemble together. We are also taught to not tempt God. So, I figure when we assemble online right now, it counts. God can be found anywhere we seek Him.
This week I had a meeting at Findley Farms about Lindsey’s upcoming wedding. Back in my day, most folks married in a church. The service would be followed by a reception in the fellowship hall. Somehow, this way of getting married became outdated. Now, most couples get married at venues. Findley Farms is one of those venues. As soon as I pulled in, I understood why Lindsey chose this place. It is beautiful.
I was met by Dena Milner. She and her husband Danny own the property and have owned the business since October of 2014. After handling our business, we continued talking about the history of the venue and our common friends. She used the term “our girls” several times as we talked. She was referring to their two daughters, Brannigan and Brittany. Dena left no doubt she was a proud mama. When I asked how active Danny was in the business, it was quickly apparent she is also a proud wife. She looked around and said, “Everything you see, Danny built.”
Dena did not leave anyone out. She mentioned the importance of everyone who has contributed to their success. Her daughter Brannigan bought a flower shop from my dear friends, the Sims. Doyle, Linda, and Darlene brought smiles to many faces throughout the years they owned the flower shop. Though tough shoes to fill, there is no doubt Brannigan will build her own legacy. She is her parents’ daughter. In addition, the Sims would never have turned the business over to someone they did not believe in.
Danny and Dena have taken the blended family model to a high level. Not only have they successfully blended their families, they also did something called “Cross Adoption.” I did not even know what it meant. So, I asked. It means both Danny and Dena had a daughter from a previous marriage. In turn, they adopted each other’s child. I had to ask which child was blood kin to which parent. Asking was necessary because listening to Dena talk about each child’s achievements, there was no way to tell. Though she told me because I asked, I am not going to share that information. It does not matter. The love is the same for both.
In 2016, Dena had a serious medical issue which could have been fatal. Through much prayer, she knows her life was spared because she is called to be doing what she does. She talked about her Mama and her Daddy, who is a deacon at Hopewell Baptist Church. She explained to me her love for Hopewell Baptist. Most importantly, through tear filled eyes, she shared with me her experience of grace, her salvation.
Before I left, I asked Dena how Covid had affected weddings and the couples she has served. Her response was priceless. She said she believes couples no longer take their wedding ceremony and their vows for granted. Everything seems to have more meaning. Dena told me she has laughed with brides, cried with them, and prayed with them. It is what God wants her to do. As our conversation ended and I drove away, I felt the same as if I had been to church.