Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Birthday Bride!

Congratulations to me!

I made it to 24!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

She Walks in Beauty

So I have been doing a bit of walking in my lovely white wedding shoes. I've been trying to break them in, so it won't be so awkward to walk on the wedding day. It's quite hard.

I've already posted about my wedding shoes and what they mean to me spiritually, but for those of you who haven't read that far back, I'll give you the Cliff Notes' version. ;) The Bible says to "walk in love" to "walk in peace" to "walk in wisdom" and to "walk in truth..." So when we Christians and brides slip on our wedding shoes, we should reflect on what we should walk in SPIRITUALLY as well.

I'm a fan of beautiful poetry and when I practice walking in my shoes to break them in, along with the spiritual fruits we should walk in, I also think of the great Byron poem, "She Walks In Beauty."

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light.
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Lord Byron

While we brides try to break in our wedding shoes and while we Christians endevor to walk in Christ Jesus, let us also walk in the beauty of the Christian life. Just a little food for thought today! :)

Psalm 90:17
And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us...

Job 40:10 
Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Love is Not A Fight

Grant's and my song. :)    (found on the "Fireproof" soundtrack)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Showers of Blessings

Whew! It's been a while since I've written. Well since my last post, we have...

* Decided on the photography
* I have ordered the bridesmaids gifts
* I have recieved the flower girl gifts and the Wedding and Reception signs to put up!
* I have been working on the slideshow we will show of Grant and I
* We have bought the favors and the rest of the flowers
* AND I have had my first shower!

WHEW! Time is starting to fly by in a furry! Only 55 more days!

My first wedding shower was this past Saturday and, I must say, I was so blessed! It was given by my fiance's mom and he and I received so many beautiful gifts! I was stunned, as I walked into the house and saw all the food, the flowers, the friends, and so many gifts waiting.

As I was packing up the gifts and loading them into our suburban, I began to think on the meaning of a shower. Why is it called a "shower?" Why is a shower even given??
Of course, a shower is given out of love and it is when gifts are bestowed upon the person or couple to celebrate a wonderful time in life (i.e. wedding, baby, etc). It's an event where family and friends "shower" you with gifts....with little blessings. I thought on that for a while, and again when I got home and went through all the gifts again. Throughout this blog, I have tried to liken every phase of my engagement and wedding planning to some beautiful spiritual thing. Becoming engaged is a symbol of when we say "Yes" to our Heavenly Bridegroom, Christ Jesus. Sending out the invitations are a picture of Christ's invitation to us all to "Come!" and be saved. The wedding dress is a symbol of purity, the veil a symbol of modesty... on and on it goes. And a wedding shower? Well, I liken it to the "showers of blessings" that God rains down on us every day. Think about it...

Every day, He gives us the breath of life.

Every day, He offers the beauty of the world to us to enjoy.

Every day, He is there to guide our path.

Every day, He is there to lean on when the storms thunder around us.

Every day, He gives us an opportunity to love and serve Him better.

On and on it goes. He SHOWERS us with blessings of every kind. The other day, I felt overwhelmed as women and ladies surrounded me and I opened one present after another, exclaiming over them and feeling honored and so touched by their kindness and generosity. .....But how often do we exclaim over the gifts the Lord gives us? Do we daily sit in awe of the blessing stacked in our corner? Do we daily send a "thank you" to our Heavenly Father for one more day to live and love Him? Do we daily feel overwhelmed at His great love?

If you're like me, you fail many times in that department. But, if you're like me, you also have a passionate drive to try harder every day.

Join me in trying to remember those blessings that Jesus showers upon you as each new morning dawns. And brides? When you're opening up all those great wedding presents, remember the presents that Your Heavenly Bridegroom gives you every day.

Deuteronomy 28:2
And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

With This Ring

Yesterday, I went to town to get things going on Grant's wedding band. He's had mine for a month now and with "the day" only 65 days away, I thought it was time for me to get going. :) For those of you who do not know, I've had a plan for years about my future husband's wedding band.

You see, seven years ago, my parents presented me with a purity ring. On my seventeenth birthday, they gave me an outward symbol of the promise I'd inwardly made years before. I remember that morning, opening up the box and taking out my beautiful ring. It was a gold band with a cross inside of a heart. I've worn it ever since that day. It has raised questions, to which I've gladly answered. It has received various remarks leading up to me giving my purity testimony. It's been as much of my body as my skin, so taking it off yesterday and handing it to the jewelers was a sad experience. But I have had this plan you see.... :)

For years I have said that when it comes time to marry, I wanted to take my purity ring and have it merged in with my husband's wedding band. And that is what I'm doing! They will be taking the heart out (sad and graphically explained, I know) and molding it to the wedding band that we picked out. I'll get my band back and I hope to, one day, make a mother's ring for my daughter if God ever decides to bless me with one.

I'm going to miss the feel of my ring, but it will be worth it when I slip it on his hand. To me, it will be like saying, "I saved myself for you - I saved everything. And this was an outward symbol of what I saved...and now I'm giving it to you...with this ring."

In closing, I'd like to share with you this poem that came along with my purity ring.
This ring's a special symbol
of the promise that I've made.
With Your help, O Lord, I know
it's glow will never fade.

With Your help, Lord, I'll stand firm
though some may criticize.
For whose opinion matters,
if I look good in Your eyes?

Who can give me anything
to take the place of You?
Who on earth can justify
a love that isn't true?

So, I make my statement,
on my hand and in my heart.
I know, one day, I'll hear You say
I chose the better part.

The world calls this old fashioned;
still, I'll wait - it's just a while.
For Honor, Truth, and Faithfulness
are never out of style.

Whether you have an outward symbol or not, let me just encourage you to SAVE YOURSELF! And do whatever it takes to remain pure. On your wedding day, when you slip a ring onto your spouse's finger, I hope you, too, will be able to say, "I saved all this for you..."  :)

How Precious is Purity To You?

While thinking of my last post on my wedding gown and the purity that it represents, the following came to my mind. I ask you, girls and guys alike, how precious is purity.... to you?

In the forests of northern Europe and Asia lives a little animal called the ermine, known for his snow-white fur in winter. He instinctively protects his white coat against anything that would soil it.Fur hunters take advantage of this unusual trait of the ermine. They don't set a snare to catch him, but instead they find his home, which is usually a cleft in a rock or a hollow in an old tree. They smear the entrance and interior with grime. Then the hunters set their dogs loose to find and chase the ermine. The frightened animal flees toward home but doesn't enter because of the filth. Rather than soil his white coat, he is trapped by the dogs and captured while preserving his purity. For the ermine, purity is more precious than life. How precious is purity to you?
(Former lesson) Credit: Setting Captives Free

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Gown of White

My dress has been getting altered. The original was a strapless gown of white. Beautiful! But....strapless. And modest me desired cap sleeves. I have them! ;)

I love my gown! I've had it since the end of May of last year and I've tried it on dozens of times since then. I simply can't wait to slip it on and actually walk down the aisle to my groom. It won't be too much longer now!

When I first began trying dresses on, I tried on many styles and even fell in love with a couple of gowns. Then I went to Ashley's Bridal at the end of May and found THE dress. It was the first gown I tried on that day and, believe it or not, I actually didn't like it on the hanger. Yet, when I tried it on, I knew! It is a stunning, beautful Eden Bridal gown! It makes me feel like a princess. It's simple, yet it's completely elegant. It's perfect.

When my Mom saw the gown on me, her first words were, "Kristen... it's a brilliant white!" And it is! Pure white.

Months ago, I blogged about my wedding veil and what it symbolizes, which is modesty. Well, my white wedding gown? That is a symbol of purity.

All through the Scripture, God talks of holiness, of sanctification, of staying away from sin, of remaining clean, of virgins, of keeping yourself pure and not defiling your body. He repeated Himself numerous times, telling His people not to commit fornication or adultery but to, instead, pursue righteous living.

1 Corinthians 6:18
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Ephesians 5:3
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

1 Thessalonians 4:3
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

1 Timothy 4:12
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

2 Timothy 2:22
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

When I was thirteen, I made a committment to stay pure for marriage. My gown of white is a testament; it represents the choice I made, which was to follow God's way and save myself for my husband. It's also a symbol of my purified state in Christ.

I love my gown. And I love what it represents.

Holiness. Strength. Integrity. Godliness. Honor. Faithfulness. Trust. Courage. Chastity.

As God's people, we should stand firm and defend the purity of mind, heart, and body. And we should encourage every generation to live righteously and boldly in this present, sin-cursed world. We should teach and encourage the children to hold out and wait for God's "green light" for intimacy. Men should be honorable and noble, worthy of the "white gown" that will adorn their bride. Women should be chaste and modest, a clean helpmeet for their husband.

In a day where purity and abstinence is mocked, attacked, and labled "outdated," some have failed. Some have grown up never hearing or understanding that God's demand for purity is for a reason. Some, like Rahab, have lived in sin and shame. Some, David, have made many mistakes. If that is you, there is most definitely still hope for you. If you will confess your sin, turn from your sin, and pursue God and His path, then He will forgive and cleanse. You can still wear a gown of white. And you can still be worthy of it.

The past is the past. But today....that's where our choices are made. And I encourage you, no matter what your past is, to be God's holy, peculiar people.

And brides? See the beauty of your white wedding gown. See what it means and represents in the eyes of our God. And join me as I seek to be pure always, worthy of such a beautiful gown of white.

1 Timothy 5:22b"...keep thyself pure."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Invitation

The invitations are HERE!!!!  *blows party horn* They arrived last week and I'm so pleased! Here is a look!

The invitations are a pretty important part of a wedding. Grant and I spent months trying to find the right style, the right color, the right size, and the right price for us. Then when we found it, we prayed about the wording and how God would have us word the invitation. We are both very pleased with the outcome. :)

Two posts back, I blogged about my proposal and I likened it to the Great Proposal made 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ came to this earth, died for our sins, rose again, and made a way to live with Him in heaven for eternity one day. I blogged about how good our God is - to love His creation so much that He would give His life for us. He proposed to us, offering us His love, His salvation, His grace, His forgiveness - His all!

An invitation is basically the same thing.

Next month, when we send out invitations to our friends and loved ones, we will be inviting them to our great event. We will be saying, "Please come! Your presence is wanted on this day."

Well, Jesus gives us an invitation also. He sends His convicting Spirit to our hearts and He begs us to come. He says, "I want you here with me! I want you for all eternity! Please come."

That's an invitation you don't want to ignore. Please accept Him and be saved today.

Acts 2:21
"...whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."


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