Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Proposal

One year ago today, I became a bride. One year ago today, my man got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. And one year ago today, I said yes.

It was just like every other Saturday. My sisters and I and a few friends, including my groom, were going out witnessing. We went out for a few hours and saw several come to know Christ. Then we went to my house and took a walk. I didn't know that the walk was all planned out to perfection. When we neared my favorite spot, a cross overlooking a lake, he turned around to face me and had me close my eyes. Excitedly, he picked up a bouquet of lilies and roses he had hid hours earlier. Presenting them to me with a smile, I was happy to get them, yet completely confused as to why. Then came the moment!... and I was in utter shock. Taking the bouquet from me and kneeling down, he said some of the sweetest words I'd ever heard. Promising to love, cherish, and honor me, promising to be faithful and lead me closer to Christ, he asked if I would marry him and spend the rest of my life serving the Lord with him. And with tears in my eyes, I said yes!

Sometimes it seems like it's been ages ago, much longer than just a year. And other times, it feels like yesterday. But however it feels, it did happen!

A proposal is a beautiful thing. I know I fully enjoyed mine! What girl wouldn't?? Yet....we forget too easily about the magnificent proposal made 2,000 years ago. It was quite amazing. The Great Prince came to this earth and gave his life for us. And He asked us to be His. He proposed! Even though He knew He would be rejected by millions, He came. He offered to us His hand and asked us to "come." We all pretty much know the story of salvation. We know how wretched we are and how much in need of a Savior we are. We know that Jesus came to pay for our sin and to save us and set us free. We know that if we accept His gift, we are no more wretched and lost, but redeemed and found! We know about His "proposal" 2,000 years ago....when God the Son came down to us. ...Yet we forget so easily. And as a bride, I'm seeing it from a different point angle. When Grant proposed to me one year ago, it was beautiful and moving and humbling and - wonderful! But my, when Christ proposed to us, it became the greatest of all proposals.

...and the only one we should NEVER forget.

If you have said "yes" to Jesus, I pray you will continue to live as His precious, set-apart bride. The King's Bride!

But if you have never accepted the great proposal of God Himself and have invited Him into your heart and life, I pray you will do so today.

Matthew 11:28a
Come unto me...

Matthew 19:14
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Isaiah 62:5b
...and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

Revelation 22:17
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Little "Napkin" Things

Okay, this week we have been to Hobby Lobby and have gotten the lilies for the bouquets. YAY! My dress is being altered and is nearly complete. HOORAY!! The invitations will be here within the week. WAHOOO! And I've designed napkins for the reception! WOW! Want a sneak peak? :) Okay!

I'm very pleased with them. It's not much. I mean, when you think about it, it's NAPKINS! People are going to use them and throw them away. But I spent a lot of time on them. I designed them.

That little bit of "nothing" has made my mind do a great deal of "something!" Posting pictures and going to all the trouble of making a blog post about napkins has made me think on the spiritual side of things. That's just like us and God. Let's think about it. Seeing my napkins may not be a big deal to you. In fact, my whole wedding planning process may not be a big deal to you. After all, it's my wedding, not yours, right? But it's a big deal to me. It's taking my time, my care, my ideas, my designing. It is very dear, very special, and very meaningful to me, because I'm like the creator of it (for lack of a better word). But it doesn't mean near as much to you. That is very much like how we are towards the things of Christ. There are so many "little" things God does for us that we toss aside like a throwaway napkin. They mean nothing to us.

Oh, but they should! God took great care in that one thing...whatever that one thing may be in your life.

Now, don't fret. I'm not saying you have to start caring about my napkin choices or any other little thing involved in my wedding. :) But I am offering a bit of encouragement to us all - let's not forget the "little" things of God. Let us see those things the way He sees them. When a small problem arises, let us view it through the lense of Heaven. When that unexpected phone call or visitor shows up, let us remember that The Creator orchestrates it all. Whatever "it" may be - big or small - let us remember that with God, nothing is meaningless. All the little things are special.

....Of course now, I'll probably be more apt to call them "the little napkin things."  ;)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Do

Almost two years ago, one of my dearest friends got married. Upon her engagement some months before, she and her fiance' asked me to write them a song, then sing it at their wedding. My first thought? YAY!!!! My second thought? Goodness, what an honor! My third thought? Oh am I going to do that?? After weeks of writing down one-liners and humming various tunes, I was ready to give up. I couldn't seem to write what needed to be written. It needed to capture their story but I also wanted it to inspire anyone listening. Then one night, the entire song hit me out of the blue! As I ran around my room stumbling, trying to find a notebook and a pen, the beautiful message flooded my heart. And I wrote a song entitled, "I Do." Below are the lyrics and an audio link to the song. I hope it blesses you!

Thinking of my wedding, wedding vows, and my life (past, present, and future), this song has been on my heart. It's a story, but it's also an invitation. No matter what you have done or haven't done, God Himself, the Author of Love, offers to you a choice: to keep the pen of your life and write your own story your own way, or to give the pen to Him and let His hands script the most beautiful love story of all! It's up to each of us.

And just like in our vows to our groom, we can say "I don't" ....or "I do!"

More Kristen Lisemby music on iLike

Vs 1
When I was but a child
The Father came to me, as I played
And He looked upon the pages of my life
And saw the mess I'd made
He spoke so tenderly
And told me of a beautiful dream
Filled with passion pure and true
A sweet romance, where waiting was the key

And He spoke of a love song
A story beyond compare
And said, "My child, this could be yours too"
Do you want me to write your story for you?
And I said -

I do, I want You to write my story
Filled with Your beauty and Your glory
Here's the pen
I do, I want You to have control
Of my heart, my mind, my whole
I do, I do

Vs 2
As the days turned to years
I longed for the love to begin
And there were many lonely nights and restless days
That I never thought would end
From time to time, I'd wonder
If there really was a fairytale for me
And I would long to take the pen from God's own hand
To script what I wanted to be

But then I'd hear a gentle voice
Speaking softly to my heart
And God would say, "Hold on, remain true!"
"Don't you want see the blessings I have for you?"
And I said -


Vs 3
And now here I stand
The waiting is now no more
I've been faithful, I've been true, and now I know
What I've been waiting for
To think I ever doubted
My Lord's faithfullness
His hand was always there, scripting out
All His many promises

If I had taken up the pen,
And started writing on my own
I never would have found
All the blessings I have now

So darling, here's my story
This is my life's song
Written just for you
From this day on, it's God, me and you

Chorus 2:
I do, I take you in my story
To God be the glory!
He holds the pen
With you, I will walk hand-in-hand
Through raging seas, through sinking sand
I do, I do

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You May NOW Kiss The Bride

My fiance' and I have had a long engagement - it will be 14 months to be exact. It hasn't been without difficulty, but we're only a little less than 3 months away from being husband and wife. WOW!

Several posts back, I blogged on kissing. I'd like to blog a bit more.

When I was 13 years old, I read a book by Joshua Harris entitled I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Up until that day, I had never thought of not dating! The plan was that I would begin playing the dating game when I turned 17. But this book made me think. It gave a whole new approach to "finding your future husband/wife." In the book, Joshua Harris told a story of a couple - Eric and Leslie Ludy. Both had a beautiful story of grace, surrender, trust, and love. Both had made damaging discisions as teenagers. Both had finally found Christ. Both had surrendered their lives to His Will. Then they found each other and they both made a comittment that they would not kiss until their wedding day. And my 13 year old heart went, "awwww!" Viewing that as the epitome of romance, I set out to do that very thing. I made the same comittment and all was first.

When I turned 16 and more and more guys kept popping up in my life, asking me out for a date, it became a little harder to say no. When every friend of mine had a boyfriend, it was hard to stay single. When grown adults kept asking me why I didn't have a boyfriend, I almost decided to get one just to stop all the inquiries. When I was pressured to give up my first kiss by a greasy, smooth-talking, flirty boy, I almost caved. Yet somehow (I know now it was all because of Christ) I hung on. I hung on when my friends teased me and rolled their eyes at my crazy, off-the-wall and old-fashioned descision. I held on when my friends got pregnant and were in danger of STDs. I held on when clusters of girls would stop talking when I walked by, then would start up again when I left. 17, 18, 19, 20, birthday after another, I kept fighting to remain strong. I kept fighting to trust God with every inch of my heart. He knew I longed to marry. He knew I dreamed of a beautiful love story, a handsome prince, a big family. He knew it all. And even when my friends were married and I was left without a boyfriend, feeling completely disserted, He never forgot about me! I failed Him on countless occations, doubting His faithfulness and wondering if I would be better off writing my own love story my own way. But I learned quick that His way is the ONLY way!

When I was 21, I met my future husband. Of course, I had no idea that the young man I met and swapped e-mails with was my prince charming; who would one day by my groom! But he was. And he slowly won my heart. He slowly showed me that he wasn't like all the other guys. He never asked me for my kiss. He never pressured me into giving what wasn't his to take. And at 23, he asked me to be his bride.

Believe it or not, even after a year-long engagement, Grant and I have not kissed. Of course, I can speak for both of us when I say it has NOT been easy! When you know who you will be spending the rest of your life with, the purity comittments you once made tend to blur a bit the closer you get to your wedding day. It's only been by the grace of our Lord that we have been able to resist the temptation and remain "non-kissable" for lack of a better word. :)

I understand that this has been a long story, but bear with me a little longer. People often ask me "Why haven't you kissed? Why did you make that comittment? What's a kiss going to hurt?"

My answer? I made the comittment because I wanted to save more than just my virginity for my husband. I made that comittment because I wanted to go above and beyond the call of duty. I made the comittment because I wanted to guard myself. A kiss may not "hurt" and I've never said it was wrong to do so. But I have said, and will continue to say, that it is wise to save it. Those I know who have saved their kiss for their wedding day (and yes, I am not the only one. There is quite a few of us) have experienced a love that is off the charts, without having a string of broken relationships and broken hearts behind them. They haven't been "dumped" and they haven't had to distroy their "ex's" reputation with their friends. It's beautiful to wait. It's beautiful to save a kiss. It's a picture of loyalty, faithfulness, comittment, self-control, and love. It's also a picture of purity; the no-compromising, flee-the-appearance-of-evil kind of purity.

It's been hard. I've strumbled in many ways, but oooooooooh, when April 17, 2010 rolls around, I know it will be worth the wait! I can assure you, I doubt I'll be thinking of the struggles, the ridicule, the battle, or the loneliness when I'm standing in my gorgeous white gown, veil lifted, when my Dad says, "Grant, you may now kiss the bride."

.......I'll be thinking, "Why did I ever doubt?!"

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Beauty of Flowers

I am a self-admitted girly-girl. And, thankfully, my groom is glad I am. I love dresses and skirts, and princess stories. I love jewelry and make-up. I love bubble baths, candles, fluffy pillows and chocolate. And I adore flowers! Since my groom began courting me, he has kept me ever-satisfied with a good supply of them too. It started with a few little colorful blossoms when our friendship really began to deepen. And it grew to poinsettias at Christmastime and a dozen red roses "just because."

So with flowers on the brain, I shall blog about my wedding flowers! I'm very excited! My two littlest sisters will be my flower girls and they will drop white satin rose petals on the aisle before I walk. It's going to be beautiful! As for me and my lovely bridesmaids, after a little searching, I have decided to go with artificial white lilies, blue dogwoods, and burgundy della fantasia. I have my reasons for those choices and, ironically, it's more than just the fact that the colors match (which is very important, too, of course). But they have a spiritual meaning to me. For example:

I chose white lilies because:

1) I love them!
2) Lilies are a symbol of purity

3) It serves as a reminder that sin is forgiven

I chose blue dogwoods because:

1) My mom carried blue dogwoods in her wedding
2) Dogwoods are a symbol of Christianity and Jesus' resurrection
3) It serves as a reminder that Jesus is alive and well

I chose burgundy della fantasia because:

1) The beautiful carpet in the Chapel is burgundy
2) Della fantasia is 18" long and has 23 blooming buds, a picture to me of the Church and the body of Christ, being one "stem," yet having many "buds."

3) Burgundy red being the color, it reminds me of the blood shed at the cross.

So there is a little insight into my flower choices. Once I actually go and purchase them, I'll be excitedly posting a preview of the lovely bouquets. For now, let your imagination roam. :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Falling in Love With the Bridegroom


Researching wedding traditions, trying to settle on wedding photography, ordering numerous wedding articles, and designing invitations and napkins, can make my head acquire a dull ache and my eyes a slight droop. It's a lot of thinking. I mean really!....

Do I want this verse on the napkins or this great quote?

Will these flowers be in season?

Do I want traditional wedding photography or more contemporary?

What about music??

Which picture should we put into the invitations?

And speaking of invitations, which ones are we going to go with??

It's enough to make you scream, "Somebody please get me a tylenol, a pillow, a warm cup of apple cider, and a relaxing afternoon away from this!"

I'm learning something though, with this whole wedding planning, most-stressful-time-of-a-girl's-life season: It's easy to get distracted and drift away from your First Love. A beautiful friend of my mine gave me a book not long after I became engaged. It's a simple wedding planner, from a Christian point of view...reminding the bride to take time to draw closer to Christ. Sadly, that's a hard thing to do! But I'm learning more and more - and in so many different ways! - that "this" and "that" really and truly does not fulfill. "This" and "that" does not give lasting happiness or contentment. It really is only Jesus. Of course, that's something I've always known....but it's so easy to "unintentionally" forget.

Over and over in His Word, Christ tells us to seek His face, to pursue Him, to follow after Him. As a bride, I'm learning that this is more beautiful than it ever was before. It's like He's saying, "My love, come away with Me," "My precious bride, don't ever let Me go!" or "My darling, keep falling more in love with Me!"

Now, if you are flesh and blood and very much a lady, when a gentleman speaks soft, tender words like that, you melt! When he takes you by the hand and makes promise after promise to love you, take care of you, cherish you, and never leave you, you fall more and more in love with him. If that is so, then how much more should we fall in love with Christ each day? As we open up His Word and hear all of His promises, see all of His love, and feel all of His passion for us, we should feel a burning desire to pour out our lives for Him forever. I know that when my earthly bridegroom demonstrates His love for me, I desire to demonstrate my love all the more towards him. It should be the same (yet SO much more so) with my Heavenly Bridegroom. My earthly man is quite a catch, but he is human. He has his share of faults, flaws, and shortcomings. He isn't perfect. My Heavenly Bridegroom, however, IS perfect. And when I open my Bible and am reminded of His great love, His grace, His tender voice calling out to me, I should do no less than fall at His feet in complete adoration!

With all the decisions to be made concerning my wedding day, I have to remind myself every day to show my love to my man; to love, cherish, encourage, honor, and serve to the best of my ability. And in like manner, every day, I MUST draw closer to the heart of Christ; to love, obey, serve, honor, and devote my life to Him afresh and anew. It's hard work! It's not easy greeting each day with prayer and Bible reading or going through the day in frequent communication with Him. It takes effort! But we must. While we fall more in love with our groom as the wedding day approaches, let us fall more in love with our Heavenly Bridegroom each day....or it is all wasted.


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