Imperfect Wedding - Perfect God

Last year my niece and her fiancé planned their outdoor wedding to be as close to perfection as possible. Everything was carefully scripted from the white chairs for the guests to the beautiful arch decorated in flowers to the chamber music. It would be any woman’s dream venue for the special day.

The couple dismissed how weather might be a factor. After all, the average rainfall in Arizona for the month is one inch, and the average temperature is between 54 and 78 degrees. Blue cloudless skies are the expected norm.

The long-anticipated day arrived and promised to be beautiful. The guests were seated while the bride and her father prepared to enter. The green grass and the strewn rose petal carpet created the fairy-tale-like atmosphere.

Dad ushered in the beautiful bride, delivering her to her beloved’s arm. Everyone smiled and breathed a sigh of relief while the service got under way. The pastor began the ceremony.

Being outdoors was a fantastic experience. “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered together before God and these witnesses…” Awww, I thought, what  beautiful picture of Christ and his bride, the church.

The perfect wedding was under way. We settled in for the next forty-five minutes and surveyed the verdant setting, which was quite a sight for many of us who had arrived from below zero Midwest weather the day before.

About a quarter of the way into the service, beyond the platform, however, the puffy white clouds dotting the horizon had turned gray, and then navy. The breeze turned into a cool wind. The air was scented with the unmistakable promise of rain, and the crowd shifted with anticipation as the first speckles of moisture clearly disrupted the bride’s hair, the pastor’s suit, and the smiles on nearly every face.

Soon the few wisely prepared guests had begun to block the view as the umbrellas opened and small groups squeezed under the sparse collection for protection. The sky turned darker, nearly ebony, as angry clouds threatened to ruin the pristine day.

I wiggled closer to my husband to hide under his arm, feeling sorry for my niece and her months of anticipation of this day. Time crawled until the section for the vows approached. As the pastor wiped his dripping face, the bride and groom huddled under the clear plastic covering. They graciously giggled as the rain pushed them closer together.

Just as they got to the “I do’s,” those of us without umbrellas were certain the one-inch state average had been reached. Dresses and shirts soaked and clinging, most everyone attending had a collective thought: the perfect wedding was no longer perfect, marred by the unlikely presence of a steady stream of uncharacteristic rain drops.

And then the Lord intervened.

Over head the promise of God appeared, at first faint, and then bright and clear.

“I do.”

The rain did not stop right away, but the droplets turned into a mist, and the mist subsided. The breathtaking rainbow shouted at us all, the spectrum virtually speaking to this precious couple.

The Lord had made a promise to Noah in the sky. Jesus had made a promise in the sky, too.

“I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Would the perfect wedding consuming hours of careful decisions now be known as the imperfect wedding?

Not a chance! Even though we all got a bit wet during the ceremony, there was no doubting the author of marriage had spoken a blessing on this couple.

When our perfect God intervenes, he makes up for anything lacking. This wedding day wasn't ruined or imperfect in any way. Rather, God sent his dramatic sign of promise in the sky. The bride was thrilled to have God send his beautiful sign of faithfulness for all to see.

Four times during the vows, the last song and the recessional, the rainbows in the sky ebbed and then blazed brighter and clearer. Isn't it just like our amazing Lord to send rain to the desert in March? His ways are far beyond our ability to comprehend. 

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55: 9-11

Thank you, Lord, for your wonderful promises through Jesus, and the reassurance that you are with us always, even in the rain and storms of life. Your presence makes every moment a celebration of this life and the life to come, no matter what happens. Help us to believe that you do all things well. Amen.

20+ ways to spend time with your hubby

I've never really been the type of person that comes up with New Year's resolutions for myself. I'm not sure if I never really saw the appeal, didn't feel the need, or didn't want to set myself up for failure. At any rate, this year really isn't any different. Except, maybe one little goal for myself. Spend more time with my husband!

I like how Kelly referred to them as goals instead of resolutions. Resolutions give this idea that it's going to be difficult or that I'm going to have to change drastically. I don't want that. I just have a simple goal: Capture more moments with the man I pledged to spend the rest of my life with. This shouldn't be super difficult!

Maybe you are in my same situation? My husband and I have been married for over eight years (holy cow!!) and have a few kiddos. We are relatively busy and always have a to do list. Sound kind of familiar? When is the last time you actually went on a date? I think for us, for a one-on-one date, it was maybe in August? But truthfully, I can't even remember.

This sort of sounds depressing (especially for those of you that may not be married or have children yet!) but it isn't, really. I love my husband and family. We have many great moments that we share together with laughter and snorts and tickles. I just think that it might be a little nice to share some more one-on-one time.

20+ ways to spend time with your hubby

So, let's create a list! I mean, I'll start it! Here are ideas for dates in your house (while the kids are sleeping probably) or outside of the house (when you are blessed with a babysitter). Some of these are super chill and spontaneous, others will require some actual scheduling and planning. Enjoy!

organic traveler cropped

  1. Order take out! My hubby and I do this on occasion when we are craving certain things, but don't want to waste the extra cash on the kids who likely won't touch it anyway (ha! I'm being honest here!). Feed the kids a simple dinner. Order yourselves take out. Eat it on the couch! *gasp*  Living on the edge here people!
  2. Play a game. My husband is probably laughing at this, because I really hate playing games. Maybe someone likes them though? :)
  3. Order a meal service subscription to cook together. I've been contemplating this for my birthday. I love cooking interesting, new meals, but with kids and life, it just isn't always feasible. A special occasion, like a birthday, might warrant a time to order a new recipe (bonus: receive the ingredients in the mail!) and learn something new!
  4. Rent a movie. This is pretty self explanatory, but it's really nice to not watch Frozen.
  5. Project together. Some of our best (okay and probably our worst) moments together are when we are working on house projects! Paint a room, build a shelf or reorganize the junk drawer and laugh at all of it's contents!
  6. Go for a walk together. This one works if your kids are fairly entertained on your walk or are in strollers. Walks lend themselves to easy conversation, and fresh air is always nice!
  7. Spend some time between the sheets. I don't think this requires any further explanation!
  8. Look at old photos together. Laugh at what you used to look like! Oogle at how adorable your child was the day they were born. Reminisce of your wedding day.
  9. Make ice cream sundaes together. I never refuse ice cream! Chop up your favorite candy bars or nuts and top a big bowl of ice cream with them. Glams up the regular ol' ice cream routine.
  10. Do a Bible study together. We all need more time in the Word, why not together?
  11. Work out together. This maybe would be more hilarious than beneficial, but hey laughing works your abs too!
  12. Go for a drive. My husband and I have great car conversations. Strap the baby in the car and go for a short drive or just be willing for conversation on your next short road trip.
  13. Online window shop. Show your hubby those new shoes you've been eyeing up. Check out pinterest for new house projects to tackle. Scour for a (theoretical) new house or your dream home.

a night out

  1. Find a babysitter! This is kind of step one, right? Find someone to take care of the kids, so you can take care of yourselves for an evening! Maybe attempt to find a babysitter that can be your regular, so both you and your children feel confident in them. This makes leaving easier for everyone involved!
  2. Go to dinner. This is simple but always nice.
  3. Go to a movie. Maybe even share a popcorn and hold hands?
  4. Go for dessert. On a budget? Eat with your kids at home. Go for a drink or dessert and spend less, and pay the babysitter for less time.
  5. Go walking/running/biking/skiing/snowshoeing. Find something active outside to enjoy together. Many times this can be with kids too, but might be fun for a quick hour without them if you can steal the chance!
  6. Go shopping. While you may want to peruse the mall, find a place you'd both like to go! My hubby and I like to wander Restore on many Saturdays. Ikea without children along? Yes please.
  7. Go to a show. If dates are few and far between, make it memorable! Check out that play or concert you've been eyeing up!
  8. Relive some old memories. Did you and your hubby meet in college? Attend a college game together. Did you get engaged in a restaurant? Book yourselves a reservation. Can you remember the first place you said "I love you." Go there.
  9. Try something new. Start a new hobby together. Take a class for something you've never tried. Try a new sporting activity.
  10. Do something mundane. This is lame, but get errands done together. Stop at the bank, buy your groceries, show your husband all the "necessities" you can find at Target. Both productive and free (minus the purchases I suppose)!
  11. Plan a family date. I am a stay at home mom, so many times I do things with the kids without my husband. While the zoo, the park or the children's museum might be the same place you always go, it's more enjoyable as a couple. You can show your husband all the adorable things that your kids do.

Can you help? What are ways that you and your husband spend time together? What are thing that you do to reconnect? How do you make date night a priority? Have any ideas for in home dates? What about for the nights you're blessed with a babysitter? Simple? Complicated? Please share!