Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On singleness and getting married

**edit** This is the 3rd draft of this. I had more to add the more I thought about it.

I'm guessing that what I'm going to write isn't going to be what some people want to hear. Truth is, it has become cliche' to say, "You just need seek God so that you can figure out who you are (in Him)" while single. However cliche', it's still the truth, and a truth that many women want to ignore. If you want to know how I did it, how I found a man I wanted to marry, a man God sent to me, here ya go: I worked to get my life together apart from everyone but God. I was tired of being miserable (about life in general) and determined not to date another guy who wasn't worthy to date me. I knew there were changes in my life that couldn't happen if I was wrapped up in another person or in some daydream about the future. I had to live in the present and allow God to strip away all the junk from my life. I didn't wallow anymore about being single. I didn't cry. I didn't ask, "Oh God where is the man for me?" There was no point. I knew God was calling me to focus on him. So, I focused on allowing God to make me in to who he wanted me to be. He did the rest. He did the changing, and he sent me Micah.

On the surface, Micah is not what I would have ever picked out for myself in a million years. He was not my "type" at all (I wasn't his type either), and he loved country music. Eek :). Our relationship was difficult from day one. We were both determined not to date another "wrong" person, and that meant we were constantly evaluating our relationship and asking hard questions. We enjoyed each other's company, and he treated me well. He was (and is) so sweet and he would kiss me on the forehead 17 times in a row (or so it seemed). But, things were still hard as we sought God's will and tried our best to be understanding of each other. Each of us processes things in different ways and at different speeds. We began officially dating in November, and in January I felt God telling me that 1) I was going to have to choose to love Micah, rather than "feeling" in love first and 2) I was going to have to fight for our relationship. Those were intimidating and scary thoughts. I wondered what they meant, but as time went on, it was revealed to me. Choosing to love Micah meant I must make a conscious decision to love him and stick things out until/unless I felt God telling me to move on. Fighting for our relationship meant choosing to stick through the hard times while he sorted things out and choosing to confront baggage in my own life so that our relationship could succeed until/unless God told me to move on. I told God "ok" to loving Micah and to fighting for us in January, and I finally "felt" like I loved him a couple months later.

Our relationship remained tough. We were both trying so hard to keep our hearts open and unencumbered so that God could continue to grow and change us. We were learning how to not put God on the back burner as we learned how to love each other. We were learning how to get rid of relationship baggage that we were still hanging on to. It came to the point that though I had come to love Micah very much, I told him that if it ever came down to choosing between him and God, I would choose God. It was the first time in my life I could ever honestly say that I would choose God over a relationship/friendship with someone else. I wasn't scared what would happen without Micah. I knew that regardless of what happened, I would be fine. I trusted God to lead me. We made it through a rocky, long distance summer, and a couple of months later we were engaged. There were many times along the way when I prayed, "God, what are you doing? I don't understand this. God, this is so hard. We are so different! I trust you, Lord. I trust you to lead me." Trusting God in my relationship with Micah is one of the biggest leaps of faith I have ever taken. I had never trusted God with a relationship before. Micah and I both know we would never have made it if we hadn't sought God all along our relationship. And now we're married :).

Lest you think that now everything is sunshine and roses every day, I will let you know that things are still hard. Micah doesn't make things hard, and I don't make things difficult for him. It's just that God is still working on both of us. We love each other infinitely, and I am so thankful for Micah. I like waking up in the middle of the night and knowing he's there. I like snuggling up next to him and kissing him on the back or neck (because he's sleeping facing the other direction). But we are now learning what it means to be married, while still dealing with baggage from our past. We are done dealing with old relationship baggage and now dealing with hurts/misconceptions/etc picked up from 25 and 28 years of living. It has brought us closer together, and God is honoring our efforts to let go of the junk. God has done a mighty work in both of us starting before we knew each other and continuing today. God has used Micah to reveal His unconditional love for me. I wouldn't be who I am without God working through Micah. I am grateful, blessed, and in love; however, I know God could have chosen to work through different people or in different ways. I am so happy he chose to use Micah in my life!

Moral of the story: If you think you will ever be happy, single/married/whatever, without dealing with junk in your life and without allowing God to restore and redeem you, you are kidding yourself and allowing the enemy to deceive you. No man can make you happy or can love you the way God can. If your expectation is to go from miserably single to infinitely happily married, you will be expecting more from your husband and marriage than either was ever meant to provide. You will be sorely disappointed and just has miserable as before.

I don't say this to be mean or harsh. I just want to be honest. I'm tired of women telling other women what they want to hear when we're telling each other lies. We need the truth. We have to know and believe our worth and identities in Christ. I am finally figuring out who I am in Christ, and it is liberating! God has used countless people in my life the last couple years to help me see myself as He sees me. It's not me who did any of this. It has been all God. I just simply said, "I'm willing." You have to be willing to allow God to change you, for him to become all you desire, before you will ever be ready for marriage.

Monday, August 8, 2011


As I reflect on all the changes that will be taking place over the next few months and the excitement that comes along with new adventures, Micah and I are aware that it will definitely be hard to move away from our friends here. We don't know if we will move out of this area, but if we do we will be leaving some great people. Plus, we are really starting to like Lexington. We would be okay living there. I am thankful for the time we have spent here and for the our friends.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rain, Rain...

...go away. Well, I really don't mind the rain so much as the gloomyness that comes along with it. As I type I am sitting on campus avoiding the rain and storms. I hate to be home alone when it storms. The worst has passed, I suppose, but I have to get gas on my way home and I certainly don't want to do that with it still lightning outside. Also, I need to go to the bookstore before leaving campus so I can buy and start reading some books for class.

I was able to have a quiet time before coming to campus this morning. Randomly the other day, I realized that my bedroom is so much more inviting when the curtains and blinds are open and my bed is made. That might sound silly, but I have been needing/craving a cozy place to read, pray, and think. It's like God opened my eyes and suddenly I could see the potential in my room. I am grateful. Now I can start each morning by letting the sun in the windows, making my bed, and having my quiet time with the Lord. It gives a sense of purpose and direction to my day while also letting me feel a bit productive. That gives me motivation to finish other things on my to-do list.

I am thankful for what might seem like small blessings that God provides. It really is the small things that make up and enrich life. If I'm being honest, though, I have been very discontent lately as I read about my friends and acquaintances getting great jobs, moving exciting places, and doing big things for the Lord. I just keep wondering what God has in store for Micah and me. I begin to get really excited, but then I feel afraid to get my hopes up. It's not that I think God will let me down; it's that I don't want to disappoint myself. I don't want to have unrealistic expectations and hopes that are not in God's plan for me. Yes, I realize that as I seek him he will bring my hopes and desires in line with His. It's just that I am feeling a little insecure in life right now (as if that isn't obvious). As I wrote the other day, I refuse to sit around worrying about things. I just need to vent and hear what I'm thinking. Things make more sense that way and then seem so much smaller and lighter.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

I graduate in 4 months. FOUR. Micah and I need to find jobs and a new home in that time. We probably have 5 months before we have to be out of our townhouse, but I would love to have jobs and a home lined up before then. It's intimidating and fear-inducing when you're not sure what direction God is leading and with the economy and job market in their current state. I think that's what scares me the most. I have wondered/asked God several times, "How are you going to give me a job when there aren't any?" Then I remember, "Oh yeah...you're God!" I am determined to not let the worry consume me, and right now that is a moment-to-moment process. But I want to enjoy life right now and look forward to what God has in store for me. I don't want to be miserable, and why should I be? God is our provider, and he has never left me without a roof over my head or food to eat. He has always provided for my needs, whether that means giving me great friends, an affordable home, or scholarships at school. For that I am grateful. God is faithful and has proven himself over and over. The least I can do is trust him. God knows what I need more than I do. In my commitment to trust him, I am making a list of what we need when we move. I am committing these things to God:
  • Jobs
    • that we love
    • that allow us to serve God and fulfill his calling on our lives
    • that allow us to provide for our needs
  • A nice and affordable place to live
  • Friends
  • A great church
  • Courage

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Wedding Details Picture Post!!

**All pictures by Suzannah Driver Photography
Rings on my bouquet

All the girls shoes

My wedding cake!!!

Throwing the bouquet

All the girls' bouquets

Our shoes again, except with my silver "get-away outfit" heels

The cake- whoopie pies!

Mason Jars

Monday, May 9, 2011

That's Life

Oh my word, the last several weeks have been so hectic, emotional, and hard! Last week was especially tough as school, wedding planning, and moving all intersected. School, no doubt, has taken a back seat to everything else, and Micah and I are just trying to keep our heads above water long enough to be done for the semester. He has two more papers. I have 2 big papers and a project. Hopefully we can finish up everything this week (we only have until next week to turn things in), but now Micah is sick. He really doesn't need to miss any work since he has to take off for the wedding, but it's looking like he will miss another day of work tomorrow. In addition to that, right now he is in IN getting his stuff to move it into our new home. This has been the most stressful move I have ever been a part of. It seems like nothing has worked in our favor. Everything has been more difficult and taken more time than it should have. We are/have been emotionally and spiritually depleted. Admittedly, that is our fault and not God's.

My relationship with God has been on the backburner for a couple of months, if I'm being honest. It has been so hard to keep all my stuff in harmony, and lots of times it is easier for me to run and hide than it is to ask for help, whether from God or from friends. Well, I can't hide anymore. The last couple weeks have been awful. Micah and I have argued, we have been sick and tired, down and out. The stress and traveling and moving and school and him working have worn us out. But you know what? All that amounts to is wasted time spent worrying and arguing over stuff that isn't worth worrying and arguing about. Yes, it's hard to understand sometimes how finances work out. We have both been sick and exhausted. We have homework to do. We had a hard time finding a trailer to help us move. Gas is expensive. I am lonely. I miss home. We want to be done with school and move on from here. Etc, etc, etc.

Regardless, I will choose to be joyful and look to the Lord to supply my needs. I haven't been doing that. I have been worrying and fretting and trying to fix things. After one more thing was added to the list of frustrations last night, I had had enough. I laid in my bed and sobbed for a little while. In some ways, it felt good. In other ways, it felt so lonely and defeating. Trying to process my feelings, I realized that Micah and I are under spiritual attack. Does that mean I think Satan caused all the crazy stuff to happen that has happened in the past week (and that I haven't mentioned here)? No. But I do think he is trying to influence our reactions to everything that has happened. He is trying to steal our joy, make us doubt, and drive us apart from God and each other. I refuse to be beaten down! I refuse to lay in my bed and cry alone. I will reach out like I did last night. I will find things that make me happy, and I will turn my gaze to God. I will encourage Micah and be the positive and prayerful one when he is too sick and tired to do anything but be sick and tired (like he is today).

Lord, we are struggling, but you see us. You see our frustrations and fears. None of this has caught you off guard. Lord, you know our hearts. We want to serve you and serve each other. We want our faith to grow so that we aren't so easily dejected when life throws us curve balls. Lord, none of this is THAT big of a deal. You are more than enough for us. I pray that we feel that and believe that today. Lord, we are not alone. You have had your hand of protection over us and over our relationship. Lord, you provide rest and peace just when we think we can't take anymore. You are good. Even if you never did another thing for us, you are still good because you are God. The prayer of my heart today is "Lord, blessed be your name." Every blessing you pour out I'll turn back to praise. When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say blessed be the name of the Lord! Blessed be your glorious name! You give and take away, but my heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be your name! Lord give us the strength and the courage to finish this semester well and to enter into marriage with our hearts and our eyes fully on you. Thank you for all the things you have blessed us with: a new couch and chair and the furniture we already had, family who loves and supports us, understanding professors, an environment where your Spirit is constantly at work. Thank you for Micah and our relationship. Thank you for leading and guiding us through the difficulties of two learning to become one as we get closer to our wedding. Thank you for your protection and grace. Your mercies are new each morning and I praise you, Lord! I love you, Lord! In your name I pray, Amen.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Let's try this again...

I am not a consistent blogger, this we know. I thought maybe this semester I would blog often with updates about the wedding or about engaged life. Alas, I just have not had the energy or the want-to.

I have had a really hard time being excited about everything- being engaged, getting married, making a home with Micah. This really began to wear on me after a while and made me depressed. I had 2 bridal showers while at home for spring break, but I struggled to be present and enjoy what was happening. It really has felt like life has been moving around me while I just watch and miss out on the action. In reality, it has been the feeling of fun and enjoyment I've been missing out on. I was asked so many times while I was home if I was "getting excited." My reaction was always to say, "Yes of course!" I realized later that was a lie.

I haven't been excited. Not even a little. I have been consumed with worry. I have wondered how we are going to pay bills, if/where/when we are going to find jobs after we graduate, where we are going to live, and on and on and on. This makes me have a bad attitude and resent Micah (resent him for what, I'm not sure). Then, I don't act very nice to him and push him away. I was so confused because I love Micah and want to marry him. I know God has called us together. Of that, I have no doubt. So why do I get so worried about stuff and in turn take my anxieties, fears, and frustrations out on Micah? Easy. I don't trust God.

Ok, so that wasn't any easy conclusion to come to and it took me a few months. But I've realized that my relationship with Micah mirrors my relationship with God. If I am pushing God away, distrusting that he has my best interest in mind and that he loves me, I tend to act the same way towards Micah. It's not that Micah is God to me, or a god/idol to me. I think it's that God has pulled me closer to Him by revealing things about Himself through Micah. I understand God's love more fully because of Micah. I understand what it means to love myself and be proud of who I am because of Micah's love for me. But, I digress.

So, I realized I had been pushing both God and Micah away, and I finally heard God say (not audibly) "You don't trust me." As of late, I have been absolutely consumed with worry about finances, complete with physical symptoms- headache, fatigue, upset stomach. It zapped the joy right out of me. I couldn't enjoy my showers because I was either worried about what people thought about what I had on or about how much stuff we would still need to buy after the wedding. I couldn't look forward to a honeymoon because I knew we didn't have money for one right now. Money and the lack of it was all I could think about. I confessed this to God and confessed that I haven't been trusting him. I confessed that I haven't been honoring Micah because worrying so much makes me cranky. And I asked God to help me enjoy this time.

I really don't want to miss out on the excitement of being engaged, getting married, and setting up home. I want to enjoy every second I can. I want to love and appreciate Micah regardless of my mood. I want to relax and breathe and laugh and be excited. I prayed that God would help me be excited. I prayed that he would show me how to love Micah and that he would help me show that to Micah, as I am not a very affectionate person. I can't say that my worry is 100% gone because I still feel that tightness in my chest that comes when I'm anxious. But, I am trusting God, and now I feel excited about the future. God even showed me some ways to show Micah how much I love him today. What a blessing!

I had a long conversation with God only a night or two ago, and I am already seeing him answer prayers. I am thankful that he has shown me how to pray his will. It is God's will that I show Micah how much I love him (Micah) and that I enjoy the blessings God gives me. It is God's will that I celebrate coming together with a godly man so that we may bring glory to God together. I know these are things God wants for me. I know they are things he has already said "yes" to. The jobs, the house, the location, the money- those things will come in God's timing and in his way. But, I know God will provide. He WILL provide. We are okay now. We will be okay this summer. We will be okay in January when we need jobs and a new place to live. God will provide, as he always does in his own way and timing. My job is not to worry or control, but to trust. I pray I finally learn this lesson for good.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A (late) Valentine's Post

Valentine's Day this year was very low key, but fun! Micah and I went out last Friday for pizza and he gave me my present- a moose pillow pet! It's super cute.

On Monday he surprised me by having flowers outside my door when I woke up.
They're so pretty and have plenty of purple flowers! All my lilies have bloomed since I took the picture.

I made dinner Valentine's night, and then we dipped strawberries in chocolate. So yummy!! It was a good day :).


In other news, the semester is in full swing, hence my lack of posts. There is so much homework to do, in addition to my personal devotion time and trying to exercise each day. I found out last week that my cholesterol is really high, so I'm having to change my diet and start exercising. I am doing pretty well with it, at least for me. I have cut out a lot of junk, and I have worked out 3 times since Saturday. Hopefully I will get in a routine of working out each day for at least 30 minutes.

I suppose that is all from the great commonwealth of Kentucky. Until next time...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pray, pray, pray

Please keep praying for Kate McRae. She had a PET scan today and the preliminary results say she does have cancer again. Please pray that God will heal her sweet 7-year-old body. Pray for wisdom for her parents and doctors. And pray that God would be glorified! Click the link above for her caringbridge journal and here for her dad's blog. And pray, pray, pray!!!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." -Ephesians 3:20-21

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Back to The Tucky...

I am back at school. I got a lot of wedding stuff accomplished at my parents'. Today I registered at a local store and mom found a caterer! We also picked out the invitations. So looking at my list, I can cross off the following:
  • My dress!
  • Bridesmaids dresses
  • Flowers
  • Invitations
  • Caterer
  • Photographer
So what's left?
  • figuring out the reception site
  • getting the blue mason jars for centerpieces
  • a few other odds and ends
Of course when I say things are done, I mean they are picked out and/or bought but not necessarily in my possession. And we still have to schedule the date for engagement pictures. BUT, my dress is almost done!!! I CAN'T WAIT to see it and try it on!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Prayers Please

As anyone who lives in my family's town knows, a little girl named Korley died today. She was the niece of one of my friends. Korley was waiting on a lung transplant. Please pray for her family.

Another little girl who I only know about through the blog world found out yesterday that her brain tumor has come back. Kate is only 6 years old. She was diagnosed a year and a half ago and was recently doing well. No, I don't know her, and I can't even begin to imagine the devastation her family is feeling. But, I can pray for her...we can pray for her. From the blog:

"We are crushed. Kate is heartbroken. And we need God's miraculous intervention. Please pray. Please ask others to pray for our sweet baby. I know she is one child among many battling. But she is our daughter, and she is a sister, and a niece, and a granddaugther. Please pray that God would spare her from this disease. Please."

So I ask that you please, please pray for Kate.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What I Want to be When I Grow Up

As anyone who knows me or has at least read my blogger profile knows, I am studying to get a master's degree in Youth Ministry. I can't even begin to list the ways that this program has transformed my life, not to mention how I understand my calling, but that's beside the point for now. It's easy, in the day-to-day, year-to-year journey to get caught up in the busyness and lose focus. It's easy to forget why I have a heart for youth ministry and the ways I think God wants to use me. Yes, I can tell you that I want to work with girls and young women on women's issues but sometimes I forget why.

And then I do an internet search on an author that leads me to some "leaders" in youth ministry, people that I heard speak back in the days when I was in youth group. People that made me roll my eyes then and make me roll my eyes now. And in that eye rolling I was reminded of my call and why there is such a desire in me to serve youth- I want to do things differently. I remember having so many questions, concerns, and complaints about the way things were done when I was in a youth group, but I didn't know how to put them into words. And I certainly didn't have any solutions. Now that I'm older and studying what it means to do youth ministry and to live my life as a ministry, I can articulate what was wrong and how to do things differently. There needs to be more love. There needs to be mentoring. Kids don't need gimmicks and more entertainment. It leads to shallow or non-existent faith. They need real spiritual food just like adults do. They need to be shepherded and discipled. Leave your scare tactics and guilt trips at home. Those may be good for momentary decisions, but they don't lead to lasting change and spiritual formation.

Honestly, I look back and wonder why we went to all the events/conferences we went to. Oh, I know they were fun, and we would have greatly protested had our youth pastor not taken us, but for all the money and time spent what spiritual fruit was produced? It is more important that we build genuine relationships with youth than to entertain them. They are God's beloved entrusted to us to wisely guide, mentor, and love. We must be examples. We have to live the same life we are asking them to embrace. We have to model love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Who cares if you are a great speaker or you have the best band or you wear the coolest clothes or you have all sorts of game systems and high-tech stuff to keep your youth entertained? That stuff doesn't matter! What matters are the relationships you build and the love you share. That's it. Without those relationships, without love and a foundation of trust, you'll lose them every time. Once they're out of youth group, odds are against them staying in church and continuing to grow spiritually. But strong relationships with adults, besides relationships with their parents, greatly increase the odds that they will stay in church and not abandon their faith.

We can't afford to be anything less than spirit-filled mentors and leaders. The question is, do we care? Do we care enough to completely abandon everything but God's call on our lives? Do we care enough to let go of our bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness so that we can live a life of over flowing love and grace? Do we care enough about people old and young, believers or otherwise, to live a life that will most assuredly be marked with suffering, and yet still have joy and peace in our hearts? Do we care enough to become spiritual adults so that we can have wisdom and discernment? Or would we much rather just throw them into the world and hope they sort it out for themselves?

I ask all of that to myself as much as to anyone else. It serves as a challenge to me. I need to continue to grow and mature in Christ. I can't ever stop. I can never stop. Ever.

Lord, make me more like you. May my life be of service to you and for you. May I never stop hungering for you. May I never stop pursuing you. Lord, give me the strength to persevere til the end! In your name...Amen.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.- Matt. 5:6

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. - Hebrews 12:1

Monday, January 31, 2011

Be Present

I don't necessarily handle moving on from friendships well. I mean, it's easy to go about life as normal and be busy. It's easy to have a life apart from a person once they're gone, but the emotions and hurt feelings linger. Their absence leaves a hole that no one else can really fill. People are unique, and I don't think anyone is replaceable. Sure, new friends always come along, but it's not the same. That's not always bad, I guess. In my life I have most mourned the loss of probably two friendships. Our life paths diverged in more than just physical distance.

Now, another friendship as I have known it is over. I can see in a lot of ways where I have changed that causes my friend and me to not have much in common. Our attitudes, worldviews, and general perspective on life are completely different. I've realized that the foundation for a true friendship was never really built. It's a different kind of loss than a death or a breakup, but it's a loss none the less and one I will grieve.

I'm not sure the point of this post. Perhaps I'm just thinking about friendship. Perhaps I'm feeling the loss of many things in my life as so many things are changing. I think it's probably both. I still miss my friends. I wonder if in some way I will always miss them. Maybe I just need to focus more on the present and future and stop looking behind me so much. Yes, that's probably it. It's good to appreciate the people God has placed in our lives, but often times people are only there for a season. This is a very hard thing for me to accept, but unfortunately, it's life.

God is gently calling me to be present and live fully in the time and place he has put me. Breathe life in. Enjoy it. Feel, smell, taste, see, and hear it. Believe, trust, and hope. Love. See the opportunities all around to serve Him and show his love. Be present.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.- Psalm 34:8

Sweet Lorelai

I spent my afternoon and evening with my favorite little girl (and her mama, but I don't have a picture of her). She is so cute I can hardly stand it! Thank goodness I'm related to her!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just some thoughts

I love hymns. Love them. No "praise and worship" song speaks to me like a hymn. I love that hymns are old and have been sung my millions of people long before me. I feel connected not just to Whom I'm singing, but to other believers across miles and generations. I don't know how to explain it. I sing hymns a lot in my head or just going through my day. Sometimes I sing them in the shower, like I did tonight. Lately, I have felt the Spirit teaching me to have a quiet soul, one that is at peace regardless of circumstances and is slow to anger. I don't want to get flustered every time something doesn't go my way. I was reflecting on this tonight while taking a shower and "It is Well with My Soul" naturally came to mind. I began singing the lyrics and comparing them to one of my favorite songs, "All Will Be Well" by Gabe Dixon Band. It IS well versus it WILL BE well. And I realized, I have been living in the "it will be well" instead of "it is well" frame of mind. I think, someday things will work out. Someday, I'll be better at this and not struggle with that. Someday everything will be the way God intended. Someday. But as a Christian, my joy and my peace can come now. Certainly, my Peace and my Joy are present now. I simply must choose to abide in Him, trust in Him, and choose only Him- even when people are jerks, even when money is tight, even when Micah and I argue, even when I'm having a low self-esteem day. I want to be the kind of person who can honestly say, "It is well with my soul!"

I can easily list off my struggles and my personality flaws. I can tell you all the ways I disappoint people and how I sin. Often it's easy to get caught up in all of that. It's easy to wallow in my own disappointment, shame, and self-pity. And when I wallow, I ignore God. I ignore all the affirmation he gives me, the encouraging words he speaks to me, and sometimes the rebukes he gives me. Ignoring God makes it harder to hear his voice the next time. But I digress...

To be a person who can say "It is well!" no matter the circumstance, who can have complete faith and peace in her heart, I have to accept who I am in Christ. I have to accept that I am loved, chosen, protected, valued, bought at a very high price, capable, wanted, called, beautiful, intelligent, and the list goes on. When I know this, believe it, accept it...and live it, then it will be well with my soul. Things are not well with my soul because I have chosen to not trust God. Things aren't well with my soul because I have a long way to go in my journey with Christ. Things aren't well because I'm too spiritually immature. 

So here I am. I'm standing on the precipice of the next level in my knowing Christ. Getting ready to take the plunge (in a lot of different ways) and see where I land. There are so many unknowns in my immediate future. Add that to all the normal daily stuff like dealing with people and tackling school, and I just have a craving to know God more so that I can do things well in a way that glorifies Him. I want to please him. I want to be more mature. I want to be strong and steadfast, calm and at peace. I want to love passionately and selflessly. I want to know the Bible- not just memorize it but live it. I want to sing of love, brokenness, hope, and redemption. I want to not be afraid to sing. I want to be bold, confident, and secure in Him. I want to be radical as Jesus was radical, in love, grace, and mercy.

Lord, hear my prayer. Send your Spirit. Fill me with your love, fill me with your presence. Lord, I pray people would come to know you through your work in me. I pray that any attention or glory that comes from anything I do gets turned to you. I pray that I would be so consumed by your love, grace, and mercy that I can't help but pour it into other people. I pray that when people look at me that they don't see me, that they don't see clothes, or hair, or whatever else. I pray that they see you. I pray that they see joy and love. I pray that they feel safe and accepted around me. Lord, open my heart! Open my mind! Help me be a person who doesn't judge! Help me to see people as individuals created in YOUR image. Lord help me see You when I see them. Give me your heart for people. Guide my steps and show me what I need to know when I need to know it. Help me to trust in you always, even when I may not hear you or when I can't see the way. Help me to be quick to listen and slow to anger. Lord, open my ears! Help me to really hear people. Give me discernment, Lord.

Lord, I love you! Thank you for blessing me every single day. Thank you for the opportunity to spend years of my life studying about you and letting you form me. Thank you for Micah and for my family. Thank you for your patience and guidance, mercy and grace. Thank you for not giving up on me!! Thank you for seeing me as something worthy to be loved and used. Thank you for sending your Son to die so that I and all other people could live. Lord, show me how to take your Word to them. Let me hear, let me see, let me do. I trust you, Lord. I trust you! Move in me, God. Change me. Break me. I know you will never leave me. You won't forsake me. You are truth. You are love. I can do all things in Your strength. Lord, thank you for all the details you created just so that we could enjoy them and know you more- thank you for the beautiful weather, for a wonderful blue sky, and the chance to go outside without a jacket. Thank you for wonderful friends who love me and look after me. Thank you for parents who want me to be happy. Thank you for a home. You are my provider and Lord, you are faithful. I have never done without. Thank you, Lord. May I bring glory to you all my days and may my marriage with Micah be one that glorifies you! Bless our marriage, Lord. We love you, Lord. You are holy. You are worthy. You are mighty. I love you! In Jesus name...


So much for blogging every day...

Yesterday I went bridesmaids dress shopping for my wedding! All 4 girls went with my mom and me! The place we went was crazy, but we got what we wanted and then had a great lunch at Chef's Market. It was a great and productive day, and I crashed when I got home.

Today was church with the family. The Baroni's led a few songs and David preached. It was a really good service. I was able to quiet my mind and soul enough to hear God and not be distracted by things going on around me.

Tonight is church again for the fam, but I'm not sure I will go. Their service is different on Sunday nights and much further from my comfort zone. I do, however, plan to dye my hair tonight- a red color, as I usually do when I wanna mix things up, but this time more vibrant.

I need to get lots of wedding stuff done before I head back to school at the end of this week, and I want to find me a spring dress or two to have on hand for bridal showers and/or my engagement pictures. I got a really cute one yesterday at a store here in town, and I can't wait to wear it!

Well...I have no picture for today. I'm really bad at remembering to take pictures but maybe my hair will turn out nicely and I'll show it. We shall see.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 3!

Today I wrote a nine page paper (before noon!) and made some no-bake oatmeal cookies. I'm home alone tonight which means I'm eating way too many cookies and watching HGTV. I really need to read a book for school. We'll see.

Tomorrow we are going bridesmaid dress shopping. I can't wait!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What I'm Doing (Picture Day 2!)

So this is what the bed around me looks like- 2 books for school, my devotional and Bible, my premarital counseling book, and my wedding planning book.

I need to write a paper, but I'm still so sleepy from the nausea med I took yesterday. Luckily, I am feeling great except for being tired.

Well, I'm off to watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion. Good times!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


So recovery for getting my wisdom tooth cut out hasn't been so bad. And, insurance paid for the procedure. What a blessing! I spent Monday and Tuesday mostly sleeping. My face was a little swollen, but it wasn't bad at all. I kept up on my pain meds so I didn't feel any horrible discomfort. I didn't sleep well last night so I look especially rough today. So I figured it's a great day to start posting a picture a day! Enjoy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

After the wisdom tooth is gone...

Everything went well, except that I threw up when I got home. I have slept most of the day, and now I'm eating a milkshake. I have no picture today because 1) I am tired and 2) I am not too swollen...at least not yet. Maybe I will have a picture or 2 tomorrow.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wedding Planning and 365

Wedding planning is in full swing! We have the photographer booked, and we know who we are using for the caterer. My wedding is going to be very "do it yourself," or as many people keep telling me "country chic." I am planning on hand-making all the center pieces for the reception (coffee filter flowers and button bouquets), yarn balls for people throw at us as we are leaving, and possibly mine and the bridesmaids bouquets (out of buttons!). We are using blue mason jars in the center pieces as well. Oh...my aunt is making my wedding dress, my cousin is making my cake (we're only having a tier for Micah and me to cut in to) and some other stuff. I am at my parents' for the next couple weeks, so hopefully we can get a lot of stuff done! I also need to pick out the fabric for the tables. We're going to use white tablecloths but use patterned fabric on top of the tablecloths. Each table will be different but the colors in the patterns will coordinate. A little more than 4 months and the big day will be here. I am SO thrilled and cannot wait to be Micah's wife!

On to other things...I changed up the look of the blog again. And, I'm going to try to post every day. So, I'm stealing an idea I've seen on other blogs where you commit to post a picture a day for 365 days. I don't have much to share today, but stay tuned for tomorrow's picture. It will be me in the aftermath of having my sole wisdom tooth cut out. Until then...