Our family--Christmas, 2008

Our family--Christmas, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Updates on Our Family, Episode Three--Our First Wedding!

Bethany & Ben
August 30, 2008

It was one of the best days of our lives...the years of praying for God to bring His perfect mate for your child, and seeing it come to pass. God is so good!!!

Their wedding was a celebration of God's love and faithfulness, the blessing of family, the gift of friends, and the joy that comes from knowing Christ Jesus as Lord. He is the center of Ben & Bethany's union and life together. He is the One who has redeemed them and brought them together. He is the One that will give them the grace to live lives that are pleasing to Him. We know they desire to glorify God in their marriage, and that His Word is true and trustworthy. Their joy in each other is surpassed only by their joy in God.

We love Ben and his family, and are so thankful to be entering with them into this new season of our children's marriage.

A few highlights from the day:

  • many relatives could be there, including all the grandparents
  • so many friends came and rejoiced with us
  • God provided many, many friends to help make the day so beautiful
  • all the details for the day were faithfully carried out by our loving God; even with the little glitches that came up, God worked everything out wonderfully
  • worshiping together during the service seemed the most natural way to thank our great God for His lovingkindness
  • our joy was so full, we could barely contain it!
Some funny moments:
  • At the beginning of the ceremony, Cindy and I couldn't get our candles lit with the adult-proof torches; we almost burst out laughing when we finally got them to work
  • Ben trying to light the unity candle with the torch instead of the family candle; Bethany had to tap Ben's hand to let him know he needed to grab the lit candle instead
  • Bethany getting swatted on the backside by the Marines who announced their marriage at the reception
  • Jesse hiding in the back of Ben's SUV and as Bethany and Ben started driving away, opened the back window and waved good-bye to everybody
Some touching moments:
  • During the bridesmaids processional, Susanna, who was the last to enter, was quite overcome with emotion and was fighting back the tears; that got Tracy, grandmas, and twins Charity and Amy teary-eyed then
  • Because Chris couldn't walk Bethany in during the processional, she asked her brother Jesse if he could escort her in; it was a sweet moment to see that proud brother hand her to her father waiting up front

  • Bethany asked Tracy to sing during the Unity Candle lighting, and at one moment, she got kind of choked up singing about God's faithfulness; He has been so faithful!
  • Bethany and Ben dancing their first dance to Martina McBride's "My Valentine", a special song she picked out because Ben's birthday is on Valentine's Day

  • Since Chris was unable to dance with Bethany for the Father/Daughter dance, Bethany picked out a special song, "I Loved Her First", and our videographer put video footage and photos of Bethany and her dad over the years together as a special presentation at the wedding reception; there wasn't a dry eye in the whole hall! Shortly after, our dear friend Rick Boyer wrote a poem for Chris about his Father/Daughter dance with Bethany and the legacy of His life being lived for the Lord through much hardship with MS

We wanted to bless Ben & Bethany in a special way, so we set up a "Blessing Tree" where family and friends could share their prayers, wishes and Scripture verses with the couple. And from the wedding program, a couple of verses Bethany and Ben picked out to share:
I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever;
With my mouth I will make known
Your faithfulness to all generations.
For I have said, 'Mercy shall be built up forever;
Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens.' "
~Psalm 89:1-2
We are so happy for Ben and Bethany and the future He has in store for them. It's all good because of Jesus!

Updates on our Family, Episode Two--Bethany Goes for the Gold!

This past June, our oldest daughter Bethany received a much-earned award for four years of diligent, hard work--The Congressional Award, receiving the highest honor of Gold Medal. The Congressional Award program, started by Congress and partnering with the private sector, acknowledges students who have excelled through their activities and efforts in the areas of service, initiative, and achievement.

Bethany engaged in over 200 hours each of Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Exploration. From taking a two-week trip to a working cattle ranch in northern New Mexico building fences, moving cattle, cleaning stalls and the like, to putting together care packages for soldiers overseas and volunteering at a local school library, to improving her creative writing skills by authoring four children's books, Bethany has learned much about persistence, the joys of a job well done, and has blessed many people she has served.
While we are so proud of Bethany for earning the gold Congressional Award, we give even greater thanks for the way she acknowledged the Lord in everything she was doing. Her desire was to bring God glory in the various activities she was engaged in, and she sought to build friendships with the people whose lives intertwined with hers during those four years. God has blessed her greatly by helping her form a deep bond with her Congressional Award advisor and the family she stayed with in New Mexico. She has also been keeping in touch with the soldiers to whom she has written and sent care packages.