Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I Do Solemnly...

These 3 words are not usually followed by something simple or petty.  These 3 words are meant to be followed by a significant oath or resolution.  Tonight, I watched 6 men say these 3 powerful words followed by those of which made up a resolution to be Godly and faithful men to their families.  One of these courageous men was my husband.  He stood boldly in front of me and our ministers to declare what God has called him to do. To say that I am a proud wife would do a terrible injustice to how I really feel.  

These 6 men have met, studied and prayed together and have now signed a resolution promising to hold each other accountable to be the best men they can be from here on out.  They hope to add to their number of courageous men and be leaders not only in their families but to their church and community as well.  This resolution came from a study that followed the movie Courageous that came out last year. This movie showed the need for husbands and fathers to take the helm and stand out in faith for their families when it's not always easy.  Now, I must tell you, my husband is not one to do things that seem corny or cheesy or do things because they were in a movie and he usually isn't drawn to something that everyone else is doing; Evan has always stood out with his own likes and dislikes and that is part of what I love about him.  These facts are what makes his resolution to be a leader to me and our future children even more impacting.  He did not do this because it was what he was supposed to do or what was expected of him and he certainly did not do it because it was in a movie.  He did it because he truly wants to follow a call on his life and be faithful to his God and his family.  To know this desire is in his heart is an incredible testament to the man he is. 

Whether you've seen the movie Courageous or not, I hope you can grasp what a strong thing these men did tonight.  I know it moves me to be a better wife now and pushes my desire to be the best mom I possibly can in the future.  Evan, I'm proud of you and I love you more than you can imagine.  Kevin, Courtney, Dave, Adam and Jeremy, I know your wives were as proud to stand by you as I was to stand with Evan and are honored in your commitment to them and your children.  We are blessed.


Not deterred by danger or pain; brave.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Precious Memory

Hello friends!  It has been at least 100 blue moons since I've blogged (now is that a country statement or what?).  I am proud to announce that my husband is working hard for the spouse of the year award and I now have my own computer thanks to him.  This means that #1, I don't have to beg to use his computer when we are at home anymore and #2, I once again have the means to blog.  I am feeling pretty pumped about these realizations. In other news...

I started a new book last night that encouraged me not to spend so much time wishing for the next stage of life to hurry up and get here but to, instead, make a conscious effort to enjoy each stage of life (after all, it's the only time I'll be here). It suggests to take in an appreciation for each thing and event around me before it all passes me by. Obviously, the writer of this book has been reading my cards! I often try to hurry through whatever is on my plate because I'm looking towards something bigger and better on the other side. Then, when I get to that side, there is something bigger and better beyond that.  Priscilla Shirer has a point, I'm going to look back and realize I missed all the good things in the midst of trying to get to the future.  So, in light of this advise, I thought I would share with you one sweet sweet event from this stage of my life that I know I will look back on for the rest of my life and think of with joy.

This past weekend, my precious Sister-in-law, Genae, was married to a wonderful man.  I was lucky enough to be the Matron of Honor for the occasion.  Genae and Jake met on The World Race (which many of my previous posts have centered around) and were soon engaged to be married after returning back to the States. I had a blast preparing for Genae's pre-wedding events and it was great fun decorating the reception venue and eating together with her new family and friends at the rehearsal dinner.  The thing that was pure magic and keeps me in awe, however, was the wedding itself.

So many people concentrate on the reception; the after party.  While this is not a bad thing necessarily, I can say that "Genake" (my pet name for them as a couple since it rolls off the tongue so nicely) truly spent their time planning the ceremony.  Their time was spent working on their special service and what it would represent to their lives and to all those who would whiteness it.  The day of the wedding turned out to be rainy so the location for the ceremony was changed to the reception venue, and I must say, I can't imagine it turning out any more perfect.  Before the wedding party came in, those in attendance stood and spent time in praise and worship together.  During this time the bride was giddy with anticipation and down right excited to get up the isle (the couple chose not to see each other before the ceremony so she was ready to see her man).  After the family was seated, Jake stood under a doorway with the minister and looked like he was about to hurt himself craning his neck to see his bride.  I think if Genae would have waited one more minute to come down the aisle he would have just left his post and sprinted to the back of the room to find her (but of course, he didn't).  The wedding party took our places and then it was time.

Genae looked like Audrey Hepburn as she came down the isle arm and arm with her father.  It was a good 5 minutes before Jake realized the minister was even talking; he was too busy trying to figure out if this girl wearing white in front of him was even real.  His look of excitement, disbelief and pure love was almost more then I could handle (I'm sure you can hear me squealing like a teenage girl in the wedding video at my reaction to him).  Instead of Genae's father immediately taking his seat, they were all joined at the alter by the mother of the bride as the minister gave the gospel message.  This is the point where I was almost knocked over by the Holy Spirit.  To have the couple make a day that is so much about them, totally and utterly about the God they serve, was incredible.  Only God knows the hearts that were moved as each person took in the message of the God who brought this couple together out of His of love; His love that is so great that it even sent a son to die and rise again for each person in attendance at that very wedding.  Then, much to Jake's surprise, the brides grandfather, aunt and uncle, brother and sister-in-law and church all stood up and spoke out as those who brought her to the alter to give her away.  What's that about being raised by a village?  Then, the father of the bride prayed a prayer that sent nothing but chills over my entire body as he released his daughter over to the man that would be her husband.

Pause, ok, if you weren't/aren't moved by this point in the wedding service, I must say, you need to wake up!  The Holy Spirit continued to move as the minster read from the book of Ruth (found in the Old Testament of the Bible) and showed clearly how this marriage between husband and wife is so much like the commitment of the bride and groom to their Savior when they took Him into their hearts long before.  We saw how much it also mirrors the commitment they made to serve God's children and follow His calling to be missionaries on the World Race.  I kept thinking throughout the message what an impact these comparisons were making on me and how I could only hope others in the room were listening and being impacted greatly as well.

The wedding party was more than blessed to be able to lay hands on the couple and pray over them while a beautiful song was sung by a groomsmen and then wrapped up with a prayer over the lives of Genae and Jake that could have only set the devil on his backside.  Their future children, future struggles, future decisions and their current hopes and dreams were bathed in words that were directly received by the one true God.  And, of course, the memories don't stop there. Old lyrics from a song that Genae once sang in church were presented to the couple as a momento from the pastor who has been so touched by those very words over the years. When the couple finally exchanged rings before the big kiss, you could feel the anticipation in the room from those who supported them in saying "I do." And, if I recall correctly, Jake let out a pretty big shout when the time came for him to kiss his new wife.  I smile to think about the feeling of joy that rushed through the atmosphere at that moment.

Of course, the first dance made me cry (even though I listened to their song over and over again the week before in hopes I would not cry my eyes out as they danced to "True Companion." No such luck).  The food was delicious.  The speeches were fun.  The hugs and laughter were heart warming.  The cake was gorgeous.  And most of all, the couple was stunning.  They appeared as if they had stepped out of a movie. They were wrapped in love by not only those in the room who came to share in their day but undoubtedly by the God whom they love so well.  I can't put in to words how it felt to be a part of such an incredible service that sought to show Christ's love.  I cant describe the love I have for the newly married couple and the respect I have for them for being so bold and determined to share their faith. I can't describe the chills I felt over my body time and time again throughout the entire day.  I won't soon forget the day I was able to be the Matron of Honor for Genae and Jake Morris and I thank them for allowing me to be such a big part of it all.  I'll never forget how God was honored and His message was spread to dear friends who may and may not know him.  I'll never forget what a special family I have. And hopefully, I'll never rush through such events looking for something in the future when the present is obviously so precious.