The week before the wedding was anything but awesome. I can't imagine how people who don't know Jesus get through stormy seasons of life. I am overwhelmed 99% of the time - either by the storms themselves or by the magnitude of His love for me, and well, us. Our wedding was this perfect moment in the midst of a storm, and it was exactly the reassurance I needed to know without any doubts, hesitations, or glances backward that I have made a step into my future with my feet placed exactly where God wants them.
Now about that storm...
Have you ever sat down and looked at your life and felt like every single aspect of it was at least slightly (if not completely) a mess? Yea, I'm in that boat. Our finances are atrocious (thanks to a sweet combo of our mistakes in the past, previous marriages, and my job kind of sucking) so we're stuck in our ever-pleasant living situation with no end in sight. We're down to 1 car and then that car died the day before the wedding (at least my parents have extra vehicles that we're borrowing - but not without drama). We have ongoing strife with the kids biological mother. Aside from the things she does or permits to be done to the kids that are physically damaging, she decided to move from Katy to Tomball (which is almost an hour and a half drive - yay Houston is enormous) so we're using even more money every time we have the kids in gas and being forced to eat out every Thursday night. Plus it cuts into our time dramatically. Almost 3 hours of our precious time with them is spent in transit. She's only partially in contempt of court with the move - she stayed in the geographic area set by the papers but she only provided 13 days notice instead of the required 30. She hates the relationship the kids have with me and desperately tries to exclude me at every opportunity. I'm blessed beyond belief that she has been unsuccessful and the kids and I still have a ridiculously awesome relationship (my heart soars and breaks simultaneously when we're dropping them back off and Cherie turns and yells from the porch, "Bye Mama! Bye Daddy! I love you!") It sucks that I can't have lunch with them at school now and that we're not as able to be at their programs and activities during the day because its so far. I try really really really hard to pray for their mom, because the Bible commands us to pray for those who persecute us, but when my heart is so clouded with contempt, it gets hard. When things get really really ugly, and I'm mad/hurt/disgusted, the comfort I have come to rely on is knowing that God is working here. He has plans for us so much bigger than this mess we're sitting in. He will make beauty from the ashes. He will bring us strength and peace. And all of these things will work together for His glory. Does that stop me from looking around for a slingshot and a smooth stone? Obviously not. In the years to come, this will just be the time that we started our beautiful Green life on a stone foundation during a storm. Mike Holmes makes it right, but his work looks shoddy compared to the work Jesus Christ is doing. He makes it right, because He loves us too much to leave us in pits of sorrow and strife.
And that beautiful Green spot? Let's end this with some wedding, shall we?
We have known from the very beginning of our relationship that we wanted to be a couple who glorified the Lord with our love for each other. We chose a wedding date and location that honored Him. We laid a foundation with our relationship that honored Him. We felt such a peace about being with each other, and then everything came together so easily - wedding related anyway - that we could not deny the favor our Father was showing our union. I mean, literally, every little aspect was touched by His hands. The weather forecast started to look ugly for our chosen date, time, and location. I started getting messages from concerned loved ones asking what our back up plan was. I confidently replied that we didn't have one because we didn't need one. The weather would be beautiful. Friday morning, it was black and threatening in Austin. I can honestly say I was never worried. I didn't care if the ground was wet. It would not be raining. At 4:30, the clouds went away. At 7ish when we stood atop a mountain, literally surrounded by friends and family, and promised each other and God that we would love each other for the rest of our lives, no matter what, it was 75 with the beginnings of an exceptional sunset behind us. See? I told you the weather would be beautiful! The Lord blessed us for honoring Him. We got started about 30 minutes late (no one is surprised. I mean, seriously.) and Owen was running around and climbing on rocks instead of standing next to Sheldon like the best man is supposed to (and like I told him to do 4 times) but he's 4 and adorable so who cares? Ross officiated an extremely personal and charming ceremony. I got the ring finger correct on the first try. And no one fell down. Wait, no. Several people ate it on the stairs, but no one fell during the ceremony. It was simple, comfortable, and sincerely about how much we love each other. It was exactly how we imagined it, except with more awesome. I mean, you can't really fathom that much awesome when you're imagining things, really. My girls rallied around me (B - thanks for putting us up and taking the kiddos for ice cream! Mango - thank you for coming all the way from ENGLAND and for taking care of my flowers. Jen - thanks for driving, being so ridiculously hot, and for exuding calm. I love y'all!) and got me up that hill! We had a casual fun dinner at El Arroyo afterwards, and it really just felt so right. Thank you so much to everyone who was there and for all the love and support you've given us!
The Great Kate took our pictures and great is an understatement.
gorgeous sunset and skyline
Group shot! Most of the guests actually made it into this pic!
My amazing girls
my handsome Green men
You can view the entire album of Kate's shots here. She did such a great job and the pictures are better than I could have hoped for!!