Tuesday, July 31, 2007

married for one month, part 7

fional asked:

Do you think it's worth waiting til you're married to have sex?

Christine (smells) responds:


Sex has become a wonderful complement to our relationship. The level of intimacy we share matches our commitment to each other.

Is it the above all, end all? No.

Is it marvelous? Yes.

But our marriage is built on love for Jesus Christ and of course communication.

To have waited this long to express that aspect of our love was extremely worthwhile. We have no guilt. We can enjoy each other fully without embarrassment or shame.

Mike adds his two cents worth...
Sex is really good inside of marriage. People and many christians get sold rubbish that they are missing out if they don't have sex before marriage. Speaking from my experience this view is bollocks. I'm glad I waited and if you are waiting too good for you. Don't let people rubbish you for being a virgin. "I have sex with my wife thankyou and it's da bomb."

married for one month, part 6

Laura asked:

Do you recommend stirring up controversy as a way to catch a husband? HA!

Christine responds:

I recommend being honest AND gracious about your convictions. Do not hide your intelligence because you think it will scare men off. But beware of flaunting it.

married for one month, part 5

Anonymous asked:

What do you see as a biblical view of birth control?

Christine responds:

I am not willing to tag my personal view of birth control with the adjective biblical. Not because it is contrary to the Bible. But because I believe there are many godly men and women who have prayerfully considered their options and have come to varying conclusions.

I will say, however, that Mike and I have slightly different views. I have chosen to submit to him in this area of our marriage in order to show honor for his leadership in our life together.

Monday, July 30, 2007

married for one month, part 4

The Borg asked:

What strategies are you both going to employ to get through the difficult times when neither of you seem lovable?

Christine responds:

Mike and I both had problems with this question.

Perhaps it was with the word lovable. We tried to think through instances when we would find ourselves unable to love the other. The reason none came to mind was not because we are still in the honeymoon stage and we just think the other person is absolutely marvelous and can do no wrong. No, I think we accept each other as human and continue to love each other because ... we love each other. I may not feel like making dinner after an evening of gathering together immigration paperwork, but I do it because I know it blesses Mike.

I'm not saying that neither of us have given into annoyance or haven't hurt each other at some stage. But we are very quick to seek forgiveness because to hurt Mike is to inflict misery on myself.

If anyone could answer this differently, I'd be interested to know if you have strategies for such situations.

married for one month, part 3

Anonymous asked:

Do you think that as many people will read your blog now that you are no longer single?

Christine responds:

My purpose for writing has never been (well ... except for those couple of months in 2005) to stroke my ego and get people to read my blog. Look back through my earliest posts. No one commented (except Mike who a couple of months ago went through and read all my past writing and left sweet love notes at the end of each of them.)

That isn't to say, however, that I do not enjoy the exchanges of thought that occur in the comment sections. I often tell people that the comments are the best feature on my blog. I'm convinced that is why people return in between posts ... not to see if I've updated my blog ... but to see if anyone commented!

If no one reads my blog now that I'm married, I don't mind so much ... but I don't see why they wouldn't just because I'm a Mrs. now ... it would probably have to be a drastic change in subject matter or a complete disregard for updating my blog for people to stop checking up on me.

married for one month, part 2

Jonny asked:
  1. Would you accept living in Australia for the rest of your life if you had to?
  2. Or do you miss your friends and family in other countries too much?
  3. Could you eventually come to call yourself Australian and have an understanding and appreciation of our way of life or are you a terrorist?
  4. Do they have any good men in Kentucky? (Obviously I don't care either way).
  5. Do you miss America and wish you could be home?

Christine responds:
  1. If I had a gun pointed at my head? Sure! (I'm soooo just kidding!!!) Seriously? If I had to, yes, I could accept living in Australia for the rest of my life. I once warned Mike that in two years time I might become agitated and restless. I may not even know why at the time, but he ought to be prepared that the reason could be my "biological clock". My entire life I have picked up and moved on average once every 2 years. This has been my lifestyle and it will not be easy for me to stay in one place. Mike is aware of this and has promised to be understanding during times when I am dying to scratch the itch to move. He knew what sort of woman he was marrying.
  2. No, I do not miss my friends to the extent that I am desperate to see them again. Most of my friends share my love for travel and are keen to come to Australia to visit at some point. When I moved here, I hugged my friends and let go of them so that I could cling to what God had waiting for me here.
    Luke 9:62 - Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."
    Thank God, however, for skype and email. These make the transition easier.
  3. I will never be fully Australian. Just as I was never fully German or American. Mike sometimes teases me about the manner in which I pronounce words differently, however, he doesn't want to make me into something I am not. That being said, I am certainly keen to learn all I can about my new home. While watching the news Mike will sometimes interject, "Pay attention! If they ever start a citizenship exam THAT will be on it!"
  4. There are so many wonderful men in Kentucky ... particularly at Southern Seminary and Sojourn ... that I am proud to call my friends. Because I married an Australian does not negate that fact. God was merely saving me for someone and somewhere else.
  5. No, I do not miss America. I LOVE it here. I love Mike. I love Crossroads Church. I love the island of Tasmania (my new home). I love walking to town and Uni. Mike doesn't believe me. "I'll believe it when I hear you tell it to Laura's face when you talk to her next." I do wish I could share some of these new experiences with old friends ... I wish I could be there when Cassey and Jiri welcome their new son to the world. But we all understand that God has called each of us to different places at this stage in our lives. To constantly look back feeds discontentment.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

married for one month, part 1

Anon. asked:
Just wondering... but as another self-described "independent woman," I find myself wanting to know which parts of the engaged/married experience (so far) have been the most trying for a woman who had been used to making her own decisions in every area without having to submit to another human being in each of them. I think it will be very difficult for me to adjust to that, given that I've been living on my own since 1999. Have you experienced frustration or fear or similar feelings along the way? Has it been harder or easier than you expected to live in Biblical "coupledom"? Or is it, frankly, too soon to tell?

Christine responds:
A month or so before I left the United States for Germany I was reading over my vows and was hit by this portion:
I promise, by God's grace, as He enables me to submit to you and to obey you in everything, as I do to the Lord. I recognize you as my head, even as Christ is the head of the church. In so doing I resolve to put my trust in God and not give way to fear.

The weight of this statement overwhelmed and humbled me to the point of tears. I realized then that I could not give into fear because ultimately my trust was not in Mike but in God. Mike will eventually fail me and disappoint me and I will do the same to him!

At that moment I realized that I did have fear in my life: fear that Mike would disappoint me and not live up to an unreasonably high standard. Could I place myself under him knowing this?!

But who am I? I, too, am a sinner. I, too, will disappoint. To expect more of Michael than his human limitations would be to make him god. And if I clung to him in desperation and he failed me, my world would fall apart leading to resentment and then bitterness. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." This is what drove me to tears: this vision of the monster I could become, gripped by the sins of idolatry and bitterness, wounding others because I myself had been wounded.

It was at this moment that I knew I had to reject this idolatry and cling to God and his provisions and perfect goodness.

When Mike somehow disappoints me I am now free to joyfully show him grace and forgiveness. Instead of resenting Mike, I hope in Christ and repent of my own sinful behavior.

I am thankful that this transformation of the mind took place before our wedding. As a result, it has been an incredibly smooth transition into living together in grace and love.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

God is enough

your contributing questions

On July 29, Mike and I will answer questions concerning our first month of marriage. Please contribute any questions you may have in the comment section below.

Questions specifically addressed to Mike will be answered on his blog. Those addressed to me will be handled in a post on this blog.

Sample Question:
Christine, after being married for a month have you retracted any of the radical statements you've made concerning marriage in the past?

Response: Maybe, which radical statements did you have in mind?

formal portraits

Here are the formal wedding portraits. Mike and I brilliantly decided to have them taken the Friday before the wedding, relieving us of immense amounts of stress the day of the event.

Someone on Facebook asked, "Christine, where did you get your wedding dress? It looks like one of the J. Crew gowns that I ogle whenever they send me new catalogs."

I too admired this classic, simple dress from J. Crew. In fact, I admired it so much that three years ago I BOUGHT the dress.

You do the math.

Monday, July 23, 2007

long awaited pictures

Photos have been consolidated by various guests (one of which had an OBSESSION with the girl in the green dress).

Click here if you have the patience of Job to go through over 200* pictures of the wedding.

If you are more of the school of Job's wife, just run through 18 pages of thumbprints and you'll be fine.


*A big fat thanks to Dave, Joel, and Mark for taking pictures during the ceremony/celebration.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


add me on Facebook and you can see pictures of the wedding (coming soon).

Meredith posted some of her pictures of the wedding here on Facebook.

Friday, July 20, 2007

wedded in Christ

(Retired Major) Robert Hnat met me at the back door as Carmen, Cassey (my lovely friend/mother-to-be of a BOY), my mother, and I emerged from the back room where we had been praying together. It was 1645 (military time for 4:45 pm). Hand in hand my mother, father, and I walked to the front of the church while others were still standing about, some finding a place to sit while others chatted with friends.

It was all beginning just as we desired: a family gathered together to celebrate what God had done. I was not the center of attention, nor was Mike, nor was the Tasmanian harpist, nor were the decorations. Christ would be the focus.

I turned behind me to see who had come. The room was speckled with the ethnic attire of brothers and sisters in Christ that now call Hannover, Germany, their home but whose families are oceans away. I couldn't see the Martin family from Frankfurt yet. I winked at little Janice, who was already taking her responsibility at the end of the ceremony very seriously. A few little girls stood next to Christina Sonnemann listening to her singing and play the harp. I glanced at Mike, Dave, and Joel on the other side of the church, only to find them taking pictures with their cameras! ROFL! (Whatever it takes to not get stressed.)

Promptly at 1700, my father stood and the whirl of ceremonial events commenced that would make me and Mike one under Christ.

(Click here to view the program.*)

Carmen, Cassey, Christine, Mike, Dave, and Joel

At 1745, my father announced Mr. and Mrs. Michael Jolly to the public and little girls along aisle stood on their seats showering us with flower petals.

Following the ceremony there was a flurry of photographs being taken by guests. During a group photo, I overheard my mother ask my father between her smiling teeth, "Who's the fellow in the beard snapping all those photos?"

I looked out at the enthusiastic amateur wedding photographers to find the bearded man.

No clue.

I thought nothing of it. There were so many people I didn't know that what did one more matter? ... but it was odd that my parents didn't know him.

Later, as I munched on a Wanton and watched the Philippinas dance to the tune of their ethnic music, a beautiful red-headed woman approached. I saw the question in my mother's eyes: "Who are you?"

I knew who she was. During the out-of-town-guests group picture, she and the bearded man joined the group standing behind me and Mike. I turned to get a closer look at the mystery couple, smiling a welcome. The woman whispered, "I'm Meredith."

My eyes widened in delight ... Meredith!

For all of you bloggers who have not yet met me and Mike and wanted desperately to come to the wedding, Meredith was there representing you. (Meredith and her husband Detlev wrote a review of the wedding here.) Carmen and Mark also represented bloggers present (perhaps they can offer their own point of view in the comment section).

My dear friend and "little sister" (who some may remember from my family's 2006 Christmas Youtube video), Sonja Schneider did a wonderful job as our wedding coordinator. Months before the wedding, Sonja would frequently pester me with questions about how plans were going. "What plans?" So to keep her sane and Mike and I relaxed, I asked my dear sweet friend if she would do us the honor of coordinating our wedding. She was professional and energetic and truly had the vision of Christ as center of the ceremony. In fact, she surprised me and Mike with singing "How Beautiful".

* vows were adapted from Adrian and Andree Warnock's wedding vows.