Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Adorned With Jewels

Isaiah 61:10
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

For Christmas, my sweet groom gave me the jewelry for the wedding! How precious is he? Months ago, I discovered the perfect earring and necklace set EVER! And I gushed..... :) And apparently, it worked too, because 'viola! I now have the beautiful set that I'm anxious to wear on April 17! It's a beautiful sapphire gem complete with the always-needed bridal pearls found at Jessica's Wedding.com

Jewelry is something nearly every girl adores. I am a fellow adoree'. :) I like pearls, diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies, gold, silver....bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings.... jewelry. In a way, it's a bit of royalty we ladies slide on our wrists or clasp around our neck. It transforms us from "plain" to "not-so-plain." Such is salvation...

Planning my wedding and thinking of all the spiritual significance in a wedding ceremony, I've found so many likenesses to salvation. In a way, every detail of a wedding is a beautiful picture of God's saving grace. Even such a small detail like a pearl necklace or beautiful new earrings are a picture of Calvary's love and the redemption process that took place over 2,000 years ago. In Ezekiel chapter 16, it gives a clear picture of who we are without Christ....dirty and naked and filled with shame, despised and full of "sin." Then it gives us glorious hope. It then says how Jesus comes and covers our nakedness, cleans the dirt from our lives, rids us of the impurity that is sin. Then it says this:

Ezekiel 16:12
And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.

Accepting Christ as Lord into our hearts, we are made clean and pure and - decked out in jewels! We are made royalty! Earrings....jewels...a crown.

That's another wonderful view of salvation (and one us girls love!)

My wedding jewelry will remind me of God's redeeming love and saving grace. The pearls in my necklace and earrings will remind me of the pearly gates, and of my purified state in Christ. The sapphire stone will remind me of God's throne and the beauty of Heaven...and of a life lived with Him as the cornerstone.

....I'm loving jewelry more every minute!

Revelation 21:2
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'Tis the Season to Keep Planning

With Christmas only a few days away, wedding plans are slow. But NOT non-existent. :) I have my jewelry for the big day (YAY!!), I'm trying to make a final decision on the invitations (headache, anyone?), the bridesmaid's material is in (finally!), and I scheduled a run through in two weeks for my wedding "do" (I have got to figure out what to do with this hair!).

My room is chock-full of presents, wrapping paper, and Bridal magazines and notes scattered here and there with reminders, "Things To Do," various checklists, and Christmas decorations. Tis the season!

But in the midst of all the planning, I'm taking time to cherish my family and my loved ones who are all here at home for Christmas. Nothing is better to me than sitting on a couch with apple cider in my hand, watching the fire, and listening to my family talk, visit, sing, and laugh. Christmas movies, Christmas music, Christmas lights, Christmas food! It's all a beautiful part of the life I live (and greatly enjoy living, I might add!). This being my last Christmas at home, it's bitter-sweet and gives me all the more reason to soak up every sound of Christmas this year. Just a note to all of you reading (especially you fellow brides): Life is crazy all the time, but let's not forget to enjoy the simple things, the simple life; Our family, our friends, our Savior!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Bride & Groom

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Savin' The Kissin'

I was skimming through channels and stopped on the Disney Channel just long enough to watch a dialog between two friends on a well-loved afternoon TV show. The friends, a boy and a girl, were discussing their first kiss. The girl recounted her first kiss and when all eyes turned to her friend, he said, "I haven't had my first kiss yet." GASP! Of course, my attention was fixed, awaiting the response. When the girl's eyes changed from shock to softness, and when she said, "I think that is really sweet," I was pleasantly surprised. I was almost ready to endorse such a show when the boy rolled his eyes and said, "It's not sweet! It's lame!" Disappointed, I shook my head.

Regardless of what the secular media dishes out, a kiss is something special, something meaningful. Of course, nowadays it's almost become mandatory for every young boy and girl to kiss before the end of middle school, in order to be inducted into the "real world" of "cool" and not be sentenced to endure High School as "the lame one." And what a shame too.

I've seen it quite often lately. When watching an audition for American Idol, a handsome 19 year old guy with a stunning voice was ridiculed and then later rejected by the judges because he said he was saving his first kiss for his future wife. Heaven forbid we have an entertainer who doesn't desire to be held up as a sex-symbol, right? But to go as far as to say that they want to save a kiss for marriage? Scandal!

When I was 13 years old, I made the comittment to save myself for marriage; to refrain from sexual intimacy until my wedding night. In addition to that comittment, I also decided that I would save my first kiss for my wedding day. When I made those comittments, there was no applause and no "Good for you!" remarks. There were, however, a great display of rolling eyes, and a near-constant "reminder" that such a thing was just not realistic. I beg to differ. Here I am at 23, content, happy, and engaged to a wonderful man who values purity as the treasure it is. I have no string of fella's behind me, to compare with my husband. I am not, nor have I ever wished I could take back such a dreadful comittment. Quite the opposite, I'm elated, blessed, and very thankful to God for His strength and His grace. It IS realistic. In every generation, there are a few who value a kiss, who view it as a priceless treasure, and something to be given to only one. In every generation, there are a few who chose to guard their kiss, protect it, save it. And they do! If your role models are Paris Hilton, Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt and Justin Timberlake, I guess such a thing does seem absurd. It usually is to the world. But if your role models are among the likes of Sarah Edwards, Jim Elliot, The Ludy's and Amy Carmichael, then such a thing is quite normal. If a heart is set towards God's way of holiness, purity, sacredness, and honor, and saving a kiss? That's the thing to do!

P.S. Personally, I believe standing in a gown of pure white on my wedding day, and taking my man as my husband, then giving to him - and only him - my first kiss is definitely NOT lame. ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

And Your Feet Shod With... Wedding Shoes!

Galatians 5:25
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

My shoes came in!!!

I have been stressing over shoes for nearly three months trying to find the right ones. And I mean the right ones at a decent price (meaning I find a pair of shoes for $170 outrageous!). But I found a lovely and very reasonably priced pair two weeks ago and, after a few days of thinking, I ordered them. 3 1/2 inch heel (yes, I know), white satin. Beautiful! And now they are in my possession and....they...are...simply...lovely. Very simple, yet very elegant. Very me.

I tried them on with the dress last night and I felt like a princess yet again. ....I seem to be having a lot of those "princess" moments lately. :) So we have the shoe department taken care of. Glory be!

With shoes on the brain, I've been thinking about my spiritual shoes. On my wedding day, when I slip on my shoes and walk towards my groom, it's a picture of everyday life. Every day we are to put on our spiritual shoes and walk closer to our heavenly Groom. We're to walk in a lot of things... in peace, in love, in wisdom, in truth...to name a few.

Ephesians 6:15
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Colossians 4:5
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Each morning, as we greet the day, while we put on our every day shoes like sneakers, sandals, boots, or even slippers, we're also to take that time to remind ourselves to walk in peace, in the love of Christ, to walk in His wisdom, and in His truth. As a Christian, the world is watching our feet. They see where we go, what we do, and how we act. To showcase the glory of God, it's absolutely necessary for us to walk in Christ; to put on our lovely shoes and walk towards Him, with Him, beside Him, etc.

As I slip on my beautiful bridal wedding shoes, I'm reminded that I must walk in peace. I must seek to be a peacemaker and show the world that the Giver of Peace is alive and well and able to bring peace to any situation. I also must walk in love. As a Christian, I must demonstrate the love of God in my life to others. He loves....so I must love. And truly, if Christ lives inside us, His love should naturally flow out of our lives. As a Christian woman, I must walk in wisdom! I must tame my emotions and allow the wonderful wisdom of the Only Wise God to invade my being, thus enabling me to make good choices - His choices! And also to show the world that all pursuits of knowledge is fruitless if God is not in your heart, bringing true wisdom to your life. And, I must walk in truth. Satan is on the prowl, spreading lies and seeking to destroy. So then I must walk in the unchanging truth of Christ and be a light that shines in the darkness.

Of course, there are plenty of other things a Christian should walk in... but there are four.

As a girl, I love shoes! As a bride, I adore my wedding shoes. But as a Christian? I must ask myself, do I love and adore peace, love, wisdom and truth more? And if so, though I stumble and even fall in my spiritual shoes, will I continue to walk in them?

Deuteronomy 10:12
And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Monday, December 7, 2009

To Have And To Hold

To have and to hold, from this day forward,
For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
In sickness or in health, to love and to cherish....forever

I've been thinking of the wedding vows. What is a vow?

1. a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment: marriage vows; a vow of secrecy.
2. a solemn promise made to a deity or saint committing oneself
to an act, service, or condition.
3. a solemn or earnest declaration.

There is a wedding every day and, at those weddings, people make a vow to one another. They vow to stand by one another, to love one another, to cherish one another, to respect one another...etc. etc. It's quite a promise.

So many marriages fail, so many couples give up, too may lives torn apart, hearts broken, promises broken.... Looking at the divorce rate, it's hard not to ask, "Why did they even bother vowing? Promising their love?"

In many if not most marriages, the vows end with "'til death do us part." Meaning, the promise they have made to be with one another, loving, serving, etc. will continue and not end until death separates them. Though the Bible says clearly that you are bound to your spouse until death, and are then free to marry another if you chose (though it is better to stay single), I just don't find that appealing. Personally, I like what my parents did. They vowed, not "til death" but "for forever." Marriage is for life. To have and to hold. I cannot imagine saving everything for my "one and only" only to give it to another if he dies. No...marriage is for keeps.

On April 17, 2010 when I stand before Grant, I'm going to make a vow - before God, him, my family, my friends, and all the onlookers - to have him and to hold him, from that day forward, for better or for worse, in sickness, and in health, to love him and to cherish him...forever. It's a covenant. Just like the covenant God made with us, marriage is a picture of forever. Christ came and offered us promises... to never leave us or forsake us, to uphold us with His hand, to serve, to "loveth more than a brother," to build a place for us, to receive us, and to be with us forever. Heavy promises, but it was a vow Christ made that was kept.

...so marriage should be.

Hosea 2:19-20 -
And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.
I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.

Matthew 19:6
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.


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