Muggy Church Building, One Elementary School Cafeteria & 10 Years


June 13th, 2002 stood still with an unexpected heatwave.  

It was a Thursday.  

Family & friends came in from out of town,

my to be mother-in-law turned 50 just the day before.  

We drove to the country of cow manure & pristine lawns

Our church building stood in disarray.

We pretended we knew Dutch Reform.

Sanctuary air stood stagnant & baked.

Sweat down my back with my only thought...tuile, satin sticking the next day.

Anticipation could not describe my emotions and yet, still there was the lingering of what could not be.


The night before my wedding, I stayed in the comfort of air conditioning with my to be sister-in-law.  Listening to her talk highly of her brother and her thankfulness that I would be his wife spoke deep to me.  I didn't have a sister.  

Peaceful night sleep, no wrestling or tossing.  I reminded myself that this night and the next 24 hours stood for shalom.  All that was planned was planned.  All that I had on my list had been passed on.  I was but a boat in the sea of possibility allowing the waves to take me where I needed to go.  

Morning came with a cool breeze and a warm shower.  My friend gave me the gift of a puddle of relaxation known as a massage, and indeed it worked.  Every point in my body felt no tension--which meant I needed my Washburn to play & sing.  In those moments leading up to the biggest commitment of your life, when the man who should be there to give you away wouldn't be is when I got to wrap myself up in my good Father's arms in the gift of song.  


"Tell anyone who calls that I'm unavailable," were the last words spoken before the door shut to my room that would be no more.  


Singing, playing, pausing.  That's how a wedding day should be.  Not running around, tying up loose ends, or worrying how everything would look--I think God was preparing me for a lifetime of me running around, tying up loose ends as he calls me back to the Washburn & melody.  

Hair was done, bridesmaids--dear friends to join me in this day, no pompous music to be played.  Simple white candles abound, my princess dress with flowing guaze sleeves and bridesmaids stepped out of Jane Austin's Emma.  Cranberry peonies stood on point as my mother walked me down to Sarah strumming & singing in her true alto voice, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

There stood the man that would be the best choice I've ever made, ready to take all of me.  The betters and the worsts, the richers and the poorers, the sickness and the health.  His word bound that day has never once stood in vain.  He is what good men are made of and these past ten years have only secured it more deeply in the foundation of my mind & soul.

Photo via

Our reception was just as us than any other.  

We didn't have fine gourmet to much of many's surprise.  But, it felt like the feeding of the 5,000.  Our meager wedding budget abounded with a simple meal, which the King of kings would be honored to feast at (he did that day in some form).  

Elementary cafeteria transformed into sparkling white lights and laden with the people we loved the most.  We were blessed.  We handed out tickets for raffle drawing.  It was us.  Not traditional, but comical, real & genuine Ben & Kamille.  


What I love about our wedding and reception is the picture of people there.  How God does transform five loaves of bread & two small fish into a feast, because he is present.  Jesus fed body & soul that day.  

Our reception resembled that body & soul.  

Not stuffy or uptight, but a candy filled pinata for the kids to break open and a fork-spoon constructed candlebra to give to the raffle winner.  Chips & salsa, way too much cake, veggies & fruit and bagels & cream cheese.  Sharing this table looked majestic to us.  

This is what fairytales should be made of....Happy 10 years to the groom of my youth! 


A Year Ago: What You May Not Hear About Marriage


Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies with Orange Zest

Ben & I are entering into our first time counseling gig.  I humor myself calling it a gig.  We have the privilege of serving as a guiding couple to three non-married & non-engaged couples through our church's pre-engagement course.  
It's a 10 week class, where the couples answer lots of questions, fill out family history background & work through a lot the hidden dimensions of marriage.  They get to see whether this significant other is compatible for them to make the big step of engagement.  And I realize a "pre-engagement" class sounds rather odd compared to the widely known, "pre-marital."  
We went through the class ourselves back in 2000, and found out more about ourselves as individuals, as a couple and if our values & interests (and so much more) aligned with one another.  We love being able to speak into young people's lives, especially surrounding something as sacred as marriage.  Too often in our culture (regardless of Christian or not), entering into marriage without weathering the seasons of life together can bring more stress & turmoil than needed when making the covenant.  This is one primary reason we love being able to invest in the lives of individuals who are seeking out marriage with such intention.  
One other aspect of this 10 week period is each couple gets to work together to bring a dessert or appetizer for their designated night.  Most times, as you might have gathered, when bringing a dessert to a get together there is a bit of pressure.  Pressure to measure up & pressure by time pressing in.  I made these Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies with the essence of fresh orange zest a couple weeks back.  I was looking for something easy & relatively healthy to serve as a "treat" for my girls & their little friends.  These hit that spot.

Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies with Orange Zest (printable recipe)

I have used the word "raw" in the recipe title, but I didn't use raw cocoa for these cookies.  Thereby, they are not 100% raw.  However, if your diet is of such, then sub out the cocoa for raw cocoa.  

2 cups hazelnuts
1/2 cup cocoa, unsweetened 
1/4 tsp sea salt
zest of one orange
18 dates, pitted medjool
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/8 cup maple syrup or raw honey
1 Tb. cocoa nibs

Place your hazelnuts into a food processor.  Process until resembling coarse hazelnut meal, basically you want to have the hazelnuts avoiding that hazelnut butter stage.
Add cocoa, salt, orange zest & medjool dates and process again.  The dates should start to bring the mixture together into a ball, but not quite.  You may want to hit pulse about 5-7 times to see how it looks.  
Add the coconut oil, maple syrup & cocoa nibs.  Pulse 5-7 times, until the mixture is holding together nicely. You may want to remove the lid to see how it sticks together.  If it's not quite forming a ball easily, pulse a couple more times until it does.  
Taking 2 Tb at a time, form them into balls & slightly flatten to place them on parchment or foil.  Top with orange zest & eat.  
These will keep at room temperature and/or the fridge.  

How Can I Find "the One?"

Mama!  And then the prince came & they got married!” exclaimed my little princess loving Tay.

I’m a mom of two little girls with pink & dresses holding stock in our home.  My Tay is all things girl, as she dons a dress everyday twirling with delight.  When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she replies, “I want to be a princess!

For her, this romantic idealism is seeping in at the age of three...watching Cinderella becoming a princess, marrying the prince as they live happily ever after.  I know this idealism all too well, dreaming of “one day my prince will come.”

Where do we get this idea that there is only one person out there that would suite us?  The myth of “the one” is dangerous in singleness or marriage....
Read more at Sisters in Bloom, where I am sharing on how we can find "the One," that prince.  I would love for you to leave a comment there and let me know that you came over from RTT.  There's a place around the table waiting for you there, too!