Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Warrior Bride

I am SUCH a girly girl. I will admit it.

I adore bubble baths, candles, fluffy pillows, weddings, flowers, and chocolate; I love shoes, old films, dresses and, the tell-tale sign of any girly girl - the color pink. I love being a girl, being a bride, and being a wife. Books, movies, music, letters, or a hug can move me to tears at the drop of a hat.

But I am also tough. I can roll up my sleeves and get dirty. I can fight for justice and I want to defend the weak. I'm a girl, but I can wage war.  ....and that is as it should be.

The Bible says that we, as Christians, are at war. This world is not a peaceful place, especially for a Child of the King. We are constantly battling Satan and his demons as we wrestle and push and fight to live out the Christian life in a world consumed with the lust of the flesh. We are continually at war with our own flesh, fighting to put it to death every moment of every day. And it is hard.

But we must FIGHT!! The Bible tells us, as Christians, to put on His heavenly armor and go to war with sin and self.

Ephesians 6:10-17
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

1 Timothy 6:12
"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."

As a bride, we fight a lot of things. Stress, fatigue, distraction, irritability, and the occasional overwhelming urge to scream! With all the decisions to make, people to inform and direct, the things to buy, it is hard to keep our cool and remain calm, composed, and graceful. As Christians, it is much the same. We fight Satan and all the fruits of the darkness and of this world. It is hard to die and let Jesus live our lives through us. It is hard to remain kind, loving, longsuffering, patient, gentle, and meek. That is the war we are in! And, believe me, it is an intense war!

So, my words to you (and myself as well).......


Monday, June 28, 2010

Lead Me

A great song of perspective to all those husbands and fathers out there.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Don't Blanket My Fairytale!

Let's face it. As girls and women, we LOVE a good fairytale. Be honest. We love Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. We love their stories, we love their voices, we love their gowns...and we love their "happily ever afters."

Since I have been married, people have asked me about married life.

How is it?

What's it like?

Is it soooooo dreamy??

People have asked me if it is everything I imagined it. My answer? More. It is far more than I ever expected. It is wonderful and beautiful and fun and precious.... But it is also hard work.

When Grant and I were engaged, we were both shocked at the amount of people who threw wet blankets on our romance. It seemed like every time we turned around, there was another piece of marital advice like...

Enjoy it now. It won't be like that for long. *sweet smile*

Honey, marriage isn't ALL it's cracked up to be.

You just wait until after the honeymoon. Reality will hit hard.

Now... just don't expect it to be perfect, okay?

How's that for encouragement? Sadly, the wet blankets we received were from married people...Christian married people.

If I could give a bit of encouragement to upcoming brides and grooms, I would say,


BUT!.... it's hard work.

Some people (like our wet blanket throwers) believe that once you say "I Do" the fairytale begins!...and that is partly true. But then they begin to experience the busy and hectic life of marital bliss and, unfortunately, what usually follows is a failure to communicate, a lack of interest, apathy, boredom, and downright laziness! Then they become a spokesperson for "Reality".....believing it their duty to blanket the fairytale dreams of others. But what many married (and non-married) people fail to realize is that you CAN have a fairytale romance! It IS possible!....BUT you must work for it. It will not be handed to you on a silver platter. It does not come with the marriage licence or the ring. Fairytale love is built, not simply given. You have to work through conflicts, work through problems and decisions, and work in the mud of your own selfishness. You have to get your hands dirty. You must make the effort and put in 110%, not just 50% like many believe. You have to put your mind to having a fairytale love. It is attainable....but you must do your part.
So, for all your brides out there, CONGRATULATIONS!!! A fairytale love that you could never imagine is at your fingertips. Roll up your sleeves, straighten your veil - and GO AFTER IT!!



Monday, June 21, 2010

A Cord of Three

Ecclesiastes 4:12b -
"....and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."


One of the most important and significant things I am learning in marriage is this: you MUST have Jesus to make it work! When Jesus is in the midst, there is a great calm. When His presence in with you and your spouse, there is peace and perspective.

When Grant and I were discussing all the many details throughout our engagement, we struggled to decide what verse we wanted inscribed on our invitations. There were so many that spoke to us, one of which was Ecclesiastes 4:12. We have learned, even in two short months of matrimony, that a threefold cord is, truly, not easily broken. If the cord was only twofold - Grant and myself - it would have the potential to break in a horrible storm. Grant and I are deeply in love and our love is strong, but unfortunately it isn't unbreakable unless there is a third cord; namely Jesus Christ. With Him in your marriage, as a cornerstone and centerpiece, and in His rightful place, problems are quickly resolved and difficult situations are easily handled and worked through.

One of my favorite poems, blogged in a previous entry, puts it perfectly...."And not one marriage fails where Christ is asked to enter, as lovers come together with Jesus at the center."

Fellow wives and brides, always, always, always put Jesus first. It's easier said than done, but it MUST be done for your cord to be strong. Keep pressing forward and tighten up the thread as you put Jesus in the center.

Remembering "Bridedom"

Today, I am reflecting on my season as a bride-to-be. I'm remembering what I call "Bridedom."  Why? you ask.

It is because my sis-in-law is now engaged!!

Congratulations, Kristin!

The ring is on, the date is set, the bride is busy planning, and well.... you know the rest. :) Just getting over my own wedding, I am excited for my sister-in-law as she prepares for her wedding day.

The October wedding coming up is making me think back to my own engagement and wedding planning. I remember the stack of magazines cluttering my desk and my bed, I remember the planners, the notebook always stuck in my purse, the endless phone calls, the hours spent online, the trips to various department stores and shops...whew!! As fun and amazing as that season of my life was, I am just happy to FINALLY be married to Grant. The months of engagement are to be cherished. There is so much beauty in being engaged and understanding the significance of engagement and what it means spiritually. But engagement is not the destination. The destination is wedded bliss! It is sharing your life with your spouse. It is learning to be more selfless, giving, understanding, patient, etc. It is about family and leading your family closer to Jesus Christ. It is about learning more about the beauty of our "marriage" to Jesus. It's wonderful!...and I love it!

Anyway, congratulations Kristin! .....and all you other brides out there! Enjoy it! The best is yet to come!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Our Story


* February 26, 2007: Grant first saw Kristen
* March 2007: Grant and Kristen officially meet
* June 2008: Deeper friendship begins
* October 21, 2008: Grant & Kristen make their relationship official and public
* December 27, 2008: Their first “I love you’s” are spoken
* January 31, 2009: Engagement!
* April 17, 2010: Wedding!!


*** KRISTEN: It was March of 2007 and I never thought the concert that night would mark the meeting of my future husband. I remember pulling up to the place we would be singing and noticing, from the window, a young man helping my Dad, my grandpa, and my uncle unload the equipment. He was very handsome. I remember this one moment at the end of the service. We were up there singing a hymn and I looked down from the stage and saw Grant standing there with his eyes closed and his hands raised slightly as he as singing. It made an impression on me. I didn't know him, but I remember thinking, "Wow." After the service, he came up to me and introduced himself. We parted with each other's e-mail addresses.

*** GRANT: What she forgot to tell you about this first meeting was that I asked her out on a date that night. Her response was a nervous, “I don’t date”. I was thinking, “What does that mean?” But anyhow, I left with her home phone number. I was excited. She seemed like a wonderful, God loving woman. I knew that she probably really was a true “God” girl...


*** KRISTEN: I gave Grant my home number, instead of my cell. And I gave him my e-mail address. We sent a few e-mails, then connected on Facebook. What impressed me was that he stuck around. I had made it clear that I wasn't a dating type of girl and usually guys would disapear after a while, when they realized that I wanted to cultivate friendships. Grant didn't. We had fun exchanging forwards, e-mails, and Facebook messages. He called a couple of times, but I actually wouldn't answer!

*** GRANT: I was interested in Kristen, but not smitten by her! So we slowly began to exchange emails. I called her a few times but she never answered and never called back. I remember thinking, "What is up with this girl? She says to call anytime but won’t answer or return any of my calls. How rude!" But time went on and we exchanged a few emails here and there.

*** KRISTEN: I enjoyed the e-mails and the Facebook messages. They were never long, they were never intimate or personal. Everything centered around friendship, laughter and, most importantly, Christ. We would chat about revivals and witnessing and what God was doing and we would exchange jokes. I truly thought of him as a friend and a brother.

*** GRANT: I planned to ask Kristen out on a date again, but I didn't. I waited and waited and finally sent her a Facebook message asking her out for dinner. I got a lame response from her, when she said “Let’s just wait and see, okay?” This time I thought “whatever” and went on with life.

*** KRISTEN: I was so confused by how I felt concerning Grant. He had asked me out to dinner, and I rejected it....in a very strange way! Normally I would simply say, "No, thank you" and never think on it again. With Grant, I couldn't summon up the guts (or the want-to) to say a flat "No." So I said "maybe" or "let's just wait and see." I know it confused him. It confused me! But after a while, I began to seriously take a good look at Grant, as more than just a friend. He had been there as a brother, and as a friend, without pressuring me for a relationship or making flirtatious remarks. But it was obvious that his interest was there still. So in the early summer of 2008, I began to pray for God's will to be revealed in that area. I prayed for God's direction, His guidence, and that I would have the strength to go wherever He led.

*** GRANT: In May of 2008, Kristen and her family did a revival at my church. We hung out a little. I enjoyed being around her and her sisters after church. When the revival was over and after we loaded up their bus, I decided to ask her out for dinner yet again! And again I got a wild answer. I said, “Would you like to go to dinner sometime? Maybe some Italian food?”. She was like, “I don’t know, I'm really busy”. Frustrated, I said “Okay, just let me know.” I knew that she would not. Later that month, we came to her place for a bus fund-raiser. We got there the night before the event and she was riding her horse. So she and I went horseback riding for a few minutes and then she invited me to a movie with her sisters and uncle. After the fun-raiser the next day, she asked me to watch a movie with her that night *mouth drops open* Shocking!

*** KRISTEN: I remember being shocked that I even asked him to stay for a movie. But I did.

*** GRANT: A week later I came back down to ride horses on a Saturday with her. We rode all day, talked, and got sunburned. Then, the following month, I came back for a clean-up day at Psalms Camp and got to hang out with her again.

*** KRISTEN: I remember the horseback ride! We were so sore. That was the first time it was just the two of us, and I remember we talked about a lot of things! Bible, friendships, family, goals....we really got to know each other that day. And we were soooo sunburned by the end of the day! Grant and I really began hanging out in May of 2008. We went horseback riding and saw Narnia with my sisters and my uncle. I knew we were beginning to form a deeper relationship, other than just friendship, but I was in denial about the whole thing! Before I went to Brazil in July of 2008, Grant came over for dinner. I remember how nervous I felt, but that night marked a pivital point in our relationship. Before he left that night, he prayed for our trip to Brazil, and he prayed over me and with me. He also expressed his feelings in a deeper way and asked me how I viewed our relationship. I knew we both were attracted to the other but I was terrified and hestitant, so I said I considered us friends. I knew then I had to pray very hard. Deep down, I hoped he wouldn't walk away after I told him I considered us just friends.
*** GRANT: I asked her that night would she consider us as in a relationship. I definitely would not have thought of seeing anyone else. She said “No, we’re just friends...” I said “Okay” even though our relationship closely resembled something more. After she returned from Brazil, we started hanging out every weekend on Saturdays by going out witnessing with other friends. We saw several people saved. It was then that I saw a “sold-out” Christian woman; The type that you read about in Proverbs chapter 31. I loved to witness, pray, and serve God with her.

*** KRISTEN: When I came back from Brazil, and saw Grant a few days later, I knew this guy was not going away! Throughout the rest of the summer, I felt myself falling for him, little by little. I denied it to everybody, but everyone knew - especially my family. When we began witnessing together with some friends, that's when things really took off! When I first saw him lead a young man to the Lord, I was amazed. We quickly began building a deeper spiritual relationship. Witnessing together, praying together, seeing souls saved together - it was unbelievable! I fell in love with him through our shared ministry work. Serving God with him was a little bit of heaven on earth.

*** GRANT: As the summer ended and the new season of autumn came, I found myself falling very much in love with this woman. We continued to witness and hang out on the weekends. I loved it!

*** KRISTEN: When September rolled around, I was very much smitten. I guess we had been dating/courting all summer long, but we never made it public. Only our families knew, really. I remember telling a select few of my girl friends, whom I trusted, what was going on and how I wanted them to pray for guidence. I was very scared.

*** GRANT: In October, I knew it was time to move to the next step, so I asked Kristen one Saturday night if she would like to move this to the next level. I was so nervous, and so was she. She wanted some time and wanted to know what the “next step” would be. So we discussed it, and she said she needed time. I called her Dad and got his permission, and a nerve racking 3 days later I had my answer. On Tuesday on October 21st she decided that she wanted to move to the next step as well.

*** KRISTEN: I had had a feeling that Grant would be bringing up the next step soon. I knew I was falling for him, but was so scared of making a mistake. The night he asked me was completely nerve-wracking! I was shivering from the nerves. I told him I needed a little time to think and pray and he told me he would talk everything over with my Dad. That night, I remember Mom coming into my room and I spilled everything out and told her how I felt. I really wanted to take the next step, but I was so terrified! I spent a lot of time that night praying. I remember being up late, unable to fall asleep. The next day, Dad came to me telling me that Grant expressed serious feelings about me and wanted to pursue a courtship. We prayed and a couple of days later, I had a peace about it. So we moved ahead.

*** GRANT: Throughout the next few months we got to know each other on a new different level. We we’re falling in love, fast and hard. It was a wonderful season of growing in Faith and in each other!


*** KRISTEN: I did not expect anything! I remember thinking, the morning of January 31st, how handsome Gant looked when he showed up at my house. We went witnessing with my sisters and a few friends and then came to my house later that afternoon. Grant and I were going to meet his Mom for dinner but, before we left, Grant suddenly asked if I wanted to go for a walk. So we headed towards our Camp, where we normally go when we take walks. I remember him being unusually quiet but not once did I think anything of a proposal. I had told myself that it would be a few more months...or at least a couple more weeks! We walked down to my favorite spot on the Camp - the cross. From there, you see the Chapel and the lake. It's so peaceful and beautiful! When we got there, Grant stopped walking and turned and faced me. He grinned and said, "Close your eyes!" I remember wondering what was going on, but I closed my eyes and waited. When he told me to open them, he had a beautiful bouquet of lilies and roses in front of me. The first thing that came to my mind was shock. He had given me flowers plenty of times before, but it was never this extravagant for no reason. I remember thinking, "It's not my birthday....it's not Valentine's day.....it's not Easter...." I was smelling them and thanking him when he suddenly pulled them out of my hands and laid them on the ground. Then when he turned back to me, he took a deep breath...and then it hit me! My eyes got wide and I said "You're not...." and he nodded. I remember screaming and being in complete shock! He finally had to tell me to please hush so he could talk!! He knelt down and said some of the most beautiful and sweet words I've ever heard, ending with "I want to spend the rest of my life serving God...with you. Will you marry me?" And I said "YES!"

*** GRANT and KRISTEN were married April 17, 2010 at 2 p.m. in a beautiful log chapel in south Arkansas. Surrounded by friends and family and 250 guests, they exchanged their vows and exchanged their first kiss. They currently have several avenues of ministry and love to travel, spreading God's message of Salvation everywhere they go!


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