Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More Pictures from JennyPen!

Look at his smile - that's the man I got to marry!
My precious matron of honor and her husband at the rehearsal dinner

Gettin' all snazzed up - me and two of my girls had our hair done by our friend Cherish, and we remembered on the way to the salon that the three of us went to her for our hairdos for senior prom almost 8 YEARS AGO! WOW, how times have changed!

I could not ask for more wonderful friends than those who were present on our wedding day...

Eryn had practice at my bridal portraits, so I asked her to help here as well

She helped me get into my shoes, too!

I was showing PandaGirl all of the delicate beading on the veil - I think she liked it :)

Why is this picture so small??? I have no idea, but I still love this - it was a very special moment for me to hug my precious Stef.

In the days of their youth, they were Bass the Fish and Monk the Coat...and now they're all grown up!

This is where we were announced as "Mr. and Mrs." to our guests at OUR WEDDING RECEPTION! That's still so crazy to me~

"Heel-toe, dosey-doe, come on baby let's go boot-scootin'!"

So happy and so relieved to finally and permanently be husband and wife...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Waking up on the wrong side of the bed...

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I woke up cranky, not feeling well, and wanting to roll over and go back to sleep next to my husband who doesn't have to get up nearly as early. Instead of saying "good morning" I sighed heavily while turning off my alarm and commented, "It's only Tuesday..." And him being the good and encouraging man he is, he said, "Don't be like that..." So while I was getting ready to leave for the day, I was really quiet and just wished I could go back to bed. I think my mood had a direct influence on my inability to head out the door on time, too.

As soon as I got in my car, I popped my Nichole Nordeman CD into the CD player in hopes of the music refreshing me and clearing my mind for the day at work. It didn't work. Then, an old familiar phrase came to mind. One of my oldest friends had a saying she used to tell all of us in high school when we were having a bad day: "Bad days are an excuse for not seeing all of the blessings God has for you." That kept playing in my head over and over as I drove, and the Lord convicted me of the truth behind such a statement. The more I thought of it, the more I also began thinking that my bad days are an excuse for not being thankful. What do I have that the Lord has not given?

This is not truth I was convicted of in my own conjuring up of profound thoughts. The Lord convicted me of my ungrateful heart as I was merging onto the expressway. Rather than waking up thankful and saying "good morning" to my undeserved and precious gift of a husband, I complained with my back to him. Rather than hug him and tell him how much I loved him first thing in the morning, I sighed. The Lord has provided above and beyond all we could ask or imagine, and all I want to do is react out of my self-centered, rebellious tendencies to complain! After years of growth, and seeing with new eyes my more common patterns of sin, I know that the root of complaining is a lack of thanks - thanks for the atoning sacrifice of Christ which is the only thing that saves, the gift of life and breath, the gift of a husband who desires my best which is satisfaction and joy in Christ alone, the opportunity to receive an education from an excellent seminary, and the gift of a stable, reliable place of employment to even drive to every morning.

What may merely seem like "waking up on the wrong side of the bed" to your average adult really is an excuse. Even the smallest and most common aspects of our attitude can distract us from a day that in and of itself is a gift.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Post-Ceremony Reflections Over a Meat-Lover's Scramble at Denny's

The goal and utmost desire was a Christ-exalting ceremony, one that clearly displayed the glorious relationship Christ has to His Church. As the bridesmaids lined up in the parlor with me standing around the corner in the bridal suite, I heard the music begin, "I have come with one purpose to capture for Myself a bride. By My life she is lovely, and by My death she's justified." I began to cry for the first time that day, and remember thinking, "This is it, this is the moment." As I entered into the radiant sanctuary, the instrumental music to "Amazing Grace" resonated in such a way that did more than tickle the ears of myself and the witnesses present. My tears by then were wiped away, and my eyes were fixed on one person - my groom. I can only attempt to describe in my limited words the experience of living such a vision and dream. I have dreamed of my wedding day for many years, and I have had a deep longing for the ceremony to be one wherein Christ was present and displayed as the sweet and satisfying Savior that He is.

My husband and I had a late dinner with
one of the groomsmen last night at Denny's. As we were inhaling our omelettes and meat lovers healthy food, our friend told us that he used our ceremony in a recent sermon illustration. He described hearing our music selections for the ceremony at the rehearsal and wondering why we chose "Amazing Grace" for the processional. It's nice and it's a classic, but why that particular song? He told us that he didn't get it until the doors opened at the ceremony and I entered into the room to the majestic melody. What makes the bride pure, spotless, and dressed in a white gown? The righteousness of Christ which is the amazing grace lavished upon His bride.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of
many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying
out, "
Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty
reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage
of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her
to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure"— for the fine
linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. ~Revelation 19:6-8

As with any wedding I have previously attended, there were compliments galore about everything from the flowers to the dresses to the music, but those all fade into the background when we heard such comments as, "That was the most selfless ceremony I have ever seen," and others which were similar. If witnesses saw Christ at the center of every detail, then our goal was accomplished. If those unbelieving attenders saw that our primary concern was reflecting Christ's relationship to His Church, both now and in the day yet to come, then our hearts were fully satisfied.

The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And
let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life
without price. . . . He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming
soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! ~Revelation 22: 17, 20

Monday, January 21, 2008

More pictures from one of my dearest of friends!!!

First dance ~ "What I really want to say, is what the sun would say to the stars, for giving it a place to come alive..."
He HAD to help me because I have a horrible track record of not knowing how to cut cake without demolishing the entire thing ~ and this red velvet cake was too beautiful to mess up!

Watch out for the bride with the big knife who doesn't know how to cut cake

Yes, I have an abnormally large mouth!

Kindred spirits ~ "Miles and miles and miles are between us, like Earth to Mars and then onto Venus, although you've gone away I still see your face"

Tuesday, January 15, 2008