Friday, June 28, 2013


We are very excited!!! :-D

(And, once again, I apologize for the severe lack of updated posts on this blog.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another Writing Prompt :-)

Writing Prompt #8 - We are all surrounded by gadgets. If your favorite one failed, what else could you use it for?

Stephen didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as he recalled the events of the last hour. He looked at his valuable and now extremely damaged piece of equipment and decided to do both. How he wished he could crawl into his 3-year-old daughter’s head to know what she was thinking! He imagined it must have gone something like this…

“I want to make a cake for Daddy’s birthday. I can use my play-dough to make it! And I can put M&Ms in it too. Yummy! Ok, it’s mixed together. But it’s a big ball…I need it to be flat. Where is Mommy’s rolling pin? Oh dear. I can’t find it. Ooooh, look, there is Daddy’s cool thing with the neat buttons on it. If I open it up and put my play-dough in it, I can close it, and then it will smash flat. Oh, goody! It worked! Now I have a beautiful cake for Daddy, and it even has a pretty design on it!”

Stephen groaned again as he looked at his laptop, with the keys covered in red play-dough. How would he ever get it out and make it usable again? And should he discipline his daughter, or thank her for sweetly making him a birthday cake?

“Oh, the joys of parenthood,” he sighed, before bursting into another fit of crying laughter.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Writing Prompt #6--The Stars

Writing Prompt #6. Choose an object in the room. How would you describe it to a blind person?

“My, the stars are lovely tonight,” commented Elizabeth to her husband as they and their daughter sat on their porch one evening.
5 year old Molly grabbed her mother’s hand, saying, “Mommy, what are stars?”
Tears formed in Elizabeth’s eyes as she smiled sadly on her blind daughter, knowing that she could never see nor truly appreciate the beauty that she herself took for granted. She scrambled in her mind for a way to describe them to Molly. Inspiration suddenly lit up her eyes, and she rose quickly, saying, “Just one moment, Molly, and I shall describe them to you.” And with that, she hurried into the house.
A few minutes later, she returned, laying something in Molly’s lap as she did so. “Feel this, Molly. This is a fabric called velvet. It is black—every bit as black as the darkness you see daily.”
“Oh, Mommy, it’s so soft!” exclaimed Molly, as she rubbed her hands over the luxurious fabric.
“Yes, dear, it is soft. Now, feel the wedding ring on my hand. Do you feel the large stone on my ring?” asked Elizabeth, as Molly eagerly explored her mother’s ring.
“Yes, Mommy.”
“That is called a diamond. It is a precious and valuable jewel—something that costs a great deal. It symbolizes your father’s love for me. Well, my child, the stars are just like the velvet and my diamond. Imagine the world blanketed in black velvet. Now envision thousands upon thousands of my diamonds sprinkled across it—each one beautiful beyond description, and each one a symbol of the great love of God. That, my child, is the night sky.”
“Oh, Mommy,” breathed Molly, “How beautiful that must be. I can’t wait to see it someday.”
Tears filled Elizabeth’s eyes, and she replied, “My dear child, I am afraid you will never see them. The first thing you will ever see will be the face of Jesus. And once you see His face, you will never see night or blackness again.”
A smile illumined Molly’s face as she turned her face upward and said, “Oh, that is far better, Mommy.” And with that hope, she remained content.

Writing Prompt #5

Here is something else that I wrote as a part of my brother's 30 days of writing prompts. 

#5: Choose a common or menial task with which you are familiar. Try to describe it to your reader in a fun/interesting way, or possibly shed new light on something mundane.

Tears streamed down Kathleen’s face. “I just can’t get it right!” she sobbed. As she sat, curled against her favorite tree in the forest, her mind recalled the woeful events that had led her here. Kathleen, the prettiest girl in her village, had early captured the interest and love of the local young carpenter, Shawn. They soon wed, and thus, at the age of 19, she became the mistress of her own home.

Beautiful, witty, kind, and compassionate, Kathleen seemed to have it all…or so it appeared. She lacked but one thing. Raised from her infancy by her widower father, the motherless girl knew nothing about the fine arts of cooking.

For the first few months of Kathleen and Shawn’s marriage, they literally lived on love alone. But soon, the concrete biscuits, burned eggs, and charcoal bacon began to wear on him. He was a carpenter, after all! He needed more than burnt offerings for sustenance. Soon, try as he might, he could no longer keep his complaints to himself, and his grumbling turned into roaring. Kathleen felt disgraced and displeased with herself. What was her beauty and charm if she could not cook?

The day before this, she had purchased a roast from the butcher, purposing that she would attempt to make her husband’s favorite dish: pot roast. He loved that meal, and continually talked about how his mother always cooked it for him. Kathleen just knew she could do it if she tried hard enough.

But alas! The meat resembled beef jerky, the carrots were shriveled, and the potatoes charred on the edges. Her husband made a valiant effort to eat the meal, but he soon pushed back his plate, exclaiming, “How do you expect me to eat this stuff, woman!?”and stormed out of the house. The next morning, this scene was again repeated with her scorched bacon and eggs. Kathleen could take no more, so burst into tears, ran out the back door, and into the forest, falling at the base of her favorite tree. How long she cried there, she had no way of telling. But, suddenly, she heard a soft voice saying, “What ails you, my child?”

Kathleen blinked through her tears, and, looking up, she beheld an older woman with a jovial face and a slightly rotund, matronly figure which heavily bespoke of her enjoyment of the culinary arts. The stranger repeated herself, “What ails you, child? What causes you to cry so?”

“I…c-can’t…c-cook! And my…husband…is d-displeased…with me!” sobbed Kathleen. “Last night, I tried…to m-make him…his…favorite d-dish, b-but the roast…was as…t-tough…as j-jerky! And this m-morning I b-burned…his b-breakfast!”

“Oh, my poor child. Do you have no mother to teach you? Ahh, I thought not,” said the stranger in answer to Kathleen’s sorrowful shake of her head. “Well, come, my child, I will teach you how to make a roast that will make your man’s mouth water.”

And so saying, she led Kathleen to her house, which lay in a small clearing in the center of the forest. Once there, she brought Kathleen into the kitchen, and pulled out an oval shaped pot with buttons on it. “This,” she explained, “Is the housewife’s best friend. It is called a crockpot. I have two of these, so will let you take this one home with you for now. Now, let us begin.”

“First, you peel about 4 large carrots, and then chop them up into roughly 1 ½ inch chunks, like this. Next, we chop 4-5 red potatoes—again, into rather large chunks (if you like, you may substitute 1 large sweet potato for about 2 of the regular potatoes for added flavor). Then, we chop an onion. Now we toss all this into the bottom of the pot,” said the kindly woman, demonstrating it to the distraught young wife.

“Now,” said she, “We will get out my frying pan, put a tablespoon of garlic in it, and turn the stove on to medium-high heat. Then we will place the roast in the pan, and brown it evenly on all sides, like so. Now take the roast and put it on top of the vegetables in the crockpot. Finally, here are 15 ounce cans of sauerkraut, stewed tomatoes, and beef broth. Pour them on top of the roast. Then, place the lid on the pot, and cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours. And, ta-da! You have a roast that will fall apart in your husband’s mouth.”

And so saying, she handed the crockpot to the grateful young wife, with instructions to come back for cooking lessons anytime she desired. Kathleen hurried home and turned on the crockpot. That night, when Shawn came home, a succulent dinner awaited him. The delight with which he greeted this meal can scarcely be described. Let me just say that Kathleen learned that day that the way to a man’s heart truly is through his stomach.

And they lived happily ever after. The End.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A story from my archives...

I was going through some old stories I had written and found this one. As it is one of my favorite ones, I thought I would share it on my blog.

My Cross

Based upon a dream I had on March 24, 2007.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

I tossed restlessly to and fro as I drifted in and out of sleep. Tonight, it was not merely the pain of a back injury that prevented me from sleeping well, but the terrifying nature of my dream as well. Dear reader, in this story, I will try to portray the nature of this nightmare in a way that, I hope and pray, you will not soon forget. Dear reader, take heed and beware, for this is the vision my mind’s eye beheld.

Terror—Evil—Darkness: Islam.

The followers of Islam ruled the world. Their corrupt doctrine and hatred penetrated the core of every government. America, too, had fallen prey to its voracious and consuming nature.

You may ask, “How did this happen? Where are the Christians?” Well, my dear friend, let me tell you. The majority of the Christians of America had allowed the world to seep into their lives. They had become so much like the world that they no longer shown as lights in the darkness—they had lost the savor of their salt. This led to their failure to rise up and take a stand against evil and elect godly leaders for their nation. They tolerated abortion and the “gay rights” movement. They failed to lead others to Christ. In essence, they had become Christians who warmed a pew on Sunday and then lived like the world the rest of the week. Those who sincerely followed the Lord with their whole heart were much persecuted and few in number.

Thus, God began His judgment of the nation with the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). Sickness, marital problems, and financial pressures plagued the majority of God’s people. Yet still they did not turn from their wicked ways and seek His face. Therefore, America was given corrupt leaders who scorned God’s people and abhorred His ways. America ceased their support of Israel, and thus the economy suffered a collapse. (Ps. 122:6). The holy name of the Lord was removed from society. Soon, Christians who openly declared their faith were imprisoned and often martyred. Those who remained loyal to the name of Christ went into hiding. America—now destitute of righteousness—then fell prey to the ravenous, yet subtle beast of Islam.

It snuck in quietly and without much observation. It began with a few Muslims penetrating the Congress, and then inhabiting the White House. These Muslim leaders outlawed Christianity and proclaimed their faith the national religion—declaring death to all who opposed them. Hearing that many Christians had gone undercover, they developed an organization in which they trained men and women in the basic tenets of Christianity and sent them out into the streets to find the believers and penetrate and destroy the heart of Christendom. Unfortunately, the varying levels of spiritual maturity (i.e., mediocre and lukewarm, passive, vibrant and passionate) made it difficult for the believers to discern the difference between friend and foe. Thus, many Christians fell captive to the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

All this, I perceived to be the state of the nation in my dream.

I then beheld that I was one of those who had not denied Christ’s name nor bowed knee to Allah. I had lived in hiding for many years with my family, and often made escapades with other believers into the cities in our area at night, where we would leave Scripture pamphlets and Bibles in public areas—praying that God would bless our efforts and bring souls to Him. These activities enraged the authorities and doubled their efforts to find and destroy the “Christ-followers.”

One night, as I sat closeted in my room reading my Bible by candlelight, I heard banging and screaming. Startled, I hurriedly closed my Bible, stuffed it into a secret pouch in my skirt, and blew out the candle. No sooner had I done this, than a foot rammed through my door, reducing it to splinters. There, standing before me, were the Muslim Secret Police. The Captain, while glaring at me, hissed from the side of his mouth, “Is this her?”

A woman—standing in the shadows—said, “Yes, Captain. It is her.” As she said this, she came slowly forward, and kissed me on the cheek. As I caught sight of her face, I reeled and nearly fell to the floor. “No…it cannot be…” My mind struggled to comprehend this betrayal.

“Sorry, my dear,” she sneered. “But Allah pays better than the God of the Christians.”

I was stunned! This woman! I had known her and considered her a fellow believer and friend! Yet she had just betrayed me to the enemy? And for what? Money? A wave of sickness passed over me, and tears slowly began coursing their way down my face. “May God forgive you,” I gasped.

A rag was pressed over my mouth and nose, and I soon lost all consciousness to the sickly sweet smell of chloroform.


Dim light, a musty smell, a sour voice—these things dawned upon my returning senses. “Where am I?” I opened my eyes and waited for my vision to clear. I glanced down to find myself sitting on a wooden pew. Then I noticed that pews filled the entire length and breadth of the room—some overturned. A raised platform stood at one end of the room with the splintered remains of a pulpit lying scattered across it. Shards of stained glass windows lay strewn across the room. Torn, beaten, and battered hymnals and Bibles filled the aisles. Blood stains covered the carpeting and woodwork.

“An abandoned church?” I spoke my thought aloud. It was then that I realized I was not alone.

“Yesss, an abandoned church,” hissed the sour voice. I looked behind me to find the cruel captain’s face leering at me. “Precisely. You are an intelligent woman. As are the rest of your ‘brethren,’ as I believe you call each other.” With this, he gestured behind him, where I saw that truly, I was not alone. Men and women—of varying ages—sat or lay on many of the pews, about thirty in number. All looked dazed, as if they, too, had just awakened from a chloroform induced state.

“This church once had a large outreach, and numerous decisions to serve and follow your God were made here,” enumerated the captain. “Today, we will again use this building to make decisions about God. Today, all of you here must decide whom you will serve—Allah or the One you call Jesus Christ. Your predecessors in this building have made fortunate decisions, and some not so fortunate decisions.” As he said this last statement, he glanced pointedly at the blood stains on the carpet.

Someone spoke from the back of the room, “And if we choose Christ?”

“Then you will die,” stated the captain with an evil glint in his eyes.

A tremor went down my spine, and terror filled my soul. But lo, I heard a Voice whisper to my heart, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. I, the Lord your God am your helper. Do not fear what man shall do unto you.” Peace and calm flooded my soul, removing the terror.

“Lord, I am yours. I do not fear what man can do unto me,” my heart whispered in reply. The Holy Spirit then descended on me in all His power and instructed me what to say. “Captain, may I say something to you and my brothers and sisters here in reply to your demand?”

The captain grudgingly assented.

“Captain, and dear ones in Christ, we have been given a choice here today—a choice between life and death. Therefore, I plead with you, choose life!” The captain smiled in agreement, and a few of the believers frowned at me. Looking at the captain, I asked, “May I continue?” He nodded his head.

“My dear brethren, I am already a dead person. For, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I died. I can say with Paul, ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’ These men can only kill my mortal body—a body that I died to years ago. However, my spirit—which is eternal—shall live with Christ for all eternity. I do not fear death, for what can death do to me? It shall only hasten me in my journey to that Celestial City.”

“The death I fear is not a physical death, but a spiritual death. Should I renounce Christ and serve Allah, then I would die spiritually. For he who will save his own life will lose it, but he who loses his life for Christ’s sake shall save it. The Lord has set before us this day life and death. I therefore choose physical death and life with Christ—for to depart and live with Christ is far better than to renounce Christ and live another second in a world governed by Satan. Brethren, choose life…”

A stunning blow to my mouth from the captain’s fist ended my speech. I smiled wryly, as blood poured from my mouth, and said, “Thank you, Lord.” A startled look appeared in the captain’s eyes for a brief moment and then disappeared as quickly as it had come. More blood gushed from my mouth as I haltingly said again, “Thank you, Lord.” Then turning to the captain, I said, “You may wonder why I am thanking my Lord for this cruel and unjust blow, but I am rejoicing that I am counted worthy to suffer for His name’s sake.”

Anger flooded his face, and he rammed his fist into my rib cage. I felt my ribs give way, and a sharp pain in my chest informed me that they had probably punctured a lung and that I had internal bleeding. I found that I was no longer able to stand, and fell to the pew, silenced and gasping for breath. Tears poured from my eyes as the pain grew agonizing.

A triumphant gleam appeared in the captain’s eyes. Grabbing me by my arm and forcing me to stand, he ordered the others in the room to stand also. “Follow me, and you will see where your mistaken faith in Christ leads you!” he barked.

Dragging me from the room, he led everyone outside, where an electric fence encircled the church and a neighboring field. A breeze of wind brought a terrible stench with it. Looking around me, I perceived an area behind the church stacked with the corpses of martyrs. However, my attention was jerked back to the field before us as the captain and his underlings herded us in that direction. What was this? Crosses? Was my instrument of death to be the same as my Lord’s?

The captain glared at me, and then pointed to the crosses. “Is your faith strong enough for this? Will you die as your God died?”

“No…my faith…is not…strong enough,” I gasped, “But…His is. I live…by the…faith...of the Son…of God….He died…on a cross…for me. I will…die on a…cross…for Him.”

His look grew fierce and angry, and he shoved me roughly to the ground. He then turned to the others, and yelled, “She refuses to renounce her God and therefore will die as her God died—on a cross! Will the rest of you join her in death, or will you renounce your Jesus and bow your knees to Allah and live? If you choose to die, then step forward.”

Ten—only ten—out of the thirty stepped forward, saying, “We will never worship Allah and count it a privilege to die as our Lord died.”

“Fools!” exclaimed the captain. “Officers, take them to their deaths!”

As the armed officers of the law came forward to seize their victims, the Spirit again impressed me to speak—a thing that I did with much difficulty, for breathing had become difficult, as my punctured lung slowly filled with blood. “Brethren…our Lord…went to…His cross willing…willingly. Let us…do…also.” And so saying, I painfully rose to my feet, and with faltering steps, made my way to a cross and lay down upon it. To the amazement and consternation of all present, my ten fellow believers followed suit.

“Nail them to their cross!” ordered the captain.

I felt hands grabbing my arm, pulling my hand towards the end of the cross. Something cold, metallic, and sharp pressed into my palm. BANG! BANG! The hammer strokes fell, and a long spike was driven into my hand. Shafts of pain shot up my arm. Now the other arm was pulled. “Oh Lord, help me to bear it! Give me grace!” Again, something metallic pressed into my hand. Again, a clanging sound flooded my ears. More pain shot up my arm, joining the pain of the other arm.

Hands are on my legs—causing them to bend at the knee, removing my shoes, and placing one foot atop another. Something cold and metallic—thicker than the others—pressed into my foot. More clanging. Pain shot up both legs. Oh the pain! The sheer agony!

“Lord, you did this for me? Oh what love divine! They did not even whip me as they whipped you…”

A pulling, scraping sound—the cross rises into the air. I am now suspended in midair, hanging from a wooden beam—held fast by the nails piercing my hands and my feet. My arms are pulled taunt. I cannot breathe unless I push upward with my legs. The pain caused by pushing upward with my pierced feet is an indescribable torture. I slowly rotate my head. Ten other crosses stood next to mine—each with a faithful witness nailed to it.

I pushed upward and gathered a painful breath. “Brethren! Remem…Remember Christ!”

Ten more believers stepped forward, declared their faith in Christ, and walked to their cross.

I heard a voice. “Sing, Melody, sing!” it urged.

Words came to my mind. Temporary breath came to my lungs. I sang slowly, with many gasps for breath. But I sang with all my heart and remaining strength.

“I have decided to follow Jesus.
I have decided to follow Jesus.
I have decided to follow Jesus.
No turning back, no turning back.”

Voices from neighboring crosses joined mine.
A hush fell over the field as we continued our song—twenty-one voices strong.

“Though none go with me, still I will follow.
Though none go with me, still I will follow.
Though none go with me, still I will follow.
No turning back, no turning back.”

The remaining ten stepped forward and began singing.

“The world behind me, the cross before me.
The world behind me, the cross before me.
The world behind me, the cross before me.
No turning back, no turning back.”

Thirty-one crosses now stood, raised to the sky.

A horrific pain sliced through my lungs and heart. I heard the voice again. “Not much longer, my child. Not much longer. You will soon be with me.”

I pushed upward for another breath. Then I cried, “Amazing love…that Christ…should die…on the cross…for…a…worm…like me.” One more breath—my last one, and one more cry: “Jesus…I’m…coming home!” My chest collapsed. My breath departed. Darkness fell upon me.

A voice. “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.”

Light shone through the darkness.

The voice again—and a loving face, saying, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

Arms enfolding me, glory overwhelming me. His voice continues: “Well done, my dear one! You took up your cross and followed me. You fought the good fight, you ran the race and finished the course, and you kept the faith. Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”

More light. Rejoicing. Singing. Worship. Praise. Heaven and home. Jesus.

And so I awoke.

The questions on my mind when I awakened are those that I ask of you. Will you die for Jesus? Will you take a stand for your faith? In the past century alone, more Christians have died for their faith than in all the previous years combined—and Islam is a great perpetuator of these deeds. Friends! Persecution is coming, just as Christ promised it would. Yea, all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. How will you respond to that persecution? Will you rejoice as commanded and stand firm in your faith? Or will you cower in fear and disgrace?

My friends and readers, live for Jesus! Die for Jesus! All earthly pain and sorrow that we face here on earth will be worth it all when we see Jesus. He gave His life for us! What have we given to Him? Right now, purpose to die to self. Place yourself and all your ambitions, hopes, dreams, and passions upon that cross, crucify them and leave them there. Purpose to know and live for Jesus only, and Him crucified. For then, we can say with Martin Luther, “The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still. His kingdom is forever.”


Friday, January 4, 2013

My brother is hosting "30 Days of Writing Prompts," where every day he gives us a prompt, and we have to write a minimum of 200 words on the chosen subject. Today's prompt is: "Share one of your favorite quotes. Tell the reader why it is important, significant, or meaningful."

I wrote the following as my response, and thought I'd share it here on my blog, which shamefully gets ignored most of the time. :-)

Edwin Paxton Hood—an English author—once said, “Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as the latter.” My father firmly believed this, and, as a result, kept us well supplied with a treasure trove of books.

Books became some of my best friends, and I spent much time with them. I have therefore read numerous books and learned many things from them. But of all the books I have read and of all the lives and theology I have explored through them, one of the quotes that has stayed with me for many years now comes from a book called, “Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ” by John Piper. In this book, Mr. Piper states, “The glory of Jesus Christ is that He is always out of sync with the world and therefore always relevant for the world. If He fit nicely, He would be of little use.”

As a young girl, I knew that I did not “fit in” with the others my age. I dressed differently, talked differently, listened to different music, and even went to school differently. Sometimes I felt glad about this fact, but often I struggled with it. I hated the way the other girls in my Sunday school class would stare at me, ignore me, or even insult me—often insinuating that I found my clothes in my granny’s attic trunk.

I struggled with this for many years. But one day my dad gave me the book by John Piper, encouraging me to read it. When I reached that sentence I stopped, paused, and reread it several times. I then realized that following in Christ’s footsteps requires being out of “sync” with the culture around us.

C.S. Lewis once said, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Indeed, Jesus came preaching a message entirely different from the culture of the time. He taught that if a soldier compelled you to carry his sack a mile, you should go with him for two miles. Shocking! He healed on the Sabbath day. Horror! He outright called the people around Him an “evil and adulterous generation,” “whited sepulchers,” and a “faithless generation.” Outrageous! Yet, people came away saying, “Never man spake like this man!” Even as a boy, all who heard Him speak were amazed at His answers.

Jesus taught true love and sacrifice, yet He did not mince words when it came to telling the truth. Because His message contrasted so starkly with the “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” of the Scribes and Pharisees, He became relevant and therefore useful to the world. Had He come merely preaching the rules of the religious leaders of that day, He could not have brought life to us, nor could He have freed us from the bondage of sin.

Mr. Piper’s book taught me that because I serve the Risen Lord, I do not need to “fit in” with the world around me. If I look like they do, talk like they do, listen to their music, watch their movies, read their books, etc., why should they listen to me when I tell them of a Christ Who came to deliver them from their sin and bondage? No, as I learned that day, I MUST remain “out of sync with world” so that I can become relevant and useful to the world.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

4 years ago today...

Excitement coursed through my veins as the seemingly 50 pounds of satin slipped over my head. My best friend fastened the dress, and I turned to look in the mirror to see the result. “This is it,” I thought, “This is the day when my dreams come true!” My girlfriends chattered happily around me as they too prepared themselves for the glorious hour ahead.  I listened happily to them, and then turned from the mirror to return to the waiting room. With my hair curled to perfection, a tiara sitting on my head, jewelry to match the beadwork on my dress, and a long, flowing train, I truly felt like a princess—like a bride. My steps felt light as I went to the room.

Minutes ticked past, and everyone around me hurried their preparations. Girls curled their hair, painted their nails, and then slipped into their blue satin gowns. The clock seemed to slow down, and I felt as if I watched the scene from somewhere outside myself as I once again realized that the time had almost arrived to join my life to another. As I watched the scurrying around me, trepidation suddenly overtook my soul.

“How can I do this? I know nothing about being a wife. Can I really be a good wife for him?” I felt so young, so unprepared and lacking knowledge. No, I couldn’t do it. What had possessed me to think that I could!? My hands began shaking uncontrollably. 

My wedding coordinator perceived my nervousness, and shooed everyone out of the room so I could have 5 minutes of quiet to relax. I took several deep breaths. “Father, help me!” I prayed. “I can’t do this on my own. Please grant me strength!” 

My bridesmaids returned and gathered around me in a circle and prayed for me. I began shaking again, and tears began forming in my eyes. I took several more deep breaths and willed the tears to go away. “I can’t ruin my make-up!” Peace finally began settling over my heart as my sisters, friends, and mother prayed for me. I knew then that God was truly with me and in this day. 

My dad came to the door. “It’s time,” he said. One by one, the bridesmaids left the room and walked down the aisle to their places. I took my dad’s arm, and looked up at him. “You’re the most beautiful bride I have ever seen—besides your mother, that is,” he said. I smiled at him, and again suppressed the tears. 

Trumpets began playing. My time had come! Emotions overwhelmed me as I walked down the aisle. As every eye looked at me, I again wondered if I could really do this. But, then, I looked ahead and saw my promised husband, smiling at me, waiting to receive me. Joy overruled all other emotions as I gazed into his loving eyes. I remembered that I had arrived at that moment by God’s appointment, therefore I need fear nothing. Thus, perfect love cast out all fear. 

I reached the end of the aisle, where I took my beloved’s hand for the first time. Oh the thrill of that moment! I squeezed his hand and arm to assure him of my love. We then climbed the steps to stand before my father, and repeat the sacred vows that made us man and wife. A joyful solemnity came over me as I carefully repeated each irrevocable word. I felt the Lord standing next to me, upholding me, and witnessing this sacred and holy act. Again, I knew He had ordained this moment. 

Finally, I heard the words, “I now pronounce you man and wife. Donald, you may kiss your bride.” My heart began beating wildly as my husband (my husband!) pulled me to him. Of that moment, no pen can tell or tongue describe, only know that a first kiss is a most precious and valuable treasure. How glad I am that I saved it for that moment! We then turned to face our friends and guests, and how my heart soared as I heard them clap and cheer as my father introduced, “Mr. and Mrs. Donald Preuninger”! We then floated down the aisle out of the sanctuary, taking our first steps together along the “till death do you part” pathway. 

Exactly four years have passed from that day to this, and today, as I prepare to spend the day with my wonderful husband, I am so glad I did not hearken to the fears resounding in my mind. God has tremendously blessed our marriage and I can still say with confidence that God predestined our union. The last four years almost seem like a whirlwind. We have made new friends, lost dear relatives, made a home together, and, most importantly, God has given us two dear children. God is in it all and we could not have done it without Him. I praise my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for the wondrous things He has done for us, and thank Him for the incredible man He gave me four years ago today. His ways are indeed perfect, and His gifts are the best. And how blessed is the marriage that He ordains!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James  1:17).