Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lesson Learned

I have a story to tell. I've told it to a few people and it just makes me feel crazy every time I tell it. Did this really happen to me? Yes. This is our honeymoon story.

We jumped in the blue convertible to begin our happily ever after. After helping with the wedding of some dear friends in Texas last weekend, I realize that the bride and groom have the best end of the deal. They take off! While everyone else is left in the aftermath. So worth it though! So as Mr. and Mrs. we pulled away from our wedding reception with everyone cheering and laughing and being overall happy for us. We were married! Goodbye to the real world and off to paradise in Riviera Maya, Mexico!

That same day we stood at the Delta counter in the brand new international terminal to fix what we thought was an easy problem. Christian had booked my ticket with my newly married name. That is not the name on my passport or my ID. Oops. Easy fix right?

Our little mistake turned into a horrific one when the guy across the counter named George broke the news to me that I had an expired passport. What? Really? I want my daddy! I thought. Wait, I have a husband! I rebutted to myself. Even this moment was good because it was my first chance as a married woman to be a help, encouragement and joy to my new husband. I was crying on the inside, but only Christ in me allowed me the ability to hold it all  together. I was devastated. I didn't even want to think about what this would mean for the beginning of our life together. I know just a week-long honeymoon is a silly thing to worry so deeply about, but I somehow knew all along just how important it was for us to have a good start.

God helped me to hold my head up high, ask good questions, get things sorted out and love Christian through the whole emotionally intense moment. Love is definitely a choice. I am so very glad that I made the choice that evening not to allow disappointment to spoil what was supposed to be good. It was our first day to be married and all.

That's Christian checking us in...so happy/That's me with the expired passport...before we knew it was expired/Who knew that the passport office could be so romantic...only on your honeymoon!
By the time that evening came we knew the International terminal so well that we had met four of the Park 'N Go shuttle drivers (I didn't have my phone and Christian left his in the car). Back and forth and back and forth we went. We paid the extra it took to change our flight to Tuesday morning with the hope that Fun Jet would help us change our reservation and the state would help us expedite my passport (If you have flight itinerary in hand as proof of leaving the country, the passport agency can hand you your new passport same day.)

We were rejoicing when we finally left the airport and were able to sit and figure out where we would stay for the next couple of days. I didn't have a desire to go to our new home. I didn't call my parents (I know! I can't believe it myself.). Don't forget that this is the same day as our morning wedding! I had been up since 5:30 am! While everyone following the wedding was praying for us as we supposedly traveled through a tropical storm headed near Mexico, they didn't know that their prayers were being answered in an entirely different way. In our hotel room later that night Christian went out to get us something to eat. I wandered around the room finding a pile of papers that he had pulled out of his pockets. A little card stuck out to me. It was a business card from the church we married in. On it, scrawled in my kid brother's handwriting was, "Take care of my sister." That was the first time I let a tear fall thinking of just how much I am cared for. First by my heavenly father, then my daddy, my brothers and finally the extraordinary man that I married. I didn't have anything to worry about.
Finally in paradise...and what ended up being the best honeymoon ever!

What was basically a worst-case scenario to occur on a honeymoon became something needed for us. As always, the Lord is behind the scenes making even the most shocking moments into beautiful ones. He works all things to the good of those who serve him. Christian and I learned to lean not on our own understanding of things, but to trust with all our hearts that Jesus would take care of things and make our paths straight. We learned to depend on each other and love each other through a crazy time. We learned that your honeymoon destination (especially when its tropical and there is a free upgrade to a beach-front suite involved) tastes so much sweeter after a few extra days stuck stateside. I learned to double-check my passport before leaving on a trip. On the plus-side, my new passport has my married name on it and it doesn't expire for the next ten years. Score! Lots of lessons learned.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Place to Dwell

This is about my little dream house.

One of the goofy desires of my heart that the Lord decided to work out was getting to find a house in the historic area of our city. It has a different feel In contrast to the place Christian and I have lived with our families and I love that; I needed that. Even my mom says that when she drives over (just 15 minutes away from her house) she feels like she is in a different world. When I drive down the road (narrow street, traffic and all) I get the biggest smile on my face. I think that my father in heaven really likes the joy that this new place brings me.

The place our home sits is our new little world and that means new places to explore, new faces to meet and most importantly (just kidding) new restaurants to try. I am the biggest foodie!

Another important requirement that Christian and I looked for in a house is for one that we could move into right away. Especially as the wedding drew closer the pressure was on to find a place for us to dwell as a married couple. At one point we even began looking at apartments because we didn't want to force things or settle for just any home. But sure enough, God had a house in store for us and I loved it the moment I got to see it.

I had actually seen this home online several times over the course of months as I perused online listings. I always looked past it. I think thats funny now. The home I overlooked ended up being a very important place to me; to us. Our first home.

There are many more stories of our home. Stories that always point back to Jesus as Savior, God as provider and Spirit as friend. The Lord was with us all throughout the home buying process and he continues to make himself alive and evident to us as we have worked on and prepared this home. We truly consider this house to belong to God and look forward to seeing how he will allow us to use it for his glory.

Here are a couple before and after shots of our home...

Home for the Fourth

I love the small hometown feel that our city has. We live right off of The historic square and were able to walk there for the fourth of July festivities. It was such classic, all-American fun. We had funnel cake and lemonade for breakfast y'all. I felt like I was a little kid getting away with something. One of my favorite parts was to watch all the cute kids all dressed up for the holiday. Lots of reds, whites and blues. Big hair bows in little girls' hair...adorable. A little older lady wearing American flag Keds...where can I find a pair of those? Note to self: wear something festive next year.

Christian and I enjoyed the holiday and It made us feel like we were still on vacation. Being in our home for the first time together is so sweet; almost like a second honeymoon. We had a good time "scouting out" all the fun to be had in Marietta on the 4th because we hope to have friends join us next year! We look forward to making many more memories and creating traditions for our new family. Also, the dark looking picture is of the fireworks we could see right outside our window. They are shot off in close proximity to our home and were LOUD!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Settling In

The first week of July was the perfect time for Christian and I to settle into life together. Just in the first few days returning to our home we have been overwhelmed to hear from people we love just how sweet our wedding day was.

I understand now how important it is to get away on a honeymoon because we so badly needed to just focus on each other which is exactly what we got the chance to do. I didn't even get the chance to really (try to) process our wedding day until the plane touched back down in Atlanta on Sunday.

Now that we are back my mind is constantly being flooded with memories of amazing people and unforgettable moments that occurred not even two weeks ago. I can't believe June 23rd even happened. It was like a dream. A heavenly dream where I was gliding down a church aisle filled with joy and peace that can only come from the Holy Spirit. God was so there. So present with us. I cannot even begin to put into words how beautiful it all was. I still can't take it in.

We are married.

Christian returned to work Monday, my parents are out of town with the kids til Sunday, but a sweet blessing was left behind in Marietta...my Emilie! I am so glad she stayed behind from the family's trip to Texas because I so needed her. We were giddy and remembering all the wedding details together. We came. We laughed. We baked.

Here are some moments of pre fourth of July fun...