Written By Carolyn Montfort
Current Series: What Peyton Means To Me
This is Carolyn Montfort, and I have been asked to share a little bit about one of my grandchildren, Peyton Weddle. I have eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and I love them all, more than a number. But with Peyton, it was almost as if an invisible thread connected the two of us.
I was working full time at ECS (Evangelical Christian School), and the Lord laid on my heart the desire to help others who sought an economical way to plan their weddings or event. Now, the strangest thing about this new calling... I don’t like to cook. My children can attest to that. I knew absolutely nothing about how to do this. However, just as I had learned once or twice before, I had a master planner by the name of Jesus.
Our ministry (as I affectionally called what we were doing) started small. Peyton came alongside me and apart of the team because he understood my love to serve the Lord in this way. Montfort Catering was a non-profit. We did it for the price of the food and the wages of the staff—every time.
I did 95% of the prep-work for all events. That includes shopping, cooking, and planning. This was on top of working full-time at ECS. I mention this not to sound boastful or filled with self-pride. To be truthful, I did not realize how hard the work was until I wasn’t doing it any longer.
The thing about Peyton is, he seemed to understand that this ministry was a good thing. Even though not everyone agreed, this was partly because most organizations or businesses are hungry to make money. However, that was never our desire. We fed the hungry and thanked the Lord while doing it.
Peyton was my ultimate supporter. He held my arms up by doing all the work that we had to do with each wedding. It was imperative for Peyton and I that every person would realize we were different at each event. Not because we were more reasonably priced or smiled bigger than all the others, but the fact that we did it for the Lord. Therefore, they were going to get the very best we had.
Over the many many years that we did it together (while he was homeschooled and then into college,) we probably hosted over 300 events (mostly weddings.) I never got to see Peyton married, but he attended more weddings than anyone body in his circle.
There were so many little important things about him. He knew at every event, we were going to pray fishes and loaves over the food. Because I said, I had no training. What I should buy, how much I should buy, etc. By the grace of God, over all those years, we never ran out of food.
Lots of Peyton’s friends and people from our church came alongside to work. And yes, it was work. But everyone that worked with us knew that Peyton and I’s heart was focused on the Lord. My focus in working with those young people is to hope they gained the ability to do hard work without feeling less than. So many kids think serving others isn’t good enough or cool enough. However, helping God’s people is, in turn serving Him.
During the time that we all worked together, much laughter was had. We saw God’s hand in every event that we ever were apart of.
Since I did all the buying, cooking at home, and prepping, when we went to pack my van after an event, it had to be packed in a precise way not to spill food or dent equipment. More importantly, we would gather the things up, and Peyton knew the exact places in the van to get everything in there. That way, it wouldn’t impale me while driving back home, also. I suppose that was important to him.
He had everybody put the clean equipment and dishes on the ground behind him, and he alone (with his best friend, Austin on alternate) would put them in the van. All the while knowing what was best.
When we would get home, and this is for any time we were together, the last thing he’d do was walk me to the van (when we were leaving an event,) help me in the door, and lean in and kiss me on the cheek. He then would say, “I love you, Nana.”
One week before he went to be with Jesus, he did this when he and his brother, Hunter, came to church. Their folks and younger brother, Oakley, were out of town. After service, they took me out to lunch. After we finished, he walked me to the van and performed this same routine. Little did I know that in seven days, I would never have that again.
Having said that, when people would say, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” I would reply, “Oh. He’s not lost. We know exactly where he is. We know exactly who he’s with, and I no longer have to pray for him. I know he is in good hands.”
I still miss him every single day. But I wouldn’t call him back for a minute. He lived more in those twenty-one years than most people live for their entire life. He is still very much serving the Lord by being a part of The PEYitforward Foundation.
I am incredibly grateful for all of my grandchildren. I love them all immensely. All of us, bar none, were blessed beyond words to be able to call Peyton our own.