An August highlight was celebrating my grandparent's (Pake and Beppe) 60th wedding anniversary. We had all the elements of a spectacular Tadema party: lip synching, dancing, making up songs to tease....I mean, honor... Pake and Beppe.
(Here are a few of my awesome cousins in a hilarious dance/song number:)
Tadema parties also consist of food (the best if Korean family members cook!), a lot of coffee, and powerful times of prayer and stories. This particular party had beautiful hymn singing into the night.
Volleyball is also a tradition...and it's remarkable we've all stayed close with how competitive it can get.
Here are a few of the great-grandkids. There are 39 and counting so this is a tiny representation. I would've loved a good picture with all the young ones there but it's not possible to keep them in one place at one time.
And the guests of honor, my Pake and Beppe (or "Her Majesty" as he affectionately calls her).
I love my Pake and Beppe together. They give me hope for marriage. It's not because they are perfect for each other. I cringe when I think of what it must have been like in their first years of marriage. He was an immigrant from the Netherlands who had survived WWII, but not without emotional scarring. She was a farm girl determined to be a missionary. They had cultural differences, language barriers, school yet to complete. He loves theology, knowledge, and preaching the Truth (with fire!). He comes from a conservative background and is at his best when he is bringing spiritual awakening to Reformed churches. She is all heart; a masters in counseling, artistic, and compassionate. She loves praying for physical healing and witnessing miracles.
They give me hope in marriage because they didn't rely on compatibility or how happy they felt. They delved into their responsibilities and life work with passion and excitement, not because of ease but because they loved God and loved people. It took them to Nigeria with small children. It took them to various churches and communities.
It led them to adopt two boys, to start a non-profit when everyone thought it was crazy and the money wasn't there, and to serve as an army chaplain.
After the weekend of celebrating God's faith I was blessed to have Pake and Beppe come over for coffee before leaving town. It was only my sister and a cousin (and our 10 small children playing in the yard) so we were able to hog Pake and Beppe and glean some wisdom. They shared about marriage; about God meeting the needs you wish your spouse would, how looking to Christ to be the perfect love frees you to enjoy companionship of a husband. They shared about their adoption journeys, with tears, as we watched Gage and Jude meld into the yard full of blondes. Pake told me stories about starting his faith-based ministry; how the people you think will give won't and the people you never expect always do. He shared about God's faithfulness time and time again when he was having his own doubts.
Sitting on the patio with hot coffee reminded me of Moses telling the Israelites, "take heed yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren." Deuteronomy 4:9
I am soaking it up. I realize that I am abundantly blessed to have grandparents who are not only alive but have a visible legacy of lives lived serving God. I see their 8 children, 46 grandchildren, 39+ great-grandchildren and am humbled to be part of the story. Not only do I experience their story, I get to hear from them what their eyes have seen.
And it gives me something to shoot for. If S. can keep up with me I'm aiming for at least 60 years.