I am so excited to be re-launching this blog this week for several reasons. For one thing, I have missed writing and having this space to interact with friends and family. Taking time off to refocus (and get used to homeschooling my first-grader) was important, but now I'm ready to dive in to taking up residence in this tiny part of the internet.
But more than those things, today is the culmination of some things God has been doing in my heart over the past few months. So as I begin blogging again, I want to start by sharing a little about what I want this blog to be, and why.
I initially started blogging on the recommendation of a writer friend who suggested it might be helpful to use the blog as a source of community and information-gathering while writing the book. And indeed, that's exactly what it became. Some of the personal stories in A Christ-Centered Wedding came from now-friends who were once complete strangers to me. They stumbled upon the blog, and willingly shared their stories with my mom and me, and the book is so much the better because of them.
But as time went on, I found myself wanting to write about other things--not just weddings. So the blog has been a home for my ramblings about various topics, and I have loved having this space to just write what God is teaching me.
Over the summer, though, I found my desire to write drying up, which is something that I think plagues a lot of bloggers. Mostly, I didn't know what to write about anymore, or why people would read what I had to say. I wasn't sure I wanted to be a "wedding blogger," and I think I was having a slight writer identity crisis.
In June I had a brief conversation with a gifted writer friend, Lore, in which she said something that really made an impact on me. In fact, it pretty much changed the trajectory of my writing. She asked how things were going with publicity for the book, and I told her I was struggling with being just about weddings and knowing where to go from here. And she said these empowering, life-altering words: "It's a really good book, and the church needs this message."
The Lord used that tiny little conversation to start a fire in my heart. I realized I had been given a voice on this topic, and I could either serve Christ's bride with my words and efforts, or I could fight against the small platform He had given me. And what peace and joy has come with seeing the beauty in weddings since that conversation.
The truth is this: Marriage matters. God's beautiful plan for marriage from the beginning of time was to use it to explain the love of Christ to us. He was showing us all along, and continues to do so. Whether we are married or not, whether we're believers or not, we see the mystery of marriage and, in it, God has infused a meaning far deeper than we can truly comprehend. The Father has bought us for His Son, with the price of His Son's own life, than one day we might join our Groom, all together--a bride possessing the beauty of an incomprehensible array of languages, skin tones, and cultures--rejoicing and proclaiming the glory of the Lamb.
And so marriage matters. And if marriage matters, then Day One of marriage matters. Day One is the foundation--the cornerstone of a marriage. From the moment a man and woman say "I do," they are participants in the mystery of this momentary metaphor. With friends and family gathered round, they are committing to something far bigger than just two people. It's a big deal. And the church needs to support and encourage brides and grooms not to neglect this day. Just because things can get out of hand, doesn't mean they must. It doesn't mean we should ignore the wedding. It means we need to help each other to think rightly about this day, as well as those leading up to, and following after it.
So I want this blog to be a place for that--for coming alongside the church in her efforts to apply the gospel to all of life, and specifically weddings. I would love for it to become a community, not just for those actively planning weddings, but for any who find beauty in this symbol of the gospel. For bridesmaids who want to know how to encourage their bride friends not to go crazy. For pastors who are often frustrated with modern weddings and want to help couples in their churches to think rightly about this event. For mothers who need to know how to navigate stressful situations with grace and peace. For brides, grooms, musicians, caterers, bakers, florists, photographers, wedding planners, and anyone else who has ever attended or worked on a wedding.
Thanks for joining me in this effort. Please pray God might, in His gracious way, use this space for His glory. And if you have ideas, recommendations, guest posts, or anything else that might be useful here, please let me know. I look forward to meeting many people through this space in the coming days.
(Don't forget to enter the giveaway--prizes pictured below--which runs until Friday, Sept. 5 at 11:59pm EST...enter through this link and scroll to the bottom of the post to enter to win!)