Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

23 years



In lieu of a mushy anniversary post (sorry to disappoint all my romantic fans), I am going to share with you some wedding and marriage advice; little tidbits I've learned in my 23 years of experience. Most of you can just skip this as it's really just brainwashing for my kids. They've heard it many times but sometimes it's helpful to have it in writing.

1. No matter what all those wedding cards tell you, marriage is not supposed to make you happy. It is, instead, supposed to make you holy. That's right. I learned that at a marriage weekend workshop seminar thingie that the Good Doctor was forced to go to because he was a pastor and he had to represent his congregation and support the speaker at this hallowed affair. And of course a married pastor can't be forced to go to a marriage weekend all alone so his wife should be forced to attend as well. Yes, believe it or not, churches are the only institution in all of America that can force the spouses of employees to do things even though they are not on payroll. So she was and she did. She was neither happy nor holy that weekend. But she was there. And she learned this amazing advice: God did not design marriage to make you happy but to make you holy. Don't forget it. Someday, you'll thank me for sharing that with you and we can all be holy and unhappy together.

2. Make your wedding unique; it should represent the two of you. It should not represent your parents or your siblings or your best friends or anyone else who thinks they need to give their input (except mothers who brainwash you years in advance; you should listen to them). So, if you want to wear the prototype of your dress to your rehearsal instead of the customary bouquet of shower ribbons taped to a paper plate, go ahead. Where else will you get to show off all your hard work in designing and making your gown?

And if you want to wear your favorite plaid pants that are going to look like a pair of your son's PJs 20 years in the future, go right ahead.

You say you want an outdoor reception when the weather is supposed to be high 90s with 90% humidity, why not? It's your day.

3. Skip the expensive photographer. I know this goes against all those wedding magazines that tell you that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and that you should take out a special loan just for the photographer, but I'm telling you that's bad advice. Look at this picture.

Why on earth do I need a photo of my hand? There is absolutely no reason for this photo except to compare my veins now with the way they looked then. And to remember that for the first and last time in my life I painted my nails. Or maybe if I ever noticed a growth on my hand we could compare it to this photo to see how much it has grown in 23 years. That's it; no other reason. But thankfully, this is the only inanimate object photo that I wasted my money on. Do you know what you pay your photographer to do these days? All that money does not go to taking more pictures of you and your friends and family. It does not even go to taking that pimple off your face since that is pretty much a one-click fix that you could do yourself. Instead, you'll find that your multi-million dollar wedding photos CD includes a picture of one of the balloons from your head table. It'll be a nice photo, very creative and artistic, but 20 years from now you will say, "I paid for that?"  Unless you plan to have a balloon theme for your child's nursery, you will have no other use for that balloon photo. And what about the picture of the lantern from the doorway to the reception hall? Maybe if you happen to become the proud owner of that reception hall someday you could use the photo in your promotional literature but in your wedding album, absolutely no use. My favorite wedding album is actually the one made of candids that friends and family took and gave to us later. Like these photos of the flower girl

with the Cabbage Patch doll bribe that got her down the aisle

and picking her nose on her way to be introduced at the reception. No modern-day photographer in his right mind is going to give you a photo like that. Instead, included in that fee that could have been your first car, she will happily photo shop the flower girl's arm by her side, maybe even holding a pretty posey or possibly moving that ring bearer over so he's right next to her where he's supposed to be. But then you'd have no chance to submit anything to Awkward Family Photos with the chance to win millions. Or at least $100.

4. If you're feeling this scared the day of the wedding, you should probably get out while the gettin's good.  Whether you're just reading those vows for the first time or that whole holiness vs. happiness thing is finally sinking in, just run while you have the chance.

5. Keep it simple. My grandfather performed our wedding ceremony. He wasn't married in a church.

He didn't have a 5 course meal at a reception hall. He didn't believe in bridal gowns, tuxes, or wedding rings. And as far as I know, there's only one wedding photo (and thankfully it's a picture of the happy couple and not just their hands). But he was just as married as any of the couples at the elaborate weddings I go to today. In fact, I am fairly certain he was both happy and holy. I've never heard anyone on his deathbed saying that he wished he had spent more money on his wedding. Truth is, I've never heard anyone say anything on his deathbed but if I did, I'm sure it would have nothing to do with spending more money on anything. Save your money. You'll need it to adopt a child someday. Or to donate to my next adoption. Or to send to those starving children in Africa 'cause I can assure you that your future children aren't going to finish every meal just because you tell them there are children who are going without. Sponsor a child instead. Your elaborate wedding isn't going to do anything for the cause of Christ; living simply so others may simply live has so much more potential. There will be many material temptations throughout your marriage, start with your wedding to make choices that reflect a simpler and giving lifestyle. I thought I was keeping my wedding simple, and comparatively I was, but if I had it to do all over again, I would go even simpler.


Remember: It's not about you. It never was. It never will be. Have fun. Be happy. Be holy.

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