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A desire to become more than I am now...Mandahttp://email@example.comBlogger603125
Updated: 3 days 11 hours ago
In June I walked down the aisle and married my best friend.
I am not one of those girls who has had her wedding planned since she was six. I wanted a day that fit who I am, that was intimate and felt like both of us. And we managed that at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post, with 80 of our friends and family watching, catered by some of the most amazing chefs I've ever met and with my dear friend taking photos.
It was a relaxing day with no stress, lots of joy and nothing but an incredible future ahead of us.
We had hydrangeas in the bouquets. In the centerpieces we mixed them with fresh branches and candles.
The girls wore purple. My nieces were flower girls. I walked in to JJ Heller's Tonight and during the ceremony we played A Page is Turned by Bebo Norman.
The lyrics speak of redemption and a second change and becoming whole in God before you seek out someone else. It was a song that fit our journey, of how we met each other, of our relationship.
A wedding is the prelude to a marriage. You cannot get so focused on one day that you lose the ultimate goal - the joining of two lives. It is not a spectacle. It is not the most important day of your life. It is not a party to celebrate you... It's a commitment, made publicly, to be stretched and renewed for the rest of your lives.
Your wedding day should be the most intimate look in to your love life that friends and family get. I wanted my friends to see why I love D (and his kids!) and get a brief look at our relationship. I wanted our families to be center, it to be not just about us, but the dozens of people who have shaped our lives and been there. And, it was!
And when it was all said and done we danced down the aisle to Rhythm of Love - our song.
I have the love of an amazing man. I don't know what I would do without D. He came into my life when things were dark, was a good friend as I fought to recover and loves me unconditionally.
We've been married six months and it's been incredible. As time goes by some of the basic things I love about him include how:
- he wakes me in the morning by telling me how much he loves me,
- he'll call me for no other reason than our song is on the radio
- he can make me laugh no matter how sad or upset I am
- he loves me in the best of who I am, pushing me to be more
- he supports my dreams and encourages me to pursue them
- our vision for our future is connected
- we go on crazy adventures
- we have those amazing quite moments of just us
I am realizing more and more the power of 1 Corinthians 13:
Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
That is my love.
In January D bought a house. It is a lovely 1920's home close to downtown. It is small and quirky. I helped him find the home. As we walked through a dozen homes, I tried to imagine a life with D. This was before we got engaged, but I knew I wanted to be with D long before he asked. As we would go room by room, looking at older homes with antique (shall we say) fixtures, dulled paint and memories I'll never know, I tried to picture quiet nights for D & I, meals with his kids, a place for his son to be... We looked at a lot of homes, but something about this home stuck.
He loved it immediately, it took me time to catch up. We walked through and talked about pulling old cabinets and creating a nook for me to work in, redoing the hardwood floors, repainting, making the home ours.
We've worked together in the home, worked to hang our pictures and build our own memories. We brought my stuff over before the wedding, when I moved to my parents' for a few weeks, and when I came in on our wedding night, I really was moving home.
I realize a home is more than a door and some windows and walls. Home is where you can rest, where you can release and where you can feel safe. I have that in our home.
It was a cool morning as we started on our hike. It was a place of deep meaning, the park where we first met, taking pictures, two photographers enjoying the day. We wandered the valley close to my parent’s house talking and laughing, enjoying the first nice weekend day of 2012.
We had a fun breakfast at a local favorite just before setting out. Now we were ready to capture the sun and be outside before the wind kicked up and we remembered it was February.
Over the river and through the woods we seemed to go, down this trail and up this one. We climbed to a crest where we could see the mountains to one side and the city to the other. While we walked I rambled about how very happy I am with this man beside me. How our talks about our future, a future that is simple and honest and intertwined, seems to be the best of us and that while I am macro, he is micro, while I like to work with groups, he prefers one on one. While I meet with a local group to help them feel more empowered, he would be working with one person on a woodworking project or stained glass or repairing a bike. And that future can come whether we are in Colorado, DC, Europe or living in an RV across the American plains.
Finally we saw a park bench and sat down. I take some shots of the view of Pike’s Peak and the mountains rising to reach it. He takes my camera and sets it beside him. I look at him as he says we can have what I’ve described, that we’ve overcome so much, first as friends, now as loves, making a life that includes his kids and my silly passions. It will be good, simple, us. Then before I realize what is happening he is down on his knee, he asks me to marry him, to start that life.
I cry. I cry for all that’s already happened and what will come. I cry for the love, support, compassion and strength I get from D. I cry for joy because at 28 I am facing the person I want to spend my life with.
I say yes. He unwraps the ring – the perfect ring for me – and slides it onto my finger. We celebrate that moment. He kisses me and we watch the mountains for a bit, at peace and overjoyed.
We take a different way back and end up by the riverbed which is ice covered. We take some photographs. Somehow while doing what we were doing in the beginning, at the place we met, taking photos and enjoying the day, I realize that life does bend in really unpredictable ways and while we never know what each day will bring, I am blessed and humbled by all that has come my way.
Back in February, D and I went to Denver to see one of my favorite performers - JJ Heller. I don't remember how I became acquainted with her, but her music has changed and shaped my life.
When I am at my wits end and burned out, I turn off the lights, take a pair of headphones, lie on the ground and just cry as her lyrics of honesty and faith wash over me in a form of worship. When I cannot say a word, JJ's words rise to heaven for me.
Her songs got me through DC and painful nights and Rwanda when all I wanted was some comfort. She is one of the few artists whose CDs I buy without hearing them.
I am not a concert person, but when I heard she was going to be in Denver I knew I had to go. D went with me, and it was a magical night. We sat in the back row (it was an intimate setting) and I just let the moment hit me. It was just her and her husband, Dave, singing the songs that have become associated with memories to me. She is as real, playful and personable in person as her songs portray.
She writes with raw honesty and brings words to other's pain and trials. Olivianna is the pleading of a mother for her daughter who passed away shortly after birth from a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Control is written about someone's struggle with cutting and eventual surrender to God. Her songs of worship are real and heartfelt. And yet, in the midst of these are playful songs about boats and marriage and songs for her two daughters.
When D and I got married in June, I walked down the aisle to Tonight. On this second day, I am thankful for how JJ's songs are woven into my tapestry.
Below is one of my favorite songs by her - Painted Red:
Did you know that the 12 Days of Christmas actually symbolize the 12 days after Christmas? The dates go from December 25 to January 5th (which is Epiphany) and celebrates the arrival of the Magi to see Jesus.
This year I want to reflect back on 2012 and list something I am thankful for.
Today I am thankful for the family I married into. I got married in June and am now a step mom to three amazing kids. I use the term "kids" loosely as they are high school/college age. Still, I am blessed to have them in my life. My husband is amazing, and his kids are truly incredible. We get along well and have seemingly been able to slowly build a relationship. Their humor, laughter, joy and perspective on things bring so much to my life. I admit we do not see them as much as I would like, but that makes each dinner that much more special and opportunities to engage with them something to take seriously. They are different in temperament, hobbies, passions, etc. but already they have taught me a lot about myself, about how to love others and about the joys of being a parent.
On this first day of Christmas I am especially thankful for the three kids whose lives I now get to be a part of.