Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

I do. A story in pictures.

Getting married on New Year’s day presents some challenges that I didn’t think through.

I would’ve married Mike last February. After my Mammaw’s funeral. After I lost my diamond cross necklace that he had given me for Christmas and after he said, “It’s no big deal. We’ll get you a bigger one.”

Probably doesn’t seem like a reason to marry a man, but for me. For my story. It was the perfect answer.

But instead of marrying him in February we began to talk about what marriage might look like.

And later we thought through dates.

Fall was out. My brother and his wife make their living in politics. Can’t get married during an election.

After the election comes finals and end of the year grades for the Professor in the family.

Then comes Christmas and my children would be gone.

So, New Year’s it is.

We talked about New Year’s Eve, but people expect a party on New Year’s Eve and we didn’t want to party.

We wanted to worship.

Well, that and getting married on the last day of the year would’ve totally screwed up my taxes!

So, the biggest day in all of football, during a time of vacation where people want to either be skiing or sunning, my family and friends came to Fremont.

My sister-in-law took pictures. Not because she’s a photographer, but because I asked her and she said yes.

And I love them all, but here’s my favorite.


OK, so I know what you’re thinking. Seriously? She chose a picture of herself as her favorite? With all those adorable children and her groom and her family. Really?

Yes. We were singing…”but the voice of Truth tells me a different story, the voice of Truth said, ‘do not be afraid,’ the voice of Truth says this if for my glory and out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe—-

The voice of Truth.

And I lost it. And I’m like dang-it. How could I forget to wear water-proof mascara?

I’ve listened to a lot of voices. But today. Today I will choose to listen.

And believe.

And I looked into the face of my groom and the worship team sings “of all the times I’ve tried and failed again.”

This is not our first rodeo. All you have to do is look at the gathering of family and know we are not 22.

We tried and tried again.

And we have failed.

And with all the smiles that came before and all the smiles that followed. This picture reminds me that we are broken. And an instant family is a Goliath and oh, for the faith to stand before a giant.

And for that reason. For the very fact that this is not perfect and messy well—let me just show you the picture.


Yes. That is my dress. I had a “moment” about 2 hours before the wedding. I decided that I most definitely looked like Betty Boop with huge breasts and I frantically searched for some scissors in my room so as not to alert anyone in my family that I was getting ready to rip into my dress and I found some manicure scissors and I cut.

These out—


And then I panicked. Because, ya know, I didn’t really think it all the way through. Have large breasts would probably be better than having see-through breasts.


I called my pastor’s mom and she came. With a needle and a thread and she patched my mistakes and this picture reminds me of all the gifts that the Lord gives to me and I cut them up and I mess them up and he shows back up.

With a needle and a thread.

Brothers. And sisters.




And the reason I made it here? Today? This far?





There were lots of surprises. My precious friends the VanBebbers showed up at our front door and my sweet, sweet cousins surprised us at the church. And they met my covenant family and friendships were formed and I watched complete strangers, but sisters in Christ, laugh together and cry together and share their stories and I watched my sweet sister-friend empty her purse and give it away. Like seriously. Right there at the church. She gave away her purse. Simply because this stranger mentioned that she had been looking for a similar purse.

Giving it away. Our hearts and our stories and our lives. Emptying out so that we can be filled with more of

And friends who pray. Not just say they’ll pray, but stop, drop and pray. On the spot. For me. For us.





And my village Momma-friend. The kind of friend where my children don’t knock and help themselves to the fridge. The one I can call and ask for help. Over and over and over again. And she created the most beautiful bouquet of simple white roses and red berries and it was perfect.


And I can’t believe I don’t have her picture but also helping to make this day beautiful was my friend Andrea who put aside her own heartbreak and created in perfection everything that was in my head.

OK and then there’s this guy. This man. This man who loves the Lord and will face the Giant and will lead our family. This man who took my broken heart and stitched it together like the breasts in my dress. 🙂


And a few more favorites from the day:

Laura introduced me to Mike.

The man who allows my children to come into his home without knocking and eat all his food. He also was the hero of the day bringing football to the masses.


And lastly, a great photo because you can kind of see my ring but my hand doesn’t look old and wrinkly and my shoulders look like I’m way more fit than I really am. 🙂


Our Dana, whose real name is Cindy and I forget the story but we call her Dana and we call her our own said as she was leaving the sanctuary, “Christ was glorified today.”

And that’s what I wanted. That’s all I wanted.

And I don’t mean to boast, but it was seriously the most beautiful service, in like the history of marriage. And I’m sorry because I’m sure you were thinking that your wedding was the most beautiful ever. 🙂 And I can say that because all I did was stand there. And smile. And cry.

Our Pastor. Our music. Our Witnesses. They made this day.

It truly was the day that He made and I’m still and will forever be rejoicing in it.

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2 thoughts on “I do. A story in pictures.

  1. Jane Harding on said:

    Myra : I am so happy for this new beginning for you..as I am sure all of your friends and family are. Reading through your journey, I have hoped that you would have a wonderful resolution. So..carry on, keep writing, even though you will have different motivation and know that you are surrounded by love and good wishes. Happy New Year and Congratulations to you and yours…Jane Harding

  2. thank you for sharing your wedding story. you are very brave putting yourself out there the way you do and  we are pulling and praying for you good luck and god bless

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