About the Wedding

What a wonderful, beautiful and crazy ride it has been!

So many people told us how beautiful everything was, how beautiful Emmy was, and what a great time they had and I know it was partly because it’s the polite things you say at such an event and I know the proper response from me would have been to nod graciously as I said thank you but AJ outdid herself on the flowers and decor, Emmy did make a beautiful bride, and the reception was just so fun that I had to agree. But I did follow up with a gracious thank you 😉

I took very few pictures myself because I wanted to focus on each moment and savor them as they happened but family and friends snapped and shared some with me. I can’t wait to see what the photography team captured!

Some things we learned along the way of wedding planning.

Hire a wedding planner.

A good planner is worth every dollar & cent and then some to help develop and guide the process, keep track of the details (so many details!) and check things off the list. I cannot adequately express what an amazing job Soiree by AJ did from start to finish. Having a planner also gives people a go to person to ask questions of leaving the bride and mother of the bride free from having to handle too many things in the days immediately leading up to the event. I feel like poor Elizabeth had much more to manage and more logistics to handle as the mother of the groom and we decided with her other two sons that she should hire a planner too. (I will say that she did a fabulous job working out her details and making sure so many of us were housed in the week prior to the wedding. Maybe she can start a side gig as a mother of the groom assistant? I would recommend her!)


Ya’ll this is a crucial yet somehow underappreciated piece of planning. I do henceforth, now and ever always, do solemnly swear to give either my yea or nay in a timely fashion for any and all events which require said response. And I offer my deep heartfelt apology to anyone that I ever neglected to do the same for in my poor uninformed ignorant youth. I am older and wiser now and get how hard it is to gauge numbers without that information. I do realize that part of the issue might be that things are done online more now which is nice because of the lack of expense in including a printed card with a self addressed and stamped envelope but does require finding time to sit at a computer and going to the website and clicking all the appropriate clicky spots. I guess there really is no good easy way to handle it but I will be much more on top of that in the future no matter the format.

Length of engagement.

When Emily and Hays got engaged we had six months to plan the wedding. It was about two months too long in our opinion. At some point you reach saturation and are just.so.over.it. No more questions please. No more decisions to make. Enough already. Can the day just get here? Someone else may do a better job in stretching it out but it’s a lot. And it tends to dominate life. The number of times we uttered the words, “After the wedding…” is ridiculous.

But here we are. It’s after the wedding and what a gloriously happy and lovely day it was. The fruit of so many hands graciously working on our behalf was humbling. There was generosity and hospitality shown in spades. Pastor Steve Wilkins gave an outstanding homily that articulated so much truth on a subject sorely disregarded in our world today.

Marriage matters. When Emily and Hays said I do it was a battle cry that echoed into the heavens. It was a declaration of war to the enemy who seeks to distort and destroy everything that glorifies and reveals the true Groom.

A Christian marriage should be radically different than even the most loving and committed of marriages that exists between two non believers because a Christian marriage should accurately and truthfully reflect the Gospel of the true Bridegroom laying His life down for His Bride.

God’s love changes us…makes us better and something other than what we are on our own that is glorious and impossible apart from Him. That is the love the world should see because as believers there is a man and a woman that are first His and then together, one flesh.

CS Lewis put it this way, “It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit, reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God…’Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity; this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run. Being in love is the explosion that started it.”

May God now grant Emily and Hays to grow and abound in that deep steadfast quite love.


Wifery 101

38187377205_8368f89bbb_oNext weekend Rob will be speaking at a sister church on marriage, raising covenant children, and teenagers. I told him on that last one that he better not lie to those people and he should be sure to tell them it is h.a.r.d. But that is a post for a different day. Today’s post is on wifing though, and in no particular order here are some general thoughts and things I have gleaned over the years.

Being hospitable. You may be scratching your head over this one because it is not often that we hear this word applied to husbands and wives. However, I think we should not only use it but also cultivate it within our marriage relationship. The word hospitable means “promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome; offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.” Would your husband say that he finds a generous welcome in you? Not just in a physical way, we’ll talk about that in a minute. But would he say that he finds in you a pleasant and sustaining environment for his thoughts, ideas, and dreams? Or do you play devil’s advocate or try to be practical? Are you critical to his suggestions and plans? Does he see pleasure on your face when you’ve been apart? Years and years ago I remember being out running errands and passing Rob and one of his workers on the road. This is back when he was a paint contractor and working long days. It was such a joyful and unexpected treat to see him even if we were just literally passing each other on the road. Later that night he hugged me and said I just looked so happy to see him. It meant something to him for me to respond that way. Look for ways to be hospitable toward your husband.

Do things that you expect to go unnoticed. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Recently I shared about how, instead of waiting to iron a shirt when he needed it, I had started just having Rob’s shirts ironed  and ready. He noticed that right away and was just so darn grateful and pleased by that simple act. These days that has become the norm and he doesn’t really comment on it. And that is a fabulous thing to me. Look at it this way…early in our marriage I would get so upset if he didn’t notice or comment when I had really cleaned or tidied something up. But then I realized I was expecting him to pat me on the head and give me an “Atta, girl” for just doing what I should have been doing. He shouldn’t have noticed because it was the way it ought to be. Obviously, it is easy to feel like the things we do in our homes are taken for granted and it is nice to have the work we put into something recognized, especially when we have done a little extra or gone above and beyond in some way. However, I think we would do well to learn to be content with doing what we do and letting it go unnoticed simply because we want our husbands and our children to find it commonplace to be loved and cared for by us. If we’re doing it in sporadic spurts and bursts to the point that it stands out and ought to be commented on then I say we’re perhaps neglecting things a bit. Let your delight be in having the work of a family to love and tend and not whether it (you) gets praised all the time.

Be playful. Seriously, have fun with your spouse. We used to have a little rubber frog from some game the kids had when they were little that we would hide in each other’s stuff. We took much delight in seeing who could come up with the best hiding spots. I won when I opened up a box of his soap, hid the frog inside and then glued it shut again. These days we look for ways to make the other one laugh. We text word puns or funny memes to each other. It is so easy to loose the spontaneity of playfulness in the everyday busy but try to make it a habit. Laughter is a wonderful mortar between the bricks of intimacy so challenge him to a thumb wrestling match. Play rock, paper, scissors. Text him a knock knock joke. Whatever you know will cause him to laugh. And being willing to respond to his playfulness is another way of practicing hospitality with your spouse.

Do little things that get noticed. Yes, I know I just did a whole paragraph on being content to do things that go unnoticed. But this is something altogether different. I’m talking about the sweet little things you can do that will remind him that you love him. Recently some friends introduced us to this snack stuff called Pub Mix and we really like it. Except for the pretzels. So one day I bought a container of it and went home and took out all of the pretzels without saying anything to Rob. He was so cute when he realized what I had done. Now, I have some friends who told me that I’m buying the wrong snack and gave me a list of the different parts of the snack that I could buy but where is the fun in that I ask you? I also pick off the green peppers from his frozen pizza too because I know he doesn’t like them.  Sometimes I will slip into his office at church, flip to an unused page in one of his note pads and leave a little love note for him to find one day. Find little meaningful ways to remind your love that he is indeed your love.

Sex. Honestly, I almost didn’t include this because it is a subject that can come with so much baggage but it is an area you do not want to neglect. The devil likes to make this area his playground and why would he not? The mystery of two becoming one in every way is the picture Scripture uses to describe Christ and His Bride so of course the enemy would seek to destroy and distort it’s earthly representation. But a blog post really isn’t the appropriate venue for a proper discussion on the subject. Not one of much real depth anyway. What I will say is that I believe that the marriage bed of a believing couple should be full of joy and delight. After all, who better to enjoy the gift of physical intimacy than those who serve and honor the giver of such a gift? There are lots of ways this gift can get off track though and in my experience the key to resolving issues is sometimes uncomfortable but direct conversations. The biggest piece of encouragement I have is not to assume anything. Sexual intimacy is not a one size fits all so magazines articles, blog posts, etc. aren’t necessarily helpful. Seeking godly counsel can be helpful when needed but treat the subject with discretion. It is a highly volatile area that can cause much harm but also has the power to bind a couple together in a strong and lasting way.

Marriage is as beautiful and complex as anything ever created. May we each desire to share in the goodness of God’s glory reflected in our love for our husbands.