Monday, April 20, 2009


I know we're not supposed to have them, but I do.
This little guy and his sister make me so happy...they are just the cutest little things. The sister took this pic, while I was trying to explain what to do...I probably should have just been quiet and let her do her thing.
The lessons we learn too late...

Monday, April 06, 2009

Getting Ready

Make sure you scroll all the way through all the photos and then you may even have to click: view old posts...because there are many photos and videos to see! The last one is of us receiving our cake.

Here are a few shots of me getting ready for our civil ceremony.
I wore my grandma's black lace with an old broach... and a cream dress (thanks, Suzanne!)

Going to the chapel...sort of. But we're gonna get married!

Here are a few of the photos we took as we left my apartment...
and on the way to the mayor's office we saw a man riding a bike and hauling birdies and bunnies...I thought: I need to take a picture of this! And then, us arriving at the office.

A Civil Ceremony

Here are the photos that were taken by a photographer at the ceremony. Everything happened pretty quickly. No vows were made, but we were asked whether we wanted to marry each other, to which we both answered, "Da." And then we were instructed on marriage in Romanian family law. 10 minutes later, we were married. We signed a giant book, and for the first time I signed my name: April Ispas. I tried to convince Bela to take my last name, but he was pretty sure he wanted to stay with Ispas. Which is fine....I think April Ispas looks so cute written out.

Casa de Piatra

We greeted those who attended the ceremony with a kiss on both cheeks and most wished us a house of well as 10 children. We then celebrated with a glass of champagne and a few little cakes.

Pictures of Us

I was really brave on Saturday and wore 3 inch heels...I was a scoach taller than Bela, but barely. And I felt so much prettier in the heels than I would have otherwise...and that's what's important. I also had to lean heavily on his arm in order to climb or descend stairs, cross bumpy parking lots, and walk in general.

Family Pictures

Here are a few photos of those who attended the civil ceremony...we gathered quite a crowd. :) I especially like the photos of my new isn't cultural to smile. And check out the one of the rock star! Actually, my favorite boquet of flowers came from her. And I should explain the flowers. Almost everyone who came to the ceremony brought me flowers...I seriously had hundreds of flowers. Finding vases for them all when I went home was no easy task! I was using cups, wine bottles, and finally just gave up...our apartment does smell so pretty now.

The Cake

Eating Lunch

We had a luncheon with our friends from the center and a few of Bela's family. They could chose between fish or chicken, drank some homemade wine, and basically had a good time.

Leaving the Mayor's Office

One of the best parts of the day, other than marrying Bela, was having accordian players sing to us as we left the office...It was great!

Eating Cake

This video is of us being brought our cake. Once again everyone sang "La Multi Ani" (it's sort of the song and phrase of choice here...people use it for everything from happy birthday to happy new year to happy woman's day). The fireworks were an especially nice touch...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

On Getting Married...

As most of you know, this Saturday Bela and I are having a civil ceremony here in Romania. We are hoping that this will enable him to obtain a tourist visa into the U.S. where we can have covenant ceremony on June 21. We should know next week whether in fact he has a visa or not. Would love your prayers to this end...

And so, as I contemplate my last days of singleness, I've been remembering the time that led up to this time. I've been single a long time and in many ways I never thought I'd marry; I hoped I would, but I didn't think I would.

Last year God was doing so much in my heart and life and now I recognize how He was leading me to this place called marriage. I wanted to share some of that journey here by sharing a journal entry I wrote last July.

Before you read, I know that many of you are single or perhaps you aren't single, but don't want to become a parent. I just want to qualify that this is what God was doing in my heart, in preparing me. I know not everyone is called to marriage or parenthood, and that's okay. Please don't hear that I believe otherwise in my words.

"Not sure when, but yesterday or the day before as I lay praying before I fell asleep, it came to me that amidst all that God is doing in me and all I've been repenting of and just seeing and learning and realizing- I realized that something is missing. And it isn't God- He's here and I'm trying to be with Him and trust Him in new ways, although it's hard. I so easily want to return to old patterns. But knowing that what I have in Him is unlike anything else and knowing I want Him more than anything, something is still missing. I feel it. When I see a new baby, I feel it. When I witness a relationship between a man and a woman, I feel it. When I look at a kid and wish he was mine, I feel it. Part of me is missing.

"I've been thinking about who I am and what I'm good at, and I know not only that I'd be good, but that I'm gifted to be a wife and mom. It's in me so naturally. And in being a gifting I believe it's part of my calling.

"I used to want to marry and have a family for reasons like fitting in or being accepted or so others would think better of me.

"And it's not about that any more, it's about what I want to BE, because of who I am.

"I want to be a wife and mom because I want to serve, I want to give my life away because I believe those are my gifitngs, they are my calling. And, they are my desire.

"And I don't know what to do with it. Just lay it out before God. Because I trust Him, I do. And not quickly run to what could be a possible solution. Which I so want to do. Instead, just sit and be in that missing with Him, allowing Him to enter it, to even find worship there in that place, where something is missing. And I sit and wait for Him- knowing that in His movement whether or whatever it is, it will be His delight. Whish is also a new thought for me. That it would be His delight to bring me together with another. He would delight in it. I've always thought I had to work so hard for it- be more open, more vulnerable, flirty, etc. Instead of just resting and being and letting Him delight in the work He is doing.

"And I've been finding myself in this place of being okay with just having a life. No illusions of grandeur, of amazing books I'll write or fields I'll open or words I'll speak as I preach to a congregations. Give me the simple holy gift of my calling, of being a wife and a mom, this is what I really want. I'm tired of everthing else.

"I was just reading an old entry- something I wrote about coming to Romania, that if I didn't come it felt like I'd be missing something. Something I'd miss for the rest of my life. It was good to read this and remember. It is also interesting that it or they are the same words I used to describe where I find myself-like something is missing.

"Maybe on this journey we find what is missing- and maybe we don't. Maybe we just believe that in serving Him, the One who is never missing, in loving Him, the One who is sovereign and kind, we can hold what is missing and we can be held by Him- even while we let Him- and still find worship. Still find that it all somehow holds together.

"And missing is different than wanting. I still want what I miss, but we don't miss what we want, do we? I sure miss wanting________. We miss something because there's a place for it that isn't filled. And we want to fill that place, but we don't miss the empty place when it's gone.

"All that to say, it's not only about wanting a husband and family, it's about missing not having them. There is this place in me empty without them. And I believe that is connected to calling. If we aren't doing what we are called and gifted to do, then there will always be something missing in us. So, if I am called to serve here and I don't, something would be missing. If I'm called to marry and morther and I don't, something will be missing.

"But, I dont' love the call more than the One whom the call is meant to serve and glorify. And one calling is not more holy or important than another- wanting to be a wife or mom is not lesser than wantig to come to Romania and serve- if they are both a calling, they hold the same weight.

"I'm called to Romania and all that means, for love of Christ. I should be called to marriage and family for the same love, for love of my King.

"I really never knew it could be this way, that it could be God and marriage. I always thought it was one or the other. What it came down to was that I couldn't love the fantasy of marriage more than I loved God; that's idolatry (worshiping something/someone other than God). I didn't know I could love God by marrying. But if this is my calling then of course it would be loving Him! And serving Him! And of course it would feel as if I were missing something."

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