Food for thought when planning your honeymoon
The Little Stone Cottage; An Ideal Option for Honeymooners
The wedding day is dreamed about from the time a little girl is aware that one of her missions in life is to find a man to spend the rest of her days with and have beautiful little children together. Women spend long hours thinking of what their wedding day will look like even before they are in a committed relationship moving toward marriage. My husband and I were single into our 30s, so I daydreamed a lot about my wedding day in all my years of singleness.
Interestingly, the wedding day is such a small part of the whole package of marriage, and yet it gets the most attention. How many people spend numerous hours choosing just the right flowers, tasting various cakes to find the perfect one, spending time and money they don’t have to find the dress that will make them feel like a princess. Then in a blink of an eye, it’s all over – you and your spouse can now officially call each other husband and wife, and for those who have had a blessing of saving themselves for the one person God has united them with, you get to have sex! As often as you want…it’s no longer something you have to abstain from and guard your mind about.
Our culture tends to encourage couples to go away to an exotic place or take a trip with lots of adventure for your honeymoon. We looked at the honeymoon very differently because our focus was not to spend lots of money we would have to go in debt for and be on a tight schedule, learning all about the place we were visiting. We chose to learn about each other - in every way – instead and found it a very needed time for just “us.”
It’s been almost 10 years, but I still remember all the little details they prepared for us, from the rose petals going up the stairs, the low lighting, the soft music, the heart-shaped brownies, the bottle of sparkling grape juice and then the hand-written note stating they are cheering us on an praying for us as a couple. This blessed our hearts tremendously! And upon entering, the atmosphere encouraged us to do what we’d been waiting for all those years!
Courtship, wedding planning and making arrangements for housing and jobs after marriage all take a lot of time, energy and focus. Every couple I have ever talked to says marriage planning and the wedding was wonderful but exhausting. We believed that what we needed most was a place without a schedule, where nothing was vying for our time and energy. At the cottage, we found a place where loving each other and drawing ever more closer through conversations, intimacy, cooking together, reading, playing games and just being together was our focus.
I still remember those first moments of getting to know each others’ bodies – it’s not so smooth and easy as some of us may imagine it to be! As everything is new, there’s a lot of clumsiness and laughter in the sheer joy of being free with the one you love. I am very glad we were isolated in this house, with no one to interrupt us and need our attention. I didn’t glance at the clock like I normally do in my daily schedule but was able to just lose myself in learning all about this man God had placed me with for lifelong love and serving and glorifying him together.
The basement was so warm and inviting with the fireplace and sheepskin rug since we were married in January, and there was snow all over the ground as the temperatures were below freezing. The massage table was an addition that we recently used when we returned to celebrate 10 years. Do not miss this opportunity to touch every part of your lover’s body, bringing him or her relaxation from stress. As you serve by putting your all into the massaging motions, I believe God connects you in a very special way. Service is the heart of Jesus, and as we put ourselves aside, we find more of His love for our spouse.
Privacy is key for honeymooners, and the owners of Little Stone Cottage have definitely considered this need. There is a privacy fence in the front so that you can sit on the porch, rocking, listening to the sweet animal sounds and breathe in the fresh farm air. But all the more important is the back deck which houses the hot tub, if your honeymoon isn’t already hot enough! It is especially enjoyable in winter when you feel the cool breeze as you get in and out. They have a privacy wall you can put up and even a large umbrella with lights and candles on the wall for ambience at night. We recently went in the summer and very much enjoyed the table on the deck as a place to eat and play games.
Dining together as newlyweds is delightful as you learn each other’s preferences, and cooking together can really heat things up! The owners provide many natural foods from their farm like eggs, whole milk and granola that are top notch. Anytime I sat at that table set for two, I felt special. There is also an electric wood pellet grill that is quite fun to use together.
One of the most important things I can state about the cottage is how near to the Lord I feel when I am there. I could tell I was being prayed over as our conversations were so enlightening, and there was a comfort level with each other when we returned recently that we hadn’t had in years. I took a lot of time to pray, read the Word, reflect and journal both times I was there. The Spirit is so gracious to gently show me ways I can be a better wife and even things I need to confess to heal my marriage. I spent a lot of time on the swing out back, feeling free as a little girl, watching my toes go back and forth over the pond. I listened to worship music and had a closeness with the Lord I cherish even now as I ponder it.
Your personal relationship with the Father God will directly affect your marriage. If you do not know Him as your first love, as the One who life is lived for, you will be tempted to make your spouse fulfill those needs that only God can or should. In my many single days, I feel the Lord wooed me to Himself and showed me I truly am “complete in Christ who is the head of every power and authority.” (Col. 2:10) This is essential to a healthy marriage. During courtship and the early days of marriage, loving your spouse may come easy, and you may be incredibly gracious with his or her issues. But trying times will come, and you will be stretched. Life, children, work, medical issues, family issues and unexpected happenings will distract you from your marriage, and loving your spouse may at times be hard. Many times women can feel unloved if their husband doesn’t meet all their expectations – whether he knows what they are or not! (That’s a whole other topic!) It is key to have God as your focus and to live every day for Him, not your spouse. While you are there, begin asking Him what He desires for you as a couple to do for Him and His kingdom, and make a plan to do it! As you start life together, serve, love and live with this wonderful person as God directs and teaches you, through the good and bad, the joys and pain, the births of children and the deaths of those you love.
I believe very strongly God’s Spirit is very evident and working at the Little Stone Cottage to draw you closer, to bless the two of you as you connect in every way, to reveal to you His heart for your marriage and your life in Him. Choose to truly get away on your honeymoon to learn all you can about your spouse so that you can enter the ups and down of life together with a deep intimacy in every way. As you face the stresses of everyday life, you will remember these quiet, special moments together when you learned that you are now a chord of three strands – you, your spouse and the Lord (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Your marriage will be stronger and withstand the adversities as you continue to make time even in your everyday life for honest conversations, sweet sexual moments, playing together, serving the Lord as a couple and continually deepening your love for the Lord as you obey His Word.
The Little Stone Cottage, for Your Honeymoon?
By Lisa Smith
[A little bit of heaven on earth]
The blessings of life don’t always come in flashy expensive attractions. The thought-filled simplicity of life is lasting and meaningful. It speaks right to a person’s heart and is a treasure that lasts a lifetime.
In this regard “The Little Stone Cottage” is a little bit of heaven nestled away on a Mennonite farm located in Lancaster County.
My husband and I met in a small prayer group not far from Lancaster County. Pursuing a relationship with God was of most importance when we met. We both had been about 7 years in the Lord before our paths crossed. Both of us loved the Lord so much and ultimately wanted to please Him above all. We both came from broken backgrounds and the Lord had brought healing and restoration into our lives.
Before meeting my husband, I made a petition in my heart to the Lord. I wanted my relationship with Him to be the most important one. I wanted to know I would be ok with just Him, until He brought a man of God into my life. I wanted to feel safe and secure knowing that He was all I needed. For 7 years I solely pursued my relationship with the Lord. During this time my husband pursued a relationship with the Lord as well and allowed Him to make him into a new man. A man that was after God’s own heart.
It wasn’t long after we met that my husband wanted to pursue a relationship with me. But I was content with my relationship with the Lord, so it took me a while to warm up to his pursuit. After some time of prayer and contemplation, and many other obstacles that presented themselves, we decided to court each other. This was a really important approach to a relationship together. Remaining abstinent was an important step in honoring the Lord in our relationship. We wanted to honor His word in our lives and we wanted our marriage and life to be established on the foundation of truth and the blessing and promises that God had for us. We wanted the Lord to unite us together in marriage and to consummate our marriage that first night. We valued the moment when we would be joined through physical intimacy. Therefore, the place that we selected for this to transpire was important to us. This would be a place we would remember and carry in our hearts for all of lives.
Honoring God was at the forefront in everything about our union and in planning our wedding day. We wanted to share the love we found in Jesus Christ, and in each other, with all of our friends and family. This was the reason we believed we were being united together. Our union was not based solely on physical attraction. We both believed the Lord brought us together for a special purpose. To glorify God in our marriage union and to also to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to those who don’t know Him or those who are struggling in their life that He has called us to walk along side of.
During our wedding day our desire was to display and express our love and devotion for each other, and also for the One who we love and live for. Our singular aim was to make it very apparent in our wedding day that we loved the Lord. He was the focal point of it all. We washed each other’s feet, we shared personally written vows, we partook in communion together, we prayed for our family, we prayed for those who were sick and others prayed for us. We made the Lord the center of uniting us together from the first day He joined us, and we have continued to live our lives in this manner. How could our focus on our Savior affect our desire to honor and choose the right place to celebrate this love now in a deeply physical dimension?
In planning our honeymoon, we looked for something special and meaningful. We wanted the perfect place to spend our first few days together as husband and wife. This was to be a very intimate and personal time together. A time when husband and wives learn even more about each other. Where the marriage bed is consummated. A time of great excitement, but one also of fear and trepidation. A time of vulnerability and learning to trust one another. A time of becoming intimate together; a very beautiful and memorable time of two truly and completely becoming one.
The Little Stone Cottage played a part in that process for us and for that we are so grateful. This cottage is tucked away in the middle of God’s wonder and beauty, but it’s also not far from many wonderful things to experience in the surrounding Lancaster area. The Cottage is filled with warmth and love and is very welcoming. The little details that make your stay memorable are very important to Roman and Lucy. It included all the comforts of home, with the seclusion of romance. The beautiful canopy like ambiance over the bed was gorgeous and so inviting for our first night spent together.
We were blessed to find homemade and wholesome gifts waiting for us fresh off the dairy farm. We enjoyed the hot tub on the back deck, the quaint and quiet sitting area in the basement, the beauty that surrounded the cottage and property. We took walks along the countryside and we enjoyed seeing farm life in the adjacent areas. We had quick access to all of the cultural aspects of Amish and Mennonite hospitality. We appreciated the simplicity of loving God and loving your family that this community brings. The warmth and kindness for others was impeccable.
We were so blessed to spend the first days of marriage together in this little piece of paradise. I think of it as “on Earth as in Heaven” maybe… We have often longed to go back to The Little Stone Cottage since our honeymoon, but time has passed and we are 12 years happily married. We have grown in our relationship with God and with each other. We have incurred great difficulties over those years, but it is only through the foundational principles that our marriage was established on that we have endured. There were many tough seasons that we had to endure, but we grew in strength and perseverance by recalling the reason were joined together in the first place. We have always drawn strength in knowing that we loved God first and foremost, and He brought us together in His love, to glorify Himself through our lives and through our marriage.
We recently celebrated 12 years of marriage. This July we plan to revisit The Little Stone Cottage in Lancaster County. We are looking forward to a time of rejuvenation; setting aside the time and coming away with each other to rest in the Lord. The Cottage brings a sense of peace and tranquility. It is a time of renewal. It is a time of solidifying and drawing on the Lord and remembering the purpose of our marriage and what is truly important in life.
We are hoping to spend more time with Roman and Lucy during this visit. We pray that they will impart a little bit of their wisdom and love for marriage, and share their hearts regarding the correlation between Christ and the Church.
We pray that you would consider The Little Stone Cottage for your honeymoon. We also pray that you would allow God to establish in your hearts, what’s truly important in the first days of your marriage. That you would give to each other the gift of not only love but also time. That you would learn early on in your marriage that it’s not about all the big flashy things that cost a lot of money, but that you would take the time initially to just come away with your beloved… and just be one together. Blessing to you in your marriage union.
Lisa & Ryan Smith
TESTIMONIALS FROM HONEYMOON COUPLES
What a great place to begin our married life together! Everything was so romantic and peaceful. We enjoyed the Hot tub in the snow! And the fireplace was so cozy. Thank you for all the Little Touches and details to make things comfortable and cozy. We can’t wait to come back and relive precious memories!
- Brad and Mimmy, Ephrata PA
We had a wonderful time here at the cottage. The Lord has already walked us through some things in this first week of marriage to help us have an even stronger foundation. Thank you for the hospitality and the intimate setting you provided for us her. We hope to return.
Cody and Chela, Texas
We prayed that we would begin our married life, giving glory to our Lord and allowing Him to be part of every intimate detail of our lives. His faithfulness is Glorious. We so enjoyed every part of this place, the table, music, massage table ☺, fireplace in a cozy basement, bed, bathtub, books on the shelf, and the games we played. Thank You. God bless you and keep you.
Bob and Stephanie, Pittsburg, PA