I don’t want to forget

Two years ago today was a momentous day – one I’ll never forget.

I say that, but the truth is, I’ve already started to forget so much about my wedding day. The sermon, the toasts, the greetings of friends. If I don’t have written record or pictorial proof, chances are I’ve already started to forget – with no way to reclaim those moments.

Which is why, here, on our second anniversary, I want to record the details I most don’t want to forget.

I don’t want to forget…

…the people

My girlfriends helping me dress, bustling on the other side of the hall to prepare a luncheon for the party. The surprising arrival of my brother and his pregnant wife and daughter. Skyping with my other brother, halfway around the world, before the day began. My family, doing what my family does best – making things happen. Extended family arriving in great swaths. People from church in Columbus, from church in Lincoln, from my childhood church. My teammates from the Jacksonville Summer Training Program. Charlotte, who knew us both when, telling me in the receiving line: “You and Daniel – if only I’d have thought of it sooner.”

All of them expressing their support, rejoicing in God’s provision, rooting for our marriage.

…the promises
I lightly adapted the text from The Book of Common Prayer for our order of service. I answered “I will” when our pastor asked me if I would “take Daniel to be your husband, to live with him in holy marriage according to the Word of God? Will you love him, comfort him, honor him, obey him, and keep him in sickness and in health and, forsaking all others, be wife to him as long as you both shall live?”

I promised God that day that I would be wife to Daniel. I promised to live with him in holy marriage, not a secular union. To love him, to comfort him, to honor him, to obey him.

I made a solemn vow before God and the congregation:

“I, Rebekah, take you, Daniel, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part. To this, I pledge you my faithfulness.”

I want to remember those promises. I want to keep those promises.

…the Preeminence
It’s normal to have Scripture readings and songs at a wedding. It’s normal for these readings and songs to elevate love, to proclaim love’s worth, to delight in love.

And believe me, Daniel and I enjoy love.

But we wanted our wedding to elevate something else. But that’s not quite right either. We wanted our wedding to elevate someone else.

We chose Colossians 1:15-23 for a reading:

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

We sang two congregational hymns – one looking backward at the faithfulness of God (“Great is Thy Faithfulness”), one looking forward, petitioning God to be before us (Be Thou My Vision).

Because we didn’t want our wedding prayer to be all about us. We didn’t want our marriage to be all about us. We wanted our marriage to be all about Christ.

I never want to forget that. I always want to live that. I want that day’s passion for Christ’s preeminence to be every day’s passion.

Wedding Whens and Wheres, Part 2

In my previous post about wedding whens and wheres, I realize that I missed two parts. The time of day for our wedding and the place for our reception.

I don’t think determining the time of day for our wedding was particularly difficult for us. I grew up attending my aunts’ and uncles’ wedding (my mom was the second married of 12 children and I attended the weddings of at least 7 aunts and uncles during my childhood years)–and our family pattern was an early afternoon wedding with a reception immediately following in the church fellowship hall. Daytime weddings are traditional for our family.

Furthermore, as a college student and after, I’d attended many an evening wedding and mused at how worn out the bride and groom must be when they finally reach their honeymoon (or overnight) location. I was NOT eager to have my first night with my groom be one of exhausted irritability.

We chose a 1:30 wedding with a (short) reception immediately following.


Lincoln Meadows was fairly nondescript–and we didn’t do much to fancy it up, just flowers on the tables. But it fit everyone and let us cater ourselves–which was pretty much what I was looking for.

Once we had our ceremony site in place, we had to choose a site for our wedding reception. We couldn’t have it in the church fellowship hall, since the hall can only comfortably seat maybe 80 people. Variable weather in Nebraska in March meant outdoors wasn’t an option–so we had to find ourselves a reception hall.

We had some definite constraints:

  • The hall had to be available on March 9
  • The hall had to seat at least two hundred people
  • The hall had to have space for two hundred people to PARK (since our wedding was on the same day that Lincoln was hosting Nebraska’s Boys State basketball tournament)
  • The hall had to let us self-cater or, at the very least, allow us to bring in an outside caterer (because I’m uber-cheap)

I did internet searches for places, called for availability, and was left with exactly two potential places–one of which seemed definitely the better pick.

Since I wasn’t in Lincoln, I phoned the hall to figure out logistics and then sent my mom down to scope out the hall and reserve it.

Sign on the Reception Hall

When my mom went to the hall the morning of our wedding, the sign still bore the names of the previous couple. She contacted the hall, and by the time we got there the names had been changed

And that was that.

What: Wedding
When: 1:30 pm Saturday March 9, 2013
Where: Lincoln Christian Fellowship and Lincoln Meadows Social Hall

I made it down to Lincoln one weekend and my mom took me out to the place to peek in the windows–but otherwise, the first time I saw our reception location was when I arrived there to decorate the day before the wedding.

Despite all that, it turned out great. The only downside had nothing at all to do with the reception site and everything to do with my own lack of preparation.

I had mentioned the need for some sort of sound system in conversations with my folks but hadn’t followed up on it or made definite arrangements to have a microphone and speakers so our host could direct the reception activities more easily.


Daniel’s best man toasts us near the bar. (I tried to see if they’d let us go completely without a bar, but that wasn’t an option. So a bartender was there but we didn’t really advertise that it was available–which meant they maybe made a half dozen sales, max. Eh :-P)

Wedding Whens and Wheres

The first decision in planning a wedding is either when or where, depending on how long you intend your engagement to be and how tightly your ceremony and reception venues schedule.

Daniel and I decided our when when we decided to get married. We were searching for any way to get married before summer (of 2013) and arrived at Spring Break.

Even so, we did end up making some adjustments. Both of my sisters-in-law happened to be pregnant at the time, one due in April and the other in May–and we wanted them to be able to be there if at all possible. Having our wedding one Saturday before the first Saturday of Spring Break would give Debbie 3 weeks rather than 2 before her due date–which just might be the difference between them making it or not. Furthermore, the first Saturday of Spring Break happened to be my brother John’s anniversary–and Daniel’s nephew’s birthday. It would be better for us to get married the week before.

Lincoln Christian Fellowship

The church building I grew up in–for as long as I can remember, I attended the big white and red trimmed church out in Airpark

That set, we needed to determine our wheres.

It wasn’t that hard to decide on Lincoln as our wedding location. Both of our parents live in Lincoln–and since much of my extended family and friends live north of Lincoln and many of Daniel’s extended family and friends live south of Lincoln, it made Lincoln a good central location.

Our next consideration was whether to get married at my parents’ church, at Daniel’s parents’ church, or somewhere else entirely.

Daniel was pretty open to going somewhere else entirely, but frugality and sentimentality won the day.

I practically grew up at 4111 NW 44th Street. I attended services and midweek Bible Studies at Rejoice in the Lord Church every week from the time I was born until Rejoice in the Lord closed its doors when I was eleven. Rejoice gave the building to Lincoln Christian Fellowship, who rented it to a little school (which I attended for a year) in the couple of years before LCFs congregation moved out there. My family, of course, transitioned straight from Rejoice in the Lord to Lincoln Christian Fellowship with barely a hiccup.

Lincoln Christian Fellowship Sign

Back when this was Rejoice in the Lord, I remember running endless circles with one of my hands around this sign’s posts

I was in that building at least once a week (but more often 3 or 4 times a week) up to age 22 when I moved away from Lincoln.

You could say there’s some history between me and there.

I called the pastor, asked about availability on March 9th, about cost to rent the building.

It was free on both counts, for me.

We took it.

Daniel and I say our vows

Daniel and I say our vows–under the same cross that saw me baptized and under which I took my first communion

Wrapping up “Our Story”

This is the final installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and became engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

Two weeks after Daniel and I were engaged, Daniel’s mother and I road-tripped from Lincoln down to Wichita, where I saw the house that was to become my new home. I cooked my first meal in my future kitchen–and entertained Garcia family friends at the same time.

A month later, in November, my car broke down less than a week before I was to travel to Wichita again. I bought a new (used) car, drove it 300 miles to Wichita, and signed the title over to Daniel. We added me to Daniel’s car insurance, licensed the car in Kansas, and then drove it to Topeka for his mom’s family Thanksgiving. From there, we drove it up to Lincoln for my family Thanksgiving. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, we drove it back to Wichita to drop Daniel back at home–and I drove it back to Columbus again. We named the car “Alejandro” in honor of his new “Mexican” owner (hah). Alejandro gained 1200 miles in that crazy week.

Just a month later, I worked my last day in Columbus, traveled to Lincoln where we celebrated Christmas with both of our families, and we traveled back up to Columbus with a moving truck. We packed all my earthly possessions and made a caravan to Wichita. Daniel in the moving van, me in Alejandro, my dad driving Daniel’s car.

We unloaded all my earthly goods (except some clothing, which went to the home of the couple I would be staying with) in Daniel’s house and then returned my parents to Lincoln.

The next two and a half months were a whirlwind of unpacking, house-readying, wedding preparing, and new-life-starting. And then we were married at last.

At which point the story ends…

and begins.

You can catch the rest in real-time (errr…almost) right here on bekahcubed.

Telling the World (Part 2)

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

My Bible study friends weren’t the only people who were incredulous that Daniel and I were engaged.

Anna reports showing up (late) to worship practice the morning after our announcement and having the entire worship team asking for the scoop.

“Rebekah is engaged?” our pastor asked. “I didn’t know she was dating anyone.”

(In my defense, his wife knew I was dating someone; as did at least two of his elders. It wasn’t like it was a secret.)

Consensus was that they all needed to meet this guy, check him out.

Anna let them know the good news. He would be visiting that very morning.

After teaching the Sunday School lesson and getting the children into their small groups with their small group leaders, I left a little early and went out to find Daniel. We strolled, hand in hand, through the church building and towards the sanctuary. As we passed the visitor welcome center, my pastor interrupted his conversation “Hey, Rebekah, good to see you today. Engaged, I hear?”

I affirmed that this was true, introduced Daniel quickly and left Pastor Justin to his conversation. But as we walked away, Justin informed Daniel that he (Justin) would be talking to him (Daniel) later.

Later didn’t end up being after the next service as I’d expected.

Instead, Justin mounted the stage to give the morning’s announcements–and opened with “Sometimes, in the course of this life, two people decide that instead of walking separately, they’re going to join their lives together and walk the rest of this life together as a married couple. If you are in the congregation today and have made that decision in the past week, could you please stand up?”


Daniel and I stood to applause.

At which point Justin came off the stage and towards us, microphone in hand.

“Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist,” he said, “to figure out that Rebekah is one of the most eligible young women in our congregation. We’ll be very sad to see her go.”

Turning now to Daniel, he asked him to introduce himself and tell what he did for a living.

Daniel did so, but didn’t quite give the answer Justin was looking for, so Justin supplied it himself: “So you could almost say you’re a rocket scientist?”

Ermm…not quite, but we’d let him keep his punchline.

His next question for Daniel had us looking back and forth to decide who would answer and how. “How did you propose?” he asked.

Thankfully Daniel, not liking how he’d automatically contradicted me when I started telling the story to my family the day before, had helped us get on the same page as to the story we’d be telling the world.

I gave the short version. “Well, Daniel didn’t so much ‘propose’ as we mutually decided to get married during a conversation this past week.”

Justin wasn’t content with this answer, so he asked Daniel for more detail.

Daniel gave the long version (although still shorter than my long version.)

And, if anyone was in doubt of the veracity of my Facebook status change, they were now convinced. Thanks to a ten minute in-church interview, they now knew that Rebekah Menter was indeed engaged–and knew exactly how it had happened.

Telling the World (Part 1)

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

Telling the world that we were engaged took time.

We told our parents on Thursday–Daniel told his by e-mail (since his dad was in a foreign country and didn’t have reliable phone service), I told mine over Skype.

Daniel’s dad wrote us back a quick e-mail giving his blessing, which Daniel’s mother quickly replied to with her own.

We met my parents Friday night so Daniel could officially ask my dad’s blessing. It was a bit awkward since our decision was already made. We weren’t asking for permission–we didn’t need permission. (A sentiment, by the way, that my dad has expressed on several occasions.) Instead, we were doing the Fiddler on the Roof thing (with none of the undertones of defiance). “We’re not asking for your permission, we’re asking for your blessing”.

Blessing given, we were ready to tell the rest of our families.

Saturday morning, we met Daniel’s sisters and mother for breakfast–my first time meeting my future mother-in-law and the older of my sisters-in-law. Then we went shopping for a ring.

We’d been talking a bit about our story, about how Daniel didn’t propose, about how we just decided (mutually) to get married instead of having a schmancy and elaborate proposal. On our way back from ring shopping, Daniel got down on one ring, in jest, and asked “Rebekah, will you marry me?” I answered with something cheeky, I’m sure, because I remember him telling me that I was forgetting the script. I was supposed to say “Yes, I’ll marry you.” Duly chastised, I said the prescribed words.

Which is why, when we told my siblings at our family lunch that day and when they asked how Daniel had proposed, I replied “He got down on one knee, asked me to marry him, and I said yes.”

Daniel immediately contradicted me, always honest and not wanting to give the wrong impression. The story came out, how he hadn’t proposed, how we’d just decided–on Tuesday.

“You mean you were engaged on Wednesday?” Anna asked. “You made me a liar!”

Yes, I did. I told her. I was sorry, but I didn’t see any way around it. (Thankfully, she forgave me :-) )

We had Grace take some photos of us that we could call engagement photos–which we posted to Facebook along with our changed relationship status later that afternoon.

Later, I’d realize that my order of telling was out of order. In all the secrecy of the first few days, I’d skipped a vital group who ought to have heard from me personally.

The Bible study gals I hadn’t told that first night because I hadn’t told my parents yet?

Ruth learned when a friend she was going to a movie with saw it on Facebook.

Incredulous, she texted Beth, almost certain it was a joke.

Beth’s response was “No… She wouldn’t have gotten engaged without telling me.”

Except I did.


Thankfully, they also forgave.

In which I make my sister a liar

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

It being a Wednesday evening, my parents were busy with church. Which meant I couldn’t really tell them about my engagement any earlier than Thursday night. Which meant I couldn’t really tell anyone about my engagement until after Thursday night.

It wouldn’t be fair to have anyone else know before my parents.

As I was driving back to Columbus from Kansas City, I received a text from my friend Ruth. “Will you be at Bible Study tonight? I have something to tell you.”

I wasn’t sure what time I’d be getting back in to town, but I promised I would come as soon as I got there.

It turned out that I rolled into Columbus almost exactly at 8, when Bible Study began. I drove right to Kathy’s house, interested in hearing what Ruth would have to say.

Interestingly, Ruth was not yet there–but the rest of the girls were eager to hear my story.

One of the girls was new to our study and hadn’t even known I was dating anyone. One of the girls had only heard up to the point where Daniel and I were about to meet in person for the first time. And then there were plenty who knew the story up until my trip to Kansas City/Philadelphia, but who were nevertheless curious to hear what had gone down during my trip.

They insisted I start at the beginning, catching up those who needed to be caught up, while the girls who were further along went across the street to retrieve I-don’t-remember-what from our friend Jon’s house.

Eventually, the rest of the girls returned–and Ruth showed up.

As I told my story, several of the girls punctuated every paragraph with a question.

“So, when are you going to get engaged?”

I ignored their questions and kept blazing on with my story–sans the engagement part, of course.

My sister was less willing to ignore the engagement question and finally interjected.

“She isn’t engaged. She can’t get engaged yet. Daniel hasn’t even met our family!”

I ignored her comment and kept going with my story.

Ruth interjected her own question every couple of paragraphs.

“So, when are you moving to Wichita?”

By the time she got to her own announcement, I felt sure I knew what she would say–and I was right.

Ruth’s company had decided to relocate her. They wanted her to move to their main offices–in Wichita, Kansas.

I responded to her announcement awkwardly, unsure of how to respond exactly. She was moving, but she wouldn’t be moving away from me. She was moving the same place I’d be moving–but I couldn’t let anyone know that I’d be moving there because I couldn’t let anyone know that I was engaged yet.

And so I lied silently–and made my sister a liar as well.

Did I just… !?!

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

Having turned in way too late the night before, I overslept Wednesday morning, waking up less than an hour before my flight out of Philadelphia was scheduled to leave.

I hastily threw my belongings into my bags, hoping against all hope that the airlines wouldn’t complain that I was now carrying THREE carry-ons. Then I rushed downstairs to the hotel lobby, hoping against all hope that I’d have a way to make it to the airport, since I’d already missed the scheduled shuttle.

Hoping against all hope, my hopes were met.

The shuttle had just returned and the driver coming up the walk turned right around to take me back. I whipped through security with no difficulties (except the obligatory pat-down–of course!) and got onto the plane with my three carry-ons.

At last, I was buckled in and had a chance to process.

I was getting married.

We’d decided so the night before.

It was for real.


I rehashed the events of the night in my mind and ended with a terrible thought.

Oh my goodness! Did I just…

I’d told Daniel that it was better to marry than to burn.

Did I just…

I don’t think I did… I think I… But maybe I did…

I don’t know.

Did I just coerce Daniel into marrying me?

The flight was en route, I’d be in the air or on tight connections for the next several hours. I couldn’t answer the burning question.

I was excited, thrilled to be marrying Daniel–I was terrified that I was rushing him, coercing him into doing something against his will.

I had no way of contacting him, of reassuring myself. I had no opportunity to call. I couldn’t ask my questions in between flights via text. How can one ask the questions that were racing through my mind? Surely they couldn’t fit in 160 characters.

My text was simple. “Can we talk sometime before you have class tonight?”

He agreed. He would call me between work and class, when I should be on the road heading back to Columbus from Kansas City.

I continued my travels, brooding into my notebook, alternately dreaming of marrying him and hyperventilating that he might have changed his mind–might not have actually had that in mind until I’d pushed him.

His sister-in-law met me at the airport. I chatted with his nephew and nieces, gave them the stickers I’d picked up for them at the Expo. E loaned me his water bottle for my drive home–I’d be able to return it at the family Thanksgiving only a couple of months later. My belly continued to churn.

Did I just… !?!

At last, Daniel called. He didn’t have much time between work and class. Furthermore, he still had some homework to work on, what with being up so late with me the night before.

I poured out my concerns. Had I forced his hand? Had I rushed him? Did he really want to marry me?

He assured me I had not.

I had not.

He really wanted to marry me.

We were getting married in just 5 more months.

Erratum: We Should Get Married

In the installment of “Our Story” entitled We Should Get Married“, the Author miswrote several pertinent details due to a faulty memory.

Her husband was so kind as to have corrected her remembrance of the story, leading her to publish the following retraction:

I wrote of Daniel suggesting that we should stop talking about getting married–and then of myself going on a tangent to tell Daniel how I’d asked God if I would marry him. After hearing what God had told me (“I know, and when I want you to know, I’ll tell Daniel”), Daniel responded, “I think I do know.”

Here, I went wrong in my storytelling.

Daniel’s response was followed by his telling me that he should/would pray about it himself a little more.

It was the next evening, a Tuesday night, when the discussion turned to possible days we could get married before the next summer–and when we ultimately decided we would get married.

The author is sorry for having misrepresented the story of her engagement and hopes that no one has been harmed by her carelessness with the historic record.


We could get married…

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

“Maybe we should stop talking about getting married,” he said.

He explained that he thought maybe talking about, praying about getting married was making it harder.

I must have misunderstood exactly what he was getting at, presuming that he meant talking about getting married was making it harder for us to discern the will of God. I went off on a tangent.

“What do you think when people tell you that God has told them something?” I asked.

Daniel gave his thoughts, only partially understanding what I was trying to ask (but, then again, it’s not like my meaning was clear or obviously related to the topic at hand.)

I described how I’d asked God if I would marry Daniel–and how God’s response had been, “I know; and when I want you to know, I’ll tell Daniel.”

Daniel listened patiently and responded: “I think I do know.”

He went on to explain his real concern, his present concern. The earliest he could conceive of us getting married was next summer. Was talking about marriage all the time making it harder to wait for the day when getting married could be a reality?

My answer was convoluted. My mind was in a whirl. I’m not sure how I got there, but at one point I mentioned that it was better to marry than to burn. But, at last, Daniel interrupted my ramblings with a more pointed question.

Could I think of any time that we could get married earlier?

I ticked off the options in my head–and said them out loud.

It was October. Christmas break was too soon–there’s no way we could plan a wedding that quickly. And then, well…What time is there between Christmas break and summer?

“When’s your Spring Break?” I asked.

Daniel looked it up, let me know. We discussed if it would be possible to get married the third weekend in March.

Somewhere amidst the conversation, we went from “We could get married over Spring Break” to “We’re getting married over Spring Break.”

We talked way too late into the night, and the conversation ended with an assignment for me. I was to look at rings online, send Daniel some pictures of the sort I liked so he could get ideas.

What was already a late night of conversation turned into an even later night for me as I explored ring pictures online, ecstatic that I was actually going to marry my beloved–SOON!