Category Archives: Real Life Fairy tale (Sarah’s wedding)

God’s Real Life Fairy Tale (Part V)

wedding, Darlene's disk (160)Maybe I’m just not ready to let go.

To write the last wedding post is to move on from the big day and into the reality that my daughter is a married woman. That she and David are now their own family.

My excuse is that I’ve been busy transitioning, painting Sarah’s old room lime green and black so her youngest brother could have his own room for the first time in his life. Honestly, I could have found time to write this post.

But to write it is to place “the end” on one of the most beautiful days of my life.

It really was a joyful time, a true celebration of all the beauty, hope, passion, and wonder of the new life that began with the ceremony I wrote about last time.

After the final prayer and their first kiss and man and wife, Sarah and David skipped (literally) down the sidewalk. It was time to party.

exit

The guest enjoyed chips and salsa and the “fun table” activities Sarah had prepared while the family took pictures.wedding, Darlene's disk (130)

wedding, Darlene's disk (129)

Although I’m becoming as bad as a new grandma at subjecting people to wedding pictures, I’ll just show you one of both sides of the family all piled in together and spare you all the other family pictures I itch to post.

family both sides

Then it was time to enjoy a wonderful meal of Italian food. A fun surprise is that the caterer’s sister is a dear woman in Sarah’s life, but was unable to attend. She sent a special little love message to Sarah in the form of Sarah’s favorite Miss Maggie dish, macaroni and cheese! What’s funny is that dish went first, before all the fancier dishes offered! The tables looked beautiful, all Sarah had planned and worked to create. Minus the napkin ring holders we couldn’t find at set-up time. My friend Deb, my sister-in-law, Anne, and I probably had 15 or 20 collective hours in the making of those napkin rings, but hey, if that is the biggest confusion of the wedding, who cares! Maybe Sarah can make some money on Esty!

wedding, Darlene's disk (126)

Sarah’s handmade centerpieces, full of duct tape flowers and individually designed candle holders gleamed on each table. They were worth the months she spent creating them. (I think I mentioned earlier there was over 600 duct tape flowers at this wedding. She also designed the candle holders using rubber bands and paint! Each one has its own unique pattern, just like each of us was designed one of a kind!)

wedding, Darlene's disk (127)

Of course one of the especially fun parts of the dinner hour was that while Sarah and David wandered around greeting their guests, they had to pause often to kiss because the guests kept clinking their goblets. I love that old tradition, which I’d never experience until a couple of weeks after my own wedding. Jerry and I attended a huge family reunion full of people I didn’t know but who knew me because their cousin/nephew/great-nephew (you get the picture) had FINALLY been snagged. Since we were the newest married couple we kissed a LOT that night. As did Sarah and David on their special day.

wedding, Darlene's disk (145)

As we enjoyed our meal, the sun sank in the sky. It hovered on the horizon during the toast. Bryan, Ashley, and Jennie did an amazing job of honoring the couple. Ashley and Bryan made us first laugh, then fight the inevitable lump in our throats, then Jennie gave David the highest of compliments, declaring him even better than Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice. She went on to say said Sarah was the only person she knew who could capture the beauty of their childhood fairy tales and take them into this real-life world. Jennie ended by toasting her “real-life hero and heroine.” I guess she and I had the same idea with the whole real-life fairy tale motif.

toast 3 toast 2 toast

The blue above them deepened as the twinkle lights shimmered, and Sarah and her daddy danced.

Dad and Sarah father daughter dance

wedding, Darlene's disk (149)

Then as the sky slipped to navy David and his mom, Ronda, made us all smile and emit a collective “ahhhhh.”

Ronda and David dance Ronda and David dance 2

It was time for Sarah and David’s first dance as man and wife. The sky had drawn its night curtain and tiny diamonds began to sparkle on black velvet. The stars showed up to witness the couple’s celebration and beam upon them, giving Sarah her dream to dance beneath their light.

dancing in the dark - David

dancing in dark - Sarah

Sarah and David had practiced the dance for weeks, which always left my daughter giggling and excited to learn she could move without two left feet. The delight of their first dance is forever etched in my mind. I’m grinning with a grin the size of Texas as I type this.

hugging in the dark and lights

wedding, Darlene's disk (150)

Soon the dance floor was full of young and old, graceful and not-so-much, and everyone had a great time.

dance jendance flower girldance Annedance Ash

Magic joined the night dance.

magic!

lights in the night

From the farmhouse where she went to warm up, Jerry’s mom, now 88 years old, gazed out the window at the dancing and celebration. She turned to her son with a smile. “It is evident HIS Spirit is here.”

Her simple statement said it all. HE celebrated with us, infusing the night with joy unspeakable. He pulled the couple together, surrounded them with a community of love, gave them this gift of lifetime partnership. And we all basked in His glory, shared with us that night.

All too soon it was time to cut the cake.

wedding, Darlene's disk (151)

Standing sentinel across its top was a reminder of all God was teaching us in this celebration. The words gracing it were hand-picked by the bride and groom, then hand-written by a friend. Another little touch of love, another reminder that provision was everywhere, community was irreplaceable, and His love, their love, and our love paramount.

cake toppers

The big day was winding down, but not before the couple had a little fun.

wedding, Darlene's disk (152)

There was the search for the garter (which David’s sister, Kristina said made her blush), the bouquet toss, and one last dance. Soon the couple dashed through sparklers held by cheering guests and flew into the car, which had been appropriately adorned by the groomsman. The couple drove into the night, the obligatory tin cans rattling behind them.

And now I must type, “the end.” It makes me cry. I don’t want to let the wonder go.

Someone asked how I could let me girl go. “How can I not?” I replied, “You have to let them go when they are this happy.”

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Grundy. We stand with you cheering on your union, confident in your new beginning and the One who gave it to you.

wedding, Darlene's disk (111)

(Special thanks to Kim at the Creative Pixel Photography and to my sister-in-law Darlene for the photos used in this post. BTW, I added a few more from Darlene into the ceremony post so click here if you want to see what you missed the first time around.)

Spirit Seeker Sunday meets God’s Real-life Fairy Tale

hands - three people

 “Two people are better off then one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a tripe-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT)

When I saw this picture I wasn’t exactly sure what it was, but as I pondered the imagery of three people’s hands, I came to believe it symbolized the verse from Ecclesiastes that Sarah asked to be written on the wedding program. For her, the triple-braided cord reminds her that she and David never stand alone, but their lives are entwined with the Holy Spirit, who is always with them and for them.

When Sarah was very small there were a few prayers I prayed often: I prayed she would know and follow Jesus; be protected; and be given a good husband who loved her and who loved God.

Sarah decided she wanted to follow God when she was very young. I think she was only four when she took her little brother aside and explained to him that Jesus died on the cross to pay for all the wrong stuff we’ve ever done and that Seth could chose to live in God’s forgiveness and God would come and live inside of him.

She may have been three.

As a teenager there were plenty of times of angst, lots of hurts and struggles. I watched as Scripture appeared on note cards all over the mirrors in her bedroom and bathroom, on sticky notes all over her room and books, was written on her door with sharpies, and (on particularly trying days) penned on her wrists and forearms.

Sarah pounded out her passions and questions on a blog, writing mostly poems about her perception of life and God. One day she told me, “If I ever meet a guy who cares enough about my heart to read my blog I’m going to marry him.”

Far away in Georgia, David fought his own battles while his parents prayed and fought for him.

And somehow they both grew up and loved Jesus.

They had romantic relationships, and some were particularly painful. Then one day they both decided no more dating until it was obviously something God was doing in and for them.

By this time David had graduated college in Illinois and moved to California. Sarah graduated cosmetology school and worked in Boulder, CO.

Sarah had a friend, Kirsten, who was visiting from Wyoming. During her visit Kirsten happened to get a Facebook message from an old friend she’d gone to youth group with in high school in Georgia. (Are you catching this 5 state connection–starting mostly east and traveling all the way west in the good ole USA?) David jokingly messagedKirsten, “have you found the perfect girl for me yet?”

Kirsten started to reply, “no,” then gasped. “Sarah! You’re perfect for David!” She introduced them on Facebook. They chatted most of the night. Sarah mentioned she had a blog. David stayed up all night, read every post, then put several of his poems on a blog for her to read.

They will both tell you they knew that night they’d met their future mate.

Fast forward roughly a year and a half to last June. David proposed, and they picked May 19th as their wedding date.

It was a practical choice. Sarah was determined to marry in May, the pastor was available only one weekend that month, and Wagon Wheels and Wildflowers had Sunday open.  It also pleased the couple that it is the birthday of David’s grandfather whom his mom Ronda says, “would have loved Sarah.”

After the date was chosen, I noticed that the calendar had “Pentecost Sunday” written on it, but I didn’t think much about that until a few days later. I sat in a Bible study listening to Beth Moore speak via DVD. She related several Christian holidays to their roots in Judaism and explained that Pentecost Sunday fell on the a Jewish celebration of harvest,

Stunned, I felt sure it was no accident that Sarah and David had chosen to get married on a day that celebrated harvest. Their marriage seemed a harvest of all the choices they’d made to seek God in the hard knocks of fighting to adulthood. It seemed a promise to Jerry and me and Steve and Ronda that our prayers had been answered.

I did a little more research:

May 19th, 2013 is Pentecost Sunday on the Christian liturgical calendar.

Pentecost Sunday is the Christian celebration of the day the Holy Spirit came to followers of Jesus. It manifested in a wind that blew through the room and in tongues of fire upon those gathered. That day 3,000 people believed for the first time Jesus was the Son of God, Savior of the world.

For Christians, Pentecost is a reminder of God’s plans, movement, and empowerment. It celebrates the birth of the Christian church. But there’s more! The Day of Pentecost is related to the Jewish celebration of Shavuot. Celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover, Shavuot is traditionally a joyous time for expressing thankfulness to the Lord for the blessing of the first fruits of the summer harvest.

On May 19th, Sarah and David reaped an abundant harvest. They harvested the bounty grown from the seeds of parents who prayed their children would follow Jesus and find a spouse who did the same. They reaped a harvest from their own prayer seeds when they asked the Lord for a mate who understood their hearts, who looked to God for life direction, and who wanted to serve others with His love.

The marriage we celebrated on May 19th was God’s gift. It is the first fruits promise of all God will do in and through their relationship. It is a touchstone, a date of remembrance, an altar.

It is a harvest of love, a celebration of the movement of His Spirit, and a joyous day of gratitude to the One who brought them together.

A triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

God’s Real Life Fairy Tale (Part IV)

It started with a burst of laughter and ended with skipping.

And somehow in the midst of funny stories, non-traditional music, and forgotten bouquets, we knew IT was there.

You know, LOVE.

Theirs.

His.

Ours.

And with so much love flooding the airspace JOY had to follow.

It floated on the sound waves of their laughter. It bounced from the couple to the bridal party, onto the preacher, and then broke into a million tiny shimmering bubbles and covered us all.

The ceremony began as the family was seated,

wedding, Darlene's disk (23)

Continued with the arrival of the preacher and the groom

wedding, Darlene's disk (27)

Then bounced in on Converse clad groomsmen

wedding, Darlene's disk (72)

And bridesmaids who flitted down the sidewalk, pretty in purple and lavender.

bridesmaids 2

Handsome nephews entered in green vests and ties,

wedding, Darlene's disk (31)

followed by the angelic flower girl and the handsome ring bearer who carried a sign proclaiming, “Stay tuned for the kiss!”

wedding, Darlene's disk (33)

Finally everyone was in place.

groomsmen

ceremony bridesmaids and flower girl

Suddenly the wedding coordinator nodded at me, and I remembered it was my job to stand, a silent announcement that the bride was soon to appear.

waiting for Sarah (2)

I stood, family and friends stood. The big moment had come.

wedding, Darlene's disk (35)

When Sarah first stepped through the farmhouse door and onto the deck, David’s face grew tender. Then she stopped in her tracks and disappeared back into the house.

“You worried, David?” someone yelled.

He shook his head.

Sarah reappeared waving her forgotten bouquet. The audience roared.

got flowers!

David shrugged, joining in the laughter. “That’s just Sarah.”

Entrance - David - Copy

All around me people turned, facing backward, cell phones in the air, snapping pictures of the bride’s grand entrance.

entrance

I glanced back at David. His laughter sobered as he watched her drawing near. I shouted. “Somebody get a picture of David!!”

And my brother did. In fact, he took what may be my very favorite wedding picture. It’s at least the one that will be forever etched in my heart and memory as it shows how much my new son-in-law loves my girl.

Entrance - David

When Jerry and Sarah reached the preacher, the pastor asked, “Who gives this woman to this man?”

My husband replied, “Her mother and I . . . have been giving this a lot of thought.”

not giving away

Sarah looked at her daddy like, “seriously???”

Jerry made more funny remarks, and soon everyone was laughing again.

laughter 2 sarah and dad

Then Jerry launched into this speech about how he could  never give his girl away, but that he could welcome David into the family and whole-heartedly support the marriage union the kids were entering in. He talked about how he knew the Grundy parents felt the same. When he hugged his new son, the expression on both of their faces was priceless. There was hardly a dry eye in the place.

jerry and david hug

There was a lot of that teary thing in this wedding. My tall, strong boys stood sniffling and wiping swollen eyes. It showed most on Stephen due to his light coloring, poor kid.

wedding, Darlene's disk (54)

David and Jerry were falling apart.

wedding, Darlene's disk (40)

I, however, mostly beamed in joy. I mean with the guys all heaps of emotion, someone had to stay strong, right? And honestly, I got no help from David’s sisters or the other bridesmaids who pretty much started crying when the tune of  “Come What May” played upon the speakers, and Sarah began her walk. Or they may have started earlier as they entered themselves to the strains of, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”

All I want to know is with all this crying why my nephew handed me a package of tissue as the wedding began?

Caleb gives Paula tissue!

But back to the story.

After David and Jerry hugged, David’s dad, Steve, gave a beautiful invocation, (which didn’t exactly slow the flow of the tears.)

wedding, Darlene's disk (61)

Neither did the sweet hug Sarah and her father-in-law to be shared.

wedding, Darlene's disk (62)

Pastor Whaid said, “The crying has started way too early in this wedding. I think I need to skip down in my notes!”

He then took us to the antics of Sarah’s daddy back in the days before I tamed him, and the audience was set aright. Of course when he turned to Scripture and quoted that the man and wife were naked and unashamed the giggles started again because my daughter shamelessly waggled her eyebrows at her unsuspecting groom!

Whew! It was getting steamy, and the air wasn’t even that warm! (My girl later told me that the little look was only for David, and she didn’t expect everyone else to notice. Uh . . . sweetie . . . you WERE the bride. People WATCH the bride and groom at a wedding.)

As the service continued the flower girl placed blossoms on her pretty lavender dress.

flower girl

playing with petals

And the ring bearer stood firm, despite the burden of his heavy sign.

Luke and sign

Family watched as a new life began for two young people very much in love.

laughter

Soon the couple stood drinking in a melody as Arvella sang, “Only Hope.”

wedding, Darlene's disk (77)

Her amazing voice enveloped the audience, the sun warmed us, and just then tiny sprinkles of rain dusted our cheeks.

“Uh, Lord,” I said. “We’ve been talking about this!” (Visions of my own flood of a wedding had kept me a little off balance about this whole outdoor celebration plan.)

I felt rather than heard His response, “Allow me this, okay? Just a tiny nod to YOUR special day. Trust me.”

I grinned and looked at my daughter. Her eyes were closed and her face aglow. One of her favorite things is feeling a little rain in sunshine. I knew then she was soaking in the blessings, not worried for an instant about the droplets, just receiving them as a gift.

wedding, Darlene's disk (105)

We cried and laughed again as Sarah and David exchanged both traditional vows and vows they had written themselves. (Okay, so David did start the whole tear thing as he got about two words into his vows and his voice cracked.)

wedding, Darlene's disk (89)

As they made promises we knew they intend to keep, we chuckled at the similarities of the vows, which they had not shown each other before the ceremony. Both promised to love the other even on the “days I don’t like you very much.” Both promised to age without growing old, always holding onto a childlike ability to play. David touched us all deep inside when he promised to ask forgiveness for the times he couldn’t live up to everything he had just promised, and there was a collective “ahhhh” when Sarah said, “I can’t wait to start saying goodnight instead of good-bye.”

ceremony - David

As they shared their hearts it was obvious they each entered into the experience, allowing the other person’s words and love penetrate past the day, the crowded lawn, the brief moment. They welcomed the declarations to settle deep inside, treasured, alive for eternity.

wedding, Darlene's disk (85)

They meant every word.

They received every word.

Then they exchanged their rings.

wedding, Darlene's disk (96)

Then they stepped back to grasp decanters of sand. As my brother, Curtis, and his wife, Anne, sang, “I Will be There,” David and Sarah blended their lives and talents into a work of art.

wedding, Darlene's disk (101)

Whaid offered the wedding prayer

wedding, Darlene's disk (106)

and pronounced them man and wife.

As David kissed his bride her nephews threw buckets of sprinkles into the sky and her brother set off fire crackers. (They were sure Sarah had always wanted to experience fireworks when she kissed her man!)

The kiss!

There was a brief nod to the whole Disney princess thing when Sarah and David gave the prince and princess wave.

wedding, Darlene's disk (114)

Then hearts full, we celebrated with the Mr. and Mrs. Grundy as they skipped down the sidewalk to “Come Dance With me.

exit

And THEN it was time for the party to begin! Tune in next time to dance under the stars!

(Special thanks to Kim at the Creative Pixel Photography for allowing me to use several professional shots in this blog post. A few of these shots are also from my sister-in-law, Darlene.)

God’s Real Life Fairy Tale (Part III)

The big day finally arrived! (If you want the beginning of the story read this and this.)

brides snacksSunday started early with a Safeway run. I wanted to entice Sarah and her bridesmaids to EAT as they prepared for the big day, so I put together a platter of fruit as well as some meats and cheeses to send to the venue with our fabulous wedding coordinator, Niki, who took time out from their family ministry to take care of us!

I wanted light, refreshing food that would feel healthy and not heavy. My new healthy eating habits made this even more important to me. At the store I even splurged on blueberries, which are Sarah’s favorite. I never did ask her if she ate any. Those girls were spoiled because Niki took treats to them as well. AND she dropped off two crockpots of food at my house so my boys could enjoy a big lunch since the guys were not to arrive at the venue until afternoon.

Then it was off to get my hair done. My cosmetologist daughter sent me with four photos of updos so the stylist could capture exactly the look we wanted, and the stylist did just that. There was another amazing God moment. The stylist charged only what the salon required, saying she wanted to give Sarah and me a gift. Every time I turned around through this wedding week God provided blessing and provision. The whole wedding experience was clearly an example of the love of a generous community.

mom updo

I am overwhelmed.

At the venue Sarah’s talented co-workers dressed up her bridesmaids with amazing hairstyles while friends and family prepared the venue.

preparing venue 1

At almost every wedding in our circle there has been a bit of a cake fiasco that had to be rescued, so our wedding planner, Maggie, begged us to order from her favorite bakery instead of having a friend do the cake. Would you believe that one of the cakes was delivered with a slight mishap? I’ve started calling our friend Monique the cake whisperer because she rescued yet another cake at Sarah and David’s wedding, despite the professional delivery.

cake fix

Monique also blessed Sarah and David creating all the floral arrangements for this event. Sarah and David and their friends made over 600 duct tape flowers, which Monique incorporated along with fresh flowers. Sarah’s bouquet actually included roses made for Sarah by David. Her first bouquet from him when they were dating included duck tape roses.

wedding, Darlene's disk (83)

Monique also used the duct tape flowers in the boutonnieres and corsages.

boutinerre

This is my corsage. A fun aside is that there is a pride and prejudice charm in it to symbolize Sarah find the man she says is, “even better than Mr. Darcy.” Ronda’s mother corsage had a special charm, too, which symbolized her open heart in welcoming Sarah to the family.

wedding, Darlene's disk (84)

Sarah’s something old was her veil. A friend and I worked for some time taking apart my wedding veil and recreating it for Sarah. I embroidered silver threads into the appliques we took from my wedding hat.

Veil - mom's embroidery

Embroidered appliques taken from my wedding hat (worn 1989)

My talented friend Kordee arranged them across the tail of the veil, scattered sequins and pearls across the veil, and reassembled the veil on a comb for Sarah.

veil - Copy

Sarah also wore a lovely heart charm for her something borrowed. It was loaned to her by her honorary grandmother, Bernice. Her something new was a beautiful necklace from David, and her something blue was a piece of her dad’s blue T-shirt, tucked in her gown next to her heart. When her daddy heard this idea, he immediately pulled out a blue T-shirt from his honeymoon.

bracelet

As Sarah dressed her matron of honor and maid of honor joined mom in helping her make final preparations. A fun aside is that two of mom’s bridesmaids from 1989 were also in the room, helping mom and Sarah dress.

getting ready

Ashley, Matron of Honor, Sarah, Jennie, Maid of Honor

caryl, Kristin, Paula

Caryl, 1989 matron of honor, Paula, Kristin, 1989 bridesmaid

Sarah and David chose to do a “reveal” so they saw each other before the wedding, all dressed up. They shared a private moment together, then took lots of pictures!

Sarah - shh!

 Yes those pictures may have included running through fields and climbing trees. (Some of the pictures in this post were from my phone, but the professional ones were taken by my very talented friend, Kim of the Creative Pixel. She and I have been loyal friends for years, as have her daughter and Sarah. In fact, Kim’s daughter, Ashley, was the matron of honor.)

Before - dancing in field

tree!

tennies

Sarah and David’s siblings got into the posing fun by supposedly pulling the couple apart in front of the big red barn.

barn

And the bridal party did all kinds of clever poses, too.

David and groomsmen

Sam (Brides’s Brother), Seth (Brides’s Brother), Bryan (best man), David (groom), Andrew, Jackie, Stephen (Brides’s Brother)

sarah and groomsmen - fun! 1

Sarah and bridesmaids

Bridesmaids clockwise around Sarah: Jessica (Groom’s Sister), Kristina (Groom’s Sister), Krysta, Lydia (Jr. Bridesmaid and bride’s niece), Ashley (Matron of Honor), Jennie (Maid of Honor), and Stephany (sister of groom)

And throughout all the picture taking, David and Sarah often found time to touch noses, give hugs, and kiss!

hugging

purple

Soon it was time for everyone to get into their places. Sarah waited on the interior balcony of the farmhouse and peeked out the window watching the guests arrive. The ceremony would soon begin!

almost time

God’s Fairy Tale (Part II)

You already know this story has a fairy tale ending.

Yesterday I shared how stressed I was about the wedding and how God had everything under control. While I won’t share all the nitty gritty details of the struggle, I will tell you one story, only because it shows how faithful God is when He has a fairy tale dream to pull off for one of His girls.

As you’ll see as I walk through the wedding countdown, the Good Lord had all the key players in place and lots of beauty flowing to us through their talented fingers and creative minds.

But two weeks before the wedding that’s not where my emotions landed. They were in a big huge falling apart heap of tears. A handful of wedding details came back at twice the expected amount, and we were short with an emptied bank account. Jerry and I cried out to God, not knowing how to rescue the situation, believing God had Sarah’s dreams in His hands, but not seeing how they could be possible.

Tuesday night I went to bed with swollen, weepy eyes. Wednesday morning I got a call from a new friend who asked if she could put a check in the mail in return for some mentoring in her writing. Breathless, I hung up thanking God for His provision. But He wasn’t done.  The mail that day held another unexpected check. Surely I would never worry again in my whole life! (Rrrriiiigggghht . . .)

Buoyed by God’s miraculous provision, Sarah, Jerry, and I were determined to trust God, let go of worry, and enjoy!

The festivities started a week later with the arrival of family and friends. On Wednesday night I watched as David’s sisters ran into each other’s arms and clung to each other, then invited my girl into the circle before then embracing their brother. My heart overflowed at the love bursting between them as I witnessed their reunion. As you can see by the picture taken on the wedding day, Sarah fits right in.

Sisters!

Sisters! Front: Kristina, Sarah, Stephany Back: Jessica

Thursday night, David’s parents treated Jerry and me to a lovely meal while Sarah and David celebrated with their friends and siblings at bachelorette and bachelor parties. We even enjoyed an Italian dessert!

eating out with grundys

(Okay, this blog IS about weight loss. Let me say here and now I chose not even to THINK about food or calories or exercise the week of the wedding! Eating less has become a habit, so I wasn’t completely out of control most of the time. I think that is one of the beauties of seeking to make the weight loss journey about sustainable habits, not drastic measures. And when I eat heavy at one meal, I know I need healthier and lighter choices at the next. The only time I really blew it was with my girlfriends the day after the wedding. I ate a whole calzone and paid for it the rest of the night with a massive tummy ache!)

But back to the wedding countdown:

Friday included covering the trees at the venue in twinkle lights and hanging a few of the handmade signs Sarah and her friends made. sign belong

Like so many of the personal touches from friends who made the wedding special, these signs made me think of the young women who designed them, carrying out Sarah’s vision for decorating in the trees, and my heart swelled again.

Friday evening brought the rehearsal. I caught a great shot of David hugging his mom beforehand.

david and his mom

Sarah arrived a little late after rushing back home to freshen up after her day of decorating, but the wait was worth it because she was stunning in purple, as usual. David, too, dashed off to dress up and returned looking quite dapper.

rehearsal sarah and david

That evening we enjoyed a beautiful rehearsal dinner thanks to the groom’s parents, Steve and Ronda. The room was classy in white tablecloths with gorgeous favors of Jellie Bellies in fun, Mexican style goblets, along with flamboyant, floral centerpieces.

jelly belly

Even my hollow legged boys ate of the fajita buffet until they could hold no more. Joy bubbled everywhere as family and friends celebrated in a room of abundance. Steve and Ronda even invited Jerry’s cousins who we bumped into at the hotel, newly arrived from California!

(I probably shouldn’t admit that my very beautiful daughter was captured on film by her soon to be father-in-law while she knelt on the ground in her lovely purple dress, mouth gaping open, determined to catch the Jelly Belly being flung toward her by her brothers. Thankfully, Steve hasn’t yet shared the picture with me so it can’t appear in this blog. Ha!)

 Saturday started with a a lovely family brunch thanks to my sisters-in-laws. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures, but it was another experience of abundance! Bonnie made her famous banana bread, Anne had several pans of a wonderful egg and sausage dish, and Darlene brought a gorgeous fruit platter. My neighbor, Bernice, Sarah’s honorary grandmother, also contributed her famous fruit salad, Sarah’s favorite.  The food was amazing, but getting to share time with loved ones made it unforgettable.

Saturday afternoon included a pedi and mani for Sarah and me. (Yes, soon after I was barefoot, fancy toenails and all.)

pedi mani

At the nail salon another God moment happened. Sarah and I had both been hiding away a little money hoping to pay for the other person’s nails. When it came time to pay we were both counting our pennies, trying to treat the other one, when a dear friend paid not only for both of us, but for a manicure for David (sans nail polish, of course), too! Blessing and abundant provision! I sighed a sigh of relief, sure now I had enough $$ for my fancy updo the next morning. Even the little stressors systematically disappeared.

Perfect closure to an amazing day came when Sarah and David asked us to attend church with them in preparation for their big day on Sunday. I once again captured a great shot of them looking very in love.

At church night before

It wasn’t easy to fall asleep that night. Not only was the big day only hours away, but Jerry and I had so much to talk about! I laughed when it was Jerry telling all the stories of wonderful moments as we whispered together in bed after midnight. (Usually I’m the only one talking after midnight!) Finally, after a bit of red wine, we settled enough to embrace a short night, only guessing of the surprises the Lord had in store for the big day.

This post is really about God’s faithfulness and us losing the emotional weight of worry. Worry weighs us down–and for many of us is a trigger to eat. But worry does us no good. Scripture even tells us that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow because our worrying can’t fix anything!

I’ve not yet won the worry war, but the wedding did include walking as victor in several worry battles. I’ve found the best antidote for worry is to pour my heart out to God.  He always hears. In our special wedding week He acted decisively, reaching down, blessing, relieving stress, and providing in big and small ways for Sarah and David’s special day–which I’ll finally share about tomorrow!

Tweetable:

Miraculous provision and dreams coming true

Dropping worry weight

God’s Fairytale

Let’s just say when God writes the fairy tale, it’s better than you can dream up on your own.

sign - fairy tale

Penned and painted by Sarah’s friends, this wedding sign says it all.

When David and Sarah got engaged almost a year ago, I began praying for the ability to give Sarah her dream wedding. We put a little nest egg away, but soon realized the sum was nowhere near enough. One step at a time God provided, mostly through the love and skill of others and the hard work of our daughter.

There were moments of intense stress. When a big event happens largely due to other people volunteering, you can’t be a drill Sargent. Things often came together slowly, and some fell through. During one of “those” moments, I complained to God, wishing I had more money and didn’t have to feel so helpless, so dependent on others.

I felt rather than heard His whisper, “Don’t you see what I’m doing? I’m bringing the community together to love Sarah. It’s better this way.”

I was to discover the truth of His words. Gift after gift was showered upon us giving Sarah much more than we ever could have on our own. When the big event occurred, touches of love were everywhere, reminders of dear friends each time we glimpsed the results of their labor. Such joy was much deeper than if the beauty had been created by simply throwing money at it.

Thanks to the Lord and the love of His people, Jerry and I can truly say our girl got her dreams.

I write about my BENew weight loss journey, but weight loss isn’t always physical. Sometimes we have weight that needs to go in the form of false perceptions about God, about ourselves, and about life. My husband Jerry and I are dropping pounds from a poverty mindset.

Somehow in our pursuit of God we grabbed hold of some ideas about Him that are not true. We equated holiness with little and lack. With finding good deals and not spending money.

Poverty has its place. It can lead a heart toward God as a dependence on Him is fostered through struggle. Sometimes God calls people–like Mother Teresa–to a lifestyle of poverty for a greater purpose. But doing without is not always a road to holiness or even His plan for us. Sometimes He wants us to have what we want, not just the best deal.

Jerry and I too often missed the joy and celebration parts of God’s character. While He is a God of sacrifice, He is also the Extravagant One who paints a double rainbow, designs a fuchsia flower, and puts a dollop of whipped cream on the top of mountain peaks.

joyHe is the Jesus who turned the water into wine at a friend’s wedding.

Our Lord delights in giving us good gifts and in our celebration of what He has given–like the gift of love He gave our daughter, Sarah, and our son-in-law, David, and the way we celebrated that on their wedding day.

I received an email from a friend as I fought not to freak out about wedding details. She said, “I was praying/journaling for you tonight . . . I saw this . . . open wedding with a semi-covered patio with the wood slats as the roof. Everything was beautiful for the wedding, enough ribbon, food, wine, and stamina. God will meet every need you have for this wedding, the spoken and unspoken desires of the heart. I saw that everyone was soooo happy. It is going to be a great day, take joy, my friend.”

It all came true.

When Sarah got engaged she and I each tattooed the word “delight” on a foot as a reminder that God pedi manidelights in us, and we delight in each other and in Him. This circle of delight shimmers in droplets of blessings. I’ve experienced such a thing many times, but perhaps this wedding reveals a shower of blessings unlike any other I’ve ever danced in. Sarah, too.

Please indulge me the next few days as I write about a different Benew journey–one where Jerry and I drop the weight of small expectations and grow healthier, embracing the abundance of beauty and celebration. Join us as we celebrate the union of Mr. and Mrs. David Grundy.

(A shout out to Marie at Fat Girls Slim whose blog about her son’s wedding inspired me to start writing our wedding story!)

Invite your friends to the celebration:

Dancing in droplets of Blessing!

Embracing Abundance, Losing the weight of lack

God’s fairy tales are the best!