Monday, January 10, 2011

Seven Years Since that Day

I used to dream about having a video like this, because it didn't register that my brother was recording it, even though I saw him with his camcorder.  It was an amazing surprise when my brother sent me a video of my wedding for my first birthday after Andrew's death.  I had never seen it before.

I have edited this video into a fly-by version of our wedding, January 10, 2004, mostly of important songs of that day.  The adorable children in the wedding party are my nieces, nephew, and my cousin's son.  I had been waiting 17 years, since I was 6 years old when I had messed up the job and the flower girl in front of me and I had only dropped two petals each going down the aisle, to have my own flower girls drop petals as they went down the aisle the right way, dropping handfuls. 

The officiating pastor is my brother-in-law, Bob Glenn, and the man who read the Scripture was my New Jersey pastor from when I became a Christian at age 12 until I left for UCLA, Pastor Babij.  My bridesmaids were Andrew's sister, Jennifer, my close cousins, Amanda, Katharyn, Krystene, and my maid-of-honor was my sister, Gayle. 

Andrew's groomsmen were his best friends from high school and his best man was his brother, Jon. 

The music was lead by David Ward, my worship pastor both in New Jersey and now in Minnesota. We got married in Somerset, NJ at the church where Andrew grew up.

I made the cuts in the two dances at the end of the video according to the lyrics that were sung. The last song was sung by my brother-in-law, Bob. Here is the video:

I remember as we exchanged our wedding vows, images of our first meeting at the back of the large auditorium, Rolfe 1200, after Bible study flashed through my head.  Tears began to well as I thought how far the Lord had brought us from there in two years and two months, and how I had never imagined this were possible.

For our wedding favors, we made our first small publication, a short booklet about our love story that God had so clearly orchestrated, as He had answered hundreds of specific prayers, small to huge, bringing us together.  We included pictures of our journals, emails, and letters we had written each other in the booklet. 

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit bless, preserve, and keep you.  The Lord mercifully with His favor look upon you and so fill you with all spirtual blessing and grace that you may live together in this life so as to bring honor and fame to His name now and forever. Amen.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Holiday Greetings

Dear Everyone,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  We hope you have enjoyed a wonderful 2010.  Life as a single mom and grieving widow is one of the hardest things I've ever done, but as Mary Beth Chapman, wife of Steven Curtis Chapman, says, "I believe God can handle my heart, my questions, and my anger.  It's okay to want [Andrew] back.  It's okay to be angry.  The question is, what do I do with it all?  What do I do with God?  In the midst of such heartbreak, do I really believe that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose" (Chapman, Choosing to See)?  Alongside such darkness, loneliness, and pain, the Lord has blessed us with great richness in our life as well. 

AJ is five now and enjoying his first year in kindergarten. He loves sticks, trees, snow, and paper airplanes. He is a very loving and sweet boy, who has always seemed to understand everything that's going on around him.

Gracie, who is four, is very strong, independent, and fearless, so much like her papa. She is a very sweet girl and loves to make new friends, whether at St. Andrew Preschool or anywhere new she goes.

They both love to make up silly and elaborate stories and are always showering me with lots of kisses and hugs.  While they still talk about their papa and say how they miss him almost every other day, they are fun kids that love to run around with each other and are always laughing.

The children keep me very busy, but I can't help but keep writing and am grateful to be able to be dancing weekly my favorite dance classes I've ever taken in my life.  One is at the Academy of Russian Ballet and the other is a cardio dance class, where our amazing instructor has us do every dance form under the sun in an hour-and-15 minutes from all kinds of Latin, to tap, to ballet, to Broadway, to Indian, and any other form of dance that you can think of.

We are grateful for our church and all our relationships there and in Minnesota.

Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season!


Grace, AJ, and Gracie