In his fascinating book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell discusses “mavens”, “salesmen” and “connectors”. Most of us could identify with one of these types. When I read the book several years ago, I remember thinking that I wanted to be a connector. As an introverted person, it’s not always my instinct to put myself out there. But I love introducing people that I like to each other–especially in the context of helping–connecting people who could share resources, have a mentoring relationship (or even find love). 🙂 I’m trying to be more proactive with opportunities to be a connector. This is a story about something amazing that came about when I took one such opportunity.
In the fall of 2011, I was knee-deep in wedding planning. I’d gotten some good advice for keeping it simple–choose two or three things that will be important to you and focus on those. For me, those things were the photography and the dress. You can read about my wedding dress saga here and here, if you’re interested. A coworker’s daughter had entered a contest to get some of her senior photos for free. I went to the photographer’s website to vote and felt an immediate connection. A few weeks and emails later, Bryan and I were meeting her for coffee. Renee exudes joy. She is such an inspiring person. She was pregnant with her second child and due in October, but agreed to photograph our wedding in December. It turned out to be her last Texas wedding before moving to JAPAN, but I’ll get to that later.
She made us feel really comfortable and took some beautiful engagement photos (in spite of the fact that I don’t consider myself the least bit photogenic). When our wedding day came, Renee and her husband were there to document the details with style and heart. I’ve featured some of their work here before. These are a few more of my favorites…
Together, the images they captured really tell the story of one of the most special days of our life together. Renee (a former Spanish teacher) was even able to communicate with Bryan’s family and friends from Costa Rica. We were so pleased that we chose her, and even more pleased to have made a new friend. When I went to their house a few months later to pick up the canvas that we ordered, they were preparing for the big move. I sat on the living room floor holding Renee’s beautiful daughter, and we chatted for a few minutes. I gave her a big hug, knowing that she would always hold a place in my heart and feeling thankful for technology that would allow us to stay connected across the miles.
This is the church building where we got married. It was the first church that became ours when Bryan moved to Texas, and our church family there is one of the biggest reasons that it was hard to move away to the Big City last summer. While we were there, we were blessed to get acquainted with the Strakers. Jonathan ministered to the young families, along with his lovely wife, Michiko, and taught Bible classes. They are a beautiful family that truly loves the Lord. They met in Japan, Michiko’s home country. As a fellow native English speaker trying to learn my spouse’s language, I was so impressed with Jonathan’s Japanese, but I digress… It was obvious how much love they had for the people of Japan, and when the earthquake hit (on this day in 2011, by the way), they couldn’t wait to get back there and serve those who were impacted. When they moved to Japan, we bought the coffee table that graced their living room. It’s a beautiful reminder of our dear friends.
Maybe you can see where this is going. Come back for Part 2 to find out the amazing thing that happened next!!