Tag Archives: weddings

God Loves Celebrations

This piece originally appeared on Everyday Exiles.

I’ve been privileged to take part in a great many celebrations. From weddings and anniversaries, baptisms and birthday parties, to dedications of babies and even memorial services, I have been a part of countless celebrations. Honoring relationships, accomplishments, and simply life itself, it is a beautiful thing to celebrate our blessings, the people we love, and just being together. I believe that God gave us the gift of celebration on purpose, that He is pleased when we join together in fellowship and celebration. It is part of the life abundant that He came to give us!

Perhaps the piece of scripture that’s most obviously a celebration is Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. We know the whole story well, but here’s the best part: “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. Bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15:22-24)

We aren’t always celebrating the return of a beloved person back into our lives, and we aren’t always killing fatted calves to do so. But if this parable, a picture of God’s love for His wandering children, is full of uninhibited celebration and holding nothing back from the son who was lost and then found, then it is fitting we should celebrate, pull out the stops, and show our love by sharing joy in this way!

Along with the countless other feasts, convocation days, and dedications mentioned throughout Scripture, the most incredible example of God-honoring celebration is found, as you might expect, at the birth of Jesus. There were no invitations sent, or caterers booked. There wasn’t a cake or 10-piece band. There was, however, a gorgeous star put up in the sky for just such an occasion, as well as a singing multitude of the heavenly host, and the proudest parents there have ever been.

This picture of the first-ever Jesus-worshipers is still my favorite image. Surprised, unkempt shepherds, used to hanging out in the fields with their sheep. New parents, knowing they had just experienced something special, but not really knowing the full extent. Angels (Full stop. Can you imagine angels at your next baby dedication?) coming out in hordes to announce the birth of Jesus, singing the first songs of praise, and filling the skies with the glory of the Lord. If that doesn’t seem like a picture of a father celebrating his son, you might need to look again. Jesus had been sent by a Father who was celebrating not only him, but the rest of His sons and daughters who would be saved by this Son of Righteousness. A truly happy Father, who was seeing His redemptive plan begin.

Everything’s Bigger in Texas (or Dallas, At Least)

A couple of weeks ago, Hubby and I took a trip to Texas. It’s the second time we’ve gone there together, and the second time in less than 6 months! Hubby’s god-brother was getting married in Dallas, and we went to his wedding. After the weekend of celebrations and exploring Dallas, we went to Austin for a few days to spend time with his aunt and uncle. (I’ll soon write a separate post about Austin.)

Our trip started a little bit rocky, as we BARELY missed our flight out of Charlotte. It just so happened that early Friday morning was a popular time to fly, and security was PACKED and quite slow. As we watched our boarding time come, we stood there waiting and waiting. Finally, we got through security and RAN (not kidding) to our gate, we were about 90 seconds too late. We begged and bribed the attendant to let us on, but – we later found out – there were TSA agents standing close by, and she didn’t want to reopen the door in front of them. I guess I don’t blame her; safety and stuff. Anyway, she happily put us on the next flight, about 80 minutes later, and sent us off to breakfast. Obviously, this happened:


We still arrived in Dallas around 11, local time. And you can tell, right when you get off the plane and look around, that everything is bigger in Texas. It must be the way things are spread out, and how much extra space they have. Anyway… We took an Uber (thank goodness for Uber while you’re traveling!) to our hotel, the Hyatt House in Lincoln Park. Most of the wedding people stayed there, so it was full of friends and very affordable, and pretty nice to boot. Our first objective was lunch, so we went with a Mexican place that was walking distance from the hotel. Blue Mesa Grill was a higher-end southwestern place, and we were very pleased. To top it off, they had delicious margaritas and the service was great!


After lunch, we did some shopping at the Northpark Mall, also within walking distance of our hotel. We hit up a few stores, but really nailed it in Lucky Brand – we both needed new jeans! After our shopping excursion, it was definitely time for a nap. Our 4:30am wake up time was a looooooong time ago.

The rehearsal dinner that evening was at the Dallas Arboretum. It was gorgeous, outdoors at sunset, overlooking a lake.


We loved the location so much that we came back the next day to spend some more time looking around. After the dinner, we followed the younguns (aka the wedding party) to The Rustic, the biggest bar I’ve seen to date. Clearly a kitchen and music venue, but mostly a bar, it had a huge inside and an even huger (yep, I said it) outside. We got there to hear the band’s last song, but the night was far from over. There were inside and outside bars, tables, chairs, and lawn to hang out on. SO MUCH SPACE! So obviously that was where we closed out the night.

Back to the arboretum in the morning: it’s just $15 to get in, and there are 60+ acres of gardens, fountains, trails and places to sit and chat or read. There’s also a children’s area, with a splash pad and several other things specifically for kids (we didn’t get to check it out since we’d left the kids in NC).

When we left the arboretum, we walked to White Rock Lake Park to get some exercise (it wasn’t far from there – it’s the same lake the rehearsal dinner overlooked) and ran until we were famished for lunch. We picked up an Uber (right there in the park!) and checked out a local taco joint: Tacos La Banqueta. We just looked up “best tacos in Dallas” and that place came up. When we got there, it was literally attached to a gas station. A little off-putting, but I’m glad we stayed, because the tacos were delicious and cheap. It was clearly a local, hole-in-the-wall type place, perfect for a (sweaty) quick lunch.

Back to the hotel for a little pool time, and getting ready for the wedding, an amazingly intimate and beautiful ceremony. After that it was drinks, dinner, and dancing all night long! We had a great time celebrating the couple, and seeing them off to their honeymoon!


Sunday morning, we got up, packed up, and went with Hubby’s parents to Austin! They rented a car and drove, just about three hours. I’ll write a separate post about Austin for ya next week!

Have you ever been to Dallas? What do you like best? Are you FROM Dallas?! What do the locals love?

Currently

Hey there! It’s time for a little update about my life currently. I always link up with Becky at Choose Happy, and the first week of every month, I also link up with Jenna at Gold and Bloom, and Anne in Residence! Join us and let us know what’s happening with you currently!

And just because it is now May, here’s one of my all-time favorite memes: 

Celebrating || the start of summer! I know- it isn’t quite here yet. But the weather is warm, school is close to ending, and the pool is opening at the end of the month. I’ll take it!

Reading || I’m just finishing up a devotional book called Deep Cries Out. It’s by a favorite writer of mine, Kristen LaValley, whose blog I stumbled upon in the early stages of creating my own. The devotionals are short, accompanied by a verse or two of Scripture, but designed to be deep and eye-opening. It’s been a great little book, and I highly recommend it! Here’s the link to get it on Amazon: Deep Cries Out

Pondering || how to be creative at home with the kids this summer. The big kids are signed up for two weeks of camp, and we have a pool membership (YAY!) but I don’t want them to be bored. I want to spend lots of time at the children’s museum, and visit the one in the Greensboro (apparently the memberships give discounts to the other one? Does anyone know if that’s true?). I want to visit the parks/playgrounds in town we’ve not been to yet, and I really, really want to spend some time in the mountains (Tweetsie is a-calling) since they’re so close, and we have so many friends and family nearby. But even with all of that, we will have time at home, time when it’s raining, and time it’s just too hot to do much outside. I want to have crafts or activities ready. Any ideas for me?!

Sipping || POG juice! While we were in Disney, the Polynesian breakfast has a special drink made of pineapple juice, orange juice, and guava juice. Around here, the guava nectar I’ve found has high fructose corn syrup in it (yikes) so I’m on the hunt for syrup-free guava. The kids loved it, and I like the tropical feel! Bonus: it makes an incredible mimosa!

J REALLY enjoyed the juice.

Going || to Texas at the end of the month for a wedding! I know, this sounds familiar. Weren’t we just in Texas for a wedding? We WERE but we’re going again! This time for some dear family friends, and in Dallas (you know, instead of Fort Worth). We will likely have some fun stories and pictures when we get back!
What’s going on in your life currently?