In the Bible, 40 is pretty significant, particularly 40 days. (So significant in fact, there is a website devoted to it! See for yourself here.) For example, after Noah built the ark and loaded up all the animals two-by-two, it rained for 40 days; likewise, Moses spent 40 days up on the mountain with God; Goliath came for 40 days before he was slain by David; Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness and walked the earth for 40 days after his crucifixion. Pretty significant, wouldn't you say?
If you notice, those 40 days were always followed by something very significant. The Earth was restored and renewed; Moses' face shined; "little" David slayed a giant; Jesus was tempted by Satan; the apostles were sent out to share the Good News and grow the church...
As I reflect on this concept of "40 days," it appears God intended this 40-day time period as a time of reflection, contemplation, and preparation; a "holding pattern" leading into a time of renewal or new beginnings; a kind of transition period or "bridge" before a significant event or conversion experience.
I occasionally half-joke about the four years I spent in Arizona as my "40 days in the desert" because it was a very significant time of conversion and renewal for me. As I reflect on my life since returning from Arizona, I see how much my time there truly was preparation for my life back here in Cali. It truly was a major turning point - my life has been significantly different as a result of my experiences in the desert.
So here we are...40 days before our wedding. Similar to the Bible, a significant event will follow these next 40 days. Perhaps unlike Noah and Moses, we are fairly certain of the event - God willing and all goes according to plan, Matthew & I will become husband and wife..."and the two shall become one." Beyond that, I suppose we truly do not know what is in store for Mr & Mrs W other than we will begin a new chapter in our lives.
While these next 40 days will certainly be busy with preparatory tasks such as check writing, tux and gown fittings, parties, etc - it will also be a time for Matthew and me to get closer to God as we reflect on our lives up to this point and think about our future together as husband and wife. Many people thought we were crazy for agreeing to serve on Cursillo weekends a few weeks before our wedding. We know who is in control, though, and we said "yes" in full faith. As it gets closer (Matthew leaves for his Cursillo this Thursday), I can see now that we are both being given a wonderful opportunity to experience one last Cursillo as unmarried children of God. Another weekend up on the mountain with Christ. And those of you who have experienced Cursillo KNOW what it's like after one of these weekends! The fact that we will be experiencing the Sacrament of Marriage just a few short weeks after Cursillo is no accident. God has been preparing us for this from the very beginning, and I look forward to us both being filled with the Spirit ("on fire" even) as we stand before God and celebrate this once in a lifetime Sacrament together.
And now for a little wedding planning update...
I actually got a lot done last week in spite of all the stress I was feeling at the beginning of the week! I think I got all the accessories ordered. (Oh man, stay away from those wedding websites! Seriously cute stuff all over!)
On Thursday night, we had dinner with Deacon Dennis and Colleen for our last "official" marriage prep meeting to take care of all our "Sacramental" paperwork needed for the ceremony.
Saturday morning I had my hair trial which was a lot of fun! My MOH Heather came with me, and my cousin Roselyn dropped off some awesome family pictures for me, including one of my grandparents wedding! After I got my hair all teased, curled, sprayed and played-with, Heather & I went shopping to find my rehearsal dress. It came down to two dresses, and neither of us could decide between them. So I texted pics to my Mom and a handful of other girlfriends. ALL of them said the same thing "I like them both." Gee, thanks ladies. You're a lot of help! LOL Well, I ended up getting both because they were so great, and with a coupon and the sale going on at Macy's, I basically got a 2-for-1 deal. One dress will be for the rehearsal and one dress will be for the honeymoon.
Saturday evening, we had friends over for some white wine tasting to help us select our white wine for the reception. We had some appetizers and Matthew made crepes for dessert (yummy!!!). It was a lot of fun and we found our winner(s)!
Finally, on Sunday we went to the jeweler and selected our wedding bands. Our "regular" girl was on vacation, so another lady helped us. As we started looking for Matthew's ring, she told us most rings take 4-6 weeks to be ready - WHAT?! (Oops...) Once the owner saw us (and recognized Matthew), though, he promised us he would get them done in 3-4 weeks. (PHEW!) I had a lot of fun helping Matthew choose his band, and the one we chose for me reminds me of my Grandma Sarah's wedding right for some reason.
After such a fun weekend, I am now fighting a nasty cold today. (Boo!) Oh well, better now than later, right?!
And with that, I shall put myself (and hopefully this cold) to bed. Please keep Matthew in your prayers this week as he prepares to head up the mountain for 40--- I mean 4 days :)