‘Engageaversary’ is what a friend of mine calls it.  Anything I can celebrate I will.  Today it is two years ago that Tim asked me to marry him.  He had a friend of ours hiding in the bushes, taking photos as it all took place.  What a fond memory and what a happy time in my life.  Meeting Tim, our season of engagement, planning our wedding and our wedding day are the most dear memories of my life.  Don’t get me wrong… BEING married is wonderful but I especially look back to those days with very happy and warm feelings.  It was certainly my first taste of extreme joy in my life.

I had no clue what was about to happen.  For all I knew, we were loving the park574798_380657398642029_2075144074_n

And then he stopped 536081_380657251975377_1772208458_nAnd talked578973_380655141975588_1034685410_n

And dropped down564889_380657198642049_413205356_n540530_380657131975389_342281863_n577170_380655958642173_773032222_nYes, someone is following us, you really didn’t know?319881_380655721975530_440697732_n

548469_380648271976275_569377310_n383431_380651501975952_906810814_n538802_380637915310644_774393654_nCalling home and loved ones380352_380653368642432_213559916_n536419_380639295310506_2049969672_n
Party afterwards536393_380641818643587_1632686518_n301826_380640651977037_1294905292_n 301838_380640058643763_1009728546_n 581099_380640781977024_393648436_n The party continues
And we partied until the next day even


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Through her eyes…

There are many updates to write, there is much to share, many stories to tell… but for now I just want to re-live our Wedding Day, today a year ago!  

I thought to Celebrate our anniversary by sharing bridesmaid Melissa’s blog post on her blog about our Wedding Day. 
It it so fun to re-live our Wedding Day through her eyes!

Wedding of the Century

So many dreams came true on October 6, 2012.
So many details came together.
So many people were blessed.
And all because God is good. Even when life is bad.
He is in the business of restoring what is broken and making it beautiful.
And in this case, He didn’t just make all things beautiful in His perfect timing…
He made them RADIANT.
These two souls have been through more than most could ever imagine in their individual journeys. Pain, suffering, heartbreak, loss, longing. Beyond belief.
And yet rather than giving up hope, they chose to believe. To dig in. To forgive. To heal.
To allow God to re-create them from the inside out.
They chose hope.
They were willing to go through whatever it took to become whole.
And even when the dark clouds remained over their futures, they chose to trust. To wait. To be faithful.
And here they are. 
In all their glorious redemption…
(this side of Heaven)
The LOVE of God.
a wedding is the painting of a picture of Christ and His church;
you are truly looking, here, at the most beautiful image of His love.
I didn’t get too many pictures of the bride, due to the honor of actually being allowed to stand by her side all day. But what I did get was the eternally beautiful image of her face aglow as she worshipped her Healing, Loving Father, and vowed by His grace to bless this man-gift until her dying day.
I got the chills down my spine at the sight of her walking down the aisle with pure peace and grace all over her being.  And I got the greatest view of all during the whole ceremony. Their precious, emotion-filled faces, taking in every moment and soaking in the power of what was taking place.
What a true miracle to behold.
And the very BEST part?
 They are living 11 minutes away now– we get to be NEIGHBORS!!
God IS good!!!!
here are a few shots from the celebration:
Rehearsal time– cannot believe this is actually happening!
his first wedding– he was so excited!
i wish he was my date! sooo handsome!
lucky grams got to be his date instead!
my main squeeze bringing the videography skills
my cute parents, without whom we wouldn’t be here!
this girl was on FIRE!
the sweet send-off dance–
we all circled around them and danced them off into their new life together!
could she be more Radiant??
Could not be happier for this sweet couple.
Can’t wait to do life together–
to learn from them, laugh with them, and enjoy the goodness of our God together!
Such a blessing to us all!

Our story in a time line

August 14 1973 – Maddy is born in Holland and grows up there.

November 26 1977 – Tim is born in the US while his parents are on their 1st furlough; they are missionaries in Gabon, Africa. Tim grows up in the jungle of Gabon.

In Maddy’s early years her grandparents visit Opa’s best friend, his 2nd world war buddy, in the US every year and Maddy is intrigued by their stories about America. A seed is planted and Maddy decides that ‘when she grows up’ she will go to the States.
September 1983 – Tim goes to boarding school.  Down side: he is hours away from his parents. Up side: he grows up in the jungle, playing on vines, building forts in the forests, swimming in the river.
July 1987 – Tim and his family visit Amsterdam on their way home on another furlough.
September 1990  – At age 12 Tim moves to another boarding school in Cote d’Ivoire, International Christian Academy.


July 1992 – Tim and his family move back to live in North Carolina. Tim becomes a great soccer and basketball player.

September 1994 – Maddy finished college and is ready for her big departure to the States. Once in the States she feels at home right away, lives in the Boston area and packs up her car several times to drive across the country.
July 1996 – In his senior year Tim is picked to carry the Olympic torch down the main street of his city. The Olympic games are in Atlanta. (The torch now decorating our living room.)
September 1996:  Tim gets a scholarship for Nyack College, New York.
Summer 1998:  Tim travels to France with a short-term missions soccer team.  It is at this world cup, that Tim falls in love with Dutch national soccer team.  He still has his Dutch shirt and Dutch flag.

November 1998 – Maddy gets to know Jesus and will do nothing but follow her new friend and Heavenly Father.

January 1999 – Maddy sits next to this amazing girl in church and the two hit it off.  Melissa from Malvern PA is in college in MA.
May 1999 – Maddy is baptized and soon after senses that the Lord wants her to move back to Holland.  Maddy doesn’t want to go ‘home’ at all but knows loving God means following His plan, even if it doesn’t make sense.
New Years eve 1999 into 2000 – Maddy stands on top on the YWAM building in Amsterdam. She can hardly believe she starts this new millennium in Amsterdam.
May 2000 – Tim graduates from college.

Back in Holland Maddy misses everything about the States; her friends, her flavored coffees, sunshine, snow in the winter and so much more.  Still she knows God wants her in Holland and she builds a life.  She goes back to school, starts her own production company working for National TV and enjoys spending time with her family. In this season hardship is present but she is fighting her way up all the time. As a result she officially changes her name into: Hope.  During this time many visits back and forth to the States take place.  She makes a point to see her friends in Boston and PA at least once a year.  Whenever she is in the States she will visit her Vineyard Church in Boston and her Vineyard Church in Media PA.

May 2008 – Tim moves back to Gabon to minister to the people that he loves, the Gabonese, many of the Gabonese he knew from childhood.
January 2010 – Tim meets Joe and Joy who come to help him serve in Gabon
September 2010 – Hardship in Tim’s life and he moves back to the US.
January 2011 – Tim is asked to be the executive director of E4 Project.  He will continue to live his dream and serve the Gabonese.

January 2011 – Maddy buys a cute little white house on a dike, along the canal, looking out over wonderful Dutch country side with sheep and horses.  It’s her dream place and she is back to living close to mom.  It feels like a new start.

April 2011 – Maddy gets hired for a TV Program “Destination Unknown”.  A program that takes her all over the world.

September 2011  – Tim moves to Philadelphia, where Joe and Joy are.

January 2012 – “Destination Unknown” takes Maddy to New Jersey and Maddy decides to extend her stay with 2 weeks so she can see Melissa in PA. Of course she plans her trip so that she can have 2 Sundays in her church.

January 29 2012 – Maddy sits in church next to an amazing couple, Joe and Joy. Pastor Mark hooks them up and takes every one to lunch. They hit it off.  Also, there is this boy who is intrigued by this girl in church who he’s never seen before… he doesn’t get to talk to her though.
February 5 2012
11 am Maddy is back in church. The boy is too. They end up sitting next to one another. Joy, from the week before, introduces her best friend Tim to Maddy. They talk, and they don’t stop even as the service begins.
1 pm The pastor sees a single boy and a single girl chat and thinks it’s great to take people out to lunch, AGAIN!
3 pm Tim is intrigued, Maddy is intrigued but the lunch has come to an end, they each go their separate ways.
5 pm Maddy has Melissa’s birthday party to go to / Tim has plans for Super Bowl Sunday.
7 pm  Melissa’s birthday party comes to an early end since Melissa is given a surprise get away by her husband.  Maddy e-mails Joy that she doesn’t want to spend her last night in the States on Super Bowl Sunday alone. Can she crash her party? Joy’s plans had also changed, there was no party but she was at home and YES I should come, and Tim was there too.
11 pm Super Bowl Sunday comes to an end. Tim and Maddy leave at the same time 😉
In the parking lot Tim makes his move for he realizes this girl is getting on the plane tomorrow, it’s now or never.  They hang out in a Diner till way in the morning.
The day we met, Maddy at Melissa’s birthday party.


February 7 – Maddy gets home and receives an e-mail from Tim, he thinks that skype would be a great way to connect. And 30 minutes after walking in the door Maddy and Tim are on skype… and every day after that.  Longgggg skypes take place, their longest being 13 hours!


Looking back Maddy and Tim feel skype is the best way to date because there are no distractions of going to the movies where you don’t talk, or hanging out with friends where you do not really have one on one time.  This to them was the best way. They had long and deep conversations from the get go.

March – On his way home from Gabon Tim visits Maddy in Holland for 6 days. Since Maddy is in Bolivia herself, it is her mom who picks Tim up from the train station.
The longest stretch of not seeing one another follows… 7 weeks.
April  – Maddy visits Tim in the States for 3 weeks.
May 5  – Tim proposes.
July 7 – Engagement party in Holland.
July – Maddy finishes up her work in Holland, packs up her life and gets ready for departure…
July 27 – Maddy arrives in the States…
October 6 – Although the plan was to get married in Holland, they end up marrying in the States. Mom, oma, best friend and bridesmaid Cindy and marriage counselor Elizabeth fly over from Holland.