Altogether lovely

Here I am, sprawled out on my bed, listening to old-school Taylor Swift tunes. (Yes, we're talking classic 2009. The best!) Her songs instantly place me in a whimsical, nastalic, reflective sort of mood. It's the perfect environment needed to blog.

I love blogging. It's like writing in a very public and very loud version of your diary. In the same way that Instagram is a fun version of scrap-booking, blogging is yet like journal writing revamped, and pumped up to the next level! It's as if you're unlocking your inner most thoughts for the whole world to read. Nice.

Yet, there's something so thrilling and almost edgy about it. (Yeah, yeah, I just called blogging edgy...I was deff homeschooled.) Blogging is like standing on a little soap box on a street corner, and rambling about whatever comes to mind. Yet, people are actually going to listen!

So what am I going to write about today?

I want to dip my feather pen into my ink quill, and write about something girly and beautiful.
Can you guess what is is? 

There are many things in life worth writing about and celebrating, but as a girl, WEDDINGS are at the very top of that list.
What could possibly be sweeter than the innocence of a pure white bride, floating down the aisle, preparing to remove the veil and gaze lovingly into the eyes of the man she will marry, vowing her unwavering faithfulness until deaths bitter parting?! Gahhh! Somebody grab the Kleenex box!

There's been a lot of discussion about weddings in our home lately, thanks to my all time favorite TV family, The Duggars! (TLC's Nineteen Kids and Counting. Check out our pre-wedding interview with the Duggar Girls.)

Several weeks ago, on a regular old Tuesday night, 4.4 MILLION viewers tuned into TLC to watch Jill Duggar tie the knot with her husband Derick Dillard.
The two-hour-long TV special was such an amazing testimony of snow white purity, shamelessly on display for a world that has a stained and tainted idea about true love.

The wedding kicked off in typical Duggar fashion, with a sweet review of Jill and Derick's 21st century love story. Some key elements from their one-of-a-kind story were; a Nepal missionary, hook up with Dad's prayer partner, Skype, a spontaneous flight to the other side of the world, a quick engagement, crying sisters, and no kissing until "I Do."

The last element mentioned definitely raised some eye brows. The Duggar's no-nonsense approach to absolute purity worried some folks. "No kissing?!" Critics gasped, "How can you possibly fall in love without kissing!"

Well, Jill and Derick proved all the haters wrong.
The starstruck lovers made it to their special day without breaking their self-imposed courtship rules, and because of it, their wedding was absolutely, and altogether lovely.

Lisa Bevere wrote;
"Women plan weddings, and men plan wars."

This statement is so true. While men are wired to strategically move forward and conquer the world, women were created to stop and smell the roses, gather an armful of flowers, then decorate the whole house with them! We as women add so much sparkle and beauty, and weddings are like our ultimate outlet for that fun feminine side!  I believe it is because God absolutely adores weddings!

Kari Jobe (Christian recording artist and worship leader) proudly announced on her Instagram account,
"I'm married!!! Yesterday was more than a dream, more than a reality--it was a taste of Heaven. I've decided that God loves weddings. His presence was stronger than I've ever felt in my whole life."

After the decorations are finished, and the fancy pageantry is all said and done...the core of a beautiful wedding is the emotional triumph we feel, when we see that true love wins. Our hearts soar when we connect the words of 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 with the character of Christ. When we realize that every beautiful love story, every wedding, and everything that is remotely altogether lovely, points to the flawless Person of Jesus Christ.

You could almost re-read these verses like this;

"God's love toward me is patient. He suffers long and is kind. His love does not envy and it does not parade itself. Jesus is not puffed up. He stooped down to make me great. He suffered everything imaginably to man, and so much that I could be free. He became nothing, so that I could have everything. He does not behave rudely, and He does not seek his own. Everything He does is for my good, and His glory! He is not provoked, He thinks no evil toward me. He doesn't get exasperated and irritated with me. He does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. His love carries me through all things, inspires me to hope all things, believe all things, and with His love...endure all things. His love for me NEVER fails." 

This is the true character of Christ. This is His heartbeat for you. Lovely one, you need to know this; GOD HAS NOT GROWN WEARY OF YOU. You don't exhaust Him. He doesn't roll His eyes at you and say,
"Ughhhh, when is she ever going to get this?"
He is not frowning. He's not short-tempered and demanding. He is kind, gentle, and more patient then we can possibly fathom. 

God doesn't just "put up with you". He actually likes you! He adores your personality, quirks and all. 

In my opinion, the most beautiful part of the Duggar Dillard wedding, was when Derick saw his bride for the first time. He was literally breathless.
"Oh Jill" he whispered, at a total loss for words. 
You could tell that in that moment, he felt nothing but absolute love for Jill. That first look, reminded me of the way Jesus looks at us. He is without words, as we stand before Him.

You see, Jesus doesn't think about us, in the same way that we think about us.  When we see our wine-stained wedding dress, the mess we've made out of our lives, and our righteousness that looks like dirty rags...we feel ugly, ashamed, out of whack and out of sorts. Yes, we know that Jesus loves us...but how could it be that He actually ENJOYS and DELIGHTS in us?! 

"Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love."
Ephesians 1:4 [AMP] 

Jesus sees us through holy and blameless eyes. His pure heart only dares to call out the beauty from these ashes. His love causes worthless rags to be transformed into beautiful garments. His work is so much grander than anything Cinderella's fairy god-mother did...He gives us a double portion of honor in exchange for our shame. He turns tears into diamonds, and rags into riches. He turns a lowly pauper into His glorious princess bride. 


A. jill duggar Dillard

b. jessa duggar seawald

c. erin bates paine

d. alyssa bates webster

E. kari jobe carnes

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