Thursday, July 30, 2009

<3

While Andrew, Dan, and Kori were all back for July 4th, we had to grab a few pictures...

Aren't we such cute couples?!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Thursday!

I do remember that I have a blog - and this post proves it!

It seems the past few weeks have been full of research, decision making, planning, and wedding preperations, though the highlight of every day comes about 9:30/10:00 when my amazing man calls to talk. <3

With my family traveling most of August and September and then spending all of November and much of December in Branson, there has been lots to do while I have time at home! I have been so amazed at how the Lord has directed and is pulling things together. I've already had some huge answers to pray -- a big thank you to those who have left comments and let us know that you've been praying!

For a quick peek at today...


We began the bridesmaids dresses with yards and yards of cranberry fabric...

...then Rachel and Anna (who will soon be another dear sister!!) developed our very own pattern from one of my favorite dresses. After taking measurements and doing the math, they drew the pattern: TotallyGAP 1219!!

You girls are amazing!! Thank you so much for coming and helping Anna -- we couldn't have done it without you!

[And ya'll should head over to Anna's blog and leave a comment with three big cheers!! ]

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The beginning

...of happily ever after!




DAN: By way of introduction, I am Dan Beasley, Bethany Wissmann’s fiancĂ© (with one “e”). I am currently living in Purcellville, VA (about 40 miles west of DC) working as a legal assistant for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), and attending Oak Brook College of Law.


You want the story? I looked into her pretty brown eyes, fell in love and asked her to marry me.

Okay, well that’s not quite how it happened. I was first attracted to Bethany when we both served at the NCHEA 2006 kids’ conference “Enemy Encounter.” After the last day of the conference my brothers, sister and I spent the night at their house. Believe it or not, I chose to ride back to their house in the bus rather than with Andrew in his car (the first sign of love…lol).

"Enemy Encounter" staff - NCHEA 2006


DAN: After returning home I talked with God about her out in our pasture. It was very clear to me that I was not in a position to start a relationship. So, I put her on the unwritten “list” of potential Mrs. Dan Beasley’s and went about living life, knowing it was in God’s hands. I usually attempted to view girls as a group because when I started singling them out it was more difficult to keep myself mentally pure.

I made a point to interact with her when I saw her at different activities we were involved in. As I got to know her better I realized that she DEFINITELY had potential. It’s pretty obvious, when you look at Bethany’s life, that she is sold out for God and wants to please Him in all that she does. I noted her incredible personality, sweet joyful spirit, and pretty brown eyes. Another thing I really liked about Bethany was her purity, which sprung from her genuine desire to please God. She was very friendly and outgoing, but guarded her heart. I have a deep respect for girls who don’t throw their hearts around.

So life went on. I prayed and thought about her from time to time, but made no serious moves. When I moved to Virginia in July of 2008 the thought crossed my mind that I should talk with some girl’s dad just to put my name in. I didn’t want to leave and let the best girl slip through the cracks without even being there to put up a fight. But I didn’t know which girl’s dad to talk to, and I felt God wanted me to wait. So I waited. I had a lot in front of me. I started my new job as a legal assistant and then one week later had my first set of law school finals. In October I took the First Year Law Students Exam in California. God was sooo faithful!

Around Christmas I began to think seriously about marriage. When? Who? Etc. In January, while I was out running and praying one Saturday morning God impressed Bethany on my heart like never before. It was so clear. I started praying about it. I didn't want to rely on a feeling. I began to search the scriptures asking to find out what the Bible had to say about marriage, specifically, in the area of timing?
Genesis 2:18 says, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Proverbs 18:22 says, He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” But when? Should I wait until I’m finished with school? I could see benefits to both paths. I continued to pray, search God’s word and talk with my parents and others. I was lonely, living on my own, and I felt like I needed a companion. But I wanted God’s way. His timing is ALWAYS best!

God didn’t send me an email, write in the sky or send me a random text message. But His voice eventually became convincingly clear. He spoke through the Holy Spirit, His word, my parents and others I sought advice from.


BETHANY:
Where do I begin? This whole season of life is one I’ve talked to God so much about…praying…waiting…wondering…and then: He directs and it is so beautiful that I stand in awe of how He works!

As mentioned, Dan and I have known each other for a number of years, attending the same church and helping with various children’s ministries. Though I appreciated him as a brother in the Lord, I was very oblivious that Dan was even slightly interested in me at all – and actually, it wasn’t until Dan came back for Christmas just last year that I started noticing that he had a lot qualities that I’d prayed for in a husband. Yet I had no idea what God had planned, so in purity, I kept my heart stayed on the Lord -- trusting that if this was something God ordained, He would work it out in His time.

I wanted God’s BEST, whether that meant remaining single or marriage at some point. As I grew up and watched my parents’ sweet relationship and specifically my Mom; I knew I wanted to be just like her. Over the last several years, it was a hard place to come to -- surrendering so many dreams and hopes -- thinking I’d totally given it up only to struggle with waiting and wondering if God had marriage for me!

On February 28, my sister Ruth and I were having a heart to heart chat and I shared with her that I was feeling like God had something more for me. I wasn’t discontent – I love traveling and ministering with my family – yet I was feeling like God wanted something more of me, and I wasn’t sure what it was! Ruth shared advice that I’ve pondered again and again: that God often prepares us for something new before calling us to it, and yet we must remain faithful where He has us TODAY.

DAN: I called Mr. Wissmann on March 6, 2009 to ask him about starting a relationship with his daughter. I had 3 points to make during my phone call. 1) To put him on notice of my intentions, 2) To see if I even had a chance of someday marrying one of his daughters (I wanted to put my name in the hat if nothing else), and 3) To let him know that I would never start a relationship or marry his daughter without his full blessing and permission.

I was a bit nervous, but the call went well. I pretty much just laid it all on the table without giving him much time to talk, just to make sure I communicated my three points. I did make a few pauses to breath and give him a chance to interrupt if he wanted to, but he didn’t. He said that he didn’t know me that well, but what he did know of me he like and respected. He wanted to talk with Gloria and pray about and then get back with me.

Monday night March 8, 2009, he called back and let me know that I had the green light from him and Gloria. But he also mentioned that he wanted to talk with Bethany before he officially turned me loose. It just so happened that He and Bethany were taking a trip that weekend (God’s timing is so perfect). He said that he would mention the idea sometime on the trip and then get back with me.

BETHANY: Dad and I flew to Branson to do some photography for a friend. I always enjoy time with Dad and that morning during my devotions I'd written in my journal that I was looking forward to having time to talk with him. Did he have any insight and guidance as to further direction for my life? Little did I know… [grin]

Thursday evening, March 12, the photo shoot was over and we were getting ready for bed when Dad turned to me and began: “Bethany, there is something I need to tell you…” As soon as Daddy started talking, I could tell what was coming -- a young man had asked to get to know me.

Dan Beasley had talked to my Dad! Dad and I had precious prayer time together before going to bed…yet I didn’t sleep much that night at all. We arrived home the next day and I felt at peace with the answer the Lord had given me, but took some time to seek the Lord’s face to confirm that this was indeed God’s will. By Friday night I told Dad that he could call Dan – for my answer was yes!

DAN: I was in Salt Lake City, UT representing HSLDA at a home school convention that weekend. He called Saturday morning, March 14, 2009, while I was working at the conference. I saw him calling on my phone but couldn’t answer. Talk about anxious anticipation. Later that afternoon I slipped away from the table on a bathroom break and checked my voicemail. But he didn’t really tip me off either way. He said, “I was just calling about what we had discussed…please give me a call back.”

The rest of the afternoon and evening couldn’t go by fast enough. That night when I got back to the hotel I called him and got the news – green lights all around!!! WOW! I cannot explain how excited I was. The hotel room couldn’t really contain me, and I didn’t want to break the bed, so I went for a walk. As I was rejoicing and praising God. Proverbs 3:5-6 came to mind. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” This is true! God is faithful! After taking a quick poll between my mom and sisters whether to call her or wait and ask her out in person, I called her for the first time that night. What a memorable experience!

BETHANY: Throughout the day Saturday, I prayed that Dan would initiate praying together during our first phone conversation. Just imagine how thrilled I was when not even 10 minutes into our conversation that evening, Dan asked “Should we pray and commit our relationship to the Lord, Bethany?”

DAN: We went on our first date on March 26, 2009, to Vincenzo’s Italian restaurant in Lincoln, NE, and officially started our relationship.


BETHANY:
Talk about a special and amazing first date. It began with a walk in Lincoln’s downtown hay market, where Dan stopped and personally asked me if I’d enter a courting relationship him?

[There are MANY definitions of what courtship is; to us – it meant getting to know each other with the intent to get married but having the ultimate goal of discerning God's will.]

You all know what my answer was to his question, and after walking, talking, and praying, Dan led me to Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant where my amazing man had reserved a corner booth and had a dozen gorgeous red roses waiting along with a box of gourmet truffles. What a joy it was to share with each other how God had worked in our hearts in the past months, preparing us for this new season and each other.

Then it was back to communicating via-phone, with 1200 miles between us…
Continuing to get to know each other with Christ as the center of our relationship was such a precious thing! Memorizing scripture, praying on the phone each night, sharing what the Lord taught us in our quiet times with Him…how beautiful!

DAN: As I got to know Bethany I continued to pray and ask God whether she was the one He created to be my wife. I remember one time asking Him to show me His will when He seemed to respond, “what more could I possibly do to show that this is My will.”

I prayed earnestly. I pleaded with God to reveal His will to me. And though at times He seemed to be silent, the scriptures ring true once again. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable thing you do not know. James 1:5-6 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

BETHANY: Before beginning our relationship, I had seen Dan’s incredible heart for the Lord, but in getting to know him, I realized I hadn’t known the half! Dan has an amazing heart for prayer and is continually growing in his relationship with our Heavenly Father. Christ is the most important thing in his life, and he actively looks for ways to reach out and influence the world around him for Christ’s sake. Whenever we’d discuss something, Dan reminded me so much of my Dad…a topic would be brought up and time after time the first thing Dan would say is: “Open the Bible up to _________ and God says ________ about this.”

His genuineness, his humility, his boldness in taking a stand when the world cries out for compromise and a lowering of standards, his sincere love for people, his sense of humor, his attention to details, his leadership abilities, his personality and laughter, his love for life, his diligence in putting in long hours with work and school, not getting much sleep yet pursuing God’s purpose for his life whole heartedly, his gentle love for children…the list could definitely go on. I mean – I haven’t mentioned yet what I think about his looks!! Talk about a tall, dashing, strong, handsome man – with the most incredible hazel eyes. Oh – and did I mention that he plays guitar and finds the sweetest love songs to sing to me?!

The more we got to know each other and continued seeking the Lord's will concerning each other, the more I realized that this was the man for whom I’d prayed for so many years. And God answered those prayers beyond anything I could ever have dreamed when He brought Dan into my life! Here was a man whom I could love, honor, obey, follow, and serve God together with – for the rest of my life.


Dan came home for 10 days over his birthday and the 4th of July…It’d been a month since I’d seen him and I was counting the days -- and then the hours (much to my family’s amusement!)

DAN: On June 29, 2009, out in our pasture where I first talked to God about Bethany – in the moonlight, with fireflies buzzing around – I got down on one knee and asked Bethany Lynne Wissmann to marry me. Never have I felt such joy and excitement. It is so awesome to be engaged and know that I am right in the middle of God’s will.

God is totally worth waiting for. His timing is perfect. And there is no feeling this world can offer that compares with the satisfaction of being in God’s will.

Engaged!


THE RING

And we both appreciate prayers as we plan for a
December 19
wedding.
May God be glorified!

"The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy."
Palms 126:3

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Psalms 70:4

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
And let those who love Your salvation say continually,
"Let God be magnified!"

Go forth today, by the help of God's Spirit, vowing and declaring that in life---come poverty, come wealth, in death---come pain or come what may, you are and ever must be the Lord's.
For this is written on your heart, 'We love Him because He first loved us.'
-Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Engaged!!

June 29, 2009

"...the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13

(And I know I keep saying this, but there will be more details, the story, and lots of pictures coming soon -- just wait 'till you see the ring!! [grin] I am greatly looking forward to taking the time to jot down the story of what GOD has done and sharing it with you all, as well as the amazingness of my man, Dan. But for now you'll have to be satisified with this quick post -- and knowing that I am heels over head in love!)