Category Archives: Love

Honeymoon Thoughts

Tonight I am exhausted, but I want to share some honeymoon thoughts – disjointed as they may be.  Rick and I traveled from our second honeymoon destination, Costa Rica, to our third honeymoon destination (Sacramento, CA) today.  We have been up for about 24 hours now, except for a few cat naps on the plane(s).  We got to meet with a seminary friend of mine during a layover and tonight we got to have dinner with my cousin and her husband.  It’s been a wonderful day in spite of the hours of travel.

Traveling is so much easier with a kind and loving man beside me.  I traveled alone for years – business trips, visits home, etc.  Having a man beside me to help with the luggage, to lean on when I want to sleep, to consult on decisions about where to turn or get gas is all such a blessing.  I’m so used to doing things alone that I didn’t even realize what I was missing.

As we traveled, I listened to our reception music play list on my iPod.  I kept finding myself tearing up, choking back tears as I listened to the words of the songs.  I was so overwhelmed with wedding details when I made the play list that I didn’t really take the time to appreciate how the words of the songs applied to our situation.  Song after song reminded me of how blessed I am to have the love of this wonderful man.  Here’s a little sampling of the songs that have been been the soundtrack of my day (and our reception):

The More I See You – Michael Bublé
What a Difference a Day Makes – Jaimee Paul
Don’t Let Me Lose My Wonder – Keith and Kristyn Getty
Give In to Me – Garrett Hedlund & Leighton Meester
Defying Gravity – Glee Cast Version
You and Me – Dave Matthews Band
Unpredictable – Francesca Battistelli
She Is – The Fray
Change – Taylor Swift
Smile – Uncle Kracker
Come On Get Higher – Sugarland
Timing Is Everything – Garrett Hedlund
Glitter In the Air – P!nk
These Are Days – 10,000 Maniacs
Looking For You – Amy Grant
All I Want to Do – Sugarland
Love Story – Taylor Swift

Once we get to our new home and have some time to edit our honeymoon pictures, I’ll post some.  We have had quite the adventure.  It’s been wonderful.  But right now I’m going to get some sleep.  How was I able to write a blog on my honeymoon?  Well, my amazing husband is tireless and decided to use the hotel laundry room tonight to wash all our dirty clothes.  I am in awe.

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Wedding Pictures, Part Two

Rick and I just got back from a long walk around the mountain we’re staying on.  Then we drove the car up, up, up a crazy-steep, rutted dirt road to a top-secret cabin hideaway that we’re not staying in.  Ha!  I was really glad Rick was driving on our little adventure.  We just wondered what was down the dirt road and then I really wished we hadn’t been so curious.

While my heart is returning to it’s normal rhythm, I figured I’d post few more photos from the wedding.

Mom helping me with the finishing touches

We were laughing to keep from crying.  I had no idea my mom could make such funny faces.  She helped me keep it together after my makeup was done.  As emotional as I felt, I only shed a few tears throughout the day.

Our Family is Growing!

We had a hard time getting everyone to smile with our eyes open AND keep the 3-year old happy.  My brother-in-law is holding my brand-new nephew.  In order from left to right, we have my brother-in-law, niece and nephew, sister, me and Rick, my little brother, and my parents.

The Entire Female Wedding Party

Here are all the beautiful friends who stood beside me on our wedding day.  They have been the most wonderful friends a person could ask for.

Rick and Me with our Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Our bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring bearer, and the posing-princess, our flower girl!

Lighting the Unity Candle

Thanks for checking out our pictures.  Now we’re off to play some minature golf…

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Wedding Pictures

Me and our flower girl, my niece Alexis, with our matching bracelets.

In between going to the aquarium, riding a ski lift in 18 degree weather, and getting thoroughly beaten in air hockey, I’ve spent a few minutes today working on wedding pictures.  My good friend Leslie Coelho travelled from Michigan to photograph our wedding, then downloaded the pictures to my computer.  I’ve done a little cropping and color-correcting.

Inside the prayer tower at our church

One last father-daughter hug before he gave me away...

One last look in the mirror before walking down the aisle

 

Ceremony Decor

 

Table Setting at the Reception

 

Okay, now my husband is saying I should not be spending time on our honeymoon messing with my blog!  He is waiting for me to make use of our cabin’s hot tub.  I’ll have to catch you all later…  🙂

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I’m Married!

It’s January 1, 2012, and I have been married for 2 1/2 days!  Rick and I are happily holed up in a cabin in the mountains.  We have an amazing honeymoon planned and I have no intention of spending it on my blog…  However, in honor of the new year, I thought I should write one quick post.  I plan to change my blog soon and write about my new experiences as a rural mid-western farmer’s wife.

In the meantime, a few pictures from the wedding for you…

We Did It!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridal Bouquet and Wedding Rings

My Dearest Friends

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The Countdown

December 2, 2011.  The date isn’t that signficant.  But it’s FRIDAY, December 2, 2011.  And that means in just FOUR weeks, 28 days, I will become a married woman.  My heart races a bit just writing that.

This morning I ordered flowers that I’ll carry down the aisle, the only time in my life when it will be appropriate to carry around a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  There are final plans to be made, and so I spent several hours following that going over my schedule, sending emails, making phone calls, and trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, wondering what I’m forgetting.  How much more money will I need?  How many people will be at this event, that event, and THE event?  When am I going to find time to hang out with my cherished friends in the final weeks of my time in Nashville?

My head is swirling with problems to solve, plans to finalize, and concerns about how it will all get done.  But earlier this week I slipped into my wedding gown and got the last few pins to make the dress fit perfectly.  With that gown on, all the difficulties of planning a huge, life-altering event faded away.  For those few moments, I remembered why I am doing all this stuff.  We are getting married.  We are each putting our best foot forward, hoping for a day that sparkles and crackles with life and joy, to stand before God and our family and friends and make a covenant to be one.  And the two shall become one.

IN FOUR WEEKS!

And then, the honeymoon…

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You Will Forget

Have I ever mentioned that I’ve been single for a very long time?  Maybe I haven’t fully explained to my faithful readers that finally connecting with the man I believe God ordained for me to spend my life with is something for which I’m full of thanks?

Throughout my single years, I’ve dreamed about this time in my life – how I’d feel, what I’d say, things I’d do.  It seemed so far from my reality that I knew I’d be the most grateful, kind, gentle, and gracious girlfriend/fiancée/wife anyone could ever imagine.  I’ve often joked around with my family that when I’m finally pregnant, they’ll find me throwing up with a smile on my face, just so joyful to be having a baby of my own.

And yet, as I’ve settled into this relationship and this new role in my life, it feels completely natural and normal.  I’m the same woman I’ve always been, just with a new set of responsibilities and relationships to nurture.  I’m very thankful for Rick, but I don’t find myself trembling in gratitude and overlooking every little frustration because I’m so happy to have that promised mate.  In fact, I may speak my mind more often than a younger bride.  I know that this relationship is IT, so I want it to be right and good.  I don’t mind sharing my thoughts on that with Rick – setting the record straight, making my feelings known, and standing up for what I have come to know is true.

The funny thing is the near offense I have caught myself feeling when well-meaning friends who prayed with me for years to be connected to the man God had for me congratulate me, or indicate that this situation is unbelievably good.  Something inside me tenses up, wondering what they thought was so wrong with me that they now have to congratulate me for finally landing A MAN.  I want to snap at them, “Hey! I’ve turned down a number of marriage proposals.”  But I know that isn’t what they mean.  They were so gracious to listen to me whine and complain about my frustration and pain, never feeling peace that the man who was interested in me was the right one, and then dealing with my fears that God didn’t want me to get married.  They prayed for me, anguished with me, and now they are thrilled for me that the time has come.  I accept their joy and am so glad to be able to share the obvious answer to our prayers with them.

Being single this long brought with it a sense of shame and a feeling that I could be married if I would just work out whatever was wrong with me.  If I could just love God more, have a better figure, wear the right clothes, say the right things to men, and so on – THEN the magical moment would come and I could be a bride.  But that didn’t make any sense.  I had single friends with near perfect figures, great relationships with God, killer fashion sense, and great personalities – yet they faced the same struggles.  I knew married women who were terrible messes and whose husbands adored them anyway.  I rejected the idea that something about me needed to be better before the time would come for the right man to love me.  Even in my rejection of the idea, the feelings came back from time to time.  How did THAT woman find a husband before me?  Why did he pick HER and reject me?  If that woman would just fix that one thing about herself, she could find a husband.   Ugh.

God’s been leading me back repeatedly to a Scripture He laid on my heart several years ago.  It’s Isaiah 54, which begins, “Sing, oh barren! You who have not borne, break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child!  For more are the children of the desolate than those of the married woman,’ says the Lord.”

Believe me when I say I began to sing!  Every time I had an opportunity, I sang.  I sang loudly.  Sing, sing, sing!  I sang as I worked around the house, as I walked down halls at church, belting out the lyrics in services.  Judge me if you want, I thought, but my God has told me to sing and I’m not going to do it half-heartedly!  I sang and sang and sang, thinking there are more types of barrenness than just those who are physically unable to bear a child.

During my engagement, God has repeatedly drawn my heart back to this chapter.  It speaks to my heart and stirs my emotions.  It goes on to tell me not to be afraid because God will make sure I’m not ashamed.  “For you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.”

That phrase, you will forget, echoes through my mind.  God promised that I would forget the way I felt, ashamed and afraid, and He’s done it.  It’s hard to remember those feelings any longer.  I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was nothing wrong with me (or Rick), but God just had some things for us to do alone before we needed to be together.  God will make sure we have the things our hearts desire.  It’s just happening later than we expected it to, later than what many other people experience.

One final thought…  I was walking on the treadmill at the gym the other night.  There aren’t many treadmills there and they were all being used.  I kept having this thought that I was just taking up space for the real athletes as I plodded along, huffing and puffing at my slow speed.  But my heart rate was at a good pace, I was sweating nicely, and I was making personal progress even if I was moving much slower than most of the others.  I finally decided to tell the voices in my head to be quiet.  I made a choice to stop comparing my speed to the speed of those around me.  I decided just to pay attention to my own body and what I needed, do the best I could, and forget everyone else.

What I can remember about my years of singleness is that it was hard for me to make that same decision then.  It was hard to stop comparing myself, my progress, my barrenness to those around me.  Dear friends had been married for 10 years already and had gorgeous homes with handsome, faithful, hard-working husbands and several kids!  If I could’ve just told those voices to be quiet and focused on doing the best I could do, those years would’ve been much more pleasant.  I don’t think I would’ve gotten connected with Rick any sooner.  I do think I would’ve had a lot more joy in the journey to him.

I don’t want to forget it all.  I want to be able to encourage others who wait.  But I am thankful to forget the shame, the fear, and to move forward with my life.  I’m looking forward to getting married and filling our home with love and joy and yes, even at times, raised voices and challenging words.  It takes all those things to make a family.  I’m happy to have my chance.

In closing, I want to also acknowledge you all, my faithful readers.  I am so thankful for you.  I can see how many people read my blog every day, but I cannot tell who you are unless you specifically subscribe to my blog.  Then I only see your email address, so if I don’t recognize it, I still don’t know who you are.  But it’s such an encouragement to my heart when I run into someone who may have never commented on a post I’ve written, but who mentions something I wrote that touched them.  It’s such an encouragement when I see a jump in the number of typical readers in a day and I know that a group of you out there who I’ve never met are reading it together and discussing it.  It makes my day.  I haven’t been writing as much recently because I’ve been so busy preparing for married life and my upcoming move, but I plan to continue to blog and hope to have a lot more time to write once I’m a farmer’s wife.  I hope you’ll continue to read.

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Working It Out

Rick laughs and tells me everything I write about him makes it seem like our relationship has been smooth sailing from day one, the stuff of romance novels.  That’s not exactly true, I say.  Anyone with a brain will know that two people in a relationship have struggles.  And my sweet farmer-fiancé just smiles.

He apologizes to me for making me cry on a semi-regular basis.  I laugh and tell him, we’re just working it out.  I cry.  I cry when doing the laundry of the beautiful and frustrating children whose parents I now help out.  Those tiny little clothes are getting bigger.  I will miss their sparkly eyes and their unruly hair and the frightfully intelligent smart-aleck comments.  And when I realize how much I’ll miss them, I get weepy for my own unborn (un-conceived!) children who will also grow up and change and not be babies forever.  I get teary when I see the wedding of anyone else these days.  Reading the poetic blog of a young farmer’s wife leaves me wiping my eyes.  So, sweet man, there is no need to apologize.  I cry.

The emotional roller-coaster I was on during the first few months of our relationship left me wondering if I needed some kind of medication.  I swung between feelings of total assurance that this amazing man was the one for me to equal certainty that it would never work and I was giving a kind and gracious man false hope.  I mean, seriously, ME?  A farmer’s wife???  I asked him if he was still single at his age because he had some kind of weird perversion and watched like a hawk for months, looking in vain for any sign of addiction or character-flaw.   I didn’t talk to him for an entire weekend because I thought he had called me fat.  He had no idea the comment he thought was encouraging hit a raw and exposed nerve and sent me reeling.  He went to another country for six weeks and called me twice a week.  After talking several times a day every day for the previous six months, I felt like I’d been totally abandoned.  He says he was thinking about me the entire time and thought calling that often while he was on a mission trip was going above and beyond.

We are a real couple with real challenges.  After so many years of singleness, we are learning what it means to be a couple.  We are learning to change our thinking from “me and my friends/family/church” to “us and our future together”.  It doesn’t always come easy.  When the sales lady at the department store told me the total on some makeup I purchased during his recent visit, his jaw hit the floor.  Is that how much that stuff always costs?  I’m
learning what it means to have someone else look at how I spend my money.
  Um, er, our money…  Ouch.

But how can two people learn to meld their separate lives into one any other way?  We have to learn to navigate one another’s currents.  We work together to figure each other out, and we try to be gracious through the challenges.  We laugh a lot – maybe not at the moment we realize how very differently we think about something – but eventually.  We are learning to compromise.  I’m learning that I am right a lot less often than I thought.

Through the challenges, we are learning what it means to be loved.  Acceptance, right where we are, for who we are, is a daily practice.  And it’s worth it.  When I look into his brilliant blue eyes, kindness oozing from every
part of him, I see the glory of God.
I see just how much God loves me and wants what’s best for me.

I am so thankful for this man who fixes my broken furniture, loads dozens of heavy boxes into his truck for their journey north, and never loses his temper.  Gratitude fills my heart for this generous man who wants to give me the honeymoon of my dreams.  I am deeply in love.  His precious soul is becoming intertwined with mine.

And yet…  I still have to remind myself that he isn’t getting off the phone early with me tonight because he doesn’t want to talk to me. He is hanging up because I asked him to help me get to bed earlier by ending our conversations earlier.  It feels like he doesn’t want to talk, but he is simply honoring my request for adequate rest.  So I give myself a little pep talk, thank him for being so responsible, and (because I have time) sit down and write a blog.

We are working it out. 

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