Friday, March 25, 2011

Happily Ever After (Part 3 of Our Story)

Ok, so here is Part 3 of our lovely Story...
from the point of Preston's proposal to our wedding, honeymoon,
and today...

Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
In the Fall (2009), the second Tinker Bell movie came out, which looked epic because it was called "Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure!"  As we watched the movie, it became clearer how even more prophetic it was, and how liken the story was to our own!  First of all, Tinker Bell is assigned the great and glorious mission to create a special scepter that will hold a piece of the blue moonstone for when the Blue Moon arises and releases the perfect light through the moonstone to create pixie dust!  Something went wrong along the way, so Tinker Bell - the mighty clever one she is - set off on a quest to search for a lost treasure.  And guess what she created for this quest?!  A Hot Air Balloon!!!  AND, guess what the hot air balloon was made out of? A wish flower!!  Could it get even more prophetic or significant for us?  Well, yes, actually...but we didn't put the pieces together until the eve of our wedding...

One More Trip to Neverland
We made one last trip to the coast together and stayed with our favorite friend out there, Billy.  We told him our story, for when we first met him in January 2009 (our first trip out there), we had only been friends.  Now we were getting married!  So we shared with him our amazing story and he loved it.  As we were getting ready to fall asleep, he asked us if he could tell us a bedtime story!  So he made one up right there.  It was a very special story that spoke so true to my heart, so afterward I told him he had to write it down and give it to us.  

The story was about a princess with a glass heart.  Her Daddy, the King, was the maker of all hearts, and hers was most unique.  Everyone wanted to look at and hold her glass heart, which led her to get her heart broken by a prince who didn't know how to handle her heart.  As a result, she locked herself up in her tower and hid her heart under her pillow, swearing to never let anyone touch it again!

One day a new prince from a far off land came to visit the King and to meet His daughter.  The princess didn't trust him, for she didn't trust anyone, but the prince was patient and wise and spent much time with the King.  Slowly but surely the princess let the prince in, but when he asked to hold her glass heart, she panicked and shut him out, just like all the other princes.  

The princess asked her Father why he gave her such a fragile glass heart.  The King answered her sweetly, "You are to be treasured and treated with care like fragile glass.  The man who can hold your heart will treasure and care for you.  I knew who you were before you were born.  I knew the love and life that your heart would carry and I wanted all to see the beauty and love your heart would hold.  I gave you a glass heart because I wanted people to see into it."  

The prince was gentle and never gave up.  And when he won the princess' trust, the princess asked him why he wanted her glass heart, "Do you want my heart because it is rare and valuable and a prize for you that no other man can find?"
The kind prince told her, "Where I come from glass is as common as stone.  Do you know what it is like to live in a glass kingdom?  Everyone can peer in and see you no matter how thick the walls.  I want your heart because I love you.  I know how to handle glass and I cannot stand to see your heart uncared for." 

This story completely blessed me.  I totally identified with the princess, and this story was such a gift to me.

Why New Years Day?
We chose to get married on New Years Day, January 1st, 2010 for several reasons.  We ideally wanted to get married as soon as possible because, well...why wait?  So we were looking at November, which would give me a little over three months to plan.  I always wanted to get married outside, but I couldn't wait for next spring!  No way!  We had so many amazing and prophetic ideas for our wedding.  We wanted our wedding to be one big message of childlikeness and freedom for people of all ages.  So we decided we shouldn't try to rush it into November.

Psalm 110 was a passage that spoke largely to both of us individually.  There was something magical in that passage about sitting with Papa God at His right hand and watching the Lord extend "His mighty sceptor," and something beautiful about "the womb of the dawn," and "the dew of your youth," seemed to woo us into that passage.  So, we thought, wouldn't it be cool to get married in January of 2010, since the date would be 1-10?!  So we looked at some dates in January and asked our families what they thought.  

Both Preston and I each have a close relative who lives overseas (Preston's brother and my uncle), both of whom we would want at our wedding.  The only thing about that is only certain days worked for them.  For example, January 2nd, which was a Saturday (an ideal day for a wedding) would not work for either of them because they would need to be back in their countries by Monday (and overseas fights always take a couple days).  So we decided on the 1st, Friday, New Years Day, so that our relatives could fly out Saturday and be home in time for their jobs.

Once in a Blue Moon
On the eve of our wedding, which was New Years Eve 2009, we discovered that there was a blue moon!!!  First of all, a blue moon only happens every two and a half years.  Second of all, a blue moon on New Years Even happens much rarely than that!  The next time a blue moon falls on New Years Eve is in 2028!  Third of all...well, how many people can say that there was a blue moon on the eve of their wedding?  AND...even though I know a blue moon isn't really "blue," the fact that I have a blue diamond seems to be pretty prophetic.  Not to mention the Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure movie being all about the blue moon in addition to having a hot air balloon in it...Geeze, I'm overwhelmed, are you?!  Who could plan that?!  God?! :)

So, since the date was 1-1-10, we thought, how about we get married at 1:10pm?  Seems practical, right?  So we had an early morning of getting ready for the "Big day."  Preston and I had our first "meeting" before the wedding (where he saw the bride for the first time) on that famous bridge "where we met in the middle as a riddle began to unfold" just years before.  (It truly is quite the riddle, isn't it?).  It was raining, so I wore my rainbow rain boots underneath my fairy wedding dress, and Preston held a great big umbrella. It sort of felt like Narnia with the Narnia-style lamps on the bridge (you know, like the lamp where Lucy meets Mr. Tumnus, who also holds an umbrella).
Our Narnia Bridge, where "we met in the middle..."
"...and a riddle began to unfold..."
Thankfully, the rain let up a little for the pictures with the whole wedding party, which took place on a little playground behind the church.  We got married inside a beautiful round church with high ceilings and a skylight, and wonderful acoustics.  Prophetic Artists painted on the stage as the worship band led everyone in praise.  The chairs were all set up in a giant circle with a little square stage in the center and a canopy of bright kites hanging beautifully above.
"and we were wed beneath a canopy of kites and rainbows..."
The Wedding Ceremony Begins...
At 1:10pm Beni Johnson (our officiant) blew the shofar, ushering in the bridegroom.  Out came Preston in his white tuxedo with a turquoise superhero cape, surrounded by children dressed in superhero costumes and princess dresses to Benjamin Dunn's song "Levitating Love."  Followed by his groomsmen, one by one, looking sharp in their black suits and bright red superhero capes carrying different treasures and placing them each into the giant treasure box, (generously lent to us by my wonderful Grandma).
Beni sounding the shofar, ushering in the bridegroom...
Preston's brother putting our kite in the big Treasure Chest on the center stage
Next, my Peter Pan Wedding Song came on (which I re-recorded in a studio, thank you Jeremy Edwardson), and as my voice sang "We watched the fairies..." out stepped my fairy bridesmaids, one by one, with their beautiful tie-dye dresses and fairy wings, painted faces and painted feet (*sigh, it was spectacular), each carrying a special treasure just like the superhero groomsmen.
My beautiful sister carrying down the aisle the treasure box
Preston gave me for my birthday 2009
Following the fairy bridesmaids were Preston's niece and nephew in their fairy and peter pan costumes.  Jacee, the fairy, dropped pixie dust down the aisle and Coy (Peter Pan) proudly and carefully carried the pillow with a little treasure box on it, which held our rings.  Finally, the climax of the song, "From the clocktower, I'll sing you a story..."  and my dad and I walked out.  I wore a white fairy cape with a hood instead of a veil.  My hair hung in long braids on each side with bright feathers in it.  I wore a key around my neck, some facepaint, and my white fairy wedding dress had brightly colored tulle underneath, around the bottom.  My shoes were turquoise, just like Preston's, and I held a side bouquet of flowers - purple and yellow lilies wrapped in a great big green leaf.
Jacee & Coy, our little fairy and Peter Pan walking down the aisle!
"From the clocktower I'll sing you a story..."
My dad lifted my fairy hood and kissed my cheek, and my mom took my fairy cape as I turned to join my bridegroom.  And the ceremony begins!  When Beni said "You may kiss the bride," Preston surprised us ALL by pulling out yet another THIMBLE - a gold one with a bride and groom on top!!!!!
Dad lifting the "veil" (fairy hood)
Preston surprised me with a thimble just before the "You May Kiss The Bride"
My face says it all!
The Treasures
Among the treasures that our groomsmen and bridesmaids carried down the aisle were both the treasure boxes that we had given each other on our birthdays, our first kite we flew together, the sand castle that Preston gave me for my birthday, a balloon on a string, a beautiful Peter Pan book, a giant key, a mini drum from Africa, a pan flute, a canister of wine (for communion), a globe we found at an antique shop, and a word that said "peace" (for Preston and I had made a covenant of peace early on in our relationship).

On the tables at our wedding and reception were jars with candles inside them (to represent a song and concept I wrote about "catching lightning in a jar" during a thunderstorm).  Also, crayons were everywhere!  Not to mention those copies of the coloring picture we had found at the castle. My mom made some amazing rainbow colored cupcakes that looked perfect next to all the brightly colored candy in jars.  We also provided Starbucks coffee in the lobby.  
Preston and my wedding cake was my favorite, and my mom did such a wonderful job!  It was a cake made to look like a sand castle, with a little fairy and prince on top as the "bride and groom."  There were also little miniature shovels and buckets in the "sand" (which was delicious brown sugar), and whipped cream around the base of the cake so that it looked like a castle in the clouds!!
Recognize the castle picture next to the cake?
This was of course the best day of my life!  My mom surprised me with a song she wrote and played it at the reception.  It was all about me being Tiger Lily, and Peter Pan, and whomever I wanted to be at make believe time...  I also surprised my dad with a song I wrote long ago about him walking me down the aisle.   We had our dances, Preston and my first dance to "Up In The Stars" by Owl City/Swimming with Dolphins, the Father-Daughter dance to "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman (which makes me ball my eyes out!), and the Mother of the groom dance to "Find Your Wings" by Mark Harris.  We danced our hearts out and then jumped in our car to head for our honeymoon.

The Honeymoon
Our honeymoon, the night after the blue moon ;) We went to Fort Bragg, California.  We wanted to go somewhere on the coast that wouldn't take too long of a drive and would be some place new where we'd never been before.  Our good friend Billy from the coast had come to our wedding and at the end he handed us a key and said "there is something for you out there on the table."  It was a treasure box, which we eagerly took with us on our honeymoon.  We opened it up that night and inside was the perfect gift!  It was the written story about the princess with the glass heart! AND an actual glass heart! With a rainbow swirl in it!!  WOW!

It gets better...The next day, Preston looked through a site about Fort Bragg to see what we could do that day.  As I was getting ready for the day, he exclaimed, "Bethany!  Look at this!  Glass Beach!"  What is Glass Beach, we both wondered.  Apparently there used to be a landfill by the ocean (before people realized that it wasn't a very good idea to pollute the ocean), and over time, the waves and the tide of the ocean has washed over and softened the glass (from broken bottles and such), and has made it look like a beautiful, glistening treasure island beach!

God is so prophetic and so romantic, and He loves to play along with us in our love songs and love stories.  When we explored the beautiful glass beach, we collected a few glass pieces to take home with us as a reminder (which we later discovered people are not supposed to do -- oops!  It was all in innocence, I swear!).  I had the brilliant idea to using the glass pieces to make a glass castle painting to hang on our wall as a reminder of the amazing story!
The beautiful glistening Glass Beach!

So here we are a year later, and there is a baby growing in side me.  Now, from our story there are several things highlighted, such as Story itself.  If this baby is a girl, we will name her Story.  However, if the baby is a boy, we will name him Courage.  We picked the name Courage last year as we thought of creative, destiny-filled boy names.  We like the name Courage because it has destiny all over him.  A child named Courage will grow up to be bold and courageous.  He will know who he is - the son of a Courageous Lion.  I've mentioned before that Bob Jones prophesied that 2011 is the year of the roaring Lion, and that this is the year of Authority.  To Preston and me, this means Courage too.  So, now you know the significance of both Story and Courage, and only time will tell which one is coming this Fall!

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