For Better, For Worse


Weddings are kind of weird things for me right now.

I currently have a few recently married friends and engaged friends.  I look at them and see the love filling their eyes.  With joy and hope infusing everything about them.  With an entire future spread out before them.

For Better for worse

2015 was a weird year for me.  It was a really great year, as I came to see and understand new depths of the hope, grace, and freedom in Christ.  And it was also an extremely horrible year as we had to say good-bye to two of our children.

Sometimes when I see the newly-in-love couples, my heart wants to scream at them, “You don’t know what’s coming!”

Financial difficulties.
Death of loved ones.
Dreams ending.
Health problems.

There are host of things that most couples will go through at one point or another in their years together.

I think back to our own wedding day.  When we were so happy and the joy of the years of our future spread out before us.  We had no idea what was in store for us.

I don’t intend that to be a bad thing or a condescending, “Just wait until you get to where I am.”  Because…

That joy is a beautiful thing.  And after the hardships we have been through, culminating most recently in our two miscarriages, I have seen even more what it means to grow in our love for each other for better or for worse.

Worse will come.  Worse has come.

But in a way, that worse is also the better.  It is the worse that draws us closer to each other, that brings us to the better.  It makes me love my husband in a deeper way that I cannot even begin to describe.   The worse and the better are intertwined.

Yes, sometimes my recent pain and grief have me wondering what couples will experience down the road.  I want to warn them, but I don’t know what I would say.  I guess I do know what I would say.  Cling to that for better and for worse.  It will test you like you cannot imagine, but it has the capacity to draw you together like you cannot imagine as well.

So, pledge that for better and for worse.  Look with joy and wonder-filled love at your amazing wonderful person you are going to spend your life with.  Because that is the person who will be there with you on your worse days.  The person you will be there for on their own worse days.

Love your love.  It is amazing right now and it will continue to be amazing.



Wedding Music

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Every time I click “play all” on my music and one of the songs from our wedding comes on it makes me SO happy!!  I absolutely love the music that we chose!!

Grandparents/mothers entrance, mothers lighting the candles – Deer’s Cry by Celtic Woman (or the entire version for Spotify users – Deer’s Cry)

Bridal Party Entrance – Joy by the O’Neill Brothers (full version)

Bride’s Entrance – Liz On Top of the World by Dario Marianelli (full version)

Unity Ceremonies – Treasure of Jesus by Steven Curtis Chapman (full version)

Recessional – Be Thou My Vision by Fir Hill (full version)

During our reception, we had a slideshow of both of us individually growing up, then of us together.  For the Pilot’s portion, the music was Folkways by Kurt Bestor and Sam Cardon.  (Couldn’t find it online.  😦 )  My portion was Theme from “Sabrina” by John Williams.  And for the part documenting our relationship, we had of course Life With You by Celtic Thunder.

*sigh*  Love these songs!!!


Wedding Tip #2

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Or, rather, a tip for any event where thank you cards are in order.

Usually when opening wedding gifts, someone will write down who gave the couple what so that later they can send out thank you cards.  Well…..I would strongly recommend making an electronic backup copy of that list!  That way if anything should happen to your original list you have the backup.

I guarded our written list so carefully.  Seriously, if you know me well, you know that I obsess over things like that…making sure I know where it is and that it’s carefully put away, etc.  And yet I still misplaced it.  😦  I think that it must have accidentally gotten thrown away.  I felt (and feel!) so horrible about that.  Thus the strongly worded encouragement to make an electronic backup copy!!!  🙂


Friday Favorites – Love!

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We got our wedding pictures on Sunday!!!  I absolutely love them.  I had so much trouble deciding which ones to NOT put in an album on Facebook, but I somehow managed to narrow it down to my “favorites.”  Although, really, almost all of them are my favorite!  Here is one that is probably on my Top 10 Favorites list…

I just love the love in this picture.  I love my groom.  I love that we are married.  I love our life together.


To see other Friday Favorites, visit Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

The Day Before

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I haven’t posted much at all about our wedding week or wedding day.  I’m waiting to get our pictures before I post a lot about that.  But I did want to write about the day before our wedding.

All I can say is..I am so, so blessed.

A couple weeks before our wedding, my friend Anastasia (who also happens to be the wife of the couple that Michael and I are renting from!) called me up and offered to host a spa day for her, myself, and my bridesmaids.  It sounded so fun and I quickly said yes!  And I am sooo thankful for that day!

Crystal was the lady who did the spa.  She was amazing.  She gave us warm socks, neck warmers, head massages, hand massages, and facials.  My favorite was definitely the head massage.  Oh my goodness.  It was amazing.

When she was ready to hand the neck warmer to the first girl, she gave the instructions that when you received the neck warmer, you could take a few minutes to offer some advice to the bride.  Then pass the neck warmer on to the next girl.

This was my first favorite part of the day.  What a blessing!  Not only were our necks comforted by the mantel of happiness (as we began to call the neck warmer), I was sooo blessed and encouraged by the advice my friends had.  Here is a sampling….

“Stay close to God.  Keep reading His Word and drawing near to Him.”

“When you get hurt by something your husband does, know that he cannot read your mind and he may not even realize he’s hurt you.  Keep in mind that he is not trying to hurt you.  He loves you.”

“Never say no.”

“Don’t blame him for things.”

“As much as you guarded your heart before and during your courtship…as much as you guarded your purity during your engagement….in the same way now you need to guard your words.”

Sooo good.

Later on Crystal came around and gave us hand massages.  At this point, we had just done our facials and we were lying with heads back and little cloths over our eyes.  As she came around and massaged each person’s hand, that was their cue to pray.  And they did.  We went around in a circle and prayed…for The Pilot and me.

I cannot even describe what a blessing that was.  To hear the love in those prayers as they prayed for our marriage, our attitudes, our hearts, and our love.  To feel the support and care of the most special women in my life.  To come before our heavenly Father on the day before the second greatest decision a person could possibly make (the first being salvation) and just pour out our hearts and desires for our marriage…an unbelievable blessing.

For a long time, I pretty much had my bridesmaids picked.  Yes, even before The Pilot and I were engaged.  After we were engaged and people asked how many bridesmaids I was having, I would answer and people would be shocked.

“Eight??  Wow, that’s going to be a big bridal party.”

It’s true.  Eight is a lot.  And when you add in The Pilot’s nine groomsmen, two flower girls, one ring bearer, one officiant, one bride, and one groom…that’s a pretty full stage!!

But when I stop and think about my wonderful bridesmaids…honestly how could I have had it any differently?  Each of these women is so incredibly special to me.  Each one has encouraged me and convicted me and been there for me.  And now I am so excited and blessed to be able to get to know Anastasia and Crystal.  They have such beautiful hearts for the Lord and their husbands.

SO thankful for these special people in my life!!


Two days…

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And it’s 2 days until our wedding!!  Well, technically it’s 1 day, 15 hours and 52 minutes.  When we first got engaged our countdown was a little over 300.  I can’t believe how quickly it passed!  Tonight my heart was just flooded with joy and I was praising God for His great faithfulness and love.  What a tremendous blessing to have The Pilot in my life forever as my husband.  I can’t wait to begin that journey!!

To God be the glory!!


Getting married is fun


The other day I had an eye doctor appointment.  I’ve actually had a lot recently.  Short story: I’m trying to get contact lenses, but none of them are working.  Therefore, I have tried 5 different kinds, the 6th is being ordered and if that one doesn’t work, I’m ready to be done trying.  Anyway.  I’ve been seeing a lot of the people there.

They all know that we’re getting married soon.  Yesterday they were asking lots of questions about the wedding and where we’ll be living.  One lady in particular was soo excited for us.  She was the youngest of the group and she related how she just loved her wedding day and was so sad when it was over.  She loved being married.

“Aww, it’s so fun,” she said to me.

“What is?”  Says another lady walking in the room.

“Getting married.”  1st speaker

“It is?”  2nd speaker.  They all three had a laugh at that point.

3rd lady speaks, saying something like, “We can see how you feel about it.”  A little later, “I love marriage.”

“Really?”  1st speaker.


“You never talk about it.”  1st

“No, I loved it.  I did it twice I loved it so much.”  3rd speaker

Again they shared a laugh.

It made me sad.  I was struck by the one lady’s comment that the other woman never talked about her husband or marriage.  It just wasn’t a topic of conversation.  I currently don’t have a job…but even though I don’t have an official workplace, I really want people to know that I love the fact that I’m getting married.  That I love Michael.  And after we’re married, I want them to know that I love marriage (because I’m pretty sure I will!).

I know, I know, it’s easy for me to think all this now….before more of the “real-life” marriage issues hit.  But it just really hit me again how marriage is seen in our society today.  It’s sad.  It really is.  To love your wedding day, to love your marriage, for your marriage to last for a lifetime…is more of a fantasy or a fairy-tale.  It doesn’t really happen that way.

But it can.  And it should.  Marriage is beautiful.  It’s a gift from God.  It’s about companionship, love, forgiveness, intimacy on all levels, encouragement, and faithfulness.  It’s about showing a tiny picture of God’s relationship with us.  I really want my marriage with Michael to show this beautiful, wonderful design for marriage.  And I know that it doesn’t just come “because we’re Christians.”  It’s a day-by-day, minute-by-minute choice.  By God’s grace, we will have such a marriage!  I want to encourage people so that they see that you can love and enjoy marriage.  For life.


Wedding Planning Tip #1

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Every resource and guide and post and book it seems has a different “recommended time” to mail out invitations.  I was told the 3 month mark…then the 2 month…then the 6 week mark.  We compromised and did something like the 7 week mark.  I would recommend doing it before then.  That sounds like plenty of time…but if you have any changed addresses, by the time they get returned and you mail new ones out, you’re at the 3 week mark.  Which is what has happened to us.  (Hopefully we’re done getting invitations returned…but we did just get one a couple days ago, so you never know.)  Just to ensure that they all arrive in plenty of time, I would recommend mailing invitations at least at the 2 month mark.  🙂


Prepare for your marriage

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We’ve been engaged for almost seven months.  During that time, I’ve had several people give advice and comments and ideas and suggestions.  The best piece of advice I got, however, was from a dear friend.

“Remember that you’re planning your marriage, not just your wedding.  The details of the wedding are important, yes, but they are secondary to the lifetime that you are planning together.”

That stuck in my mind.  At the time it was so encouraging to just…..relax.  Even if I wasn’t “stressing out,” I could just breathe deeply and relax.  Now, as I ponder that bit of advice while typing, I am again so encouraged.

In our planning process, we have had ups and downs…..quite a few downs.  Pieces have fallen into place….and many times fallen out of place again.  But a lot of those things are very minor when I consider the fact that I get to spend my life with the most incredible man in the world (who just so happens to be sitting next to me right now doing homework).  There are much bigger things to prepare for than just choosing a cake, planning the order of the ceremony, and picking our song selections.

How do we love each other according to 1 Corinthians 13?  How can we effectively communicate with each other when we make decisions, have disagreements, or want to express our appreciation?  How can we pray for each other?

Those things we’ll need our whole lives.  And I must say, they are very exciting prospects to consider.  I can think of nothing more exciting than spending my life with my Pilot, growing together in Christ.

The wedding day will be wonderful, gorgeous, and perfect.  But it will only last a day.  Our marriage is forever!

My sister sent me a link to a blog post with 10 Wedding Tips.  Does point number one look familiar?  🙂  Some of the other points on there were very helpful to consider as well.