Monday, April 30, 2012

The Babies

I am always saying that Christian and I are "babies" starting our life together so young. However, I am referring to a different set of babies today. Allow me to introduce to you the newest kids on the block...
Aren't they cute!?
I love spring time and how can it be spring without new life? The new little goslings born every year on Christian's parents' pond are a reminder of my new life in Christ and of the start of something new in me and Christian's relationship as well. Two years ago in April, I returned back from a spring break missions trip to Lima, Peru during my senior year. It was a trip that I will never forget. I was surrounded by amazing leaders and missionaries that poured truth into my life. During a conversation with my "adoptive dad" who watched out for me on the trip, I I came to realize just how much I cared for a boy named Christian. My "dad" on the trip was telling the girls in his group just how special we are to God and how we only deserve his very best in the guys we are in relationship with. He said that we should only consider dating a man that is not only a Christian, but who is passionately in pursuit of Jesus. I realized then how thankful I was that Christian is apart of my life; constantly pushing me closer to God. I realized that I couldn't imagine doing life without him. These realizations were even more so confirmed in me when I looked around at some of my dearest friends and was heartbroken to find that many of them were giving their hearts away and God knows what else to men who were not followers of God. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! I say this only because I knew these girls well and saw so clearly that they were God's girls. They deserved so much better.

Christian had loved me like Christ does. We had begun to build a friendship based in trust, covered in grace and full of joy. I knew coming back from that trip to Peru that I missed Christian. I began to see how I was giving my heart to him.

Fast forward to the week I returned from Peru. It was Christian's birthday weekend and spring had come to Georgia. Christian took me lunch and we talked about the trip. We came back to his house and decided to go canoeing on the pond. The babies had hatched and we paddled as close as we could get to admire their cuteness.

On that important day April 14, 2010
As a side note, poor Christian has endured way too much of my usage of the word "cute" in my vocabulary. I have realized that coming from a family with three brothers...let's just say its not a word that is used very often. Today, it always makes me smile when he now uses the word to describe me and my little sis. We rub off on each other.

After canoeing, we found ourselves on the bank of the pond fishing and before I knew what I was doing I was basically declaring my love for him. Okay, not exactly, but the just of what I was saying was relaying the feelings I had had while in Peru, I told him that I felt that we were essentially dating or maybe "just friends" "hanging out", but that I needed to know where the relationship was going. I don't think I did a good job of explaining this, but I now realize that what I was needing to know from Christian that day is if what we had was something special. I think I knew the answer. I think we both had known for a while now. But I was determined to get an answer from him that day. I needed to know what was going on because my own, guarded heart was having trouble knowing what to do. I had gotten to a point where my heart had begun deceiving me and it was in limbo over whether or not Christian and I had a potential for a future together.

All of this totally caught Christian off guard. He had never processed or defined a relationship as special as ours. Neither had I. Therefore, I didn't hold his mumbling and fumbling against him. My heart was already kind of at ease after getting my words out. I had to leave to go pick up my sister at a friends house and it makes me laugh to think that I left without working everything out. I guess that I was pretty confident that it would all work out for good in the end. My heart felt free, but I left Christian a the pond suffering. Poor guy.

Over the course of the next half-hour he called my phone probably 5 times. During which I was standing in my best friend's driveway celebrating her acceptance into design school. I remember blasting Toby Mac from my mom's minivan speakers for the neighborhood to hear and us dancing? Did we really do that? All the while Christian is desperately trying to get a hold of me so that we can set things right.

I eventually got home and called him back. We talked through the fact that, yes, we each cared about the other A LOT. We agreed that we did not want to spend time getting to know any other girl/guy like we did with each other. We decided that our relationship would transition to being a more intentional one; spending special time together and getting to know each other better. We got off the phone being defined as being "in a relationship" I guess? Good times. We were headed in a fun direction. Excited to see where our heavenly father would lead.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wanna Be A Wife?

Every girl dreams of finding that special someone to truly love her. Many young women spend their time wondering when their prince charming will come. They want their happily ever after. Do you really think that you are ready for true love; for marriage? I just finished working through a book by Debi Pearl called "Preparing to be a Help Meet". It opened my eyes and taught me a lot about what is looks like to get ready for marriage. And by "working through" I mean I was meticulously dissecting every page, vigorously highlighting and writing exuberant NOTES TO MYSELF IN THE MARGINS. Dont tell my MATH 3316 professor, but I have spent more time studying Debi's book in the last month than my notes from her class. To me, learning and studying this stuff is more important than even my classes at Kennesaw State. I know that busying myself preparing for the responsibility of being a wife will be far reaching and and will bear fruit in our marriage for years to come.

What I love about this book is that it is written to both married and unmarried women. Debi writes from experience. She doesn't talk down to us young ladies, but she does speak extremely frankly about what she knows well. She is a know-it-all and I love it about her. A youngin' like me needs the frankness. I need an older, godlier woman like her to speak into my life as I prepare to be a new wife. When I was reading the book I could just see her sitting me down and telling it how it is.

Debi Pearl's name may sound familiar to you. She and her husband started a ministry called No Greater Joy and she has also written a book called "Created to be His Help Meet". Which is more targeted towards married women. I want all "my girls" to know: do not wait to read this book until you are engaged. Take it from me, if you are a highschool/college/single girl that wonders about when and how you will ever come to meet "the one"; if you have even the smallest desire to get married someday; if you are struggling to chart the waters of opposite sex relationships in our crazy world need to get your hands on this book!

I found this book refreshing and I learned so much. And this is the FUN kind of learning. I couldn't put it down! Even if you don't like to read, the pages are organized in a neat format...words seriously jump off the page. It is also filled with journal-ing spots that I wrote in from time to time. Because of the way I wrote in it I know that I will keep this book and look back at what God was teaching me.

And hey, if any girls are interested I would totally do a book group to discuss it more. We could meet in our new home. More on that fun news to come!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thumbs Up

No one knows about my new habit. Well, until now. For the past six month to a year whenever I am nervous, anxious or uncomfortable I have been picking at my thumbs. They hurt sometimes because of how often I mess with them. Most of the time, I don’t even realize that I am doing it. Therefore, it has turned into a habit. 

In all the wedding planning and life planning in general going on at the moment Christian is always asking me if I am anxious about anything, worried, etc. “No.” I am quick to reply. “I am not nervous.” The Lord says in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything” right? Nope, I’m good. I’m not anxious about anything.
My thumbs tell a different story.

We are all hiding things. We say that we are just fine and hide all our true struggles and pain under a mask that has it all together. Most All of the time we find it difficult to admit defeat or let our weakness show, but often unveiling the truth is when the healing can begin. 

Reading Psalm 73 this morning soothed my crazy heart as I took a minute to breathe in God’s strength for me today. I felt the peace that transcends all understanding begin to wash over me. I let God show me that it is his strength that strengthens my heart; preparing me for whatever is to come. He is my portion for today and forever. 

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. ~Psalm 73:23-28
Maybe my thumbs will get a rest for awhile.