Monday, June 23, 2008

Saddleback and Big Ticket

So I'm sitting here in our hotel room in beautiful Mission Viejo, California, thinking about our time of worship tonight at Saddleback as Jacob works on tracks and clicks for the band. I can't tell you how honored and humbled I am to be a part of the worship conference here this week, surrounded by tons of worshippers and leaders from all over the country, gathering here like sponges waiting to soak up every ounce of wisdom and insight and refreshment that the Lord would offer through our times of worship in music as well as teaching from humble men and women of God. I, of course, am among them...hungry for the presence of the Lord and yearning to hear Him speak into my own life, all while asking that He would somehow use my meager offerings to bless His heart and refresh His faithful ministers, however weary or eager each might be. It's going to be a full week, and I am coming expectant.

On another note, I just have to give a shout out to my new friends in Gaylord, Michigan. Jacob and I played at the Big Ticket Festival on Friday around noon in the worship tent and had such a sweet time with the ones that gathered. Unfortunately, because of our crazy lives and the fact that I had to rush Jacob to the Detroit airport (3 and a half ours away) to catch a flight to Atlanta so he could make his show with Jeremy Camp, we were unable to stay and get to know some of the people who worshiped with us. So to all of you who sat under the worship tent as the nice Northern Michigan breeze kept us cool, thank you for blessing us. I distinctly remember faces and watching you worship the Lord in your own way, whether you knew my songs or not, but I pray that He would seal His truth in your hearts and continue to draw you closer to Himself as you run after Jesus. Hope to see y'all back at Big Ticket next year. And then maybe we'll actually get a chance to hang out for a bit. ;) 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What a Day

As some of you may know, I recently got married. Much of the reason I have been MIA from the world of blogging is because I have been in the land of wedding, a world of flowers and DJs and guestlists and countdowns...plans and details like I have never known before. All for one Day. One Day that, 8 months before seems like it would  never get here and 1 week until seems like it all just flies by like a speeding train. As the Day quickly approached, there were times I felt as if I was being run over by that speeding train, but alas, we survived. And though I now understand why people elope, I will never forget Our Day, May 23, 2008.

Jacob and I were married on a gorgeous, historic plantation called Rose Hill in Nashville, North Carolina. It was the absolute perfect day, the weather being about 74 degrees with not an ounce of wind or humidity, a far cry from the week-before forecast that had predicted 87 and isolated thunderstorms. Now you have to understand, I am definitely one of those girls who has dreamed about her wedding day since she was a kid, not exactly what color the flowers would be or what the bridesmaids would wear, but more of the actual commitment and celebration of Love. Yeah, that's about as hopeless romantic as it gets. I say all that as a preface to my next statement: my dad and I arrived to the ceremony cite in the pecan grove in a horse-drawn carriage. Ok, now you're getting the picture. But before the beautiful black and white mare ever took a step, my dad and I were sitting in the carriage in front of the historic mansion (built in 1762), reflecting on past, present, and future. It seemed to hit me all in that instant, the magnitude of what was about to transpire as well as the utter beauty and grace of the Day and days leading up to it. With tears brimming, I looked up at the sky as if to catch a glimpse of the One who was obviously smiling on us as my dad commented on that very fact. Just then, the music changed, and I knew it was time. My stomach did a sort of somersault as the carriage moved forward and I tried to 'dry it up.' I couldn't very well cry coming around the road to the pecan grove. But no matter how hard I tried not to, the more I did. I couldn't help it. This was the day I had always dreamed of, and here I was, riding in a carriage with my dad, seeing faces of precious people who had invested in my life in every season, and on my way to commit my love to my best friend before God and these witnesses. So as pathetic as it may be, I cried the whole way down the aisle. I was overwhelmed with gratitude, humbled that the Lord would grace us with His presence, honored that so many friends and loved ones would join us on our special Day, and completely ready to be Jacob's wife. What a wave of emotions. I never want to forget that moment.

Many people describe our wedding as something out of a Disney movie or "Gone With the Wind," and I just smile. It was absolutely more that I could have ever dreamed, but not necessarily because of how beautiful the plantation was or how perfect the ceremony flowed, but because in those brief sacred moments, God revealed His unflawed beauty, His unfailing love, His incomparable grace, and it washed over us. And will continue to cover us. Jacob and I will be the first to admit that we are human in the worst ways, but we both have tasted of the goodness of the Lord and experienced His sweet mercies in our lives on a daily basis. As we begin our journey together we are clinging to the cross and asking the Holy Spirit to teach us what it really means to love, with no reservation or judgment, asking nothing in return. We would appreciate your prayer, and I ask God for this in you as well, that we would love like Jesus loves, whether it be husbands and wives and children or neighbors, friends, and even enemies. After all, true Love never fails.