Our Newlywed Experience

Within the Body of Christ

Daily receiving life and grace from His constant hand:

"I said to the Lord, 'Thou art my Lord;

I have no good besides Thee.'" Ps 16:2

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Mac's - Baby Cora

I stumbled on this blog TOTALLY on accident.

I think it was even through interior decor/DIY - ish stuff.

This precious wire picture frame collage/DIY project is what initally lured me in
It was for their new baby boy's, Levi's, nursery.

But... the room had belonged to his older sister Cora?

I clicked the link on the far right of their page, that you can click below:

My heart BROKE for that sweet family. You need to click on the link. You need to hear "Cora's Story" from Cora's mommy. I really don't want to tell you anything about it, except that at a tender 11 months old Baby Cora was called back into Jesus's arms.

Yeah, you'll need kleenex.

And your Bible.

Cause their lives make you want to be
just-that-much-closer to Jesus.

"What do I do when I feel like my world is falling apart? What do I do without Cora? I know that God is good. I know that He is in his holy temple. I know that He is sitting on His throne in heaven. And I know that my sweet Cora is in His loving arms. But my heart still aches. Joel and I have decided that all we can do is cling to His truth. Even though we don't understand and it doesn't make sense.
God is unaltered by our storms.
He can use our tragedies to bring glory to His name."
-Jess Mac, Cora's Mommy
"When all that is good falls apart,

what can good people do?

The LORD is in his holy temple;

the LORD sits on his throne in heaven.

Your ways, O God are holy."

Psalm 11:3-4; 77:13

Blessings  -  Katie

Monday, May 16, 2011

How Beautiful is the Body of Christ

Two years ago today
the Lord wedded me to my prince,
the man He had fashioned just for me.

I dare not try to process everything from that full, fast day –
I would be here until my third anniversary for sure.

I remember when I sat down in the late winter and began the initial part of planning the ceremony, I remember just wanting everyone to walk away from the wedding feeling like they’d been with Christ for a while, that they loved Him a bit more.

What theme? What is Christ to me? Who is He to my loved ones?

How will we look to Him in marriage? How do I want others to experience Him through our ceremony?

“ Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 2:1-5

And so the theme of the wedding flowed from that verse-
the Body of Christ.

It’s also why I chose “How Beautiful” by Twila Paris
as the wedding processional:

“How Beautiful the hands that served The Wine and the Bread
and the sons of the earth.

How Beautiful the feet that walked the long dusty roads
and the hill to the cross.

How Beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the Body of Christ.

How Beautiful the heart that bled,
that took all my sin and bore it instead.

How Beautiful the tender eyes,
that choose to forgive and never despise.

How Beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the Body of Christ.
And as He lay down His life

We offer this sacrifice

That we will live just as He died

Willing to pay the price, Willing to pay the price…
How Beautiful the radiant bride, who waits for her Groom
with His light in her eyes.

How Beautiful when humble hearts give
the fruit of pure lives so that others may live.

How Beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the Body of Christ.
How Beautiful the feet that bring the sound of good news
and the love of the King.

How Beautiful the hands that serve the wine and the bread
and the sons of the Earth.

How Beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the Body of Christ”

Gosh old hymns are worshipful. As I continued preparing the ceremony, I took our old hymnal and sat down at the table one night to pick out the ones that would be just right for the ceremony. Sometimes I look them up again, just to worship with the lyrics:

“Be Thou My Vision”

“Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross”

“My Jesus I Love Thee”

“What Wondrous Love Is This”

“Take My Life, and Let It Be Consecrated”

“On Christ the Solid Rock”


It blessed my heart more than you’ll know to hear from so, so many afterward how worshipful the ceremony had been.

Moving on though, I don’t think anyone is ever, actually, completely, perfectly ready for marriage. Ever.

Grayson and I were diamonds in the rough, full of “selfishness” and “empty conceit.” Little did we know God would use His instrument of marriage to chisel each other to a refined beauty we’d never known or experienced before.

“…but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Living like that HURTS. It’s just not natural for our flesh. Our minds and hearts didn’t always go there naturally, even ones hopelessly in love.

Yet with each day, each miserable failure, each return to our Lord, each beautiful success – we were just… guys we were just changed! Our minds. Our attitudes. Our actions.

Because we had been humbled we were able to love, actually love. “It-doesn’t-matter-about-me” love.

You care about yourself less and less. You care about them more and more.

Would you believe there’s a lot of freedom in that?

We mess up. Often. And in its own way – that is good. Good to know we’re far from perfect. Good to know how much we need Christ and good to receive His help. Good to learn to live the “NON fairy-tale” love with my prince.

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Grayson is becoming so much more like Him, guys.
My Christ. My first Prince.

I hear it in Grayson’s voice, his prayers, when he talks to the Lord. It’s like the Lord is right there with him. And there is excitement in his voice.

I see it in Grayson’s excitement over Scripture, something new the Lord is teaching him. There is growth and hunger.

I experience it in Grayson’s patience, a new gentleness that I see the Lord daily cultivating. It’s like I’m just an awe-struck spectator.

Our Wedding. There is nothing quite sweeter.

And yet, when I see the man that the Lord has nurtured my husband to become these past two years, I now beg to differ: there is nothing like our Marriage.
Nothing like growing within and through the Body of Christ.

Part from our note to the congregation on our wedding day, and my note to you again on our anniversary:

“Today we celebrate how He has taken two separate individuals and knit them closely together with the cords of His love.

Though we are so often sinful in nature and selfish in pursuit, the Spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead has poured His redeeming love into our hearts.

For this reason and through this power we are able to have the mind that was in Christ Jesus- to love the other with a greatness that far surpasses ourselves.”

How beautiful is the Body of Christ.

Blessings - Katie

“Now we’ve come so far, so fast…”

Two-Year Anniversary.

Two years. Two of them.

Not one. But two.

I’m actually writing this on our two-year anniversary’s eve. Let’s see… What was I doing two years ago tonight?

HA! Oh, you know, like 18 hours before my ceremony, the realization hit me smack in the forehead that I had no idea how to put up a 12-point bustle on a massive silk ballgown. It gets better – we couldn’t even FIND the bustles!

So about half an hour was spent with about 4 (5, 6?) of my darling bridesmaids swimming underneath endless yards of silk, crinoline, and lace with me giggling and laughing in the middle of it all.

After that it was maybe, definitely time to crash the guy’s party at the Vance’s.

Don’t worry… we did ;)

I probably laughed 90% of my waking hours that day.

I was the most calm and happy bride-to-be. It made no sense. Well, yes it did = I had a ton of people lifting me in prayer.

In a matter of moments, the evening went from crazy fun to a dreamy quiet blur. Everyone had headed back to their hotels and friend’s houses. Lights were off in the Freel house.

I hugged and kissed Mommy goodnight. Daddy hugged me a few minutes later as well, “Your last night as a Freel in our home.” I’m surprised I didn’t sob my face off.

But I didn’t. Just happy. Calm.

It was time.

My sweet little Paizley was asleep on my trundle bed. I was glad she could be with me that night. I slipped off for a minute to process, to prayer journal:

“The future I knew would come to pass is here – it has arrived and it will come. I also know that you will hedge us in (Eph 1:17). But what relief and joy in knowing that, above all, Grayson and I will be husband and wife tomorrow. We will be together. No matter the good or bad that may happen tomorrow.

Lord you have been the center today! Let it be so again tomorrow – You at the center of my heart and flowing out into my thoughts and actions. I can’t even begin to pray for specifics for tomorrow.

Joy. Fellowship. Pure. Enjoyment. Worship. Love in all and for all.

Your love covering our hearts, or lives, like rain. Fall. On us. Saturate. With Grace.”

And He did. Oh He did.

More tomorrow, goodnight loves.

Blessings - Katie