on the day i said, i do, i was not thinking ahead to the times
my groom would lead others through the same vows.
ten and a half years into marriage and my groom and i have attended
many weddings of family and friends where ben has
officiated the ceremony.
each time i watch him lead a wedding, i drift into memories
and find myself back on december 16.2000.
i get married all over again!
recently, we walked through the doors of a wine cellar in sonoma
to meet with a new bride and groom as they were hours away
from exchanging their marriage vows.
new friends of ours, they have been attending epic,
and it was an honor to be a part of their wedding weekend.
ben has a way of making the bride and groom comfortable
and leads them through the ceremony, making certain they take deep breaths
and enjoy every moment. he beautifully lays out the plan God has for marriage and how both the husband and wife live out their roles.
i'm not sure about the other guests, but i left the ceremony,
more committed to the man i married!
and the scenery helped. rolling hills. vineyard upon vineyard.
dry land that appeared content.
we stood close to clusters of grapes and watched the sun set slowly
over the hills into the pacific ocean.
how romantic is that?
the evening continued with celebration as every wedding should.
i was so happy to be with the man i love and be
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reminded of the beauty and magnitude

of the marriage commitment.
as we spend time with the bride and groom months before the wedding day, we often remind them that the wedding is a ceremony, but the marriage is the commitment. the wedding takes months of planning, but the marriage is choosing to live out the plan God has for each person.
the wedding will be a day you'll never forget, but the marriage will be filled with many of these unforgettable moments.

this wedding came at a perfect time for us to be refreshed

as ben and lindsey cared for the boys for us to have 2 days away.

we drove many miles between napa and sonoma.
we discovered a few great eats and toured a winery.
those miles were a delight as we got in lots of uninterrupted conversation
in our mini-van built for many, but only carrying two!

though in my nostalgic nature, it's easy for me to escape to the past
and think of sweet memories in our marriage,
my groom challenges us to look ahead.
no mistake, he relishes in those sweet memories, too.
but it is with a renewed sense of hope and purpose that we ask God to continue
to make us better spouses for each other and be the center of our marriage.