wedding refinery

david and i have been to two weddings in the last three weekends. that season is upon us. it has been wonderful to enjoy these weddings without any wedding planning stress. don’t get me wrong, our wedding was completely wonderful, but it was an incredibly stressful time in our lives.

there are some things that i have been meddling over since these weddings. i’d like to share them:

1. at the first wedding, everyone spoke, with delight, about how the bride was a huge dreamer. [in the past, i don’t think i would hesitate to call myself a dreamer. always making big plans to see big things happen. i never felt confined by anything. instead, i was free to dream big for Jesus and all he might have for me. in more recent years, i believed a lie- that to dream big is to be irrational, unrealistic, and irresponsible. reality has taken a tole on me, and i’ve let life squish me a little. since that wedding three weeks ago, i have been reflecting a lot on what it means to dream big for the kingdom, and dream big for my marriage. God created me to dream, and gave me a precious husband to speak reality and truth into my big dreams. God did that on purpose so that together, we can accomplish more than we could apart! thank you God for marriage and for still refining my heart.]

2. also the first wedding, so many people spoke of the bride and groom as incredibly passionate people. mostly passionate for Jesus and people. [passion. that word can mean so many things and be used in many different ways. i think as reality has hit, my passions have taken a hit too. the problem is, i’m letting my tainted view of reality change my view of what God has given me to love, and created me to be passionate for. it’s all selfishness and pride at the end of the day. what if i dive into something passionately and fail? what if i have to be uncomfortable to be passionate for the lost and broken in the world? what if it’s less predictable to make decisions based on these crazy passions? in the bible, we see a lot of passionate people. the word zealous is used to describe them. we are even told to be zealous.

1 peter 3:13 says, “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?”

revelation 3:19 says, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”

passion and zeal for Christ is a calling from God, to cause big love, big faith, big repentance, and big grace.]

3. finally, in the second wedding, our friend/pastor, daniel, spoke one of the clearest presentations of the gospel that i’ve ever heard at a wedding. [it was a beautiful reminder of the meaning of marriage. God created marriage to give us a foretaste of the beautiful marriage to come. we get glimpses of what God truly created us for. we understand in an altogether new way what it was for Jesus to take our sin, and our guilt, and our shame then bear it, and forgive it. marriage without forgiveness (the kind of forgiveness that knows no limits) is nothing like what God intended. love never ends, so forgiveness never ends. needless to say, i left that wedding with a deeper desire to love and forgive my husband like never before.]

weddings are a precious time of celebration and ceremony. in this case, refinery.

 

photo 1(10)

i may already have this one on the blog, but i love it ; )

photo 3(10)

loved spending time with this sweet bridesmaid!

photo 2(10)

old acquaintances become new friends! love it!

lindsey's wedding

don’t know why that weird line is there. also my hairstyle (which you might not be able to see) came from this blog (http://www.thewiegands.com/2014/06/messy-side-bun.html) that i like to read!

wait. that’s me!

exodus 22:21 “you shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of egypt.”

i’ve been reading through the old testament for about a month now. i recently came to terms with the fact that while i’ve been a follower of Jesus for almost twenty years, i’m not as awesome as i think. i don’t think i’ve read the whole bible. so, i started from the beginning.

i loved the narrative through genesis. in the beginning of exodus, the israelites were totally captivating as they came out of captivity… (see what i did there)? but here i am in the middle of exodus where God is teaching the israelites how to live. let’s be honest: i’m far less interested in ancient people’s slave laws, than the family drama in genesis.

but as i arrived at exodus 22:21, i came to a giant halt.

“you shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of egypt.”

i read it, and re-read it. and i thought: wait. he’s talking to me! I WAS THE SOJOURNER. and by his infinite grace, now i am one of god’s chosen people.

how many sojourners, aka people without Christ, do i know? how many “sojourners” do i wrong and oppress because they aren’t like me? and how often in our culture do we flee from, ostracize, and judge people because they are without Christ?

i’ll do you one even better: how many “people of god” do i wrong and oppress because they aren’t like me? how many brothers and sisters do i flee from, ostracize, and judge because they wear different cloths or sing different songs, or they don’t seem to have it all together like perfect little me… (hear my sarcasm..)

the thing is, i was utterly lost and alone without Jesus. and instead of being cast out, he brought me in by His incredible and astounding grace.

it’s time for me to celebrate when others are brought in. and celebrate those who already know him. not focusing on them looking like me, but like Jesus.

also, since i mentioned egypt, i have to share some fun pictures of the hubs and i IN EGYPT!

arab hat guy

he’s clearly awesome at selfies…

arab hat girl

these are the hats of the camel men. (because i don’t know what they’re really called).

pyramid