Still basking in the after glow of an amazing wedding surrounded by family and friends in Dallas and beautiful honeymoon in Maui, I have now returned to the real world to tell you all about it! I must say I was quite perturbed on Saturday when I returned to Dallas and restaurants did not bring me a fruity drink with an umbrella, fresh pineapple and a flower on top. I was like, "What's wrong with you freaking people? Don't you know how I like my Pina Coladas served?" and then I remembered. I'm not in paradise anymore. sigh.
I must say, besides it being like hell to change my name in the IT system at work, being Mrs. Gardner has been quite fantastic. Sure it's only been a week but I got a feeling, it's pretty much going to be this awesome always.
I'll post pics of the wedding and honeymoon as soon as I can, but in the mean time I have included the vows my precious hubby and I exchanged to each other when we committed our lives to each other.
Jennifer to Mark:
From the first moment we met your caring nature, patience, and unabashed passion for life and most importantly for me, made me not only fall in love with you but realize that you were the person I didn't want to live without. Two years ago, you were nothing but a prayer in my heart for a Godly man who would love me regardless of my flaws, my past and my imperfections. God answered my prayers with you.
Your love has freed me from the shackles of cynicism that were caused from a past I thought would never heal. You have not only captured my heart, but you have helped heal my heart. Thank you for that.
My heart is swollen with this love God has so richly blessed me with and as I stand here before our closest family and friends I promise to:
Put only my savior, Jesus Christ before you. I truly view you as a gift from God and I will thank him daily for you.
I promise to love Mitch and Julia as you love them. I will be held accountable to you and to God in helping to provide them with a loving home. I promise to Mitch and Julia that I will always listen and be a voice of reason with their father when they mess up. I promise to be slow to anger and not get mad at Mitch for eating his share and my share of the cinnamon rolls.
I promise to love you. That say it's your last love that really counts and I'm so happy it was you. In times of plenty or in few, I will love you. When you are wrinkly, old and grey and I'm still youthful and filled with botox, I will love you. When tragedy strikes and we're hanging by a thread, I will love you. When the laughs are frequent or when they are few, I will love you. I will wake up everyday and make a choice. I will choose you.
Mark to Jennifer:
In the presence of God, our family, and our friends, I, Mark Gardner, choose you, Jennifer Porter, to embark upon this great journey of marriage with me.
I know that I am a sinner saved by grace-and that you are too. I take you with your faults and strengths as I offer myself to you with my faults and strengths.
I have pursued you, Jennifer, for these past 18 months- but you are my worthy pursuit for the rest of life.
In sickness, I will nurse you back to health.
In health, I will encourage you on your path.
In sadness, I will help you to remember.
In happiness, I will be there to make memories with you.
In poverty, I will do all I can to make our love rich.
In wealth, I will never let our love grow poor.
And in all things, I will remember this: that you are a precious gift from God. I want to be your husband so that we might serve Christ together, side-by-side.
With Christ, you are everything I need, all I could ever hope for, and at this moment I know this: I am so loved by our God as evidence of the gift of you, and because my prayers have been answered in you.
I love you Jennifer, and I always will. This is my solemn vow to you.