my wedding Day {the ceremony}.

Anthony-Amanda-Wedding-0151-2The time had come, I clutched onto my father’s arms and walked towards the doors. These doors, you see, are no ordinary doors. These are 15 foot ceremonial doors. When the church remodeled over five years ago, they were very strict that only the priest celebrating Mass and the bride and groom got to walk through those doors. There before me, large as ever, were the doors I’d waited more than five years to walk through. And there beside me was the man who taught me more about love, life and marriage than words can tell. The photographer was snapping away as I was failing to hold it together. People were telling us to walk slow, take it in…but as the doors opened, their words faded as I clung to my father, breathed in, and crossed that threshold at long last. Anthony-Amanda-Wedding-0152 Continue reading

my wedding Day {getting ready}.

I suppose that it is no real surprise I woke up well before my alarm was set to go off. Really, who on earth thinks they will actually need their alarm clock on their wedding day? Your wedding day is basically all of those childhood Christmas mornings wrapped into one glorious day.

I actually only woke up about 30 minutes before my alarm clock went off and I’d slept remarkably well, unlike the night we got engaged (how many times did I wake up thinking of different options for a flower girl?!). I woke up and laid in bed, pulled out my phone, opened the YouTube app and promptly started listening to “Goin’ To The Chapel” and grinning from ear to ear. My mom came down to make sure I was awake and we talked for a few minutes. I stretched just like I always do before I get out of bed, and showered. I remember being specific about which song I wanted to listen to in the shower, though I can’t recall now which song I picked. I finished my shower and put on one of my dad’s button down shirts so I could get my hair done. I headed downstairs only to be greeted by a cacophony of friends who had brought over breakfast treats, complete with mimosas. I have trained my stomach not to be hungry until after daily Mass, so I wasn’t exactly hungry yet, but I ate a few treats (chocolate covered strawberries!) anyway. I sat down in the living room while a woman who is near and dear to me did my hair. (Not only is she half of our mentor couple, she was also the wedding coordinator!) People were buzzing about the house, and I was sitting there, enjoying getting my hair done. Continue reading

a lot like Jesus.

Sometimes the devil sounds a lot like Jesus, telling me I’m not enough…

I adore Ben Rector’s music, but the first time I heard this line I almost turned the song off. How could the devil sound like Jesus? That’s the trick though, isn’t it? The devil puts just enough truth in his pile of lies that his words are easy to fall for. Think of Eve in the Garden of Eden. The serpent tells her, “Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden’?”” (Genesis 3:1, emphasis mine) No, God did not tell Eve that she couldn’t eat from any of the trees. In fact, God didn’t tell Eve anything about the trees – that info was relayed to her through Adam. The serpent makes it seem like he is taking the words of God and giving them to Eve, but that isn’t the case. So too in our day the devil can sound a lot like Jesus, but that begs the question, does Jesus ever tell us that we aren’t enough? Continue reading

a lot like Worry.

a lot like worryVery, very rarely (perhaps never) have I split one song up into more than one post. But “If You Can Hear Me” by Ben Rector is too good of a song to only devote one post to. Since last week I had a theme of not losing your voice and listening to the right voices, it made sense to follow that up with some reflections on actually being heard. If you’ve never heard of Ben Rector, do your ears and heart a favor and go check him out.

“If You Can Hear Me” is one of those songs that I can see people arguing about. Over the years people have wondered which of Ben’s songs were religious, but if you really listen to this one, there is no denying it’s religious tone. Ben starts off the song singing,

Sometimes the devil sounds a lot like worry
Treading a well-worn path into my soul
And it don’t sound evil, oh, but my head’s burning…

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submission does not mean losing your Voice.

Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
-Ephesians 5:22

I used to think that being submissive or subordinate meant that you didn’t have a say in anything, that, in essence, you lost your voice. No wonder, then, that Ephesians 5 gets such a bad reputation and is so highly quoted out of context. This notion of submission meaning your voice gets lost or silenced has become so prevalent in the world today.

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listening to the right Voice.

{I’m not totally back on the blogging front yet. These posts are ones that I wrote before the wedding. But rest assured and mark your calendars for July 28th when I’ll be back with freshly written, post-married-life blogs!}

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard or thought one of the following:

I’m not enough.
I’m not pretty.
I’m not smart enough, tall enough, funny enough, sexy enough.
I’m a bad friend.
I’m too emotional.
I have too much baggage.
I’ll never find love.
I’m not worthy.

Chances are that about 99.9% of you either have your hand raised or are looking around to see if anyone would notice you reading that list and simultaneously raising your hand. That’s okay, I’m writing this with one hand raised too. Continue reading