Welcome Last week I talked a little about my wedding in the post “Fairy Tale Weddings Do Not Make Happily Ever After Marriages.” Today I’m going to share my story about shopping for that wedding dress almost 14 years ago. Today’s devotional time is focused on purity. Today’s recipe is another copycat hot beverage that’s both yummier and easier on your wallet than “you know who.” Thank you for joining me today. Note–I may receive small compensation from advertisements or affiliate links seen on this blog. For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.
Food For Thought Oh, how little girls, and big girls too, dream of picking out their wedding dresses. I had very little demands to make for my wedding. I just wanted pink roses (my favorite) and a gorgeous dress, and my husband and I wanted an outdoor wedding. Other than that, I was pretty flexible. Good thing, since funds were tight, and we refused to go into debt over our wedding. It didn’t matter, in my mind I would be beautiful on my wedding day.
My husband proposed at 12:01 am on January 1, 2004. (That’s a story in itself!) I had been waiting for that moment, but had no idea it would be at that moment. It was wonderful! Over the next few weeks we discussed when our wedding would take place. I think he said something along the lines of “So, when do you want to do this?” Romantic, right? But I was so IN LOVE with this man, my reply was “sooner, rather than later.” However, as a teacher, everything revolves around the school year calendar, so I said we would need to wait until after school got out in May. Coinciding with high school graduations of my brother and nephew was Memorial Day weekend. We thought it would be easier for people traveling to make it that weekend, so we set the date for May 31, Memorial Day. Ironically, my school had over ten snow days that winter and we were in school right up until the Friday before Memorial Day. Needless to say I was getting a little stress-y about the timeline, since we were getting married in my hometown five hours away. But back to the wedding dress story. I had agreed with my family to purchase my own wedding dress since they would be paying for other things and there wasn’t a lot of money. My mom agreed to make the five hour drive to come help me shop one weekend during that snowy winter, which included another one of several snow storms, great! When we set out that Saturday morning, I knew I had two strikes already working against me. First, finances were tight so I would have to stick to a pretty small budget for my “amazing” dress. Second, I’m not easy to fit. I’m short, and let’s just say I was also very curvy. It’s hard to find a dress to fit my body type without spending a fortune. I have a friend that shares this similar fitting issue and she shared once that her wedding dress cost over $12,000! That’s incomprehensible to me. I had a positive outlook, anyway, even saying if I didn’t find a dress that day, I would at least get some ideas. Truth be told, I didn’t want to come home empty handed that day, I just knew in my heart I would find a perfect dress.
My dream dress was going to be strapless and sparkly, fitted at the top but flowy on the bottom. I had seen pictures in magazines and online of exactly what I wanted. I even printed a picture from the computer to take with us. How optimistic of me! The first store we visited refused to help us. Not a good start to the day. We followed that store with three others, two of which were having clearance “sales” to make way for the new spring dresses. I was in for a shock. Pretty much all of the dresses that fit my criteria for a dream dress were way beyond my budget, even on sale. I did find one that was close to what I wanted on sale, but then I tried it on. It looked terrible on me. I told the lady helping me that this was the style of dress I wanted. She informed me that girls my size can’t wear dresses like that. Ouch! So, even though their prices were good, I couldn’t find anything I liked that would fit me. Over lunch, I shared how frustrating this experience was with my mom. She assured me that the right dress would come along, it just might not be today. We checked a couple more stores with no luck. Then we made it to a store that had a dress I liked, fit right, and priced well…but wouldn’t you know it had a big makeup stain on it! My mom did not think it would be able to come out well and still retain the fabric’s appearance, so I didn’t want that dress either. After all, if I wanted a stained wedding dress I could find that on eBay. Night time was approaching and I didn’t feel like looking at any more wedding attire. On a whim, I decided to stop by a Dillard’s store that was close to my apartment on the way home. We went to the formal wear department and looked. A very nice lady came over to ask what we were looking for. I was not going to say anything, but my mom gave this whole story about our day of wedding dress shopping and the obstacles I was running into. The lady said she might just have the perfect dress for me. She showed me a couple, one of which I didn’t want, but then I tried on the second dress. My mom LOVED it. It was very simplistic, except it had a long row of buttons down the back. It fit perfectly and was mostly flattering to my curves. In fact, it would need no alterations as long as I didn’t gain or lose a lot of weight before the wedding. Nice, no pressure about dieting! AND, it was only $110! Yes, ladies, that’s right…my wedding dress barely cost over a hundred dollars. I didn’t leave the store with my dress though, since I didn’t get paid until Tuesday, the lady said she’d hold it for me just until then. Yeah, that’s real life on a new teacher’s salary.
On the way back to my apartment, my mom was gushing over how beautiful she thought I looked in the dress. I was pretty quiet…it really wasn’t the dress I wanted. Then I started crying…hard. My mom was stunned and said, “What is wrong, don’t you like the dress?” I blubbered, “But it’s not white!” Really. That’s what I was crying about. The dress I had just picked out was called “champagne,” sort of an off-white. Mom didn’t understand, she said, “so?” I said, “Mom, you don’t understand. I have earned the privilege to wear a white dress on my wedding day!” The point I was getting at, was that I deserved to wear white to represent my purity on my wedding day. Yep, that’s right, I was a virgin until my wedding night, and I was very proud of that fact. In my mind, I thought people would judge me, thinking that my off-white dress was somehow representing a lack of pre-marital self-control. In hind-sight I realize that no one ever really pays any attention to the color of wedding dresses anymore. Probably because not very many people should wear white in that traditional sense anymore. What white once represented, has now just become another color to choose from. And what I wanted a white dress to represent is not so much about the color, but about the actions and behaviors I choose as a Godly woman who follows His instructions for my life. Purity is not a color, it is a lifestyle.
Today’s Scriptures The Bible does use the color white to represent spiritual purity, as unblemished and clean from sin, such as in Isaiah 1:18. In the Old Testament, the word purity means emptied out, clean, or innocent. In the New Testament the focus is more on moral purity. When I think of the spiritual word purity, I am focusing more on the latter. Here are a few verses that come to mind regarding purity.
Titus 2:4-5 “Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be the subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage should be honored by all and marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral.”
James 4:8 “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
Today’s Recipe Whether purity is a color or not, white can still be a pretty magical color, like in this “copycat” Peppermint White Hot Chocolate drink. Cooler temperatures are coming and this will warm your heart and sweeten your thoughts!
Peppermint White Hot Chocolate (makes 1 serving)
- 3/4 cup Ghiradelli white chocolate chips
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/8 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 peppermint candy, crushed
- In small saucepan heat milk and chocolate chips together, stirring until melted. Add extract. Pour this into a large mug and top with Reddi-Whip and crushed peppermint candy.
Get some new fancy coffee mugs to serve your Peppermint White Hot Chocolate…large mugs make it easier to serve fancy-looking hot beverages. Links verified 10/5/17 at 10:08 am, CDT.