Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Marriage: It's way better than I'd thought

Don't let the title of this post make you think that I never wanted to get married, that I thought it was a drag, a ball and chain ... anything like that. My parents taught by example that they thought marriage was awesome! I remember numerous occasions where my dad would kiss my mom in front of us (A real kiss, not a "honey-the-kids-are-watching" kiss) and then grin at her, look at us and emphatically state that, "You guys are going to LOVE being married!" We were never grossed out. My brothers even would smile and say, "Yeah! I can't wait to be married!" I've planned my wedding since I was 7years old, I've known what style of ring I've wanted for over 10 years (I had this silly idea that the guy would just "know" the perfect ring that I wanted without me telling him. We never talked about rings.... and he bought me the ring that I've wanted and picked out when I was 10 years old.... crazy, eh?)

So, I knew I wanted to be married and I've known that it was going to be awesome for my whole life. But what I didn't know is that as the days go by of newly-married life, you feel more One, more connected, and as you battle through things you feel closer. I'm not just talking about intimacy (which someone should tell you all is far more awesome than you ever imagined) - but the daily stuff of beginning to know someone so well and have them know you.

A year ago today, my best-friend Leif, came over to my apartment porch for hot chocolate and cookies (It's true- the way to a man's heart is through his stomach) :) and asked me a question that started all of this. Before heading over to my house, the Lord told him to ask me:

"Arielle, do you feel cherished by me?"

He struggled with that, because it wasn't a very "friend-ish" thing to say- but he knew that he wanted to pursue a relationship with me (again... long story). So he did. He came over and we chatted, and ate cookies (He still claims that they were the best cookies he'd ever had.... thank you Betty Crocker!) :) There was a bit of silence as we just listened to the porch swing rock, as he swung the swing- because my legs weren't long enough. I remember looking at the rope lighting and realizing how romantic it looked ... and hoped he wasn't offended by that- since we were just friends... for now... I thought, and tried not to think about how much I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man....

                                          "Arielle, do you feel cherished by me?"

My throat caught, and my heart stopped. This was really happening.... Lord, is this the time? Can I tell him? I felt completely at peace to speak, and knowing that once I opened my mouth- things wouldn't be the same after that. I couldn't believe that he'd used that word... I'd been studying it- and had just told a friend the day before that I had never felt more cherished by anyone than Leif. I opened my mouth and began to tell him all of the ways that I felt cherished.

Who knew that a year from that night... I'd be making chili for my sweetie and we'd be celebrating the cherished night in our own little home. God is so good.

I am so thankful to be married. It's harder than I ever thought, but so much more wonderful and unbelievable than I ever dreamed. To be completely honest, I burst into tears in Leif's arms a lot and just weep at how good the Lord is to bring us together.... that after such a long story, the different trials that went on that shaped and strengthened us.... to be here in each-other's arms is so incredibly lovely.

Don't believe the World's message that marriage is a ball and chain, that it's a drag, old fashioned, or restrictive. I feel more alive, encouraged, inspired, safe, motivated and productive as a married women. We are excited in this season of our marriage to be exploring both of our dreams and ideas for the future. My husband is not restrictive- I LOVE being home when he is home, but he facilitates and encourages my ideas, passions, and thoughts.

I LOVE being married! It is a wonderful season! For those of you not quite in that season yet and looking forward to it- something that the Lord really encouraged me to learn well in the past few years is this: "Love the ..."   The dot dot dot  ... is what comes between two things, the past and the future that you're waiting for. You are always in a ... time. I am now, so are you. I'm in-between being married and having children, a house of our own. In-between my husband leaving for work and coming home, in-between one birthday and the next. You're in-between the beginning of the school year and the end, between fall and spring. Enjoy your ...


P.S. Check out this great article about the benefits of marriage!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Before the wedding...

I finally have a moment where the dishes are clean, floors are swept and washed, laundry done(ish) and my husband is gone golfing. :) ...So I can write all about our wedding day! I just can't believe it's taken me a month and a half to catch you up on one of the most amazing days of my life! :)

I woke up on Saturday, November 24th 2012 slightly nervous about the weather- but very sure that God would have answered my (and many of your!...) prayers for lovely weather on my wedding day. I jumped out of bed, and held my breath as I tugged on the roll-up shade. There wasn't a cloud in the sky- it was chilly, but there was no rain... Even though there where ominous clouds when I fell asleep the night before. :) My joyful heart felt like it could explode as I ran to the guest room (Emma stayed with me for three nights before the wedding- helping me remember everything!!) I shrieked and jumped on Emma's bed. "I'm getting married today!!!!" :) I spun around the room and jumped up and down and tried not to cry. She smiled and rolled her eyes at me at the same time. We decided to go through the Bojangles drive through in our Pajamas - and get coffee at a local coffee shoppe. We giggled and had fun together- and I kept thanking the Lord for the time with her before the business of everything started that day. I really don't think that I've done so much in my life in one day.... :) The lady at the coffee shoppe told me to have a good day- and once outside I said to Emma, "Of COURSE I'm going to have a good day!! I'M GETTING MARRIED TODAY!!" Emma rolled her eyes, but grinned big- and led me back to where she'd parked the car... because we both didn't think it was safe for me to be driving, since I couldn't remember a darn thing. :)

Applying makeup
Everyone started arriving at the house at about 9 (I think?) :) The bridesmaids, the girls that did our photography while we got ready, their sister who was so so awesome to offer to do everyone's hair, my mom, aunt and grandmother with brunch for everyone... When the Mrs. G showed up with Anna- one of my bridesmaids.... I ran out to see them and she shouted at the top of her lungs: "YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED TODAY!!!" :)  Finally someone who was getting the excitement!!

My Maid of Honour and Sister: Emma
A little help from my mom and Emma

Just a peek...

We all got ready, ate, watched everyone get their hair done, did make up, and I realized that I still hadn't trimmed the veil that I made to the right length... so Emma did that for me after she put it on. :) My Dad showed up with Flynn (my brother), my grandmother and Mimi (my adopted Grandmother) and Dad came up and we prayed as a family (but without Liam and although this was the happiest day of my life, I tried so hard not to cry- because I SO wanted him to be here for this). We all went downstairs- and I prayed over the day with everyone - and tried not to cry.

Savannah S. drove all of the bridesmaids in my car, and Mom, Dad, the grandmas, Flynn and I rode in my parent's van. We drove out to the chapel - or almost there.... Because the chapel doesn't have any other rooms to get ready or hide or anything, we had to drive to a little gas station just up the road and wait for the call that they were ready for us. We ended up heading up there at 2:15ish (I think) ....

The Beautiful Day!

The Chapel of Rest

The words on above in the chapel are:
Come unto me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest


More to come in Part 2: The Wedding! Hope you all enjoy the pictures! Our photographer, Jennifer Abel (Leif's Aunt) was fabulous!