93 Years of Marriage: An Heirloom Wedding Gown

My daughter celebrates her first year of marriage this Sunday. I’ve been wanting to share about her wedding gown all this time. Finally! Here’s the story starting at the beginning in 1957. Canton, Ohio

Restored wedding gown,
Mikaela and Ethan, May 18, 2018

The Bride Wore a Satin and Lace Wedding Gown

April 21, 1956 – East Sparta Methodist Church – The bride wore Satin and Chantilly lace with a cathedral length train and a fingertip veil. The gown was handmade by the bride, Elaine Easterday. (my mother). The hem was so long that she has all her bridesmaids come over and help her finish the hem before the wedding. She married a handsome dairy farmer, Gene Dawson, from Louisville, Ohio. They said “standing room only” with over 400 guests attending. {Mom said the cost was $36}

1957 Gene and Elaine
original wedding gown made by Elaine, worn by daughter and  granddaughter
Gene & Elaine April 21, 1956

Off to Finish College

Gene had one more year at Ohio State University School of Agriculture. So they moved their few belongings down to Columbus, Ohio. Wedding gifts and such were packed away in the attic of the family farm. The gown was packed along with a few other special gowns in a cedar chest made by Gene’s brother, George.

family farmhouse
The Dawson Farm in Lousiville, Ohio before 1957

Fire Destroys the Family Farmhouse

March 1957 Louisville, Ohio – Elaine went to the farm and collected a few serving items to throw a birthday party for her beloved husband. She was now expecting their first child. It was the last she would see of her wedding gifts as a few days later, a fire would engulf the 3 story home and gut it completely.

farm house destroyed by fire
1957 after the fire

Upon surveying the damage, they saw the cedar chest high up on a beam. They knocked it down and it fell to the basement. The lid broke open to reveal her perfectly preserved wedding dress! No burnt ends or even the smell of smoke. (Just like Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego! – Read Daniel 3)

The dresses were returned to the cedar chest and there they remained in the cedar chest for the next 32 years, except for a few times to just take a look. Like Mary’s little lamb, the chest went everywhere Gene & Elaine went. Their first home in Wooster, OH; Then two other rental farms in Louisville before moving back the homeplace. In 1975, the family, cows, and cedar chest moved to Cambria, Wisconsin.

Daughter Marries A “Farmer”

December 31, 1989 – Columbia, SC – Daughter, Amanda (me) marries Pastor Michael Farmer. Just a funny side note that has nothing to do with the gown, I said I would “NEVER marry a farmer or a pastor.” God has a sense of humor… I married Pastor Farmer. ha!

However, I always wanted to wear mom’s gown when I married; so I had mom bring it to me in Detroit, Michigan in October of 1989. We were together for my brother’s wedding. It was a bit snug on me but mom had left the seam allowances so a church friend, Gabriella, did the work to make it fit! {Cost: $36}

Michael & I married in West Columbia, SC on New Year’s Eve 1989 with over 300 in attendance. As we headed to San Deigo, CA for our honeymoon, Mom took the gown back to Wisconsin. We met them there a week later for a 2nd reception with the home folks.

Then we headed to Barnesville, GA were Michael was already pastoring. And the gown headed to the cleaners for preserving. {cost: $36} Michael & I did a bit of moving ourselves. And the gown followed us everywhere!

  • 1990 – Chattanooga, TN
  • 1992 – Savannah, GA
  • 1997 – Milwaukee, WI
  • 2003 – Moultrie, GA
  • 2015 – Pooler, GA

Fifty Years Celebrated

April 2006 – Randolph Wisconsin – After 50 years of marriage, 6 kids, and many foster children a couple deserves a party, right? We planned a western event for my parents. Our youngest brother, Le, helped us three girls create a CD for our parents. It was entitled “For All You’ve Done”. I brought out the gown so that it could be displayed.

antique wedding gown celebarting 50th anniversary
Mandy and her daughter at Mom and Dad’s 50th

Another Marriage Begins

May 19, 2018 – Savannah, GA – Mikaela and Ethan wed!

wedding gown before alterations
Mikaela in dress before alterations

Mikaela desired to wear the gown as well. She’s just a bitty thing and the gown swallowed her whole! We weren’t sure there was anything that could be down but we began searching for a seamstress.

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But who do you trust with an heirloom such as this?

Who do you trust to alter your heirloom wedding gown? We found her! Click To Tweet

Fortunately, we found an awesome seamstress (in Waycross, GA) who is experienced with antique fabrics. She was excited and willing to update the dress to Mikaela’s style. At our first visit, Mikaela donned the wedding gown and told Mrs. Tammie what she would like. Mrs. Tammie pulled and pinned and tugged and offered ideas. Then we left the dress in her hands for about 3 months. (Hurricane Harvey plowed through Waycross during that time but the dress was safe.)

The Seamstress Works Her Miracle

January 2018 – First Fitting – It was hard to really visualize what Mrs.Tammie would do with the dress. But when Mikaela stepped from the dressing room tears filled our eyes and excitement filled our souls. {The cost this time, a bit more than $36.}

Ethan’s First Look

The wedding day arrived and sister-in-law, Tina drove to Waycross (about 2 hours) to fetch the gown. It was lovely. Just like Mikaela wanted. Her goal was to make her sweetheart cry. I believe, she succeeded as she entered the sanctuary on her daddy’s arm.

A huge thank you to Mrs. Tammie Thomas of Waycross, GA for doing the redesign. If you need alterations of any type, I definitely recommend her. And so did the girl trying on her third bridesmaid dress when we first arrived. The Okefenokee Living Magazine Spring 2017 featured Mrs. Tammie in their bridal Issue.

More story below…

Getting Married? Register on the Amazon Bridal Registry

Amazon Bridal Gift Registry

So Much Wedding Gown Fabric Left Over

Mom’s dress was so full. We had seemingly miles of unused fabric. So I started planning some repurposing. My first thought was a purse for Mom and I. And a small purse for Mikaela’s trousseau.

With plenty of fabric remaining still, I created a different style purse for my sisters who also have children preparing to marry. This gave each of us girls a part of mom’s dress to as a keepsake.

Still More Gown Fabric Left

The fabric seemed to multiply like the widow’s oil in 2 Kings 4:1-7. So, the next item we decided to make was a beautiful blessing gown for future grandbabies. No grandbabies will arrive in the near future, but I decided to make it now before the fabric ages more, or it gets lost. So I’ve gone to work on that. It will be waiting for any and all of the great grandbabies of Gene and Elaine to wear at their Baby Dedication. I found this free pattern and directions at See Kate Sew. I still have the finishing touches to do, but here’s what we have so far.

Will the Legend Continue? Who Knows?

The gown will return to it’s home in a cedar chest for years to come. You never know what could happen. But at this point, we have 93 years of good marriage represented in the gown.

Mom & Dad at 63 years, Mike & Mandy at 29 years, Ethan & Mikaela 1 year and we are all still counting.

Mandy Farmer

I’m certain that you know an heirloom wedding gown does not a great marriage make. Below you will find some great reading that may help you in this matter.

For more about the 2018 wedding click here.

wedding vows, redesigned antique wedding gown
Saying their vows led by both fathers.
wedding ceremony; cathedral train

Celebrating the Bride-To-Be

Sooner or later you will find yourself hosting a bridal shower.  For some, this is nerve-racking and others it is right up their alley.  Celebrating the bride-to-be is a time-honored tradition and held in high esteem.  The key to a successful shower is to plan and host within your budget and abilities.  You do not need to be a “Martha Stewart”, just be you.  And YOU can find lots of help if you just ask and seek.

Photo Credit jill 111

Here comes the bride

I have had the pleasure of helping plan, serve at, and to host a few bridal showers.  I personally love to plan, organize and execute.  However I recognize for some this is not “their jam”, so I just want to assure you there is loads of help out there.  You can either choose to take on this honor and plan it yourself, phone a friend and explain your desperation, or you can hire a local event planner.  For the purpose of this article, you are going to grab the bull by the horns, so… “Let’s Do This!” Continue reading

Sacred Marriage – For a Better Marriage Relationship And More

I heard a radio interview the other day with Gary Thomas, the author of Sacred Marriage, and it really caught my attention. What especially drew me in was the subtitle, “What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?”. I had to purchase the book to get “the rest of the story”.

Continue reading

How to Push Past Pain to Produce Passion

produce passion

photo credit: Sasint @ Pixabay Modified by Mandy Farmer

Fibro Pain vs. Passion

As if the pain of fibromyalgia isn’t enough, the effect of said pain can wreak havoc on our personal lives. You see, it’s not just pain like a headache or even a broken bone. This pain is constant with no hope of ending. And to make matters worse the pain does not walk alone. It has “friends” that tag along as well. Fatigue, brain fog, muscle pain and soreness, weight gain, and depression are just a few of the “friends” of fibromyalgia pain.

But today I want to go where few dare to go and that is, the lack of libido leading to a strained relationship with your spouse. This is not just a problem for you the fibro warrior but probably, even more, an issue for your spouse.

Now before you stop reading because you don’t have fibromyalgia,

I would encourage you to KEEP READING

because what I am about to tell you

APPLIES TO EVERYONE – pain or no pain.

You may not want to admit it, but you may need some help in the area of passion for your own marriage.

You see, God ordained intimacy.

He created man and woman for each other and He inspired King Solomon to write a book about it. You will find his steamy love story in the Songs of Solomon. He starts right out with 

Kiss me and kiss me again,
    for your love is sweeter than wine.
How pleasing is your fragrance;
    your name is like the spreading fragrance of scented oils.

Song of Songs 1:2-3

Marriage is never a 50-50 relationship.

Continue reading

Finding A Priceless Love

God’s Love: PRICELESS

Psalm 36:7 “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God.

People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.

As I read this chapter, I was reminded of the Master card commercial that I have posted above. The ad says to me, “It’s not the purchases that are valuable but the response received from the purchase.” 

Looking For Love

For as long as I can remember, I have only wanted to be a wife and a mommy. I daydreamed all my growing up years of a special husband I would have and those precious babies I would hold. I don’t know how many times I came up with names for my children. LOL!  And I must also admit, as Renee said, I am embarrassed at the things I would do to get a boy’s attention. I begged God to give me a husband, I thought about it day and night. I wondered why I I attended college.

It took a while for me to learn that WHEN I first fill my life with Jesus; THEN fulfillment comes  God kept me waiting for his perfect timing. As I waited, I learned to become filled with Him. When I got to the point that I was fulfilled by God, then God fulfilled my prayers for a family and I was ready for the challenge to be a Godly Wife, Godly Mother, and now Godly Grandmother (G.G.). Continue reading

Reignite Your Marriage by Valentine’s Day

Is your marriage getting a little dull in the romance department?

romance challenge

Click image to purchase

Have you lost the passion you once had for each other?

Sharon Jaynes has written a little book that I’m sure will help you ignite the fires again. In 14 days she can help you spark that fire. She will take you step by step, offering little things you can do to reignite the fires.

Add a spark a day for 14 days

In just a page or two a day, Sharon talks about the things that will get the passion ignited for your guy. She explains what’s going on in his head and what you need to do to get his fires going. Each day she offers 3 or 4 little things you can do for your husband each day. It could be as simple as sending a sweet text or some a bit hot and sexy. She offers testimonials from women who tried them and from the men who received them. These will certainly, be an encouragement to you to try them out.

Each day she offers 3 or 4 little things you can do for your husband each day. It could be as simple as sending a sweet text or some a bit hot and sexy. She offers testimonials from women who tried them and from the men who received them. These will certainly, be an encouragement to you to try them out.

One Act of Romance a Dayadmiration

Each day she challenges you to do one small act of love. She offers 3 or 4 little things you can do for your husband each day. It could be as simple as sending a sweet text or something a bit more hot and sexy. She offers testimonials from women who have tried them and from the men who received them. These will certainly, be an encouragement to you to try them out.

The Best Little Romance Reference Book

In the last third of the book, Sharon includes some great addendums.

  • 150 additional Ways to Romance Your Husband
  • 10 Ways to Romance Your Husband According to His Love Language
  • 14 Tips for a More Romantic Bedroom
  • 10 Easy steps to Writing a Love Letter

Even if you don’t complete an act every day, you will find the passion in your marriage escalating. This is a book you will want to keep in your bedstand as a reference for whenever you need to add a spark to your relationship. Go out and buy yours today!

Mandy Farmer

 

 

 


How to Create an Atmosphere of Love

How can we bring unity to our marriage? our families? or nation? to the world? We cannot have unity without love.

And, sadly, few of us truly know how to love one another.

I searched the scriptures for these “above all, have love” commandments. I found these scriptures surrounded by instructions on how to create an atmosphere of love. I believe, if we surround our lives with these instructions, it will create an atmosphere where love will grow. Let’s take a look.

Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.  Hebrews 13:1

Above all, clothe yourselves with love,

which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:14

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

1 Peter 4:8

In these days, it seems we have lost all ability to love as Christ loved us.

Our love has grown cold, just as He predicted in Matthew 24

most important of all, love

First the Prerequisites …

  1. New Life in Christ.  [Colossians 3:1-4] There is no love without God because God is Love. We must first look within to see if we have allowed Jesus Christ to come into our lives and transform us. Without Him, we cannot have the same attitude as Christ. [Colossians 3:1-4]
  2. Put off wickedness and evil. [Colossians 3:5-9] If Christ is in us, then we must put off evil things. He cannot live together with evil. We must no longer have things such as sexual sin,  anger, rage, spite, slander, lying, and abusive language, in our hearts and minds. We must live godly lives that exemplify Christ.

Now that we are in Christ …

We should show to others …

  1. Compassion and kindness Jesus said, “Treat others as you would want to be treated.” Put yourself in their shoes. Help them however you can. You don’t know what they have been through so just be kind and caring.
  2. Humility – As Paul said in Philippians 2 “Don’t consider yourself better than others.” Get over yourself and consider the interests of others.
  3. GentlenessProverbs says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”. How can we show love if we are yelling and screaming at each other or calling one another names?
  4. PatienceProverbs says that the one with self-control wins out in the end. Don’t get upset when other people succeed. Let God work it out. Psalm 37:7
  5.  Forbearance – In others words, give each other the benefit of the doubt. Put up with each other’s faults. Don’t we all make mistakes from time to time? One version of Colossians 3 says “Make allowances for one another and forgive..”
  6. Forgiveness.  Forgive, because God forgave you. {Ephesians 4:32] Think of Christ on the cross. He said, “Forgive them. They know not what they do.” We, too, should forgive.

 

This seems hard to do, especially when the other party is not acting the same way. But truly this is how they will see Christ in you. It’s how they will find Christ; and thus, filled with love as well.

Indeed, we cannot do it on our own. We must allow Christ to live in our lives. We must give our lives totally over to Him so that He has every part of us. Then we will be controlled by Him and these things will come naturally. And His love will cover everything.

We must study his Word, worship Him, guide others to Him, and be thankful.

Let the word of the Anointed One richly inhabit your lives. With all wisdom teach, counsel, and instruct one another. Sing the psalms, compose hymns and songs inspired by the Spirit, and keep on singing—sing to God from hearts full and spilling over with thankfulness.

Colossians 3:16 (The Voice)

So it goes back to where we first started…

Find Jesus and allow Him to take control of your life.

Then we can all live in love and unity.

Mandy Farmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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