Double "Happy" Today!

Happy 4th of July and Happy Anniversary! Jon & I were married 4 years ago today! How crazy is that! In one sense it seems so long ago, and in another sense, it feels like it was yesterday. It was the best day of my life, not only because I married Jon and we started our life together, but because it was the only day in my life where I can say that almost every person that I loved dearly and who meant the world to me were there that day, in one place, celebrating together. It was incredible. When my dad and I appeared at the top of the aisle, ready to walk down, I not only saw the face of Jon, but I saw the hundreds of faces of those precious people in my life. I remember thinking at that moment, “this is what heaven will be like.”

Here is a picture of our send-off the night of July 4th in 2005. It was incredible and the whole scenario played out exactly how I pictured it in my mind. We came out the back of the country club to everyone in a huge tunnel holding foot long sparklers. We ran through the sparkler tunnel and right ahead in front of us, we had a fireworks display going off at the same time. It was exactly how I pictured it would be and I wish the pictures captured how amazing it was. They don't do justice! But here's one for fun and a slideshow of some wedding pictures!

This year was wonderful! Jon & I learned and grew a lot and are adding our first child to our family in just about a month!

Things We Have Learned
  • God is not a God of performance.It’s not about us starting out on the high pedestal of morality and being good, and then trying really, really hard not to fall off, but rather, it was about starting out at the bottom, realizing how sinful we are and how big and gracious God is. How He chose us and because of Him we have the power to live uprightly
  • Goodness is not defined by us, but rather by God, and that God always works to do the best for us.
  • We have learned to say “Jesus” more which is way more personal than always saying “God” since most people say they believe in God, but cringe when you say the name Jesus.
  • We grew in our belief that the Bible is all about Jesus and the redemption of mankind to the praise and glory of God.
  • We learned that we want our children to realize that God wants nothing to do with performance based living, but everything to do with their hearts and loving Jesus and serving Him.
  • We learned to pray vigorously that God continues to give us wisdom about our hearts and the hearts of our children, and how to best shepherd them to Jesus.


Sarah Dawn said...

I love the sparklers for your wedding! What a unique idea. With all the chaos in Ethiopia right now, I was just checking in on your adoption process. I love seeing all that God has taught you. May He simply drench you in His unfailing love today. Happy Anniversary.

Blessings from Costa Rica,
Sarah Dawn

Kristy said...

One word.......AWESOME!

Mike & Sharon said...

Hi Rachel,

My name is Sharon and I go to church with Judith (I can't remember if she's your aunt or grandmother). Anyway, I finally got your blog address and am thrilled to finally follow your journey! My husband and I adopted Grace, our little girl from Ethiopia last summer. She is 6 and adorable. You will have an amazing experience in Ethiopia--drink it all in. The first thing you'll notice when you walk out of the airport is the smell (like a warm spice). I haven't been terribly active in updating Grace's blog, but you are welcome to check it out at africandaughter.blogspot.com

Have a terrific journey!