Friday, January 20, 2012

You Are Lovely

How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord Almighty! (Psalm 84:1 NIV)

I have loved this verse for a long time and I have seen it everyday for the past six years on the wall in our kitchen. How lovely is your dwelling place Jesus! Be welcome in this place Lord! I have loved my mom's heart in wanting our home to be a place filled with the Holy Spirit.

The other day, I heard Beth Moore refer to this verse in talking about how we are the dwelling place. When you have trusted Jesus as your savior the Holy spirit dwells inside of you. We are lovely as children of God. Beth mentioned how, in truly believing this verse, from the coffee pot to her spot to have her quiet time in the morning she says aloud "I am lovely!"

So, do you believe it ladies? Do you believe that you have been bought with a price by our Father God (1 Cor. 6:20)? Do you believe that you are lovely? In a world that is constantly scrutinizing our outward appearance, we need to look inwardly and to make ourselves lovely dwelling places for the Spirit to reside.

I don't care how messed up your hair is or how gross you feel first thing in the morning, I challenge you to look yourself in the mirror and declare, "I am lovely!"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I Said Yes.



I'm not sure why, but the story turned to silence as we sat side by side watching the clouds go by. Eventually, we jumped out of the boat and went up to the lake house to get ready for dinner and pictures.

For being at the lake where the dress code consists of wet swimsuits and shorts, it is an odd thing to get at all dressed up. I happily spent a generous amount of time showering, drying my hair, straightening the hair, perfecting the make-up and selecting an outfit. All for my amazing guy. At one point, even my mom and sister were in there helping me get ready for much more than I realized then - that's for sure!

I went downstairs feeling quite pretty and greeting my handsome man, I grabbed some dinner. We sat for a little while; me, Emilie and him. He said that he had already eaten and sat just watching me eat but not saying much. We ended up going inside and singing happy birthday to my little cousin Luke and afterwards I s-l-o-w-l-y enjoyed a few pieces of watermelon. Those must have been excruciatingly long and nerve-wracking moments for Christian who was about to make the biggest leap of faith of his life.

Christian asked me if I wanted to go on a walk. I said okay and he took me by the hand, all the while I was kind of not wanting to get all sweaty and gross right before we were going to go down to the beach anyways to take pictures.

I wondered if I should have told my parents where we were going so that they could meet us down there.

I wondered aloud where we were going...trying not to sound too annoyed.

I told him that I could walk all day long as long as I could be with him.

I thought of my parents' engagement story - how my mother complained the whole time and nearly ruined my dad's great, romantic plans.

This was one of those running-like-crazy, mind of a woman moments with so many thoughts going through my head.

I was totally oblivious.

So, we walked down to the lake's shore hand in hand. I chattered a little, but he remained relatively quiet. When we got towards the end where the beach was quiet and empty he stopped and pulled me into his arms. He was just holding me as I looked out on the lake and the beautiful sky.

Christian said something like, "Do you remember the story...our story that I was telling you earlier today? You know it wasn't finished yet."

He paused.

Now remember, I was facing away from him. At this point I was thinking and even mouthing to myself, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh! This is it! Christian is going to get on one knee!"

"Do you want to hear the rest of the story?" he said. "The boy wanted to spend the rest of his life with the princess, but he had never backed it up...until now."

As Christian said those words, the world seemed to be moving in slow motion as he turned me to face him. He pulled out a little brown box and a ring, got on one knee and asked, "Lindsey, will you marry me?"

I don't even know what all I said except that I said "yes" over and over.

I would've given anything to see this moment from his eyes. What exactly did I say? What faces did I make? He told me later that I buckled at the knees a few times - he got a little worried, but he was so thrilled that I said yes!

We talked back and forth a lot - I said that I was excited and scared and so, so happy. I asked about the ring which is so perfect. I asked about who in my family knew. Everyone kept it a perfect secret from me. He had asked my dad back in December 2010 while I was  in Colorado skiing. He sat in my dad's office to ask for my hand in marriage...the same exact spot that he had asked my dad permission to take me to the homecoming dance when we were fifteen.

When we had hugged, and hugged and skipped and jumped around with joy he took my hands to his heart and prayed the most humble and sincere prayer over us. We absolutely just took in that moment in thanksgiving and worship to our holy and amazing God.

I was so nervous and excited walking back up to the house where all of my family awaited us. Part of me didn't want those moments alone to pass, but I couldn't imagine what it would be like to share this exciting news!

Almost to the lake house, I could see everyone standing on the deck. I heard someone behind us and turned to see Landon with a tripod, camera and FERNS. Yes, ferns in his hat attempting to camouflage. I have never been so happy to have a stalker as a sibling! I laughed ...and cried later when I saw the beautiful moments that he captured in the photos.

Everyone was just so thrilled. Especially my mother who was being eaten away at by keeping such a big secret from me. So full of joy! It was so sweet sharing what was going on with all the children in my family. Their little voices kept crying out, "Christian and Lindsey are engaged!!!" They sprayed silly string on us and threw ribbons and confetti. Everyone hugged and shook hands and congratulated us. My dad poured drinks to toast with. Some shared a fun word or blessing. I told our engagement story for the first time. I was teary-eyed as all of the people who dearly love us gathered round and laid hands on us to pray. What an overwhelming sense of peace rested on us in that moment.

The rest of the night was a whirlwind as we all went down to the beach to celebrate some more. My papa took beautiful pictures of us; we couldn't stop smiling. Later, we watched as the breathtaking Texas sky was painted by the hand of God. Many remarked that the weather and the sky was perfection; almost creating the feeling that we were inside a snow globe.

I had never been so unbelievably happy in my entire life.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Set Up

Okay friends, this is the moment that you have all been waiting for. Girls, this is a moment that you have been dreaming of for most of your lives. Pinterest ideas have nothing on the story that I am about to tell. This is our wonderful, precious, only-orchestrated-by-God engagement story...


July 4, 2011

He got down on one knee and he had a ring in his hands. It was the right time; God ordained. There was such a peace and presence that can only come from the Lord.

It all started earlier in the day. That morning at Lake Sam Rayburn was picture day. They had matching shirts for all the cousins, complete with birth order numbers ironed on the backs...the whole nine yards. This was one of the best stops on my dad's sabbatical for the summer. Christian got to fly out to celebrate July 4th with us at the family reunion. I was thrilled to have him there with us. As we stressed to get all the kids to smile and photos snapped, Christian pulled me aside and asked if I would like to get all pretty that evening to take pictures together. I said that we could do that, but deep down I really didn't want to because I was already sick of taking pictures.

Fast forward to the afternoon and we found ourselves out on the lake and skiing. It was my mom, dad, Landon, Emilie, me and Christian. We had a great time together. Once again, the idea of taking pictures later that evening was brought up; this time, it was my mom. She said that she wanted my Papa to take pictures down at "the beach" of her and my dad and also me and C. I started to think that it sounded like a sweet plan.

After the boat had been pulled in and parked near the shore, everyone slowly made there way back up to the lake houses. Eventually, it was just Christian and I that remained relaxing on the boat. We soaked up the sunshine and shared memories of our fun times together. Things like Christian subtly trying to impress me in high school or the times that we used our siblings as an excuse to hangout with each other. Those are funny stories for another day!

We talked of how difficult we have found it to share our story with others; often struggling to even find the words to describe all that God has done and all that he has taught us in the process. We also shared the desire we have to encourage young people to have more intentional and God-honoring relationships with the opposite sex. We both feel that God has written our love story and that he has used it to ultimately draw us closer to Him. We so desperately want to share the things that we have learned to others younger than us, maybe even those older.

Finally, and most especially on the boat that afternoon, Christian decided to begin telling me a story. He began telling our story aloud almost as if he were telling a child a bedtime story. I hope to have Christian write out that story for our children someday.

It is a story of a princess and a boy. I know that he mentioned that the princess was loved by her father and by many others, but especially by the boy. He did everything he could to get close to her; to get to know her. He learned that she loved people, loved to drink tea, but more importantly, she loved the Lord. The boy took her to every ball and they loved to dance the night away. Eventually, they began to fall in love...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I have already found the treasure. Jesus. You are the treasure worth everything; worth giving everything else up for. Do I though? Do I, on a day-by-day basis, surrender everything I am and have to you? And as I now search out people who need you; people who don't know you yet, what do they see in me? Do they see the average college student worried and wanting and searching after the things of this world or do they see a courageous woman that is living for something more?

I want everything I do to reflect this reality. The reality that I have already found the treasure. Jesus. When the man found the treasure in the field, he left and immediately sold everything else he had so that he could buy it. Christian and I have been having fun registering for gift lately. As we joyfully do this and get excited preparing for a life together, we are also trying to find the balance between wanting a bunch of stuff and surrendering all that stuff to God. I am trying to keep my heart in check; remembering that the treasures on this earth will not last and that Jesus is my ultimate treasure.

Christian and I have said that more importantly, we need to be "registering" for things of eternal value; thanking God for spiritual gifts that he has blessed us with and praying for things that will last. I pray that he will continue to show us what it looks like to treasure Him above all and bring glory to his name.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Choosing True Beauty

By sharing stories from her own life, Kim Meeder wrote the challenging book, Fierce Beauty. Kim is an amazing storyteller and in no time at all I was wrapped up in the story of God's redemption in her life. The book opens up with the story of Kim scaling the side of an icy cliff. I can't imagine ever doing such a dangerous and adventurous thing, yet Kim compared her scary mountainside moment as a way to show our need to hold onto the the Lord. What had placed her in this fear-gripping situation was her zealous desire to do her will, her own way. It was in that moment that she heard God's still, small voice asking her relinquish control to him. She complied and instantly her eyes were open to how stubborn she had been.

God wants to make us strong and courageous women to be used for his purposes. Throughout the book Fierce Beauty, Kim encourages women in what that looks like to fiercely defend beauty that radiates Jesus Christ rather than the fake and temporary beauty that the world tries to sell us. God has given Kim Meeder deeply moving and purposeful insight on how he views his precious daughters. True beauty is most definitely the way we live in Christ and not simply a look.

Click here to read chapter one of Fierce Beauty...

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.