The Stones Roll into Year Four

On this day, three years ago, I woke up in a quaint bed and breakfast on my wedding day. Many girls dream of that fairy tale wedding, and I certainly lived it. The day started with breakfast with six of my closest girlfriends, then it was off to hair and makeup. Mimosas anyone?

We took MANY ‘getting ready’ photos before actually getting ready. Then it was time for a first look with my dad. (Definitely recommend!) Priceless. Next, I waited for my bridesmaids to finish getting ready (yes, I said it) so we could go take bridal party pictures. I didn’t do a first look with Cason, so it was just us girls and the family. Then we waited some more while the guys took pictures.

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Before I knew it, it was wedding time. I rode in a car down to the barn and waited with the bridesmaids and my dad for the processional to begin. I also remember that across the street a car had swerved into the ditch–thankfully they were okay, and it wasn’t anyone who was attending the wedding. When my dad and I walked to the end of the aisle, I remember feeling overwhelmed at how many people had come to see us get married.  Then about a third of the way down the aisle, my veil got stuck on the newly installed hardwood plank floor, tugging my head back. I stopped in the middle of the aisle, and my dad urgently whispered “Where are you going?” Honestly the funniest memory from that day, especially considering I’d always said growing up that I didn’t want to wear a veil on my wedding day. (I don’t regret it. It was beautiful, and worth the hang up.) After the wedding coordinator unhooked my veil from the floor, I walked down to Cason, and the rest is history! I only remember bits and pieces of what Cason’s dad said as he officiated the ceremony, but I remember how I felt–the prayers were beautiful and sincere, and the love was palpable. (Random side-note: the heaters were on and kept blowing my veil and hair.)

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We kissed. People cheered. And I can’t believe it’s been three years. And honestly, I know this sounds cheesy, but believe me when I say that I felt like Cason was the only person I saw clearly that day. While I certainly remember talking with everyone and dancing, it was like I was seeing Cason with 20/20 vision and everything else blurred in the periphery. What a lovely way to feel on your wedding day.

Another thing I remember is that my bouquet was the most gorgeous arrangement of flowers I’ve ever seen. I LOVED them. Still do. At some point between the post-ceremony pictures and the reception, my bouquet was placed in a vase as the centerpiece for our table, unbeknownst to me. I remember saying that they were beautiful too! And someone gently informed me that they were in fact my bridal bouquet. (I did not toss that bouquet. Sorry bridesmaids, but I think I stole one of yours. Haha)

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Well, if you’ve made it this far in my recap of one of the most beautiful days ever, you may as well keep reading about the things that have happened since then. Cason and I have lived in 3 cities in 3 years, got a puppy, got a rabbit, and that’s about it.  Kidding! But sitting here and sharing wisdom from three years of marriage sounds a little silly. I mean three years is more than one (duh), but it’s not 5 or 10 or 30. So how about I say this…with everything that we’ve experienced and learned in three years, I cannot even begin to imagine what the Lord has in store for us for the rest of our marriage. We’re just getting started, and I’m thankful for this stage of our marriage.

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Thank you to everyone who believed and had faith in God’s plan for our relationship and marriage from the beginning. Thank you to those who have come along side us and stood by us to support us emotionally and otherwise. Thank you to my friends who insisted I leave Target and go home to my husband when I was upset. Thank you to the couples who intentionally give grace and mercy in their marriages and remind me to do the same. Thanks be to God, who has a bigger plan than I can even begin to fathom. And of course thanks to my husband who is still here after 3 years that included some of the toughest battles of my life. The Lord knew exactly what he was doing when he denied my heart’s desire to go to China and gave me you on a spring day in 2013. Here’s to year number four and all the growth, joy, and grace it may bring. I love you today, still.

 

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seek first…

This may be a somewhat controversial and difficult post, but try to bear with me until the end.

C and I have been married for 887 days, 19 hours, and some odd minutes and seconds by the time I submit this post. That translates into almost two and a half years. So basically no time at all. We’re still figuring things out. We strive to put the Lord first and use his Word as guidance for our daily lives together…but it’s always tempting (and not always wrong) to look to other earthly examples for guidance.

In the year leading up to our marriage and the one immediately following it, though, I played the comparison game. You may know how it goes, but let me explain. As a young married couple, you join in activities with other young, married couples. When you first start hanging out with this new crowd, it’s kinda like dating–you fail to see imperfections. All you see is all these couples who have everything together. They’ve been on mission trips together and traveled the world. They are graduated and have bought a home. They are planning for their first child. Perfect. Comparison ensues. It’s tough being a newly-wed couple and not playing the comparison game. It’s human nature–but what it really does is elevate the lives and choices of others above God’s divine plan for your own relationship (idolatry).

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So needless to say, the comparison game never really got me anywhere in my marriage, and it certainly didn’t help me make friends all that much.

Now let’s jump to the other extreme–when couples around you are struggling. This is a new one for us, as we got married right before/around most of our friends. We have a few friends who’ve been married for years, but most are happy, honeymooning newlyweds like us (ha).
Sure, you know of people who have gone through difficulties in their marriage, but until you’re actually married, you never think that can happen to you. And it’s heartbreaking when it’s your friends–your family. All you want to do is whatever you can to help fix it…but then you realize that, hey, my relationship isn’t perfect. I really should be working on myself.
But isn’t this just a different kind of idolatry? Wanting to work on your marriage just so you don’t lose what you have?

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So what then, is our calling as a married couple? Believe me, if I had it all figured out, I probably wouldn’t be rambling away on this blog post. But here’s what I think…we are called to seek Christ above all else. When that’s happening in marriage, it shouldn’t matter if your with couples who seem to have everything together, seem to be struggling daily, or are a mix of both. If Christ is the focus, then marriage is less likely to be distracted by trying to achieve marital bliss or avoiding the pitfalls of relationships. It’s focused on service–to one another and to others in the name of Jesus.

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Oh, how I pray for this for my marriage. (And no, after 2.5 years, we don’t have this all figured out.) I pray for a heart that seeks God’s will and timeline for our marriage instead of the world’s plan. I pray for God’s wisdom to guide my husband’s leadership in our marriage. Even when my actions and words don’t show it, I pray that my heart will be softened to the Lord’s will and my words and actions will follow.

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I know we aren’t perfect–but that’s really not our goal is it? I hope that we can be an example of how two imperfect people can choose to forgive and extend grace time and again and continue to love one another as Christ loved the church. I hope we continue to grow. I hope people look at the evolution of our relationship and see God’s hand in teaching us how to love daily.

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As I wrap up this post, there are so many things that the enemy is trying to tell me to convince me not to post this….but I hope and pray that this post is something that at least one person needed to hear today. (Perhaps that one person is me!) Thanks for reading.

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became the stones

Two weeks ago today, I married the love of my life.  It’s hard to describe a day like that, so I will let the pictures do most of the talking.  However, I will say that the things I expected to care about most didn’t matter (aka, all the little details), and certain things took me by surprise.  (When my dad and I walked in during the ceremony, I was shocked to see so many people there to celebrate our wedding–one sweet surprise I will treasure…then all I could see was Cason for the rest of the ceremony.)   Ultimately, the wedding was a sweet celebration of the path we will walk down together.  Here’s a sneak peek of the photos: