Saturday, November 23, 2013

Our Wedding Day

The joyful tone of our beautiful service was set by our children dancing down the aisle to Jamie Grace's song, "It's a Beautiful Day".   Immediately before that, Tommy had walked my mom to her seat as "Let My Life Be the Proof" played.  It was a very sweet moment.

Following that our beautiful Gypsy Princess and favorite guitarist began playing and singing "God Blessed the Broken Road".  It was the song to which I'd make my grand entry.  As I rounded the corner to walk down the aisle, life suddenly existed from inside a bubble.  I saw only my groom, and I floated to his side.

Our pastor, Rev. Jim Mannon, did a beautiful job translating all of our thoughts on love and marriage into the ceremony. 

Tommy's vows to me were the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken.  As he told of his love for me, tears freely flowed from his eyes.  It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.  He blew me away so much that I'd completely forgotten the words I'd prepared to say to him.  I was completely flustered to the point that I had to wing it, but I did share my written words later and hopefully made up for my first ever "loss for words" moment.  

To divide between the next part of the service, we played the song, "Together" by Steven Curtis Chapman. When I first heard this song a few weeks ago, I shared with Tommy, "Steven Curtis Chapman has written a song just for our renewal service."  The words convey the past sixteen years of our marriage.  Here's the chorus: 

 "And if it wasn't for God’s mercy and His grace

There’s no way we would be standing in this place
But because He has been faithful
Every step along the way
Here we are together."

Pastor Jim, along with our children and youth pastors spoke eloquently during the family rose ceremony that incorporated different characteristics by each individual that create our family and make it whole.  The end result - a beautiful and memorable bouquet - that is now situated on the living room mantle.

We were again pronounced husband and wife and allowed to kiss.  Tommy was happy when the photographer hollered to do it again and said, "I don't mind."

The reception was equally as special.  Our cake was the most beautiful wedding cake I have ever seen.  It was a three tiered, hexagon, pink, champagne flavored cake with streaming live roses.  It exceeded my expectations... as did the groom's cake.  Tommy had a red-velvet, bleeding armadillo groom's cake straight from Steel Magnolias.  Cakes Etc. in Brookhaven did a fabulous job turning my dreams into reality.  I can't say enough good things about them.  I was equally impressed by the roses that The Toad House put together for me.  They worked with me extensively to ensure the exact colors that I wanted.  I now have them in a vase on a table next to me.  They are still beautiful and the scent transports me back to our special day.  

We cannot thank our friends enough for helping us pull off this day.  Mrs. Barbara who loaned us use of her beautiful home and provided my something borrowed something blue, Sidney who was by my side all day for whatever was needed, Kathy who drove in to do our pictures, Carrene and Tammy who served cake, Stasia for coming in and singing, Bro. Marvin and Ms. Susan who invest into our children's lives during guitar lessons weekly, Donna - one of my oldest and dearest friends, our wonderful staff of pastors from Brookhaven First Assembly and the members of our church family who travelled to be there.  You guys were truly the icing on the cake and I can't thank you enough.  (Oh, and I can't forget Ms. Barbara's beautiful friend, Vivian, who helped with all of the extra details through the day!)  I have to add - as my mom, Dacey, Stasia, and I were getting ready, I mentioned to them that the hardest part for me would be when they'd all gone to their designated spots and I was left alone.  Ms. Barbara and Vivian answered my prayers and stayed by my side right up until the moment I walked down the aisle.  I will never, ever forget that!!

And of course, what would a party be without dancing?  Tommy and I danced to "Rose of My Heart" by Johnny Cash.  Tommy and Dacey then danced to "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman, and Jaden, Isaac, Connor, and I danced to "Blessed" by Martina McBride.  The most fun was provided courtesy of our children when they danced to "What Does the Fox Say?".  It was choreographed by our daughter, Dacey, and gave us all a wonderful, unforgettable moment.  

Another highlight of the day was sharing it with our Scarlet.  She was the belle of the ball and had as good of a time as any of the rest of us.

The day ended with the kids blowing bubbles at us and my favorite super heroes busting out.  It was the perfect day and the most wonderful one of my life.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Guest List

Perhaps the most stressful part of planning our wedding day has been the guest list.  There are so many people that have made a difference in our lives over the years and it has been our desire to include them all.

We mailed out invitations several weeks ago and have spoken to many others directly.  Our purpose has not been to see how many people we could have in attendance, but to share our joy with those we love.

Responses to our invitations have varied greatly from: 1. I wouldn't miss it for the world.  2.  I have other plans that weekend.  3.  I'll have to wait and see.

I am okay with each response.  Ultimately this vow renewal ceremony is for our family.  We are excited to re-dedicate our family to God as we announce to those who will share in our celebration of all that God has brought us through and done for us over the past sixteen years.  It is each individual to whom an invitation has been extended to choose if this is something they wish to be a part of or not.

God has sent out an invitation too.  He sent His only Son, Jesus, into the world for all who would believe to one day join in the party of Heaven.  But each person must choose for himself whether to accept it or not.

Jesus said, "Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."

Many openly respond, "I wouldn't miss it for the world."  Others, outright refuse.  Still more say, "I'll have to wait and see."

Jesus says in Matthew 22:14 that "many are invited".  He wants to share in the celebration of Heaven with everyone.  He extended this gracious invitation at the cross by the shedding of His blood.  But the final decision lies with you.  Have you accepted His eternal invitation?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Final Days...

We are just three days away from our wedding.  It is a day that I have been waiting for since I was a little girl.  Everything is coming together just as I always dreamed.  And if the rain holds off, it'll be the grand and wonderful day I've always hoped for.

Having been a wife for sixteen years but being a first time "bride" has given me a different perspective during this journey.  It has given me a deeper understanding of Christ as our bridegroom and how marriage is meant to represent the relationship between Christ and the Church.  In these last few days, however, God's showing me something else.

Over the past couple of weeks, Tommy and I have spent more time together discussing our marriage, our relationship, where we've been and where we're going.  We have enjoyed reading through The Love Dare nightly for the 40 days leading up to our ceremony.  I have amped up my work-outs, drank more water and less coffee.  I have purchased and began using new whitening toothpaste, new make-up, and new facial cleanser.  I even got my ears pierced.  Last weekend we did last minute alterations to my dress and have had it laid out to "air out" so that it looks and smells fabulous.  And today, I am wearing the "shoes" that I'll wear on the big day in order to break them in a bit.

All in preparation to meet my groom at the altar.  I hope to present myself to him as the most beautiful I have ever been.  I hope that I am everything he has envisioned.  I hope that I "wow" him.

As believers we should be just as eager to prepare ourselves for the day when Christ, the bridegroom, will rapture the Church, his bride.  We should exercise our faith, grow closer to Him in prayer and Bible study, and pay careful attention to what we allow to go in and come out of us.  We should be preparing ourselves so that we may present ourselves before Him without blemish.

Revelation 19:7 says, "  Let us be glad and rejoice,

    and let us give honor to him.
For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,
    and his bride has prepared herself."

As I consider that passage and the plans and details I have worked toward for our reception, I become all the more excited as I anticipate the wedding feast of the Lamb.  What a cake that will be!

How about you?  Are you preparing yourself daily to present yourself before Christ at His return?  If not, what can you do so that on that day you will be spotless, faultless, and without blemish?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Love Believes All Things

We are just fifteen days away from our renewal ceremony which puts us on day 25 of The Love Dare.

As we have gone through this book together one thing that has stood out to me is the fact that every time and to everyone that you say the words, "I love you", you are actually making the promise to that person to be all the things that love is: patient, kind, longsuffering, bearing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things, and never failing them.  What a commitment to live up too.  It should make you think twice before so carelessly letting those words pass through your lips.

All of the details of the wedding have been put together.  We worked with the florist this week to get the exact shades of roses that I've dreamed of for the wedding.  Complete with one which is called "Angel's Love" which I found as ironic since Tommy always refers to me as his angel.  <insert dreamy sigh>

Tommy and the kids worked together last weekend to build an altar for our ceremony.  I can't express how special this is to me as it is something I'd had in mind since we had started making plans for the ceremony but had not shared with Tommy until, well, last weekend.  He understood my vision exactly and transformed some old wood from our house into the piece I'd dreamed of.  After the ceremony is will be brought home and proudly displayed in our living room as a constant reminder of the faith our family is built upon.

We have this weekend and next to finish up the details and then the next will bring the day we have waited for all year.  I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Oh, and if you haven't checked it out yet, our "back story" can be found on our wedding page at: .