fantasy - every girls dream, a beautiful wedding gown!
The reality - it's who's in that dress that really matters!
Jen was an gifted Ballerina throughout her High-school
years, and that's why this Bridal gown, was
the young Jen's dream Bridal gown (she was a brunette then) - but it was just not meant to be
Jen defied her mother in an epic battle of wills that lasted almost
8yrs, and did finally marry the
man of her dreams, the man of her choosing! But for that she was made to pay
a very high price!
Given no dress and no assistance, her dad and family were prohibited from
attending her wedding.
Jen had to return to Africa, from Canada, alone, and at her own expense,
organizing it all
at age 22.
Her dad was told instead he could now buy himself a power-boat and take
his family on a fancy RV vacation!
So she returned to Africa (to her true-love) with no parental blessing ... instead, she was told she
would be disowned.
Jen defied all of those odds, worked hard, saved every penny she earned,
then when she had enough, bought a ticket,
then returned to Africa, alone, found her true love (as she had promised
him) and, within days, they
were finally married ...
Look at the joy and relief on their faces ...
Married! 7 Years, 7 Months and 7 Days after they first met and fell
in love as teenagers.
Cape Town South Africa, 1979 the actual wedding #1 ... for us, saw Jen
wearing her old
yellow dance dress. Having dreamed, longed for & fought hard for this day
for almost 8yrs,
Jennifer could have worn a tee-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, and I wouldn't
have cared less.
Since Jen's family "declined" her invitation, I asked my family not to
attend, so that she would
not be reminded of her family's absence and feel sad on her day. It was a joyous wedding ...
After so long, so many forced separations, so many goodbyes, we were
But some 27 years later, the validity of our African
marriage paperwork was questioned,
and CANADA wouldn't marry us, saying that with the same last name we
could well be
brother and sister, BUT they'd consider it if we could get her mother to
vouch for her,
Right ... like that was ever going to happen! So we asked
Montana ... and they said:
"Absolutely! Come on down to us here in Helena - We'd love to marry the two of
We've 2 things to say about that: "Thank You America!" and "Shame on you
Governments ... when you really need them, they find ways to say "NO! ... NEXT?"
Helena, Montana and wedding #2. But this time we had to get
But, it turns out that "twice was not
enough!" Due to bureaucratic bungling in our
new land of
"Far, far away", in South America, we had to get married
there, with her maiden name,
OK ... for the 3rd wedding, let's dream! After all, we do have
the help of a world-famous artist
(who has done so many paintings for me of Jen) to design Jen's ultimate
"dream wedding dress!"
And since we do live in an "Avatar-like land of Pandora" ...
It was very tempting ... but why buck a trend that has worked so
well for Jen?
Once again Jen chose to concentrate more on what is happening - rather
what she is going to be wearing ... keeping it simple and sweet, just
So, finally, almost 4 decades late, here is Jen's signature Hawaiian
wedding dress - and this time, in white!
In our new land of "Far, far away" ... weddings happen a little
differently. First you get all the government paperwork
done and pay
their fees - at which point you are actually considered "officially
married". That's done. Then there is the
optional church wedding or other ceremony, and afterwards a wedding reception
- which can happen anytime later.
I may be a guy - but I'm a bit perceptive. I knew that she had really
wanted to look and feel like a Princess in a
beautiful dress AND have
her dad give her away, tell her he loves her and that he's so very proud of
So, with a lot of help from "serendipity" and a bit of
imagination, I set to work to fix as much as I could.
Unlike my student days, now I had lots of money, and I could right this
wrong. I sought out the best artist
in the world for painting beautiful
woman and exquisite dresses, and told him I would become his patron
I would buy most of his artistic output, BUT only if he painted a huge,
elaborate, artistic masterpiece!
It took almost a year to plan and complete, but in the end, costing as
much as a luxury car, it was done!
Here's the short version of events:
First we must design the most exquisite dress
over time she had changed what she thought of as a "dream dress".
I had to involve Jen in this part - I mean, she had to love her
"DREAM PRINCESS DRESS" ...
But she had no idea what I was planning ... Then I had to make sure that
he captured her image and essence (by now aged 35) perfectly, it had to
be her - before
starting on the masterpiece, so I had him do this painting.
Then the boys and I presented this to her, and she thought we were all done.
She loved it!
But we were only just beginning! Next we found a
photo of "the little girl Jen" ... at around age 2.
She was such a cutie-pie, I'm sure if I knew her then, as a little boy,
I'd want to hold her hand!
And then we did the much smaller watercolor study first ...
And finally, after all was approved, he started work
on the Masterpiece ... and it took 7
months to complete.
Then, about 1 year later, with relatives of ours from the great state of
we unveiled it, the boys leading her in and taking Jen's Blindfold off
She was just a wee-bit surprised and little teary-eyed ...
That's "Little Jen" (2) looking at
her later-ego "Grown-up Jen" (35) leaving to start her new life - having
just given her some Roses for her hair - permission to cross over the
bridge, into that new life ...
but the look on the little girl's face tells you they're parting ways
now ... and for her it's been a very sorrowful goodbye.
There's a lot more symbolism designed into this masterpiece, and for
those of you who have visited and seen it up close, well ... you know
the story well.
What do you think this painting is
called? What does it represent? The trained eye may spot the
significance, but when you read (below) what it is called, you'll find
yourself saying "Ah ... Yes, of course!"
Well, that's about all the planning that I could humanly muster - But God had a
loving grand finale planned ...
Somehow ... not sure how, Jen's dad got to go on a business trip that placed him a few
hours away from us,
and for once, without his wife! So on a whim, he decided to rent a car, and drive to
our city, and find us!
Thus it was that one Sunday afternoon - unannounced, he pitched up, alone, on his
I immediately spotted the opportunity God had given us, and reminded him of how he'd let his
rather badly, on her wedding day many years before - then told him the time had come for
him to make amends.
And so it was that Jen got to stand underneath her newly finished
wedding portrait, with her dad! How sweet is that?
And he then told her that he loved her, and that he was so
very proud of her!
He asked for her forgiveness for not being at her side on her wedding
walking her down the isle and giving her away to
me, with his blessing ... to be my wife, for life.
And so I took this photo of the two of them, though Digital Cameras were still in
the infancy, but it worked!
Sadly that was the very last time Jen ever saw her dad but, thanks to God's
love, it was a perfect grand finale!
blurred Jen's dad's face in these photos as her mother will go ballistic
if she gets news of the existence of these happy photos.
BUT we have the originals, Jen has the memories, and the history of what
a wonderful day that turned out to be will be preserved forever!
So you think that's "as good as it gets"?
I did. Well there's
more ... God had something so special planned
for that day, that even the lovely heart-warming story I've related
(above) was about to be "scooped".
You see, on that day, with both of their emotions raw, God used Jen to
lead her own dad to the lord! How sweet is that! Here they are after I
came back outside to check on them (camera in hand) only then finding
out that he had repented of his sins, asked for forgiveness and for
to become his Lord and Savior ... like a lamb, and with a beer in his
Considering they knew that this would be the last time they'd ever be
to see each other ... this was kind of like the story of the "thief on
Jen's birth-mother so controlled access to her dad, by anyone, it's safe
that he'd never have had a better chance to accept Jesus as his Lord and
God's plan worked wonderfully, and so Jen and her dad will get to
see each other again.
Everyone would agree that the idea of the painting for
Jen (and the ensuing project)
was a sweet thing to do for her ... BUT as you can see from the short
of what God had planned, clearly His gift to Jen and her dad was
I really did not see all of that coming ... clearly God did. Even the
timing was perfect.
It was kind of like: "Ok, that's nice ... now sit back
and watch Me multiply it's significance 10x". The painting
is called "Born Again". Every time Jen sees it, she remembers her
own life-changing rebirth ... and her dad's too.
When I commissioned "Born again", the painting, I really had
no idea of how God would use it for that very purpose!
There's really a LOT more to this Love story than this short summary ... You
can read about that day, and
in the 7 books in this series: "Africa's
SNOW-WHITE", the novels. Get them FREE at:
It's a real-life story, so don't expect everyone to change and live
happily ever after - but in the end, most do!
A curse that's lasted 3 generations - on Jen's mother's side
of the family:
As you may have read 
Jennifer's mother tried her best to stop Jen and I from getting married
(and also from staying married) and ultimately disowned Jen for marrying
me - more accurately, for daring to chart her own course in life (her
choice of a husband being just one of many independent choices in that
regard) and certainly for daring to find any fault with the "queen's
rule".  Well, Jennifer's maternal grandfather threatened to
disown Jen's mother if she married Jen's dad (though that was later
rescinded) ... but much more intriguingly, we established (from Jen's
aunt and uncle) that Jennifer's maternal great-grandfather did
much the same thing to one of his sons! The brother to Jen's maternal
grandfather.  Jen's mother's uncle, was forced to elope to
marry his true love - who just so happens also to be Jen's dad's Aunt!
So Jen is "doubly related" to these two star-crossed lovers, who were
forbidden to marry. We speculated that perhaps Jen's dad and mom somehow
met through (or because of) this particular uncle and aunt since they
are an obvious link and they, in turn, had much the same problem when
they wanted to get married, as Jen's grandfather objected. So, we can
trace these efforts to control whom their children love and marry, first
to Jen's great-grand-parents (who were contemporaries of queen Victoria)
then to her grand-parents (who were children when queen Victoria ruled
the empire) and finally to her own parents (who clearly still think they
live in Victorian times, that Victorian England's principles apply).
That's 3 generations!
Couples often reconfirm their vows.
Neither Jen or I gave this option any thought, we were just so happy
and relieved to actually (finally) be able to marry each other once!
However, governments had other ideas, and we were forced to go through 3
weddings to convince them we were married to each other. It feels like
the curse of the old "queen", her desire that we never get married or
stay married. We had to keep proving that we are indeed married. So now
we have 3 actual marriage certificates. One from the South African
government from 1979, one from the state of Montana in 2006 and one from
a South American government in 2010. That's 3 bona-fide marriages, as if
the others had never even happened. Considering the opposition to Jen
and I getting married at all, it's actually quite fitting that we did
marry, then got married again and yet again. So the
queen's efforts are defeated, not just once, but 3 times on 3
It took an epic, dangerous 11,000km 28day overland
voyage for us to get here, from the BC Canada, but we made it!
And from even just these few photos of our new "Promised land" ... if
you use your imagination, I'm sure you will agree.
Many years ago, Jen and I met and fell in love in a beautiful National
park in South Africa. Many years later we belatedly
eloped and ended up living in a beautiful National park in a tropical
paradise, in a land "Far, far away" ... still very much in love,
AND next to our very own "Secret place" - as before, a waterfall, with a
lovely big clear pool that we can swim in together, forever.
AND, very importantly - 6 of the 7 Wishes made by us in our youth,
together in our "Secret place" in Africa, have now come true!
AND the National park we ended up in, has within it, in fact right next
to our home, all of the elements of our 1st two wishes.
AND I'd like to assure you that we did not plan any of this ... it just
unfolded as if it were mandated in some long-forgotten script.
“Twenty years from now you will be more
disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did
do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the
trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover!”
and I'd hasten to add: "Dare to
So, our two options were: LAKE
OF FIRE (living across the lake from Jen's birth-mother - right
under her nose)
(in a new land far, far away) - It's easy to see that there's really no going back to the past!
And so it was, that in our
new land of "far, far away" , 40 years after our
we were finally married, and we all lived Happily ever after! So
what's left to say but:
"Fairy tales can come true ... it could happen to you - if you're young
Before I forget ... 11 years after they were separated, waiting in S. America for Jen,
in the Garden of her new home,
next to our beautiful new secret place, among the flowers in the
painting, was ... well, a picture is worth
a 1,000 words!
Now every morning when Jen goes to pick fresh flowers from her garden,
she can stop and smile at "the little girl".
"Jungle Jen" and her "little girl", finally reunited
again, forever! Well anyway, at least to us it sure looks that way.
Taking these many seemingly "coincidental" factors into account, and
just listening to something resonating deep inside of our souls, it's
clear to us that God planned the beginnings of our romance (complete
with many special little "twists of fate" and "ironies") in such a way
that most true romantics would find the story to be not only quite
romantic, but also rather unusual - a classic example of "Serendipity",
definitely fairy-tale like. That's the way it's turned out to be. Often
"Truth is stranger than fiction!"
"And we know that all things
work together for good for those who love God, for those who are the
called according to His purpose."
This verse outlines God promises to us, that if we
trust in Him and agree to follow His plan (script) for our lives, we
will not be guaranteed only easy, good, happy, stress-free, healthy and
wealthy times - but He will turn even bad situation & circumstance into
"good & happy outcomes", for those people who trust Him.
We did ... God did!
Jen and I keep one aspect of our lives from ever
really fully "maturing" ... our love for each other.
Some may find it a bit juvenile, but really it's just too much fun still feeling all
of those loving feelings
from our youth, so why stop?
If you want to read a little more - to see what that's been like, Here's
For those that haven't, well, since God gave us a wonderful love story,
free of charge, we're giving it away free too - no charge! See
Before I forget, I also had that
beautiful Gold "V-shaped" Choker-Necklace, from the painting, made for Jen,
plus matching ring, bracelet and earrings.
I mean, I just had to ... It's just
all so beautiful!
There is absolutely no way that Lizzie and Nicholas
could have foreseen that his wish - made
way back in December of 1975, would indeed come true ... AND in this
rather unusual way.
But it did! Nicholas was only ever engaged to Lizzie - and only ever
married her ... 3 times!
And to follow this 43y, real-life, against all odds love-story more closely ... SEE:
any cover (below) to go directly to
KINDLE editions ...
or if you have
You can get to read these
Kindle, FREE of charge, via Amazon's
IT FREE FROM YOUR KINDLE"
KINDLE is here for V1 - V6! V7 is scheduled for 2014, V8 &
9 for 2015.
Still in Planning ... V8 & V9,
the final books of this series