life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


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To the nearly Mr. & Mrs.:

Today it begins – Andy & Leah’s wedding weekend!! Can’t wait to see these guys tie the knot tomorrow:

Andy & Leah at Dayne's bonfire last fall

Andy and Leah are two of Dayne’s best friends from home. To be honest, one of the things that drew me to Dayne was the quality of his friends. They are wonderful, fun, caring, Godly people. I couldn’t be more thrilled that I’m able to call them my friends now.

me & Leah at my bridal shower in May

I met Leah early on when Dayne & I were dating. She was finishing up grad school at Boston University, and Dayne, Katie, and I traveled up to Boston to visit her and my friend Courtney. She and Andy were not together at that point; they went through a period where they weren’t dating and were just friends. I immediately liked both of them when I met them, and Dayne and I hoped (maybe not so secretly) that they would get back together 🙂

Not too long after, our hopes were fulfilled: Leah graduated and moved back home, and she and Andy began dating again. 🙂 I love them together. They are both friendly, funny, compassionate, and full of faith in God. They are each gifted in serving — I have never met more selfless people when it comes to helping others. Andy is currently full-time with the First Response Team of America, which is absolutely perfect for him, and Leah is a full-time occupational therapist, which is perfect for her. I’m thrilled to see the two of them come together in marriage, after years of dating and years of friendship.

Of course, both of them were in our wedding: Andy was one of Dayne’s groomsmen and we chose Leah to read Scripture.

Leah reading 1 John 4:7-12 at our wedding

Dayne & Andy on our wedding day

This weekend, Dayne is one of Andy’s groomsmen, and I am a reader in their wedding (Colossians 3:12-17). I absolutely cannot wait to celebrate with everyone.

And here’s an example of how I know it’s going to be fun:

Andy dancing on his knees to be the same height as my bridesmaid Amy 😉

Andy & Leah: We love you. Congratulations! We have found marriage to be the biggest and grandest adventure of our lives, and our marriage is still in the baby stages! We promise to be here for you and to do all we can to support the success of your marriage. CHEERS!

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Marriage and Earthquakes.

Almost four weeks have passed since our unbelievable wedding day, and it is still extremely surreal to me that I am married. Growing up, I wasn’t the type of girl who dreamed of my future husband or pictured various details of my wedding day. I more often latched onto unattainable guys, such as Jonathan Taylor Thomas (or JTT as he was known to faithful readers of Bop and Tiger Beat), Leonardo DiCaprio (did you see the 90’s version of Romeo + Juliet?!), Davy Jones in a seriously misguided portion of my adolescence when I wished I was living in the 60’s, and then the love of the past 14 years of my life – Taylor Hanson. (Okay, I’m no longer “in love” with Taylor Hanson; we’ve fallen into to a more platonic relationship in which I may or may not think his brothers are hotter than him and I just pay lots of money to hear their band play 1-6 times per year).

I was either very cynical or just a sound realist when, during a 3-year-long dating drought, I claimed that a woman can never be sure that she will get married, and I was just going to plan on being single forever because God might have that plan for me. My girlfriends hated whenever I said anything like that, for reasons I still don’t understand (something about me being “marriage material”, whatever that is. Ask Dayne if I’m “marriage material”). I wasn’t even grumbling about my doom to singlehood most of the time, although I still hoped to find someone who I would want to be with forever. In the meantime, I hated happiness in most couples, doubted the reality of love, and celebrated breakups… basically I was a nasty person. I’ll admit it.

My teen years onward were not just filled with Taylor Hanson-lusting, however – I also went through several dating and serious relationships from eighth grade through February of 2010. Some were better than others, but there was not one that I came out of unscathed. Perhaps this contributed a little bit to my calloused attitude.

Then Dayne and I started hanging out and then dating after the infamous Valentine’s Day of 2010, and he made me happy. Incredibly happy. As a disclaimer, he doesn’t make me happy every single moment of every single day (and I’m sure that’s mutual), but somehow – overall – I am the happiest I’ve ever been.

Very shortly after Dayne & I started dating, I started thinking about marriage. I wanted to marry Dayne, and I was sure of it. I wanted him to buy me a sparkly diamond ring, and I wanted to plan our wedding, and I wanted to come home to Dayne every day and plan our future together. This was not normal for me, since I could usually see men’s flaws coming from a mile away, and I wanted nothing to do with non-perfect men.

We kept dating, and we got engaged, and eventually (after the peculiar trial of wedding planning), we got married. This amazing thing happens once you get married: the bond between the two of you grows much stronger, deeper. Almost instantaneously and imperceptibly (if you aren’t paying attention). Dayne is now my partner for life, my best friend, my family. He is something to me that no one ever has been – my husband, my spouse. There is nothing that we won’t go through together, for better or for worse. Our marriage is a miracle that I couldn’t have envisioned.

And then, 3 and 1/2 weeks into our newlywed life, we experience an earthquake. In Pennsylvania.

I think everyone who felt it was thinking, “what. the. _____(insert your favorite word here). was. that.” I happened to be working in my new job at the 266-year-old inne that I not-so-secretly fear is haunted and turned around in a guest suite to see the dresser banging against the wall, and all the chandeliers swaying from the ceiling. I was alone and was pretty sure a ghost was out to get me, even as I felt the ground trembling under my feet (pretty intense haunting, right?!), because we don’t have earthquakes in Pennsylvania. Lisa Herman doesn’t get married.

Anything can happen, at any moment, and it can catch you totally off-guard. You could meet your future spouse, or the earth could suddenly shake beneath your feet (literally or figuratively). Earthquakes are scary in a different way from dating and marriage, but it’s all a little scary, because life just happens to you in a way that is unstoppable and mostly unpredictable. In a way, it reminds me to have faith that there is Someone operating with a greater force and a bigger plan.

For God is so wise and so mighty. Who has ever challenged him successfully? Without warning, he moves the mountains, overturning them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place, and its foundations tremble. If he commands it, the sun won’t rise and the stars won’t shine. He alone has spread out the heavens and marches on the waves of the sea. He made all the stars — the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the southern sky. He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles. – Job 9:4-10 (NLT)

photo credit to Morby Photography


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17 Days.

Where did the time go? I checked Dayne’s and my wedding website today, and it felt completely surreal to see that there are only 17 days left until our wedding day.

Our five-and-a-half month engagement has been a whirlwind. There have been some amazing moments, and some decidedly painful moments. There is not one moment I want to forget. I have been forced to grow as a person and as a future spouse. I have appreciated my friends, family, and new family in a deeper way than I thought possible.

Every so often, I find myself staring at this person in front of me whom I have decided to spend the rest of my life with… and I am baffled by how people make this kind of a decision everyday. How do you know? What is ever certain? Can you trust yourself? Can you trust anyone else? Who has a “good” relationship, and what does that look like? What is healthy fighting? Will our relationship change? Will we change? Will it bring us closer together, or push us further apart?

I wanted to blog throughout our entire engagement – to give mundane status updates on all the little details of wedding planning, to post pictures of all the DIY projects, to describe what we were learning through our pre-marital counseling, to document our growth as a couple… among other things – and yet, most things that have transpired were either too awful or too private. And I was always too busy. Overall, I didn’t want a published microscope looking into what our lives have been like over the last few months. Now that we have gotten through it, and are almost at the altar, I feel like I can finally bring myself to blog again.

I am excited. I am nervous. I have NO IDEA what the wedding day is going to feel like. But my bridal shower and my bachelorette party were three of the happiest days of my life, and I truly have an amazing support system, and I cannot wait to see everyone in one place celebrating this huge event of passage — and I can’t wait to look to my right and see Dayne there, and to take his hand when I get to the end of the aisle. He is the best person I know — incredibly patient, strong, and caring, and his love for me continues to humble me everyday. We’re not perfect, but I hope and pray that we can learn to love each other in a way that fulfills each of us, makes us stronger, and pushes us to love God and others more and more.

As for all the little details? They’ll come together on our wedding day and speak for themselves. At the end of the night, we’ll walk away with the warm glow of love from our family and friends, and the anticipation of our lives to come, beginning with the time we need to solely focus on each other and why we fell in love in the first place.