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Steven S. Billings

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

THE BRIDAL PARTY

Corey, Liz, Steve and Jim

We just got some of our pictures from the wedding day. Our friend Marv did such a great job! This is the wedding party. On the left is Liz's daughter Corey - the Maid of Honor, and on the right is my brother Jim - the Best Man.

We had a great Christmas holiday and pray you did as well. The rest of this week will be spent wrapping up loose ends and packing up my apartment in order to make the big move to Wisconsin. I'll miss my friends here, but am very excited about my new life with Liz, my beautiful Bride!

12:58 pm est

Thursday, December 13, 2007

WEDDING WEEKEND REFLECTIONS

December 2007

It's very exciting, this new endeavor, this new season in my life. I pray that our communication - which has been wonderful! - may continue throughout our lives. Sharing our thoughts and feelings has been one of the key elements in our falling in love and growing closer each day. Let us never grow weary of such open, honest and heart-felt talk.

I also pray that God would always direct our hearts toward Him, to focus our attention on the gospel and the full and free forgiveness given there - for ourselves individually, and toward each other as husband and wife. Lord Jesus, enable me to be a strong, yet compassionate head of our home. Help me to keep a good humor and not to let my fears and insecurities rule the day. Thank You for a kind and forgiving wife. May I always be such a husband to her.

Thoughts About the Flight

It was an hour drive to Flint, but it was well worth it. Not only was the ticket half the price compared to flying out of Detroit, but parking was close to the terminal - no shuttle needed - there was no wait at all for check-in, and security was a snap - almost no lines to stand in. Yes, I do have to change planes in Detroit, but I would rather do that and avoid the hassles associated with check-in and security.

Call from Dr. Arnkoff

Dr. Arnkoff called shortly after I arrived at the airport. The biopsy indicates no cancer. Yay!! It does show chronic prostatitis, but there is no need for treatment. God be praised!

The Flight to Appleton

I sat next to a fellow named Bob from Montana. Bob works for a company that mines Bentonite, which, apparently, is a type of clay that is used for many applications, from toothpaste to dog food, from industrial lubrication to wine clarification. It is also sold for human consumption as a dietary supplement. Very interesting fellow, Bob. He was on his way to the Packers game this weekend, as was the guy across the aisle who is from Tampa. I thought it interesting that I was sitting with Packers fans from Montana and Florida. Go Pack!

Reflections on the Wedding Day

My last night sleeping in Oshkosh without Liz was the night before our wedding. It was so lonely. Just knowing she was in her room while I slept in mine was torturous. I woke up about 4:00 and started praying for the morning. It felt like Christmas when I was a kid. It seemed like 7:00 would never arrive.

As the day progressed, there were times when it seemed to crawl by. Still I thought the appointed time would never come. But having Liz by my side made it all bearable.

Time for hair, setting up for the reception, make-up and getting dressed all led to heightened excitement and the realization that it was finally coming true. Soon I would marry the woman who had become my best friend!

At last it was time. She was escorted down the aisle by her father. My heart banged loudly in my chest. I took her by the hand; she was about to be mine.

During the ceremony there many moments when our eyes were fixed upon each other. She was more lovely than ever! Soon there would be food and toasts and cake and many congratulations from dear friends. By 9:00 we were in the car on our way to the Franklin Street Inn.

Afterward

I missed my flight to Detroit Tuesday. This was a blessing, as it permitted us to spend most of the day together.

After leaving the Inn, we headed for Vic's to open gifts and cards. Then it was time to go to the airport. Take-off was close to the posted time, while flights to Milwaukee and Chicago were cancelled.

It was a difficult goodbye, tempered by prayer and the assurance that we would be together again soon. Still, there is the specter of the five days between the next visit and the following one, but the comfort in that is that when she leaves in January, I shall be with her. And so shall we be - God-willing - for the remainder of our earthly lives. Hallelujah!

Drive to the Townhouse

It was rainy and cold. My mood was a mixture of residual elation and sorrow for the forced separation. I talked with Liz for a little while before she went to bed. We prayed and she went to sleep.

Epilogue

The townhouse never felt so empty. I was up for a few hours, checking email, etc. Sleeping alone will be difficult henceforth, but God will provide. He has certainly given me enough to keep me busy. In the next week I have two baptisms, confirmation, and an extra service for Pr. Zeile at St. John. In addition to that, there are eBay and "Journey Home" sales to ship, listings to monitor, sermons to write, ordos to prepare, and even a newsletter to get out. Plus I have to train Jean and Jeremy concerning office details that I have been taking care of over the years. Yes, much to do. Yet I am distracted. The gold around my finger signifies the ring around my heart. Liz will be here soon. God is very good.

2:40 pm est

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For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
(Philippians 1:21)

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