"" From Now Till 'I Do'...: February 2010

Stories of Love

3 Things the people are saying

At the beginning of this month, I promised to share with you some of my favourite ‘stories of love’ from both readers and blogs I love.


Photo by {Scarlet}

There have been fantastic proposal stories including Giovanna’s over at Swoon and Mrs Quiche over at Weddingbee. My wonderful proposal story is here.

I love engagement shoots and here is one of my favourites by Elton Anderson. One of my favourite weddings online is Mrs Swan from Weddingbee. Read all about here. 

Talking about long distance love, Samuel over at LDP, shared in comments the following:

I am now with a lady I can only describe as a Jewel. She means the whole world to me. However, our relationship is a long distance one. Very tough but God has been seeing us through. We talk every day on phone and fast at least once a week for our relationship, marriage and future.

I live in New Zealand and she in Nigeria. I am doing my PhD while she is doing her Medical studies. Pictures of her fills my room, my office in school, my phone, my computers and everywhere they can be so as not to lose focus of that which God has given me. She is my valentine.

Please pray that the love between us will not wax cold and God will see us through to the end.


There has be some Valentine’s Day love with Jessica {From Marriage to Motherhood} and by Bianca {In the Name of Love} in Because.

Kirsten {We are that family} wrote about how He wants more than love and Lisa Jo {The Gypsy Mama} reminded us how Your people will be my people.

Louise over at Thirty Something Bride, talks about a Different Kind of Love, as does Robin {Penseive} in On honour and in-laws: a different kind of love story.

And we end it all with Lysa in Still Holding Hands.


Next week I am excited to feature my very first real wedding – Mel and Eugene.

Mel and I 'met' via one of the wedding boards, but we later discovered we went to the same university and know the same make up artist, who also went to our university - small world I know!

She will be sharing her top tips for those of you who are planning your upcoming nuptials.

Enjoy your weekend!


Photo by RougeAmour

Coals and Diamonds

4 Things the people are saying


Following on from Monday’s post. Ever wonder why when a man proposes he doesn’t just give you a ring of coal, rather than a diamond? Lets face it, they are both carbon and coal is a lot cheaper!

All you science buffs out there know that:

coal + pressure = diamond

All relationship will come under pressure at some point, that is life and pressure can take the form of finances {the lack of}, sickness, work, family, children etc.

During this time, there is a common feeling that you are falling out of love and this is not what you signed up for.

There have been periods during our courtship where we have faced immense pressure and there have been people who equate pressure to mean that we’re not meant to be together. But through it all, it has been those times of pressure which have drawn us much closer together and strengthened our love and faith in God and each other.

The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 1:3-9 that ‘even gold which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure’.

So therefore, we need to work through the pressure, because it is then that diamonds are formed.

Hang in there!

Any of you out there going through a diamond forming moment in your relationship?

{Image Source}

Letting Go

6 Things the people are saying
Why is letting go so hard to do?

Whether it is the past, an individual or a situation. Having the ability to walk away can be so difficult.

Maybe it is because as humans we are programmed to like control. In some ways we crave it and hold onto it for dear life, for as long as possible disregarding what the consequences may be - often making unwise decisions in the process.

Or maybe it is a pride thing and the fear of 'losing' prevents us from doing what is right. Is life a game? Is the situation really a competition? Are there supposed to be winners and losers? Surely we all serve the same God. Let His will be done.

Today I have let go of something very dear to me and have relinquished control. Not because I wanted to, but because I have to. I have to give the situation back to God because He ultimately is the Master planner and He controls all things.

I'm sure God is thinking, 'If you really love Me, you need to TRUST Me and know that everything will work out according to My will'.

The truth hurts, but that folks is what I am going to do. I pray that God will continue to help me handle this situation with grace and humility.

"Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking with a thankful heart. And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus'
Philippians 4:6-7

Happy Monday! Commitment vs Love

13 Things the people are saying


‘Commitment keeps you safe when you fall out of love’.

So many people call it quits at the slightest sign that the love is gone or they just don’t feel the same way anymore. The sad thing is that this is a very normal stage in every successful relationship.

What is love anyway? Love is a verb, love is a choice.

For those of you here in the UK who watch Neighbours, you will have seen Libby tell Dan last week, that their marriage is over. She just doesn’t feel the same way about him anymore.

Do you think that supposed falling out of love, is enough reason to walk away from a marriage?

{Image source}

Happy Birthday Blog!

7 Things the people are saying

Today my blog turns one!

I don’t normally blog on Sundays but today I'll make an exception.

A year ago today, I went online and decided to create a ‘blog’. I remember telling my family about it and they were like, 'what's a blog and why do you need one?'

Fast forward 12 months and what started out as a place to document my thoughts and planning of my wedding has turned into something much more. From Now Till I Do has evolved into a place where I can talk honestly about the things that we're all going through, whether it be about life in general, relationships, engagement or fun things like recipes in the kitchen.

Through this blog, I have connected with so many people from around the world {my top three countries of readership are USA, UK and Nigeria}, shared the ups and downs as people have planned their weddings, had their babies and faced challenges in life. I've written loads about my own personal journey; from relationships to life discoveries, from faith to weddings and have grown so much as a person. My faith has grown so much.

When I first started writing I only told a few people about the blog, I didn't even have it open for all to see. I guess I was afraid of putting myself out there, speaking what I believed and coming off the fence. But I am glad that over the past year I have put my fear to one side and have 'found my voice'.

This blog is many things but particularly it is...

a place of truth {Ephesians 4:15}

a place to share {I love all your comments and feedback, keep them coming. Also if you have a question you would like answering, send it here. Feedback on how I can improve the site is also welcome}.

a place to grow {what a difference a year makes, we need to continue to look forward}

Speaking of sharing, the last Friday of every month I will be opening up the blog to a guest poster. Starting in March if you would like to contribute to this site, talking about relationships, weddings, marriage, family or your walk as a Christian, now is your chance. Just send me a email with your ideas and we'll take it from there.

Thank you loyal readers for all your support during the last 12 months. I pray the next 12 are just as fun and fruitful!

p.s. This blog is also a creative outlet - can anyone say html coding! The site has had a bit of a face lift this weekend. You might have noticed all the tweaks taking place. If you're reading this in your RSS reader, hop over and take a look. Let me know what you think?

{picture source}

Forget the former things

3 Things the people are saying

Can you remember at school when your teacher gave you a packet of seeds and told you to go home and plant them. A couple of weeks of faithful watering and it appeared as if nothing was happening but beneath the surface a lot was happening, After a while you start to see some green shoots of life.

When faced with a difficult situation it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You ask yourself 'will this ever end'  but we need to look for the green shoots, which tell us that something is happening. 

“Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already – you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there.

Even the wild animals will honour me; jackals and ostriches will praise me when I make rivers flow in the desert to give water to my chosen people”.
Isaiah 43:19-20

I really like this verse as it serves as a reminder that God is constantly working in my life, particularly when I am going though a tough situation. It reminds me not to dwell on past victories and even past mistakes, but to look forward at the new things that lie ahead.

What tough situations have you started to see 'green shoots'?

{Picture source}

Naija Blog roll

12 Things the people are saying

If you’re looking for some great Naija blogs {i.e. written by Nigerians}, check out the list compiled by Good Naija Girl.

Some of the ones that I have discovered and love:

Good Naija Girl

Before I did

Till my Dying day

Journey Down the Aisle

Myne Whitman Writes

Verastically Livin'

Le Dynamique Professeur

Living Life One thought at a time


Naija Wed n More {Lots of Nigerian weddings with pics!}

If you’re Nigerian and not on there and want to be, just add your blog in comments and she will add you to the list.

Happy Tuesday! Pancakes!

3 Things the people are saying
Hey folks! Yeh I know, I missed my Happy Monday post yesterday but I was on a bit of long weekend break.

Hope you all had a great Valentines Day. Mine was a quiet one, where I visited my folks with Mr E.

As promised this week I will be posting my favourite love links from readers and across the blogsphere. So look out for that.

Today I have just finished munching down several pancakes! Yup today is Pancake Day here in the UK, which means tomorrow is the beginning of Lent – 40 days until Easter.

So in good old fashion Lent tradition, how many of you will be giving something up for next 40 days?

{Photo credit}

Ten steps to a successful marriage

4 Things the people are saying

I came across this article on Focus on the Family, written by Mitch Temple. Thought it would be good to share.

Successful couples are savvy. They read books, attend seminars, browse Web articles and observe other successful couples. However, successful couples will tell you that they also learn by experience – trial and error.

Here are ten principles of success I have learned from working with and observing hundreds of couples:

  1. Happiness is not the most important thing. Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness will come and go. Successful couples learn to intentionally do things that will bring happiness back when life pulls it away.
  2. Couples discover the value in just showing up. When things get tough and couples don't know what to do, they need to hang in there and be there for their spouse. Time has a way of helping couples work things out by providing opportunities to reduce stress and overcome challenges.
  3. If you do what you always do, you will get same result. Wise couples have learned that you have to approach problems differently to get different results. Often, minor changes in approach, attitude and actions make the biggest difference in marriage.
  4. Your attitude does matter. Changing behaviour is important, but so is changing attitudes. Bad attitudes often drive bad feelings and actions.
  5. Change your mind, change your marriage. How couples think and what they believe about their spouse affects how they perceive the other. What they expect and how they treat their spouse matters greatly.
  6. The grass is greenest where you water it. Successful couples have learned to resist the grass is greener myth – i.e. someone else will make me happy. They have learned to put their energy into making themselves and their marriage better.
  7. You can change your marriage by changing yourself. Veteran couples have learned that trying to change their spouse is like trying to push a rope – almost impossible. Often, the only person we can change in our marriage is ourselves.
  8. Love is a verb, not just a feeling. Everyday life wears away the "feel good side of marriage." Feelings, like happiness, will fluctuate. But, real love is based on a couple's vows of commitment: "For better or for worse" – when it feels good and when it doesn't.
  9. Marriage is often about fighting the battle between your ears. Successful couples have learned to resist holding grudges, bringing up the past and remembering that they married an imperfect person – and so did their spouse.
  10. A crisis doesn't mean the marriage is over. Crises are like storms: loud, scary and dangerous. But to get through a storm you have to keep driving. A crisis can be a new beginning. It's out of pain that great people and marriages are produced.

What do you think? Any more you would add?

Away from it all

16 Things the people are saying

I read a post on A Practical Wedding about this couple’s elopement and it has so inspired me to want to completely cut our guest list right down and have a very {very} small intimate wedding with our nearest and dearest only.

Now ‘small’ and ‘Nigerian wedding’ don’t really go in the same sentence, as a small wedding by Nigerian standards is about 200 anyway, but I’m thinking really small, like less than a 100 and sometimes you just have to take a step of faith and be different right!


It is nothing personal and aside from the obvious cost savings {which is not what it’s all about}, I sometimes feel like there is too much wedding hype around us, which if you let it, starts to take away from what the day is supposed to be about. Also the fact that a much smaller event would be a logistical dream, it starts to become rather enticing.

If you think about it, what is a wedding? Ultimately it’s you, him and God – in front of the people who mean the most to you.  Who determines that number?


Whilst I would so love this kind of wedding, the sad thing is I don’t think our culture would allow it - I can just hear the ‘people’ now:

‘Why would you want to do that?’

‘Won’t you regret not having a big wedding?’

‘That’s not a real wedding’

How can you not invite so and so?’

Our people would just not get it and would take it personally.


Maybe I need to be bold and speak up, be different and break the mould. Who knows…

What do you think? Would you ever consider it?

Read the rest of Dreamlyn’s story here.

Edited to add {13.02.10}: Found this great Q&A on Boundless talking about the very same issue!

{All photos by the super talented Cameron+Kelly Studios}

Valentines Day is less than a week away - don’t forget to share your stories of love!

Excess Baggage

3 Things the people are saying
Right now I am a bit of bag lady.

I carry my handbag which is about as big and as heavy as a small rock {but has everything I need it in and more}, my laptop bag for work and a shoe/lunch bag or 'shunch' as I call it.

What is a shunch bag you ask? Well let me explain. I am a bit of a power walker and often I tend to leave an imprint of life where ever I go, often finding I have to reheel my shoes quite frequently. So in an attempt to protect my shoes, I either wear trainers or flats to do the daily commute and carry my work shoes. At the same time I also take my lunch from home and together they sit in the shunch bag.

Now carrying three bags isn't all that fun. Not only is it heavy, but it can start to become impractical. Have you ever tried to sit on a train with three bags on your lap! It's not fun for the person next to you, trust me!

In life we often carry about excess baggage. Extra baggage from our past lives, past regrets, past mistakes and failures. It weighs us down, it takes unnecessary space in our life and it is uncomfortable.

But we don't have to you know.
'Cast all your cares onto me', says the Lord. {1 Peter 5:7}
'Go, your past is forgiven'. {Matthew 9:2}
Isn't it good to know that you can let go off all your excess baggage. Your past IS forgiven. God has taken care of it.

You are set free.

Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

{Picture source}

Valentines Day is less than a week away - don’t forget to
share your stories of love!

Relationship Role Models

11 Things the people are saying

So, all last week the news has been filled with stories of John Terry who is the captain of the England football team. It is alleged that he cheated on his wife with the girlfriend of one of his team mates, to add insult to injury he got his mistress pregnant, and then paid for her to have an abortion, all the while paying her off to silence her from selling her story to the papers. On Friday he was stripped of his captaincy.

Some people have disagreed with this and have said, what has his personal life got to do with football. I believe the decision taken by the England Coach was the right one.

John Terry is in a position of influence, many young boys {and girls} look up to him, see what he does and emulate. He is a deemed a ‘role model’. Terry’s decision to renege on his marriage vows, whilst a personal choice, {which he tried to keep private}, was made very public by the position he holds.

They appear to have it all. Great careers, great wives, great families and lots of money, but even all of that doesn’t seem to be enough for them. Terry {and Tiger Woods} have made a mockery of their marriage vows by choosing to put their selfish desires over their wives and family. I can only imagine how their wives must feel.

Too many times we hear the same story, man cheats on wife, wife cheats on husband. It’s just awful.

Everyone has that couple who they look up to. You see them, they’re so in love, so made for each other. Everything looks great. Could anything possibly go wrong?

Next thing you hear, they are getting a divorce. It sends shock waves. What happened!

If it can happen to them, can it happen to us?


I remember when Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston broke up. Yes I know that they are not Christians, but they were one of those couples that looked ‘perfect’. When they announced that they were getting a divorce it was disappointing. If they couldn’t make it work in Hollywood, who can.

obamas slideshow-13

Nowadays the Obama’s are that couple for me. Their story is interesting to read, the sacrifices made, the ups, the downs. They don’t strike me a couple who would head down to the divorce courts should the going get tough.

Well at least I hope not.

Which couple do you admire {famous or non-famous} and conversely which couple has disappointed you the most?

{pictures from here and here}

Valentines Day is less than a week away - don’t forget to share your stories of love!

Happy Monday! Working on the wedding

8 Things the people are saying

The weekend is over already! Hope you had a good one!

This weekend I spent some time working on our wedding invitations. I started them about 8 months ago and they truly are a labour of love. They are being designed in Photoshop, which for a Publisher girl is tough! But I want to challenge myself and use a ‘proper’ software, as my dad would say and I am definitely learning lots. All the artwork has come from iStock and I plan to use the same ‘theme’ throughout all the printed material. Once they leave to go out to guests, I will post on here so you can see the design.

My next design project is the programs. Anyone who is familiar with Photoshop, your advice here would be most welcome. Is this the best software to design it in? There will be several pages with a mixture of text and images. Publisher is calling me! Not sure which route is the best to take.

On a separate note, our Certificate of Approval arrived last week from the Home Office. I briefly wrote about it in an earlier post and back in November we took the decision to apply for one, seeing as it was free and it would potentially widen our options with churches in case when we finalised our new date, our original church was not available.

Look out for Getting Married 101 {UK Edition} Part Deux, which will explain all. You can read Part One here.

 Valentines Day is only a week away - don’t forget to share your stories of love!

Holding Nothing Back

2 Things the people are saying

Learnt this song tonight at worship team practice.

Originally written by Tim Hughes, this version is performed by Jesus Culture. I just love the lyrics. Such a great song of worship.

I am chosen, I am free
I am Living for eternity
Free now forever
You picked me up, turned me around
You set my feet on solid ground
Yours now forever

And nothing's gonna hold me back
Nothing's gonna hold me back
Nothing's gonna hold me back

My chains fell off
My heart was free
I'm alive to live for you
I'm alive to live for you
Amazing Love, how can it be?
You give everything for me
You give everything for me

You washed my sin and shame away
The slate is clean: a brand new day,
Free now forever
Now boldly I approach your throne
To claim this crown through Christ my own
Yours now forever

And nothing's gonna hold me back
Nothing's gonna hold me back
Nothing's gonna hold me back

My chains fell off
My heart was free
I'm alive to live for you
I'm alive to live for you
Amazing Love, how can it be?
You give everything for me
You give everything for me

I'm free to live
Free to give
Free to be
I'm free to love you

Happy Monday! Share your stories of love!

6 Things the people are saying

Well can you believe it, we're in February already. Where did January go!

February is the month of...


I thought it would be great this month to share stories of love. Stories of love to encourage and inspire others. Could be how you met your other half, could be a story of an act of love from someone you know, anything.

Send your stories of love here or send me a link to your blog and I will post during Valentine's week.

Let's celebrate love.

Some love-spiration for you!

Genesis 29:20

So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.

Proverbs 15:17

A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.

Proverbs 30:18-19

There are three things that amaze me—

no, four things that I don’t understand:

how an eagle glides through the sky,

how a snake slithers on a rock,

how a ship navigates the ocean,

how a man loves a woman

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

1 John 4:8

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 Corinthians 13

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

{image source}

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