Smoldering Brown Eyes and a Neck that Smells Like Toothpaste

A few weekends ago, I was getting ready to attend a Friday night wedding several hours’ drive away. I chose an outfit, combed my hair, and laughed about the incongruity of applying evening make up at 1:30 in the afternoon. (Men, you’ll just have to take our word on this.) Realizing my necklace looked tarnished, I remembered a home tip I had heard of applying toothpaste to tarnished metal for a fast shine. 
Minutes later, with goopy blue Colgate gel congealing into the crevices of my necklace, I realized with horror that the home remedy probably meant white tooth paste. Laughing at myself, I submerged the necklace into the sink and tried to wash away the blue. “Look for me at the wedding,” I chuckled to myself. “I’ll be the one with smoldering brown eyes and a neck that smells of toothpaste!”
Later that night, smelling minty fresh, I watched from a pew as the bride and groom stood before us all and made promises. Their eyes stared deeply into each other’s eyes, obviously having faded away from all other sounds and sights, save the words and the promise and the looks that asked, “Really? Just me? You mean this?” 
I sat enraptured by the glimpse into their minds and hearts. There is a vulnerability in a man’s and woman’s eyes at that point, when they ask, “Really? You mean this? You are promised to me, and I am promising myself to you, and this is a vow before God, before this church full of people.” Beautiful, tender, and then they kiss, and the eyes shine out, and the view in their eyes is different, less vulnerable, because the conversation for now has passed, and their attention is turned. 
It strikes me later, after the glistening soap bubbles floated into the night air, amid laughter and spills; and the horse-drawn carriage pulled away, and the reception ended. My God whispers his vows to me, and I so often stare back at him, eyes wide and vulnerable, “Really? Me? Forever?” 
Too often I forget the radiance and the glistening wonder, and still feel like the girl on the pew with the neck that smells like toothpaste, striving instead of resting.
Hi, thanks for stopping by. What has God been talking to you about this week? Can you relate to feeling like the girl on the pew sometimes?

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  1. Anonymous on October 11, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Hey Jen! Awesome writing! I love it! -Rach

  2. Unknown on October 12, 2011 at 9:10 am


    Love this analogy. There are big dreams tucked in our heart on our wedding day but they don't come to fruition if we're not lovin' our Groom. Lord, remind me of the passion I had the day I said I do to You.

  3. Lakeisha on October 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Great post! I love this much needed analogy. Thanks for stopping by my blog ๐Ÿ™‚ I appreciate your sweet comments!


  4. Sheryl on October 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I am so much the girl sitting in the pew.

  5. elaine @ peace for the journey on October 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Beautiful writing. I was with you on that pew watching! What tenderness there is in a scene like the one you described… reminding us all of the love that is ours in Jesus Christ.

    "Really? Me? Forever?"

    Apparently so.

    What treasure!


  6. Cheryl Barker on October 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Striving/performing is something I fall into so easily. I can never get too many reminders of His gracious love for me. Thanks for yet another picture of it, Jennifer. Blessings to you!

  7. cabinart on October 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Great title, Jennifer! Pulled me right in and your writing carried me through to the end. I look forward to reading your blog!

  8. Anonymous on October 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I just found your blog and am captivated! In a sea of bloggers, yours bobs to the top! The Lord has gifted you to pierce right to the heart with brief words—you go girl!
    I am happy to click "add to my favorites"

  9. Jennifer Dougan on October 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Hello all,

    Thank you for honoring me with your presence here. You anonymous people, thank you too! I wish I could send you a note too. Sorry for the loophole in blogger that doesn't allow even me to email you back. I would if I could. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Jennifer Dougan

  10. Zoe on October 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Jen, Thanks a million for posting on my blog. Yours it BEAUTIFUL and your writing is captivating. Keep up the encouragement. You're a blessing

  11. Renee on December 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Beautiful post! What a sweet reminder of how God cherishes us. Blessings!

  12. Ms. Kathleen on December 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    This was so sweet and a beautiful analogy… We are indeed the bride of Christ ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Jenn on December 29, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I loved this. The beauty the marriage symbolized of God's reflection of His love for the church. Wow.

  14. Pam on May 28, 2012 at 3:59 am

    I have a wedding coming up in a couple of weeks and now I will be thinking of this as I watch the couple's eyes, listen to their vows… thanks for beautiful analogy! Emerald… ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Jennifer Dougan on May 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm


    Thanks for stopping by. May you know how much you are loved and being whispered to from the front!


  16. Unknown on September 18, 2012 at 1:47 am

    I just re-read this post. I love this Jen! so, so good ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Unknown on September 18, 2012 at 1:48 am

    I just re-read this post. I love it Jen – genuinely ๐Ÿ™‚ So, so good!

  18. Jennifer Dougan on September 18, 2012 at 2:38 am


    I'm so glad. It is a good reminder for me every few months too. Thanks.

    Have you seen the "How to Be Beautiful" post? I like that one too.

    Jennifer Dougan

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