Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Looking Back

This blog post has also been published on my church's young professionals' blog

A clear vision of our histories is a gift of the Spirit.  One to be cherished and one more valuable than the one that we usually pray for – a vision of our futures. Being able to look into our stories, not from a window on the front porch, but from the darkest corners of the cellars of our hearts, allows us to see truths about who God actually is, not just who we want Him to be.
And when I look at my story there are two things that I always come back to:
He is always faithful.
He makes beauty from ashes every single time.
I get glimpses of how chapters connect. How struggles lead to stories. How temptations lead to trust. And how trials lead to testimony.
And knowing those two things leaves me with peace. With “I know that everything is going to be okay.” With “It will work out somehow.” With “He will use my story.” With “Why worry about tomorrow when today is all we have?” With “He will use this for good. He has done it before and He will do it over and over again.”
Because when we identify God at work in our histories, we have a confident faith that He will, of course, be at work in our futures as well.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Dream Dress

I was 14 years old. My two older sisters and I huddled closely on my mom’s bed while my mother rustled around in her closet. After a few minutes of hearing hangers shifting and containers scooting, she emerged from her closet with a large silver box. We knew what was inside. We had seen the pictures hanging on the walls of our home our entire lives. We had heard her describe every inch of it in detail. We had imagined her wearing it down the aisle of her church. But never had we actually seen it. She slowly slipped her fingers around the edge of the box, broke the seal, and softly shook the lid until it was free. We watched her eyes light up and a smile sweep across her face as she gently held on to the edges and carefully slid it out the of box. For once, we were all completely silent as she turned, held up her wedding dress, and gazed at her reflection in the mirror. 

Mom, 1979

The last time that she saw this dress she was wearing it down the aisle of a charming little country church. Twenty five years later, the dress looked just as radiant as the moment that she had picked it out. It was the dress she had imagined when she was a little girl. The dress that said, “This is the one”. The dress that made my father cry. The dress so beautiful that it should be worn twice. We each took turns trying it on – posing and twirling and dreaming of our own weddings. And that June when my sister held my father’s arm and walked down the aisle to her groom, she wore my mother’s gown – the dream dress.

Ashley, 2004

So why have I been thinking about wedding gowns? Well, because I have BIG news!

No, not that kind of news.

This kind of news. I wrote my first freelance article last week! 

Local bridal designer Olia Zavozina has a bridal gown boutique in Edgehill Village that is now a "must stop shop" for all brides-to-be. She also has her gowns in nearly twenty retail locations including select Nordstrom Wedding Suites. Now Olia is giving one Dream Dress to a deserving bride. Read the article that I wrote on Olia Zavozina's blog for more information about her shop, the Dream Dress Campaign, and how to apply. Olia's Dream Dress Campaign was also highlighted on Budget Savvy Bride.

This is a picture of a favorite local artist, Christian Luthi, singing at Olia's Champagne Soiree at her boutique last week. His song "Dance" is my ringtone AND he even gave me a shout out at a recent show when he played the tune. Check out his stuff. You're welcome.

Happy wedding gown browsing!